The Mass is very long and tiresome unless one loves God. - G.K. Chesterton
Don’t worry, I’m not judging. When I first returned to Mass after a time away, I found the Mass boring. But Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist drew me in. And eventually, his presence in the Mass instructed me in the ways of heaven, helping me to develop a greater love for the Mass. I realized that the Mass was the most important prayer that I could pray in any day.
As Blessed James Alberione once said, the Mass is “the daystar of prayer.” In other words, nothing else we do to get closer to God even comes close to going to Mass.
That being said, while I appreciate the Mass more than I did when I first returned to the Church, I still “phone it in” sometimes. I get to the end of Mass on some days and I realize that my mind was a million miles away. My love for the Mass is something that has grown more fervent over time but it still needs work.
Perhaps, like me, you need some motivation to go to Mass, to see the value in it, to find meaning, to stay engaged, and to look forward to it with the excitement that this “daystar of prayer” deserves.
Here are some reasons why the saints did not find Mass boring:
- The saints knew they attended Mass with the angels: There is no Mass with low attendance. Next time you attend a Mass with just a few people in the pews, just remember there are angels all around you!
The heavens open and multitudes of angels come to assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. – St. Gregory the Great
The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass. – St. Augustine
- The saints desperately depended on the Mass: The next time you attend Mass, ask God for the grace to understand just how much your soul thirsts for the graces of the Eucharist. The saints were in touch with this thirst.
It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass. – St. Pio of Pietrelcina
The Mass is the spiritual food that sustains me, without which I could not get through one single hour in my life. – Mother Teresa
- The saints wanted to honor God more than anything: If you love God and want to return his love, Mass is the best thing you can possibly do. It’s the best because we are participating in Jesus’ sacrifice, without relying on anything we ourselves can do. And if we focus on loving and honoring God rather than ourselves, the Mass will not be boring.
One single Mass gives more honor to God than all the penances of the Saints, the labors of the Apostles, the sufferings of the Martyrs and even the burning love of the Blessed Mother of God. – St. Alphonsus Liguori
All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man. – Saint John Vianney
More to read: The Mass as described by Justin Martyr in 155 A.D.
- The saints found joy in the Mass: The source of true happiness can only be ultimately found in God. The saints knew this and this is why they went to Mass to find their true joy.
It is joy that brought me to the faith, joy at the birth of my child, 35 years ago, and that joy is constantly renewed as I daily receive our Lord at Mass. – Dorothy Day
- The saints knew that the Mass is timeless: The Mass re-presents the Paschal Mystery of Christ. In other words, we are not just remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection in the Mass, we are reliving it, entering into that timeless moment, and witnessing the pouring out of salvific graces on the world.
Jesus … [is] the Lamb that was slain but who lives forever, in every instant renewing his passion through the continual celebration of Masses throughout the world. – Blessed James Alberione
The Mass makes present the sacrifice of the Cross – Saint John Paul II
There are many more reasons to go to Mass, many more reasons to strive to find the profound meaning that the saints could see.
But I will end with one last motivational quote from St. Leonard of Port Maurice, (I assume he said it with a mischievous smile):
“O you deluded people, what are you doing? Why do you not hasten to the churches to hear as many Masses as you can?”
More to read: The Mass of the Very Old Men
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