As I approached the church stairs, images of going to basketball practice invaded me. A huge smile overcame me since my favorite memories of practice occurred here at this same parish. The gym was across the parking lot from the church. Attending daily Mass became my new practice court. A journal and prayer book replaced the basketball. With God as my coach and the community as my teammates, I prepared for the game of daily life.
Greeting friends, entering into prayer, joining in the Mass, hearing the word of God, seeing the consecration of the host, hearing Eucharist prayers, receiving the Eucharist, receiving the priest’s blessing, alone prayer time and finally talking with various friends was the “practice” routine. Maybe, I would arrive early before Mass to recite the Rosary or stay later on Wednesdays to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Participating in daily Mass prepared me for the upcoming day. This happy time and place transformed me. A peace overcame me. By the time I left the church, I was ready for the day. In addition, I developed strong relationships at both parishes were I attended daily Mass. I maintain those friendships through attendance at Sunday Mass, church events, phone calls, cards, dinner dates and retreats.
I no longer attend daily morning Mass routinely. Being discussed with God, who fully understands, I have a shorter daily routine of “practice” with daily praying to God through journaling and devotions at home or at work. Depending on my daily schedule, I tend to switch up “practice” with adoration, and Mass.
Although my daily “practice schedule” has changed, God’s grace and coaching stays with me through my daily living.
Note from Joanne: "Since 2004, this reflection stayed in the writer’s heart. With renewed writing, this finally popped out."