Friday, March 19, 2010

Just Squeaking By.

Scenario #1: Inevitably someone at a wedding will ask me, "Hey, does this count for my Sunday obligation?" After, I give him THE LOOK and say no, they respond, "Ah, you mean I have to go to Mass twice in ONE weekend?" (This is one of the reasons I won't do a wedding Mass after 2:00 pm. Also, this is why I alter the Mass schedule when Christmas falls on Saturday or Monday. No double dipping on my watch!)

Scenario #2: After I announce the fast and abstinence laws for Lent, some old fart (I mean senior citizen) will say, "This is great I am old so I don't have to do it anymore!" I usually respond, "Well, you aren't required to do it, but if you love God so little and you have no health reason to avoid fast and abstinence, I suppose it is OK." (Yes, I can be mean.)

Scenario #3: The bishops lift the obligation for holy days that fall on Saturday or Monday and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God(OK, the last one is only in some place, like here). Also, Fridays outside of Lent, go ahead and name your own penance, which, for most people, means just forget about it. Worship and communal penance are severely weakened in the name of convenience.

Scenario #4: The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin, falls on a Friday in Lent. Canon Law lifts the obligation to abstain when a solemnity falls on a Friday. Fair enough, though I would argue that it really ought to apply only to those areas where Friday abstinence outside of Lent has been unambiguously retained. What I find troubling is how many people are seemingly rejoicing in not celebrating the Lord's Sacrifice. I could see it if we still observed the traditional Lenten fast, but do we really need to eat meat to honor St. Joseph? This seems to be yet another case of just doing the minimum and patting ourselves on the back for it.
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