Is Missing Mass a Mortal sin?


Q. Why is it a mortal sin to miss mass on Sundays?

A. Christ said, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Now one of these commandments is,

“Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.”

Thus God demands the sanctification of one day in seven in a special way. His very use of the word “Remember” implies a grave obligation not to forget or omit this duty. It is a mortal sin to disobey God in this matter. But how are we Christians to observe this commandment? Who is to tell us? Our Lord says,

If a man will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen.“Mt. 18:17

We must, then, hear the Church. Now the Catholic Church tells us that the central factor in the religion of Christ is the Mass, and that the chief thing in the sanctification of Sunday is to be present at the offering of that Sacrifice to God. This obliges under pain of mortal sin, unless sickness or other grave difficulties prevent such assistance at Mass. Remember that men are not only individual beings. They are also social beings. Therefore, they are obliged to worship God in their individual capacity and collectively as well. God has always demanded public worship and from the earliest Apostolic times Christians met regularly for religious exercises in common. Radio RepliesVol. 1: #1168

USA : HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION

The days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:

Every Sunday

January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; (Except in Southern California. Why? I don’t know) Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension;
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints;
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception;
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.

MORTAL SIN=Grave Sin + Knowledge+ Free Choice CCC

II. THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH These are the bare minimum that a person must do to be in good standing in the Faith of Jesus Christ.

2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82 The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.83

The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84

2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.85 The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.86

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities.87

You can view the Precepts of the church in the CCC

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48 Responses to Is Missing Mass a Mortal sin?

  1. Russ says:

    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Gal 2:16)

    And one of my favorites, :-)

    But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. (Gal 4:9-11)

    Or even better,

    THERE is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:1,2)

    And,

    I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Gal 2:21)

    Most important of all (so far),

    You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Gal 5:4)

    And,

    But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (Rom 7:6)

    God is GOOD!

  2. bfhu says:

    Russ,

    Then do you believe that once saved always saved so our behavior is indifferent to God Our Lord?

  3. Russ says:

    Bfhu,

    By what Mosaic Law was the harlot Rahab justified? Is there a commandment concerning the hiding of Jews? If there was, she was not familiar with it. By what work, then, was she justified? Not by any work of the Law, but only by her acts of faith.

    By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. [Heb 11:31]

    But the keeping of the Sabbath is indeed a work of the law. It is in center of the Law, near the center of the Torah.

    By what Law of Moses was Abraham justified when he (almost) offered Isaac upon an altar of wood? There is no law concerning the burning of your first born in the books of Moses for Moses was not yet born. Abraham was not justified by the works of the Law, he was justified by works of faith:

    Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? [James 2:21]

    But concerning the works of the law, the NT is very clear:

    And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. [Gal 5:3]

    For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. [James 2:10]

    You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. [Gal 5:4]

    Once saved, always saved? You be the judge.

  4. bfhu says:

    Dear Russ,
    The Law that has been abrogated by Christ is the ceremonial law (circumcision, animal sacrifice, etc.) not the moral law as in the Ten Commandments. Surely you do not think stealing, idolotry, adultery etc. is A-OK with God as long as we do other acts of faith. Observing the Sabbath is part of the Moral Law, too.

    How do you reconcile your theology as stated above with

    Matthew 5:17Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

    18″For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

    19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    20″For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    .

  5. Russ says:

    But we are not justified by attempting to keep the law – moral or ceremonial. Which law is easier to keep, the moral or ceremonial? If we are not saved from the moral law, we have no hope in Christ:

    But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [Mat 5:28]

    “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. [Mat 5:21]

    Like it or not, the moral law cannot save you. In fact, it condemns you.

    And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. [Rom 7:10]

    The commandment Paul is referring to is, “Thou shall not covet” – part of the moral law.

    Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [Rom 3:20]

    Is it the moral or ceremonial law that brings the knowledge of sin? The ceremonial law cannot bring knowlege of sin but the commandments, “Thou shall not…” – they bring the knowlege of sin.

    I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. [Gal 2:21]

    What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. [Rom 7:7-9]

    What is Paul’s conclusion?

    O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [Rom 7:24]

    If there is ONE message in the NT it is this – The Law cannot save you. The Law can only condemn you. Only Jesus can save you because he took the curse of the law upon Himself:

    Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)

    The ceremonial is not a curse – most can keep it but the moral law is a curse because none can keep it.

