In the short time Bishop Salvatore R. Matano has been with us, he’s made one change that I’m excited about: He’s celebrating Mass every afternoon at the Pastoral Center.
We had Mass here two mornings each week before, but I never made it to those, as I’m not much of a morning person — I need my morning glass of chocolate milk before I’m ready to take on the world.
I haven’t always been a daily Mass-goer. It’s a habit that I grew into during college. I lived in an apartment connected to the Catholic Campus Center during my senior year, and the short walk it took to be in the presence of the Eucharist was something I took advantage of often.
Proximity made it easy to remember to talk often with God. When I graduated last spring and was no longer as physically close to the church, it became too easy to push those conversations with God to the back burner.
It’s great to have the convenience of daily Mass so close again now, but I’m sure that won’t always be the case.
Helping me with that challenge is a metaphor for prayer from my friend, a Benedictine monk. He suggested thinking about prayer as wasting time. Just as we can hang out with a good friend, doing nothing and wasting time, we should be able to "waste time" with our friend Jesus.
While I enjoy "wasting time" in front of the tabernacle, I’ve realized that’s not the only place I can do so. I can waste time with Jesus wherever I’m at — be it driving in my car, walking along the Genesee River or lying on the couch. And that time with Jesus gives me even more energy to face the world than my morning chocolate milk.