Episode 1 – Preparing Our Hearts for Mass – A Biblical Way of Praying the Mass with Fr. Timothy Gallagher O.M.V.
We begin our conversation with Fr. Gallagher discussing the encouragements given by Venerable Bruno Lanteri to enter into a prayerful experience of participating at the mass by meditating on passages from Sacred Scripture and allowing them to dwell in our hearts.
When we pray in words or gestures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms, it is the whole person who prays (CCC 2562). Yet, the Catechism continues, “in naming the source of prayer, Scripture sometimes speaks of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays” (2562). The emphasis is in the original.
A rich description of the heart follows:
“The heart is the dwelling-place where I am and where I live.”
“According to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place ‘to which I withdraw.’ ”
“The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others.”
“Only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully.”
“The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives.”
“It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death.”
“It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation.”
“It is the place of covenant.” (CCC 2563)
How, then, can we pray the supreme prayer, the Mass, from the heart, from, with, and in this interior place to which we withdraw and in which we dwell, this hidden center of our being, this place of decision, of truth, of encounter, and of covenant?
Gallagher, Fr. Timothy; Gallagher, Fr Timothy. A Biblical Way of Praying the Mass: The Eucharistic Wisdom of Venerable Bruno Lanteri (pp. 24-25). EWTN Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
We then explore how we prepare ourselves concretely before entering the church.
Venerable Bruno proposes an exercise of prayer. Could you pause for a moment to do this now as you read? Choose a saint whom you love and with whose life you are familiar. See this saint begin his or her day. Watch him or her arrange matters to make time for Mass. Leave home with this saint, accompany him or her to church, enter, and prepare for Mass with this saint. Ask him or her: What made you so desire Mass? What brought you to church? What did you seek? What did you find? Why did you go so often?
Ask for the same dispositions as you prepare for Mass.
O God, you are my God — it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless, and without water.
I look to you in the sanctuary to see your power and glory. (Ps 63:1–2)
A Mass prepared with this desire will be prayed with faith, love, and spiritual fruit.
Gallagher, Fr. Timothy; A Biblical Way of Praying the Mass: The Eucharistic Wisdom of Venerable Bruno Lanteri (pp. 30-31). EWTN Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola.” For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio, which are available for purchase, please visit his website: frtimothygallagher.org