At Least One Weekday Mass
Too many Catholics think they are doing just fine if the whole of their religious observance is making it to Mass on Sunday. And for some of them that means little more than being a warm body taking up space in a building. This is the attitude of a pew potato, not a Catholic. The Church proposes a different attitude. The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy tells us how we should worship: “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation . . . have a right and an obligation by reason of their Baptism (Sacrosanctum Concilium 14).” Bishops and priests are supposed to be leading us, teaching us, and modeling this attitude for us; but whether they do or do not, it’s up to me and to you to put our whole heart into our worship. Participating in the Holy Sacrifice fully, consciously, and actively – worshipping with fervor and focus – can only be accomplished by me, lights on, with my head in the Game, can only be worked by you, personally, with your God-face on.
Once my worship begins to become serious, something from the heart, not just a minimalist, perfunctory showing-up-on-Sunday-cuz-I-hafta, I’m going to begin to yearn to attend Mass more then just that obligatory once a week. If you have never felt this yearning (or perhaps are just, once in a while, beginning to), don’t wait for any particular warm-and-fuzzy. Pick one day of the week, in addition to Sunday, to make your own, and start going to be with Jesus on that day, to worship Him, to talk to Him, to love Him back, to eat His Living Flesh and to drink His Precious Blood. You can only really know the blessings you’ll receive by receiving them. This is one of those good things in life, like your first kiss, that you can only appreciate by experiencing it.
Jesus says that His Flesh is Real Food and His Blood Real Drink, and that if you don’t eat His Flesh and don’t drink His Blood, you have no life in you (John 6:53-55). If that’s so, are you going to be satisfied with receiving Holy Communion once a week? If you’re not hungering and thirsting for Him – sometimes palpably, even painfully – ask Him to give you that hunger and thirst. (And remember, this is not a hunger of the belly; it is a yearning of the heart for Union with your Lover, it’s a longing of the will for intimacy with the One Who loves you madly. Also remember, none of this has anything, necessarily, to do with feelings, emotions. We’re talking here of acts of the will, decisions of the heart, choices you make from the core of you.) Ask Him to help you to choose to be with Him that extra day a week, to attend that weekday Mass as an ongoing commitment, whether in any given week you happen to feel like it or not.
There are fewer people at a Wednesday morning Mass (or a Thursday afternoon, or a Monday evening), and that makes for fewer distractions and easier focus on the celebration. This aid to peace and attentiveness is a small thing, but one of my favorite things about weekday Mass. And, no, it’s not antisocial; you need Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to warm your heart, to free it and make it grow, even glow, so that you can then be a better spouse, parent, neighbor, friend.
There are no nice, decent, or good people in Heaven; to get there, you must be perfect – only saints get through that Gate. And the easiest way to perfection, the shortest shortcut to sanctity, is becoming ever more One with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Common sense (and, oh, if only it were common) then says, Receive Him as often, as worthily, as open-heartedly as you can. Holy Mother Church encourages us to participate in the Holy Sacrifice frequently, to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist often, even daily.
If, unhappily, your busy schedule makes it difficult, even impossible, to assist at Mass on any day other than Sunday, don’t settle for that. None of us is so obligated that we can’t find a couple of minutes in our busy day to drop everything else and make a spiritual communion. How do you make a spiritual communion?
Just go quietly inside your own soul, tell Jesus you love Him and miss receiving Him in the Holy Eucharist, and ask Him to please come to you, then and there, and to unite Himself to you as closely as is possible outside of the Blessed Sacrament. He will respond generously. Thank Him for everything in your life (including your crosses) and promise to cooperate with His Grace to get sin out of your life, to become more and more like Him, and to become more pleasing to the Father, with each passing day.