I know we don't have to go to daily Mass. I also know that it's usually a greater sacrifice for me to perform whatever duty calls me away from daily Mass than to make the effort to get there. Just as nearly every Saturday may be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, so it is with Friday and devotion to the Sacred Heart. While I know that only the first Friday is particularly dedicated to the Sacred Heart, I try my best to do something in reparation and if possible, to recite the Litany. It had been a long time since I missed Mass on a Friday. Unfortunately, it happened today.
I got a call last night right as I was going to bed that a catastrophe occurred which compromised the sterility of our instruments and supplies. I had already taken an allergy pill and did not want to drive in to work, plus I knew the nursing supervisor and others were on the premises and could do as I directed them. My phone did not stop ringing until sometime after 2 am and bleary-eyed, I dragged myself in at 6am to see what else needed to be done. I can't complain because the evening folks didn't make it home until 4 am. I was scheduled to visit my friend at her Catholic hospital, but that was looking more and more precarious.
At any rate, after running around for 4 1/2 hours, dealing with childish surgeons and staff and noting that my supposed right-hand nurse was enjoying watching me sweat, I decided things were under enough control that I could leave for a few hours. We decided that this would be a working visit and my friend planned things so that we could review policies in her OR that are plaguing me in mine. I interviewed some of her staff in the endo lab, which is an area where we are having particular challenges, and brought back some good information to guide us in our facility.
I absolutely loved the hospital I visited though it is admittedly twice the distance from my house as my current position. The hospital is located on a beautiful campus and a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary greets you as you arrive at the entrance. A modern looking cathedral-type structure is attached to the entrance, and I learned that it is "the chapel". It's larger than some churches I've been in. I'm not crazy about the modern statues and the off-center tabernacle, but it's a hospital chapel, not a parish church. Beggars cannot be choosy!
I have a lot to consider. On the one hand, it is quite a distance. On the other, I will be in the same building, all day long, in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The chapel is open 24 hours a day, which means that whenever I have the time and the desire, I can pop in for a quick prayer or an hour of devotion at the end of the day before I leave. It will be less money, but that's never an issue. Less is more, if you know what I mean. The time off works differently too, but it won't be a problem. I will make a list of pros and cons and weigh them carefully for awhile.
When my friend took me into the chapel, I thought that even though I didn't make it to Friday Mass for the first time in a long time, I did get to greet Jesus in person, if only for a moment. Aside from the visit, this was an extremely difficult day and one on which I found it so difficult to pray.
As I drove in to work this morning at an hour when I would normally be on my way to Mass, I wondered to myself why it appears as though God makes things so difficult. I have only to think of St. Joseph in search of a place for his wife to bring forth her Child to recall that His plan for us seems not to include clear-cut directions complete with arrows.
Some days are going to be better than others. Only in Heaven should I expect perfection, cos I surely have no right to expect it here on earth.
(I tried my best to edit this, but I am the midst of a sneezing conniption, so please excuse typos, etc!)