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How To Get More Out Of Mass

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys discuss ways you can more fully participate in Mass and fight distraction, boredom, or acedia.

Episode 93:
In this episode, we will discuss:
• Why Confession is 100% necessary to prepare for Mass
• What should you do if you are bored at Mass?
• Why bad liturgy distracts Catholics from Christ
• Are Catholics still required to fast before Mass?
• What prayers can you say during Mass?
• and much more


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12 comments on How To Get More Out Of Mass

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,
    Fr. Rich, that is my personal aim to gain joy from Mass and not see it as a duty only. This undoes 12 years of Catholic teaching and preaching. I was taught by nuns that it was a duty. I think of joy as heavenly too Fr. Rich. Spiritual joy is what I want in my life especially from attendance at Mass. I hear you RS/Fr. Rich, confession is good for the soul and part of our preparation for Mass. I am sitting here thinking I want more out of Mass and wondering why I have to keep telling myself that it is a sacrament and that Jesus is present during the Mass. Why do I need to constantly remind myself of these liturgical facts is a question I am asking myself and only I can answer this question. I keep trying.

    Fr. Rich, that is partially true about confessing to God directly and eliminating the middle man. I do that. Interesting that you represent the human family we committed a sin against, Fr. Rich, as your part of absolution for our sins. When we sin against humanity we sin against God. RD, I have the same sins I usually confess to and have to ask for forgiveness. I pray off and on daily and pray the rosary every day. I have no problem with the fast before Mass attendance. I do perform some preparation rites. RD, fasting needn’t involve denying our morning coffee. I would like to be awake during Mass too and alert. Of course, I could just ask God to give me a nudge during Mass since He is right there.

    I always get something from homilies even if they are boring as I will just switch to thinking about the readings that led up to the homily. God’s words. Most of the time I am never bored by the homily. But let’s face it lots of times this is the priest’s version or his own ‘reading’ about the meaning of God’s words. Our God is a personal God. We personalize him in concept and since we can’t truly know His divine nature we anthropomorphize Him.

    While I listened to your show, I realized more and more that thinking of Mass attendance as a duty is ingrained in me. Getting cleaned up for attendance is important I agree. Fr. Rich, It is a psychological lift as we dignify ourselves in front of God. Dressing down takes away from its solemnity. I can’t guarantee an hour of silence before Mass in addition to fasting. But maybe I should think of it as meditation. That would work! I am going to try that preparation recommendation and thank you.

    I haven’t given much thought as to what I am bringing with me to Mass in addition to any donations. When I enter I bless myself with holy water and before I go into the pew I genuflect in the direction of the tabernacle. Habits of a lifetime. I agree with Pope Francis, less talking and less distraction before Mass is important or our minds will be wandering about in the physical world only.

    RS, I have to say that I pray the creed, the Our Father, and other prayers from my heart or why would I bother saying them at all. When you are a kid you learn them by rote and just recite them from memory. When I was young I had to break down the words at bed time when I would petition God for His mercy or His love. What was I saying, and what do the words mean. I had to know.

    I spent a lifetime thinking about God, and yakking away to God, and lots of times I have done that in secluded and lovely natural surroundings in God’s world. The world he made for us. We clutter up our minds and our lives to the point where we have to focus on God in order to hear Him. Right now I am not listening too hard to Him because I think he wants more from me that I so far am willing to give.

    RD, I too was practicing during the week with some daily Masses. They are a spiritual tool that I was using; but again, I find the Mass more a duty than a joy way too often. I say two prayers daily to St. Michael the Archangel. It is funny you should have brought that up RS. I have been doing that for the past year or so now.

    Thank you so much for a relevant and necessary podcast. They just keep on getting better and better as you three hit your stride. I can’t believe that it will be two years this fall, I believe, since you started broadcasting.

    Stay safe and take care!

  2. Andrea says:

    P.S.
    The graphics for this podcast are exceptional. Is that a real nun’s bonnet-type cowl and habit on those nuns pictured? I like the angel playing the harp as well as the other angels in the background. I like how they are reading church scrolls. You also have your kneeler back in place at the altar Fr. Rich. I know that is important to you and I think RS too.

