The saints offer us some quick and easy tools to bring the liturgy into our day.
It can be tough to find the time, particularly for busy employees, shift workers, and moms with young kids. Even if you have the time, there aren’t always Masses available during the week, whether because they’re too far away or they’re all scheduled at the same inconvenient time.
But even if we can’t get to daily Mass, we can still live a Eucharistic life every day. The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Christian life, and living in and with Jesus in the Eucharist can transform our spiritual lives.
Sometimes I think the Morning Offering is the hardest prayer of the day. Not because it’s long – the one I use definitely isn’t! — but because it’s the first one.
The traditional Morning Offering is deeply Eucharistic. The Mass is a sacrifice and in the Morning Offering, we unite the offering of our day to the divine offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my family and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
By praying the Morning Offering, we can be sure that all of our day — however it turns out! — is united to Jesus and offered up in the Mass.
2Daily Mass Readings
The Mass isn’t just about the moment of Holy Communion. It’s also about hearing God’s voice through the Liturgy of the Word.
When we hear Scripture read at Mass, we are hearing the voice of Christ, who speaks to us both individually and as a Church. The Bible readings help to prepare our hearts to receive the Word of God, Jesus Himself, in the host and chalice.
One way to live Eucharistically every day, whether or not you can get to Mass, is to read and meditate on the Bible readings of the Mass. They are easy to find online and in missals. You can read all the readings or just the Gospel of the day.
The beauty of this is that you will be praying with the same Scriptures that Catholics all around the world are hearing.
What if I told you could receive the graces of the Eucharist whenever and wherever you want?
A Spiritual Communion is a powerful and under-used prayer. We might not be able to get to Mass, or be able to receive Our Lord at Mass (if we need to go to Confession, or haven’t completed the time of fasting, or other causes). Nevertheless, we can always ask God for the graces of the sacrament.
A Spiritual Communion can take any form, but St. Alphonsus Liguori’s version is popular for good reason:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
St Jean-Baptiste Vianney once said, “when we feel the love of God growing cold, let us instantly make a Spiritual Communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God.”
Finally, gratitude. The Greek word Eucharist means thanksgiving. One of the best ways to live Eucharistically is to do it literally.
To live a Eucharistic life is to live a thankful life.
Secular psychologists and self-help gurus are adamant about the power of gratitude to reduce stress, keep positive, and even alleviate mental illnesses. But living gratefully is not just about positive benefits for us. We want to live with gratitude because, as the Mass says, “it is right and just” to thank God for all His gifts.
There are lots of practical ways to practice gratitude, but some of my favorites include:
- Saying “thank you” for small things
- Praying grace before meals
- Writing down three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day
- Thinking of your hardest struggles and finding a reason to be thankful for some aspect of them
In his meditation on the Eucharist, spiritual writer Henri Nouwen wrote that “to live a Eucharistic life has everything to do with gratitude. Living Eucharistically is living life as a gift, a gift for which one is grateful.”
Whether or not we can get to Mass during the week, we are all called to live out the graces of the Eucharist in our daily lives.
Every day, we can unite ourselves to Jesus in the Eucharist, be open to receive His grace, and live with thankfulness and joy — the gratitude that comes from knowing we are loved.
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