|Christmas 2013 - The daily morning Mass attendees at St. Margaret Mary Church|
The above photo captures most of the regular morning Mass attendees at St. Margaret Mary Roman Catholic Church, here in Woodbridge, Ontario. Each morning Mass is a faith strengthening, grace filled experience that is celebrated by Father Donald White, P.O.C.R. As a daily attendee, I can personally testify that each morning Mass is celebrated with attention, reverence, devotion, and in a well prepared manner. What a great way to start each day strengthened by Christ's gift to us, the Eucharist.
The celebration of the Eucharist is the summit of Catholic worship. There are no other prayers and devotions more powerful than that of the Eucharist. It is a time when the faithful contemplate Christ's presence in the living sacrament of his body and blood. Quoting Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, "...The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace..." (25) This treasure is available to each of us everyday, and it is Christ who wants us to receive him daily.
Morning Mass at St. Margaret Mary is not at full capacity, so there is plenty of room in the pews. Depending on your availability, If you are thinking about going to morning Mass and would like to have a profound Mass experience, I can assure you St. Margaret Mary is for you. For those who do not go to confession and do not attend Mass regularly, it is important that you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to Mass. Even if you are in doubt about being in a state of mortal sin, it would be prudent to go to confession so that at Mass, you will approach the Eucharist with a clear conscience and in a worthy manner. Pope John Paul II specifically notes this very important point in Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
Keeping these invisible bonds intact is a specific moral duty incumbent upon Christians who wish to participate fully in the Eucharist by receiving the body and blood of Christ. The Apostle Paul appeals to this duty when he warns: “Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor 11:28). Saint John Chrysostom, with his stirring eloquence, exhorted the faithful: “I too raise my voice, I beseech, beg and implore that no one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called 'communion', not even were we to touch the Lord's body a thousand times over, but 'condemnation', 'torment' and 'increase of punishment'”. (36)The doors at Saint Margaret Mary Church are typically unlocked at 7:30am, affording the faithful quiet time for personal adoration and prayer prior to Mass. Morning Mass begins at 8:00am and usually ends at 8:30am. The church remains available after Mass for further adoration, personal prayer and group recitation of the Rosary. The morning Mass experience at St. Margaret Mary is truly a time of divine intimacy.
As we journey through this Christmas Season, let us implore God's grace and mercy to transform our hearts and souls, that God may deepen our ongoing conversion and strengthen us on our faith journey. May Jesus find our hearts and souls transformed and overflowing with love, a most welcome and warm dwelling place, fitting for our Saviour and Redeemer.
To all visitors of my blog, Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.