Traditional Mass

Saturday, February 17, 2007



Man, having come from God, must return to God: his Final End. "You have made us for you, O God," cried St. Augustine, "and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You!"

The creation--a work of sheer mercy, a stooping of the Creator toward the creature--returns to God, chanting a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. A feather from a bird, a ray of light, a finely modulated voice, a drop of water falling to earth, a hastening ant, a seed sprouting from the earth, the stars that whirl in the firmament with never a collision; all are directed by God to that magnificent end for which He has ordained them--man's pleasure, Christ's happiness, and finally, the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

"All are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (I Cor. 3:23)

Man looks; and the purity of his heart enables him to read God's message, inscribed in wondrous characters in the vast book of the universe. "Immediately, he perceives the sensation of an intense movement of life, pulsating throughout the entire universe. Man hears the prayer of all living creatures inviting him--as if a dumb man were to pluck him silently by the sleeve--to praise the God who gave them existence."

Man, mute with astonishment, observes that all this munificence is intended for him. He hears (as will hear many centuries later, St. Francis of Assisi) the voice of creation whispering to him, "O man, it was God who created me for you!" Man feels like a child in a Christian land who has just discovered--at the foot of the chimney--the profusion of gifts and toys left there for him by loving hands, in honor of the Savior's birth. His poor heart, almost bursting with happiness at so many proofs of love, opens like an alabaster vase and breathes forth its perfume in an act of pure love and endless gratitude. And in this act of charity proceeding from man's heart and lips, the whole creation returns--through him--its thanks to God! For this was the admirable task entrusted to man: to be the intermediary (after Christ), the living link between creation and Creator; to be a priest, an authorized offerer of thanks.