On a good Sunday, right before Mass, I'm rational, coherent and serene as I heft the diaper bag and climb into the van. I'm aware that I'm going to hang out with the God of the universe in His house.
On every other Sunday, my reverence for that same God of the universe is overtaken by one or all of the following concerns: one of my children is wearing an outfit I wouldn't have chosen; I'm not holding in my belly effectively enough; John will inadvertently topple an elderly parishioner and the paramedics will be called.
How can I move more toward that "good" Sunday? I don't know. Just so you know, I truly don't know. I don't want you to keep reading thinking I'll conclude with a brilliant answer. I don't have one. I know it has much to do with prayer, accepting the grace of God, and probably a Valium prescription - but each of those presents hurdles of its own.
Today I arrived at our usual row and whispered "Good morning" to the woman in the end seat. She didn't reply and right there just a few feet from the crucifix I got annoyed. Can't she say good morning back? What a pill! (Never mind that the other 45 people I'd already greeted smiled and replied promptly. I was focused on the woman who didn't. I think I'm a little like Ray Romano's character on "Everybody Loves Raymond". He absolutely could not deal with not being liked. I also, apparently, insist on being warmly greeted and smiled at in all circumstances.) I noticed moments later that the woman was praying the Rosary. Oops.
There's the real life of a follower of Jesus, I think. I'm perfectly capable of harshly judging a prayerful old lady right in front of Jesus! And HE is perfectly capable of still loving and forgiving me. And that's what keeps me going back Sunday after Sunday. No matter how the morning goes beforehand.