Soon after entering the Church, in April of 2007, I was looking through the library of my home parish after Mass one day. There was a book there by Romano Guardini (who I'd never heard of) called “Meditations before Mass.” I took the book and read it over the course of the next few weeks. The book is a collection of short talks which speak about what the Mass is and how best to pray the Mass.
It changed how I pray forever.
It turns out that Fr Romano Guardini was one of the most important theologians in the Church and the early 1900s. His philosophical, theological, and spiritual writings shaped the people who contributed to the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Later in seminary, I was exposed to him more through the influence his thoughts and sentiments that he had on other theologians and church documents which we studied. But I was always struck most powerfully by the world Father Guardini opened for me by helping me understand the Mass and how to pray it.
Therefore, in the next few weeks I am going to be giving homilies and writing in the bulletin about exactly that: what is the Mass and how to enter into it. I'm looking forward to this as a renewal for me of love and Zeal for the Holy Mass as the “source and summit” of my life (as the second Vatican Council says). I am, of course, also excited to sharing with you that which has become most important to me as a Catholic, and as a priest. I will be using Father Guardini’s book as a guide as I personally review it; however, I will really be bringing in many other sources and distilling all of them through my own reflections.
Therefore, I heartily encourage you to pick up his book and read it, as I will not simply be repeating what he says, though there will be topics that overlap. I also highly recommend listening to this talk on praying the Mass by Fr Mike Schmitz:
In Christ, our Hope, FrDT