Last night while stuck working an overnight shift at my part-time job, I was discussing with a fellow Catholic, the difficulty approaching in the morning with making it through Mass without passing out from sheer exhaustion. Another co-worker suggested that we go home and lie in bed with the gospel channel on the television. When I told her that, that isn't the same as attending Mass, she looked at me and said, "You don't have to be in a church to pray!"
I couldn't help but feel sorry for this person as she doesn't seem to understand that there is a difference between Mass and prayer. "I may attend Mass daily," I told her, "but that is only a fraction of my prayer." It saddens me to realize that people of that mentality believe that those who attend a church regularly only pray while they are there.
As it turned out, not only did I remain awake during Mass, but Father asked me to serve as usual, and I managed to focus better this morning than many others. I thank God for helping me through this weekend and believe that my prayers were answered.