My friend Katie called me a “Jesus girl”. It took me by surprise when she said it, but I admit that it instantly made me smile. First of all, I just turned 40, and my oldest of three sons is a teenager, so there was some basking in the glow of the word “girl.” Really though, I know she is right and being a Jesus girl is a grace born of prayer.
Prayer for me started in earnest at one 8am daily mass after another a couple years ago. What I didn’t understand then was that the simple, obedient act of showing up each morning was all that was required to change everything about my day. The suggestion to attend mass was a tiny whisper in my soul, barely audible. Listening and attending to it was borne of the feeling of being lost and lonely in the midst of my chaotic life. I was attending mass because it was the only thing I could think to do to catch my breath.
Our God is brilliant and loving beyond our comprehension. He wants to draw us closer. All that is required is an open heart. We don’t need to earn it, be smart enough or feel worthy an ounce. I began showing up and then I couldn’t do without it. There came a longing, a yearning to be there. To say that I never expected to feel this kind of fondness for mass would be a major understatement– it would be somewhere in the ballpark of me thinking my sons might offer to do MY laundry.
With all apologies to the wonderful priests of our diocese, I feel the need to pause and explain. It’s not the homily. It’s not the music. The daily masses I’ve attended contain little of either. It’s JESUS. I receive Him and I am changed.
How often do you truly consider that at every single mass, we have the opportunity to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus? A Protestant friend of mine, Lori, said to me recently, “If I believed what you Catholics supposedly believe, that Jesus is TRULY PRESENT in the Eucharist, well you simply could not keep me from mass. So, where are the people?”
I looked at her and smiled. Then I said, “You have come to the right baseball mom, Lori. Rarely do I miss a daily mass because I don’t supposedly believe…I KNOW Jesus is present. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow—really.”
Come join me anytime. Jesus girls love company.