Hello there sweet Rosary Lovers! In this post we will look at the discipline of daily Catholic Mass and how it is the goal we should seek to reach in our lives.
There are many excellent spiritual disciplines in the Church. These are disciplines or practices of spirituality that we decide of our own free will to take up, but which the Church does not obligate us to perform.
Now, it is true that the Church does obligate us to do a minumum of things to maintain our catholicism and our faith in God.
Examples would be that we must obey the Church’s fasting rules and we must provide for the needs of the Church. We must go to Mass on Holy days of obligation, the most common being every Sunday.
But these are obligations and therefore the bear minimum.
There are, however, a host of spiritual disciplines and acts of charity that we can choose freely to engage in. The Church recommends and endorses many of these, but does not command us to do them. It’s up to us.
Examples would be things like:
- Praying the Rosary everyday
- Going to regular Confession
- Receiving the Eucharist regularly
- Praying a set of morning and/or evening prayers
- Visiting the blessed Sacrament regularly
- Being part of a parish spiritual gathering
- Joining a Confraternity
- Consecrating yourself to Mary and/or St Joseph
- Praying Novenas
- Lectio Divina
- Joining an order, even as a secular third order member (like the Dominicans or Carmelites)
- And so on
There is SO MUCH on offer in the Church, I often feel like the Church is home to so many different forms of spirituality.
But right at the top of the list, the greatest form of spiritual devotion, is by far daily Mass attendance. Going to holy Mass every, single day.
Daily Mass Attendance
This is the best and highest devotion to God and to others, because it is the daily worship of God, in the highest possible way, even if you don’t receive the Eucharist everytime you go.
The local Mass is participation in the eternal Liturgy/Mass which goes on constantly in heaven. Everytime we attend a local Mass, we are transported to the heavenly Mass, and God comes down to be with us through the flesh and blood of his Son.
There is a beautiful and mysterious union of heaven and earth, where God chooses to dwell in us and we choose to dwell in him.
The Holy Sacrifice of the very most precious body and blood of Jesus offered on the cross for our sins is offered to God in the Mass. This is why the Mass is a real Sacrifice.
God can only be approached by sacrifice. And he can only be approached by the one and only sacrifice of his incarnate Son for us on the cross. This very Sacrifice comes into our midst everytime Mass is celebrated.
The result is the God is truly worshipped as he ought to be worshipped.
Our prayers also take on far greater significance in this context, and our hearts become attuned with heavenly realities and the divine will.
Mass is the perfect time to pour out our hearts to God, but then to forget it all in his loving embrace and in the mystery of the Liturgy and the presence of the Infinite.
Imagine doing this daily. Imagine attending such a thing every day of your life.
Where might you be spiritually in one year? In ten years?
Granted, daily Mass attendance isn’t possible for most of us. Unfortunately, many churches celebrate Mass at times which don’t work for working people and/or for individuals with families and children.
This is why when Mass is celebrated daily in churches, the most frequent visitors tend to be people who are retired or people who don’t have as many commitments as they perhaps once did.
Perhaps this is part of the divine will, and we all just have to be content with it. After all, the elderly are nearing the end of their lives and have lived many years as Catholics. It seems only suitable and appropriate that they should be seeking to progress rapidly in spiritual growth.
The best way to do this is by daily Mass attendance. It wouldn’t be such a good thing if they couldn’t get to Mass daily because Mass times were changed to a much later hour in the evening.
A Goal for us All
The life of a Catholic is a long life of struggle, growth, constancy and simplicity. It is a life that will require patience and determination, as well as learning to be faithful in the little things of life.
We all sometimes wish we could do something big for God. Many of us sometimes wonder about whether we should have remained single and joined a monastic group or convent, or become a missionary.
But God watches over all things. We are where we are supposed to be. If we cannot attend Mass daily, perhaps it is because we aren’t ready to attend daily?
But this shouldn’t mean that we ought not to make this a future goal. This is a target to try to attain in this life.
In heaven, we will enjoy and experience the glory and otherworldly beauty of an eternal Mass, which has been celebrated since Christ left this earth. One day we will enjoy perpetual Mass.
But daily Mass attendance is the best way to share in this down here on earth.
And if we cannot do this, or don’t feel called to it yet, then at the very least, let us always make sure we attend Mass on holy days of obligation, primarily every Sunday. Let us ensure we never miss one of these!
It is a discipline to love Mass. Mass is not always easy to love. We are spiritually blind, foolish, lethargic and all in all rather pathetic. We don’t see what God sees, and we don’t always see with the eyes of faith.
If we do have the chance to get to Mass more often, let us try to do this for our own good. Let us try to discipline ourselves to fall more and more in love with Holy Mass.
God bless and take care.
In Christ through the blessed and all-immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of the Holy Sacrifice.