Write In Between

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Writer's Wednesday -- Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

Prayer Before Mass

O Lord Jesus Christ, how am I to prepare myself to attend that holy sacrifice which you began at your Last Supper and which you consumated on Calvary? That eternal Eucharist begun in sorrow and agony continues, not simply to the end of the world but throughout all eternity. It is the eternal act of obedience and love that you as the head of our whole human race offered to the Trinity, even to yourself in your divinity. These mysteries are completely beyond me. Yet I know they are true because you reveal them. Soon, in the person of the priest, a poor human being, your divine words will be spoken and each of us at this Mass will be lifted beyond this place and be part of the heavenly choirs and the eternal divine liturgy. How dare we think that we, creatures of earth, could participate in such a thing! We believe it because this liturgy began here on earth. From the very first moment of your existence as a human being, the altar was prepared, the linens were laid on the altar. Throughout your earthly life, you labored in the preaching of the Gospel and in calling the faithful to prayer. Then at the supreme moment of your earthly existence, you offered yourself in total obedience and sacrifice to the Father for all the world. Your glorious Resurrection and Ascension point beyond the cross and beyond the tomb, and remind us that this Eucharist is not only a memorial but an everlasting participation in your divine and heavenly worship as priest of the new creation.

O Lord, give me your Holy Spirit that my heart may be lifted up in this Mass, that I may be in one of the choirs that join with you, that I may take my place prayerfully and in reverent attention with the billions of saints, with the great choirs of angels, with the army of holy souls on their pilgrimage and with all the devout and struggling Christians in the world. Let this Mass be the beginning of a new moment in my life, one step closer to you. May I be encouraged by this sacred meal to know that you will go with me in the wilderness of life, that you will sustain me that I may, in fact, not only pray as one of those united to you, but that I may live and act so that it may indeed be true that I live, no longer I, but you live in me. Amen.

---Prayer from Father Benedict Groeschel, Praying in the Presence of Our Lord.

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