The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states, “In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life.” (No. 373)
On Monday, I was thinking about what I could do to observe this day.
I’ve always been strongly pro-life. I support Pro Life Wisconsin and have been to vigils and prayer services.
I own a Rosary for the Unborn.
But I don’t think I’ve ever fasted on the day.
The day, of course, is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
Is fasting enough? Is prayer enough?
I think the best answer to that is yes, with faith.
We can move mountains with God.
We can change the world. We can stop abortion.
With fasting, yes. Prayer, yes. Faith, yes.
By teaching our kids, our friends, our family the truth. Have faith that these things work. They do.
God is on our side in this.
In an honest effort to change the bad habit I’ve started this year (I wrote about it yesterday), I set my alarm for a bit early this morning and made it to daily Mass.
And I have a story, that I’ll share another time. But I wanted to put together this list. These are not in order… except the order that I thought of them.
Ten reasons to go to daily Mass
- Knowing the Mass inside and out. It’s soooo easy to follow along during a Sunday Mass. There are so many people around, that if you say the wrong words during Mass no one notices. On a weekday, there are old women and some men. They notice.
- Reflection on the origins of the Mass. I think about this a lot, especially after reading Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper. In a daily Mass, there’s a lot less singing (usually), there’s a lot less extra glamorous stuff. It’s just the cut and dry Mass, the focus always on the Lord. It’s beautiful. It might take a while to get used to, but it’s worth it.
- Quiet time starting your day. Or ending it. It’s hard to get away. Mass makes it easy.
- It’s short. Usually about 30 minutes. A little longer if it’s a school Mass. Worth it to see kids learning the right way to participate in the Mass.
- Making friends and connections. We pray for each other at Mass. And when we see each other, we remember.
- Create personal devotions. I love the Rosary. I love it so much, I have one hanging in nearly every room of my apartment (along with other sacramental items), I have one in my jacket pocket. In the summer, I keep one in my bag and in my car. Every morning before daily Mass, a Rosary is prayed aloud at church. It helps me keep that tradition. Other devotions can be “caught” from others, too. I see people praying the Holy Father’s intentions and other global prayers. Beautiful.
- Get to know your priest. Daily homilies are much more personal, and usually more spontaneous than Sunday homilies. It’s because they are short and there aren’t a lot of people in the “audience.” My priest often shares personal experiences during the week that he doesn’t touch on Sundays.
- Get to know the Bible. You’ll hear the entire thing if you went every day. If you can’t go every day, you’ll at least get more familiar with the geography/places of the Bible and the writing itself. It’s complicated and good to hear it aloud frequently along with reading it privately.
- Be with the Lord. Even if you can’t receive communion, you can still be with him. Christ is present in four ways in the Mass: in the Eucharist, in the priest, in the Word of God and in the assembled people of God.
- Reminder to share the Gospel. I always feel great after leaving Mass. It’s kind of like feeling good after working out (or anything you love). A beautiful thing happens in the Mass, and we get to be a part of it. When we go daily, it serves as a reminder to us that we are a part of that beauty even outside the church doors.
There are probably more reasons. I know there are. But that’s a start.
Advent is about preparing.
Preparing a way for the Lord. In our homes, our hearts, our lives. (I tried really hard for a word that started with an “h” there.)
So my goal this coming Advent (coming so fast!) is to spend some time in prayer for one particular person every day.
Maybe I’ll say a (decade of a) Rosary for them. Maybe I’ll offer them up during the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Maybe I’ll pray while I’m driving.
There are those points in my day that remind me of someone. For instance, anything to do with the GOP, and I think of my friend that works at the headquarters in DC. Anything to do with layout in the newspaper, I think of my best friend and old managing editor.
I think (I hope!) we all do it. We relate people to things in our lives.
So each day this Advent, will be someone else. Someone special (they’re all special). And I don’t even have to know them! Though I’d like to know Steve and Juli and Michelle because they are all really awesome from what I know at least. (That’s what the Internet tells me.)
