Does “Thinking of You” Equal a Hospital Visit?


I recently saw this in a forum and thought the argument was completely illogical, not to mention morally wrong. For some very valid reasons, the person can’t always make it to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. So far so good . . . this happens. But what follows is not so far so good.

The person admitted that there are several parishes that offer the Ordinary Form of the Mass at times and places where he or she can attend. However, he “was told that he could do a holy hour and a rosary” and that would suffice, because he “won’t go to a Novus Ordo Mass.” Whoever told him this was wrong, even if it was a priest.

Let’s break this down into little pieces. First of all, everyone has a moral obligation to worship God on the Sabbath, which for Catholics and most Christians, that’s Sunday. This is not negotiable. The Commandments do not say that you can replace worship with private devotions. Worship, as it’s understood in the Decalogue means to offer sacrifice in union with the people of God.

Here comes the second problem. The Rosary is not The Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The Rosary is a meditation and a private one at that. It can never replace the sacrifice, especially the Sacrifice at Calvary, which is celebrated at every mass around the world, as long as the mass is valid. Whoever said that this was a good replacement for a mass does not understand the mass.

Next problem, a Holy Hour is not The Sacrifice either. It is a private act of adoration of Christ in the Eucharist. At the mass, Christ makes himself present in the Eucharist and the people of God do adore him, but we adore him as a people, as Church, and as individuals. If we listen to the prayers very carefully, in English, Spanish, Latin or Swahili, the pronoun is always “WE”, not I. All prayers of adoration said at mass are in the plural. The only time that the first person pronoun is used is in professing one’s sinfulness and professing one’s faith.

Now that we have busted the myth that a Holy Hour and a Rosary can replace the Holy Mass, let’s get back to our moral obligation. Unless there is a real impediment that keeps us from attending mass, it is a mortal sin not to do so. The Ordinary Form Mass (Novus Ordo) is as valid as the Extraordinary Form (TLM). It is also as efficacious and it is the normative mass for the Latin Catholic Church. One cannot morally justify writing it off.

Choosing not to attend a mass, because it’s an Ordinary Form Mass and one has issues with the form, is a willful act, not an impediment. An impediment would be something that is outside of your control, something that physically keeps you from attending mass.

One’s personal feelings about the mass are not physical impediments. Unless the feeling can be proven to be psychologically crippling, there is no good reason to miss mass, because of how one feels about either form of the mass. This also applies to someone who willfully misses mass, because the only mass left is the Extraordinary Form and “I don’t like the Latin mass.” Too bad. It’s not there for your pleasure. The Sabbath is to please God, not you.

Published in: on June 26, 2014 at 10:30 PM  Leave a Comment  

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