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The devil doesn’t want you to go to Mass

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 11/26/22

If you’re struggling with going to Mass, hang in there and don’t give up -- it’s worth it, even when it's hard.

Sometimes a chance comment seems almost prophetic. That’s what happened last week when my friend Nicole shared a thought about taking little kids to Mass.

My family recently moved to attend a parish with a lot of other young families. One of my friends had invited the moms of the parish over for breakfast, and we were sharing stories about taking our kids to Mass. Someone mentioned a time that a stranger made a rude comment about her child’s behavior.

“Don’t feel discouraged,” Nicole encouraged her. “I have a theory that the more the kids act up during Mass, the more graces you receive from putting in the effort to take them there.”

We laughed at her lighthearted comment, but as I thought about it more later on, it made some sense to me. We know God grants actual grace “as a supernatural help for salutary acts.” If you saw how my toddler behaves at Mass, you would conclude that supernatural help is exactly what we parents need!

As fate would have it, the next day Nicole’s theory was put to the test. All the kids at church seemed to be trying to outdo each other in rowdy behavior. My husband and I had to carry out a screaming child (either our baby or toddler) about five times, and we saw many other parents making the same trek to the back vestibule.

Afterwards, I was commiserating with my friends about how hard Mass had been that day, when Mariyoli spoke up. “Isn’t it a wild coincidence that the kids were all acting like that after what Nicole said yesterday? Today was so hard, but we have to remember it’s worth it. No matter how hard it is, we have to keep going. The devil doesn’t want us to go to Mass.”

Her words stopped me in my tracks. I had been feeling so discouraged a minute before, but her comment reminded me of what really matters.

There are always going to be obstacles to going to Mass. Maybe we’re too tired, or the kids are too loud, or a rude person in the next pew makes a snarky remark about your children acting like children in church. Maybe the work and struggle to get the kids ready for Mass just seems like too much.

But we’ll never regret going to Mass. We’ll never regret worshiping God in community and hearing Scripture and receiving His Body and Blood. Whatever sacrifice and effort we have to put in to get there will always be worth it. 

So if you’re struggling with going to Mass, hang in there. Keep going, stand strong, and don’t give up. It’s worth it, even when the kids are loud and Mass is long. And if you need a little extra encouragement, just think of my friend Nicole’s theory and take heart, thinking of all the graces God is giving you!

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