Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Once More Without Feeling

I've started going, every weekday as far as I can manage, to the 5:30 Mass in Clarendon Street church, which is just off Dublin's busiest shopping street. It always has a respectably-sized congregation, and it's remarkably mixed congregation in terms of age, sex and every other factor.

I don't like the church. I go there because it's convenient, and because there's no daily Mass in the UCD university church during the summer. It's a Carmelite church and I find it far too florid and overdone. I don't like how baroque the statues are-- if they were really baroque they would pull it off, but they're just baroque enough to be gaudy. They look like oversized plastic action figures. It leaves me completely cold.

In fact, this is the theme of this blog post, such as it is-- being left completely cold. Today I attended Mass and-- as happens fairly often-- I felt nothing. In fact, I kept dozing off (that's because my sleep pattern has been shot to hell recently).

I felt no awe before the Eucharist. I did not feel the presence of the angels and the saints. I felt no sense of communion with my co-religionists in the pews, around the world, or through the ages. It felt entirely like going through the motions.

Maybe those are the liturgies that actually mean the most. I don't know. I just feel like putting it on record. I have been practicing my faith for only a few years, but there are times when I feel very little interest in spiritual things and my interest is entirely in worldly things.

My faith is unaffected by this. Prayer and worship feel rather like play-acting, but intellectually I don't doubt the truth of my religion. Emotionally and imaginatively, though, there's just a hollow.

I don't really have a moral or a message to this post. It just seemed like an interesting and significant thing to remark upon. I wonder if it is common?

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