How We Should Conduct Ourselves at Mass

Do you want to know, my dear brethren, how we should conduct ourselves when we want to have the happiness of receiving God? Do as that good Christian does who goes to Holy Communion every week. He uses three of the days in thanksgiving and three in preparation. Well, who is stopping you from making all of your actions preparations for this? During this time, maintain an intercourse with Jesus Christ, who reigns in your heart, so that He may visit your soul and enrich it with all kinds of blessings and happiness. You should implore the Blessed Virgin, the angels, and the saints to pray to God for you that you may receive Him as worthily as is possible. On the day itself, you should come earlier to the holy Mass and follow it even more closely than at other times. Your mind and your heart should be continuously at the foot of the tabernacle, they should yearn unceasingly for this happy moment, and you yourself should be so plunged into the depths of the very thought of God that you should seem to be dead to the world. You should have your prayer book or your rosary beads with you, and you should say your Acts with as much fervor as you possibly can in order to rekindle in yourself faith, hope, and a great love for Jesus Christ, who is coming in a moment to make your heart His tabernacle, or, if you like, a little Heaven. Dear God! What happiness and what honor for miserable creatures like us! We should express a great respect to Him. So miserable a being!... But we hope that He will have pity on us all the same. After having said your Acts, you should offer your Holy Communion for yourself and for others. You should get up to approach the altar with all possible modesty, which shows that you are about to do something very great. You kneel down and you make the effort to rekindle in yourself the faith which will make you realize the greatness of your happiness. Your mind and your heart must be absolutely on God. You must take good care not to turn your head, you keep your eyes partially closed, your hands joined, and you say your "I confess to God." If you are waiting for Holy Communion, you should excite a very fervent love for Jesus Christ and pray very humbly that He will deign to come into your poor and miserable heart. After you have had the wonderful happiness of receiving Holy Communion, you should rise with modesty and return to your place. You should stay a moment with our Lord Jesus Christ, whom you have the joy of having in your heart, where, for a quarter of an hour, He is present in both Body and Soul as during His mortal life. Oh, infinite happiness! Who will ever understand it! Alas! Hardly anyone understands it! After you have asked God for all the graces you desire for yourself and others, you should then take up your prayer book again and continue to use it. After saying your Acts after Holy Communion, you should invite the Blessed Virgin and all the angels and saints to thank God for you. You should be careful not to spit, at least for a good half-hour, after receiving Holy Communion. Do not go out immediately after holy Mass but stay a moment to ask God to give you plenty of strength to keep to your good resolutions. When you go out of the church, do not delay to chat. You should think about the great joy you have had in receiving Jesus Christ and make your way home. If you have a moment to spare between the services, you should employ it in some spiritual reading or in making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament to thank God for the grace He gave you in the morning, and you should think about worldly matters as little as possible. You should so watch over all your thoughts, your words, and your actions that you may keep the grace of God all your life. 

(from the Book “The Sermons of The Cure of Ars”, TAN Books 2013, Page 176-178)

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