While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it,
and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
then he took a cup, gave thanks,and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.
~ Matthew 26:26-28
Many people ask, what is the most important prayer we should pray. They then come up with a long list of prayers: the Our Father, the Rosary, the Prayer of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, any novena. These are all good answers but not thee answer. The most important prayer we can pray as a Catholic Christian is the Mass. Many will go on to say, “Well yes, but besides that. I want to say a pray for a friend one who is struggling or a family member who is in pain.” The answer is still the Mass; offer the whole Mass for that loved one. Specifically, by calling the church office and asking for the Mass to be said in memory or honor of that person. Personal note, the person does not need to be deceased to have a Mass offered for them. Or generally, in that moment, offer that Mass to God in your heart for that person.
Back to the question of what is our most important prayer; why is the Mass the most important, truly the Source and the Summit of our pray life and our faith? Let’s ask another question; what is the purpose of prayer? Answer, to grow in relationship with God. What closer way to grow in that relationship with God then to literally consume His Body and Blood.
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'” CCC 1323
Most of us can see this logic and even believe that the Mass is the most important prayer we can pray. However, we struggle with understanding the Mass and connecting to the prayers and rituals within the Mass. Then our next challenge to growing in our prayer life and relationship with God through the Mass is to learn more about the truths and beauty of the Catholic Mass. Once you dive deep into the mysteries and rituals of the Mass, the more Mass will mean to you and the closer you will get to God. First, simple make it a priority to get to Mass each weekend, and if possible, daily Mass too. Second, take some time to look into, read, and watch some of the wonderful resources below to make the Mass your true Source and Summit of your prayer life.
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Graciously give to us by RCL Benziger
It has long been a Catholic understanding that when circumstances prevent one from receiving Holy Communion, it is possible to make an Act of Spiritual Communion, which is a source of grace. Spiritual Communion is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace him at a time or in circumstances when one cannot receive Him in sacramental Communion. The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass. Acts of Spiritual Communion increase our desire to receive sacramental Communion and help us avoid the sins that would make us unable to receive Holy Communion worthily.
Spiritual Communion Prayer
My Jesus, I believe that you are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire
to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
The Mass by Father John Gerritts
A series of short videos Father John made for the youth of our Parish to learn more about the Mass.