  6. Dr. Acula says:

    Russ,

    It’s funny that you skipped this verse from the Epistle of St. James, I’ll quote it for you:

    “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food:
    And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without works; and I will show thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

    St. James 2:14-20

    “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.”

    1 Cor 13:13

    If we were saved by “faith alone” then why didn’t St. Paul write that the greatest is faith?

    “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision: but faith that worketh by charity.”

    Galatians 5:6

    Somebody should have told ol’ St. Paul that he had it all wrong and Luther got it right.

    No, wait this was foretold by St. Peter:

    “And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.”

    2 Peter 3:15-16

    Maybe Jesus got it wrong:

    “And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

    Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

    Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.
    And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.”

    St. Matthew 25:31-46

    Salvation by Faith Alone is a tradition of men.

  7. Dr. Acula says:

    Russ,

    Concerning Abraham and Rahab:

    Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?

    For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.

    The Catholic position is the only Biblical position. We are saved by Jesus Christ and His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. To be justified, one must have Faith and Works. It’s right there in the Bible. St. James wrote his Epistle to counteract the abuses that popped up after St. Paul wrote those Epistles that you Protestants like to use to support your traditions of men.

  8. Russ says:

    Dr. Acula,

    “Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?”

    I agree. But I think you missed the point. Rahab and Abraham were justified by works of faith, not by works of the law. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [Rom 3:20] — That is subject of this blog. Keeping the Sabbath is clearly a work of the law and not of faith – please read from the top and feel free to comment again.

  9. Russ says:

    All,

    Are there any here who agree that the Law of Moses condemns us? Are there any here who believe that by keeping the 10 commandments you can be saved? Are all of us willing to believe whatever the Bible teaches on this subject?

  10. Dr. Acula says:

    Catholics don’t keep the Sabbath, Jews and Seventh Day Adventists do.

    Missing Mass falls under:

    “And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

    -St. Matthew 16:19

    “But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.

    And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. ”

    -St. Matthew 18:15-18

    “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.”

    -St. Luke 10:16

    “We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

    1 John 4:6

    Why do we listen to the Pope and the Bishops?

    “For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.

    Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.

    And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

    Acts 1:20-26

    The Pope and the Bishops are the Successors to the Apostles. If we don’t listen to them, we don’t listen to Christ. The Church (from very early on) commanded us to worship on the “Eighth Day, the Day of the Resurrection.” If we don’t, by the power of binding and loosing, we have committed a mortal sin.

    “Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are whom you obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience unto justice.”

    -Romans 6:16

    “He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask. All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.”

    1 John 5:16-17

    *unto death~pros thanaton

  11. Russ says:

    Dr. Acula,

    Are you even reading the post before you respond? This is stated at the beginning of this post:

    Christ said, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Now one of these commandments is,
    “Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.”
    Thus God demands the sanctification of one day in seven in a special way…

  12. Joel says:

    Russ,
    I agree that we can only be condemned by the Law. I think the scriptures are very clear about that. In grace we are saved by faith, but the evidence of the faith are the works. Without works there is not faith to be saved.

    What I don’t understand is why anyone would want to miss Mass. We get absolution for sin. We get fed by the Word of God. We get fellowship in Christ. We interceed for our brothers and sisters in need. He have an opportnity to gaze upon and be in the physical presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We partake of the Most Blessed Sacrament, then sent on our way with the blessings of the Church, all the while participating in the most perfect prayer even made! Shucks man, I want to do that every single day.

  13. Joel says:

    Also, which Protestants will deny the Seven Crowns of Glory? Those come only from works. Build your treasure in Heaven, right? All that comes by works. Our works save not only ourselves, but others as well. How shall they have faith if they hear not the word? How shall they hear the word if one does not proclaim it? We are sent to proclaim the word, which is a saving act.

  14. Russ says:

    Joel,

    “I agree that we can only be condemned by the Law”

    Right ON! I like the sound of that!

    If you agree with this, why do you not also agree with this?

    Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations– “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. [Col 2:20-23]

    Can you truly be Catholic, (abstain from this, abstain from that, etc.) if you are living by this teaching of the Apostle? For these things, “are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh”.

