Shannon Bowen

Shannon Bowen

Everybody has their reasons for going to Mass. Here are my top 10.

1. What a wonderful way to start your day.

Ah, yes, the weekend is finally here. Friday and Saturday came and went, and inevitably, Sunday morning rolls around. If you’re like most Catholics, the thought of going to church is somewhere in your mind – even if it’s waaayy far back there. You know you should go, that’s what a good Catholic would do. You want to be a good Catholic, you really do. But this is your day off, and you’re tired. And let’s be honest – the snooze button seems a lot more appealing.

Waking up for Mass in the morning can certainly be difficult. If that’s the main problem, there are evening Masses, but you probably already knew that. And if that’s not the only issue, surely you might come up with another excuse to skip. Your intentions are good, but you don’t follow through. This prevalent occurrence is a reality in today’s world. But, ladies and gentlemen, we can’t make excuses for God.

Catholics need to go to church, people. And don’t be a Chreaster, either. Chreasters are folks who show up to church only about twice a year … on Christmas and Easter. Don’t be one of those.

So, rise and shine. It really is the best way to start your Sunday.

2. Going to church weekly is good for you.

Studies have found that attending Mass is directly linked with enhancing your mood and improving your spiritual health. Supposedly it boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It’s an opportunity to strengthen your faith.

Your faith is something to be proud of, and not only is it good for you, but you will feel good about yourself. Potentially, it will give you a sense of purpose. If you attend with your family, a closer bond may develop.

A new report from Gallup found that the happiest people are those who frequently go to a place of worship. And happiness, my friends, is crucial to our well-being. By doing this regularly, this enables the church to center and ground you. It will bring you the joy you crave, and the humility you need.

3. Whatever you are dealing with, religion is always part of the answer.

In our everyday lives, there are curve balls and ups and downs. Life is fair to no one. Attending church is a nice habit that will bless your life and produce positive results. It may help you understand what you are dealing with, or at least gain a better perspective. In tough times especially, you will find that attending church is full of benefits and only one outcome – a good one. It’s uplifting, motivating and inspiring. Simply put – practicing religion is good for your soul.

4. It is peaceful.

Mass can be a time of relaxation for you. A glorious hour of prayer and reflection can do wonders for your mind, body and spirit. It’s a time to listen, to give thanks, to forgive and to worship. Ultimately, this will bring you inner peace.

5. Gain relationships.

Going to church is not just that. Going to church means you become part of the parish family. It’s not something you do by yourself. It’s a reminder that you are not alone. You do this together, with other people, which will remind you that you have a supportive community by your side. These community members may become some of your closest friends. The people you see every Sunday will look for you to say hello. They will miss you if you aren’t there. They will keep you in their thoughts in prayers in a time of need. They will encourage and support you.

6. Keeps Jesus Christ the center of your life.

It is of great significance to be in God’s presence. Personally, I think of it as setting apart a time for God because he more than deserves my time. It’s in gratitude for what Christ has done for me. We are called to be disciples and follow the Lord’s commandments. If you’re a Christian and God is in the center of your life, you’re doing it right.

The Son of God sacrificed his life and died for our sins. The least we can do is take one hour of 24, one day of the week to visit His Holy Place. Anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ should do so. During Mass, receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord brings us into a continuous reminder that God is with us and in us. If we believe that, then it has a huge effect on our behavior and mindset.

7. You learn about your faith.

Things said in the Mass have the ability to open your mind and speak to you. Hearing the Word of God is special and has a lot of meaning to be interpreted. Each Gospel has a story, and homilies come with life lessons. You may even start to incorporate these teachings into your life. It’s an opportunity to grow mentally and spiritually, plus it can be pretty interesting.

8. Helps you heal.

Certainly many churchgoers struggle with behaviors they would like to change, but on average, regular church attendees drink less, smoke less, use fewer recreational drugs and are less sexually promiscuous than others. The church offers guidance and acceptance, reconciliation and everlasting love. Whatever you are going through, the church can help you through it.

9. What better way to prepare for your week?

It’s a fresh start for the next seven days. Practicing your faith, consistently, is something to be proud of. You will be challenged, you will learn, you will grow. It’s a good example for those around you.

There are many important and valuable parts of life. Practicing your faith religiously – no pun intended – is one of them.

So make it a priority. Let it be a part of who you are. Set a good example for your children. If you devote yourself, you will be rewarded … in this life, and the next.

10. For the last reason: why don’t you go and find out?