by Allan Tompkins
Picture this: you get out of your car, early in the morning, ready for a new day of assignments, challenges and studying. As you hear Ms. Fernandez announce the start of chapel Mass in 5 minutes over the intercom, all your worries about the day disappear and you know it is going to be a good day. Chapel Mass is the perfect way to start anyone's day.
One thing that is very special here at Christopher Columbus High School is the integration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, into our everyday lives. Whether that be through the morning and afternoon prayers that Mr. Linfors leads, or the religion classes that we take, we are made sure to know and love Jesus Christ with our full hearts. Among all of these, morning chapel Masses held at 7:10 every morning are, in my opinion, the most connecting and calming ways to relax the mind.
"There are a lot of nice little pieces to the Mass that I like, and that makes me feel like I'm starting my day on a good note," said Brother Dittus, "To think that I started my day spending time in the same room as God who loves us puts my whole day in a larger context."
Chapel allows you to simply sit down and go over your day and what you want from it. Not only this, but you are also given the chance to participate in the Mass where you can receive the Body of Christ any day of the week. Throughout my short time in Columbus, I have found that when going to chapel in the morning I feel relaxed and renewed for the rest of the day. While the worry about doing well on a test that day still lingers in my mind, I somehow feel more confident knowing that God is always going to steer me in the right direction.
"I like to go to Mass every day, or any day I can because I feel that learning about Jesus Christ can help us understand His love for us," said freshman, Eduardo Gutierrez.
Many people associate Mass as a drag for having to wake up early on a Sunday, dress nice and listen to a priest speak for 45 minutes.. At Columbus morning mass, we make sure to make the Mass quick and easy to follow which is especially important for how short the attention spans of teenagers are getting these days. You partake in the readings, the Gospel, the Eucharist and everything in between in a swift but comprehensible manner.
Another one of the more enjoyable parts of the Mass is who you spend it with. No matter if you are a member of the faculty or a student, everyone connects in a bonding, friendship-like way that makes you feel special. The comfort you experience when receiving a smile from someone as you walk in or through the offering of peace to each other in the Mass itself can set your mood for the rest of that day.
"Personally, I like beginning my day with Mass. It is personal as well as communal, a time to pray and to celebrate the Eucharist," said Brother Brady
Now, someone might wonder, "I bond and speak with strangers and friends daily, why would Mass be so different?" The answer to that question is simple: when in Mass, you are in the presence of God. There is a joyful and calming feeling throughout the room that jovially bounces from soul to soul, leaving remnants of God's love in everyone. This makes us feel warm, accepted and happier and leads to a better day, despite the obstacles we might face.
"For me, it's important to keep going because I never know which way it's going to go until it's happening. So the more I go, the more 'good days' I have in my relationship with God." said Brother Dittus.
If you haven't taken a hint thus far, I strongly encourage you to participate in morning chapel Mass every chance you get. You aren't going to know what you have been missing out on until you experience it firsthand. The serenity and liveliness of the whole process will make you feel so much better at the start of the day, I guarantee it.
"[If I were to encourage someone to go to Mass] I would tell them that it's always good to get into the Word of God daily because a lot of times, it can apply to our daily lives." said Gutierrez.
In the end, the best advice I could give is relatively simple: give it a try. One visit to Mass is all it takes to determine whether it is for you or not. As we navigate through the complexions of our lives, remember that every one of us has a unique plan set out for us. Attending Mass might just be the key to that lock we are so eager to open to find out what God has in store for us.
So, take that step, experience it for yourself, and take part in the transformative connection that awaits you within the walls of the chapel.