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Q. A friend of mine got divorced and remarried. When we attend Mass together, she walks up the aisle with me and receives Communion. I am uncomfortable with her receiving Communion because I know she should not. What is my responsibility in this matter? Should I gently try and explain the teaching of the Church to her or perhaps be more forceful and help her understand what she is doing?

A. You should do nothing, and you have no responsibility to do so. You don’t know the state of her conscience and you don’t know the details of her relationship with the Church (which may well include an annulment that she chooses not to talk to you about). You have only your perceptions and your judgments made without all the facts. The consistent pastoral teaching of the SA directors in matters of conscience for a scrupulous person is to presume not the worst but the best for the people in their life and their relationship with God. That’s good advice.

Q. I know you answered a similar question before, but this is a little different. I plan to choose between one of two cruises. The more expensive cruise has a clearly defined Sunday Mass opportunity; the cheaper cruise doesnít seem to have a Sunday Mass guarantee. The only real difference in the cruises is the price. Am I obliged under mortal sin to choose the more expensive cruise?

A. No. You have no obligation to choose the more expensive cruise. You seem to be inclined to choose the cheaper cruise to save money, not to avoid Sunday Mass. You’re obligated to go to Sunday Mass when you have the ability, using ordinary human effort. Extraordinary effort is never required.

Published inSA Mailbox