Making it to Mass (every day)

Making it to daily Mass has been a bit more challenging of late with the current lack of priests serving our home for the elderly and disabled. We go to the parish church now several times a week.

During the summer and early autumn months, before the mornings got too dark and the sidewalks too icy, I used to walk. I valued the time to myself. I was able to multi-task: getting exercise, praying the rosary and finding my way to and from Church at the same time.

With icy sidewalks and schedule conflicts, the difficulty in getting to Mass was even more pronounced today.

Nonetheless, as a religious I know that I am to “make every effort to participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice daily,” according to canon law.  Even our constitutions as Dillingen Franciscans remind us that “insofar as possible, we participate each day in the celebration of Holy Mass.”

In sum, as a Franciscan Sister, I have an obligation, a duty to attend Mass daily. I am one who tries to take duties and obligations seriously. I have vowed obedience and want to be faithful.

With that being said, I’d like to reflect a bit more upon this “duty,” if it can be called such. Attending Mass and thus receiving Jesus sacramentally is really a privilege. By following the above directives, as difficult as it may prove to be, I am greatly blessed.

I am able to unite my sufferings, my day, myself with Jesus and his sacrifice. I am able to receive Him! He has infinite grace to offer, and I can certainly use some of it.

I consider it a “joyful duty,” to borrow a phrase from a now-popular hymn, to “make every effort” “insofar as possible” to come to Mass.

I am thankful that, thus far in my religious life, it has been rare for me to have to miss this grace-filled encounter, this joyful duty.

About Sister Christina M. Neumann, OSF

Sr. Christina serves at St. Anne's Guest Home, an assisted living-type facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota. There, she helps in a variety of roles, including receptionist, sacristan, activities, and occasional personal care aide. Along with these duties, she also manages the web page for the facility, writes their weekly blog, and edits their resident newsletter. Sr. Christina also authors "Our Franciscan Fiat" , the blog for her religious community of Dillingen Franciscan Sisters in North Dakota. She also finds time for embroidery, baking, biking and liturgical music. Before entering religious life, she received a bachelor of arts in written communication, with some coursework also in graphic arts and theology.