Traditional Mass

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Continued . . .

Some two thousand years ago, the drama of Calvary took place.
"The Mass is not just a symbolic commemoration of the Sacrifice of the cross. The Sacrifice of Golgotha has a grandeur all its own; situated in an immediate present, yet for all time--independent of time and space. It is the same Christ who died on the Cross, who is present. The whole assembly is united with His will to sacrifice; and, through Christ present, offers itself as a living victim. Holy Mass is thus a living, breathing reality--the reality of Golgotha." (Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism.)
The Mass is therefore, the means whereby we may become the prolongation of Christ.
Through the offering of ourselves with Christ
Through the consecration of ourselves through Christ
Through our communion in Christ
to the greater glory of the Blessed trinity and the sanctification of our souls.

As Fr. J. Blondel so aptly puts it, the Mass reminds us at one and the same time of God's CONdescension toward man, and of man's AScension toward God!

For the Mass sums up the twin mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption, at the same time that it applies to us their fruits. Crib and Cross manifest to mankind God's love for all: whereas the Mass stresses His love for the individual.
One ought, then, to look on the Mass as the sum total of man;s ascensions toward God, because it presupposes and completes them. The sinner derives from it abundant graces for conversion. the just man finds fervor in it--outstripping himself from one Consecration to another. Through the Mass, man offers to God praise that is worthy of him.
This, then, is the place that the Mass occupies in God's plan. Like Christ, it is at the center: as a sun to bring light and warmth, to transform and uplift all creation and bring it back to its Creator in a hymn of thanksgiving.
The Mass ought to occupy, not the first place in our lives (as if the Mass were some great personage), but ALL the place. We ought to:
* Offer ourselves up, like Christ on the Cross.
* Consecrate ourselves, "transubstantiate" ourselves--dying to our life of sin; to live, henceforth, the life of Christ.
* Unite ourselves to Someone stronger than ourselves, communicating with Christ through reception of His Sacred Body, in order to identify ourselves ever more closely with Him, so that--our bodily members belonging more to Him than to us--we may be able to accomplish divine and supernatural works.
* Render--through Christ--perfect praise to the august Trinity.
Such should be the constant concern of our earthly existence, and the prelude to our heavenly life in a blessed eternity.

"A single Mass heard by a person during his lifetime, is more advantageous to him than a great number of Masses celebrated for him after death." (St. Ambrose)

[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued]