WHY DO WE HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH?
The answer to this question here is not to be interpreted as an answer given by a theologian.
We today are often called ‘cafeteria’ Catholics. We pick and chose what we wish to do relative to our faith practices. And consistent church attendance is certainly one aspect of consideration that is open to question in many minds. But is it really open for the picking and choosing?
There are several basics of our Catholic faith that are accepted, usually without questioning.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. In accepting these Commandments, we often overlook the one that reads “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” One of our greatest talents these days is rationalization, especially, if we work all week and leave all our other duties to the weekends. Never mind our children’s needs for sports, etc. And what about relaxation? Not enough time for everything. So we skip Mass knowing that God doesn’t need the sabbath. But He knows that we do. Those of us who are old enough to remember the Blue Laws remember that all stores were closed on Sundays except the local convenience store for emergencies. Sundays were for the family—dinners, visits, Mass, church activities, etc. It was easier then. Slowing down as God intended. ‘Solemn rest, holy to the Lord.’ Remember creation? He created it all in six days and on the seventh He rested.
PRAYER. ‘What can we do? We can pray ‘without ceasing‘ said St. Paul. Remembering Jesus’ words, “I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in My Name, I shall be there with them.” ( Matthew 18).
COMMUNAL PRAYER is important for many reasons. It strengthens our commitment. It reminds us of the importance of gathering in His Name. “He is there.” And missing Christ’s sacrifice, His Eucharist, has not even been addressed properly here relative to its importance to our faith. No excuse or rationalization is acceptable to explain why we need not to go to church. We need to stop. We need to prioritize with God being at the top of the list. God will always know our minds and heart. At the pearly gates, there will be no room for excuses or faint explanations why we were so busy that ‘we meant to pray or go to Mass’ but somehow never made it. (This includes missed holy days of obligation as well.) Faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. It is impossible to love someone that you never pay attention to. Never visit. Never speak to. Never do unto to Him what He wishes you to do. May never know Him in eternity when you didn’t have enough time for Him on earth as His child.
By Kathy Reilly
Stewardship Questions: Kathy Reilly (781) 444-0862 email: [email protected]
If anyone needs a ride to a church service or wishes a home or Communion visit, please contact me.