Scrupulous Anonymous Mailbox
Q. You answered a question in the October issue of this newsletter that I disagree with. I don’t believe Catholics should go on a cruise where Sunday Mass is not offered. You answered that “superhuman” effort was not required. Choosing a cruise with Mass is not my idea of superhuman effort. Getting out of bed when I am sick with the flu is a better example of extraordinarily unnecessary effort.
A. Perhaps I should have reflected that what is required in all of our decision making is an informed and mature conscience. That would be more in line with the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Regardless, my answer would remain the same. There is nothing in the moral teaching of the Church that would suggest that a traveler has to make sure Sunday Mass is part of his or her itinerary. I would make Mass a very strong consideration in my planning, but it would not be the only criterion I would apply in making my choice.
Q. One night, I deliberately chose not to recite my bedtime prayers, and right before I went to sleep I cursed God. I’m sure this was a mortal sin, but was it also a sacrilege?
A. Neither can be called a mortal sin or a sacrilege. When you chose not to engage a particular spiritual practice, it doesn’t mean you sinned. It only means you chose not to engage the practice. Also, I doubt you cursed God before you went to sleep. You may have imagined or feared you did, but my guess is you have the same fears when you’re awake, and it’s those fears you struggle with. Fear can become dominant in us when we’re awake or asleep, conscious or unconscious. That’s the way humans are created. It’s no sin to be human.