Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.
One of the best things my family has taught me is the importance of going to Mass. Ever since before I could remember, my parents took my siblings and me to Mass every single weekend. The few times other obligations came up on Saturday evenings, we’d go to Mass on Sunday morning. Seeing my parents make such an effort to get us all to Mass each week branded their lesson onto the core of my being: every weekend, go to Mass.
Until recently, their lesson had worked so well that I had only missed Mass three times. The first time, I had broken my arm only a couple days earlier and was still shaken up from surgery. The second time, I was on a Boy Scout outing and had no way to get to Mass. The third time, I had just moved into my dorm at Ohio State, and I had no idea where any local Catholic churches were yet. Each of these times I missed Mass, I felt ashamed, but I usually got over my guilt somehow or another. I thought it was a big deal to miss Mass, but not necessarily something to stress over.
A couple weeks ago, though, I missed Mass because of another Boy Scout trip. We were in the Lake Placid area, and on a tight schedule, so I really didn’t have time to get to Mass at all. But this time was very different from the first three. I felt pretty miserable most of our first night in camp, and every so often I found myself thinking that going to Mass would have helped me immensely. It would’ve brought joy to my heart and convinced me that feeling stressed about travel and mistakes was silly compared to the glory of God.
I think that a lot of times we forget just how wonderful Mass is. I know I kind of did until I missed Mass that Sunday a few weeks ago. A lot of people I know hardly go to Mass at all. As Catholics, we should cherish our ability to go to Mass. After all, how many places are there in this world where you can receive the body and blood of Christ? I pray that all of us might always see the beauty of the Mass and never take it for granted.
Photo: CNS/Paul Haring