College Mass

I’ve not gone to college mass in quite awhile. Its not that I don’t want to meet other catholic college students, which I DO want to do. I just prefer singing with the 9 am choir. They’re my family. They mean everything to me, and when I have no parents up here, I have 10 sets of parents at choir to look after me, give me sage advice, hugs, and everything else parents do. And, they’re fun to drink with. 🙂

Ok, so I went to the Newman Center my freshman year and I was ridiculed for being a bad catholic. They’re like, “Why don’t you go on retreats?” (because I hate retreats). “Come to wednesday mass and rosary!” (I have soccer practice, thanks). “Just come hang out when you can!” (But I don’t have time to hang out, that’s what happens when you play an NCAA sport). So, I went to sunday night mass (8 pm, which is way too late for mass, btw), and I just didn’t like it. I didn’t like the music or anything else. I loved 9 am. So, I kept waking up early for church on Sundays, and that was it. I didn’t associate with other catholic students at OSU, because none of them wake up that early on sundays.

I went at 8 pm this past weekend because I didn’t feel like waking up early on Sunday to go to choir. Bah, when its been a long week and school/chemo is the next day, you don’t want to get up early. So, I slept in, and it was brilliant. Right, so Ashley and I went to mass together, and saw Jenny and Katrina from our sorority there. I also saw a few families from choir, which means they didn’t go to mass in the morning either. Sean and his sister, Emily, were going to come, but I didn’t see them until the very end.

When we walked in, Jenny rushed up to us and said, “I need to find a reader, I have none.” My big mouth and I pipe up, “I could read, I’ve done it before.” She clapped her hands together, said, “Excellent! Go talk to Daniel over there about it,” and I was sent on my way.

My reading was 1 Peter 1:3-9, which was about Jesus’ resurrection and what that means for us as Christians. There was one bit, verses 6-8, which made me truly believe I was meant to read this weekend:

1 Peter 1: 3 – 9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5 who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials,
7 so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
8 Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy.
9 As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

I spoke with some of my choir parents afterwards, and they heard my voice quaver when I read that. Going up in front of a bunch of strangers, bald, and reading something about suffering various trails so that you realize the genuineness of your faith (which is very precious, yes), is sad. I have cancer, and it’s a pretty obvious trial. I deal with it everyday, especially on days when I have chemo (like today), and that reading reminded me that God is there, and He has an inheritance in heaven, waiting for me. But for now, I have to live my life, have trials to get through, but He’ll be there for me every step of the way. The moms told me that if I started to cry or wavered any more than I did, they’d all burst into tears. Wow, sad. I got a lot of comments afterwards about people saying they’d pray for me. One said she started to pray for me right then and there, which was very kind of her.

Islam didn’t really give me any feeling like that. It was a bunch of rules and involved a language I didn’t understand. You’d think Allah would speak English as well as Arabic, but apparently he doesn’t. There was no… magic, I guess you could call it. I really did forget what being Catholic was all about, and going this weekend reminded me. For the first time, I felt that little spark when we were presented communion. I used to scoff, saying it was just a cracker, Jesus wasn’t really there. When I had my First Communion all those years ago, I had a childlike wonder when I received the host for the first time. Jesus was truly present, and I was taking him into me. The wonderment died down over the years, and I became a jaded high-schooler who wouldn’t really care whether or not I had communion. But, the spark is back, and it was a feeling I just can’t describe. When I knelt during communion, and Fr. Lucas held up the host, shivers ran down my spine.

I can’t describe much else. It’s really something you have to experience yourself, because mass is a beautiful thing. I’m sure everyone who reads this knows a Catholic, or is Catholic. You should go sometime just to experience it 🙂

Ok, I’m going to sleep. I have to be at chemo at 6:30-7 am so I’m done by the time I go to school at 10. Nite nite! 🙂


3 thoughts on “College Mass

  1. Welcome back home to the Catholic Church! I am a revert after a decade of only believing in me, and boy is it good to be back!

    I never much cared for some of the funky things that went on at the OSU Newman Center when I was in college – of course I went to Ohio State, but Newman Centers are, by and large, sometimes on the hokey side!

    When I went back to Mass for the first time in a decade after making a good confession for the first time in just as long (it was at a wedding reception of all places – the groom’s uncle was a priest!)… At any rate when I took communion for the first time in 10 years I just wept.

    It is good to be home.

    Say an Our Father for me, I will do the same for you. Stop by our kooky blog sometime too…

  2. Thank you for a wonderful story. I think God wires us into different groups to accomplish different tasks. I’d say don’t worry about not fitting in with the Neuman group, but it doesn’t seem like you were bothered at all.

    Some folks are active and others more reflective. We accomplish more, the more we use our gifts, but it also seems that we experience more personal spiritual growth when we attempt to utilize our weaknesses.

    It’s rather like the religious orders.

    The Franciscans and the Jesuits are active and in the world, whereas the Benedictines and Carmelites are withdrawn from the world.
    We need both aspects/missions.

    I’m glad your back.

    Blessings to you & your family.

  3. I was touched by your post. In fact, I was convicted. I don’t suffer from cancer, and yet I am spiritually lazy. Thank you so much. You’ve been such a blessing. Praise God for the effort you put into sharing your life of faith. May God bless you with love, joy, and peace!

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