Holy Day of Choice?

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So tomorrow is All Saint’s Day…a holy day of obligation. Our parish calls it “a holy day of appreciation”. If memory serves, last year it was called “a holy day of opportunity”. Is this a trend at your parish also? Just curious…

I see it as an example of the Church bending to a narcissistic culture by trying to use accommodating language. You may have heard the term “owning the language”? It may seem trivial sometimes, but the words we choose are important because they express our thoughts, and thoughts have consequences. How does that saying go? Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. An extreme example is when discussing the reality of abortion; some use the language of “choice” to give the illusion of freedom. An “opportunity’ to “appreciate” God at Mass also has a “choice” ring to it. God is all for free will, but we use the idea of “choice” as something virtuously neutral; it’s an important expression in the logic of relativism.

Choice is a big word and a big idea in modern western culture.  If you live in an industrialized nation, own a home, a car and have some extra money in the bank to boot, you’re probably one of the more wealthy people who ever lived on this planet; top 1% maybe? With such affluence come choices. We have choices in cloths, food, wine, entertainment, restaurants, books, etc. It’s no wonder that this “spirit of choice” leads people to demand options for things like abortion, sexual partners, or even choosing your own gender.

St. Augustine speaks of using words in Book 5 of Confessions, Paragraph 5.5.10. …He gives an analogy using food, where the food is the meaning behind the words and the dishes are the way the words are “served”. Junk food can be served on the finest china and wholesome food can be served on tattered paper plates; both kinds can be served on either. Today, “owning the language” mostly relates to serving junk food on elegant dinner ware.

Have a happy holy day (if you so choose), but bear in mind how important words must be to God. “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” (John 1:14).


More to explorer

God Bless Bishop Strickland

The Joy of Pillaging

Great lunch hour game.

Saint of the Day Quote: Saint Bertilla Boscardin

Here I am Lord, to do your will, whatever comes.


  1. One progressive parish called them “Holy days of invitation.” I do think we could explain obligation and supplement it with ‘invitation.’ Why is this commemoration important? Then invite folks find out more.

  2. Ben, fine piece. But I would call it serving fine food on paper plates (or napkins) when holy days of obligation are called “holy days of appreciation.” The food, the Mass that one should attend, is fine. The serving dish, what the PC term for the day might be, is perishable and ugly.

  3. Today it is feasible that the ten commandments could be considered to rigid.

    Many view them as suggestions anyway. (Acceptance of abortion = killing another?…No way.)
    A culture that believes all souls go to heaven.. having a unformed conscience is comfortable and good enough..and that even the Holy Father has his doubts of Hell… this is 2018 relativism.


    Today in the land of snowflakes and political correctness it might be much easier to hear invitation or greet and meet. (Why not just get rid of confessionals too?) sarc.

    We are witnessing the Church of Mush, false mercy and cheap grace trying it’s best to be conforming.
    How sweet. Taking Christ off the Holy Cross has been tried. The results… over 20,000 Protestant denominations. No guidance. No unity.

    My Saint, Maximillian Kolbe, said it best;
    “Life begins to make sense when we recognize and acknowledge God’s infinite goodness and are absolute dependence on Him. Our response will be praise and total love expressed in obedience.”

    Tomorrow I hope that you too will join millions of other Catholics out of love and obedience to partake of the greatest gift known to mankind.
    Holy Mass. The Eucharist. Forgiveness.
    The Church Triumphant will be watching from above.

  4. Down under here in the bottom of the world in the South Pacific, our (adjective of choice) bishops did away with All Saints as a Holy Day of Obligation decades ago – we now have only two – Christmas day, and Assumption. When I was young, we had five – Ascension, All Saints, Assumption, Christmas and Circumcision. But of course the wisdom of our bishops to make it easier for Catholics, has predictably resulted in the Church being halved in this “Spirit of Vatican II” Church.
    Great skills, bishops.

  5. As with with November 1, the feckless US bishops’ previous downgrading of the solemn Feast of the Assumption —-the Assumption, mind you—-to a mere optional observance is completely astounding.

    So, no remembrance of the Marian first fruits of the resurrection? No honoring of the unique merits of the Dormition of the Mediatrix? Mother of Christ but not Mother assumed into heaven, any more?

    It all just doesn’t matter any more, USCCB?

    Back to the golf game.

  6. DC Don Beckett wrote, “we now have only two – Christmas day, and Assumption. When I was young, we had five – Ascension, All Saints, Assumption, Christmas and Circumcision.”

    I once remarked to some of my French friends that I thought it a pity that Corpus Christi (which the French call simply the « Fête-Dieu » or “Festival of God”) is nowadays transferred to the nearest Sunday.

    They explained to me that the government would allow the Church only one public holiday that always fell on a Thursday, as people would, inevitably, make it an excuse for a long weekend – « faire le pont » or “make a bridge,” as they say and so the bishops settled for Ascension Day.
    The notion that there could be a Holiday of Obligation that was not also a public holiday was quite beyond their comprehension.

    In the event, they have 4 Ascension Day, Assumption, All Saints and Christmas – All public holidays, of course, as are Easter Monday and Whit Monday

  7. Our parish barely mentioned they’re offering Mass, but I have seen “holy day of opportunity” popping up more.

    The theory is that it’s trying to get you to view it as the gift it is, rather than a chore.

    Spent a good half-hour last night trying to figure out if they’d moved it or not. Still not entirely sure, going to mass since it’s physically possible. (Really hate it when they have a holy day of obligation, and the only Mass offered is at 9:30 on a weekday.)

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