Mother Angelica (God rest her soul) and her creation, the Eternal Word Television Network, along with its magnificent Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament have lightened this little hermit's world to a degree I did not imagine possible.
I began watching the 5:00 mass from a sense of duty, really. It just came to me. Or perhaps the Lord led me there. In any case, the timing is perfect. I generally take tea at 4 p.m. at the end of the day's exertions. An hour later, after refreshment and spiritual reading, I feel the tranquilIty of evening beginning to descend.
The mass is just beautiful. I happened to have a copy of the ADOREMUS HYMNAL, and I have no idea where I obtained it. Somehow it appeared in my books. The mass is about half Latin chant, half English, and the hymns, so far, are lovely. The version I have is out of date, and I have to shuffle around through the pages a bit, as a result, but since I am alone in the room, I needn't worry about disturbing other worshippers.
The mass is conducted in what seems to be a small chapel, probably just off of the main Shrine. You can see the picture, above. It is very beautiful and golden, but simple at the same time. The mass is conducted with great reverence and beauty. There is no clapping, thanks be to God, no talking amongst the people in the congregation, and a certain gentleness pervades throughout.
I found myself being drawn into the mass. There, in my living room, I am learning the Latin chant, singing the hymns at full voice, and participating in all the responses and prayers. The spiritual communion is growing on me.
After only a few days, I've begun to anticipate 5:00 p.m. mass every day. It has quietly begun to smooth me into a rhythm that I haven't been able to establish on my own. Soon, I found myself scheduling reminders on the television set, but I suspect I will not need them.
When I was young, I was terribly disciplined. As an older lady, I am humbled with chronic pain, mobility issues and other problems. Things are quite different now, and I must find my inspirations and organizations where I can. Thanks be to God, he sends me enough aid to keep me on track.
For all the other elderly hermits out there, I recommend the televised mass on EWTN. In younger days, we may have made pilgrimage to the place: just hopped into the car and driven there over miles and days. Instead, we drive our recliners to a virtual wonderland of inspiration in a heavenly land.
Get the Adoremus Hymnal so you can fully participate, and you won't regret it.
God bless us all.