Traditional Mass

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Continued . . .

26--For whom may Mass be celebrated?

God always receives infinite praise from the Mass, even should the celebrant be unworthy of his high office; for it is Christ, who--in the Mass, as once on Calvary--is both Priest and Victim.

The Mass is offered to God alone; but for the advantage, profit, utility, and benefit of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The beneficiaries of the Mass are thus the members of the Mystical Body. As we shall see farther on in taking up the various parts of the Mass, the Mass includes the "Memento of the Living" and the "Memento of the Dead." We shall find there indicated the persons for whom Mass may be celebrated.

1. The living. These are the members of Christ's Mystical Body still on earth: consequently, each one of us. Incidentally, a beautiful prayer formular for offering prayer for dying sinners is the following:
"My God, I offer You all the Masses that are being celebrated today for those sinners who are in their agony now and are to die today. may the Precious Blood of Jesus obtain mercy for them!"

2. The dead. In other words, the souls in Purgatory.
Charity demands that those members of the Mystical Body who have access to Christ's oblation, should not forget those members no longer able to offer the Holy Sacrifice. It devolves on us to see that the Church Suffering is not deprived of its greatest good: the Mass, which applies to it Christ's merits. If we would have Christians still on earth think of us, when we in our turn shall be in Purgatory; let us not forget the departed, who implore our prayers and masses!

The merit of a charitable work depends on three factors: (1) The value of the work in question; (2) the effort involved; (3) the amount of charity with which the work is accomplished.
No work of mercy surpasses in value the gift of a Mass. If the cup of cold water is rewarded, of how much greater merit is Christ's infinite oblation applied to a human soul! No other offering or riches is comparable. If material or spiritual aid to a neighbor in need, draws down upon us Heaven's blessings, how much more meritorious still, the offering to a suffering member of the Mystical Body of the very immolation of Christ!
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued . . .]