Crazy? Angry? You decide and I couldn’t care less!

Life Without Mass, Our New Frontier

First, this is not a post on whether or not Masses should be cancelled. That debate has been done to death and few are going to change their thoughts and decisions on the matter. This is a post about the here and now. For a good many of us, Mass is not going to happen for an unknown time. What does that mean for people, spiritually and mentally?

I’m not trying to be more of a downer than what we’ve already got going on, but based just on comments I’m seeing, I think there are some who may be totally caught off guard by the reality of life without Mass. People are totally right that there’s no reason to believe that we will automatically have divine protections by attending Mass or receiving the Eucharist, but there’s also no reason to believe that we will be protected from the lack of it either. Like I said, the situation is what it is in your area. We have to contend with that reality whether we agree with it or not.

Unless you have been deprived of Mass for a lengthy period of time, you don’t know the toll it can take. I tell you this from experience, although I think I can look back now on that experience and see that it may have simply been be so I can pass this message along to you. I don’t think anyone here is naive but I do think knowing and living the reality are two very different things.

For some, you chose not to attend at some point in your life for whatever reason you had. If you remember what it was like during that time of your life, you have a pretty good idea that it’s not the best situation. There’s a reason you came to, or came back to, the Catholic Church. Most of us, lifelong faithful or not, can look at a good chunk of the population and get a sliver of an idea that life without Mass is bad. People these days, in too much quantity, are proud, envious, angry, gluttonous, lustful, lazy, and greedy. In addition, they’re depressed, anxiety ridden, hopeless, oppressed, etc.  Until now, we have had the ability to receive the graces of the Sacrament and from being physically present in front of Our Lord’s Body and Blood, yet we still have trouble with those temptations ourselves, and now many of us have lost that. Believing and being denied is a whole knew experience for most. And, no, all of the telecast Masses and Spiritual Communions can’t make up for that loss. Don’t freak out here. I’m not saying those aren’t VERY beneficial. In fact, Spiritual Communions are very important, even more so now, if possible, and yet still not the same. Graces will be received. It’s just not the complete “source and summit of our Christian life.” If it were the same, we’d be allowed to do this fulfill our Sunday obligations. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “source” in the last couple days. We’re going to go without it. That will have a negative effect.

Now, to you who are just now being made aware of the whole Spiritual Communion concept (I’m sure many of you went to the same kinds of “catholic” schools I went where they skipped that chapter of Faith and Practice), this is just a snippet of the differences and why one should often cultivate the desire before practicing the culmination:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/special_features/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_20030417_ecclesia_eucharistia_en.html
The Eucharist thus appears as the culmination of all the sacraments in perfecting our communion with God the Father by identification with his only-begotten Son through the working of the Holy Spirit. With discerning faith a distinguished writer of the Byzantine tradition voiced this truth: in the Eucharist “unlike any other sacrament, the mystery [of communion] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing: here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God and God joins himself to us in the most perfect union”. Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of “spiritual communion”, which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you”

As our Masses were cancelled, I was trying to explain to my husband what it was like being denied Mass and receiving the Eucharist. Words kind of failed me, if you can believe that. I think what I finally said was, “I don’t think people realize how oppressive it can be.” I hadn’t even thought about it in a long while. Really, we’re spoiled. I mean, our world is, well, ick. Can you imagine it when the faithful, who have enough trouble keeping our head above water, are just a little more oppressed? So, what I’m trying to do here is to try to come up with some extra spiritual vitamin boosts during this time of deficiency to get us through however long this is going to take. Hoping readers will also chime in with their added devotions, sacramentals, etc.

So, yeah, to top off my list is Spiritual Communions. Many, many, many of them. Here’s just a short little primer: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/how-to-make-a-spiritual-communion-when-mass-is-banned-because-of-coronavirus  Just an FYI, we should be doing this at every Mass before we receive anyway, but like I said, poor Catholic schooling, at least in these parts.

My Jesus,

I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at

least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly

to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

Again, you can do this all day long. I’d also read more on it. It can be very comforting.

Next, obviously, the Rosary. Don’t really think I need to say more. It’s Catholic 101.

Another one is Holy Water. I cannot tell you what a difference it’s made in times which I can only describe as oppressed. It’s just going to be my word of the day. I sprinkle here and there whenever I think about it, and more when I’m troubled. And if you don’t know what St. Teresa of Avila said about it, here: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/st-teresa-of-avilas-demonic-experience-that-proved-the-power-of-holy-water  Priests, when you leave someone’s house, please, please leave them with a big bottle of Holy Water. We so need this now.

