I'm betting readers here have the same sentiments I do when out of town and hungry for intimacy with the Body and Blood of Christ.
You do a bit of diligence to be sure you're not walking into something totally scandalous or severed from the Body of Christ, take a look around when you get there and if it passes at least the bare minimum on quality control, you take a chance.
On your knees, trying to enter the mystical places we go to connect with the Sacred moments on the Mount, Gethsemene, the praetorium,Golgotha and the Resurrection, the presence of the angels and Saints, the moment we intimately connect to Christ, the intercessions and prayers and communication happening between us, we try to block out the sounds of commotion happening around us.
We don't want to come out of our deep meditation to the sacred to turn to page 252 to sing a song with sappy theology. I don't want even see the choir which belongs in a loft summoning the angelic for what is about to happen. I don't want to hear a music director trying to pull me out of of mystical prayer to watch her attempt to conduct the religious entertainment she planned for the hour.
I go to a Mass as close to 7am as possible to avoid it all, so I can pray, intercede, connect to Christ and draw from Him.
If the homily is blither and blather I just can't listen to anymore or the priest starts acting like he's the main attraction at a religious entertainment hour, I check out, pick up my missal and pray the prayers written by our great saints. (Years ago, I printed off 1/2 inch thick stack of prayers written by our saints and keep them with me.)
There was a period of time I would walk out if it really got bad, and I still would if it gets heretical or dangerous to the souls sitting in the pews, but things have dramatically improved in the Novus Ordo as the St. John Paul II generation of priests were ordained and orthodox laity have taken to exposing antics publicly.
I've often wondered why seminaries poison the minds of their seminarians against the Latin Rite because if they saw and felt the difference, they would see how lame it is to turn our Sacred Liturgy into religious entertainment. Tasting the intimacy of Christ at a Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they would experience the "give me more" hankering those of us who know it have every time we enter a Church to draw from Him.
There is some glorious news in Christendom - Fr. Longenecker has tasted it.
I celebrate most masses facing the people, but I have to admit that whenever I do, try as I might, I feel like I am on show–kind of like I am in entertainment mode. When I stand at the other side of the altar and face the Lord with the people I find that my own celebration of Mass is more intimate and mystical. I feel like I am able to focus more on the Lord and what is happening. If I need to weep I can do so without people seeing me. If I need to pause and pray I can do so without worrying what people are thinking.
He goes on to explain that he suddenly felt a connection to the prayers which he never felt before.
Welcome to the club. It's a crying shame they didn't show you that in the seminary eh?
You will spend every moment of the time you set aside for prayer trying to climb back there, most especially during the Sacred Liturgy.
This is the reason why so many of us travel to a place where a priest is willing to deliver Christ in abundance and we stay away from priests who have turned it into a show about them.
This is why so many of us are worried about the state of affairs under Pope Francis. We made so much progress but it seems he is turning our religion back into religious entertainment. He is undermining all of the progress we have made in the last decade.
There has been no pursuit of it. He is the head clown blowing kisses from his choo-choo traveling the world, undermining and silencing Church teaching.
We are seeing reversals happening in our parishes already.
I'm not quire sure what to do about it yet, but pretending it isn't happening is definitely not the course to take.
(n.b. I can't state enough that I am extremely confident that our beloved Pope is a faithful son of Christ's Church. As I am Cardinal O'Malley. They are big boys who can take care of their own salvation. My focus as a mother, grandmother, friend, baptized Catholic is the damage they are doing by appointing apostates to teach and guide, sanctify and govern while they are off showing us how holy they are themselves. It's a tough show to watch given the people we love are being sucked into the vortex of their stupid ideas, God bless them. It isn't the first time the Church has been in this pickle. It is a blip on the screen. Sit tight on the Holy Mountain of God and keep drawing His Body and Blood.)