Helpful Prayers for Catholics without the Holy Mass
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Here are 4 suggestions from Catholic Tradition and encouragement from the Saints:
1) Unite your desire and will to that of Christ’s in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
This is done simply by an act of the will, as can be done by following simple prayers:
Act of Union with the Sacrifice of the Mass when we cannot assist at it
As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior. Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.
Prayer to Offer to God through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Infinite Joy and Love – “My God I love thee and Union with all the infinite love being offered, at this moment in the all the Holy Masses just now being said.”
Infinite Thanks – “My God I thank Thee in union with all the infinite thanks being offered today at this moment in all the Holy Masses just now being said.”
Infinite Reparation – “My God I offer Thee reparation for sins committed in Union with all the infinite reparation being offered to Thee at this moment and in all the Holy Masses just now being said.”
Infinite Pleading – “My God I plead with Thee in Union with all the infinite pleading being offered to Thee by Thy Beloved Son at this moment and in all the Holy Masses just now being said.”
(written by an anonymous Carmelite)
An Act of Desire
Come, Thou, bread of angels, and satisfy the cravings of my soul ; come, Thou, glowing furnace of charity, and inflame my soul with the fires of divine love ; come, Shepherd divine, and guide me ; come, Eternal Father, my hope, my life, my joy, and source of all my happiness ; come, Thou, dearest object of all my aspirations ; come, Thou, comforter of the sorrowful, light supernal of the soul ; come, Thou, who art the solace and refreshment of the weary ; come to me, O Thou, for whom the nations prayed, and for whom the patriarchs sighed ! come to me, O Thou, the desired of ages, joy of angels, glory of the heavens, supreme delight of saints I come to me, for I yearn for Thee ; come to me, for Thou hast transpierced me with the arrows of Thy love ; come, delay not, for my heart waxes faint, and I feel that I cannot exist without Thee; come, O Jesus I I beseech Thee, come. Most holy Mary, behold I am going to receive the body and blood, soul and divinity of thy adorable Son. From thy blessed hands I would fain receive Him. Present Him to me as thou didst to the shepherds, and the kings who came from afar off to adore Him, and to holy Simeon, in the temple. Oh, obtain for me grace to receive Him worthily! Beseech Him to fill me with His choicest blessings; and O dear Mother! hearken to the prayer of thy suppliant child. Amen
Act of Self-Oblation to be made every Morning
My Eternal God, behold me prostrate before Thy immense majesty, and humbly adoring Thee. To Thee I offer all my thoughts, words, and actions during this day; and my dearest wish is that all of them may tend to promote Thy honour and glory. Lord, I desire nothing but to love Thee, serve Thee, praise Thee, bless Thee, and fulfil Thy divine will. O eternal God! I beseech Thee to enlighten my understanding. Teach me to have unshaken faith in Thy mercy; teach me how to satisfy Thy divine justice for my many heinous sins. Grant that my prayers may obtain comfort for the souls in Purgatory, and the grace of conversion for all sinners. This my most ardent wish that everything I undertake to-day may be in union with those most pure intentions which Jesus and Mary had during their mortal life; I desire nothing so much as that my intentions should be the same as those which actuated Thy saints during their pilgrimage in this transitory world. Grant, O my God! that I may imitate their holy examples, and live the life of the just. Accept, therefore, I beseech Thee, my poor heart; give me Thy holy benediction, and grace to avoid all sin, mortal and venial, throughout the entire course of my life, but particularly during this day on which I desire and intend to perform all. the works necessary to gain the indulgences of Thy holy Church, nay, and to assist spiritually at all the Holy Masses that are celebrated in the whole universe, applying them all in suffrage for the souls in Purgatory, in order that they may be released from their torments. Amen.
A Prayer to Unite your Actions to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by St. John Eudes Here: https://www.knightsrepublic.com/single-post/2020/02/02/A-Prayer-to-unite-your-actions-to-the-Holy-Sacrifice-of-the-Mass
2) Ask God to come into your souls spiritually. Make acts of Spiritual Communion.
There are many great saints that encouraged this practice and wrote prayers for making
Spiritual Communion, here are just a few:
Jesus Himself told St. Catherine of Siena in a vision how precious a Spiritual Communion is. The Saint was afraid that a Spiritual Communion was nothing compared to a Sacramental Communion. In the vision, Our Lord held up two chalices, and said, "In this golden chalice I put your Sacramental Communions. In this silver chalice I put your Spiritual Communions. Both chalices are quite pleasing to Me."
