You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul, and your whole strength. And the second is like it: you must love your neighbor as yourself.
The Third Commandment is in the first category. In Catholicism, this means participating at Mass on the Lord's Day. (That would be Sunday.)
I can't quote the source, but I remember reading an answer John Paul II gave to a young person who asked what the Pontiff considered to be the gravest sin. I recall the kid expecting the answer to be murder.
But the Pope — and again, I'm relying solely on memory here — opined that neglecting to worship God, particularly on His Day, was a graver offense...akin to the worshipping of false gods.
It makes sense.
After all, the Lord only devoted three commandments to Himself...the others to His children. Is it asking too much to offer one hour on Sunday to the worship of Him who made us? To, for Catholics, to gladly and gratefully commemorate the Sacrifice that redeemed us?
Apparently it is.
The headline reads in an upbeat manner: "Mass Attendance Up Since Closings, Archdiocese Says."
But the text is sobering. And frightening.
- Just 17% of Boston Archdiocesan Catholics regularly attend Mass.
- Just 34% of United States Catholics regularly attend Mass.