This time of the year, or this time of the Catholic calendar, is when I miss California, or even Texas to a point, the very most. I can’t even to begin to tell you how deprived we are of the spirituality and holiness that we had in the churches and priests we were so blessed to be apart of and know there. I can’t say we are deprived completely because we are so blessed to even have priests, mass, and confession (even if it is for 30-60 minutes, ONCE A WEEK!), so I look at it like food. Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant, I don’t know. But, what we have here is what I’d like to call the Fast Food version of Catholicism. We get our “food” but it is really lacking the kind of nutrients my soul is craving. I want a super wholesome sermon, telling me and the rest of the congregation that we need to go Confession ALL the time because A-Z is a sin and totally unacceptable, and because Confession is such a beautiful sacrament. I want to be told to NOT vote for politicians like Barack Obama and WHY we shouldn’t, and that anybody whose vehicle in the parking lot has an Obama bumper sticker really ought to examine the moral conscience. I want to have Holy Water during Lent. I want to feel motivated by my priest to get down on my knees and really make lots of sacrifices, grow in holiness, say no to sin and yes to Christ during the holy season of Lent. I want to be able to go to Confession on Holy Thursday or Good Friday, not only the Penance service that took place half way through Lent. Oh, but we can always go on Wednesday evening from 7-8 at one parish in all of our local area because everyone else is “Please note there will not be Confession service on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday” yep, I noted it. It is so discouraging! I can’t remember the last Sunday sermon I heard and thought about all the following week. Oh yes I can, it was a sermon Fr. Vincent gave at Guasti when our little family flew to California a few months ago. But, before that? Why is it that more priest aren’t like the beautiful Saint John Vianney? In California, at Guasti and St. Michael’s, pretty much any time you walk into either of those two churches, there are confessions being heard and atleast 10 people in line waiting to be forgiven. How beautiful is that? I can only imagine what it would mean to the parishioners around here if their priests preached more about sin from the pulpit, or the middle of the church in front of the alter, and encouraged confession. And, to help that encouragement, have confession available for longer than 30-60 minutes, once a week. Every parish says you can make an appointment for Confession, great! But, honestly, we all know how alot of people are about confessing their sins, it is a very humiliating thing. More people would be encouraged to go to Confession if they knew there was a screen to “hide behind.” I used to be one of those people who needed a screen. I have gotten passed that, but maybe there are people who aren’t able to? And, maybe if we heard more about sin from the pulpit, the people would realize they really needed more Confession. Maybe that’s why we don’t hear about sin? Maybe we don’t hear about it because some priests might want to stay on the social “cool” or maybe it is because they don’t want to be “stuck in the box” all the time, but when it fits into their schedule?
I want to go to Holy Thursday mass. I want to have that slow realization, after Mass and Jesus is in the monstrance being adored by many until midnight, as the alter is being stripped of everything, that “Oh my gosh! My Lord is going to die for MY sins.” I want to go to a Good Friday service at Noon, and be saddened at walking in the door and seeing that now Jesus has even been removed from the monstrance and the church is “lifeless,” when I reach for the Holy Water and it isn’t there, I will remember that this truly is IT, Jesus has been crucified for me. I want to venerate the cross, receive Holy Communion, and then stay at Church until three o’clock when our Holy Lord died for our sins. While I’m waiting, I want to do the stations of the cross, go to Confession, pray the sorowful mysteries of the rosary, meditate on the passion… I want to experience that quiet, solemn time. I don’t want all the extra pizazz, and I really would rather not go to relive that at 7:00 that evening. I would like to go at 7:00 if I had to work and couldn’t make a visit to church at noon or even three o’clock, I think it is great that some parishes make that available.
I am ready for some Spiritual Health Food. Something nutritious for my soul, fast food is only good for so long. I thank You, Jesus, for blessing us with priests, mass, and Confession! So many people are persecuted and die for our faith, and so many more don’t have Mass or a priest available to them. Please forgive my not being “satisfied” and bless the hearts and minds of those priests we have.