As a sunflower grows, it follows the sun. It seeks the direction that gives it the most light & there, it grows strong. Like a sunflower, we must seek & follow Jesus & grow strong in the light of the Son.
This past week, I was reminded by one of you how important mass is and how we are called to be just like Sunflowers, who constantly seek the Son, and His light.
Caro stated: “Remember you are God’s little flowers. And like flowers, we all long to grow to our full potential & beauty.” She then asked: “Are we receiving the sunlight we need to grow? Are we allowing God to be our sunlight? Let us receive this sunlight more abundantly through receiving Christ in the Eucharist!” She encouraged.
After reading her text message, I was inspired to attend daily mass more frequently this week. Which led to think of the the things that have really helped me participate in mass more attentively over the years.
Whether we love attending mass, do it for our parents, go because “we have to,” or don’t go as often as we’d like. I want to remind you that what Caro said was right. We must find our source of light so that we may be rooted & seek to flourish and bloom in the beauty that God surrounds us with. Below, with the help of some great friends, I share with you 7 simple tips on what to do to get the most out of mass!
- Arrive early.
- This allows time for reflection, preparation, and prayer.
- If you arrive early, whether it be a few minutes or 10-15 minutes early, you will have the time to prepare yourself to receive God’s word and not arrive in a rushed manner; worrying about where you will sit or perhaps what you may have missed. My great friend, Ana Karen, shared with me that when she arrives early she avoids the “spiraling effect” of distraction that comes from arriving to mass late. We must allow ourselves time in silence and prayer in order to receive God’s word fully and attentively.
“In the silence of our hearts, God speaks” – Mother Teresa
- Follow the Readings
- Many times when I have the readings of the mass right in front of me, I can better reflect on what God’s word is longing to tell me. Look to see if your church has books you can use to follow along!
- If you have time during the week, prior to Sunday mass, take the time to reflect on the reading(s) beforehand. You can find them here: Daily Readings for Mass
- If possible, I would truly encourage you to join or even begin a bible study where you can review the readings together! This will help you understand God’s word more deeply, help you apply it to your life, and also share God’s word with others!
- Start a “Mass Journal”!
- If you know me, ya already know ya girl is a journal enthusiast (lol). I once read a book called Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. He provides a new idea that allows us to shy away from the idea that “mass is boring” and opens an opportunity for us to open our minds & hearts to God’s voice.
- Matthew Kelly invites us to begin what’s called a “mass journal.” He invites us to listen intently during mass & find at least one bible passage/reading/verse, maybe even a lyric in one of the songs, the psalms, or literally anything that may have been said or thought of during Sunday mass that struck you, then WRITE IT DOWN!
- His testimony speaks about how he has done this over the years and has now accumulated many journals where he can now open up, go back, and read about what God was calling him to back in 2009, 2001, etc.
- I personally thought this was a cool idea right off the bat! It has truly helped me to listen more intently throughout the mass! And practice living out the gospel.
- Mass Journal Resource
- Free Resources by Matthew Kelly available too, totally recommend Resisting Happiness! I also ordered some extra copies so feel free to message me if you are interested & i will ship it right over to ya! 🌸
- Give Yourself a Weekly Challenge
- Whether it be from your mass journal, or anything you’ve been wanting to work on –mass is a great time to reflect on what God may be calling you to & how you can work on that more interiorly. For “every moment of every day, every situation, every person we encounter is an opportunity to become a better-version-of-ourselves.” – Matthew Kelly. Good interior work makes for good exterior work. Good thoughts breed good actions.
- Avoid Distraction & Be Present
- Leave your phone in your car. Turn off your apple watch. Or simply place it on Airplane/Do Not Disturb – it’s just for an hour!
- If you are easily distracted, avoid sitting in a place that will take away from your attention to the mass. God doesn’t care where you sit; if you feel more at peace sitting in the back pews, or right in the front, do what works best for you!
- I can speak for the “very easily distracted” peeps out there. I have found the art of closing my eyes to be very helpful. When I find myself increasingly distracted during mass – I have found this to be my very own little strategy . This may or may not work for you, but i has truly allowed me to block off visual distractions around me & completely focus on God’s word & my prayers & praises to Him. I try to redirect myself quickly with a prayer and seek to silence my mind to be reminded of His love for me in that moment. (I’ve found this actually helps throughout my prayer life as well!)
- Receive the Gift of Confession Regularly
- I know it can be scary, and we often avoid confession as much as we can because, honestly, it’s probably one of the most nerve wracking things we gotta do as Catholics.
- But I tell you today, go to confession. God longs to pour His mercies on you. He already knows what we did, and quite frankly we are all sinners. It’s a hard reality accepting it sometimes, but no body is perfect. God simply wants to give you the opportunity to open your heart to Him so you will be set free. He’s waiting for us with arms wide open. This will allow you to focus solely on Him more deeply.
- Practice Praise & Thanksgiving
- Often times we rush out of mass without taking the time to truly thank God for the gift of being able to participate in such a beautiful celebration. I just recently learned this, but the Eucharist actually means thanksgiving in Latin. And as we partake in the mass, we are participating in the celebration of a beautiful thanksgiving feast – one in which we are reminded that a Savior died just for us so that we may have eternal life! (What an awesome God, huh!? Blows my mind every time!)
- Whether it be before, during, or after mass – take the time to truly say thank you for all the blessings in your life. Praise him continually, for all goodness flows from above.
“Rejoice always,pray without ceasing,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I hope you can find a tip that resonates with you! You know I always like to leave you with a little challenge, so: I invite you to think of how you can make more out of your time at mass & try it this Sunday! Please share with me your suggestions/tips or what works/worked for you!
May God Bless you & keep you always. 💖