The world seems extra crazy these days, doesn’t it?
We’re right in the middle of the most volatile presidential election in U.S. history. Here in Canada, it wasn’t too long ago when the Supreme Court said certain indecent acts with animals were okay. You have abortion on demand, wars, a tyrannical crusade against marriage and the family, and Catholic values under constant assault.
The world really does seem like it’s going to hell, so I won’t blame anyone for feeling overwhelmed. That’s exactly what the devil wants you to feel, which is exactly the reason why we have to turn things around.
GO TO MASS
I know what it’s like: you just want to turn off your mind sometimes. It’s easy to throw on the game or kill a few hours online. Those things aren’t necessarily evil or wrong, but they’re just distractions. The video games, the movies, the sports, the busy work, they won’t bring peace to your mind or soul – only Christ can give you that. So, don’t worry about Hillary or Donald, or even ISIS – just go to Mass.
THE GREAT SACRIFICE ON THE ALTAR
Our lives, as Catholic men, are about a journey to God. And as Catholic men, we should also understand this great pilgrimage (the loftiest of goals that anyone can have) takes a direct path through Jesus Christ our Lord.
How do we know this? Well, Jesus Himself told us: “No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him, and I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn 6:44). So if we want to spend eternity in love and happiness with God, the surest way is through His only begotten Son.
REVERENCE FOR THE MASS
Going to Mass is where we start. Getting the most out of it, however, isn’t just about showing up and staying until the last hymn is finished. That’s not going to cut it. We need to restore in ourselves, in our culture, a deep reverence for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That’s going to involve some time devoted to prayer and study on your part. One Saint you might want to read into for more on this is St. John Vianney. I came across this quote by him a few weeks ago when I was heading into a favourite parish of mine one Sunday morning:
All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.
I had never thought about the Mass in specifically that way before and the quote stuck with me. “The Mass is the work of God.” That should give us pause for reflection before entering any Church. What we’re about to take part is the work of God. We need to take this seriously. How should we conduct ourselves if we are in the presence of God’s work?
Christ is truly present on the altar, working through His priest, turning the gifts of bread, wine, and water into His most precious Body and Blood. Heaven touches earth! During the Consecration, we are all truly present at Calvary. This is not the time for us to check our phones or tune out. This is our time to be in awe and wonder. If we’re properly disposed to receive Holy Communion, this is a blessed time for us to have the most intimate and personal encounter we can possibly have (on this side of Heaven) with the King of the Universe.
The great thing is, if you can swing it, this opportunity to be in Christ’s physical presence, to journey closer to God, is afforded to us every day. It’s very likely that your local parish celebrates Mass on a daily basis, so why not be there if you can?
Sometimes, our lives are busy and there’s just so much going on – I get it. So if making it to Mass more than once a week is too much, try praying to God, asking for the grace to inspire in you a deeper reverence for the Mass. Ask and ye shall receive, right? If you want to learn more right now, check out this video, and this one, and this one.
Ultimately, this isn’t just about making you happy and calm in a crazy world. This is about restoring and strengthening our relationship with God. When we get that part of our lives right, all the wars, all the bad news, and all the garbage that brings us down – all that stuff won’t keep you up at night. So go to Mass. Go to Confession. Pray. Read Sacred Scripture and other books about holiness. If we want to spend eternity in complete love, happiness, and joy with God the Father, it’s worth our own sacrifice of time. But remember: The Mass is God’s work, so start there.
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