Disclaimer: this post has absolutely nothing to do with the truth behind a nun’s habit. Nuns were not interviewed with for the purposes of this blog post. I will not be exposing any secret’s of a nun’s life. Moving on…
Remember when I reflected on my habits of daily Mass and praying the Rosary every day? I’d like to say that my motivation for going to Mass every day is pure and holy, but after a recent cold put me in bed for a few days, I realized that maybe my intention isn’t always so pure.
I get really prideful about the fact that I go to Mass every day. Do I think it is awesome? Yes! Do I love Jesus? Yes! Is going to Mass good for my soul and spiritual life? More than I know! But deep down I know that I can get
a little snooty about my daily Mass habit, as if going to Mass makes me better than anyone else. Merely going to Mass to keep up some habit doesn’t make me better than anyone else, and if anything, it makes me worse. If I’m going to just go through the motions and let it be known that I’ve been going to daily Mass for however many months, then I’m doing it wrong. Going to daily Mass isn’t about keeping up a habit, it is about deepening our relationship with God, it is about worshiping Him and giving Him the praise He is due, and at that I realized I’ve been failing miserably.
As I laid in bed, sleeping away some horrid cold (thank you retreat with 700+ middle school students…), I realized that I didn’t die when I didn’t go to daily Mass. In a way, I realized that I don’t need daily Mass. Nothing really horrible happened to me, aside from the cold I already had. It wasn’t as if Satan came and attacked me or people died or some other awful tragedy struck because I had missed daily Mass. The tragedy was in the realization that I’d been doing it all wrong. I didn’t need Mass? I didn’t even really long for it?been failing miserably.
Don’t get me wrong, I missed going to daily Mass, but God knew I needed the sleep, and the painful realization that my heart has been in the wrong place. God uses my desire – even if it isn’t 100% pure and holy – to get me to Mass and speak to my heart. But God doesn’t merely desire our outward actions of daily Mass attendance, He desires for us to desire Him. How that manifests itself will look different for each of us. In some sense I need daily Mass because it gets my lazy behind out of bed and gives me a reason (the best reason) to get up and start my day. However, I want to get to a place where I long, in the depths of my soul, for the Eucharist. I want to get to a place where missing Mass is sad to me because I’m missing out on Him, not merely because my perfect daily Mass attendance record goes up in flames.
The goal, then, can’t be for me, for my own selfish desires of setting a record of daily Mass attendance. The goal has to be for Him, to glorify Him, to chase after His heart with every ounce of my being. The goal is to move beyond a mere habit and into a relationship, one that changes me to someone who is more like Him with every breath I take.