The Mass is everything. It is the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross; it is Redemption, Grace, Life. Before the pandemic, I thought I knew the importance of the Mass. But being unable to attend Mass for a time made the truth of the Mass and its power all the more real to me. Living in a convent of 10 Sisters in Hell’s Kitchen and trying to protect women and children from the trauma of abortion is not easy on a normal day. But without the Mass, it is nearly impossible. I realized how my strength and the grace to love come from the Mass. In the Eucharist, I receive the perfect, pure, self-sacrificial love of Jesus. Whatever Jesus touches is made new. In the Eucharist, He touches each one of us and all of the messy circumstances of our lives. I am totally dependent on God’s grace which is poured out as a torrent in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

During this time, I was sharing with a priest on the phone how difficult it was to be without the Mass and he said, “You’ll never forget this experience. When you can go to Mass again, you won’t care if the homily is too long or boring. None of that will matter.” It’s true. Just to be present at the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus is a tremendous gift. There is no substitute. I realized that I am not entitled to the Mass and the Eucharist. These are extreme generosities of God towards my frail, sinful self. Each time the congregation stands and the Mass begins, I want my heart to cry out in gratitude, “Lord, it is good that we are here.”

Sr. Charity, SV

Respect Life Office

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