PREPARING FOR MASS: FOCUS
If at all possible, strive to arrive early for Mass, even if only a few minutes to quiet your heart and your mind to encounter the mystery of Christ in the Eucharist. As you pray, use the following acronym (developed by Fr. Dylan James) to guide your preparation:
- Focus yourself on God’s presence, recollect your thoughts, calm your body and your mind so that you may be receptive to the Holy Spirit.
- Observe mentally what is about to happen in the Mass. Call to mind that you will hear the very Word of God;
- That you will join the praise of the saints and angels who will be truly present around the altar;
- That you will be mystically present at the foot of the Cross and be united to the perfect sacrifice of Calvary;
- And that Jesus Christ will give Himself totally and completely back to Him in return.
- Prepare yourself to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion by asking Him to come to you, to give you the graces you need, and to make you worthy to receive the great gift of His Body and Blood.
- Unite you prayer intentions to the Holy Mass that is about to be offered
- Call to mind all the people you have said you will pray for, those you remember, and those you do not.
- Most of all, unite your sufferings to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
- Silence yourself in preparation
- If time allows before mass, praying over the Scripture readings for Mass that day using either Magnificat or a Misalette is also encouraged.
- Mass readings can also be found online
Strive to make yourself familiar with the richness of the Catholic liturgy. This knowledge will help prevent you form merely “going thru the motions”, and will allow you to enter the Mass more prayerfully. Listen attentively to the readings and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as the Word of God is read. During the Eucharistic prayer, hear the words of consecration and be aware of the reatlity that Christ is truly present.
Thanksgiving After Holy Mass
After Mass, remain a while in prayer, thanking God for the gift of Himself in Holy Communion, for the gift of graces given, for the opportunity to attend Mass, and for all the other gifts in your life. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a conversation with our Lord during this special time of intimacy. Ask that the graces available from receiving Holy Communion will bear a fruitful harvest in your life and in the lives of those Christ has placed in your path. This time, when Our Lord is particularly close to us, is also a special time to ask and obtain favors. Bring your petitions to Christ, trusting His goodness. As you prepare to leave, form some mental resolutions that you intend to carry from this Mass, resolutions flowing from the homily or from your prayer. Write it down so that you can hold yourself accountable to carrying it out. As you leave, try to maintain a spirit of interior recollection and awareness of God’s presence and carry this with you during the day.