[ WordBytes on FAQs & Teachings of the Faith ]
What’s the easiest way to progress in the spiritual life? By witnessing miracles, because they enliven our faith. Where’s the most miraculous place on earth? The holy Catholic Mass! The Liturgy of the Eucharist.
I learned that lesson for the first time in 1988. I’d begun writing my book, Overcoming the Power of the Occult. Unusual things kept happening that prevented me from making much progress. I finally figured out that demons were interfering. I ran to Mass for respite.
The difference afterward in my writing was so noticeable that I returned to Mass the next day and the next, and soon I realized that daily Mass attendance made a significant difference, not only in the progress of my book but also in my personal growth. Frequent celebration of the Mass is still what empowers me better than anything else.
Mass is the highest part of the day. It’s a mountaintop experience. It raises us up out of the valley and floods of daily problems — every time. Very often, it’s a leap to the mountaintop.
The transubstantiation of bread and wine into the real body and blood of Christ is only one of many supernatural events that God provides during Mass. The liturgy gives us protection from evil in part because it begins with the Penitential Rite, which miraculously heals our spiritual wounds and strengthens our connection to the Holy Spirit.
Next, the reading of God’s Word and relating it to our lives through good preaching and by good listening (even when the preaching isn’t good) is a supernaturally anointed time when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Carry this forward into the consecration rite and we can hear Jesus speaking to us from the altar. What questions do you have for God? Now is the time to expect answers! What have you been praying for? Now is the time when it’s easiest to feel God comforting you or encouraging you or re-enlivening your hope. It’s an opportunity to experience the healing touch of Jesus, fresh inspiration, and a personal anointing.
I’ve discovered, again and again, that the thoughts that come to mind while Jesus is on the altar are not from mere human imagination. By this time during Mass, if I’ve truly been participating in the Mass with full attention, the Holy Spirit has anointed my imagination. When the messages or ideas are later confirmed, my faith grows and my confidence increases. Much of what I’m able to accomplish for the Lord is directly due to the divine conversation that Jesus miraculously enables in me during Mass.
It’s the perfect place to run to for problem-solving, especially when nothing else works.
After receiving the fullness of Jesus in the Eucharist, we should meditate on the union with God that we’ve gained. Soon we’ll be out in the world where other voices clamor for our attention. Our tendency to sin will inevitably deteriorate our closeness to God. We should do what we can to linger in the supernatural state of grace we received.
Is Sunday Mass enough? Not if we have difficulties and challenges during the week. I cannot count how many times daily Mass strengthened me for and even prevented problems that were looming in my day — including problems that I was not yet aware of.
Where daily Mass is available, most reasons for not going will be easily overcome by God if we ask for his help. If we drive our children to school, is there a Mass nearby that starts after you drop them off? Is there another parent who can carpool the kids some days? God will help set it up. If our job requires us to arrive at work too early for starting the day with Mass, is there a noon Mass? Many cities have a downtown Catholic church that accommodates business schedules. Or ask God to change your work schedule. I’ve seen it happen!
Do you serve during Mass? Great, but we all need to go to Mass at times when we can just be with Jesus, not doing any ministry but being ministered to by Jesus. (This includes clergy.) Times when we can focus on soaking in the presence of Jesus and what he wants to say to us. Times when we can more easily become aware of how he wants to heal us, encourage us, inspire us, re-energize us, or simply embrace us. Times when we can be only on the receiving end as Jesus pours himself into us.
Mass is the most supernatural place on earth. How many miracles can you indentify there? Watch for them!
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica
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Why is Mass the best way to progress in the spiritual life?
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