Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Obligation, Rules, Emotions, and Me

My new schedule says I'm supposed to write something about "being Catholic" today. The first one, last week, "Ancient Style and Today's Discussions at the 'Vatican Science Academy' " (October 2, 2011), was about part of the Catholic Church that focuses on one of my interests: the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. That, and the Church's clerical uniforms: very briefly.

I don't stay focused on one topic: not easily. And that's another topic.

Desperately Seeking a Topic

This week I thought I had something to write about when I heard the second reading at Mass: Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20. That's the one that starts:
"I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me."
(Philippians 4:12-13)
Chewing it over, I remembered that I'd posted about wealth, poverty, and getting a grip, before.1

Besides, I'd be likely to start rambling about my checkered job history. I've been a sales clerk, beet chopper, radio disk jockey, office worker, and there I go: starting to ramble.

A King; Guests, Invited and Otherwise; and Being Prepared?

A few minutes after that bit from Philippians, Father Statz was talking about Matthew 22:1-14, the parable about a king and wedding guests. It's not one of those 'comforting,' feel-good parables. Not for me, anyway. There's the start of a discussion of it in footnote 1 of Matthew 22.

He mentioned, again, this statistic: 27% of Catholics (in context, I'm guessing that's Catholics in America) go to Mass each week. That's probably why we have three extra Masses on Easter and Christmas: to handle the 'Easter and Christmas' folks.

I'm glad, in a way, that so many folks apparently feel like going once or twice a year. And that's not what I'll be writing about, quite.

Church on Sunday: What's the Big Deal?

I go to church each Sunday because I have to. It's in the rules: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2180-2183. Sometimes I go late Saturday afternoon: which the bishops in this country say is okay in their territory.

I'm a convert to Catholicism, so maybe you'd expect me to be rabidly gung-ho about the spiritual ecstasy I feel each and every Sunday. That's not gonna happen, for several reasons:
  1. I think there are quite enough gushy impression pieces about the beauties of the Mass
  2. I'd have a hard time keeping a straight face while writing something like that
    • No criticism intended to folks who write and enjoy that sort of thing
  3. I don't have that sort of glorious-visions-and-heavenly-voices 'mountain top' experience
    • Which is fine by me
    • I'd be a little suspicious if my faith was based on emotional highs
      • More than a little suspicious
I think that Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 | The Third Commandment, is a pretty good place to start learning about why the Catholic Church makes such a big deal about 'church on Sunday:'
"The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life...."
(Catechism, 2177-2179)
There's more: Catechism, The Sacrament of the Eucharist, for starters.

Maybe I should feel like a hyperventilating teenager at a rock concert each time we celebrate Mass. I don't know. But I go, when possible, because I'm supposed to. And because no matter what my emotions are doing at the moment: for at least a few minutes each week, I'm with my Lord at the Last Supper, and Golgotha, and beyond.

I think it's worth the hour it takes each week.

Somewhat-related posts:

1 I even had a post titled, "Success, Wealth, Poverty, and Getting a Grip." Bottom line, as nearly as I've been able to find out:
  • It's okay to be
    • Rich
      • What matters is how a wealthy person deals with it
    • Poor
      • What matters is how a poor person deals with it
  • Money
    • Isn't
      • Good
      • Bad
      • What matters is what each of us does with what we've got
  • Love of money is
A few decades ago, one of reasons folks were supposed to loathe and detest the Catholic Church was that we stole from the poor and gave to the rich. Specifically, those men in the Vatican.

As propaganda, it's surprisingly effective. Partly, I think, because St. Peter's in Rome is an amazing work of architecture, the Vatican's museums and libraries store treasures collected over two millennia, and you're not likely to find a headline about Catholics doing something nice.

Part of our mandate is to care for the poor, which the Church handles by having a few folks coordinating whatever work needs doing: and 'boots on the ground' in most places where local authorities let us in. More:
As far as being okay with the Church having St. Peter's as headquarters? I'd much rather be explaining why I didn't fuss about a fraction of 1,000,000,000 or so Catholics' resources getting spent on a visible reminder of my Lord's church in the world; than why we had the Pope celebrating Mass in a pole barn.

More:
Good grief, this footnote is long enough to be a post by itself. And that's yet another topic.

3 comments:

Brigid said...

For some reason, this post shows up as having been posted yesterday.

Your fingers have a cold? "maybe you'd expect be to be rabidly"

What what? "What matters is what a poor person deals with it"

This is missing a bullet point: "What matters is what each of us does with what we've got"

At or as? "St. Peter's at headquarters?"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

About the time stamp, my guess is that we're looking at a 'reader software' issue again. The date/time stamps appearing in Blogger's domain (blogspot.com) are the 'official' ones.

The rest? Yep. Found, fixed, and thanks.

Karee Santos said...

There's a lot to be said for a sense of duty. I know that we should cultivate a love and a passionate love for Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Mass, but sometimes my heart is cold. Without a sense of duty, I wouldn't do what's good for me unless I felt like it. And that would ultimately harm me.

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More

Advertisement

Unique, innovative candles


Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.