  15. Joel says:

    Russ,
    I assume you are speaking of the tradition of abstaining from flesh meat on Fridays and during Lent. In the Second Century a division began in the Church between Asia and Italy (Palistine, Syria and Africa were in conformity with Rome). The instance of the dispute was the celebration of Easter. In Asia all the Churches kept 14 Nisan as the observed day of Easter no matter which day of the week it fell on. All the other Churches observed the Easter feast of Sunday. In a letter of the Asian Churches defense to the Pope of Rome Polycrates establishes his authority and the succession of all the bishops of Asia to the Apostles Philip and John. He writes:

    “The dispute is not only about the day, but also about the actual fast. Some think that they ought to fast for one day, some for two, others for still more; some make their ‘day’ last fourty hours on end…”

    This is backed up by the writings of the Apostles when the Pharisees challenged Jesus about the fasting habits of his disciples. His reply was, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast in those days.”

    If you are speaking about more than fasting in your statement “abstain from this, abstain from that, etc.” you will have to be more specific.

  16. Joel says:

    In regards to observing the Law, it can only bring us condemenation becausae we are incapable of fulfilling the Law, but the Church Fathers continuously condemned the heretics for proclaiming the Law unnescissary. The Apostles and the Church Fathers consistently admonished their congregations and the other Churches they were in touch with to love and honor the Law and the Prophets.

  17. Russ says:

    It is the whole works thing, Joel. The teaching of the Catholic Church is that it is mortal sin to miss mass. This means that I must keep this Law in order to remain in right standing with God for if I don’t, I am guilty of a mortal sin and I cannot remain in fellowship with God while in a serious sin. But this type of teaching is exactly what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Gallatin church to correct. And he composed LARGE sections of scripture to be very clear on the subject. For the CC to teach such doctrines, they must ignore large sections of scripture like this:

    This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?– just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them. But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith. Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us [for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”] that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. [Gal 3:2-14]

  18. bfhu says:

    Russ,

    Your theology cannot accomodate all of scripture. This is true of every Protestant theology–that is why I am now Catholic.

    You elevate certain scripture to a very high level as if the Bible came with highlighted passages of the most important scripture and ignore those that don’t fit. The Catholic Church’s theology is more complex but it acommdates all of scripture. You fail to deal with any of the above scripture that contradicts your saved-by-faith-alone theology and try to drown them out by quoting more scripture that seems to agree with your theology.

    What you fail to realize is that you interpret scriptures one way and the Catholic Church interprets them another way.

  19. Dr. Acula says:

    Russ,

    Did you not read my last post? It dealt with what you are writing about in missing Mass.

  20. Russ says:

    If you can be saved by keeping the law then Christ died in vain. Those are not my words. They are the words of the Apostle Paul.

    If one scripture says we are saved by keeping the law and another says only by grace then God is confused -throw all of it in the trash – including the “keys to the kingdom”, and “on this rock I build” – all of it is trash and the way of salvation is questionable at best.

    Deal with the verses and show me where I am wrong – If I am not looking at all of the scriptures then quote those that I am not looking at – but stay on subject – salvation by keeping the law is the subject at hand.

  21. Dr. Acula says:

    Going to Mass on Sunday is not keeping the old law.

    “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. (Gal 4:9-11)”

    That’s funny, since people like Pat Robertson are now keeping up with Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in violation of the 1st Council of Jerusalem. Once again, the Catholic Church has nothing to do with the Judaizing Heresy.

    “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Gal 5:4)”

    You should have kept reading the Chapter, ’cause right afterwards St. Paul writes on how we are justified faith working through love. Remember:

    “Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.”

    “And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all. And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.

    And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    “And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life? But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou? He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead.

    And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee.

    Which of these three, in thy opinion, was neighbour to him that fell among the robbers? But he said: He that showed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go, and do thou in like manner.”

    St. Matthew 22:36-40; St. Mark 12:28-31; and St. Luke 10:24-37

    Our Lord came to fulfill the Old Covenant:

    “Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” -St. Matthew 5:17

    If you don’t go to Mass and miss the anamesis of Calvary how can you say that you love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind?

    “And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration (anamnesis )of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.”

    -St. Luke 22:19-20

    Why go to church on Sunday if not to celebrate the Eucharist? Why not stay home and watch Joel Osteen or “The Hour of Power”? Why even watch a service why not just read the bible? Why even read the bible, just pray to God. Why pray to God more than once, just ask to be saved and then go about your merry way for the next 70 years?

