The wind is chilling as it caresses my cheek with a frigid wisp of air. Walk quickly, breath in the exhilarating fresh air, and scrunch my shoulders to my ears to keep in the warmth. Of all the things I do, this is one of the things that makes me feel most like an adult. I am hurrying from work to a little chapel, tucked away in a hospital. My feet will lead me out of the wintry cold and into the warmth of a chapel. I will be united with the universal Church in prayer and receiving the Eucharist. I will rest in the pews and hear the readings proclaimed. While I like going to Mass during the school day, I feel most adult-like when I am trudging through the snow on my way to Mass. Something seems so beautiful about that prospect. In college it was typical for people to go to daily Mass often. There were multiple Mass times on campus but it was only when I would go to Mass off-campus, surrounded by people who had come from work or brought the young children from home, that I felt a strong interior gladness. It was as though college was an artificial world and stepping off the campus and into the town I was stepping into reality. I was taking my place among the adults of the world and showing the importance of the Eucharist. The fact that I wasn’t going because it was so accessible or expected, but because I desired to, my heart longed to go.
I love Mass regardless of the season or location. But there is a special beauty found in going to Mass when it is cold outside and the church embraces you like you were in your mother’s womb. The outside world might be cold and hostile, but Mother Church will always take you in, nourish you, and send you back out to fight the good fight.