Q. I have many unused Mass-enrollment cards. I send them to express sympathy when someone dies, but I have many more than I’ll ever be able to use. Can I just throw them away? I feel quite wasteful.
A. Unfortunately, this often happens not only with Mass cards, but with other materials received unsolicited in the mail. The organizations that mailed you the cards understand that many people won’t use them or respond with a donation, and they accept it as a cost of soliciting your support.
Just throw away the ones you think you’ll never use. You have no obligation to use the cards or keep accumulating them—and you needn’t send a donation if you didn’t request the materials.
Q. Sometimes when I’m working on my computer or watching television, I have the urge to pray. Often I stop and say a little prayer, but sometimes I ignore the urge and keep doing what I was doing. Do I have an obligation to pray every time I have such a thought?
A. You’re experiencing an impulse, a compulsion that is a manifestation of scrupulosity. It’s actually best not to respond to the impulse and continue what you’re doing. I strongly counsel you to pray only at the time you’ve determined is best for your spiritual practice and discipline. If you ignore the compulsion and continue your work, eventually these kinds of thoughts will disappear. But if you act on them, they’ll only intensify.