This week's St. Louis Review has a few excellent articles that I thought I should share here for the benefit of those reading this blog who may not be from St. Louis.
First is a column from Archbishop Carlson, in which he stresses the importance, and individual responsibility, of the Sunday Obligation. He definitely doesn't sugarcoat things—we need more of this from our leaders!
There is simply no excuse for missing Mass on the Lord's Day. If through your own fault you miss Mass on Sunday, you are committing a serious sin. You should not receive holy Communion until you have gone to confession. (Continued...).
Next up is a 'Dear Father' response from Fr. John Mayo, a friend of mine, concerning the need to celebrate Wedding ceremonies inside physical Church buildings (rather than having 'destination weddings' on beaches, or at otherwise secular locations):
One of the sacraments of the Church is marriage. This sacrament is initiated by a wedding ceremony. Since this ceremony is an act of sacred worship, it properly takes place in a church or chapel.
Why is the joining of two people in marriage an act of sacred worship? First, by Christ's ministry, we know that He intended to restore marriage to its original state: a lifelong commitment of life and love between a man and a woman. He not only restored it, He raised it to the dignity of a sacrament (Matthew. 19:3-12). (Continued...).
Speaking of marriage, this week the Review also had it's yearly 'Christian Marriage' supplement, which is full of great advice for those considering/planning a marriage, and for those who want to be inspired by the oldest married couple in Missouri, or a 'team' of Mizzou fans. More from the Review »
I liked the first article. In two weeks, I'll be traveling during the weekend by plane and at the mercy of others driving me, and praying that I can convince them to spare an hour for me to attend Mass. Thanks for a reminder of the importance of this!
I completely agree that marriage is sacred, and I would go so far as to say that a marriage is between three entities, one of whom is God Himself. That said, is a physical church building the only place where God is present, and the only place where he can be truly worshipped? Is not the beauty of a natural environment (like a beach, or the woods) even more fitting for the presence of God?
God is present everywhere, but in a Catholic Church, he is present in a physical form, in Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist. Therefore we as Catholics believe that the most connected presence is through liturgies inside Catholic Churches...
God is not physically present in a beautiful mountain in the Rocky Mountains. He's not physically present in an intricate spiderweb. However, these majestic displays of his glory and might do bring us in his presence in a spiritual way... just not as powerfully as a physical presence (the Eucharist).
It's kind of like the difference between chatting with someone, calling someone, video conferencing, or actually visiting. If a friend is on his deathbed, the most effective presence he can have from me is a personal, physical presence—it wouldn't do for me to simply give him a call or think about him. God is the same way with us - he wants to be with us, in us, and be part of our lives—not just in an ethereal way.
Well stated! It has been a long time since I visited your website, so... Congratulations to you and Natalie on your marriage! I really like visiting your website and the articles you post. I have passed it on to my daughter who will be getting married next year. Thank you for sharing the importance of the Eucharist in our daily lives which will help strengthen all of our relational bonds.
God bless you both from a Canadian friend in Christ!
Thanks! Glad to hear from you again!