This past Sunday's Pro-Life Youth Rally went really well! It was so encouraging to see hundreds of teens gathered together to pray for an end to abortion. The presenters answered some tough questions on cases of rape and incest- provided us with some great statistics and helpful arguments for conversing with others. For those of you who weren't able to attend, I'm posting the handout on www.findthevillage.com, it summarizes quite a bit of what was presented!
One small change to our Spring Calendar- our regular meeting for Feb 7th has been canceled due to the Super Bowl. Something tells me people won't want to miss that- and that includes me!
This past semester we've gotten numerous questions from Villagers about our Mother Mary. Was she really ever-virgin? What does it mean that she was immaculately conceived? Does Scripture say she was crowned the Queen of Heaven? How do we know she was assumed into heaven? The Catechism declares that devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship itself. This Sunday at our regular Village Meeting we'll rediscover the Blessed Virgin Mary who responded to the Angel Gabriel with those words of faith, "Be it done unto me according to thy word!"
* This Thursday: Come hear about St Elizabeth Ann Seton at the Dead Theologians Society!
* Your Question of the Week: So if I missed Sunday Mass and died in a car accident before I went to Confession would I go to hell?
The Village News
Thursday 1/14, 7-8pm: St Elizabeth Ann Seton @ the Dead Theologians Society
Through the Saints of yesterday, the Dead Theologians Society, or DTS, inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow! Come on out and join us this Thursday.
----7-8pm: gather in the Church choir loft for prayer (the Elizabeth St door is always open)
----8-8:30pm: return to Parish Offices for hot cocoa & snacks
Sunday’s Village: Mary & Marian Devotion
When the Angel Gabriel came to Mary– her response to God was simple: “Be it done unto me according to your will.” In these few words, she offered her life entirely to God. The Catechism declares that devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship itself (#971). Join us Sunday from 5-6:30pm as we discover Mary ever-virgin and ever-pure, Mother of God and our Mother!
The Village Serves at St. Andrew’s Breakfast Program, Saturday 2/6 from 7-10am
For over 25 years, men and women in need have made their way to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for a cup of coffee and a hot breakfast any day of the week. Saturday, Feb 6th we’ll be joining our Christian brothers and sisters to serve breakfast to 100-150 people in need! We’ll be meeting at St Thomas at 7am, serving until 9am, and catching the 9am Mass to finish! St Andrew’s has asked us to bring just 7 volunteers to help cook and serve breakfast, due to the size of their kitchen. RSVP to Youth Minister Beth Spizarny as soon as you can!
Sign-up for Steubenville High School Youth Conference 2010
This July 9th-11th, join The Village @ St Thomas for our annual roadtrip to the Franciscan University of Steubenville High School Youth Conference! Registration packets will be available online this week. Even Dominica and Tim Rhein are joining us again this year! The Village has been attending these Youth Conferences since 2008, and our teens have unanimously found them to be challenging, inspiring, and lots of fun. This Youth Conference will feature at least one powerful hour of Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day, nationally-renowned Catholic speakers, men’s and women’s time discussing the call to chastity, and two workshop s essions addressing a broad spectrum of topics.
Your Question of the Week: So if I missed Sunday Mass and died in a car accident before I went to Confession would I go to hell?
Okay love the question, very moral theology meets real life. First off, the Church is very clear that missing Sunday Mass is grave matter- one of three required criteria that add up to make a sin a mortal sin. “For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1857)
Although the Church is quite clear that missing Mass is grave matter, it is conceivable that a person might miss Sunday Mass (grave matter) without having full knowledge that it is wrong to do so. It is even conceivable that a person might miss Sunday Mass without giving full consent. For example, a 7 year old is typically entirely dependent on their parents to drive them to Sunday Mass- so it is possible they might not be at fault for missing Sunday mass. In summary, the Catechism (#1861) clearly states that “although we can judge that an act is in itself grave matter, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.” So while we definitely know missing Sunday Mass is grave matter, there is no way we can judge whether it was a mortal sin when you missed Sunday Mass. Perhaps you know your own heart?
Mortal sin is *very* serious. “If a mortal sin is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness it causes exclusion from God’s heavenly kingdom and eternal death in hell,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1861.
Okay, back to your question! In a sense, the Church does recognize a "reconciliation of desire.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines contrition as "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again" (# 1451). Were you sorry for missing Sunday Mass? "When contrition arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called ‘perfect’ (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible" (# 1452). So if you had committed a mortal sin- had not been to the Sacrament of Confession- were sorry for what you had done and intended to make it to Confession very soon: your conscience would probably be free from that mortal sin.
Friends, keep in mind that this isn’t just a game. The more you sin (even venial sins) the more your inclination to sin grows. Sin can have eternal consequences! One of the realities of the Christian life is that we never know when our hour of death will come. There is no need to be consumed with fear and anxiety- our Lord wants you to be with Him in heaven! However, you do need to stay sober and consider carefully your choices- avoid mortal sin at all costs. If you do stumble, get to Confession and repent. You wouldn’t wait months to make up with your friends after an awful fight- why wait to reconcile with God?