Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to Attend Mass with Devotion and Reverence - hints from St. Leonard of Port Maurice

"Then, holy Mass being ended, make an act of thanksgiving to God in the words, Agimus tibi gratias; and leave the church with a contrite heart, as if you were coming down from Calvary." (St. Leonard of Port Maurice 'The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass')

To listen to the advice of the Franciscan saint, Leonard of Port Maurice, and to leave the church as though one were coming down from Calvary, is to leave Church with the disposition of Our Lady of Sorrows. In the book The Hidden Treasure, Saint Leonard offers many reflections to encourage reverent attendance at Mass.

I. First part of the Mass from the beginning to the Gospel

1. "Humble yourself with Jesus, and plunge yourself down in thought into the depth of your nothingness; confess sincerely how wretched and how merely nothing you are before so immense a majesty;

2. "Pursue the exercise of forming many such internal acts of joy, that God should thus be infinitely honored. Repeat, over and over again: ‘Yes, my God, I delight in the infinite honor which results to Thy Majesty from this Holy Sacrifice."

II. From the Gospel to the Elevation

1. Contrition for past sins

2. "O dearest Jesus, give me the tears of Peter, the contrition of Magdalene, and the grief of those saints who, once sinners, were afterward true penitents, in order that in this Mass I may obtain a general pardon of my sins."

III. From the Elevation to Communion

1. "Stir your soul to wonder at the overflowing torrent of great and good gifts either bestowed on you or designed for you by God, and then offer to Him in return a gift of infinite value, that is, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Then invite all the angels also, and all the saints, to thank God in your behalf…"

IV. From Communion to the end

1. Make a spiritual communion

2. "Look upon God Who is within you, and then summon up holy courage to ask of Him many graces, … do not ask things of small importance, but ask great graces…"

3. "Offer petitions also again and again for yourself, your children, your friends, relations, and acquaintance; ask help for all your needs, both spiritual and temporal; ask also the fullness of all good, and relief from all evils for holy Church: and do not ask any of these things with lukewarmness, but rather with a great confidence, making sure that your prayers, united with those of Jesus, shall indeed be heard. Then, holy Mass being ended, make an act of thanksgiving to God in the words, Agimus tibi gratias, etc.; and leave the church with a contrite heart, as if you were coming down from Calvary." St. Leonard of Port Maurice, The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass, (Tan Books: 1952), 57-61.

Following St Leonard, pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary:
"O Most Holy Virgin, already I am at hand and about to receive thine and my Jesus. From thy hands, I propose to receive Him. Hold Him forth to me as thou didst to the shepherds, and the holy kings, and to St. Simeon prepare me to receive Him with love. Give Him to me quickly and pray to Him to fill me with His dearest benediction; and do thou accompany it with thine." (St. Leonard of Port Maurice)

And give her your holy resolution:
The next opportunity I have to attend Mass, I will bring these suggestions along with me and I will try to leave Church remembering Our Lady of Sorrows. For today, I will make a spiritual Communion and read through the prayers of this great saint.

Be thankful to God for graces received.

The picture represents the Mass at the RC Church in Oxford St in Manchester. Several times in the past I have attended FSSP celebrated Traditional Mass at this Church while visiting relatives and it brings me a lot of good memories.

Adopted from Mary's Vitamin