  22. bfhu says:

    Russ,

    You have heard it said that Catholics believe they are/can be saved by works or works of the law. You have heard wrong. We are saved by the grace of God, the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Protestants only focus on salvation with sanctification recommended but sort of optional (every denomination differs so this is a very broad generalization) Catholic beliefs regarding salvation are pretty much the same except we take the Bible literally regarding the fact that baptism saves (I Pet 3:21) and Eucharist gives eternal life (JN 6) ….but this is not automatic, or a sure fire thing. We can lose eternal life by commiting serious and willfull sin. We can still go to Hell unless we die in friendship with God with no mortal sin unrepented and unforgiven on our soul.

    The teachings of the Catholic Church go beyond salvation and instruct in the way of holiness. If we increase in holiness, it is still by the grace of God and our submission to grace. It is not of our own. The works we do are with the obedience of faith as St. Paul opens and closes Romans, in thanksgiving to God and in pursuit of holiness as we put off the old man. We cannot save ourselves in any way, shape, or form. And contrary to what Protestants are taught, the Catholic Church DOES NOT TEACH SALVATION BY WORKS.

  23. Russ says:

    Dr. Acula,

    “Going to Mass on Sunday is not keeping the old law.”

    Any time you can keep yourself in the love of God by “doing something religious” or you can loose your standing with God by failing to do that same thing, your are relating to God by “law” and not by His grace. It does not matter if the “law” you are following is found in the OT or if it is a new law invented by your church or denomination, it is still an attempt to relate to God by “works” and not by grace.

    Failing to attend a religious meeting of any kind is not a mortal sin. Attempting to relate to God by your own works instead of by His grace, however, will cause to you fall from His grace.

    I never said that the commandments of God are bad. The greatest commandments are still the greatest commandments. I only said that those same great commandments condemn us because no one has ever kept them – except Jesus. The Law of God is a curse upon mankind, not because the law is bad, but because man is unable to keep it.

    For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” [Gal 3:10]

    But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. [Rom 7:6]

  24. Dr. Acula says:

    Read above, I have already addressed this.

    He came to fulfill the Old Law not destroy it.

    He established a Church with the power to bind and loose.

    He gave us His Body and Blood to re-present (the Mass is the very same Sacrifice on Golgotha) to the Father and for Eternal Life.

    We are saved by Faith Working Through Charity.

    We are not saved by Faith Alone.

    The quotes are in the two posts that you and I have been comboxing.

  25. happy says:

    If you know you are going to be out of town on a weekend is it possible to fulfill a Sunday mass obligation earlier in the week?

  26. bfhu says:

    No that would not fulfill your Sunday Obligation, sorry.

    Nearly anywhere you might go there will be a Catholic Church and there is an online service that enables you to find a church near where you will be and find out their mass times before you leave home. It is MassTimes.org
    Of course you can always get out the phone book once you arrive but I always like to figure it out & mapquest it from where I will be staying. It is actually a bit of an adventure and fun to visit Catholic Churches all over.

    If it is impossible to go to Church then you can talk to your priest and he can give you a dispensation due to the circumstances.

  27. Russ says:

    One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. [Rom 14:5, 6]

    • bfhu says:

      Russ,

      Ex. 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

      Matthew 5:17-20
      “Do not think that I came to abolish the (V)Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

      18″For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

      19″Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

  28. Russ says:

    The Jews were not required by God to go to church or synagogue on the Sabbath. They were required to rest on the Sabbath. This is how they kept the Sabbath holy – by resting – not by going to church.

    In addition, according to the Bible, the Sabbath is Saturday not Sunday. So, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven…”, it was, then, according to the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church itself that changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday and the CC has changed the commandment from “…you shall do no work… [Ex 20:10]” to “you must go to church”.

    Nowhere in scripture are believers required to attend church on any given day. You are free to attend church every day if you choose but you are not required to attend on any particular day.

    Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. [Rom 7:4]

  29. Russ writes: “…Nowhere in scripture…”

    Again, Russ, FULL STOP!

    Before we traverse this long and winding road, we should perhaps resume our ungoing discourse on whether it is essential for something to be as explicitly detailed in Scripture as you demand by your hermeneutic of interpretation.

    We rather simply don’t believe in the errant and illogical doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” that you want to return to time and time and time again.

    Arguments predicated on SS will be lost on us, as we have yet to be convinced that your particular sect’s reading of texts we canonized in isolation and without regard to The Church that canonized them.

  30. happy says:

    Whoops, sorry, didn’t mean to cause a fuss! Simple question.. ha.
    I agree that it should not fill Sunday obligation. Just curious and my cradle Catholic husband is no help(LOL).
    How about this. Is Saturday Mass attendance accepted or is it only suppose to be attended when you absolutely cannot make Sunday morning?

