Too bad that Wheaties took that slogan in 1933. I think it should instead be used for daily Mass. I know I talk about this a lot, but to those of you who can possibly go to a weekday Mass, PLEASE go!
It's Mass in its plainest form, no singing, no carefully composed petitions, celebrated by people trying and often failing to get their circulation going all the way to their feet. Sometimes the lecters' singing voices crack and lose traction on the "Alleluia" before the Gospel. Beginning this time of year, there is a muffled orgy of sinus-clearing, and I regularly hear stomachs growl and knees crackle, the silence is so complete. We're spread way out in the pews, the Sign of Peace is usually a small but warm wave to others too far away to touch.
But the reverence always rises and gathers strength, warming us as we proceed through the Mass, standing and kneeling as one, since the order of the Mass has worn its path in our brains and hearts with frequent attendance. We have all the fun and glory of celebrating the feasts and memorials of the saints and martyrs of the Church Triumphant. The Scriptures for the week, save special ones for special feasts, are read serially, each day's reading breaking off at an exciting part or after a significant thought, to be resumed tomorrow, leaving us in anticipation, like children listening to a bedtime story.
I feel united in action and intent with the entire congregation. When I pray the prayers we've all said a billion times, they often come as though new from my heart and mind. At Communion, even when I'm badly distracted (why is it that my need for a can of Pam, some walking-around money and an oil change flashes across my mind in the middle of the Offertory?), I KNOW without dilution that the Lover of my Soul waits for me. In a way I never feel on rustling distracted Sundays, we pray together with one mind, one spirit.
I left Mass this morning, filing along out the side door behind a few others on our way to our cars. Some mornings we wait for each other and chatter and check on our families. This morning, by mutual consent, we drifted out in a haze of recollection, savoring the Feast.
It's worth it. Please go: your life will be re-centered in a way you can't even guess, and paradoxically, you will love your fellow parishioners and know them better.
A Very Francis Christmas
1 hour ago