shoulds of mass

We (almost) always go to Mass. But on the days we don’t, I don’t worry about my mortal soul.

Here is the reality of our situation. Sometimes we’re busy. Sometimes we’re tired. Sometimes dragging that rebellious teen to Mass creates more harm than good.

None of those times do I feel as if missing Mass has sent our family down the road to hell.

I’m done with the guilt and shoulds of Mass. I’m done with the threats of hell from authority in the hopes that those threats will keep me in the pews.

Threats and guilt are not what keeps me Catholic. Jesus does.

Which is why, on Sundays, we make Mass a priority. We know that even if we don’t feel like going, showing up matters. Announcing we have sinned and need forgiveness at the start of every Mass matters. Listening to God through scripture and preaching matters. Receiving God straight into our body and soul matters. Celebrating with community matters.

Some weeks, we leave feeling empty, some weeks we leave more fulfilled. Either way, that hour to reconnect with God is a habit worth having, so we show up, week after week, to learn more about this God who is complete and utter love.

God gave us commandments to help us find our way to holiness. These guides are gifts; little lights that shine the way down the path of living a good life. 

When the Church enforces rules like Mass obligation, I realize it is only trying to help us get to heaven. I know this. But sometimes I wish they would leave the punitive aspects of religion behind and help us become a people who want to gather together. A good, healthy, loving community makes life better for everyone.

Life is filled with enough trials as it is. The guilt associated with attending or not attending Mass should not be one of them.

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