    Be blessed, Ally:)

  31. Russ says:

    Happy,

    Sorry for the abrupt answer. Unfortunately, you have entered a long and ongoing dialogue on this issue that had lain dormant for some time.

    The root of the issue us this: Are we saved by keeping the law or are we saved by the grace God alone? The Bible is very clear on this:

    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. [Rom 3:28]

    In fact, the Bible goes so far as to teach that those who attempt to approach God by the works of the law are actually under a curse:

    For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” [Gal 3:10]

    Here is my main point. The Bible teaches that the Law of God cannot save us. In fact, the Law of God can only condemn us. I know that this will sound strange to the Catholic but listen to the words of the Apostle Paul:

    Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [Rom 3:20]

    There is much more I could say on this issue, however, let just say that the obligation placed on you by the Church comes directly from the Ten Commandments – directly from the Law of God and yet the New Testament is very clear that the believer in Jesus Christ is no longer under the law that condemned us:

    But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. [Gal 5:18]

    I hope that you will consider what I am saying that you will not take my word for it but will know these things for yourself.

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. [1 John 4:1]

    Test all things; hold fast what is good. [1 Thes 5:21]

  32. happy says:

    Hi Russ,

    Oh I know. I have heard all this before. I am a middle aged woman raised devoutly in the Protestant Faith!

    I am in the process of 1 Thes 5:21!(test all things…..)!!!

    I am very tired of the loosey goosey protestant ways that have become the norm in our church.
    Go to Church, don’t go to church…. however the Spirit moves you….If I hear of one more of my friends comment that they are moving to yet another church because well”we are just not being fed here” I am gonna lose it!

    I am in agreement with Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. I wish my children had been brought up with stricter guidelines. I love the fact that no matter what is going on in our lives (kids have friends over, ballgames, vacation) it would NEVER cross my husbands mind to miss church.

    Blessings, Ally

  33. Russ says:

    Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations? Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. [Col 2:20-23]

  34. happy says:

    But, if you love the Lord that much, Why wouldn’t you WANT to set aside a day for the Lord? I do! But, sometimes my kids don’t! We need to follow disciplines in our obedience to Christ. Maybe my 12 year old is not in full understanding and worship at that time, but they are going to have those seeds planted. They are hearing scripture, they are hearing prayers, they are learning about sacrificing our time to go before the Lord and worship whether we “Feel” like it or not. Our Father gives to us continually, why not set aside that time for Him and make it a priority?

    • bfhu says:

      Dear Ally.
      The Saturday evening Vigil mass is the same readings as on Sunday and it fulfills the Sunday obligation. Sat. morning mass does not fulfill the Sunday obligation.

  35. Anonymous says:

    You can make worship a priority without believing in salvation by works. Either you believe that Jesus paid the price for your salvation or you believe that He will accept you because you try to keep the law. There are MAJOR sections of scripture that warn against exactly what you are doing…

    I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed… [From Gal Chapter 1]

    This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?– just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. [From Gal Chapter 2]

    For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. [From Gal Chapter 3]

    But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain… Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? [From Gal Chapter 4]

    Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage… You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace… You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?… This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. [From Gal Chapter 5]

    But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. [From Gal Chapter 6]

  36. Nan says:

    Catholics believe in both/and, not Sola Scriptura.

  37. Russ writes (while well ignoring and writing past my objection just a comment or two before it!):

    The root of the issue us this: Are we saved by keeping the law or are we saved by the grace God alone? The Bible is very clear on this:

    Again, NO, Russ, that is most certainly NOT the root of the issue.

    Before we get to that issue (where you seem to presume that all Christians would and should and naturally assume to treat the Scriptures as rather like the Koran – a book of laws that presents itself with clarity to each individual who in turn can magisterally decide and propound on its content!)…

    Well before we get to THAT issue, the root of the matter is how the Scriptures (BTW, how have you determined the books in your Bible to be trustworthy and authoratative as Divine Word?) are to be interpreted.

    You feel that you are qualified to – without reference to the authority of the Body that codified even what would be in the Bible – to theologize over its contents.

    Among those who share your novel opinion of Sola Scriptura - something that is new and innovative to Christianity from the last 500 years – are many, many other sincere folks who, using only the same texts you use, have come to wildly disparate conclusions and theologies. All the verse-hurling in all the world does not reconcile them to one another, let alone to us.

