The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest prayer that we can offer. After all it was instituted by Jesus Christ himself at the Last Supper.
We should bear in mind that the Mass is a sacrifice, and in a sacrifice there are two elements. These are the interior dispositions of the heart and the outward sign. The outward sign is there to show to the world what the interior heart is doing.
We would do well to remember what Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:25-26: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”
As we can summarize from this passage without a clean and Godly interior, the outward, no matter how great it may be, is of no worth. These words from Jesus show us that we should come to church well prepared and ready to worship the Lord.
One of the most important things that we can do is make sure we are in a state of grace. If we are, for some reason or other, not in this state of grace we should take it upon ourselves to examine our conscience and then go to confession as soon as possible so that we may fully participate in the Holy Sacrifice.
Once we are spiritually prepared then we can mentally prepare for the Mass. Mental preparation for the Mass consists of clearing our mind of all of the distractions that we find so common in our daily lives. It also consists of maybe a few quick informal prayers and offering our Mass for someone or a specific cause.
Once we have completed the inward cleansing and preparation we will then be able to truly show on the outside our faith and truly live as Catholics.
I hope that these few tips can help all of us better prepare for the greatest prayer that we can offer!
By John Thomas
Photo by John Thomas