Some Catholics mention that they aren’t getting very much out of Mass. I would liken their experience to a kid at the swimming pool who sits on the side of the pool and just dips the big toe into the water and then says, “it’s not much fun going to the pool.” So, jump in; the “water” is great. How? No problem, that’s what this Mass Plunge episode will explain.
Have you ever been really excited to watch a movie or a TV program? When I was growing up, we had a family night TV program. We all knew exactly when it was, so we could prepare. All house chores had to be finished well beforehand. Dinner had to be fixed, eaten, and cleaned up. School work had to be finished. Popcorn and the Brashears’ special punch had to be ready to go. The beanbag and cushions had to be properly placed. Most of all, we had to take the phone off the hook...no interruptions. Then it started and all of our attention was completely dedicated for one hour. At the end, our lives didn’t just snap back. We cleaned up and talked about what the new plot twist could mean.
Part of engaging with the abundant graces of Mass is to prepare. We all know it’s the best program of the week and exactly when it’s going to be on. So, we should get any ordinary distractions out of the way well beforehand, like: bills, calendars, lunch plans, buying a last minute birthday gift, et cetera. We should clean up our minds from the cluttered thoughts of the week. We need to put ourselves into the proper place. To do this last one well, come 20 minutes before Mass. Shocking, I know. It’ll take you: 5 minutes to greet your fellow parishioners, 2-3 minutes to use the bathroom and check out the bulletin board, and 2-3 minutes finally get situated in the pew and quieted in your mind. This leaves you 5 minutes before the announcements are read to actually prepare with prayer. Which prayer? I will leave some options printed off in the back of church; we’ll also have some suggestions on the website under “RESOURCES.” The essence of the prayer is: “Lord, I have come open and prepared to receive your blessings; aid me that I might be strengthened to follow your Son more closely with my life.”