In our leisureless world of hectic schedules and buzzing smartphones, time is one of our most valuable commodities. Most of us would like to think we manage it well — but too often we sink into an abyss of Facebook posts and Buzzfeed articles.
So why add another activity when we have so many demands on our time?
“You can’t white-knuckle your way through these virtues. Grace needs to be driving them. And yes, God rewards these souls with deep inner peace.”
Fewer than 1 percent of Catholics attend daily Mass, according to Dynamic Catholic, a nonprofit institute in Kentucky. Those who do attend are often greeted with raised eyebrows by friends and coworkers. I started attending when I was in college at the University of Dallas, where I first encountered peers who greeted the sacrament with enthusiasm. Attending daily Mass really became a turning point in my faith.
Throughout my different phases of life, I’ve tried to continue the habit of daily Mass that I began in college. The key word, though, is habit. Like working a muscle, going to daily Mass takes some effort.
The Mass is most importantly a great act of love. Each one of us, as the Baltimore Catechism tells us, are individually called to know, love, and serve God. There are many ways to do this, but by going to Mass, we actively participate in the greatest act of love — Christ’s death on the Cross and resurrection.
The Mass isn’t just a ceremony: It’s a way to take part in His sacrifice.
Fr. Michael Sliney, a Catholic priest in the New York City area, speaks to the inner peace that daily Mass can give to an individual’s happiness: “Do you struggle with patience, pride, purity, vanity, laziness? You can’t white-knuckle your way through these virtues. Grace needs to be driving them. And yes, God rewards these souls with deep inner peace.”
Attending daily Mass provides an inner peace that people can see.
“Several years ago I had a board meeting for all of my youth programs with about 20 moms in attendance,” explained Fr. Sliney. “After the meeting, one of the ladies came up and and asked about a particular lady in this meeting. ‘Fr. Michael, she radiated so much peace, so much inner joy, there almost seemed to be a little halo of light emanating from her face. Who is this woman?’ That woman was the only one in the group who attended daily Mass. In the words of St. Augustine, ‘In the Eucharist, Christ makes us Christ.'”
Holiness is the type of thing that people can see in someone else, even if they don’t know what it is.
The Catechism says, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’ … For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
Like every relationship, our relationship with Christ requires daily effort. If we are committed to growing closer to Him (to personally encounter Him, as our Protestant brothers and sisters say), we have to devote time, just as we do with our friends and family, significant others, and spouses.
Daily Mass is a special time to set aside for an intimate encounter with God. What better way to deepen our relationship with Him than to receive Him, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?
The effect Mass has on my day, and perhaps on yours, is like striking the right notes on an instrument, and letting them resonate. The nature of my day changes as those “notes” — perhaps the grace I receive — are sustained.
We’re not just called to attend Mass; we’re called to live it. At Mass, when we go in with the right disposition, we can work to empty ourselves of our “self” and make room for the One whose likeness we bear.