THE MASS IN MY LIFE
by Mother M. Angelica
Foundress of EWTN and the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration
My Jesus, somewhere in the world your people are celebrating the Eucharist. My heart
feels cold and indifferent and I wonder why You died for me. Was it not enough to create
me to show me Your love?
The Mass proclaims Your death to the world. The world has forgotten Your sacrifice - I,
too, in my lukewarmness, take your Sacrifice for granted. This is a Celebration - a
remembrance of the love You have for me and the hideousness of sin. The world looks upon
sin as some minor offense - some involuntary weakness that is completely personal. How can
I look upon You in Your Passion and even think for a moment that my sins are nothing? It
took the Sacrifice of God's Son to atone for my sins - they deprive society of goodness
and rob me of grace.
Oh, God, forgive me my sins but most of all forgive me for being so lukewarm - so
negligent - so hardened to Your love. It is my fault, oh God, my grievous faults that
nailed You to the Cross.
Prepare my heart to walk with You in Your Sacrifice and permit me to unite the
sacrifices of my daily life with Yours. I unite my entire life with the life You lived on
earth. I desire that my moment to moment existence be patterned after Your perfections.
Open my ears to understand Your Word as it is proclaimed throughout the world. Your
Word is like a seed and my soul is the ground into which that seeds falls. Do not let the
weeds of this world choke the seed and keep it from taking root. Let my soul be as the
parched land that soaks up the living water and nourishes the seed.
My Jesus, I like to imagine You as You spoke to the crowds. I like to think my heart
would have been inflamed with love as I listen to Your Word. How full of power You were as
You spoke of the Father. Every word would have been so different, so gentle and so loving.
I hope I would have followed Your counsels and applied them to my life.
Why do I revel in vain desires when I can apply the words I read in Scripture and those
spoken by Your priest with as much fervor now as I would have then. All things are present
to You, Lord. There is no past or future - all things - every moment of time - from its
beginning to its end is present to You. This being true, permit me to unite myself to
every Mass being celebrated at this moment and let me go through each moment of Your life
with You. Let Your words and Your life penetrate my body and soul and make me like You.
Dear Jesus, whenever I see Your priest put wine and water in the chalice, I think of
how the wine of Your Divinity was united to the water of our humanity at Your Incarnation.
I unite the water of my imperfections, sins and weaknesses to the wine of Your infinite
perfections. Change me as You will change this water and wine - transform me into a clear
and perfect image of all Your perfections. Let the bread of my human nature be offered
with this bread on the altar and by the power of Your Spirit, speak the words of comfort,
strength and power that I need to overcome myself, the world and the Enemy.
I place on the paten all my loved ones, my neighbors, poor sinners and all mankind. I
give You the people You have chosen, the priests that speak Your Word, the Church You have
espoused to Yourself and ask You to pour grace and holiness upon them all.
Do not these common items of bread and wine remind You of the nothingness from which
You drew us all? But now, soon, Your power will perform even a greater miracle. It is not
beyond my comprehension to understand God creating everything from nothing, but for that
same God to take such simple things like bread and wine and change them into Himself is a
mystery, a love that staggers the imagination and makes the very angels stand in
Dare I offer my mite - my meager love, my tiny spark to that flame? My God, would my
spark be brighter at this moment if I forgave my brother - oh, then I do forgive - if I
overcame some fault - then I shall overcome - if I were more compassionate to the weak,
generous to the poor, considerate of the aged and patient with the young - oh, then, dear
God, I shall be all these things today!
Lord Father, Your divine perfections thrill my soul. You are Lord, You are Goodness
itself. All creation manifests Your power, wisdom and love. "You know me through and
through." "From my mother's womb You chose me to know and love You."
Everywhere I go You are there - there is no secret hiding place for me to run to. My very
thoughts are known to You before they are to me. You care for me with deeper concern than
a mother for her child. You provide for me with greater care than a father for his family.
Your joy overflows when I reach to You in love - Your love pursues me - hounds me - when I
stray from Your arms. You are glorious and I only cry out in joyful song that You alone
are Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God, Almighty.
Your death and its proclamation at every Mass is enough in itself to make me holy if my
faith were more living, my hope more joyful and my love more burning.
My Jesus, I wish I had been in the Upper room the night before You suffered for the
redemption of those You loved so much. Again I entertain vain desires for am I not really
present at the Last Supper at every Mass? My faith is weak and my love lukewarm. Yes, I am
there -- that awe-inspiring moment when Your Apostles understood Your previous revelation
of Your Body and Blood as food, is totally mine at every Mass. I can offer God to God in
reparation for my sins. I can receive God into my soul so His Precious Blood, shed for me,
begins to run its course in my heart.
