I recently read an article written by a Protestant about modern worship. The author explored all the new ways, through technology and media, to keep the members interested in the worship service. The article was about how to keep the attendees feeling like they had a good God experience, new songs, new music, new films, and such.
Of course, the Catholic Mass is different. It’s not about entertaining and enticing people to come like it’s some sort of party, it’s The Celebration, the meeting of Heaven and Earth where Christ is really present in the Eucharist. It’s the most precious food to edify our lives. It’s not about us; it’s about God and our appreciation.
Catholics know there are differences in the worship services, but I made an important connection in thinking about these differences, an evolution in myself. It’s the objective vs. the subjective thing. Orienting my thinking about the Mass has caused me to re-orient my thinking about everything else in life, my family, my motherhood, my finances, my health, my happiness. Catholicism teaches us to see the world as it is, not as we imagine we’d like it to be. That is monumentally significant.
It means when my husband or children don’t do everything I think they should do to make me happy (come on, you know what I’m talking about), I don’t feel anxiety or pine for things to be different. Instead I feel a certain detachment, an ability to just accept the situation for what it is and to then focus my attention on seeking solutions. I can let go, and let it be, and still be joyful even during turmoil because I know the deepest truth is still true. We are redeemed if we accept it. No one is perfect, we are all on a journey, and if I can help someone become more virtuous, then I’ll grow in virtue too. That is the goal of the Christian life, to progress in virtue towards Heaven where we are united with God.
This ability – nay, this freedom – to see things objectively brings peace and stability to my life. It makes me a better mother and wife, a calmer person. I can be confident in my ability to do whatever needs to be done, to endure and do the right thing, even if it’s really hard or distressingly painful — one day at a time. I’m not a slave to my emotions or fearful of rejection. I’m just right here, right now.