Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
Recently, I didn't get much of a response when I talked about the "Precepts" or some would say, Commandments, of the church.  I realize that it was probably a long time ago when most of us were taught these in Catholic School or in CCH classes.  The first one which obliges us to participate in Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation dates back to the third century, and was proably a result of laxity when it came to the Faithful going to Mass.  The Precept was making a strong statement of how essential it is in our life as disciples of Jesus, to gather on the "Day of Resurrection" (every Sunday and Holidays of Obligation) to break open the Word and receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  Other "Precepts" were added at various times, to respond to unhealthy spiritual practices such as the laity not going to Communion because of a sense of unworthiness to do so.  The precepts to receive Communion at least once a year during the Easter Season and to confess one's sins at least once a year to a priest, are considered the "very necessary minimum" in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.  Obviously, the Church sees frequent reception of the Eucharist and Reconciliation as the best path to a holy and grace-filled life that directs us to our heavenly home.  In case you're wondering, the other precepts listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are observing the prescribed days of fast and abstinence and giving of one's financial and material goods according to one's ability to support the Church in all of its endeavors, works and needs.  (Cat. 2041-2043).