Of course, the participation to which one is called in the Mass is not the activa of the liturgical activist. No, the right intention is the actuosa (actual or actualized) participatio one is invited to enter into by the Holy Spirit. Only by being present to and immersed in the Word of God, for starters, is one prepared to meet the Lover Who seeks His Beloved the Church. Preparation begins with listening. Listening is more than mere hearing. Listening is allowing the word of God to resonate in one's mind and heart. How can one truly listen when one is forcibly attached to a saccharine melody that fashions a tyranny of the emotions which stand in the way of truth, goodness and authentic beauty reaching through the senses to the heart? The soul addicted to spiritual junk food has little room left for cuisine.
Cuisine rhymes with Nicene.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,maker of heaven and earth,of all things visible and invisible.
Too many cooks, not enough guests.
The Liturgy of the Word is an altar upon which we are called to sacrifice obstacles to God's grace and peace, obstacles to His knowledge and wisdom, an altar upon which we are slaughtered by the word of God and join the Word, the Lamb of God, Who was sacrificed on Calvary to save us from sin. The Mass is, of course, the re-presentation of the one Sacrifice of Calvary. We enter into that same Sacrifice every Mass. Need it be said that we must be free of mortal sin to fully enter into (participate in) the august Sacrifice of the Mass? The Sacrament of Penance awaits.
Memory is Identity. You become what and how you believe.
Memorization entails discipline, a sacrifice of sloth (acedia) that, like plaque that lines blood vessels and inhibits health, too too many are reluctant to rid themselves of. Those attached to the spiritual experience rather than seeking the Giver of the gift are like the slothful who are comfortably fat on their complacency, unwilling to risk a little discomfort to train in the spiritual life. Memorization configures the heart and mind to the orthodox prayer of the Church which, being True, Good and Beautiful, configures man to the font of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, the Holy Trinity. The liturgical prayers become conduits of grace through which God pours His life into the lives of men. The heart becomes less dependent on narrow self interest and less likely given to attempting to manipulate God through prayers that are more an assertion of a narrow personal agenda than an honest beseeching of God for things desired, or adoration offered, or contrition or thanksgiving expressed. The maturing heart, purified of self interest, rises to meet God on God's terms. God's will be done!
Rather than a vague, subjective experience of Jesus Christ which is often demanded by devotionalists, e.g., a "personal relationship with Christ", the liturgical Christian is invited into an intimate loving communion with Jesus Christ and His Church. The Sacred Liturgy is that forum, arena, banquet, feast, celebration and sacrifice in which the soul is formed and strengthened in that communion confident in the knowledge that one is worshipping God and not merely an idol of one's own making.
The intention of the heart to remain in and with Jesus is best formed and actualized by a nuanced, sensitive, tactile and kinaesthetic, visual and olfactic liturgy that is true to the continuous liturgical heritage of the Church witnessed to by the saints. The Extraordinary and Ordinariate forms of the Mass are such liturgies. The whole person is engaged for worship: mind, body and soul. The whole person is seated in the Presence of God, as Mary was.
We humans need orthodox prayers to help form our private prayers to better direct our hearts and minds to God. Unaided by the Truth, and thus become an obstacle to grace, the person at prayer merely fashions God in his or her own image instead of being shaped into God's likeness by the Holy Spirit.