The editorial of the month

Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P

by Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P

Not long ago, a devout young man approached me with a problem that really distressed him. He went to Mass every day, but there were some days—and this he was almost ashamed to admit—when he didn’t feel like going. We, too, may have gone through a spiritual rough patch like that from time to time. How can we deal with it?

 A Prayer to Prepare for Mass

First, why not make the very dilemma part of our preparation? We can pray something like: Lord Jesus, it soon will be time for Mass, but here I am spiritually dry and lethargic. I find myself resistant toward the very mystery that gives me life. But, Lord, you are the one who draws me to this Holy Eucharist…and you want me just the way I am. Even more, it is your desire to provide for my every deficiency and lack. In faith, I choose to unite myself to your mercy and compassion rather than to fixate on my darkness and indifference. Without you, I can do nothing. With you, I can face even the agony of my nothingness.

 The Sign of the Cross

We can continue to offer similar prayers so as to boost our participation at Mass. As we make the sign of the cross, we might pray: Lord Jesus, let me live by the power of God’s holy name—and not by the egoism of my own. Make me mindful that every good thing in my life—strange as it may seem—comes from your holy cross.

 The Penitential Rite

Lord Jesus, the more I confess my sins in humility and trust, the more oppression lifts from my life. Don’t let me cut corners when it comes to this. Grant me a healthy sense of sin. Save me from my secret sins. And give me, please, a renewed and deeper sorrow for my sins.

 Listening to the Scripture readings

Lord Jesus, open my ears to hear you speaking to me, personally and directly, in the Scriptures to be proclaimed. Help me surrender to the grace of your Word. For it is your wish, through the mystery of the Word of God, to give me counsel and insight, even for the most trying circumstances of my life.

 The Profession of Faith

Lord Jesus, make me a person of deep belief—believing with a faith made living by love. Free me from enslavement to my own thoughts, preconceptions, and understanding. The more I make an idol of my own ideas, the more I ward off wonder and all the joy it brings. May the gift of believing generate a new existence in me.

 The Prayer of the Faithful

Lord Jesus, even though I’m stuck in desolation, please. let me hand myself over to you, serving those in need. May my misery make me more mindful of those who suffer, and more solicitous in assisting them. No matter how dismal my day, let me be a person for others, bearing their burdens. May I console others with the same consolation I receive from you.

 The Preparation of the Offerings

Lord Jesus, as the gifts are brought up to the altar, I join to them my inertia, my listlessness, my trials, begging that you will receive them. I offer you my adverse spirit: my emptiness, my sadness over not feeling fervent. Please make me more and more confident that you accept my offering and deem it truly worthy.

 The Eucharistic Prayer

Lord Jesus, you love to be acknowledged by nothingness. Just as you take meager bread and wine and transform it into yourself, I am certain that you can take this nothingness that afflicts me and transform it into something godly.

 The Lord’s Prayer

Lord Jesus, no matter how bleak my life may seem, I know I have a Father. I am not alone. My value, my worth is real because I belong to him. Thank you for teaching me to pray to my Father. Thank you for showing me the Father. Thank you for the people you put in my life who show me the Father.

 Holy Communion

Lord Jesus, in the Eucharist you want to give me—not just your power, but—your very self. Let me never stop being awestruck by your tender love. Woo me to yourself. And let my response be that of a perfect gift of myself to you. Help me to live in loving communion with others. Turn me into a true friend.

 The Dismissal

Lord Jesus, strengthen me to do what the priest commands: to go in peace, glorifying the Lord by my life…even if all I can muster is staying faithful to you in whatever befalls me. Let me always be begging for your presence.