Day 7 – The End of Week 1, Frayed Nerves, and Active Participation

Monday, March 23, 2020 –

As we close out the first week without public Masses, I find myself thankful for many things. However, I have also instructed Andrew and a couple of close friends to force chocolate down my throat if I start mouthing off at people (any more than I already have) or whittling a bludgeon from the forest out back .

You see, I gave up sweets for Lent. Sweets are my go-to for stress. The world is a bit topsy-turvy and everyone is stressed out of their gourd. Being without my unhealthy, sugary crutch is spiritually beneficial for me, but society might not fare well with me off sugar for much longer. Just saying…

Anyhow, one of the biggest, and frankly oddest, complaints I’ve seen is that without public Mass people feel like they are not “actively participating” in the Mass or their Church, and so they are looking for ways to “participate.”

Unfortunately, this is a poor view of Sacrosanctum Concilium’s “full and active participation by all the people.” (SC, II.14) Father Longenecker has some sound words on this HERE. The validity of Mass is not contingent upon you having a job. Unless, of course, you are the priest saying Mass.

For the rest of us, though, our “job” is to be in the presence of the Lord. We are called to deep devotion and prayer. “The Eucharistic Celebration is the greatest and highest act of prayer…” (Benedict XVI, Homily May 3, 2009) Likewise, in Adoration you don’t need a job. Just be with our Lord.

I’m not saying you can’t do anything. By all means, find healthy ways to get through this, but please don’t think for a moment you **must** be doing something for Mass to count. And maybe try not to step on other people’s toes in your quest for jobs. I mean, we are supposed to be socially distancing and all.

We’re also not called to sit on our thumbs. If you’re slouched on your couch through all this, then you’re certainly not “actively participating.” Get down on your knees and pray. It doesn’t have to be memorized prayers. Start with a “Jesus, I trust in you,” and five quiet minutes. Let your prayer come from deep in your heart. Trust me, it doesn’t have to make sense. The Lord knows what you mean.

Saint Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

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