Perhaps we have had it wrong all this time; that every word of the homily ought be to absorbed in the keenest attention and every hymn sang in the most ecclesiastical voice. Perhaps Mass isn’t so much about the procession, about the kneeling and reciting, the listening and singing, the bowing and receiving, but rather about the allowing of ourselves to simmer in the atmosphere of God.
It is natural as human beings that we sometimes lose sight of an act’s rightful purpose; especially for acts that have become a part of our routines. It thus is with Mass, that our thoughts may occasionally wander to distant fancies or float about in an unfeeling ferment, and what words that stream from the Father’s lips will pass us by like a string of stray noise and what movements of decorum we procure will be but the work of a puppeteer. The intention will be lacking, and without intention, the Mass will not be able to serve its rightful purpose; that is to have us reflect on the gospel as well as remind us of the sacrifice to which we owe our comfort. What purpose then does it serve if not always the one that requires an uncompromising focus and will of heart?
I cannot know for sure, nor can I profess an answer to be held as a truth for everyone. But I shall say, because I attended Mass this evening and despite departing from its rituals felt an almost inexplicable peace, that perhaps it is to create for us an atmosphere in which God weaves and meanders. And that alone shall provide us with all the peace we might need.