I can see Your Face at the Last Supper, Lord Jesus, as You looked up to heaven to the
Father who sent You and gave Him thanks and praise. I wish I had the courage to praise the
Father before every sacrifice that His Wisdom asks of me. Give me that total consecration
to the Father's Will, that union with the Father's Love.
Did the Apostles gasp in wonder as they heard You say, "Take this, all of you, and
eat it: this is My Body which will be given up for you"?
I look upon the Host whenever I am at Mass, speechless and struck with awe at such
humility. My life is so full of me -- so full of pride -- so full of the need to keep my
identity. You are willing to hide Your Glory and Majesty behind this wafer, so I may gaze
at my God and not die. You want me to be comfortable in Your Presence -- to speak to You
unencumbered by the difference in our natures. Oh Love, that is not loved, how can I
return Your love? Wash me clean, dear Jesus, clean me of every sin and weakness. Cover me
over with mercy and forgiveness.
"When supper was ended, He took the cup. Again He gave You thanks and praise, gave
the cup to His disciples and said, 'Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the
cup of My Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you
and for all men, so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.'"
Wine is changed into Your Blood with the same ease Your word created light and planets,
men and angels. Your word changes what was created into the Uncreated -- the finite into
the infinite. First, God becomes man, then God changes bread and wine into His own Body
and Blood. By the separate consecration of bread and wine, the death of Jesus is
proclaimed to the world. Truly I am at Calvary at every Mass for He is born, He dies, He
lives and He becomes my food.
Lamb of God, prepare my soul to receive Your Body and Blood. The next Communion I am
privileged to receive must be one of great fervor, devotion and thanksgiving. I am not
worthy to receive You but that is the very reason You come into my heart. You have come to
save sinners, heal broken hearts, comfort the afflicted and console the lonely.
You are the Divine Physician who comes to heal and forgive. In Your generosity You
share Your Divine nature with me and Your Wisdom has devised such a simple way to fulfill
the longings of Your heart for the love of Your unworthy child.
My Jesus, have mercy on all those among my friends, family and relatives waiting and
being purified of those imperfections that keep them from You. Release them from their
place of purification and grant that they may enter Your Kingdom. If I were in their place
now, I would certainly desire to have changed my life while my will had the opportunity to
choose. Let me change now as I may one day wish I had done.
Grant, dear Jesus, that I may live in Your Presence, recall that Presence within and
around me, and always accomplish my duties in an attitude of loving obedience to Your
Lord Spirit, give me a deep realization of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
My faith is often weak and the worries of this life rob me of spiritual realities. His
humility in a tiny host, His longing to be united to me at Holy Communion is often
obscured by my lukewarmness, neglect and preoccupation with the things of the world. I'm
sorry for my tepidity and I ask You, Holy Spirit, to give me a Faith Vision so I may
benefit by this Gift of Gifts - the Eucharist.
Heavenly Father, when Your priest holds up the host and says "the Body of
Christ" let my soul bow in humble adoration before the love and humility of Jesus.
Let my heart be a pure resting place for Your Son. I desire, dear Father, that the image
of Jesus grow brighter in my soul after every Communion. At that tremendous moment God and
I are one.
My Jesus, so shine in me that together we may glorify the Father by bearing fruit in
abundance. Let us go out into the world together and radiate Your love and kindness. Have
mercy on poor sinners, the hungry, the poor, the sick and the aged. Lead mankind to a
deeper knowledge of Your love for them and guide us all in the right path.
My Jesus, let my heart sing out for joy, for You dwell in it. Let my mind be filled
with heavenly thoughts for Your Father desires to reign there. Let my soul be guided by
Your Spirit for He wishes to sanctify it.
I am a child of God through Baptism and my resemblance to Him has grown stronger
through Holy Communion. May I never forget my last Communion and may my heart yearn for
the next one.
Somewhere, someplace there is a Mass being said -- a Calvary to be present at -- a
Communion to receive, either sacramentally or spiritually -- an opportunity to be more
like Jesus, the privilege of helping my neighbor, a time to say "I thank You,
God", a situation to choose Jesus over myself or a chance to make a sacrifice.
Truly, the Mass will go on and on until one day the Father will say, as His Son once
said, "It is finished." Yes, the Lamb of God shall reign triumphantly with all
those who have been washed clean in His Blood.
Abridged from The Mass in My Life (c) Mother M. Angelica 1976.
Our Lady of the Angels Monastery
Full text available in our library.
Printed copies available from:
5817 Old Leeds Road
Birmingham, Alabama 35210
Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1996. All rights reserved.