The Daily Mass Outward actions often reflect internal beliefs. Some of that comes into play in regard to how we live out our lives as Catholics. Hopefully our external words and actions reflect the depth of our faith. It's important to remember the distinction between subjective and objective proof. Subjective things are more internal matters of our minds and hearts. These are things which are difficult to prove; we need a lot of trust to believe them. Consider a subjective example: the proof of how much we love our mother. Contrary to subjective evidence is objective evidence. These are things which are black or white, true or false, right or wrong, good or bad. Consider an objective example: the receipt that you purchased flowers for your mom on Mother's Day.
Often when referring to matters of faith, these waters get really murky really quickly. We often say to others that no one can judge our faith. And that's the truth; we cannot judge someone's faith (in fact, we ought not to judge anyone anyway). On the other hand, we can make observations about other's faith, and others can observe us. So, the subjective part of faith is what happens within our hearts, minds and souls. The objective part of faith is what happens with our words and actions which demonstrate what we believe. Outward actions do demonstrate what we believe.
Here is a small sample example. Subjectively – things like our personal prayer forms (how we speak to God), how deeply we feel His presence in our lives, how we observe God in the people, places and things around us. Objectively – our attendance at Mass on Sundays and days of Obligation, how we treat others and the language we use, our choices of recreation and entertainment which our morally good or at least morally neutral.
So, we seem to have a pretty good handle on Mass attendance on Sundays and days of Obligation; the attendance here is pretty good. That external action reflects what we believe about the Church and God's expectations spoken through His Church. Part of our devotion to weekend Mass is our taught (objective) understanding about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Our level of understanding of His presence (subjective) is where we are on a continuum of belief and understanding.
That being said, daily Mass attendance is not some exclusive club or group who gathers for prayer so they can determine where to socialize after Mass. Contrary to that understanding, daily Mass is God's gift to us to receive Him more frequently through the reception of Holy Communion. That reception continues to strengthen the faith implanted by God at our Baptism to aid us in deepening our relationship with the Trinity.
My hope as priest is that Catholics continue to become more subjectively aware of the objective reality of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That awareness inspires us to continue to discover the endless treasury of graces Jesus has entrusted to His Church. Those graces, in turn, pour strength into our lives so that we can resist the challenges and darkness in the world around us and become more fervent in faith to give witness to Him. In the days and weeks ahead, put some prayerful energy to your subjective and objective understanding of the real presence in the Eucharist and ask the Lord if He may be inviting you to receive Him more often through Holy Communion. Lead by His graces, we will find ourselves more united with Him now and for all eternity.
Beginning on Sunday evening through Friday night I'll be away for continuing education. I'm beginning year two of three of the Institute for Priestly Formation Training for Spiritual Directors. In the event you or a family member needs a Catholic clergyman, please contact Deacon Wendt or Connie Sweno and they will assist you in finding a clergyman to aid you. Know of my prayers for you while I'm away and I ask the same from you for myself and the 75 other priests who are in the program with me.BACK TO LIST