  38. Russ says:

    Asimplesinner,

    I am sorry if I ignored your comment. I have only so much time to write and I had no time to prayerfully consider my response to your comment. So I will try to answer your original objection.

    First, Happy asked if midweek church attendance would make up for missing church on Sunday and BFHU basically said, “No”. I then simply quoted two verses from Romans that in my small mind seem to speak directly to Happy’s question and might give Happy a different perspective from the Apostle Paul. Then BFHU quoted 8 verses that he believes does teach that Sunday church attendance is taught in the Bible. Then, when I showed that the verses BFHU quoted required the Jews not to attend church but to rest instead, you then basically said that my opinion does not carry any weight.

    So I hope that you can see my point here. BFHU was allowed to defend his or hers faith by only quoting scripture but that when I did the same, my opinion was rejected.

    My only purpose in commenting in the first place was to help Happy come to a Godly answer to the question at hand by quoting from the Apostles themselves. If I am misunderstanding or misquoting what Paul was speaking about, please tell us your interpretation of what Paul meant when he said, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.”

  39. happy says:

    Thanks Pam!:)

    anon:
    “You can make worship a priority without believing in salvation by works.”
    I don’t think it is salvation by works.
    It is keeping the 10 commandments close at heart and being obedient.

  40. happy says:

    Friends,
    I wrote on this thread because it seemed the most appropriate for my simple question. I don’t want to bombard my Catholic Education teacher with loads of silly questions and this was a simple one I could pop in and get a speedy answer.

    I went back and read all of the posts and really the ones that pop out to me is #1:Joel’s remark~Why would anyone want to miss Mass!?(April 29, Which I unknowingly repeated.)

    Also, BFHU’s April 30 post. Which basically states what I was going to.

    “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

    If we want to be saved from our sins, there are things that we must do in order to receive the free gift of salvation. We must individually work out our salvation, as the apostle Paul instructs. This obviously is going to require obedience. The Hebrew writer said of Christ that, “.having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation TO ALL WHO OBEY HIM” (Hebrews 5:9; Emphasis Mine: JH).

    Salvation comes from the grace of God, but we can only receive this gift that God wants us to have when we obey His gospel, and this is how we begin to work out our own salvation.

    Russ, your views are why I am leaving the Methodist Church and converting!!!

  41. Russ says:

    I think all of us want to obey Christ, however, it is not Christ who commnads attendance at mass. It is the Catholic Church who says that missing mass is a mortal sin, not Jesus.

  42. bfhu says:

    Russ,
    Luke 10:16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

    This was said by Jesus about his apostles the bishops are the descendants of the apostles. When we listen to them we hope to be listening to Jesus. This is not always perfect but listening to the teachings of the Church given to us by our bishops is a whole lot safer than listening to myself…

    1 Timothy 3:15 15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

    The CHURCH is the pillar and bulwark of TRUTH. We take this to heart.

  43. Russ says:

    I agree. And who is “you”? Jesus was speaking to the Apostles (and others) – which is why I quoted the Apostle Paul – for which I am rebuked. So again I ask, what did the Apostle Paul mean when he said, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.”?

  44. bfhu says:

    At the time St. Paul was teaching, the early Church was in flux as to “keeping the Sabbath”. Out of respect to Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, freedom concerning the keeping of the Sabbath and Jewish feasts was allowed. After the first generation of Jewish Christians died, Sunday became the Christian “Sabbath” in honor of the Day of Jesus’ Resurrection. So Paul’s statement was a transition teaching for the good of the Early Church.

  45. Russ says:

    You have not addressed the passage. He said, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike.” He did not say, “One esteems Saturday, another esteems Sunday…” He says that some people esteem one day above another but some people esteem NO days above any other day – all days are alike.

  46. happy says:

    “I think all of us want to obey Christ, however, it is not Christ who commnads attendance at mass. It is the Catholic Church who says that missing mass is a mortal sin, not Jesus.”

    Russ:
    Again, it comes around to but why WOULDN’T you want to go? I don’t know what faith group you belong to. So don’t go…. whatever! I think it is silly to get on to a bunch of people that believe that is truth and choose to follow.

    Example, my 16 year old didn’t really want to go to Ash Weds service. She moaned and groaned, tried to say she had too much homework didn’t feel good. We went and as we were leaving she said”I am really glad that I went, I feel much better and I really needed that.” We need those disciplines set in place because our Father knows what is best for us.

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