August 1st: Her wish, his command.
July 31, 2020
August 2nd: Food for all
August 2, 2020

At church for Mass means being ‘home’ again

The Editor: Like most people, I had not been to Mass in more than three months when I recently had the opportunity to book a space to attend, now that the COVID-19 restrictions were beginning to relax a little.

At first, I was really not interested. I felt that I would wait until things got safer and there was less hassle. I certainly did not want to be lining up or having to sanitise prior to entering the building, and who knows what health risks I may be exposing myself to, given that so many people still do not appear to be taking the ‘Safety Protocols’ seriously.

Then I heard a little voice inside my head saying “Why not? You know that you want to experience more fully, the joy of the Eucharist. You know that watching the Mass on TV is not quite the same.”

I therefore made the decision to attend one weekend. What an experience! From early in the morning I was feeling emotions that I had not felt since my wedding day: anticipation; exhilaration; anxiety.

What would I wear? Who would I see? Would I remember all the ‘protocols’ myself? I was scared and anxious while being happy and excited.

I had set an alarm to ensure that I would not get distracted and allow the time to run away from me, but the truth is that I did not need an alarm. I kept looking at the clock constantly just waiting for the time so that I could stop whatever it was I was doing, get ready and be there early.

I wanted to be sure that I could do all that was necessary and get inside and settled, and then spend a few precious minutes in prayer before the Mass started.

Once I arrived, washed my hands, purchased the Catholic News, found my seat, and looked around, I truly felt that I was ‘home’ again. This was where I was supposed to be. This was what I was supposed to be doing. I was going to meet Him again and my heart could speak directly to Him. It was a great decision.

Of course, I knew that I could always speak to Jesus and that He always hears my prayer. Of course, I knew that the Holy Spirit is always with us, guiding us, comforting, and consoling us, but there was/is something really special about being in the church with the real presence of Jesus.

Celebrating Mass as I did, was as though it was the first time for me, and I really felt so happy to be able to receive the Eucharist again. As soon as I had the opportunity to do so, I made my next ‘booking’ to attend Mass.

I can hardly wait to receive Him again and to feel His presence in me. I hope to never take the opportunity to attend Mass for granted. I shall cherish every chance that I have, even to just sit in His presence and bask in His love.

—Simon Pantin