New Again

This is me as I write this:

And this is me when this post goes up:

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Bitmojis, though. Am I right, ladies??

That is right, folks. It is Christmas Eve!! Tonight, my family and I are going to dinner together and then going to mass.

Going to Christmas Eve Mass is one of my favorite things. It used to be because it meant that Christmas was almost here. It used to mean that we got to drive around the Burbank Hills looking at Christmas lights (which are seriously lacking in the city this year). It used to mean I got to dress up and sing Christmas songs in the pews and admire the pretty poinsettias around the altar.

Now that I do not go to church often, I greatly enjoy this time to really think about my faith and about the man who saved our souls. His birth is a miracle. And because of how I feel about going to church nowadays, I have also been thinking about some New Year’s Resolutions.

One of which is to go to church more often. I signed up for the email list for the Newman Center just off campus. This past quarter, I was not able to really make it to any of the services. There is a mass on Sunday evenings, but it overlaps with chapter meetings, so I cannot make it. There are also various times on Saturday, though, that I want to put more effort into attending.

I am afraid to go alone, which is one of the reasons that I have yet to go to mass there. I do a lot of things alone: shopping, getting food, buying groceries, getting gas, and so on. I love doing things alone, but for some reason, I am afraid of going to church solo.

But when you think about it, going to mass by myself would benefit me greatly. It would leave me time to think about God and reflect on my faith and my sins. It would not distract me from what is going on. I will not have the urge to whisper to a friend, and I would feel ashamed to glance at my phone. That is not what the time is for.

I would get much more out of it if I went to mass alone, so I am planning now, promising now, to go to church. It is also an opportunity to make more friends who share my beliefs.

Religion these days is such a taboo topic and everyone is so afraid to talk about what they believe in. I am not ashamed of being a Catholic. I am not ashamed to be a Christian. But I feel like sometimes I forget what those words mean and what they entail. I want to be more aware.

I do not want to blindly quote the Bible. I want, when I see someone post a verse, to be able to generally know what they are referring to without needing to look it up. I don’t need to preach to disinterested ears, but I would really like to be able to talk about my faith and answer questions about it, should I be asked.

Sometimes in a class, a question about religion comes up. They are questions that, after nine years of Catholic school, I should know the answers to. Only I do not.

I will be better. And that is a goal for 2016.

-Ash

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