Traditional Mass

Monday, August 13, 2007

Continued . . .


For many persons, religion consists in giving God a half-hour every week, in order to satisfy the precept of the Mass.
"A Christian in church, and a pagan in the market place"!
These already have Christ's answer: "No man can serve two masters!"
Just as Christ's Sacrifice--obedience to His Father--continued from birth to death, so our role of actor ought to spread out over our whole life--ought to be our "job," our every-minute concern.
The mass ought to enter into our life and our life into the Mass, like a sponge in water, and water in a sponge. Let us say in fine that the Mass is the biggest event in our life--and we ought to live it constantly.
To repeat. We are actors, and not just spectators. If, in addition to being present at an event, we take an active part in it; then we really get excited. Then we really have something to remember!

Everybody likes illustrations, so here are a few:
You are moving, and you are helping the movers. . . . It is raining. . . . You are going to live three flights up. . . . Now, just as you are getting ready to move in the piano by means of a pulley, the wet rope slips! The piano plunges from the third floor and lands with a crash on the pavement below! You will always remember the beautiful "philharmonic concert" that crash made! If you live to be ninety, you will still be telling your grandchildren about it.

Your house is on fire, and you are about to perish in the flames! A fireman rescues you in a swirl of billowing smoke!
After that, whenever you see a fire, you recall your harrowing experience in all its details.

You were drowning. Someone fished you out of the water, just as you were going down for the third time. Or maybe it was you who saved another's life! Either way, you were the hero or the victim of a near-tragedy. Memory need jogging?

You had a "steady date." You used to think about this boy all the time. You were "crazy" about him. You even dreamed about him at night! Well, one fine day he told you he no longer "cared"! Now he's dating another girl! Hard to forget, isn't it?

You joined the Army and saw some real action. Several men in your outfit fell at your side, and you came back wounded. Remember?

A play was put on in your school or parish hall, and you had a stellar role. You had lived your part for so long and played it so realistically that the audience actually shed tears! For you were "living" your role. And it is a psychological fact that this play in which you "starred" will influence your whole life.

* * *

Well then! The Mass is the event that ought to have the biggest impact on our life, and on all that we do: on our work, our leisure time, our rest, our joys and our sorrows--in fine, on all our life.
All these things should be gathered up by us all through the day and placed on the paten of tomorrow's Mass. For in the Drama, our "lines" call for this!
Whoever fails to center his life on the Mass, and comes to the Offertory with empty hands, has fluffed his role and ceased to be an actor. He has stopped offering up his share of praise to the Most Holy Trinity, and has also ceased to receive his blessings.

The Church requires not only our bodily presence at the Holy Sacrifice, but our co-operation with Christ in His immolation and offering. She desires us to form together and with Christ "one heart and soul"; to the end that Head and members of the Mystical Body may offer up to the Blessed Trinity in fellowship, perfect praise, and abundant and overflowing satisfaction and thanksgiving: thus obtaining God's reign in our hearts, and the many spiritual and temporal favors of which we stand in need.

As we see, the Mass is a social Sacrifice, a communal work; the sum total of the united efforts of all the members of the Mystical Body and their Head. Consequently, if one member plays his role badly, he hinders others as well. For example, a person who, instead of edifying his neighbor, scandalizes him. . . .

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