Start thinking of specific people to pray for every day (most do of you do that anyway) and let them know you are doing it. It really gives hope when someone says, “Hey, you just popped into my head today and I prayed for you and your intentions.” In other words, remind people the Body of Christ still exists even though we might not be able to gather physically. Satan is thrilled we cannot gather but we can spiritually.

Remember you have a guardian angel. Ask for him to protect you. Spend this time cultivating a real relationship with him. Let’s face it, we often forget what we can’t see. Also spend time praying to your spouse and children’s angels. They’re all just waiting to be asked!

This list is just meant to be a start and is by no means exhaustive. I know many of you have many more favorites so PLEASE add them in the comment section. Whether we realize it or not we’re going to probably need more ideas in our arsenals. We’re all different and while we’ve got the go to weapons that apply to all of us, some might be extra special to each individual.

Also, if you are struggling physically, mentally, materially or spiritually, feel free to send me a message using contact me, Twitter PM or Facebook and I will do all I can. I always see people apologize for needing help. Don’t! That’s what the Body of Christ is for! We will get through this!

For those of you who still have Mass available! Please remember us!

 

22 thoughts on “Life Without Mass, Our New Frontier”

  1. Just a little encouragement, a reminder of what we already know, of what many of us have had confessors tell us. I’ve received a LOT of consolation the past few days by saying an Ave or two in the Rosary REALLY slowly.

    I use Icons. I stop. Stop. Really let her look at me, and I tell her I love her

    Carry on, brothers and sisters

  2. You can also invite your Parish Priest to your home, along with 8 family and/or friends. Your Priest could offer Mass or at least a communion service. Your Priest could also offer the Sacrament of reconciliation. If you do this please pass a collection plate to offer to Father as a donation. PAX

    1. Unfortunately your suggestion is not permitted by many bishops’ decrees. Our bishop has specifically forbidden Mass being celebrated in private homes by any priest. Instead priests may only celebrate private Masses alone in the Church or rectory.

      1. Correct Orthocat….there are even diocese where the priest is not even allowed to come to impart the sacrament of the sick. This is so very WRONG. If they are that afraid, they need to provide these guys with hazmat suits.

        The Rosary is a necessity at this point, but I would also suggest praying the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. It has given me great comfort….Let’s also ask St. Joseph to help us, he is wonderful.

      2. I’m hearing of a number of people I know trying to be too cute and “showing up” at a private mass. This is unwise from a health standpoint, as well from an obedience standpoint. It also generates division and scandal among the faithful. Willfully disobeying the decree of one’s bishop is a confessible sin, and a downright protestant act.

  3. very well said. i pray rosary every morning and the list of people i pray for takes more time than two or maybe even three decades.

    i was glad to find a nearby church with a big dispenser of holy water that had been recently resupplied. i brought home about 2/3 pint. also ordered a talavera tile font so i’ll remember to use the holy water.

    btw if you can get into a church, stations of the cross are a great option. i kind of ad libbed them on saturday, but next time i’ll pull up a good set on the phone ahead of time

  4. We went to church at the regular Mass time and prayed the Mass using Magnificat. Several people in church were crying including me. We still have adoration and I’m leaving in a minute for my hour. I will be reading Daniel about the abomination of desolation. I think this is all connected to the idol worship of Pachamama. The first case in China was identified 44 days after the Vatican garden fiasco, 42 days after Sister Agnes of Akita had the message from her angel. “Forty more days and Nineveh will be destroyed.” We have been warned and warned by Our Lady. Maybe it’s time to listen — to pray and do “penance, penance, penance.”

    1. Yes Mary Ann, I am convinced that this is at least in large part a chastisement for the Pachamama idol worship. God will not be mocked.

  5. It is amazing it all kicked off in America the night of President Trump’s address to the nation, Ash Wednesday. What timing. There don’t seem to be coincidences anymore, but outright connections. Our Lent this year is sacrifice and penance, whether or not we want it, as well as for everyone. This is rough, we know what we have before us is life-threatening, but Christians have a reason for their hope, Jesus Christ, and He is very near us at times like this.
    I really encourage anyone stressed about this to avoid reading all the updates and news. Trust someone you know to tell you the latest, what you need to know, but watch happy programs and movies, and what calms you. Read uplifting material, pray, but prayer in times of stress can turn sour, and end up being a stress-filled litany of requests. God knows what we need and what we want, we don’t have to list everything. It can get nerve-wracking and prayer shouldn’t be that.
    Right now is when we can be a good example to others of why it matters at all to be a Christian. We should have a better perspective than non-Christians or non-believers. These times are scary, even for believers they are, but we should try not to panic or freak out. I keep thinking of St. Michael on the bridge in Rome, sheathing his bloody sword during a pandemic, indicating the plague was over. With prayer and confidence, it could end tomorrow, and what astonishment that would bring in the world of medicine and experts!
    Lord, please be with us in our time of need, amen.

