Prepare spiritually for Mass with these Catholic prayers.
Attending Mass is a beautiful way to offer praise and thanksgiving to God, but often our hearts and minds are not there. Instead, we are thinking about our grocery list, or an email we forgot to write, or a TV show we want to watch.
Whatever it is, we enter into the mystery of Mass distracted and do not feel spiritually filled.
One way to counteract that tendency is to spiritually prepare for Mass, arriving a few minutes early and praying to God, opening your heart to his presence.
Even if we weren’t successful at keeping our attention during Mass, we can also stay for a few minutes afterwards, giving thanks to God for this opportunity to be with him.
Here is a short collection of prayers to be said either before or after Mass.
Act of Love before Mass
O my God, I love Thee with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength and with no other desire than to be inseparably united to Thee. It is through Thy Divine Son that this union is about to be realized within me. In Holy Communion I long to identify myself with Him, that it will no longer be myself, but Him, who lives in me; and when I have received Jesus within myself, then I shall love and be loved by Thee in that same measure, in which I am united to Him. Hasten then, to give me Thy Divine Son, at the hands of Thy priest, that through Jesus, I may unite myself forever to Thee, O God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
Almighty and ever-living God, I draw near to the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I come sick to the physician of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the light of eternal brightness, poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.
So I ask you, most generous Lord: graciously heal my infirmity, wash me clean, illumine my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness.
May I receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, such contrition and devotion, such purity and faith, and such resolve and determination as may secure my soul’s salvation. Grant as I may receive not only the visible sign of the Lord’s Body and Blood, but also all the reality and the power of the sacrament.
Grant most kind God, that I may receive the Body of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which he received from the Virgin Mary, and may receive it in such a way that I become a loving part of his Mystical Body and counted among his members.
O most loving Father, grant me your beloved Son.
While on this earthly pilgrimage, I receive him under the veil of this sacrament; so may I come at last to see him face to face for all eternity. For he lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.
Ask Jesus to come into your heart
Come, dear Jesus, come and receive me; come and take possession of my soul and body; of my will, memory, and understanding; of my thoughts, words, and actions; of every look, step, breath and motion; in fine, of all that I am and have. Come and deliver me from all my spiritual enemies. Come, dear Jesus, and unite me strictly to you. I do now, my dearest Jesus, receive you in the best manner I can into this my poor heart: do you one day receive me into your heavenly habitation.
Prayer to your Guardian Angel before receiving communion
O my good angel, it is your Lord, as well as mine, that I am going to receive; help me to receive Him worthily.
Increase your love of God with this prayer after communion
O Father of mercies, and God of all consolation, how you have loved us, and given your only begotten Son, once for our ransom, and daily for the food of our souls! What can I, a wretched creature, return to you for this infinite love?
O my God, such is your goodness, you will be contented with the little that I can give you, though it be your own already; you ask nothing but my heart, and this I here most willingly offer you. Oh, be pleased to accept of it, and make it wholly yours for ever. I offer your here my whole being, my body with its senses, and my soul with all its powers; that as you are at present honored them both by your presence, so they may both be your temple for ever. Oh, sanctify and consecrate eternally to yourself this mansion, which you have this day chosen for your abode. I give you my memory, that it may be for ever recollected in you; my understanding, that it may be always enlightened and directed by your truth; and my will, that it may be ever conformable to yours, and ever burn with the love of you. Oh, take me entirely into your hands, with all that I have, and all that I am; and let nothing henceforward, in life or death, ever separate me from you. Amen.
Prayer after communion when feeling depressed
I have you here, I hold you within my narrow heart, O immense, illimitable God! I, poor and weak, possess you, the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible … Make it easy for me to speak to you. In joy or trouble or uncertainty let my first thought be to consult you.
My heart, dear Lord, is cold and selfish. So was the world when you entered it. But what a change your coming made! Not all at once, but steadily, a marvelous transformation came about. You cast fire upon it, your consuming love for God and man. And the flame spread and is spreading, and all who are yours are called to feed and extend it. But to warm other hearts our own must be aglow. Warm mine, O Lord, by contact with your own! (Mother Mary Loyola in her book, Welcome! Holy Communion)
Prayer to remain in the Heart of Jesus after communion
Lord, we have had the happiness of being admitted into the sanctuary of your Divine Heart; give us grace that we may abide therein for ever; so that we may obtain the happiness which you have prepared for your elect. O Heart of Jesus, I will not depart till you have blessed me. Amen.