What is Heaven like? This is one of the biggest questions that has challenged not only Christians but non-believers as well. Millions of people have debated the answer to this question, and some would say we are still not any closer to knowing the truth.
Recently I was sitting in on a talk where this question was posed. The audience came up with all sorts of answers as to what heaven will be like. Some said heaven would be complete bliss, or endless joy, or even an endless supply of beer! However, the man giving the talk had the best answer. He argued that we have the chance to experience Heaven every day in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is Heaven on earth because Jesus Christ himself, Our Lord and Savior, is truly present with us in the Blessed Sacrament. Praying and worshiping in the presence of God is what we will be doing for eternity in heaven, and the Eucharist is a way to enjoy this same experience while here on earth. Clearly the greatest experience that we can have on any day is receiving the Eucharist. How great is God's love for us, that we have the opportunity to experience heaven on earth every single day in the daily Mass! Many theologians have even said that the angels envy us because we get to adore and intake the Eucharist every day.
If during Mass we experience Heaven on earth, then how do we make the most of this incredible event? How to we let the majesty and wonder of this "source and summit" of our faith sink into our minds and hearts? One good way is to gain a better understanding of why we do things the way we do in the Mass by reading Catholic Mass books. Mass books allow us to understand the Mass on a deeper level, which in turn allows us to appreciate it even more when we experience it.
Lots of great Catholic books about the Mass have been written in the last several years. Scott Hahn, Edward Sri, and Mike Aquilina have all written popular books explaining the Mass. Some Mass books prepare us so that we can be more open to the many blessings and graces which come from the Mass. Other Mass books allow us to better understand the history of the Mass so that we can explain its beauty to others. There are even Mass books for children that explain the Mass in an age-appropriate way. I encourage you to read a Catholic Mass book if you haven't already, and you won't be disappointed! Learning more about the Mass allows you to reflect more deeply on the awe and splendor of the great gift of Jesus in the Eucharist. What do you do to make the most of Mass? What are your favorite books about the Mass?