Traditional Mass

Friday, October 12, 2007




What is a Christian life, if not a "mass" that is celebrated daily "according to the rubrics?"

My life should be sealed with the sign of the cross. Just as the priest celebrates Mass before the crucifix, and can do so only before it; so only in the shadow of the Cross is the Christian's life a "holy sacrifice."

Every Christian life has its "Introit," for every day is a new beginning. . . . Let us set out then with renewed ardor and courage, and adorn our soul with all that a solemn introit is able to contribute to the day.

No Mass but has its Epistle and Gospel--no day void of religious instruction can be called a day in which the Mass is lived. If my life is a "holy sacrifice," then its missal is the Gospel. I will use this missal daily; lest I become, through negligence, a Catholic who no longer knows what he does, or must do, to say his "mass."

Every Christian life must have its offertory. This is what takes place when the offering is brought to the altar to be immolated. If I give myself, it is that self may be sacrificed. An offertory calls for consecration, and consecration is the essence of sacrifice.

Many persons like the thought of being placed with all that they have in the chalice, mingled with the water and wine in the chalice. Like the priest, they stretch forth their hands over the offering, but on the condition of not becoming victims. And what kind of "celebrants" are these, unwilling to enter into the heart of the sacrifice? . . .

As for me, I will go on to my consecration and I will utter sincerely the sacramental words:
"Dear God, here is my body that You gave me to be used in Your service. Take it. May it live and die for Your glory! Here is my blood, the blood that You put in my veins. Take it! Let it be compressed into my sweat, my tears, my prayers and all my work. It is Yours to the last drop! Here is my insignificant person. You gave it to me when You made me a free being, responsible for my acts and capable of loving--to You I surrender it, together with my will."
Such is the consecration of the Christian's "mass;" to which the integral part, the communion, must be added. The host is consecrated at the altar to be eaten--a sacrifice is complete only when the victim becomes food. My sacrifice then shall be complete. And of what shall I complain? My neighbor "lives off" me; he consumes my strength, my time, my liberty, and my rest. He has the right to do so. He takes his communion where he sees there has been a consecration--nothing could be more logical.

My neighbor consumes and ruins my reputation, brushing aside my rights and the gratitude he owes me. He is wrong. His acts are like sacrilegious communions committed against me, but Jesus suffered in His person Communions more sacrilegious still. The Christian--like the victim of the altar--is made to be eaten and drunk. Let us leave it to God to distinguish among communicants; asking Him to forgive those who prey on us more than they have the right.

If my sacrifice is celebrated "according to the rubrics," then it, too, will have its glorious
Ite, missa est--"Depart, Christian soul!" This will be as if someone were to say, "Go, for your mass is finished. It has had its oblation, its consecration, its communion. No more shall you ascend the altar of your sacrifice, for you are about to ascend to Heaven. Ite, missa est. Amen!"

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