Monday, April 27, 2009
Getting to Mass, keeping up with prayers
As Catholics, we are bound to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days. This adds some excitement to the trip as we will have to get up early on a Sunday in a strange town, dress nicely, and make it to Mass on time.
Thank goodness for Masstimes.org [see the my link list] which lists parishes throughout the country along with addresses, phone numbers and schedules. Being pretty conservative, we prefer not to suffer through happy-clappy liturgy and heretical, or even trite, homilies. So picking out a parish becomes an art as you read descriptions of parishes, looking for 'code words' that hint at the tenor of a parish. When I investigate the many possibilities in an area, I look for words like "Adoration", "Benediction", "Novenas", "Vespers", and the best word of all "Latin". I have found that pastors promoting these kinds of activities are the most seriously mindful of Catholic practices. I am not looking for "centering prayer" or "labyrinth" or "folk Mass" for instance.
Added to the wonderful opportunity of attending the Mystery of the Mass, is the way getting into a local parish flavors a community that speeding through a town does not provide. In my youth traveling with my mother, we had much more interesting adventures as we searched for and attended parishes. The experience of the locals and the towns is richer.
The daily need to pray is also a concern as we whip through hitching up the RV at day's end in a new park and making dinner, as well as dismantling and securing the RV for departure. Not only will I bring my rosary and a prayer book, but there are online resources to use. Friends use CDs to listen to on the road too, which is a great idea to keep the mind occupied.