Friday, 26 February 2016

The Lent Project #3: Daily Mass for Lazy Bums

I have never been a consistent daily Mass-goer. Which is fairly shocking, considering that I've been a Catholic volunteer for the past five years. That doesn't mean I've never gone for daily Mass, or for weekday Mass, just never seven days a week. But it's usually once or twice a week (apart from Sunday Mass), if that.

There are a few reasons for this.

1. I am a lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined slacker sometimes am tempted to behave like a lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined slacker.

2. I have a horrible time with early mornings, which is usually the most convenient weekday Mass option, and am sluggish and unproductive the rest of the day when I have a too early morning. (Too early for me = anything before 7 am)

3. I used to teach tuition in the slum in the evenings when the daily evening Mass was held. (But don't any more.)

4. I'm scared to make commitments that I think I'm going to break. (My thought is, 'I won't make an official commitment, I'll just start doing it, and see how it goes.')  But if I don't make the commitment, I don't do it at all. Catch 22.

5. I swing between feeling guilty about everything and being totally slack about everything- being too hard on myself and being too soft on myself. So in order to avoid feeling guilty all the time, I avoid expecting anything of myself. An unhealthy cycle.

6. It's not obligatory, like Sunday Mass, or like my commitment to daily personal prayer, so it's not like it's that bad that I'm missing yet another opportunity for grace.. right? Right?

7. I am super good at making excuses for things that require any kind of effort or sacrifice.

Why (and how) I am actually making a commitment to going to daily Mass:

1. I am a full-time single Catholic volunteer! I have NO real excuse for not going... like oh, I was up all night with the baby, or oh, I have a nine hour office job plus two hour commuting every day, so I'm exhausted. In fact, some of those people still make it to weekday Mass.

2. I am surrounded by a team of holy, Catholic women who make it to daily Mass which makes me compare myself and feel guilty which I choose to accept as an inspiring gift from the Lord to help this weak sinner on the way to holiness.

3. I just moved to the beautiful largely Catholic state of Goa, and daily Mass is a beautiful 10 minute walk (or 2 minute bike ride) away from my new home at 7 am.

 Why, yes, this is where I live now.

4. I just read this scripture:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. 

 Surprisingly this not a random internet picture of a tree, but one that I saw in Mexico

To be this green, fruitful tree, to find peace when I'm prone to anxiety, to respond to the unexpected circumstances and changes and people in my life with grace, to be holy instead of just talking about holiness, to grow in Christian maturity, to go deeper still, further into God's heart... I need to sip of the Living Water, yes, through contemplative prayer, but also through chewing on the Way-Bread. (Yes, two food analogies in one sentence.)

5.  I sometimes am tempted to behave like a lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined slacker... and I need grace, the undeserved shot of Christ-life, to be different.

6. I need to start things, commit to things, even if I'm scared I won't complete them, because not starting the race is the surest way not to complete it, and there is at least a chance of getting somewhere if I start walking. Plus think about all the free doses of humility when I screw up!

7. Every time I force myself out of bed, and actually go meet Jesus in the Eucharist, my heart rejoices, my spirit sings. There is a sweetness in the little yeses.

Lenten challenge: Ask someone to accompany you to daily Mass this Lent. If I can do it, you can do it! If you already go for daily Mass, pray for me!


  1. I'm enjoying the blog! Hope you are doing well!

    Ben from Arkansas

  2. Good to hear from you, Ben!