When a priest offers the Holy Mass, he prays that the graces which come from the Mass be bestowed on someone in particular, such as a parishioner, family member, or departed soul.
The intention he prays for is usually one that has been requested by a parishioner. That’s right!
We, the laity, can ask a priest to offer Mass for someone we are praying for, whether that person is someone who has passed away or who is still living. The intentions can vary: for conversion, for health, on birthdays or anniversaries…
But why ask a priest to offer Mass? Why not just pray for them ourselves?
It is good to do this because of the multitude of spiritual fruits gained from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is the greatest and most efficacious of all prayers, because in it, we are offering Christ Himself to His Father: the perfect Lamb of God, the supreme and most pleasing Sacrifice.
As St. Leonard of Port Maurice says:
Let us be diligent in hearing Mass as often as possible, and with all possible devotion; and furthermore, let us endeavor to have as many Masses as possible celebrated for our intention. By this means, be our debts weighty as they may, and countless beyond numbering, there can be no doubt that we will be able to discharge them all completely and entirely by the treasure which is derivable from the holy Mass.
There you have it—from a saint! His words are a good reminder not to take the Mass for granted, for it is more powerful than we know.
Though the Mass is the holiest event on earth and the greatest prayer, it sometimes becomes routine for us. Distractions plague us and our minds wander. But fear not—Meditations Before Mass is here to help. Based on 32 talks given by Msgr. Romano Guardini to his parishioners before Sunday Mass to help them hear the Mass more fruitfully, this little book will become your constant companion as you attend the Holy Sacrifice. Available today at The Catholic Company!