Practical Wisdom of Spiritual Direction

There is a wonderful website (http://www.spiritualdirection.com/) that I would like to share with you that looks at the practical wisdom of Spiritual Direction. Do you have a Spiritual Director? Have you ever thought how one might assist you in your spiritual life and journey to heaven? These are important questions for us to consider. One pressing question that all of us must be willing to explore in a profound way is around our spiritual life and where we might be or not be in relationship with Jesus. Have we come to know Him in the Breaking of Bread? How do we prepare for Mass? Are we concerned that we should be preparing for Mass? Coming in

Are we concerned that we should be preparing for Mass? Coming in late week after week is not a good sign that we are preparing to receive our Lord. We should try to be present in the church at least five minutes before Mass begins so that we can spiritually prepare. If we can make it to work on time or get the children to school on time every day, why not the most important thing, which is to be in the presence of the Lord on time? Below is an article from the website linked above for your consideration for how better to prepare for Mass. Do give it some time and prayer as you prepare to meet our Lord on your journey of faith in the Breaking of Bread.

“A little over five years have now passed since the new translation of the Roman Missal went into effect in the various English-speaking countries. In this wonderful new edition, if you turn to the latter part of Appendix VI, there are prayers that the priest is encouraged to say before and after Mass. And one of them – the “Formula of Intent” – is, I think, very important and worth sharing with you today. Here it is:

My intention is to celebrate Mass and to consecrate the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Rite of Holy Roman Church, to the praise of almighty God and all the Church triumphant, for my good and that of all the Church militant, for all who have commended themselves to my prayers in general and in particular, and for the welfare of Holy Roman Church. Amen.
Should a layperson pray this prayer as-written? No. He or she does not share in Christ’s ministerial priesthood. However, by virtue of his or her baptism, a lay person does share in the priesthood of the faithful. That is to say, baptism qualifies every lay person to make a pleasing offering to God and to offer him fitting worship. Perhaps this prayer could be adapted, then? I think so.
Let’s give it a try. What if you were to come to church a good 10 minutes before Mass, and in the process of quietly recollecting yourself, recited devoutly something like the following prayer (adapted from the one above)?

My intention is to participate in this Mass fully, consciously and actively, and to worship the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ made present on the altar by the priest according to the Rite of Holy Roman Church, to the praise of almighty God and all the Church triumphant, for my good and that of all the Church militant, for all who have commended themselves to my prayers in general and in particular, and for the welfare of Holy Roman Church. Amen.

Might such prayer change the way that you participate in Mass? I think it would. Saying this prayer each Sunday and Holy Day, and whatever other days you might be able to go to Mass, you would begin to see yourself as part of a larger scene, so to speak: as a soldier in the Church militant who has something to bring to the battle. You might more effectively remember to pray for the many intentions you accumulate throughout each week, by consciously offering them both generally and in particular. You may look upon your baptismal priesthood in a new way: you have something to offer to God as well!

It is so important that we make a fruitful preparation for Holy Mass. If the Eucharist is, as the Church teaches, the “source and summit” of our Christian life, then let us act as if that were the case! We have probably all seen Masses that were celebrated shabbily, by ministers who seemingly did not prepare themselves well for what they were about to do. Do we participate in Mass rather shabbily ourselves?It surely is a struggle to stay recollected and to give it our all. But it’s easier when we have taken some time to prepare beforehand. The adapted “Formula of Intent” prayer above might help. Try it and see!”

It surely is a struggle to stay recollected and to give it our all. But it’s easier when we have taken some time to prepare beforehand. The adapted “Formula of Intent” prayer above might help. Try it and see!”

This reflection comes from the Weekly Newsletter which can be viewed here.

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