This is a question I’ve been struggling with, so I figured I’d address it in my post this week. I’m not sure if it’s my depression, laziness, apathy, or a combination of all three. Nevertheless, I’ve been having a hard time making myself go to Mass sometimes. I know it’s important. I know I’m supposed to, but lately it just hasn’t been happening as much as it should. So, why is it important?
I think first, we need to look at what happens during Mass. It’s fantastic really. As Catholics we get to receive Jesus through scripture, and through the Eucharist. We get to worship our God through song, and prayer. During this time we get to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We get fed spiritually so that we can go out and live the life we’re supposed to. Mass is the highest form of prayer, and each Mass is a prayer. Because of this we begin by making the sign of the cross, and saying “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Then we pray together, admit before God and each other that we have sinned, and ask for forgiveness. Then we sing the Gloria together, giving glory to God as is just. After this some prayers are said, and we move on to the Liturgy of the Word. (The part where we read from scripture) There’s the first reading, from the old testament, a psalm, the second reading, from the new testament, and the gospel. Through these readings God speaks to us. We are receiving his word. Isn’t that wonderful? The God who created the universe, taking the time to come down and talk to us. I think it’s cool.
Next the Nicene creed is usually recited. (sometimes they’ll use the Apostle’s creed instead.) This is a statement that sums up what we as Catholics believe. Then we pray for the day’s prayer intentions. We ask God to intercede for the world, for the Church, for ourselves and each other. After this, we move into the second part of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The bread and wine are brought to the altar and prepared by the priest to become Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity. Together we sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy” and the priest consecrates the host. At this point, Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist. This is the coolest part of Catholicism. In no other faith does the bread and wine become our lord and savior. After this there is the mystery of faith. Then the priest prays more before we all stand up and pray the “Our Father” together. Then we share a sign of peace, sing or recite the “Lamb of God” and then communion begins. At this point, not only do we get to be in the same room as Jesus Christ, we get to (if we’re in a state of grace) consume Him. We get to unite with Him in a way that’s unique and intimate and beautiful. After communion, there’s a prayer, maybe some announcements, and the final blessing before we conclude the Mass with the sign of the cross.
Looking at it, really looking at what’s going on during the Mass makes it harder to skip. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I tell Jesus no. This is something I’m ashamed of, and something I’m working on getting better at. We have to fight the urge to succumb to our laziness. It endangers our souls and offends God. Mass is important. It’s not as exciting as some of the protestant services with their rock music and entertaining applicable half hour sermons, but Mass transcends the physical world in a unique way. There’s a depth to it that’s missing other places. At Mass we receive the spiritual food we were created to need. Without Mass, without Jesus, we starve and are more likely to drift from the kind of life we were meant to live.
People become Saints by making the harder, more virtuous choices. It starts with the little battles. Lets start winning the ones that start on Sunday morning.
Thanks for reading this week. God bless you.