The Mass: Part 1; Lord Have Mercy

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I decided my first big project for this blog would be to walk step by step through the Mass. The Mass is full of mind-blowing realities, unfortunately many people view Mass as another obligation they must fulfill to ‘be a good catholic.’ Often when people think of Mass “boring, long, and not pertinent to my life”  immediately comes to mind. Hopefully by revealing some awesome hidden secrets of the Mass, it will open your eyes to how magnificent celebrating the Mass is.

So one of my favorite parts of the Mass is the Kyrie eleison invocations. This is the part of the Mass where we say “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.” When we hear this in Mass, it is very easy to repeat back the lines we have all memorized with no feeling or thought. However, I invite you to really think about what it means to ask Christ for mercy. This brings to mind the story of Jesus healing the blind man in Mark 10:46-52.

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

We must ask God for mercy in the same desperation and with the same faith as this blind beggar. We are blind in faith and we do not truly see how blessed we are. In our culture there is a dangerous mindset to believe we are entitled to everything. However, before God we do not deserve anything Therefore when Mass opens and you are bored already, ask the all-forgiving God to grant you mercy.

We expect our experiences to make us feel good, and when they don’t we don’t want to participate in them.  Unfortunately if we have this approach to our sacramental life we will be sorely disappointed. “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth” (CC153). To fully participate with faith in the Mass we must first ask for God to help us. “We must beg the Lord to increase our faith” and believe that he will give us the consolation we need (CCC166).

We have to make a step toward God and ask for his mercy, we must be conscious of our unworthiness, ready for his healing power, and completely full of faith that he can and will move us if we ask him to. When we begin Mass and say “Christ, have Mercy” become the blind beggar and ask God to open your own eyes to the mysteries he wants to reveal to you.

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Music Monday

Restless By Switchfoot
I’ll be waiting, anticipating. All that I aim for, what I was made for, with every heartbeat, all of my blood bleeds running inside me, looking for you.

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Why so young and restless?

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Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 28:11

        The title of my blog is the Young and Restless Catholic for a reason. I didn’t pick it because of the movie, mostly because I’ve never seen the TV show, but I chose it because it encompassed what I want this blog to achieve. This blog is for the young and old alike, but it is really aimed towards those young in the faith who want to grow. It is also for those seeking rest.

In this busy life, with all its distractions, it’s hard to feel rested. We are constantly searching for the answers to questions which we believe will cure our restlessness. We fill our lives up with social events, friends, and whatever we believe will give us a sense of rest. Unfortunately, we busy ourselves too much to be restful. We fill our lives with music, television. Even as I write this I have Netflix running in the background. It’s pathetic really, how much we have to busy ourselves in hopes to feel full.

We trust in ourselves to fulfill our deepest desire. However, the longing we have to feel full can only be filled by the one who created it. We, especially as Americans, have a very independent nature. We like to believe everything is under our control. We put on brave faces and feel as if we can truly take the wheel in our own life. I saw a Church bulletin board once that said “If you are in the driver’s seat of your own life, get out and move to the passenger side.”

When we truly look at human nature, we realize how fickle we are. “As long as you live you will be subject to changeableness in spite of yourself. You will become merry at one time and sad at another, now peaceful but again disturbed, at one moment devout and the next indevout, sometimes diligent while at other times lazy, now grave and again flippant.” How can we, if we are honest with ourselves, believe that we are able to control our life?

All the activities we fill our time with, all of the noise we surround ourselves with often are distractions from the true rest that Christ has to offer us. “My heart cannot rest or be fully content until, rising above all gifts and every created thing, it rests in You Imitation of Christ.” When we come to terms with how temporal the world is we realize that Christ is the sure eternal rest we need.

This blog “The Young and Restless Catholic” will hopefully reveal some beautiful truths about the faith which can fill the longing in our hearts. I claim to know very little, so it’s also a journey for me. A quest for a mature and restful faith.

The Purpose of Writing

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      I’m a 21 year old Theology Student studying to be a Youth Minister. After three years of filling my brain with Church doctrine, history, tradition, and odds and ends I decided it was time to put my expensive expanse of knowledge to the test. Sitting in a classroom absorbing the lessons of brilliant professors is one thing, being able to teach others is a different task entirely. 

   I figured a blog was the easiest way to do this. We all have those ideas as we fall asleep at night that we know can become brilliant books, or movies, or the greatest invention ever, if only we were to remember them the next morning. So the purpose of this blog is to jot down my thoughts as eloquently as I can. My goals:

  1. Avoid heretical statements
  2. Warm hearts to the faith

   My goals are not too lofty, and perhaps as I continue on this blogging adventure the list will expand. However, for now I am satisfied to write about the musings of a young Catholic in a secular world who is trying to find rest.