Skip to main content

Rules? I don't need no stinkin' rules!

I woke up on Sunday feeling quite grumpy;  no particular reason, just grumpy.  And I really didn't want to go to church either.

That's unusual for me.  I realize many people think church is a drag...a "why bother if I don't get anything out of it experience", but I like Mass.  It's the compass for my week - keeps me focused in the right direction.  But Sunday, I was just annoyed.

The hymns were annoying, the people were annoying - well, you get the idea.  I shoulda just stayed home, I thought.

So why didn't I?  What compelled me to go to an event that I didn't want to go to, that I didn't feel like participating in, and really, I "didn't get anything out of"?

I suppose you might say it was Catholic guilt.  It IS, gentle reader, a mortal sin (for my non-Catholic readers, that a biggie) to miss Mass on Sundays.  My mom always told us that the only reason we could miss Mass is if we were to sick to go to our dying mother's bedside, and when you think about it, you're never that sick.  In fact, the very first time I ever missed Mass in my life was when I was 14, had broken my arm severely, and was in the hospital.

So, I wasn't sick and had to go to Mass, was that it?  Otherwise, I'd just be a big ball of Catholic guilt, right?  No, that's not really it.  There is that rule, and I follow it, but there's a reason for the rule.

God enjoined His people with a few simple rules, and one of them was to keep the Sabbath holy.  Set it aside for rest and worship.  Clearly in our society we've lost our sense of both.  And I suppose the Jews weren't much better at it, at various points in their history, either.  And that's why God gave us the rule.

In His wisdom, He knows that we are going to wake up some Sundays just plain grumpy.  He knows that we're going to look around on Sunday afternoons and say,  "I've got to get these errands done.  I know it's Sunday, but...."  He knows that unless He gives us this rule we'd just go ahead and do those things:  avoid worship, work and just generally feed our own desires, ignoring our need to worship and rest.

I can't say that this Sunday's Mass was my best worship experience, but it was a worship experience.  Despite my feelings, I was still in the presence of Almighty God, I still received Christ in the Eucharist and I still heard God's Word.  I would have missed all that had I just stayed home and felt grumpy.  Following the rules doesn't have to be mindless, and it can actually be rewarding.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

So close to Jesus

This past Sunday, at Mass, Dear Husband and I had the great good fortune of having a dad, toddler and infant sit next to us in the front pew.

"Good fortune?" you say. Sounds horrible. Kids are so distracting. Put 'em in the nursery.

Nope. We sit up in the front pew, and always invite parents with young kids to come and sit with us. Having raised 5 hyper kids, we can pretty much ignore anything, plus kids do much better when they can see what's going on.

I have to admit, I wanted the toddler to act up a bit so I could whisper to the dad, "I'll watch the baby if you have to take him out."

Instead, we saw something rather remarkable.

Oh, the toddler (not quite 2) was a toddler. He was a bit anty. He wasn't quite sure that he liked seeing his mommy in front, cantoring, where he couldn't get to her. He whined and fussed a bit.

But during the Consecration, his enormous blue eyes locked onto the priest. That baby boy saw Jesus up there. You could just…

Fading Into Friday

It's been a long week. Monday was just ... bad. I ticked off our IT guy at work by opening up one of those d*%$ emails that as soon as you click on it, you think, "Oops." So I trotted over to his office, and he promptly yelled at me. Like I was a child. Or stupid. Or a stupid child.

This was after I found out that every imaginable driving route from my home to office and back home again is under construction. Can't get there from her. Orange barrels. Must as well sleep in the office.
This, combined with the fact that I am now the ONLY person on the planet who stills checks their blind spot before changing lanes, makes me want to quit my job and go live in a yurt.

Our health insurance company sent us these gloom and doom letters that Dear Hubby and I HAD to go online and fill out a health assessment NOW or OUR INSURANCE WOULD BE CANCELLED!!! They were SERIOUS! So, I went online Wednesday. Their system was down for maintenance.

Tried again yesterday. I swear I could n…