Week of January 9, 2022

Week of January 9, 2022


Dear Parishioners,

As Catholics, we are all required to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. We are required to do this because we owe God worship, to renew our relationship with God and because we need the grace of God to live holy lives. Sometimes the Church makes allowances to relieve people of this obligation like if someone were sick, if coming to Mass would put someone in danger or if Mass were unavailable. But, the Church cannot completely remove the obligation because it is a matter of divine law (and that means it cannot change). One reason people often give for missing Mass is that they are “bored” at Mass. This complaint is often repeated so much that I would like to address it in this article.

First, Mass is not meant to entertain you. That is hard to accept in a world where literally everything is trying to grab our attention to either sell us something or to stir a reaction. This makes us used to be acted on, not acting. At the Mass, you are not an audience member listening to what’s happening. You are a participant and God is calling you to know Him and love Him. If you’re not doing what you can to hear Him, then of course you will get nothing out of it. Imagine expecting to have a good conversation with someone when you want them to do all the talking.

This leads me to my second point: you only get out of Mass what you put into it. Are you making sure that you are in a state of grace by going to regular confession? Are you showing up early to Mass to pray beforehand and staying after Mass to make a thanksgiving prayer? Are you reading the readings ahead of time? Are you trying to sing the hymns at Mass and say the responses? Are you asking the Holy Spirit to guide your mind and help you remain focused? Are you learning about the faith outside of Mass? (And there’s numerous opportunities to do this. Feel free to ask if you want some options.) And are you praying outside of Mass?

Third, boredom is a subjective state that derives from a lack of love. People are naturally engaged when someone they love is doing something. For instance, a play might be a boring play unless you have a child who is a cast member in it. So, in order to overcome boredom at Mass, we need to learn to love God more and see that He really is present in the blessed sacrament. The fault is not in the Mass itself but in ourselves. Once we realize that, then we know that it is only the Mass that can fix us.

God bless!

Fr. Carter