Monday, April 6, 2020

Once This is Over, Let Us Remember to be Thankful

No doubt this has been a strange Lent for us all this year. Most of us have not been able to attend Mass since the Second Sunday of Lent, and with the Social Isolation, receiving the Sacraments is difficult indeed. People want (as Cardinal Dolan noted) the Mass and the Sacraments. Some have been more belligerent about it than others, but. we all want to get back to Mass and the Sacraments.


That’s natural. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it:

1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
While the reasons we cannot participate at this time are valid in the eyes of the Church, that passage states why we want this resolved and back to normal.


However, some of the people agitating the most for making them available as soon as possible were among those who consistently criticized the Mass over the form, the language, the pastor, the choir, the practices, the architecture, and many other things. In essence—prior to the pandemic—some Catholics could see nothing right with the Mass. But now they demand it.


This pandemic will end like every previous one, and I pray that it will end soon and without the great loss of life that happened in the past. But a year from now (in 2021, Easter is on April 4th) when we will presumably be back at Mass, receiving the Sacraments, will we receive them with gratitude and joy? Or will we be back to sniping about the homilies we dislike or the old woman in the choir singing off-key?


We’re all human, so it is easy to forget the inconveniences and sufferings once they are past. A year from now, I might forget the concern and the reluctance to step foot outside, grumbling like the rest. I pray we won’t. I pray we’ll remember what we were separated from this year and be grateful we have the Mass and the Sacraments in the future, and not revert to our old querulous ways.

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