Today I was reading in the Catechism a paragraph which talked about how we're made to live in community. Societies are built for the good of man, and it is not only his privilege but also his duty to participate.
Prior to reading that, I'd been praying about how sometimes I feel alone. I have absolutely zero accountability. No one knows if I go to Mass, if I pray, if I live my life according to the Gospel. The thought is both freeing and terrifying. The freedom comes in my freedom to choose. It is in the times when love wins and I choose Jesus that I am closest to Him. Later I read in the Catechism that governments should look to the way God governs us (by giving us that freedom to choose) and govern accordingly.
The hard part is this: No one knows what I'm doing at any given moment of the day. Sure, my colleagues will wonder where I am if I don't show up. My roommate might question where I was if I come home in the middle of the night. My mom would call if she hadn't heard from me in a few days. But I'm not a part of a team or a group or a family that would ever know if I'd blown off my morals altogether. One of the best parts about living in a small town (Aubs) is that if you're usually a daily Mass goer, and you go a few days without making it, someone will generally inquire about where you've been. Isn't that what community is all about? It's sad that parishes are so big now (pray for vocations!) that people can come and go without ever being noticed. I've been going to St. Ann's off and on for over six months now, including going to their young adult praise and worship night, and I've never met a single parishioner. Sure, some of that is my fault. I was, in fact, a professional evangelist... you'd think I could shake a few hands. But it's not that easy when you're alone. Even someone who is as outgoing as I am needs a home base to come back to: a team, a group of some sort, a family.
I think the Lord is more delighted when I go visit Him now than He was when it was in my job description. Of course back then I went because I wanted to, not only because I "had" to, but it certainly was a lot easier to wake up knowing I had a scheduled hour of silence with Him before I had to talk to anyone else. And that if I didn't get out of bed I had some teammates who would ask about why I wasn't there. And if I didn't come home in time for night prayer with my roommates, my chai would get cold and they would wait to start until I was there. Life in general and especially life with Jesus was much easier then.
Even though I don't make it to the Church every day, and sometimes I might go from Sunday to Sunday without a sacrament, I hope that the sacrifice of the time it takes and also the inconvenience of random and infrequent Mass times when I can make it will be a pleasing offer to the Lord. What is done in the dark (or in my case, in a crowded room full of strangers who don't know me) will be made known in the light before God.
St. Padre Pio, pray for us.