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Morning Community


Editor’s note: DC Service Corps member Sam Hardwick shares what he is gaining from incorporating daily Mass into his routine.

A man dressed in a janitor’s uniform. A woman from the Middle East wearing a headdress. A man in a freshly cleaned suit with a briefcase. A nun dressed in blue and gray. An elderly friar dressed in brown who finds it difficult to stand. Me in a t-shirt and gym shorts, most likely with bed head and standing with all of them. What could bring me into this diverse group of people at seven in the morning? Daily Mass at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, just down the street from the FMS residence at Casa San Salvador.

I do not know any of their names and yet, there is a sense of community each day I go into the chapel. Every time eyes meet there comes a “good morning” or “have a good day.” As I reflected in this, I became aware that something bigger than ourselves connects us every morning: a desire to know God and to receive him in the Eucharist and his grace through it. This may seem like a small revelation, but I see that despite our outward appearances, our hearts are the same. I feel reassured that, despite where the rest of the day might go, this part of my day can always be the same.

There is something special about starting your day with Christ. It centers your mind and reminds you that throughout the day we are called to do God’s work and not our own. For me, each morning I ask that God bless me with his grace throughout the day­—to do good and be good.

Prior to starting at FMS, I had been to daily Mass a few times in my life. It has now become a routine, one I would be hard pressed to break. Despite the tiredness some mornings bring, I know that getting myself to Mass will sow many more benefits in my life than the extra 20 minutes of rest missing Mass might bring.

I challenge you to examine your life and see where you allow God in each day. It may be saying the rosary, a walk around the block, or something else. But whatever it is, make it your own. Find something that brings you peace of mind each day and puts you in a prayerful state. Allow for God’s graces to fill you, enrich your day, and keep you focused on knowing and doing His will.

Reflection question: How can you open yourself to God more fully on a daily basis?

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After graduating from Providence College in May 2017, Sam decided to heed his call to service by joining FMS through the DC Service Corps. With a passion for data and an economics degree in hand, Sam will be serving as the development associate during his year of service. Additionally, during his time, Sam will also be volunteering at A Wider Circle, an organization in Silver Spring that helps those in need find furniture. Sam’s biggest hope during his year of service is to develop a stronger faith that is integrated into all aspects of his life.