Friday, February 12, 2010

Only One Time for Communion

I got a "Tweet" from @EscrivaWorks today that listed a quote from St. Josemaria. Like most of his quotes this one really got me to thinking:

Have you ever thought how you would prepare yourself to receive Our Lord if you could go to Communion only once in your life? We must be thankful to God that he makes it so easy for us to come to him: but we should show our gratitude by preparing ourselves to receive him very well. (The Forge, 828)

How would I prepare myself? How would I react? You see, one thing I always take to confession with me is that I've been inattentive at mass. Oh, I could very easily blame my kids on this. There is always some battle going on with a ten year old and a six year old or maybe I'm just a horrible parent and have undisciplined children because every one else's behaves, right? The problem is--I could be alone at mass and my mind starts wandering. I think about my family. I think about where we are going to dinner after mass. I think about class. I think about that lady in the tight sweater a few rows over (great! distraction AND lust!). Maybe I should follow my own advice in 15 Ways to Pay Attention at Mass. I actually do when I REALIZE I'm my mind is wondering.

Am I spoiled? Do I not fully appreciate the Eucharist and what is going on before me?? I don't know. I think I do. Perhaps I should add a 16th way---and imagine if this is the only mass I could receive our Lord in communion. Would my attention waver then? I don't know.

Does anyone else have difficulties? Do I need A.D.D. medication?


  1. Nope no medication needed. I feel human when I read your post. My mind wonders too. When I was little I remember doing eeny meeny miny moe on my fingers (at least I've outgrown that) during the homily. Now, I have to worry about my kids getting along as they serve during mass (11 and 12)! My mind wonders off constantly and then I find myself asking for forgiveness for my selfishness during this one hour. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one :)
    Marie Wimsett

  2. No, no medication needed. Some Sundays it is so easy to attend - usually when I am struggling or searching actively for God to be present in my life. Other Sundays, it seems when all is 'good' and selfishly I am not searching actively for God to guide me, it is harder to attend. I find by taking a few minutes before we leave, or even in the car to pray for others and consider a need outside of myself helps me to attend more because I am then searching for God for others.
    I'm not saying I'm perfect or that I always remember to do it, or that I am then always successful at staying attentive, but when I put all the pieces together, it's much easier.
    I worry about the day we have children - I see mothers who spend all of mass worrying about their children and I wonder how they possibly can be attending or getting anything at all from mass. It is certainly something I struggle with.

  3. Well, as a mother of four...yeah, let me tell you...I WISH I could pay more attention during Mass. Even when my children behave by other people's standards (i.e., they are quiet and still) I find myself watching to make sure they are actually giving due reverence to the miracle taking place before them. I feel like that is my duty as a mother. Sometimes I feel like I don't get anything out of Mass because I am busy attending my children. But then I remember that I did a very important job in taking them there in the first place. I figure I see God in my attending to them, is in a way...attending to Him.

    So...what's my excuse when they are grown? LOL

  4. Visit my website. See JOURNAL 2010, my journal entry for today, Feb. 13 about the effects of original sin in the world. I think you're feeling them, Jamie! We're up to our eyeballs in them! Love your blog and passing it on! Kathy

  5. My website, just go to

  6. Oh, by the way, one of your blog articles is on my website, on the BROTHER ASS page--no reflection on you! St. Francis called the body "Brother Ass"--it's a page about mortification and taming Brother Ass!
    To all of you about distractions; yes they will come. St. Teresa of Avila said they're like a bunch of flies. You just say, "Here, they are again, Lord," and return to your adoration and praise!
    Kathy Andre-Eames

  7. I find myself doing the same thing, Jamie, and so do a bunch of other folks, if the comments this post has generated is any indication!

    There is an older couple who attend Mass with us. They always seem to be so focused and attentive. I've noticed that they actually speak the words of the Mass along with the priest. They do so very quietly, so it doesn't distract anyone else, but I've wondered if that might be one way of bringing my mind back when it wanders... or perhaps of keeping it from wandering in the first place...