As y'all know, what had been my day job was recently eliminated, and last Thursday was my last day as a regular, drive-to-work-sit-at-a-desk kind of wage earner. This cog - for good or ill - dropped out of the machine.
So, Friday was my first official day returning to work as a freelance artist and illustrator. I spent most of the work day catching up on a backlog of correspondence, and I actually have a few jobs to develop right away, including possibly a book illustration project that would be a great step (in a number of ways). I covet your prayers.
One thing I have as a goal is to make it to daily Mass as often as possible, and I was able to do that this morning. I haven't been a daily mass guy before (though I have gone a few times), so it will take a little bit of getting used to, but I do find this brief, stripped down Mass to be very rewarding. To be honest, it is my favorite kind of Mass to attend.
There is no singing, only the prayers and responses, with the daily scripture readings and a brief homily and then the Eucharist - which is the whole point. The focus is completely on the presence of God in word and sacrament, and this is very encouraging. It takes a half hour, total.
People come in various kinds of dress - some are dressed in their work clothes (could be nice office clothes or Carhartts and work boots) and some have just dropped off the kids at school and are in sweats or jeans. Retired folks, stay at home moms... anyone who can make it part of their daily schedule. This is one Mass that is clearly not all about a "celebration of our Us-ness".
I tried before to see if it was possible (I asked for permission from my employer) to go to morning Mass and still reliably make it to work by 9:00 - an hour later than usual. It wasn't possible. So I am glad, now, to have this as a fringe benefit of being self-employed. I lost a job, but gained the Body of Christ every day. Not a bad trade.
I'm a pretty understanding boss to myself, but I don't look at daily Mass as a perk (like the free coffee and window office I enjoy at home)... more like a team building exercise, or personal development training or whatever the HR departments call that sort of thing nowadays. It makes me a better person, a better father and husband, and a better worker. It carries benefits all around.
I'm being a little flippant, there, but in truth I hope to make the Mass the center around which everything else in my day revolves. It does carry all kinds of benefits in other areas, but it really needs no such justification. Meeting Christ in this way is worth making sacrifices.