It’s easy for routine to become routine if you don’t put your heart in it. Just think of all the routine things we do every day. Athletes do countless repetitions in the weight room, script plays, etc. Stage actors rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. We wake up and go to sleep at the same time. The routine of family life. People actually leave marriages because they get bored with the routine.
And we Catholics go to Mass, which can sound the same every time.
But routine is not a bad thing. In fact, routines can be comforting. Imagine if you’re a team that needs a win to make the playoffs. It’s late in the fourth quarter, you’re down by 3. It’s snowing, the wind is blowing, your players are injured and cold, and tired. The coach calls a play. It’s probably going to be a play you have practiced dozens of times. Of course it is. That way, you can just let instinct take over, and the chances of success are much better.
The same is true with the Mass. Imagine, you’re in a foreign country, or mass is being celebrated in a foreign language. (For example, you go to mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe, with a special 90-year-old presider who does the mass totally in Spanish…) You could zone out, but if you remember that Mass is how heaven and earth connect (remember we pray WITH the angels and saints…), you’ve been paying attention, and you can mentally recite the Liturgy of the Eucharist while the presider says it in Spanish, so you don’t lose the meaning. Traveling in a foreign country, you have the same thing.
May I suggest that we all pay more attention to the words and the meaning of the liturgy of the Mass, learn it, love it, and live it? Our Lord died for it. Don’t we owe him at least a few minutes each day?