It's not easy going to mass in Québec. The population is aging, there aren't many kids at mass. I have five and they make a lot of noise when they are all seated together. I get looks sometimes, and every once in awhile, comments.
Sometimes I wonder why I bother. It would be so easy to just give in to the "dark side". No more worrying about finding a mass that fits into the schedule, no more convincing contrary kids to get ready, no more stress sitting in mass trying to keep boisterous kids quiet, and no more worrying about the lack of support. I could just leave it all and never set foot in a church again. And believe me, going without the kids is not an option, because if I am not taking my kids, there is no reason for me to be going either.
The truth of the matter is; errr... "Hello, my name is Jeanne and I'm a Eucharist-addict."
There are certainly worse things I could be addicted to.
Sex, for one, or money or power, or drugs, or alcohol, or more likely in my case, THINGS.
I like beautiful things. I like to decorate. I walk around stores and every season I drool over the beautiful new themes for decorations that have come out. If I were addicted to things, I would probably re-decorate the house every season, putting the old stuff in boxes, to be taken out again... um, never? Because there would always be something newer and more interesting. And the old things would collect dust until I threw them out or gave them away. And still, I would buy more stuff. I would have a designer home, if I had the money for it and no kids. I could totally see myself sitting with my husband and our one child in some designer home where everything matches everything else, and all the furniture is classy and expensive.
I would probably wear beautiful things too, and always be at the height of fashion. My wardrobe would also change every season, as would the wardrobe of my precious designer child.
Or, being naturally ego-centric, not being able to attain that kind of lifestyle, I could easily become disagreeable, crabby and resentful.
I could see myself getting addicted to sex. Once I'd had some, I'd want more, and then I'd want it to be more daring, and do it different ways, in different situations, getting more and more wild, in order to get that little thrill of excitement, changing partners, having more than one partner... But then I'd just feel empty inside, once it was all over, and want to go on to find the next big thrill.
I don't doubt that somewhere along the way, if I were not addicted to mass, I would become addicted to any one of these things, to varying degrees.
I also don't doubt that I would be a much more disagreeable, disloyal, self-centred unhappy, resentful, impatient, uncaring person.
I think, ironically, my husband can consider himself lucky that I do go to mass, and that I am addicted to it, and that I will keep going to mass. If I am not perfect now, imagine what I would be like if I had no mass!
That host that I receive every Sunday, is the only physical form of food for my soul that I receive. It doesn't matter if the priest gives a good homily, or if I have to roll my eyes a bit, or more likely in my case, that I don't even get to listen to the homily because I am busy shushing the kids. It doesn't matter if the priest is a hypocrite who says one thing but does another, or if he is a saint, hiding behind a meek manner. It doesn't matter if the people around me frown at my kids or smile indulgantly. It doesn't matter where the tabernacle is placed, to the side, to the middle, or if there are kneelers or not.
What matters in the end is that little round host. That is what I am there for. That is what I need to make it through my week. That is what I need to not break down and give up or melt down or go nuts or just do it my way or no way. The rest is secondary. I can read the readings and the gospel at home.
I need my eucharist. I need that life of God within me.