I am blessed—and I wish I'd realize this more—to be able to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a daily basis...have been since the mid-1980's.
This privilege is something I've taken for granted, as easily as a child takes for granted that she'll be fed by her parents.
And, like that same child? I've been complaining. Not that the food isn't good. No, never that. Receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ daily? It just doesn't get any better.
Still, I do complain.
Mostly about the priest celebrants. You know these guys...they gave up their lives in order to serve Christ and His people. I pray for them every day.
Yet still, I complain.
Publicly! Mostly about what I consider the "ad libbing" on the part of the priests. Oh, sheesh, a parenthetical comment is creeping up on me here...
(Okay I can't resist...from today's Mass I give you: "...with you and the Holy Spirit, live and LOVE forever and ever. Amen." Father? There's nothing wrong with the word "reign")
I'm sorry. Actually this, or rather the snitty irritation it aroused it me — forget that, the truth is I allowed the snitty irritation in myself — got me thinking.
"Kelly? You thought???"
Okay, enough of that. Yes, I did indeed think!
Mostly, I thought of the people who don't have the incredibly blessed luxury of being able to participate in the daily celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I recalled being jarred by a Facebook post from my friend Colleen Hammond, for example, who wrote: "Oh, how I wish I could go to Mass every day!" And I recalled how, years ago now, by friend Lisa Graas, being disabled, was often unable to attend Mass on Sundays, never mind weekdays.
And my mind became unbearably filled with thoughts of folks—Catholic, Jesus-in-the-Eucharist adoring folks—who have been barred by any sorts of things: government, illness, lack of priests, whatever—from celebrating the incredible Sacrifice of Calvary offered bloodlessly but no less live and in Person...that Sacrifice that redeemed us, set us free, and is repeated endlessly, every day, world without end.
And I was, and remain, truly humbled.
I—there's that word again, "I"—need to remember that, through no merit of my own, God has given me the opportunity to, every day, embrace Him in what's the most precious gift in the world: The Mass. And, not incidentally, pray that everyone, the world over, be given the same opportunity.
No doubt, God willing, I'll still point out irregularities some priests insist on practicing when they, too, have been given a gift without compare.
But, please God, with every wince I experience, during the Mass, remind me to pray for those who haven't even the luxury of wincing.
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