Some people, whose duties begin very early in the morning or keep them up very late at night, have an excellent reason for not hearing Mass every week-day as well as on Sundays — they can’t. Not only is it an excellent reason, it is the only good one there is. Explorers as well as other people do sometimes find themselves face to face with it. Nevertheless, when there is some good thing to be done, “Can’t” is a reason an Explorer does not like. It so often turns out, when you come to examine it, to be a sham — merely “Won’t” or “Won’t try” in disguise; and Explorers detest a sham. Moreover, being accustomed to use their heads and think, they are not easily taken in by a false “Can’t”; and this is why so many Catholic Explorers are to be seen hearing Mass almost every day, for they know quite well that here is the best thing in the world to be done, and therefore they are not going to miss taking part in it without the best of reasons for so doing. The rest have met with a real “Can’t“; and when that happens there is nothing for it but to just salute and retire gracefully — when you have made quite sure that it is real. Of course if you simply lie in bed you don’t meet anything — real or sham; but Explorers usually go to bed early unless duty keeps them up, and so are able to get up early; and not being lazy they do it. Laziness and Exploring can’t go together (this is a real “Can’t“); you just have to give up one or the other.

Adapted from The Catholic Scout’s Prayer Book, London: The Catholic Truth Society (1912)

Explorers at Mass