I love the Mass. And I am so blessed to have it as a lifelong practice. The simplicity. The tradition. The sacrifice. The intimacy. Yes, sometimes I get distracted or drowsy, especially if I go on Saturday evening. And, sure, sometimes sleeping in is really, really tempting, or it's difficult to track down Mass times while on the road, but I still go. I know that when it is hardest, when I am really dragging my feet, that's when I need it the most. Besides the fact that I have to go (you know, that whole mortal sin thing), I want to go. It's not just an obligation anymore. Thanks to the wisdom of the Church, that's where it begins. But it leads us to so much more. It's about building our relationship with God. Talking with him. Praising him. Surrendering to him. Giving him all of ourselves. Every Mass is an opportunity to grow closer to him. Especially during Advent.
In these weeks leading up to Christmas, it gets busier and busier, more stressful and more stressful. Attending Mass takes us away from the holiday rush and refocuses us on Christ. As Lorene Hanley Duquin says in her tips for a stress-free Advent:
At your parish church you won't see glittery decorations and you won't hear jolly jingles about snowmen and sleigh bells. Instead, you will see a wreath with one pink candle and three blue or purple candles. You will hear words like waiting, watching and yearning, and you will listen to plaintive music that expresses a deep longing for the coming of the Lord.Jesus asks each Sunday and holy day of obligation as he asked St. Peter, can you not watch with me for one hour? What is your answer?
Don't forget! Tomorrow (Saturday) is a holy day of obligation: the Immaculate Conception. And it's not a twofer – make sure you come back for Sunday Mass.
To read more tips about celebrating a stress-free Advent, download the PDF.