From a reader…
I read your recent answer to a man whose work schedule keeps him from attending Mass.
I’d like to go down that road a little further. I’m a commercial pilot. My schedule (which is written in stone) keeps me on the road 7 days at a time. I miss Mass every other Sunday because my duties do not allow me to attend during the 7 days I am “on duty”.
However, I am now at a point in my life where I “could” retire at some significant monetary loss. My wife and I are living on my income, but could live on social security and savings (401K/IRA) at this point.
Question: Does my obligation to attend Mass on Sunday dictate that I quit my job and retire?
At my age, the chance of landing another flying job that would allow me to attend Mass on Sunday approaches zero, but one never knows.
Being a Christian requires certain sacrifices. Being Catholic requires even more sacrifices.
Being a member of Holy Catholic Church allows one freely to request, from the treasury of grace the Church has built up, some accommodations.
Ironic, isn’t it? We live in a secular world, which makes fewer and fewer concessions to those attempting to live according to the dictates of the Church.
To determine the exact line between reasonable sacrifice and foolhardiness is difficult. Certainly, one should never put one’s family in an unnecessary state of financial uncertainty. Additionally, one should never place an undue burden on the State to provide!
If you can work, work, rather than rely on government assistance or charity. (εἴ τις οὐ θέλει ἐργάζεσθαι μηδὲ ἐσθιέτω! – 2 Thess 3:10)
Giving up one’s job in order to fulfill one’s Sunday obligation can cause readjustment of priorities in life. If it is too much of a burden, don’t do it. Yet, if it’s the difference between eating hamburger or dining on prime rib six nights a week, the sacrifice might be spiritually appropriate. Consider that the earthly “banquet” is temporary, while the heavenly is eternal.
Before making such a decision, talk the matter over with your wife, check with your accountant, and consult with your pastor or a trusted priest in order assess the situation.