Invitation to Non-Practicing Catholics: Join Us for Lent

Dear Non-Practicing Catholic Friend,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately.  Lent is coming up!  Instead of giving something up for Lent out of habit, or because you hope to lose weight or kick a bad habit, can I invite you to make daily prayer, one confession, and weekly Mass your Lenten sacrifice?  It will take just a couple hours a week, and no counting calories!  The burdens that lift from your shoulders will far outweigh any pounds you might lose.  (Trust me on this one.)

Maybe you’ve stopped coming because you’re busy, or you have young kids who make Mass more like Angry Gymnastics than Worship.  Perhaps you’ve been struggling with some of the Church teachings and you just sort of… lost steam.  Maybe you never connected with your parish, you never made any friends, and you didn’t think anyone would notice if you missed a Sunday.  Then you missed another one, and another, and now it’s been so long you don’t even remember the Mass times.  You might find yourself wondering, “Does it really matter if I don’t go?  There’s always next week, or when the kids are older.”

Yes, it matters.  And yes, the other parishioners miss you.  Oh man, do we miss you, to say nothing of Jesus missing you.

I was like you, not too many years ago.  I went to Mass sporadically, I struggled to connect, to understand, to believe.  Thanks to the encouragement of others, I kept showing up.  It got better.  My faith now is stronger than it has ever been.  I’m not afraid anymore, and I’m happier than I thought it possible to be.  What did I do?  I showed up, even when I didn’t feel like it.  When I was tired, or the kids were cranky, or I had a bunch of other things I would rather have been doing, I was often tempted to skip Mass.  But I didn’t.  (Okay, mostly I didn’t.)  The graces I got from just showing up have changed my life for the better.

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Now, you may be thinking, “Micaela, I don’t want to become super religious.  My life is fine the way to is.  It’s great that you’re all Catholic and stuff, and that you like to talk about it and write about it, but that’s just not me.  I don ‘t want to be like you.  No offense.”

None taken.  Listen, going to Mass isn’t going to make you like me.  I’m me, you’re you, and Jesus isn’t interested in clones.  Getting close to Jesus isn’t going to make you anything other than a better version of yourself.

So here’s the invitation:  join us this Lent.  Come to Confession, come to Mass weekly, pray for 5 minutes a day.  Do whatever it takes to get here.  Leave the kids with your spouse if he/she isn’t Catholic or isn’t interested, go to the Saturday evening Mass if you like to sleep in on Sunday, ask a friend if you can join his/her family.  For whatever obstacles you face, there is a solution, I promise.

Just show up, and see what God does with you.

I’ll be praying for you,

Micaela

 

 

Mass and Confession resources:

Find Mass and Confession times in your area using this handy Mass Times search tool.

Use this Confession Cheat Sheet from Busted Halo.  It’s got everything you need to remember and you can take it in with you!

Hint: don’t wait until the end of Lent to go to Confession.  The lines will be long and you might miss out.  Besides, if it’s been awhile, you should go to confession before receiving the Eucharist.  So why not go tomorrow and begin Lent with a clean conscience?

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This is post 5 of my 7 Posts in 7 Days.

Or #7×7 as I like to call it.

To visit more bloggers doing the same, hop on over to Jen @ Conversion Diary

Comments

  1. Great post, Micaela! I like the “angry gymnastics” description…we are trying to sit close to the front but we don’t always know the answers to my daughter’s questions, “What are they doing?” #convertproblems

    Have you heard the song, “Just showed up for my own life” by Sara Groves? Your comment about just showing up and seeing what Jesus does to you and for you reminded me of it. Look it up on Youtube or Spotify…you won’t be sorry 🙂
    Jenny recently posted…8 Ways to Spin Straw into GoldMy Profile

    • A dear friend of ours calls going to Mass with littles “Massercise.” Makes me laugh every time. You are very, very brave, both for your conversion experience, and for sitting at the front. It’s where we sit, too, but sometimes I want to die from embarrassment. Thank you, children.

      I haven’t heard of that song. I will definitely check it out. Since we’re trading song recs, one of our family favorites is Matt Maher’s “Lord, I Need You.” Sometimes when I want to pray but I’m busy cleaning or what have you, I just sing it and it totally focuses me.

  2. What a lovely invitation, Micaela! Even for those that attend Mass regularly, I think we still need to be reminded that it does matter to just show up. :o)
    Divina recently posted…monthly pics for march (moxie wife style)My Profile

  3. Just beautiful, Micaela…you are really inspirational, using your blog in such a manner. Thank you for this.

    Would you consider joining in the Keep Love in Lent carnival? CBN is hosting; Monica and I organized and a few other kind blogger friends are also hosting. The linky opens on Mon morning 3/3…
    Here’s my post (with carnival info, button and some “directions” at the bottom. The linky is here but, of course, we can’t add urls to it yet. So many would benefit from your words….. Non practicing friends as well as other bloggers such as myself who will see that blogging is such an amazing opportunity and a privilege to evangelize.

    http://campfiresandcleats.blogspot.com/2014/02/7-diy-lenten-crafts-books-wreaths-crown.html

    Havea great day!
    ~Chris
    Chris recently posted…7 DIY Lenten Crafts & Books ~ Wreaths, Crown of Thorns, Mercy Crosses, Crucifixion Art, Books~ Artful Friday Lenten Blog Carnival {with linky}My Profile

  4. This is a great post. I would add, if you’re not Catholic, and you’ve been sitting in the pews with a spouse or family member for years, take the next step and join RCIA! I became Catholic because someone specifically said to me, “Will you join us this Easter?”
    Catherine recently posted…Our Twins’ Birth StoryMy Profile

  5. Great post! And for those of us who attend Mass regularly, it is a good reminder of the beauty and sacredness we so often take for granted.
    bobbi @ revolution of love recently posted…In the Kitchen: Carrot Apple MuffinsMy Profile

  6. Yes, so much good here. I think you reached into the heart of every Catholic who falls asleep with a prayer for a friend, family member or spouse on their lips. There is so much love waiting. Come home dear ones.
    Annery recently posted…{Theme Thursday} AnswerMy Profile