Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like . . . (ahem), Advent

A major snow-and-ice storm is sweeping up through this part of the country, and its been snowing all day.

Today was also the day we put up the Christmas tree at the rectory. I had also gone out and bought some other decorations, so we went ahead and put some garland on the mantlepieces and staircase; and when we opened up the ornament boxes, we found Christmasy knick-knacks which I distributed around the house.

One of the seminarians who was here over the summer came up from Cincinnati last night, and he and a parishioner are putting the lights on the tree. I have some lights for outside, but we'll get those out after the storm passes.

By the way, this is early for me to put up Christmas decorations; I'm getting soft as I get older, in more ways than one!

...And, by the way, please remember, when the weather is bad, the obligation to attend Mass is subject to common sense and prudential judgment. Meaning, if you are uncertain if its safe, then that is a sufficiently good reason to miss Mass--it's not a sin!

The people who need to be concerned about the obligation are not those who actually are concerned -- the ones who will try the hardest to get to Mass, in bad weather, are the ones who are least likely to offend against the precept. But what can you do?

Bottom line: it's okay to stay home from Sunday Mass in such weather. Watch Mass on TV, or pray together as a family, read the readings perhaps, and maybe pray a family rosary and pray for all the various needs we are likely to remember at Mass.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you cautioned people against coming to Mass if the weather is threatening, Father.

All my life I've watched frail, tottery, little old ladies sacrifice life and limb for the sake of being present at Sunday Mass no matter what,although pastors always explain that it is NOT a sin to stay home when there is risk. I worry about these fragile older ladies alot in times like we are having, and wish they would allow themselves to exercise some common sense. Jesus never said, "Go to Mass even if it means a broken hip," now did he?

Anyway, thanks for saying it again!
God bless the elderly for their faithfulness, but discretion here is definitely the better part of valor!

Annie, aging & soon to be fragile

Fr. Larry Gearhart said...

You're getting soft. I'm getting brittle. ;-)

Lynne said...

We just got our tree yesterday too!

Thanks for the common sense reminder about Mass (perhaps I should have gone yesterday) but thankfully, there's a 5:30 pm Mass in the next town over so there's hope!

I feel confident in saying that I believe we're going to have white Christmas ;-)