On visit to New York City earlier this week, I made my way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There, I joined hundreds of tourists from around the world in admiring this magnificent temple.
In addition, I stayed for Mass. After all, the cathedral is not merely a museum or just a tourist attraction, but a place of worship. Not only is daily Mass offered at St. Patrick’s, it is offered several times throughout the day.
I was somewhat surprised by the number of tourists and native New Yorkers who took the time out of their busy day to attend Mass.
It made me happy to see those workers with busy schedules and those tourists with many stops on their “must-see” lists, take time amid the hustle and bustle to praise God and seek His counsel.
The Church advocates daily Mass for the faithful. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1389) says, “The Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.”
I bet a common response to a suggestion of attending daily Mass would be “how can I attend Mass? I barely have enough time in the day as it is.”
Daily Mass does not take much time, generally less than a half hour. Also, daily Masses are offered at different times at almost every Catholic Church. There is always an opportunity to attend Mass.
The midday Mass I attended was a wonderful breather from a busy day, refreshing my soul and reorienting me toward God. It allowed me to take time to pray for the souls of my deceased loved ones, to pray for a friend awaiting a kidney transplant and to a pray for a safe journey back home.
I came to realize that my visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral may have started off as something to check off my “must-see” list, but it ended up reminding me that I need daily Mass, I have the opportunity to attend daily Mass, and I do indeed have the time for the special graces I get from daily Mass.
That is an experience and memory I never thought I would I would bring home from my visit to New York City.