I have a great deal of longing for piety, reverence, sacredness and solemnity at Mass. My family and I are blessed to be members of a very good parish actually. Positives: We have order priests, many (not all) altar servers wear cassocks, our priests wear cassocks, 1880's style church architecture, rather minimal wreckovation, orthodox homilies, pipe organ, fairly solid catachetics...well not too bad right?
Negatives: Odd mixture of sappy 70's music, a virtual ARMY of extraordinary ministers, no altar rail, altar girls wearing flip flops...you get the picture.
The point of this post is not to complain but to rather share with you how I've learned to cope with this. Oh, about 3 years ago or so I went through a terrible, close to one year temptation to flee the Church. If there had been an SSPX chapel in my town, I don't think I could have resisted going there. Anyway - I would at times be in such spiritual pain at mass I would try to let my soul flee the church while "I" stayed put in the pew to make my Sunday obligation. This was a terrible affliction. Currently my soul has calmed down and this is why...
I went to confession about my "distraction" and was directed to close my eyes when this temptation (to flee Mass) came upon me and pray to Jesus and His mother for help and join my suffering with thiers.
So I began as directed and after months and months of struggle I can now sit rather peacefully through anything. Through God's grace I have been gifted with some help in this regard. The ONLY time I open my eyes once the Liturgy of the Eucharist starts is when I go to Communion until we stand for the prayers of the faithful. I never look upon the hand raising at the Our Father, I look not upon the scantily clad making the mad dash for the altar. Even with the use of the rather horrible Mass of Creation my soul follows the liturgy while my eyes cannot see the horrors before me.
I let my soul explore the depths of the beauty of our Catholic religion as it were. At the Agnus Dei I imagine a multitude of saints surrounding Jesus the Lamb at Knock and all the angelic choirs sing to Him. I can barely hear the organ, or the people around me. During the Eucharistic prayer I imagine being instead in a medieval Cathedral with St. Charles Borromeo saying mass ad orientam with great sanctity. At other times I kneel at the feet of a holy priest in a Nazi gulag saying a secret, private Mass. Going on...the Sanctus can be the Seraphim bowing low to the Throne singing out "Sanctus, Sanctus!" or St. Thomas More singing as he walked to the block, or St. Joan of Arc singing her love of God from the flames....you get the picture. The great amen could be the moment that Maria Goretti chose to give her life rather than into her attackers impure desires, staring up at the tip of the knife "Amen"
My soul can soar the heights while my body stays still and quiet in the pew. In a word I try to join my soul with the Church Triumphant because it is only there that my thirst for beauty and solemnity will be satified. Only Heaven shall not disappoint. Sometimes my soul is so immersed in my contemplation that I have a hard time not crying or letting it show.
The Lord had pity on me and has granted me this great consolation and has saved me from further discouragement. I wanted to share this with you so you may try this to see if it is helpful for your soul as well.
May Mary's prayers go with you always. Amen+