It’s Sunday morning. Polly and I fulfilled our Sunday obligation by attending Mass yesterday evening.
It’s a ritual that we Catholics perform every week – come Hell or high water- as my Dad used to say.
Growing up, I learned that missing Mass on Sunday was a serious matter. I suppose that statistically there are many people these days who consider themselves Catholics, but who do not go to Mass every week.
We used to call them Palm Sunday Catholics. The Church obligates all of its faithful to receive the sacraments at least once a year on penalty of excommunication. It’s called Easter Duty. It’s why the church parking lots are jammed every Spring.
It’s not for me to sit in judgment of anyone’s faith. Still, I have to believe that attending Mass on Sunday is a good habit. And good habits make good people.
For one thing, the ritual of Mass begins with public confession of sin. Here is what we recite we very Sunday:
I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Confession is good for the soul. We are all sinners. Every human being who ever lived, save Jesus Christ and his Mother, is or was a sinner.
Our American Declaration of Independence affirms that our Creator has endowed us with unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That assertion confirms what we all know instinctively: that we can do whatever we want to do; that we are captains of our own ships, commanders of our own bodies.
We are all free agents. We each have our own moral compass. It’s called conscience. It tells us what we should do and what we should not do.
The dust up about Donald Trump’s taped conversation with Billy Bush has put before the American people the question of the candidate’s moral compass.
Does he understand the difference between right and wrong? Does he concede that he is capable of doing something that he knows, or should know, he ought not to do?
Trump has been described as neither liberal nor conservative. It is said that his only guiding star is pragmatism. If it works, it’s good. If it doesn’t work, it’s bad.
Given that yardstick, he would be well advised to begin tonight’s debate with an unequivocal, honest and sincere public confession.
He should confess to Almighty God and to his brothers and sisters – the American voters – that he has sinned, and he should ask the American people to pray for him.
Not vote for him. Pray for him. Even the Democrats can do that.
Let’s face it, nobody wants a President who doesn’t want people to ask God to bless him and to bless the United States of America.
And besides, it is pragmatic to be humble.