Viewpoint

Don’t give up on going to Mass

Palm Sunday Mass at St. Garbriel Catholic Church in Charlotte.
Palm Sunday Mass at St. Garbriel Catholic Church in Charlotte. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

From David Hains, Director of Communication, Diocese of Charlotte, in response to “Why I no longer go to Mass” (March 23 Viewpoint):

It was disappointing to read the column “Why I no longer go to Mass.” It is always sad to hear that a Catholic has abandoned this most important expression of our faith. Skipping Mass is harmful to the individual who misses out on the opportunity to find and refine a relationship with God.

Mass is a place where we hear God’s word, reflect on its meaning, and pray for ourselves and others. Most importantly, as Christ instructed us at the Last Supper, it is where we have physical contact with Jesus through the reception of Holy Communion.

The author of the column, Sonia Guizar, makes an argument that will resonate with many people: She is upset with the Church’s prohibition on the use of artificial birth control. She feels that the prohibition puts an undue burden on her family.

But she also tempers her remarks with the statement, “The truth is, I would have as many children as God would give me if I could afford to.” Clearly this is someone who loves the Lord and finds children to be a joy. How can she reconcile this with the instruction of the Church on birth control? Mass is a great place to work out the difficulty she finds between her faith and her desire to have more children.

The Church’s 1968 ban on contraception comes from a deep respect for life and recognition of God’s plan for each of us. No doubt Mr. and Ms. Guizar feel, as many do, that it was part of God’s plan for them to marry. If that is the case, then the fruit of that marriage, children, is also part of a holy plan.

Here is hoping that Ms. Guizar returns to the Mass soon and that she finds the comfort, strength and love all of us seek and that her desire for many children is fulfilled. As one of 13 children myself who, like her, attended Catholic school, I hope she finds that the Mass is a place of both endless joy and hope. It is, I have found, the best place to find answers.

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