Here is an excerpt to whet your interest:
“Why must you all arrive at the last moment? You should have arrived earlier to be able to pray and to ask the Lord to send His Holy Spirit. It is He who grants you a spirit of peace and Who banishes the spirit of the world your worries, your problems and distractions in order to enable you to live this so sacred moment. However, you arrive almost when the celebration is about to commence and you participate as if it is an ordinary event, without any spiritual preparation. Why? It is the greatest Miracle. You are going to experience the greatest gift of God from on High and you do not know how to appreciate it.”
It is possible to go to daily Mass and get into a rut, and just go through the motions through habit and without engaging the heart. Reading Catalina's booklet is a way out of that rut.
The first step (and the step that leads to all the others) is making a personal consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. This prayer from Pope Pius XII is a good starting point for that.
Preparation is an important and essential ingredient. It has many aspects. You can read one of the Readings the day before. You can make spiritual communions. You can ask Our Lady to prepare you to receive her Son worthily. Aim to arrive at church early enough to do final spiritual preparations, and in time to separate your thoughts from what has gone on before. It is important to pray for the priest who will preach, that he will preach according to mind and heart of Jesus and in full harmony with His Truth. It is important to seek the intercession of the guardian angels of your parish etc, to intercede before God for the grace and help of the Holy Spirit to enable the congregation to participate fully in the Mass. Regular meditation upon the Passion of Jesus is also essential.
Consider praying for all of those who will be attending the same Mass with you, that they will receive the grace of conversions. ‘Two for the price of one’ specials are great, so do a deal with the Holy Souls, you pray for them, and they pray for the attendees. Do some spiritual reading with the writings of the Saints about the Mass and Holy Communion and Adoration on a regular basis. Their writings help us to soar out of our everyday muddy thinking and into the realms of God’s truth. Regular time in prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass also deepens our participation within Mass.
Then bring to mind before Mass, or at the Offertory, or both, the intentions for which you are offering the Mass, keeping in mind St Claude de la Colombiere who wrote:
‘When I hear Mass, when I offer the holy sacrifice as priest or as a member of the Church, I can with full courage and confidence defy heaven to do anything that pleases God more. Then I can ask for pardon and be sure of obtaining it no matter how great or numberless my sins. Whatever I hope for and desire I can pray for confidently. I can ask for great graces of every kind for myself, my friends, and my enemies, and far from being ashamed at asking for so much I shall know it is little in comparison with what I offer. My only fear is that I shall ask too little and not have a firm, unshakeable hope of obtaining not only what I ask but far more.
If we only knew the treasure we hold in our hands! Happy a thousand times those who know how to profit by the Mass!’
During Mass itself, a very good and simple way to keep focused, is to bow your head every time the name of Jesus is mentioned. Try to pay attention when making the sign of the cross. It is helpful to make a sign of the cross when the priest says ‘May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, ..’ It makes the praying of the Creed come alive if you bow (as the liturgy invites) at the words ‘and was made man’.
During the homily it is easy to listen and to pray short prayers like ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you save souls’ over and over to win grace for those who are listening. You actually listen twice as well. At the epiclesis, when the priest holds his hands over the bread and wine calling down the Holy Spirit, we too, can pray a brief ‘Come Holy Spirit’. At the consecration, the little silent prayer ‘My Lord and my God’ can win an indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. At the right time, pray especially for the Pope and your bishop. Remember those who have died at the memento for the dead, those with anniversaries of death, those special to you etc.
At the priest’s communion is a special time to pray specifically for the priest (or priests) who are celebrating the Mass.
After Mass, linger in thanksgiving and prayer as long as you possibly can. During the day, make a point of saying a personal thank you to Jesus for such a great gift.
The following quotations will also help you:
Jesus to Mamma Carmela Carabelli, Thursday, July 25, 1968
'…Remember, My children, that whosoever receives unworthily My Body and My Blood, receives his own condemnation, and whosoever does not receive this Holy Sacrament with proper dispositions, will not be able to obtain the spiritual benefits for which I instituted the Holy Eucharist. And now I will explain:
It is not so much the preparation of words that I desire, but the interior concentration which makes you aware of a solemn act which you are about to accomplish, one which makes you acknowledge the grandeur of this gift and your unworthiness, and which leads you to reciprocate with love the greatest gift of love the Son of God has made to you by giving Himself wholly to you.
A good preparation is the guarantee of abundant fruit. You certainly will not be able to improvise in the few minutes that precede this solemn act of Communion, but by desire, you will be able to long for My coming to you from the moment of your first awakening in the morning.
If you knew how much I desire to meet with you, to come into your heart, to dwell within you! By desire, you can already receive Me spiritually and prepare your soul for the Sacramental meeting.
Pray to My sweetest Mother to help you to prepare well for the reception of Her bread, which is her flesh which She gave to Me and which I give to you as a pledge of holiness and eternal life.'
Jesus to Mamma Carmela Carabelli, Friday, September 13, 1968
'…Always keep lit the torch of faith when you prepare yourself for Holy Communion; do not do as the foolish virgins, for faith is indispensable to the things of God. Put in the oil of love and be certain that each Communion, prepared in this way, will bring forth its spiritual benefit. A Communion without preparation is an insult and an offence to My Heart. Be aware of this and make it known.'
Jesus to Gabrielle Bossis, July 23, 1942, ‘He and I’
'…Here I am. I was waiting for you. When My children receive Communion in the morning, I wait during the day for their little visit of thanks. Haven’t I deserved it? Just think what it means to receive Communion. How heartless not to say thank you! I gave all of Myself to My little children. Whoever wants Me may take Me. And those who receive, receive all heaven, for heaven is your Christ. But don’t ever take such an immense favour for granted. Think of each Communion as a first Communion…'
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us
St Claude de la Colombiere, pray for us
St John Vianney, pray for us