Traditional Mass

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jacinta, Lucia & Francisco
Our Lady of Fatima is the title given to the Virgin Mary by those who believe that she appeared to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal, in 1917, at a time when many young men, including relatives of the children, were fighting in WWI. She reportedly exhorted the children to do penance, and they wore tight cords around their waists, abstained from water on hot days, gave away their lunch to poor children, knelt in prayer for long hours, reciting the Rosary over and over, and always obedient to their parents. Jacinta & Francisco are among the Blessed in Heaven!



In addition to the sacrifices required for the preservation of the state of grace, besides the acceptance of the trials that God's Providence permits, one also prepares for mass by voluntary penances. Not content with mere acceptance of what God is pleased to send in the way of mortification, one ought eagerly to seek out--always within the bounds of prudence and obedience, of course--all existing possibilities of reproducing within oneself the inner dispositions of Christ offering Himself to His Father as a Victim. It will not do to come to Mass empty-handed. That is tantamount to saying to Our Lord, "Immolate yourself, dear Lord. Offer yourself up. That's your job! Only, please, dear Jesus, don't count on me to help!"

His Holiness, Pius XII, treats of this in number 102 of his encyclical, Mediator Dei:
"The words of the Apostle, 'Have in you the same mind that was in Christ Jesus,' requires of all Christians the taking upon themselves in some sort of the victim state; a complete submission to the precepts of the Gospel; a spontaneous and voluntary addiction to penance; and for each one the detestation and expiation of his sins. It requires that each, together with Christ, should die mystically on the Cross; so as to be able to make St. Paul's thought, "With Christ I am nailed to the Cross,' {Gal. 2:19.} his own."

However, "nothing demands so much wisdom in its application," writes Fr. Grimaud, "as does the use of supplementary penances. One cannot recommend too strongly to our people, if they would avoid the perils of temerity, and often of pride, to undertake nothing in this line of mortification without having received the permission of an enlightened director.
"But what a field for voluntary privation still remains open to all those desirous of becoming 'Living sacrifices pleasing to God,' without detriment to health or the obligations of their state, without risk of being imprudent, and without the necessity of asking permission of their confessor! When Christians shall have sacrificed idle words--frivolous conversations--distractions in church--luxury in food--immodesty in dress--when they shall have given to the poor or to good works the abundant alms that their social status permits--when they shall have put themselves out to do a neighbor a service, to have consoled and encouraged him--when they have exercised the apostolate in accordance with their abilities and circumstances, by the teaching of catechism, by a charge accepted in a parish group, or in Catholic Press publicity . . ." In other words, when Tertiaries shall have integrated the Rule into their lives, then they will have practiced a great number of voluntary penances; then they will have formed within themselves the "victim for the sacrifice"; then they will be ready each morning to "celebrate" their Mass!
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]