It’s going to be different every day. It’s going to be fun and refreshing.
And if I forget a day, it’s OK! The point is not to get stressed about it. It’s for prayerful reflection on my friends and people that I know.
I’m sure I’ll prayer for all my family, my friends, my coworkers. But I think those prayers for people we don’t know are important too. They work, too.
Probably a day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
I went to the Communion Service and Benediction this morning.
It was beautiful. And right after the Benediction, when we were praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I was kneeling there in the REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST, I got a large… um, sniff… of the incense.
Oh, Lord. I thank God that I am a Catholic and we use all of our senses in our Worship. Not just sight, not just sound. Smell, feel, taste.
We are humans, and I think I learned this from Scott Hahn (probably), we can worship with all of our senses! Thank God for that! Praise the Lord.
It was one of those moments where I was so glad, so grateful that I had come to the church this morning. So grateful that I am Catholic, that I belong (kind of… I’m not a member yet) to a Parish that practices Adoration weekly.
I can bring my pain, my sorrows, my worries, my troubles, my failings to the feet of Jesus. And he’s there to say, “Child, just take my hand.”
At least, that’s what I imagine Christ saying to me. Take my hand. The way a child takes her mother’s hand when crossing the street. I take Jesus’ hand in life.
Well, I try to.
God Bless. Happy Advent.
As part of my
I read chapter 1 last night.
I had the feeling of familiarity wash over me. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried to read it before.
This time it’s going to work, though.
I also rented (what do you call getting books from the library?) Scott Hahn’s “A Father who Keeps His Promises” and Philip Jenkin’s “The New Anti-Catholicism.”
I plan on spending about 95 percent of my weekend reading and drinking coffee.
The other 5 percent is for taking photos… which I haven’t done in too long.
I hope to use maybe a half of percent on posting here. 😉
Memorial of Saint John de Brébeuf and Saint Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and their companions, martyrs
Our priest told us that thoughts do matter.
In fact, we say, Forgive us, for we have sinned in OUR THOUGHTS and our words…
Our thoughts impact our actions and our words… and especially our reactions. If you’re already thinking something angry or upset, it’s that much easier to share that emotion.
And really, shouldn’t we be sharing our happiness?
We don’t have a feast day or memorial until All Saints Day! I can’t believe that! It should just give me more time to go to Adoration/Benediction and confession:
But the answer to the question “what is wrong with the world?” proved was not external factors like “politics, the economy, secularism, pollution or global warming,” he noted.
“No, as G.K. Chesterton wrote, the answer to the question what is wrong with the world is two words: ‘I am.’”
Cardinal Dolan stated in his remarks to his 250 fellow bishops that paving the way for a personal “conversion of heart and repentance,” which is the “core of the Gospel invitation,” requires a recognition of personal sin.
“This happens in the sacrament of penance. This is the sacrament of the New Evangelization,” he said to warm applause from the assembled Synod Fathers, experts and observers.
Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm
and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Yesterday, I volunteered for my parish’s annual turkey dinner.
It was so great. Honestly.
I was a “waitress,” meaning I grabbed the plates of food from the kitchen and served a couple tables “family style.”
I’m not a social butterfly. At all. I’m pretty shy, actually.
But I bit the bullet. And I smiled and talked to people and brought out more potatoes.
I have an awesome time. So great. People are really nice.
And I tried to be really nice, too. And it worked. 😉
In Mass this morning, I had this peace wash over me.
Yeah, I get that a lot, but this morning, it was just different. That’s so cliche.
OK, let me explain.
I was just relaxed, just calm. Just good. Great.
I felt like I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude.
And while I don’t remember what the homily was about, I remember how I felt. I remember the way my step picked up after Mass.
So great. I hope you get that sometime.
Maybe it’s not in Monday morning Mass for you, and that’s OK. God is with us always.
Amen to that as well.