SAVE THE LITURGY

SAVE THE LITURGY

Monday, May 21, 2007



THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
Continued . . .

23--What does Pope Pius XII have to say about the fourfold end of the Mass in his encyclical, Mediator Dei, paragraphs 92-96?


"The first end of the Mass," says the Holy Father, "is to glorify God. From the cradle to the grave, Jesus Christ was inflamed with zeal for God's glory. the offering of His Blood ascended to Heaven from the Cross as a pleasing perfume; and in order that the chorus of praise may be unceasing, the members are joined to their Divine Head in the Eucharistic Sacrifice; and with Him, united with the Angels and Archangels, 'cease not to repeat day by day,' crying out with one voice. . . {Roman Missal, Preface.} ascribing to God the Father Almighty. . . all honor and glory'. {Canon.}

"The second end is to show fitting gratitude toward God. The Divine Redeemer alone, as the Beloved Son of the Father, whose immense love He knows, can offer Him a worthy hymn of thanksgiving. Such was His aim and purpose in 'giving thanks' {Mark 14:23.} at the Last Supper. And this aim and purpose did not cease when Christ hung on the Cross, nor does it cease in the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar; whose very meaning is 'giving thanks' or Eucharistic Action; for to do so is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation'. {Roman Missal, Preface.}

"In the third place, the Sacrifice proposes the purpose of expiation, of propitiation, and of reconciliation. Assuredly, none other than Christ could offer satisfaction to God for the sins of the human race. Hence, He desired to be immolated on the Cross; for 'He in His own person is the atonement made for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world'. {! John 2:2 (Knox).} In the same way, He offers Himself daily on our altars for our redemption, that having been snatched from eternal damnation, we may be numbered among the flock of His elect. And this not only for these who are in this mortal life, but also for all those 'who have gone before us with the sign of faith and who sleep the sleep of peace'. {Roman Missal, Canon.} So that whether we live or die, 'we may not depart from the one and only Christ'. {St. Augustine, On the Trinity, Vol. XIII, c. 19.}

"Finally, in the fourth place, there is the end of impetration. Man, the prodigal son, has made but ill use of the substance received from his Heavenly Father, and has wasted it. Hence, he finds himself reduced to a state of deepest degradation and poverty. But Christ, from the summit of the Cross, 'not without a piercing cry, not without tears. . . offered prayer and entreaty. . . with such piety as won Him a hearing'. {Heb. 5:7 (Knox).} In like manner, He exercises the same efficacious mediation on our holy altars, to the end that we may be filled with every blessing and grace."
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued . . .]