Traditional Mass

Monday, July 09, 2007

Continued . . .

33(a)--What preparation should I bring to my Mass?

The celebration of a Mass is not just something that can be improvised on the spot; especially when one considers that the mass is the greatest event in world history. A proper preparation should be threefold:

1. Doctrinal preparation. By means of reading, of listening to God's Word, and of study groups. Such preparation for Mass is most important and fruitful; because it shows us the prime value of the Mass and compels us to study the great dogmas of our Faith, for which the Mass serves as a rallying-point: The Trinity, the Incarnation, Redemption, grace and glory.

If many souls fail to progress, if instead of going forward, they continually go backward; it should be recognized that the principal cause of their spiritual anemia is to be found in their total or partial ignorance of the Mass--center of their lives. Such souls scarcely suspect the existence of this admirable doctrine--small wonder that they neither live it, nor are nourished by it.

Let us rise up against this ignorance and apathy. Let us study these great truths and then share with others the knowledge that we acquire.

2. Liturgical preparation. The ceremonial of the Mass is of singular help in the understanding of the doctrine. The Church, always careful to adapt herself to the needs of popular piety, has multiplied the number of liturgical ceremonies; so as to present, under a simple form of imagery, the fundamental theology of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

We shall observe the past played by ritual when we study the Mass in detail.

3. Ascetic preparation. Of the three preparations, the ascetic (or that of the heart and will) is the most important. It should be the constant concern of my life. Its purpose is to conform me more and more to Christ. The more I am a victim, the more will my Mass profit me. For Christ, the Mass is the Sacrifice of utter self-abasement and self-surrender. We are members of Christ, so. . . .
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued . . .]