So I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I was in Mass this Sunday and I was a little frustrated. I go to one of a few different parishes each week, and this one was proving to be distracting. The music was hard to sing, I drifted off during the homily, and no one seemed to be participating. As the priest stood at the foot of the altar, waiting for the procession of gifts, I was in my own little mental world – focused on everything that I thought was going wrong.
Then, thankfully, I had a chance for God to snap me out of it. In those moments after Communion, I prayed a prayer that I learned from one of one of my co-workers, Kathleen: “Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.” Because what I realized (or what God reminded me of) is that it isn’t about me, it’s about Christ. The Mass that brings us together was also the food of the Saints. And that point has stuck with me for the last few days.
Anyone’s who’s been into being Catholic for a while has an area they desire to see change. From liturgy to outreach to plain old participation… there are plenty of genuine and good desires for growth in the Church. Let me be clear – I’m not talking about changing Church teaching or trying to overhaul dogma. What I am saying is that there are a lot of things we could be doing better. The Christian mystery hasn’t come up short; we have come up short in living it out.
So who has lived it out? Who has looked at what it takes to be holy and achieved it? The only example I have are the Saints. What separates us from them? Well, the answer shouldn’t surprise you much. Saints lived in the heart of the Father, united with the Eucharist, and in the arms of Mary. Saints went to Daily Mass, Saints prayed the Rosary, Saints were taking time for daily prayer.
As I reflected on that during the end of Mass, I thought “Huh. Maybe that’s why I’m not changing the world.” Because although I can get up on a soapbox and say I want the world to be holy, odds are that I’ll be off playing XBox or watching TV an hour later. I can write a blog about being passionate for Jesus, but does that yearning for Him stay with me on the weekends? Until I take the simple steps of embracing Christ like the Saints did, it almost seems ridiculous for me to be frustrated. It would be like buying the ingredients for brownies, mixing them up, and then leaving them on the counter. How could I be frustrated if I came back and nothing had cooked?
God has given us the “oven” for that scenario, the place we can constantly move ourselves closer to Christ’s humble heart. Take time to keep the heat on, and pray that I can do the same.
Talk to you next week.