It is very apparent that I am no longer in Europe. When you enter a Roman Catholic Church for Holy Mass, people are quiet and do not use their phones. Instead, they say Rosaries or if possible, attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation before or during Mass up until Holy Communion. They save all communication after the leave the Church and not dare to say one word about anything to another person. Heaven forbid Roman Catholics in the United States should do the same thing such as shutting up once they enter the sanctuary or check to see how much money they have while people are listening to the homily being delivered by the Priest. You are not there at Holy Mass to please yourself! If you want to please yourself, go somewhere else! You are there for God and He should be your only focus at Holy Mass. Imagine what Jesus, in the last 24 hours were like as he knew that he was going to suffer and die as he entered that garden. He did not talk to anyone and told them all to keep watch and pray. You are entering that garden with Jesus once you pass through those doors! You are keeping watch with him and even watching him as his body and blood are elevated and the symbolism is that Christ has died and has been pierced by the lance. Imagine that! The Priest is holding up your crucified Lord when the Body of Christ is held up for veneration and the Priest is collecting the Blood of Christ into one single chalice, which is overflowing with love for you. But you really do not see it when you are talking at Holy Mass. It is distracting to everyone, who is praying for the souls of the deceased and for peace everywhere or for their own personal intentions. Jesus wants you to love him above all and loves you so much. If your Creator created you out of love, why do you turn your backs to Him at the Sacrifice of the Mass by seeing how much money you have? Why do you choose the shortest way out of Holy Communion and not wait in the longest line (even if it for the Priest)? Why do you receive Holy Communion in the hand, when you know it has been not formally approved by Rome? All of this is a mockery of Jesus and what is even more heartbreaking is that you are telling the Blessed Mother, who is your Heavenly Mother that you do not really care about Jesus. How this must break her heart every day when she sees how people mistreat her son at Holy Mass. Pick the longest Communion line (even if is the Priest) and thank God for allowing you to be redeemed by the Cross of Jesus! Pray the Rosary, say some “Hail Mary’s” or other traditional Catholic prayers before receiving Holy Communion! Receive your Lord and Savior on the tongue while kneeling. There is no better way of receiving your Lord than kneeling or standing while receiving on the tongue. It not only shows to the Priest that you realize the Real Presence of Jesus, but you are setting a good example of what it means to be a Catholic. Priests, it is your duty above all to create an atmosphere of prayer before and after Mass. If you feel the need to tell the congregation to please be silent so others can pray and open their hearts before Holy Mass, do so! Remember, you are in charge of the Parish! You are the decider of what should and should not happen! If you feel the need to tell your parishioners that you would like to have a prayerful atmosphere before and after Holy Mass, tell them like it is and tell them to turn off all cell phones and pagers. As Priests, you have this special connection with our Lord and Blessed Mother. You are connected directly to Calvary in the most intimate way possible by having the power to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ! However, if you want people to share in that connection, tell them to be quiet at Holy Mass and stop worshipping themselves and worship the One, Triune God! Even if you have to make a sign, do it and if you lose parishioners over it, then that is their problem and not yours! It just shows them how they cannot shut up even for one hour to be with our Lord at Holy Mass and pray for others and various intentions. Man up and put your foot down when it comes to talking while others are praying. Here’s a wonderful suggestion to have people shut and pray either before or after Holy Mass! Before or after each Mass, have a sign-up sheet for people, who wish to lead the Rosary before or after Sunday or Daily Mass. I betcha that if you did that, people would stop talking and join in prayer. It would foster a much more prayerful atmosphere and people would stop worshipping themselves or talk to others before and after Mass! You will most likely see a positive influence in the parish and probably a lot more people would be evangelizing and saying what the parish does before and after each Mass.
“Let us pray to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Eucharistic Lord, to obtain for us strong faith in the sacrifice and sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Such a faith will unfailingly produce the flowers of reverence, adoration and love, will promote our union with Christ, and will influence our entire Christian life.”
~Cardinal Francis Arinze