It’s a typical Sunday scorching hot afternoon today. Since I currently live in Middle East, Sunday is ordinary day since the primary religion here is Muslim. The fact that Sunday is ordinary day; meaning is – no available time to visit Mass on a regular Sunday celebration.
I’ll take this as one of my bravest day to tell in my life history. To tell it direct-to-the-point, I seldom attend mass celebration here in Doha. Sad to say, I have lots of excuses to say but for the many this is unacceptable.
I grew up with a family that requires hearing mass every Sunday or an obligatory day such as feast day or Christmas. Name it all.
I remember when I was a four or five years old maybe, when I don’t understand why do I have to attend to the church. My motivation was the lunch out family treat at McDonalds or Jollibee after hearing mass. It is indeed a struggle for me that time. Just like an ordinary kid who’s lazy to follow the routine of standing-siting-kneeling and all. I usually got some kurot and panlilisik ng mata from my Mum if I don’t obey the mass protocols. (such as standing and kneeling) Disclaimer: Panlilisik ng mata is like “makuha ka sa tingin lenny” Hehe It’s like a winning moment for me when I got to take the hand of our Priest to ask his hand for blessing. It’s a go signal to me meaning… tapos na, San tayo kakain my? Ganern.
So when I grew up a little older. I began to understand the importance of mass. I was in high school when it got sooo important to me. I went to a Catholic School and they required all students to attend mass and it was part of grading system too! Since I claim to be an achiever, I wanted to maintain high grades, attending mass was important to me, because of yeah! ~high grades. (wink)
It happens to me slowly and little by little to appreciate the art of praying. Growing up in a Catholic School means you have to take all necessary hourly prayer (please correct me if I’m wrong);
Rosary every morning or sometimes we do it by partition, 1st mystery on the morning then 2nd on the following subject and so forth and so forth,
Prayer before the start and end of every subject,
Novena mass every Wednesday,
First Friday Mass,
What else did I miss?
A lot more I guess.
It’s also part of the requirement to have with you a rosary and novena booklet every time. Consequences arrived if you fail to bring it with you. (Of course our teachers or nuns randomly check our stuffs)
So it was basically reinforced to my mind that praying is substantial and must be part of my life.
I became part of Youth Ministry, I was an altar server, I became part of the choir (somehow), I became catechist. Church became my house, my home. Priests and kumbento people became my family. Sunday became special day to me. Summer vacation became extra adventurous because of the summer catechism. All because I enjoyed and appreciated above all and little did I know I started to know the deepest meaning of attending mass and being closer to Him.
Taking it on the 3rd commandment of God, not just a requirement to attend but to follow Christ Himself to worship our Father, Lord God.
Forgive me Lord; forgive me people, specially my Mum who instill the value of hearing mass. It’s been a while since the last time I visited church and I am so guilty about it.
Canon 1248 tells that it is a grave and serious offense to willfully skip Mass on Sunday or Holy day of Obligation.
Yes I work on a Sunday basis; yes I have off on Fridays.
Yes they do have Friday Church. No, I don’t attend.
It an hour away, it’s in the middle of dessert.
It’s far. Away from the city. And that’s one of my excuse. And this is unacceptable.
Please spare me your understanding on why I can’t attend mass on a regular Sunday basis or Weekend. I don’t fail to communicate with God, I pray night and day.
I am not rationalizing what I failed to do.
This is to remind myself that I am still faithful and haven’t forgotten all the teachings that was instilled to me.
This is to encourage myself, and to build the guilt on me to at least hear mass even once a month.
This is to reflect all the Fridays that I have spent not attending the church.