Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Holy Day of Obligation.
So often we hear liturgists and teachers of the law playing down the aspect of obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days - I just received the current issue of a local Basilica's magazine with an article on the subject.  These guys do not like the word 'obligation' - instead they contend people should have a strong enough faith, a fervent enough devotion, and such an overwhelming sense of gratitude that they would not want to miss Mass - you can't keep them away - or something like that.  That's a nice thought, huh? 
I will tell you this, on a cold winter morning - when I did not have to get out of bed and could have slept in, that Holy Day of Obligation rule made all the difference in the world - I had to get up and go to Mass.  I wanted to go, sure.  But if I didn't have to go - I would have stayed in bed.
So don't play down the rules - they are there for a reason - better and holier Catholics than I know what I mean.
Happy feast day.
Art:  St. Bernard before the Immaculate Conception, Girolam Pesci


  1. Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee, us poor sinners!
    May she give you every grace and blessing, Terry, through her powerful intercession.

  2. Thanks very much Father. United in prayer!

  3. michael r.6:37 PM

    Isn't it interesting how the Church 'grew up' in the 60's and 70's and 'obligation' didn't have to be emphasized anymore. I attended Mass at noon today in a Cathedral in a large metropolitan area and there were maybe 75 people in attendance. I guess it could be worse.

    I like the painting, Terry. It's an interesting choice, given St. Bernard's .... uh, how do I put this .... issue with the feast day in the 12th century.

  4. Oh my goodness.

    There I was this morning, knowing I had to be at work at 1PM, looking out the window at the snow and at the traffic reports on TV thinking, "Wait. Is that morning sickness I have?" (No.)
    "Is it safe to drive?" (Yes.)
    "Will this cold make my daughter sick?" (No.)
    "How 'bout In Utero Baby?" (No.)


    Excellent post, Terry.

    And do you know what? It turned out to be a most beautiful Mass, just what I needed. Quiet and contemplative and awesome.

  5. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Once again, Terry, you said what I think.

    Brrr, it was cold this morning here too, but like CAthy, it turned out to be a wonderful Mass (we sang a Marian song I knew well, but had never heard it sung in Mass before)--and just what my daughter and I needed, too.

  6. Anonymous7:25 PM

    When at church, Skip came to my mind and I prayed for him.

  7. Wow! Susan - that is close! Thanks.

    I expected him to die on this feast, and I kept vigil by his bed while he lie in a coma, praying the rosary over and over. It was a Sunday that year, and getting late and I said to him, "Where is Our Lady?" - meaning "Why hasn't she come yet?" To my surprise he opened his eyes and looked at me and said, "I don't know." And then he fell back into the coma. Since the feast was transferred, I expected she would come the next day. Instead she waited for her feast in Loretto - it was there I had found peace and solace so many years before, and she confirmed that when she came for Skip on the 10th.

  8. Anonymous3:41 AM


    Did you read the Holy Father's words for Advent, beautiful!


  9. Happy Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna, celebrated by the Eastern Churches, today, December 9th.

  10. Happy feast day to you John.


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