Choosing God

July became my fighting month. 

After two months of regularly attending daily Mass, I suddenly found it very difficult to drag myself to church in the mornings.

July was the month during which I would wake up and roll over to see that I needed to leave for Mass in twenty minutes. Then I'd lie there for ten trying to decide if I needed to go. 

I fought with myself. I fought against my complacent desire for sleep. Each morning, I had to make the conscious decision to go to Mass. 

Or not. 

Every single July morning, I made a choice. I chose between sleep and Mass. I chose between me and God. I chose between complacency and lively faith. 

I'm not proud to say that there were a handful of days when I made the wrong choice. I lay in bed, blinking at the ceiling, knowing that I could have gotten up and seen my Lord in the Eucharist. Instead, I selfishly chose to remain home. 

I can't be the only Catholic who loves counting the days I've been to daily Mass. There is a satisfaction in knowing I've made it to daily Mass eight or nine or twenty days in a row, an unbroken streak. There is also a great comfort in knowing that, each day, I hiked down to Mass to partake in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God and to make communion with him. 

I love going to Mass. I encounter in Jesus a love that reverberates with every fiber of my being. On this earth, there is nothing greater than Mass. Heaven and Earth meet within the Mass at the moment of consecration, and there Jesus offers himself to us so that we might receive his Body. As Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati tells us, in the Mass we "[f]eed on this Bread of Angels where you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles!"

If the Eucharist nourishes us with "all the energy" needed to fight the good fight of the faith--if the Eucharist is a glimpse of Heaven in all its glory--if Jesus himself told us (in John 6:33) that his Body gives the life of Heaven to the world--then why would we choose to ignore such a gift? Why would we not run to the Eucharistic feast every time we have the chance?

Perhaps your excuses hold water. Mine don't. Well, I'll reason, I need more sleep, or my hair is a mess, or I'll be a minute late if I leave right now. 

A good excuse.
I never regret going to Mass, but I always regret staying home. Oh, my foolish human self, failing to comprehend the Eucharist! Let us never forget that our God is waiting for us to come to His table. Brothers and sisters, draw near to Him. 

Sweetest Jesus,
Body and Blood most Holy,
be the delight and pleasure of my soul,
my strength and salvation in all temptations,
my joy and peace in every trial,
my light and guide in every word and deed,
and my final protection in death. Amen.

-St. Thomas Aquinas

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