Traditional Mass

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Continued . . .

31--What is meant by the expression: "The Mass must be lived"?

We have seen that on Calvary, Christ included us in His Sacrifice by offering us together with Himself to the Father.
We likewise seen that the Mass is the means the Church has at her disposal for offering supreme homage to the Blessed Trinity.

The Mass is not Christ's Sacrifice alone, but that of the whole Mystical Body as well. If we are content to offer up our Lord's sufferings, there is no sacrifice on our part, but a petition ("Dear God, here are the sufferings of Your Divine Son. In return, please grant me such and such a favor!")

If the Mass is to become
my Mass, my sacrifice offered to God, if I am to offer the Blessed Trinity my infinitesimal portion of thanksgiving and praise, I must live the way Christ lived; in the same dispositions of denial of self and of placing God first, of obedience, of daily immolation. My sacrifice must be added to His!

Needless to say, our sacrifices alone are of little value--God looks upon them as so much dross. It is only when we offer them to Him in union with Christ's Sacrifice that they become as gold. Just as the tiny drop of water that falls into the chalice becomes wine! As we remarked in question 7, it is "through Him" and "in Him" that our sacrifices acquire all their value.

Hence, the extreme importance of centering our lives on the Mass.

Our Sacrifice, our Mass, is in two parts:
1. The ritual offering in union with that of Christ in His name. I offer myself completely, and in advance, for the hours that lie ahead.

2. The second action--too often forgotten--is as important as the first. This consists in the carrying out of the offering, throughout the course of the day, in the midst of the series of actions that make up its warp and woof. This is what is known as LIVING MY MASS.

Everything does not end with the
Ite, missa est. On the contrary, it is then that everything begins! . . .

For when a person has offered himself,
all himself, with Christ, how is it possible for him to think, speak, and act as do those who have never offered themselves? . . .
Remember! God gives Himself to the one giving himself (or herself), and God is not pleased with half gifts! God never lets Himself be outdone in generosity. That is why, after giving ourselves to God through Christ, our Mass is completed by Communion; which gives God to us through Christ.

Here again we can, during the course of the day, communicate with Christ in the person of the beggar, of the sick man, of our neighbor in general--with whom Christ has been pleased to identify Himself.

We shall deal with this question at greater length, when we take up the study of the Mass in detail.

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