At Mass, we try to pay special attention to the readings and sermon. With good reason: God is present in His Word among the people. But some of the prayers and other parts of the Mass can slip by us.
My pastor told us a while back to pay attention to the “Collect.” This is the short prayer the priest prays at the very end of the introductory rites, just before we are seated to listen to the Word of God. Today’s Collect is quite beautiful:
O God, who delight in innocence and restore it,
direct the hearts of your servants to yourself,
that, caught up in the fire of your Spirit
may be found steadfast in faith
and effective in works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
We could easily reflect all day on this lovely prayer, but one part truly caught my attention: “may be found steadfast in faith and effective in works.”
That OUR part, our pledge. We are asking Almighty God to direct our hearts through the Holy Spirit so that we can go forth from the Mass, nourished by the Eucharist, and – despite whatever comes our way today – we will hold fast to our faith and be effective in the vocation God has imparted to us. That is our prayer directly before the Word of God and the Gospel. That Word too will nourish us in faith. It will give us the example and strength to be effective in our work, just as our forefathers and -mothers in Scripture have been.
Whether you are able to attend Mass today, the Collect is a good prayer to meditate upon. Ask God, along with the Universal Church, to help you be steadfast in faith and effective in works today.
Elise Hilton is an author, blogger and speaker. Her role at Diocesan Publications is Editor & Writer with the Marketing Team. She has worked in parish faith formation and Catholic education for over 25 years. A passionate student of theology, Elise enjoys sharing her thoughts on parish communication, the role of social media in the Church, Franciscan spirituality and Catholic parenting. To enquire about booking her as a speaker, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.