His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan, has a great insight, by means of a reductio ad absurdum:
I am heartily sick of the protest “I don’t go to Mass because my parents forced me to go when I was young.” OK Son, what else did your parents force you to do?
Your parents forced you to wash before you went out in the morning. Those cruel tyrants made sure that you cleaned your teeth before you went to bed. They dragged you kicking and screaming to school so that you could learn to read – and the teachers collaborated by forcing you to learn the alphabet and put the words together.
To top it all, after looking after your physical needs, they had the temerity to exercise their authority by looking after your spiritual needs and taking you to Mass on Sunday.
If they had neglected to see that you were clean, had suitable clothes, eat some sort of nourishing food, get some education and cross the road safely, they would have been visited by social services and given a care plan so that you could be healthy and safe.
And you are complaining because they took responsibility for your eternal life?
In this context, it is relevant to quote again the classic:
Ten reasons why I never wash
- I was forced to as a child.
- People who wash are hypocrites – they think they are cleaner than everybody else.
- There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best.
- I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped.
- I wash only on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter.
- None of my friends wash.
- I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
- I can’t spare the time.
- The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer.
- People who make soap are only after your money.
If you aren’t checking Fr. Finigan’s blog each day, you are probably missing some good insights.