|THE MASS IN MY LIFE|
|Mother M. Angelica
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.
(Read Scripture or recall some passages.)
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 wonderment!
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.
Lord Jesus, Your Spouse, the Church, is in great need and I offer her up to You and ask that you give her children the strength to hold fast in the face of subtle persecutions that come from the world. Give her the zeal to proclaim the Good News to all men, the humility to trust in Your guidance through our Holy Father. Give to the faithful the grace to see Your authority behind the teachings of Your Church, the confidence to rest secure even when the Bark of Peter is tossed to and fro on a stormy sea. Guide all Bishops and Priests that they may live in Your Spirit and radiate Your life on earth.
Renew within us all a greater love for Mary our Mother and let her example of Faith, Hope and Love spur us on to great things. She bore You in the silence of the night, listened to Your teaching and pondered them in her heart. She stood beneath Your Cross and watched You slowly die for love of me and then remained with the Infant Church until this new Bride was ready to follow her Spouse without fear. Her arms were then as they are now, ever outstretched in ardent supplication for Your people. Listen to her entreaties and those of Your saints on our behalf.
I must look at these valiant heroes and follow their example. They too had weaknesses, sins and faults and yet they dared to scale the mountain of holiness. They kept their eyes on You, Lord Jesus, and not on themselves. Holiness seems so far off to me. You certainly died for me as You did for them. You merited holiness for me as you did for them.
Yes, my Jesus, I too am called to the heights. Do not permit me to live in the depths. Your right hand is always extended and beckoning me to go up higher—closer to the Father—above the passing things of this life. And yet I live in a material world where there is the necessity of working, eating, drinking and sleeping—where my neighbor is in need and society is ever running after the trinkets that glitter and pride envelopes my soul like a dead weight. But men and women whose memory I commemorate in the calendar of saints had all my problems and many more. What they did not have was my tailor-made excuses, my lukewarm devotions and my measured zeal.
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 Will.
Our Father, Who Art In Heaven—thank You for giving me Your Son.
Hallowed Be Thy Name—give me the courage to hold Your name in reverence and never use it in vain.
Thy Kingdom Come—let all men acknowledge You as Lord in their lives.
Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven—Give me the grace to live in the present moment. Let me see You, Lord Father, in everything that happens to me, in everyone that crosses my path. Let my heart ever sing one melody of union with Your Will.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread—Thank You for Jesus in the Eucharist, for Your food in Scripture, for Your Presence in my neighbor and in my soul and for the bread that nourishes my body.
And Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us.Oh Lord, give me a merciful spirit and a forgiving heart so You may say to me at death—"I forgive you—I understand."
And Lead Us Not Into Temptation. Give me the grace to prove my love for You by overcoming the world, myself and the Enemy.
But Deliver Us From Evil. Protect me from the cunning and subtle temptations of the Enemy. Let Your angels surround me with their power and St. Michael defend me in my battles.
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.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3)
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