By Aubrey Murtha — Every Tuesday night in that little sanctuary sandwiched between oodles of academic buildings, a group of eager Marquette students gathers to sing and pray.
I don’t know if it’s the beautiful simplicity of the setting, the humble way that over a hundred college kids cram—pretzel legged, mind you—onto the stone floor of a tiny chapel, or the force with which every individual sings each and every song, but there is something about that mass that’s completely intoxicating. You might be thinking that it is strange to use that word to describe worship, but let me assure you of something: prayer can give you a buzz that is far more potent than that of any substance.
I will admit that I am kind of a church freak. I am not a religious fanatic or a very holy person, although I do aspire to be.
I don’t pray every day. I make lots of mistakes and my faith seems to come in waves. However, there is something about a good mass that really gets me. I like to cozy up with a bunch of strangers, close my eyes, open my heart, and sing loudly and not very well to a bunch of awesome church songs. Church gives me a solid hour at least once a week to be alone with God, while in the presence of tons of other believers. Funny how that works!
I think my Tuesday night mass experiences highlight the value of private, Catholic higher education for your typical Catholic college student. I’ve been in Catholic schools all my life, but I have never felt the powerful effects of prayer as profoundly as I do every Tuesday night at Marquette University. Never before have I had the opportunity to be around a dynamic group of very involved students who voluntarily choose to attend mass on a week day. Even though I am an average Catholic, I feel so invigorated every time I leave Joan of Arc at 11:00PM. The Marquette community and the Catholic, Jesuit atmosphere here force me to foster my faith and push me to take advantage of opportunities to grow in that faith.
Whether or not you are a Catholic, a Christian or a believer of any sort, I would encourage you to try a Tuesday night mass just once. You may just see what a rewarding experience it is!