Friday, August 6, 2010

Rationality in Joy

One of the more notable changes of the last three or four months since I started exploring Catholicism is how excited I am for Mass. Just now, lying in bed, I thought,

"Tomorrow's Friday, so one more day of work before the weekend."

And then in pure, giddy joy, "So Sunday is almost here. Mass is on Sunday! It's almost here!"

In high school, I became more and more cynical about my home church. Convinced that none of the members really understood me, I became isolated. I felt like a stranger, an outcast in my own church.
Eventually, it got so bad that I became angry, inexplicably but powerfully. My anger seemed like a swarm of killer bees, appearing suddenly, for no clear reason, and intimidating everything else in its path. My disdain grew and grew until I was reliably testy on Sunday afternoons. Before I left for college, I kept count of how many more church services I would have to attend, marking them off one by one.

In college, I continued to attend church services, though I reduced my attendance from three services per week to two, then one. Even then I often overslept, skipped church, or left early.

I find it fascinating, then, that I'm so eager for Mass. When I leave each Sunday, a twinge of melancholy arrives that an entire week must go by before I can return. I find myself wondering on Tuesday morning how many days I have left before Mass. Sometimes I go to the Catholic church near campus during the week, to pray, reflect, and simply be in the room where the Church at other times gathers and the Lord is present.

I hate to factor my feelings into my judgement about Catholicism. After all, the allure of the novel can be powerful.

But it's hard to think rationally when I'm just so excited.