We are required to fast for an hour from food and drink before receiving Communion (the fast does not include water or medicine, and does not apply to the sick). The hour before Communion is a great opportunity to also prepare ourselves spiritually. What do you want to get out of Mass? Collect your thoughts. One week ago you were at Mass; what did you ask for then? How did your week go? What will be coming up next week? Where do you need God’s help? Now when the priest says, “Let us pray,” you already know what you will be praying for.
Listen for God’s Voice
God is real. He exists. He speaks to us. God desires each of us to become the best version of ourselves possible, as Matthew Kelly says. Why not listen for God to show us how? Get a Mass journal. Before Mass ask God, “Show me one way that I can become a better version of myself.” Then listen to everything – the music, the prayers, the readings, the sermon, more prayers… Listen for one thing from God for you. When you find that one thing, write it down. Cherish it, pray with it, and try to put it into practice the next week.
Keep the Conversation Going
We often leave Mass with a sense of peace, contentment, and joy, the realization that everything will be ok. Then things get busy. Why wait until next week to experience that same feeling? Take time every day to deepen your relationship. Daily prayer is the most important habit you could possibly develop. Talk to God; He’ll never interrupt. And make it a point to listen also. You will start to notice his presence all over the place. A Christian is never alone.
The first condition for success in anything – business, sports, school – is to be prepared. The same goes for Church. The lector will begin to read a completely random passage from Scripture – no context provided, no introduction. By the time you realize what is going on, it will be over. Why not read the readings in advance? We publish them in the bulletin every week. You can even get them online at www.usccb.org/nab You could read them months in advance if you wanted too. There are also some great services that will send you all the readings a month at a time. Here are three I recommend:
Living with Christ – The simplest; the daily scripture readings for just $23.95 per year.
The Word Among Us – Regularly $34.95 but with introductory offers and discounts.
The Magnificat – Possibly the best known, even internationally. Readings, meditations and more at $44.95 for 1 year.
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