Am I allowed to enjoy anything?
I've been thinking. So, I've decided a couple weeks ago that for the Seasons of Septuagesima and Quadragesima (Lent), I would try to attend Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Pittsburgh. Multiple reasons. The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite fosters and caters to my spirituality much more than does the Ordinary Form. Being in God's Presence for worship is a very solemn occasion and the atmosphere and "feel" of the Liturgy is very conducive to prayer and meditation. It's frustrating wondering when the next time I'll be able to go to Latin Mass will be.
There are a few problems standing in the way. Gas is pretty expensive and the church is a good hour and 20 minute drive from my place. The roads are awful right now. Money is very tight, but I have been looking forward to Sexagesima Sunday all week. I don't want everything to go to waste really. I should also say that there is a Catholic church next door to me [that I don't hate; I enjoy it sometimes], but it's difficult having to constantly adapt my spirituality and relationship to the Mass on Sundays. During the week, Mass is fine there, easier to concentrate and pray.
Why would God give me such a desire and thirst to worship Him with the Extraordinary Form, but then place so much distance between it and me? It's tantalizing. I'm not unreasonably far away from it, yet I don't go more often. There is a closer EF in another diocese, but I've stopped going to that church for social reasons. It was starting to be an occasion of sin for me because I would often leave extremely upset. I miss that church though because the priest is the best predicator I know. He's such a man of God and so holy. He's tough, but that's what souls need. I always feel blessed just being around him. Not to mention, the church is gorgeous...
I usually went to Pittsburgh for the high holy days like the Solemnities of the Nativity and Resurrection of Our Lord. It's a larger community and I'll be able to blend in more and it'll be a fresh start. I won't have to talk to anyone and I can pick a corner and be in my own little meditative, prayerful world. Me and God. No one knows me. I don't know them. I don't have to have the anxiety of making a good impression or not because after I'm done with my Thanksgiving After Mass, I'll be leaving.
Since I'm Black and gay, like I said in a former post, I do naturally feel uncomfortable and "different" but I try to pray those feelings away and tell myself that I am bought with a price (First Epistle of the St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians VII, 23) and have every right to be there. They can't really kick anyone out of church unless they're being disrespectful can they?
It's hard not to wonder what people think of me there. I'd rather not know honestly. That's the other thing I wonder, why would God allow me to struggle with homosexuality and gender identity and race and then give me such a thirst for Him and be drawn to a way of worship that is like the antithesis of all those things, traditional Catholicism?
This is just putting tremendous amounts of stress on me. I feel like because I want to go to the Extraordinary Form so badly, I'm being unreasonable and really should just go to Holy Mass next door if I really do not disdain the Ordinary Form like I say I don't. It's not that I hate going to St. Thomas More, it's just I really wanted to do this and experience Septuagesima kinda sorta (I'd need the breviary and what not to really get the whole dose of it).
Which would be more sanctifying do you think: Go to Latin Mass? or go to Mass next door and offer it up?