Oh, how blessed I am to be able to attend daily Mass once a week! I like to make a habit of going to the school Mass, because my son likes the jazzy music. (He used to dance in the aisles when he was 18-24 mos. and became sort of a legend.) I can think of nothing better to do with my time than offer the prayers of the church, receive Jesus into my body and teach my children proper commitment and reverence for the Eucharist.
- Unite your prayers with those of the Church. When the gifts are brought to the altar, flex your imagination muscle and place yourself, your humble failings, and your intentions for the Mass there also. I literally imagine a smaller version of my brother, for example, being placed on the altar. I ask the Lord to bless and consecrate him and the others I’m praying for as the priest consecrates the bread and wine.When the priest lifts up the bread and the cup as an offering to God, I visualize my intentions being lifted up right along with them. There is no better time to pray than when celebrating Eucharist and in the presence of the Body of Christ. I tend to focus on souls and salvation at this time, and I rely on mental imagery to keep me focused on something that looks and sounds the same every week, but is radically new each time in its significance.
- Acknowledge Jesus as King. When the priest lifts up the consecrated host immediately after praying, “This is my Body…do this in memory of Me,” we are to gaze upon the Body of our Lord with all the reverence we can muster. I work to conquer my easily distracted nature more at this moment than any other in the entire week. I focus on the gazing, the reverence, and I say in my head: “My Lord and my God!” It’s a prayer of recognition of what I’ve just witnessed…bread becoming Jesus.When my children are near, I also discreetly whisper, “There’s Jesus!” to them. My father always used to straighten us up and say, “This is the most important part of the Mass.” It’s important to draw children’s attention to that fact starting early.
- Prepare your soul to receive Jesus. It is no small responsibility to be the bearer of Christ in this world. The word “Christian”, literally translated, means “Christ-bearer.” When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we literally become His hands, His feet, His mouth for our world. Are you ready for the weight of that task?Most days, I am keenly aware of how weak, how broken, how unworthy I am. None of us are worthy of the gift of Jesus’s Body and Blood, but God grants us the grace to receive Him. It is on our shoulders, however, to prepare the best we can.Just as I tell my kids to “go potty and wash your hands” before eating a meal with our family, it should be our habit to “wash clean” our souls before consuming our Lord. Ideally, we would participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation immediately before every Mass. Not many of us have that opportunity.A good substitute is when we bless ourselves with holy water upon entering the Church. We are not only reminded of our Baptismal promises, but we are cleansed of venial sin and prepared for Mass.I guarantee you I sin in between walking in the doors and receiving Jesus. My dad taught me a great habit that I keep to this day: after praying, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the Word and I shall be healed,” with the community right before communion, I use the empty space as I wait for my turn to pray an Act of Contrition. I bring my failings before the Lord, ask for His mercy, and promise to sin no more. When I receive Him moments later, I have prepared a holy place for Him to dwell.
How do you enter into the Mystery of the Eucharist at Mass?
My friend Jenny at Heart of a Mother has an incredible reflection on our attitudes for Mass on Sundays.
START HERE for the first article in this series, the Ultimate Traditional Real Food.
Next in the series:
- The Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast
- How I Serve the Ultimate Traditional Real Food
- The Ultimate Christmas Food Gift
- Little Way, Little House, Little Children
- What Importance did Jesus Place on the Eucharist?
- Why do we Eat His Body and Drink His Blood
Some Upcoming Events:
- In Real Life: I am speaking at our church’s Advent by Candlelight on Sunday, Nov. 29th. Please pray for me! In the GR area and want to come? Email me for details.
- Advent Daily Dose: I’ll be posting a brief nugget of prayer, something to meditate on, or encouragement every weekday during (I promise, brief!) Advent. If you always lose track of your Advent devotional book, I’ll help you keep it in one place.
- By the way, you can find the daily Mass readings in my sidebar every day.