  3. Olga Torres says:

    You are absolutely right about the importance of what you are wearing to Sunday mass, you are going to a celebration into the house of our lord, you should wear your best to this celebration, and be modest and cover up.
    Thank you!!
    Olga

  4. Rita Ridgeway says:

    Not a joy since 1973

  5. Mark Graff says:

    Thank you Father, RD and RS. Amazing how you are able to captivate my full attention, grow my faith and experience the fullness of our faith. I find myself pausing each episode to write down suggested: readings, books, saints, prayers, the catechism and Beer.
    The Catholic Talk Show hoodie and coffee mug arrived. Very high quality and I do recommend joining as a Patron.

  6. Ed Pawlak says:

    Sadly with the Covid hysteria – Most churches have done way with the Communal aspects, No holy water, use every 3rd pew, no hymnals (not many have been) memorized, No sharing peace after the ‘Our Father’ .

  7. FHL says:

    A favourite habit during my youth was to arrive with my dad at least 30min prior to Mass to light a candle, kneel in front of the Blessed Virgin’s altar where the Tabernacle was located, with the True Presence red candle elevated above this sacred space, collect my thoughts through an Act of Contrition, petitions for my loved ones, friends, sick, etc. There were 4 dozen multicoloured votives (gold/red/green/blue) to choose from, which cost a dime each, or large ones for $3. Often we lit more than one each. Arriving early, there was no ‘pride’ involved in kneeling on hard marble on bare knees in my little handmade tweed jumpers. There was no ‘audience’ and this was terribly important to my father. The act of kneeling (unsupported, although the green/white marble Communion rail was right there) combined with the prayer and the candle, united the concept of prayer with sacrifice and the beauty of that offering to God. We attended Saturday night 7pm, and after, my dad would walk over to the othe front altar dedicated to Saint Joseph (these 2 side altars flanked the main altar at the very front of our gothic church seating 500+), say his concluding prayers in Latin while I remained in our pew, feeling sleepy safe and content. Then, once most parishioners had left the building, we’d reverently/quietly lift kneeling benches and tidy hymnals and Saint Joseph Missals. This allowed the church to clear out, the parking lot to empty, and we drove home in silence. My 3 older sisters usually attended Sunday morning Mass with Mum to sing in the choir. These memories are cherished even more now that my parents are dead, reunited with each other and their relatives in God’s glory, I have no doubt. They ‘mortified’ each other over 55yrs. =) Purgatory was likely a brief stepping stone. Dad recited the Prayer Before a Crucifix after receiving Communion each time, which is a partial indulgence year-round and a plenary indulgence on Fridays in Lent (Stations of the Cross followed Mass). We also did countless Sacred Heart devotions with Blessed Sacrament adoration every First Friday for decades. There is no church memory that is negative for me, and I know how fortunate I’ve been. So grateful for the graces. Bless you all, always!

    1. Bernad says:

      Beautyful! Thank you for sharing
      Sophie

  8. Donna Beedy says:

    Thank you Father and Ryan’s. I am going to try to get all the joy out of mass this Saturday. We do sit in the very front which helps me be more present with less distractions.

  9. john niles says:

    where to start? come late, dressed for the beach (modest is hottest, ladies, and gents) – dash after Communion.
    Socializing within the Church proper – sit down and shut the yak DOWN!
    Homilists who do stand-up. I want to hear: In today’s Readings…and take it from there.
    I roll my eyes when the prayers of the faithful are ripped from the front pages, along with editorial comments.
    Or when it is general, like, for an end to hunger, as opposed to , open our hearts to be more generous.

  10. Pam says:

    Did I just hear you guys refer to adderall use and laugh? I know someone who struggles with addiction to adderall and it’s not funny, not even kind of. I have witnessed what it has done to his wife, his kids, his friends, his life, his body, his relationship with God and its ugly. You guys are amazing and I enjoy listening to you but using the phrase “bumping rails of adderall” and laughing about it disgusts me.

  11. Linda Eaton says:

    Quieting oneself doesn’t mean to police others with stern looks or whatever. I go hungry for God and seek to be a blessing.

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