I believe that it is a time to “recollect” ourselves–sort of a decompression from the thoughts and worries of the world and a time to prepare ourselves to be with our God and Saviour after the consecration. Calling to mind our sins, making sure that we have no mortal sins that would keep us from receiving our Lord in Holy Communion, and recalling our venial sins that we wish Him to forgive and give us the grace not to repeat.
It is a time to think of our special intentions, who we are offering our Mass and/or Communion for, think of all our prayer intentions that we wish to place before our King. A time to just reflect on what a miracle of love and mercy our presence at the Mass really is. A time to reflect on how we will be joining those in Heaven who are also worshipping and joining their offerings to those Jesus presents to the Father so that He can perfect our offerings and include them with His.
For me, it is also a time to recognize that if I were truly focussed on Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, I wouldn’t notice that others are talking or not wearing what I consider appropriate clothing. A time to ask for help in perfecting my focus on Jesus alone, and also to celebrate with Him that those who may not yet be experiencing a melded relationship with Jesus are at Mass where they will receive graces more powerful than anything our technology has produced.
A time to rejoice that all of us present are traveling toward Him, and please, to pour His abundant graces on all of us, as well as on all those not present at Chruch, especially the unchurched, and the non–Christians, pagan and otherwise.
I especially pray that all will be saved as God would like, and for those who need prayers and graces, but have no one to pray for them. I also try to remember to pray for all those in Purgatory, and for all those in Purgatory and Heaven to remember all of us in their prayers and petitions.
This is a rather inclusive posting of the things I try to “recollect” before participating in the Mass. When distracted, I sometimes sit after greeting my Lord, and either read the Mass readings and reflect on what God wants me to hear, or read the day’s readings from my In Conversation with God meditation book. (1 of 7 books, put out by an Opus Dei priest–a great meditation set that has helped me learn about virtues, sacrifice, mortification, and our Faith in general, as my catechesis in my Faith was sorely lacking…)
Also, over time, as I come to learn that God knows me better than I know myself, I have a tendency to use fewer words, and just commune with Him. It is hard to explain, and though I might seem to be just staring blankly at Him, ;^) I am just basking in His presence. Always assume that anyone sitting or kneeling and just staring is so basking. They MIGHT be thinking of what they need to buy for dinner, but it is much more charitable to assume they are visiting with God in Church, unless they tell us different.
May God bless you and keep you and your loved ones faithful til the end.
In Christ’s peace and joy,
Robin L. in TX