I don’t know whether it’s common in all faiths for people to show up at church only twice a year on Christmas and Easter. I’ve joked that I would rather attend Mass every Sunday than face the overwhelming crowds of people on Easter or Christmas. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t wish they’d stay away!! I welcome them and pray that God speaks to their hearts and plants in them a desire to return to the church regularly in their own time. I just don’t do well in big crowds and the soothing calmness of Mass that speaks to my heart gets a little claustrophobic during the holidays.
To understand the following story, I need to tell you about my husband. Raised in the Methodist Church, he has always been supportive of my Catholic faith. Before we married, I told him that raising our children in the Catholic church was a necessity for me and he readily agreed. Early in our marriage, he attended Mass with me, though his faith was shaken after his mother’s death. It’s taken a long time, but recently he’s been attending Mass with us on occasion.
Despite being up rather late on Saturday, we set the alarm clock for 6 am so we could attend the 7 a.m. Sunrise Mass. When my husband woke me, we realized his clock was running behind and it was really 6:20 a.m.!
He got out of bed.
Have you ever heard God speak to you? It’s often described as a stillness or a whisper or a stirring deep in your heart.
It sounded like an air horn in my head and it went “BAHHHHHHHHH!!!! WRONG ANSWER.”
I saw a good number of Sunday 9 a.m. regulars at the 7 a.m. Mass that morning. We were treated to a special surprise: the Teen Choir sang traditional Latin music in beautiful four-part harmony. When they began the Communion song, I startled to realize a string quartet – not present at the beginning of Mass – had joined them. Even Fr. Bob noticed, because he jokingly asked me after Mass, “Was it just me or did a string quartet miraculously appear out of nowhere?”
Later that morning, after the girls received their Easter Baskets and hunted for brightly colored eggs, I asked my husband what made him get out of bed even though we were already so late that I didn’t think we would make it to church.