My children and I started attending Mass every First Friday at the start of our school year last August. For nearly a year, we have been very good about getting ourselves up and ready and to the church every first Friday of the month, not missing even once. We planned to keep up our devotion and continue attending every First Friday this year also…..
Have I mentioned that this summer has been a little crazy? Well, it is all my fault, but things have gotten even more disorganized and off kilter in our routine this past week. You see, the children and I were greatly anticipating the Olympics. During the last Olympics, we barely even noticed the Games were going on and certainly did not follow them very closely. But this year, we looked forward to them for months. We feel a sort of connection to them this year. My parents have good friends from Great Britain whom we have come to know. They have shared some of their English traditions and native foods with us. We adore their accents and enjoy spending time with them. Also, my son’s Boy Scout troop has a “brother troop” from England and every few years they take turns visiting each other. This year it was my son’s troop’s turn to head across the ocean to jolly old England and the trip happened to be scheduled for this week! So, though my son did not go along, quite a few of his friends are there in London right now! We heard they even got tickets to an Olympic soccer game! This, of course, makes the 2012 Games seem a little closer to home and a lot more exciting to us. Couple all that with the fact that my middle daughter started taking gymnastics classes last Fall, and well… we knew we couldn’t miss a minute of the excitement.
The older children and I have not missed a minute. We have stayed up until midnight every night this week cheering on our American athletes and anxiously awaiting results of their competitions. Last night, as my eyes were growing heavy in exhaustion, I said, “I don’t know if we’ll make it all the way to midnight again.” But then we did.
This morning, we were all moving a little slowly- the late nights of the past week are finally catching up with us. I was sort of vaguely aware that it is Friday but did not realize it is First Friday until my son asked, at 10:43 if we would be attending Mass. Mass starts at 11 (unless we are really on the ball and get up to go to the early Mass at 8 a.m.). I looked around at my children- all dressed in t-shirts and shorts. I looked at my own blue jeans and t-shirt. I looked at the clock and calculated the time—could we all change our clothes, get our shoes on, get into the car and drive the 15 minutes to the only church with an 11 o’clock Mass in 17 minutes? For a second I thought- we can do it, let’s hurry. And then, I realized- we really couldn’t.
So, we missed it. We missed First Friday Mass, for the first time in a year-- because of the Olympics and because I refuse to take my children into a church not dressed appropriately and mostly because I am so distracted and scatterbrained these days….
I feel a little guilty but Tim reminded me recently that a wonderful holy priest once told him, God loves us just as much no matter what choices we make. I am pretty sure that is true even when our choices are dictated by forgetfulness and distraction…