Reading your book, the beauty and richness of the faith comes across clearly. But in the daily experience of many Catholics, the experience of the Church, especially in her liturgical life, is empty and formal. What do you say to those who say they’re "not being fed" in the Catholic Church?
I’m probably the wrong person to ask. There’s a lot of grumbling among Catholics about the liturgy. Some folks complain that the homily is bad and the hymns are lousy. Others say they don’t get anything out of Mass, because it’s just rote ritual. I don’t have any patience for any of this talk. All I can ever say is that I am the biggest liturgical abuse I find in every Mass I attend. I’m the only empty thing I find in every Mass. It’s me who comes to Mass far less than fully prepared to meet my Maker. It’s my mind that rambles while the priest is up there praying on my behalf. Is it the priest who’s just going through the motions—or is it me?
Everybody expects the Mass to deliver the goods. But we forget that love is an exchange of gifts, and that in every Mass, God expects us to deliver ourselves to him, too—totally, completely.