The 2nd Sunday in Advent (12/9)
"Prepare Ye the way of The Lord" add background music from Godspell and this verse will be firmly implanted in your head all week long, which isn’t a bad thing!
Personally, I struggle preparing the way for the Lord. I strongly believe in my faith, say Grace with my family before meals, but struggle getting to mass on a weekly basis. Technically, I would not be a “practicing Catholic” if I am not consistently practicing my faith (I know that’s a controversial statement) If you are like me, you have convincing, convenient excuses to justiry why you don’t make it to mass. Still haven’t found the right church, lots to do, or for me, it’s a little hard with a 13 month old and another on the way, but none of those are really the reason.
"Thank you God for the many blessings you have given to me and my family”, is so easy to say and sincerely believe because we are blessed. I truly want to thank God for what he has done for me and the blessing of my family. So why don’t I make it a point to attend Mass weekly? I don’t know, but I do know, I am not alone in this struggle.
Anyone, who hasn't been cryogenically frozen for the past 15 years, knows this isn't a one sided issue. The Catholic Church has done much to scare away its flock. There have been horrific actions from people in places of honor and questionable statements from people in power. However, I always equate this to politics. There is the Catholic Government or people and then there is the Catholic faith or our beliefs. If you are a strong Democrat, you probably didn't like George W. Bush, if you are a Republican, you probably don't like Obama, regardless of your affiliation, I hope you are appalled at the current ineffectiveness of our Congress. Regardless, I bet at no time did any of you stop calling yourselves an American nor stop honoring our flag at the appropriate times. At no point did you allow the actions of humans to affect your loyalty to your country. Then why do we allow the actions of humans to massively affect our loyalty to our faith? We are imperfect, some “holy” people seem to be plain evil, but it doesn’t mean the Catholic Faith is evil. I am a proud American and I am a proud Catholic.
Unfortunately, there are other common arguments on why not to attend Mass. Catholic services are boring and not fulfilling. Making a child sit through one is the equivalent of an extended "time-out." However, I lived through 16 years of Catholic school and always went to Mass on Sundays, with few exceptions, and am actually proud of who I am today. The church was one of the most significant mentors in my development. How do I expect my children, to have my values, if I keep them from one of my greatest teachers?
My theological friends will have much to say about this post because I am not addressing the quintessential reason you go to Mass each week, the Eucharist, the consecration of the bread and wine. However, I think for many people struggling like myself, there are steps to recovery. For me, step one is to simply go back to church. I encourage each of you, challenge yourself, go back to Church, make the time, make a commitment. And if you are single and looking for someone special, in the memorable words of Eddie Murphy in Coming to America - "If you want to find a good girl, you gotta go to Church!" Merry Christmas my friends!
Kevin Martin, 2002 - 2003, Chulucanas & The Bronx