Annual Lenten Reminder
By Fr. John Hollowell, On This Rock:
Going to Mass EVERY weekend is INFINITELY more important than giving up something for Lent.
The Church NOWHERE requires Catholics to give up anything throughout Lent.
The Church does say that it is a grave sin to not attend weekend Mass (exceptions of illness/caring for someone who is ill/dangerous or overly burdensome travel etc.)
Sadly, some ignore the commandment concerning weekend Mass but would run through a brick wall in order to keep their Lenten pledge.
Don’t get me wrong – it is good to have zeal for a Lenten commitment, but it makes no sense if the more basic apparatus of the Faith is not in place as well.
It doesn’t make any sense to say “I’m giving up sweets for Lent even though the Church doesn’t require it, but I go to Mass once a month even though the Church says Sunday/Saturday pm Mass is what I am to build my life around.”
Said yet another way: don’t give up anything for Lent until you have first committed to going to Mass every weekend of Lent.
1) I’m not saying “do something positive instead of giving something up for Lent” I’m saying go to Mass every Sunday before worrying about doing something for Lent.
2) Also, this isn’t me “judging” anyone. Neither is this me saying I’m better than anyone. This is me pointing out an ACTION that is problematic and in need of correcting in order for a person to find true happiness. I share this out of love – weekly Mass is critical for a person to find peace.