Our approach to learning more about the Catholic Faith begins with attending Mass as frequently as possible. How can going to Mass help one to learn more about their faith?
One of the things we point out on our website is that the ultimate goal of “learning more about the Catholic Faith” is to grow closer to Christ. That’s why we developed our approach to teaching the Faith. If all we did was point you to textbooks and facts, there is a chance that your studying would cause you to feel “better than others”, give you an inflated sense of self-accomplishment and you may even grow further from The Lord. Instead, we infuse Catholic teaching with the Sacraments, prayer, the Bible, and the intercession of the Blessed Mother. This “holistic” approach allows you to remain grounded and completely immerses you in the holiness of the Catholic Church.
I strongly recommend reading what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says about the Mass (The Sacrament of the Eucharist) because it is outstanding, but for now I’ll present a few excerpts:
The Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith (CCC 1327).
We carry out this command of the Lord (“Do this in remembrance of me” ) by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present (CCC 1357).
The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained. This presence is called ‘real’—by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present. (CCC 1374)
Words cannot adequately explain the value of the Mass, but try to remember this: When you attend Mass, you’re not only standing at the foot of the cross on Calvary, but you’re actually hanging on the cross with Jesus offering yourself to the Father for the salvation of mankind. If that isn’t remarkable enough, in a foretaste of life in Heaven, you are united with The Lord in the most intimate way possible by receiving His Body in Holy Communion.
The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering. (CCC 1368)
The celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us. (CCC 1382)
As for the benefits of receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion, the Catechism states:
1. Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus.
2. What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life.
3. As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins.
4. The Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. (CCC 1391 – 1397)
If we are more closely united with Christ, it follows logically that we will be more inclined to willingly submit to the teaching of the Church and exhibit charity toward our brothers and sisters in Christ. Most parishes have at least one daily Mass. As part of your plan to learn more about the Catholic Faith, why not try attending one extra Mass each week and see what happens? I predict that you will be pleased!