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Sandy Holmes wrote:

Hi, guys —

I've been a convert since 1995. At 73, I do have health problems and sometimes miss Sunday Mass. At times I later question if I should have tried harder to get to Mass.

I sometimes wonder that if both murder and non-attendance at Mass are both mortal sins, punishable by Hell, maybe being a Catholic was a mistake.

I have never worked harder at anything than trying to be a good Catholic and always feel I fall short.

  • Is non-attendance at Mass as bad the sin of murder?

This is probably a silly question but I can't find it in your database. If you can help me understand these issues I would be very grateful. Sometimes a night Mass is the only time I can get a ride.

  • Is being too tired to go to Mass a mortal sin?

Thanks for your patience and God bless you.


  { Is non-attendance at Mass as bad as murder or is being too tired to go to Mass a mortal sin? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Sandy —

If you have health problems that make it difficult to get to Mass, you are excused from Mass — never fear.

Sometimes people look at Mass as merely an obligation to fulfill, as if we were taking out the trash or going to boring job.

Going to Mass should be a joy, something you want to do —

  1. the joy of being a partaker of the divine nature
  2. of receiving the medicine of immortality
  3. of being mystically transported to Heaven with myriads of angels in festal gathering.

Nothing is more holy in Heaven or on earth than the Eucharist. It is God, who gives Himself to us and becomes a part of us through Holy Communion. We should be as joyful as a bride going to meet her groom in the marital chambers. We should love the liturgy so much that we long for it and find ourselves disappointed when we are unable to go.

When we think in these terms, and not in terms of finding excuses to get out of Mass, we don't have to worry about our own judgment about when we can go to Mass, we just follow it.

I don't know where you stand and I can't presume to judge. I might offer that if you are disappointed to miss Mass, you're probably in a good place in terms of judging when not to go, but if you are happy to have an excuse not to go (and not merely because it relieves your symptoms), then you might want to cultivate a greater joy for the liturgy.


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