Thursday, September 12, 2013

Going to Daily Mass: Our Daily Struggle

I was not very happy this evening. We failed to go to daily Mass again. My eldest was eating VERY SLOWLY AGAIN. My younger son was a bit sluggish this afternoon (must be because of his 6-in-1 vaccine yesterday). I was hoping that we could still go even if we will be a bit late. But things didn't happen that way. Dinner was longer than usual.
This has been our daily struggle since we moved to our new house which is just behind a church. I sometimes feel frustrated, a lot of times disappointed, that we are not yet consistent in attending daily Masses. I have been dreaming of this for so long. There are always challenges every day especially when we don't have a maid to help me out with the chores and in watching over the kids. And in case you don't know, I also work from home and write books.
Anyway, on days when we have successfully stepped out of the house to go to Mass, the next challenge that I face is keeping my kids well-behaved while the Mass is going on; so I and the rest of the other church-goers can pray in peace. This could be easier if my kids are already older. But my kids are both below 5 years old. Both of them are so active and curious that it's difficult to keep them focused, sitting down and quiet. My eldest son is also a high intensity child. He loves to go to Mass. He loves to sing with the choir. He likes to read what is projected on screen. And I love that about him. My challenge is guiding him and reminding him to tone down his voice and to sing or read together with the congregation. His voice can be really loud sometimes that I sometimes want to melt where I'm standing when he sings louder than the choir members who are using microphones. I usually heave a sigh of relief when we are able to participate well in the Mass -- meaning, the kids are extra obedient and cooperative and my eldest is not singing too loud.
There are days when I would wonder if I should even bother to bring them with me since making the daily Mass an integral part of our day means that we need to be more organized and disciplined in our household.
I thank God that on days like today, I received inspiration and encouragement to keep on fighting this daily battle. I received my much needed encouragement through the homeschool group I was a part of (ROCKERS). Someone shared this article: 10 Reasons to Attend Daily Mass.
I was particularly struck by this quote from St. Augustine that was included in the article. He said, “All the steps we take to hear Mass are counted by the Holy Angels and that person will be given a high reward by God in this life and in eternity.” 
I felt like crying as soon as I read this quote. It was as if God just whispered in my ear and in my heart, "It's ok, child. I understand your struggles and challenges. I know what's in your heart."
I remember a line I often heard when I was a young Christian. Our elders in our community would constantly remind us that God wants our faithfulness more than our success. Today, God reminded me of that lesson again. I know that God wants to see me and my kids in the church daily attending Holy Mass. But I know also that when we fail to be present there, God knows that I tried.
Sigh. Now, my vision is a blur because my eyes are filled with tears...
You see, I love the Holy Eucharist so much that I've been a daily communicant for many years (sometime in High School until the early weeks of my pregnancy when I was not still on bed rest). I've faced and triumphed over many challenges during those years. It has been around five years now since then. So, you could just imagine my eagerness to go back to this daily habit now that our house is literally a stone's throw from the church.
This article helped strengthen my resolve to continue in my struggle to include the daily Mass in our daily lives. This article affirmed me that bringing my kids with me to the Mass would be good for them and is the direction that He wants us to take for our homeschool. I pray for extra grace to be successful in achieving this goal and in being faithful.
Let me end this post with Psalm 84:1-7 (NIV) and a song by Himig Heswita that I like listening to:
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-- a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. "Selah" 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.   

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