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Making Ordinary Time a Little Less Ordinary PT 4

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    Often when we attend Mass, it can become 'just another thing' to do. It becomes part of a routine and the Mass can begin to loose some significance to us. We attend it, like every other Sunday, and then by the time we get home, we have forgoten everything we just heard.

    In todays Post, I am going to offer some tips on how to Search for more, or get more out, of Mass. These tips will not only help you during Ordinary time, but also, through out the rest of the liturgical calender when you attend Mass.

Before Mass

1) Arrive in the Correct Manner - Before you attend Mass, even if its on the car ride or walk to Mass, take time to pray. Pray asking God to focus your attention and to be open to hearing his word and receiving him in the Blessed Sacrament. When you pray you put your self in the proper disposition ( or frame of mind.) IT helps you to focus yourself and your thoughts on God, and it allows you to be extra attentive.

2) Sit Somewhere New- O No Never! Thats My spot, and my spot only!! As much as you may love that one end spot in the church, or the very back of the church, try sitting somewhere new. Sitting somewhere new can give a completely different perspective on the Mass. It will help keep your attention on the Mass and will help deteriorate any distractions you may have.

My church is seated in an inclusive seating, and so their are different sections around the Church. When I am not serving and sitting in the front, I try to sit somewhere else, which really changes things for me. If you have the traditional seating in your parish, sit somewhere closer or farther, to give your self a new perspective of the building and the Mass.

3) Switch it up- Attend a different Mass every now and then. Meet new people, enjoy the different choir group, and the different environment that can be created by the people attending and the choir singing.
( If you want to really switch it up, attend a different Mass time and sit in a new spot :)   )

During Mass

1) Participate- Sign with enthusiasm (even if you can't sing) and pray like you mean it. Don't just sing the song, you have to sing the song. Regardless if it's a song you heard a hundred times or for the first time, sign the song with faith and passion. Try to understand and pray the song as you sing. Don't just sing the song, by saying random words, pray the song- put meaning into the song.

When you pray, don't just say it like everyone else. Take time in saying it so that you can think about what you are saying while you say it. Especially the apostles creed. That is the prayer of our faith. It describes what we believe. So don't just say it with your lips, but also with your heart.

2) Special Attention- The readings at Mass are fruitful with many images. Listen to each line individually and let the imagery of each line fill you. It is a benefit, if you can bring a Sunday Missal book, or another book to help follow along with the readings, to help keep you focused.  Listen to the readings through your heart. God speaks to us in the heart, so stop trying to understand the readings with the head because the heart is where God lives.

3) Adoration-  In each Mass Jesus, the living God, is made present in our lives. Look upon the hosts with eyes of adoration. Feel blessed and special for being able to be in the presence of Christ. After we have received  the body and blood of Christ, we should say a quiet prayer to God. Asking him to transform us, and make us open to him in our lives.

4) Serve- Each church is different, but get involved within the Mass. Become a lector, a server, a communion minister, an usher, or join the choir. If you feel the calling, become involved in the Parish. Talk to the Parish priest, ( or the coordinator for that area)

After Mass

1) Be Prepared- Leave Mass with an aim of what to do after. Pope Saint John Paul the Second once said, " Mass doesn't end at the Church Door." It continues through our day. Pick something up during the Mass that leaves you inspired to do more, to think more, to help people more. Although this is tough, force yourself to find something more that you can take away with you.

2) Socialize- Meet new people in your parish. Catch up with friends and get to know them even more. It is in the friendships that we have that Christ becomes more evident in our lives.  Appreciate those whom you see and let them know how grateful you are for them.

3) Work!- Continue to implement the things you heard on Sunday in your life. Work hard to try to make yourself a better person. Enjoy the life you have been given and seek always the kingdom of Heaven!

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