Sara: Over the past year, I’ve really had a hard time balancing my spiritual life with taking care of Gus’ and Justin’s needs. While Justin and I have done a very good job of making sure we pray together as a family before meals and pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy together daily, I’ve been struggling to find time to pray by myself.
Over the past year, Sunday Mass has generally consisted of hoping that Gus would behave so he didn’t disrupt our neighbors TOO much and calmly taking him out of the situation when necessary.
About a month ago, after rereading Stacey and Josh’s article on How To Take Young Children to Mass, I felt like we weren’t doing Gus any favors by sitting in the back pew of Mass so we could make a quick get-away to the back of church if Gus got fussy. After some initial apprehension, Justin agreed we could try sitting closer to the front of church to see if that helped. We also started going to the first Mass we could get to on Sunday morning after Gus woke up so he’d be fresh. While Gus hasn’t behaved perfectly, I feel as though we have been struggling with him less and it has helped our family pray a bit better.
Surprisingly, even the few times I’ve had to take Gus to the back of Church following this system (like this Sunday when he realized how fun it was to make his holler echo) it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it might be.
For months, I’ve been saying that I want to try to go to weekday Mass once a week. Back when I worked at the parish, I made it a priority to go to weekday Mass once a week, and felt it really helped my spiritual life. Due to the Mass times and Gus’ Sunday Mass behavior, I hadn’t been brave enough to try. Last week, Gus woke up early one day, so I decided to try to make it to Mass.
When we arrived at the chapel, the only place for us to sit was in the front row. I knew this could either be our saving grace or be very awkward if Gus decided to get loud in the small chapel! Surprisingly, Gus did extremely well – probably one the best Masses since he stopped sleeping through Mass. He very much enjoyed playing with his rosary and watching Father throughout the Mass. Gus especially enjoyed going up for Communion and receiving a blessing. After Mass, Gus was the star of the show as everyone complimented him on how well he did.
After attending Mass, it was amazing how much better our day went, and how much more peaceful I felt throughout the day. Although I hadn’t gone to a weekday Mass at that parish before, the familiar rhythm of the Mass was comforting. I need to find time to care for my spiritual needs, and perhaps attending weekday Mass once a week is the way to do it. Because there was no music, Gus was able to hold his short attention span. Hopefully, we’ll be headed back to a weekday Mass this week!