We need never fear that the Mass hinders us in the fulfillment of our temporal affairs; it is altogether the other way around. We may be sure that all will go better and that even our business will succeed better than if we have the misfortune not to assist at Mass.
– St. John Vianney
Do we have time to go to mass today? There are a few good memories I will hold from my time between the Episcopal Church and the Catholic Church. For those who do not know the process, one does not leave Episcopal Church ministry one day and pick up Catholic ministry the next, there are at least two years of discernment and study that go on in the interim. During that interim, each candidate for orders must find employment, as mortgages and car payments do not wait for a few years…in fact they really want payment each month!
One memory I will enjoy from that interim period is the fact that Stephanie and I worked in the same office, trying to make my small business get off the ground. We would often look up at 11:30am, and ask if we should go to mass at St Patricks. Our stock answer was “well of course”! In what was a very hectic and financially uncertain times, daily mass was the only anchor we had, and it was a very real blessing for us.
After almost a year, I found myself in roofing, which is a long story that I won’t recount here. Stephanie found herself dealing with aging parents, both hers and mine. I had a boss that seemed to time his calls to 11:30am each morning, and Stephanie found herself working her own meals on wheels for lunches for our parents. We were extremely busy! Guess what immediately became rare…our going to mass at noon.
We found a routine where I would go daily to St Patricks 7am mass, and then maybe catch a noon mass with Stephanie once a week. In all this rush and business, it can come to mind, “should we be spending this much time in church”? All I could remember is that when I was blowing up my life, (best phrase I could think of for quitting a 20 yr career at age 53) the daily mass was my only place for strength and serenity. As work got more and more hectic, again it was mass that brought me solace. I honestly am not certain if I could have gotten through the interim without it.
So when I saw St John Vianney’s words this morning, I thought back to those uncertain days; and I thought to the strength I gained from the mass. Never let the devil tell you that you don’t have time for mass; in all honesty you don’t have the luxury of missing daily mass. If you are like me, life can get scary at times, and we need the comfort of the sacraments.
Come to mass daily. But don’t expect to get a reward such as new business, or untold riches. Expect comfort and wisdom. Comfort in a hectic world and wisdom in knowing how to navigate it.