We all have our rituals. Little things that we do to put ourselves in order. Wearing a certain shirt or socks for a competition or performance. The place we sit at the table for dinner. The way we get ready for the day.
In our faith it is the same. We have rote prayers, structure to our worship, methods to our spirituality.
These aren’t bad things, and I would even say that they are good things. Our personal rituals give us comfort and predictability. But there is an added thing that can’t be missed. We can rely on our rituals when we need them, and we can build their strength when we don’t. But if we go through our lives with nothing more, we have missed so much.
I sat the other day in church, Jesus on the cross in front of me. I had been telling someone how I relied on these rituals of faith to get through a difficult time. I came to Mass, and could lay down my burdens to receive peace. I could say the prayers written by someone else because I needed words that I didn’t have. And I thought about how all of these things I did were not because there was any particular magic about the actions, but they were because I had a relationship with Jesus that I needed to access. I needed these things to help me center and come back to Him. I needed that familiar place to be able to get through the distractions and listen to the words my Savior had for me. Within these rituals, He was present even if there were no words to be said. I can’t imagine getting through without it.