THE POWER OF DAILY MASS
How Frequent Participation in the Eucharist Can Transform Your Life
By Bert Ghezzi
Ave Maria Press, 2015
128 pages, $14.95 (e-book, $9.95)
To order: avemariapress.com or (800) 282-1865, Ext. 1
Bert Ghezzi’s avowed purpose is to make daily Mass part of your routine. His book performs a second, equally valuable service: explaining why Mass is important for you.
One often hears the complaint, “I don’t get anything out of going to Mass,” usually as an excuse for not going. But Ghezzi offers nine things you’ll get out of Mass, accentuating how much more you’ll be blessed the more often you go.
How does God “make us grow in grace” by Mass? Daily Mass makes “every day with Jesus,” bringing us into the rhythm of the liturgical year, which follows the life of Christ. Mass systematically introduces us to the saints — men and women like you and me whose lives provide us with concrete examples about how to live.
Daily Mass forgives and overcomes venial sin, helping us to become better persons while helping us resist becoming worse ones. It also introduces us to God’s word, teaching us to listen to how he speaks to us today through Scripture. Daily Mass teaches us to notice and pray for others’ needs, to offer all of our lives in union with the Lord and to make his sacrifice ours. And the value of frequent Communion is apparent. Finally, Mass helps us carry out our apostolate of evangelization by sending us out, ready and prepared, for each day’s demands.
“Perhaps will persuade you to consider worshipping at daily Mass. You will receive immeasurable benefits from receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus every day: nourishment for your soul, a closer union with Jesus, transformation in Christ, a remedy for sin, the experience of community and, best of all, eternal life,” Ghezzi writes.
“I invite you to act … to build Mass into your daily routine. If your life circumstances will not permit attending Mass every day, look for ways of doing it once or twice a week.”
He ends with a simple examination: “Would daily Mass help me? What circumstances prevent me from attending Mass daily? What might I do to rearrange my affairs?” Lent is particularly when many Catholics commit to attending Mass during the week, if not every day.
The book is supplemented by a rich collection of prayers you can use before and after Mass, as well as a calendar of the saints celebrated during the year.
Although I enjoyed this book, I have a few nits to pick and suggestions to offer: When discussing the Christmas season, the author fixes on the Epiphany, forgetting that Christmastide does not end with the Three Kings but with the Baptism of the Lord. I would also have liked to see him address priests about accommodating more Mass times. Ghezzi talks about attending daily morning Mass, but, for many, that time is impractical. Especially during Lent, priests should offer at least some weekday evening and maybe lunchtime Masses.
This book has two huge audiences: its author’s intended one, those who might incorporate weekday Mass into their lives, and all Catholics, who can come to appreciate the spiritual wealth and significance of every Mass.
John M. Grondelski writes from Shanghai, China.