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Thank you for joining Love Being Catholic!

Love Being Catholic

Dear Love Being Catholic Friends,

My mission is to help you grow deeper in your love for Christ, His Church, and our Blessed Mother, while at the same time give you some easy-to-understand answers to questions you might have been asked by others about our faith.

It takes many hours to research, write and maintain this site. If you’re enjoying this blog and it has been a blessing to you, please consider supporting it with even a modest donation,

If you have donated already, I thank you wholeheartedly for making all of this possible. If you find any joy and value in Love Being Catholic, please consider supporting me in my efforts. Please also keep me in your prayers – you are all in my prayers as well!

To make a secure online donation visit: https://lovebeingcatholic.com/donate/

Wishing you all a very Happy Saturday!

In Christ,♥

Liz

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The Bells & Whistles!

Mass 2

I remember when I first started re-discovering my love for the Catholic faith, I attended Mass at a beautiful church (Saint Brigid in Johns Creek, GA) that had the tabernacle and crucifix displayed prominently up front. The church I had been attending did not have this, so when I walked into this church, it moved me profoundly. During the consecration I heard these beautiful bells ringing, which called to my attention the miracle that was taking place upon the altar and helped to connect me in a deep and mysterious way to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

I love the crucifix. I love the tabernacle not stuck in a corner, I love that Catholic Churches have the altar front and center. I love to watch the priests and deacon kiss the altar when they enter and leave Mass. I love the bells, the candles, the incense, the statues, the oils, the vestments, the stained glass windows . . . all of it. These little traditions and sacramentals all mean something, and make the Mass all the more meaningful and beautiful. They all help me in all my human failings and distractions to focus on what is really going on at Mass. Are they necessary for the validity of the sacrament? No. But can they help one to truly appreciate and recognize the beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Yes!

When we see incense being used in our churches, it is meant to remind us of heaven, and that our worship of God in the Christian liturgy is divine in origin. It also reminds us to pray, and that our prayer rises to God like the smoke from the censer, purifying our worship of God, and allowing his Holy Spirit to work in us to make us holy.

In an era where a tragically large number of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the ringing of Sanctus bells can help one focus on the miracle that takes place upon the altar. For me,at least, I love the bells and all of our beautiful traditions, which are a very powerful devotional aid during Mass, and a rich sacramental tradition of the Church

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Prayer before a Crucifix

Look down upon me good and gentle Jesus as before Thy sacred Cross I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; whilst I contemplate, with great love and tender pity, Thy five sacred wounds, and as I meditate upon them, I call to mind the words which David, Thy prophet, spoke concerning Thee: “They pierced My hands and My feet, they numbered all My bones.

Return crucifix

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Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church

Mass

The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.

The Mass incorporates Sacred Scripture, prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. Through time and space, we connect with the original Last Supper.

The Church teaches that the Mass is the “re-presentation” of the sacrifice of Calvary. This is misunderstood by many who claim that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ. It is not.

Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded.

Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church.

If you are Catholic, you are obliged to go to Mass every Sunday, and on Holy Days of Obligation – not just on Sundays when you wake up early enough, it’s convenient, or when you feel like it. Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it. Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul. You love and feed your family whether you feel like it or not – right? You need to feed yourself and your family spiritually whether you feel like going to Mass or not too. Love is much more than feelings. Love is a sacrifice. (Legitimate reasons to miss Mass would be along the lines of illness, needing to care for the ill, and lack of an available Mass within a reasonable distance.)

Many Catholics do not attend Mass as they should, perhaps because they do not realize it is a requirement and a mortal sin to miss it, or maybe because it is not a priority in their lives. It is human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but you have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. If you don’t understand the Mass, are bored, or looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding. You don’t go to Mass to be entertained. Jesus is there regardless. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Have you prayed for your priests? Pray for them all and go to Mass every Sunday. (And daily Mass if you can!)

At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. He never abandons you so please do not abandon Him. When we receive the Eucharist, we truly, physically, receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, of God Himself – at every Mass. If you’re looking for a personal relationships with Jesus Christ, you can’t get any more personal than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist with or without a dynamic homily. Notice how it is the altar that is front and center at a Mass, not the pulpit. The Mass is a sacrifice. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present. This alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and attend daily Mass if you can.

Read, study, seek more understanding, and most of all, pray that you will come to a better appreciation and love for this most beautiful gift of the Mass that Jesus Christ Himself gave to us 2000 years ago. Jesus is waiting for you. Just go. God loves you!

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!

In Christ,
Liz

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Morning Prayer

Mary in blue

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I will begin this day.

I thank you, Lord, for having preserved me during the night. I will do my best to make all I do today pleasing to You and in accordance with Your will. My dear mother Mary, watch over me this day. My Guardian Angel, take care of me. St. Joseph and all you saints of God, pray for me.

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 relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.

I wish to gain all the indulgences attached to the prayers I shall say and the good works I shall perform this day. Amen.