My experience at Mass yesterday evening was pretty much a microcosm of everything I love about Catholicism. First of all, the readings rocked. St. Paul reminds us that our weakness is to be embraced because it can allow Christ to work through us. So that’s cool.
But what really clinched it for me was a beautiful moment during the consecration. I hit up confession earlier in the evening and I’ve always found that I’m much more attentive and engaged during Mass when my soul is fresh, so I was really caught up in the beauty of what was happening on the altar.
The mystery of God’s incomprehensible love for man was being played out fifty feet in front of me. The humility of the Eucharist was particularly present to me, moving me in a way it always should but rarely does. It was so beautiful.
And just as the priest was saying the prayers and raising the bread and wine which had become the body and blood of the Infinite God, my daughter dropped what must have been the loudest deuce in the history of Johnson County, Kansas. I mean, there was no mistaking what that baby girl was doing. She was getting after it, and everyone in the congregation was probably well aware of what was going on. I could see the body of my wife convulsing in silent laughter next to me, trying not to cause any more of a disruption than our pooping baby already had.
I couldn’t help but smile.
This is what is truly beautiful about the Catholic faith. It is this beautiful, fascinating, borderline amusing dichotomy of divine dignity and fumbling humanity, the source and summit of salvation next to the sloppy suffering of sinners. It’s the wonderment of God and the crap of humans (literally, as we have seen) all under one roof. It is a hopeful gathering.
What a gift Mother Church is. If you haven’t been to Mass in a while, go. All are welcome: saints and sinners, rich and poor, adults and children. The Lord knows we all have our shit. He only asks that we bring it with us and offer it to Him when we enter into the sacraments, even as He offers us Himself. I promise, you will receive more than you give.