Many people go to Mass with the expectation that they are supposed to “get” a lot out of it. But, what you get out of Mass is dependent on what kind of changes you are willing to make in your efforts before, during and after Mass, because what you put into Mass determines what you get out of it.
Let me give you eight pointers that have helped me in the past:
1 – Properly prepare for Mass.
- Read and study the readings before you go to Mass, and then listen to them intently while The Word is proclaimed. You can find the Sunday readings here.
- Study the Church’s teachings. The more you know about Christ and His Church, the more there is to love. – You can’t love what you don’t know.
- Go to Confession regularly. This will help prepare you spiritually.
- Pray daily. Without prayer you have no spiritual power!
- Dress appropriately. You are going to meet the King of Kings. Don’t dress the same as you would for a lunch date, a party, or class. Make it special.
- Get there early and sit up front. Less distractions and more time for prayer before Mass.
- Once inside, don’t talk or people-watch…pray.
2 – Make sure your attitude is adjusted properly
- Don’t expect to be entertained. It isn’t as much about what God is doing for you, but what you are doing to worship God.
- Look for God in every part of the Mass.
- Don’t let outside distractions disturb your internal peace.
- Find one nugget in the preaching to take home with you.
3 – Participate
- Sing, even if your voice is bad.
- Respond and pray with gusto. Give it all to God and don’t worry about others.
- Remember that during Mass isn’t socializing time.
- Offer your pain, sufferings, joys and prayers to God.
4 -Listen to the Word and be open to it changing you
- Are you open to letting God change you? If not, then you won’t be changed.
- Listen to the Word proclaimed and let it challenge you.
- Find something in the Homily and apply it for the week.
5 – Know, understand, and proclaim your Faith
- Don’t just recite the Creed – proclaim it like you mean it and understand what you are proclaiming.
6 – Tithe
- If every Catholic tithed…think what we could accomplish in spreading the Gospel.
- Yes, it is our duty to support the Church. But, it does more for our own faith than it does for the Church.
- Most people “tip” not “tithe” – so be a tither, not a tipper.
7 – When you receive Jesus in the Eucharist – understand what it is you are doing
- You are taking the Body, blood, soul, and divinity of GOD into you
- You are joining in heaven on earth
- You are becoming one with The Body of Christ
- Be reverent
- Realize that He is in everyone else that received Him as well.
8 – Tell other people about Him
- You are now empowered to evangelize (share the Good News of Christ) – which is what the Church exists for.
“If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.” – Saint Jean Vianney