Mass with little ones is always chaos.
I graduated from a Catholic college, and Mass was the highlight of my day. Really. Depending on my mood, sometimes I liked the lunchtime Mass, with the incense, Latin, and chant, where most of the student body worshipped together. But, oftentimes, I found myself preferring the quiet of the late afternoon Mass. Less attended, I could have an entire pew to myself and feel as though it were just Jesus and me.
Now, with three little ones chatting or screaming through Mass, I hear almost nothing. The readings are lost on me, as I am usually bending over requesting for the umpteenth time that someone be quiet, which checking myself to use a gentle tone. I miss the homily because I am standing outside with my youngest, as she screams and tries to suicide jump from my arms. I find myself distracted about dinner, bills, or my never-ending to-do list. I hear nothing anymore. And with an exasperated, exhausted air, I tell Jesus, “Well, I’m here.”
He always responds, “I am here, too.”
And he is. As I kneel at the Consecration, I feel His presence fill the Church. There is a quiet and holiness that fills my soul. The anticipation is intense.
“I am here. Come.”
I approach the altar with my children, and feel deep unworthiness and yet deep love. He comes. To me.
Oh Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.
And He says it: “I am here. Come.”
He truly comes down for us. For you. For me. He is present completely at every Mass.
Body. Blood. Soul. Divinity.
Read each word. Slowly. And with it, realize how much He loves you. Our God comes down so that we can become one with Him every day. He loves us that much! He calls to us, yearning to be with each one of us:
“I am here. Please come.”
As I receive Him and corral children back to the pew, I am usually teary-eyed and in awe at what a humble and loving God I have. He is still there, just as He was in that little Chapel. Despite the children, the noise, the distractions, He is there. Waiting for you. For me. Deep within me, I hear Him calling. Listen.
“I am here. You only need to come.”
Adrienne Stravitsch is a mom of three beautiful girls and a military wife. When she’s not making sweet memories with her girls, she’s cleaning, crocheting, or blogging at Army Wife Life.