Monday, May 5, 2014


I was listening to EWTN this afternoon and there was a priest on a show (no, don't know which one) talking about having a sense of awe. He asked if the people in the audience (it was in-studio) had been to Ground Zero after 9-11. He recounted an experience he had there - how upon seeing it, people were struck with a sense of "awe"...they didn't speak or, if they did, it was in hushed tones. He also spoke about the awe that comes when a woman gives birth to a child.

Why then, he wondered, is Mass more like a social event? What happened to the sense of "awe"? Why, if we truly believe this is the body and blood of Christ, our Savior, do people seem to take it so lightly?

I don't have any answers. I'm just wondering a lot these days. I know that most people watching me on Sunday probably thought I was feeling anything but awe as I approached the Eucharist with my four mostly-unhappy people. Is the attempt enough? Should we just declare ourselves unworthy in those circumstances? I think, for myself at least, that would probably mean I would meet my Easter duty and not much more.

What is one to do? I do the best I can each time I walk into Mass. Some days are better than others. Then, I supplement. Today, after grocery shopping, I went into a quiet church and spent 20 minutes contemplating the mysteries of the rosary. I try to stop by the tabernacle whenever I can. I trust that God has given me these children and this life and He, more than anyone else, can understand. Do other people understand? Maybe. Do I worry about whether or not they understand? Not so much. I guess I feel like they would ask if they cared. Otherwise, it seems like most people are busy with all sorts of things in their lives.

So, should I not "judge" anyone else? I don't know. I am feeling much less judgmental and more questioning these days. I want to know why people come to Mass wearing blue jeans or running shorts. I wonder why they line up in the back after Communion so (I guess?) they can get out the door as soon as the priest says "the Mass is ended". Sometimes I just want to ask people why. Guess I'll never know since I can't imagine walking up and asking. It seems like it would be rude. Which is funny because I believe, if someone said "hey, why do you bother coming to Mass when your kids are so unruly?" I would talk with them about just that.

Reflecting on the radio show; I do know that our awe does seem to have diminished. Watching the First Communicants and First Penitents with their excited anxiety in these weeks...what a great feeling! How do we get that back?

Sorry if this is disjointed. Having read a few too many "what's your favorite drink?" blogs lately, I figured I'd throw something out that goes a bit deeper than questions we were pondering in our 6th grade slam books. Then again, maybe people aren't looking for deep. Maybe that's what happened to our awe.

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