Q : 
Is it true that if someone attends Mass every Friday during Lent (i.e. 7 Fridays), then this person will not go to hell?
【 Question from 】 Hong Kong 香港

Fr. Francis : 

Personally, I have never heard of that particular devotion.

Within the different devotions of the Church, there are many legitimate ones that come with certain promises; for example, the wearing of the brown scapular promises salvation, consecration to Mary would guarantee Mary’s special help at the point of death, etc. These must not be understood as some sort of magical guarantee, or else it is no better than superstition.

The promises given by legitimate devotions, when properly understood, always presuppose a spirituality or a lifestyle that is centered on God. The so-called promises of salvation therefore is not an automatic guarantee, but the result of living a committed Christian life through this or that particular devotion.

For example, if one prays the Rosary every day with the focus of meditating on the Gospel mysteries contained within for at least 15 minutes, as requested by Our Lady at Fatima, it would be hard to believe that soul would not in time be touched and transformed by God, with his heart inflamed to do God’s will. Such a soul cannot be lost. Whereas if one only mouths the Rosary as a mechanical prayer to be performed, never stopping to consider the mysteries contained within, such a devotion is dead and can produce little or no benefit for such a soul.