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Adjusting To Daily Mass

By Maria Sermersheim
Maria Sermersheim

Adjusting is an interesting process—one that has led me to the significant conclusion that I should structure my days around daily Mass.

As a college freshman in her first semester, I have certainly heard my fair share about adjusting. Much of this talk and advice gave me the understanding that adjustment is unavoidable and difficult, but once its rollercoasters are through, then the steady rhythm of life will resume. Experience has (so far) yielded these expected results, as well as an important observation. Being interested as I am in living intentionally, I realized that much of adjustment is the reestablishment of ones’ ideals in a new environment. Thus, the process of adjusting became a question of how my new routines and interactions with new people would reflect my core beliefs. At Notre Dame, I have an abundance of opportunities to attend daily Mass, so the question had to be asked: how often would I go?

After some reflection, I realized daily Mass is the most important thing I could possibly do. If we are to truly consider the whole of our lives and face the facts of our mortality, then it is clear that our only focus should be God. And it follows that if knowing, loving, and serving God is our priority, then daily Mass is a fundamental part of that relationship.

Mass is defined in the glossary of the Catechism as the “principal sacramental celebration of the Church…in which the mystery of our salvation…is renewed and accomplished.” I don’t know about you, but I certainly think participating in the renewal and accomplishment of my salvation is the best use of time ever. One of my favorite lines of the Mass is in one of the prayers the priest can say after communion, about the Eucharist refreshing and nourishing us so that we may “be transformed into what we consume.” Oh, the wondrous and accurate applications of the nutritionist’s favorite saying, “you are what you eat!”

Elsewhere, I’ve heard it said that “all the intimacy in the world” is to be found in the Mass. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this idea, and I agree. Put simply, God loves me so much I exist. He loves me so much he became human to truly relate to me. The all-powerful, almighty God decided he wants me to choose to spend eternity with him, so he died for me to have that option. And now, every day he invites me to literally receive him in the most personal way possible.

I would be a fool to say no.

The part of the Eucharistic Prayer, “Behold the Lamb of God,” comes from those exact words of John the Baptist in the Gospel of John 1:35 as he sees Jesus walking by. Immediately, “the two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:37). I wonder about the conviction those disciples must have had to leave everything behind a second time. How were they convinced to follow Jesus at John’s word—what was it that they saw in him as he walked by? And what is it that keeps us from that conviction? What prevents us from chasing after Jesus at Mass every day of our lives?