Have you ever noticed how easy it is to forget the good things that others have done for you, even God? I think that this is why we are supposed to attend Mass at least every Sunday, so that we will not forget too easily the price that Christ paid for our salvation! When I look at it in these terms it makes an enormous amount of sense that Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass weekly!

St Paul reflects upon the fact that God is always with us. It is never He who abandons us when we feel as though He is not there. It is always we who have walked away from Him or just forgotten that He is there at our side. The promise of Christ is that He has forgiven our sins and will be with us until the end of time. The most important time for us to remember such promises is in a time of struggle. Unfortunately, this is also the time that we are most likely to forget that this is true! This may sound ironic, but I think if you look back on your life, you will find that what I am saying is true. Therefore we have to devise ways and means of reminding us of the truth in such a way that we will not forget it easily.

This is one of the reasons why all religious groups adopt ritualistic practices, that is, practices that are repeated over and over in such a way that they become a part of who we are. I look back on Sunday Mass attendance as a child and I can see how this developed in my life. Going to Mass was simply a part of what Sunday meant to me. It was similar to the fact that I know that after I wake up in the morning, within a couple of hours I will eat breakfast. There are very few things that change that ritual in my life. I am sure that you can think of many other repeated actions that have become rituals to you such as brushing your teeth, taking a bath and so on.

Rituals are an important part of our lives as they remind us of certain truths which otherwise may not be so apparent. For the health of our Christian lives it is important that we develop habits and rituals of prayer, observing the practice of the Sacraments, service in our communities and so on. These indicate maturity in the Christian life and will also help to protect the gains that God is making in our lives every day.

Am I consistent in my prayer life? Am I consistent in the way I practice the Sacraments? Or am I constantly on a roller coaster in my Christian walk? How can I better ritualize my faith so that it will become a part of my life.

Lord, I recognize that there is a danger in ritual as it can become a practice that loses its meaning if I am not careful. Help me to be always seeking to grow in my understanding and practice of the Christian way of life so that I will not lose sight of the fact that you are the ultimate goal of all that I do.