I am so spoiled that I forget what it's like for Catholics in the rest of the world. I am within walking distance of at least five churches that offer daily Mass, four that offer Adoration, an additional church that offers Perpetual Adoration and one that offers confessions six days a week. If I'm feeling really energetic, there are several more I can walk to for Mass and/or Adoration. Quite a few others are a short drive away. I know that not everyone has this kind of access. But the truth is that too many who do ignore these spiritual treasures. I know we aren't required to go to Mass on anything other than Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. I just don't understand how people can be satisfied with once a week if they have other options.
Before her illness finally forced her to become confined to bed, St. Therese would literally drag herself to the chapel. She would have to pause after each step to catch her breath. When asked why she did not spare herself this suffering, she cried: "Oh, I do not consider this too much to win one Holy Communion."
Since I've been home living the domestic life, I do a lot of walking around the neighborhood - to the bakery, the market, etc. I see people I know from my parish doing the same thing. Some of them live right down the street from the church. We wave, we say hello. What I don't say is this: "Hey, as close as you live to the church, did you ever consider coming to daily Mass?"
It has long irked me that my own husband can get to daily Mass but instead chooses to have a leisurely breakfast and reading of the morning paper. The other day, I finally said something to him. I asked him if he ever considered that he is closer to the end of his life than the start and perhaps he should be giving more thought to how he will make an account of his life before God. Now, I know that I might walk out the door today and get smashed by a truck. I wasn't suggesting The End is around the corner for him. I just think we have this treasure in our churches that too many people seem to overlook. "You could go to morning Mass, you know. It wouldn't kill you and you would probably really like it." He didn't say anything.
Well, shock of shocks this morning: "What time do you leave for Mass? I'll go with you."
At first, I thought he meant he'd walk over with me since the store where he buys his morning paper is on the way. But then I realized he meant he would come with me to Mass. I nearly fainted.
As we were leaving, he asked me if I had any dollar bills to put in the collection.
"There is no collection at weekday Mass."
"No!" I was surprised by this question but as I gave it more thought, something occurred to me. Is this why more people don't come? Are they afraid they will be asked to contribute? I know that for many elderly on a fixed income those dollar bills add up. Could that be the reason? I don't know.
Afterward, I said to my husband that I thought Mass was the best way to start the day.
"Absolutely," he said. "It feels good."
So good I hope he makes a habit of it.
The Mass holds infinite value for us and for our loved ones. Let's take advantage while we can.
Yesterday, in between running errands, Adoration, chores, bird-feeding, dog-walking, etc. I spent a lot of time in front of the television listening to all the breaking news. I thought about this at the end of the day and it bothered me that I had probably spent more time on the computer/in front of the television than I had in prayer. I think this is a good measure we can use to determine whether we are doing everything possible. With all of the pressing needs in our world, what impact might it have if I tried to get to even one extra Mass or Holy Hour a week? Even just a few minutes spent before the Tabernacle holds untold benefits for ourselves and our loved ones for whom we offer our prayers. If I have time to blog, comment and read, why don't have I have more time for Him? I do not have to neglect my daily duties to not neglect Him and shouldn't I try to make reparation for those (of whom I was once among) who don't even acknowledge Him at all?
We are called to do more. And the more we have of Him, the more we will want of Him until our Everlasting Adoration in Heaven.