St. John Vianney encouraged souls: “When we feel the love of God growing cold, let us instantly make a Spiritual Communion. When we cannot go to the church, let us turn towards the tabernacle; no wall can shut us out from the good God,”
St. Leonard of Port Maurice said: “If you practice the holy exercise of spiritual Communion several times each day, within a month you will see your heart completely changed.”
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that Spiritual Communion is simply "an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and in lovingly embracing Him."
How to Receive Spiritual Communion
St. Leonard of Port-Maurice offers one option one can do to receive Spiritual Communion:
In order to facilitate a practice of such great excellence, ponder what I have to say. When the priest is about to give himself Communion in holy Mass, do you, keeping composed externally and internally, excite in your heart an act of true contrition, and humbly striking your breast, in token that you acknowledge yourself unworthy of so great a grace, make all those acts of love, of self-surrender, of humility, and the rest, which you are accustomed to make when you communicate sacramentally, and then desire with a lively longing to receive your good Jesus, veiled in the sacrament for your benefit. And to kindle your devotion, imagine that most holy Mary, or some saint, your holy advocate, is holding forth to you the sacred particle; figure yourself receiving it, and then, embracing Jesus in your heart, reply to Him, over and over again, with interior words prompted by love: “Come, Jesus, my Beloved, come within this my poor heart; come and satiate my desires; come and sanctify my soul; come, most sweet Jesus, come!” This said, be still; contemplate your good God within you, and, as if you really had communicated, adore Him, thank Him, and perform all those interior acts to which you are accustomed after sacramental Communion.
Act of Spiritual Communion by St. Alphonsus Liguori (A.D. 1696-1787)
My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee.
Or more briefly thus: "My Jesus, come to me; I desire Thee; I embrace Thee; let us remain ever united together."
Act of Spiritual Communion
by St. Francis of Assisi
I believe thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament, O Jesus. I love thee and desire thee. Come into my heart; I embrace thee. O never leave me. I beseech thee, O Lord Jesus, may the burning and most sweet power of thy love absorb my mind, that I may die through love of thy love, who wast graciously pleased to die through love of my love. Amen.
Send Your Guardian Angel to Holy Mass
O HOLY ANGEL at my side, Go to Church for me, Kneel in my place, at Holy Mass, Where I desire to be. At Offertory, in my stead, Take all I am and own, And place it as a sacrifice Upon the Altar Throne. At Holy Consecration’s bell, Adore with Seraph’s love, My Jesus hidden in the Host, Come down from Heaven above. Then pray for those I dearly love, And those who cause me grief, That Jesus’ Blood may cleanse all hearts, And suff’ring souls relieve. And when the priest Communion takes, Oh, bring my Lord to me, That His sweet Heart may rest on mine, And I His temple be. Pray that this Sacrifice Divine, May mankind’s sins efface; Then bring me Jesus’ blessing home, The pledge of every grace. Amen
3) Follow along in the readings and prayers of Holy Week, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
A great way to do this is to bring out your Missal and have everyone take turns reading the prayers and readings for the day. If you do not have a missal, here is a link that has the prayers proper for the day and the regular ordinary of the Holy Mass all laid out in order here: https://www.divinumofficium.com/cgi-bin/missa/missa.pl# (set to April 7th, just change the day at the top to change to correct day).
4) Make good acts throughout the day.
This is important in keep us in the Presence of God and not become spiritual lax. There are many wonderful acts written, but here are a few traditional Catholics acts that most of us may already have memorized:
ACT OF FAITH
O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. ACT OF HOPE
O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. ACT OF CHARITY
O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.
ACT OF CONTRITION 1
O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
AN ACT OF CONTRITION VERSION 2
Forgive me my sins, O Lord, forgive me my sins; the sins of my youth, the sins of my age, the sins of my soul, the sins of my body; my idle sins, my serious voluntary sins; the sins I know, the sins I do not know; the sins I have concealed for so long, and which are now hidden from my memory.
I am truly sorry for every sin, mortal and venial, for all the sins of my childhood up to the present hour.
I know my sins have wounded Thy Tender Heart, O My Savior, let me be freed from the bonds of evil through the most bitter Passion of My Redeemer. Amen.
Please feel free to comment below with other suggestions and prayers that you find helpful during these times. Thank you! May the Pure Love of God reign in our hearts!