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In the Story of Narnia there is a healing liquid which was used to bring a wounded boy back to health. The Precious Blood of Christ, received in Holy Communion, at Mass (also received, even when we only consume the Sacred Host), is like a healing liquid which makes us ready for Eternal Life. Knowing this, who can say, without seeming foolish, 'I can't be bothered to go to Mass'.
We pray, in the Mass, "Save us from final damnation". It is Jesus Christ who calls out from our altar, across the Abyss which separates earth from Heaven, and asks the Father to save those who are present, or who are associated with the Mass, for example sick members. The Faithful Departed are the other people helped by His sacrificial prayer. Catholics who refuse to attend regularly or at all, are refusing to be present as Christ prays for them. They condemn themselves, by their attitude.
In times when even Bishops and priests become despondent about declining Church attendance, and opposition from outside, some desperately seek strategies for renewal. Though sensible plans can be made, the best way forward is to encourage everyone to be holy and faithful, in every circumstance. Simple members of the laity often practice this whilst leaders forget that the Church has always grown in one place, and declined in another, but cannot be destroyed.
On the evening of Holy Thursday, when we have gathered to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper, Christ becomes Present amongst us; and He is touched to the heart by our devotion. We were not forced to attend; but we are aware of what He once suffered in His Passion, for our sakes. He is pleased that we prove our love by coming to be with Him in this special way.
Christ looks upon the faithful people who have come to the 'Mass of the Lord's Supper' on Holy Thursday: people only there because they love Him, Who suffered to save us. We touch His heart by our devotion, right up to the stripping of the altar, when we prepare to accompany Christ to Gethsemane.
We have a duty to pray for our brothers and sisters who have lapsed, and no longer enter church for Mass. Some have committed grave sins and don't want to give them up; others feel ashamed of their sins but have forgotten that they can repent and be forgiven. Others no longer believe in the teachings of the Church. They all deserve our prayers.
Just as the land which is not watered by spring rains becomes dry, causing subsidence and dangerous lesions in the road, so a spiritual life not fed by the sacraments becomes weak. Those most likely to fall into the pit are those preoccupied by earthly troubles, those careless in their everyday life, and those unable to go to church who sink into depression or despair.
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