A little preparation can go a long way the next time you attend Mass.
It’s often said that, “You only get out of Mass what you put into it.” In other words, if you don’t prepare your heart for Mass, you will likely not be able to receive the many graces God wants to give to you.
This is why various saints have suggested arriving early to Mass and offering a few short prayers of love. Prayers of preparation became such an ingrained tradition that many people would take their place in the pew and instantly kneel down for a minute or two to say these prayers before every Mass.
There are many different options, some of them long, others short. Here is an excerpt from a longer prayer written by St. Thomas Aquinas. It highlights the spiritual disposition we should have when we attend Mass and prepares our hearts to receive God’s grace.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord, in your great generosity, heal my sickness … May I receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords … with the purity and faith … that will help to bring me to salvation.