Don't Be Afraid to Take Your Kids to Daily Mass

“Every time thou hearest Mass in a state of grace, with devout attention and in a spirit of recollection, Our Lord, of His loving kindness, makes thee to participate in no less than seventy-seven graces and fruits,” said Father Martin von Cochem, a German Capuchin theologian (1634-1712), in his book “Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

As parents we strive to nourish our children inside and out with healthy meals, a quality education and most of all, valuable spiritual direction. We don’t hesitate to stir them out of bed to make it to the bus stop on time or to catch a plane as we head off on a family vacation. Why do we pause to wake them up for daily Mass?

This Lent I took my 4-year-old daughter to daily Mass, just as I had done the year before. Initially, I was unaware of the graces I was exposing her to, and I sometimes wondered if I was making her dread Mass. But I felt the Holy Spirit encouraging me to continue even on days when my daughter was less than cooperative. There were mornings, however, when my spirited tot would wrap her little arms around my neck and cuddle on my lap peacefully, with her head on my chest as we listened to the readings and Gospel. This felt like the biggest blessing of all.

The opportunity to receive Christ's Body and Blood is the ultimate gift we receive by attending Mass, which Father Chochem beautifully describes in his book.

But he also highlights other graces we received, including:

#24 “Each time thou hearest Mass thou canst do more to pay the penalty due to thy sins than by the severest work of penance.”

#52 “For each time that thou dost gaze reverently upon the sacred host, thou wilt receive a recompense in heaven.”

And #61 “Thou wilt also be strengthened against temptations which would otherwise have vanquished thee.”

Whenever possible, make it a point to attend daily Mass with your family, so you don't miss the many graces God has readily available to us.

Photo by Norm Steinruck.


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