Monday, March 18, 2013

Apparently God hates sleeping-in almost as much as my toddler does

     So, I have been looking through the Bible and Catechism for passages that let me get out of attending Mass.  Funny thing: those are not exactly easy to come by.  It seems that, for Catholics, Mass is a pretty big deal.  You have to go to Mass.  You HAVE to go to Mass.  You have to go.  You have to go.  YOU HAVE TO GO.
     That is pretty much all I am able to come up with doctrine-wise.

     And that is really too bad because I really just hate Mass.  God, it is like nails on a chalk board for me.  I just sit there and feel anxious, and guilty, and like I want to run away as fast as I can.  Okay, well those were my pre-Amani days.  Now I pretty much just hold Amani while she screams and tries to climb up on the altar.  Still, not very spiritually fulfilling.

     I do understand the purpose of Mass.  I know that Communion is supposed to be the greatest sacrament in the Catholic Church.  I know that as Catholics, we only believe that we can experience the full revelation of Christ by coming together.  I learned about the paschal mystery as a child, and have told my students about it as a teacher. Honoring the Paschal Mystery; reaffirming our covenant with God; coming together as a group and reflecting on the mission; spending an hour each week reflecting on your own journey as a follower of Christ: all good, and important and...awesome-

     But God Almighty, Mass is dull.

     And I know there are those out there that say Mass is not supposed to be fun: that mass is my demonstration of my dedication to God, and it is the least I can do to remember Jesus' sacrifice.  And I have really only one thing to say to those people: Oh my God, please don't make me go.
     I am not alone in this whole hating Mass thing.  Seventy percent of Catholics don't go to Church regularly.  Doesn't that just seem like something is wrong there?  If seventy percent of your membership does not attend your meetings, shouldn't something be done to engage membership more?   Now, I am fully accept that people are lazy, and are probably not trying hard enough to find the benefits of regular mass attendance.  But should it really be THAT hard?  I mean, it is not like people are against quiet reflection!  Yoga is HUGE in this country, and you have to pay a TON of money for that!  If seventy percent of people who claim to be Catholic- WANT to be Catholic- do not attend Mass regularly, it seems to me that maybe something needs to change in the service.
     I know, I know.  The Catholic Church is not very likely to alter the Mass in any way that changes the fundamental form that has been around for 2,000 years.  There is all kinds of symbolism and meaning in each word and phrase of the Mass that has been perfected over time; it is not going to change just because most people find it dull.  It's a shame though, because I want to be a part of a Catholic community, but I really do not see this Mass thing getting easier.
Plus, you know, if you don't go to Mass you guilty of a mortal sin and are going to hell.  So that's a downer.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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