  6. I have bookmarked this page to return to during our cancellations. Our last diocesan mass was this afternoon as 12:10, which my husband and I attended. I liked the above comment of using the Magnificat magazine while in church to pray your own mass. I think I will do that with my 1962 missal.

  7. Debra Brunsberg

    Mass is still available where I am, but I have the feeling it is going to be short lived. I already pray the LOTH’s and the Rosary every day, plus pray with the Magnifcat, the Bible and other spiritual reading. . I have been making my consecration to St. Joseph and using the Memento Mori for my Lenten meditations. I am part of the Seven Sisters Apostolate for two priests so I have two Holy Hours a week. I go to Mass five days a week because I NEED to. My life is totally centered around the holy sacrifice of the Mass. I have no idea what I will do if they shut down the Mass. I will be asking my pastor if he will let me come in and receive the Eucharist from him, even if no Mass. I am praying constantly that my Archbishop will not follow the world, but will continue to allow us to receive the Lord at Mass. If not, I guess I will be spending a lot of time in Adoration, just to keep me sane.

  8. The Church in Poland has Not cancelled any Masses – they have actually increased them. God bless Poland +

  9. Canadian fan, here, OMM. Our last mass was on Sunday and, wowzer, do I feel the loss already! I am used to the luxury of also being able to attend an 0730 TLM (FSSP) on weekdays on my way to work! Not any more. The sharpness of my sense of loss actually surprises me. As it is Lent I can at least offer up this startling sense of anxiety for various intentions. In the meantime, the routine doesn’t change: Early morning meditation and prayer (before the family wakes up) using the CFB’s amazing ‘My Meditation On The Gospel’, Angelus at Noon and 1800, 5 decades of the rosary at various points during the day, examen, prayer and spiritual reading before turning in. The archdiocese has least allowed some churches to remain open for private prayer and I’ve enquired with our FSSP Fr. regarding private mass and/or Confession. There’s also FSSP Livestream.

  10. Or it could happen that people will come to the conclusion that they don’t need Mass, as about 80% of Catholic Millennials had already concluded on their own before this crises forced everyone not to attend Mass. After the pandemic clears through human ingenuity and effort, not miraculous divine assistance, and when Masses resume, I think the Church will have even less attendance than was the case before because people will have experienced that the absence of Mass wasn’t a loss of anything meaningful in their lives. The Church is showing itself to be terribly impotent in this crisis. Think about it: a grave threat to humanity and the Church has no power to assist in any way, and in fact has withdrawn from doing what it teaches is the source and summit of the Christian life. This crisis and the Church’s lame response to it are making Catholicism seem more and more like a luxury fantasy religious social club for people who don’t have severe suffering or hardship. Now that severe calamity has stricken, what does the Church offer? Nothing but retreat from its main activity and pious platitudes (“God will get us through this.”) on websites from the Church’s bishops. Forgive me, but I think that’s how many intelligent people are looking at things now and will assess things when the crisis has passed.

    1. Larry Northon

      “After the pandemic clears through human ingenuity and effort, not miraculous divine assistance…” Why do you say that? Or do you count yourself among those who conclude that the church is worthless? Are you among those who will be leaving? Or have you already left?

  11. Hi Sandy: “the Church’s lame response….making Catholicism (a)…luxury fantasy religious social club for people who don’t have severe suffering or hardship”. Wow! That’s one hell of a series of blunt assessments and something my (non practicing) son and daughters would say. They’re also, sadly, accurate assessments of what The Faith has become thanks in part to the weak kneed, milq-toastian catechesis of modern Catholicism. It reminds me of Peachy Keenan’s recent upper-cut of a comment in ‘American Mind’ on Bishop Baron’s ‘5 Point Plan’ for enticing young people to come to church and “rest their weary foreheads upon the pillowy manboobed bosom of the Church”. It’s well worth a read. https://americanmind.org/post/its-the-child-abuse-stupid/

    Covid-19 will be the litmus for many of us once the particulates and dust of this epidemic subsides.

  12. Get to a ‘Catholic Church’ – a real ‘Catholic Church’ – they don’t stop mass for a bad flu.
    Imagine the risks… you go buy food, packed by somebody in the factory and onto the shelves, through the till into your dirty trolley and via the avenues, elevators, parking meters and aisles.

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