Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"The Mass, my dear friends, is the greatest treasure of our lives, along with Holy Communion. We should be very happy to have the privilege of assisting at it. It is one of the greatest privileges of our lives. We must, therefore, renew our fervor as to the manner of assisting at it. How, then, should we assist at Holy Mass?
Holy Mass is the most beautiful of all prayers. It is the prayer of our Lord Himself. In comparison with it, all other prayers are as nothing. It is an offering worthy of God. Holy Mass! It is more than a prayer; it is a sacrifice, the Sacrifice of God, and worthy of God. It is the same sacrifice as that of Calvary.
The Curé of Ars said: 'All of our good works united do not equal the offering of one Mass. Martyrdom is little in comparison with the Mass. In the Sacrifice of the Mass, God offers for men His own Body and His own Blood. Martyrdom is but the sacrifice of a man offering himself to God.'
Holy Mass! Nothing on earth is greater because it is the commemoration of the Passion of Christ. The Mass! It is the ineffable mystery of divine charity: God communicating Himself to us, bringing us His graces and His favors.
The Sacrifice of the Mass is not only offered by the priest who celebrates, but is also offered by all who assist. You, also, are priests. Does not the priest say, 'Pray, my brothers, that this sacrifice, which is also yours, may be agreeable to God?' We should assist at Mass with the greatest devotion. It is one of the most precious privileges available to us.
In what spirit should we hear Mass? It is a good practice to unite with the celebrant, to appropriate his intentions to ourselves. To unite with Jesus Christ - this is the best and highest exercise. We must follow the attraction of our hearts in all simplicity. These attractions vary for each soul, and vary at different times for the same individual. The best method for you today might now be the best method one year from today.
'On Sunday is it necessary to read the Missal prayers?' No, it is not absolutely necessary. Do you find devotion in the practice? Then continue it.
Let us examine ourselves to see if we have not something to reform in our method of hearing Mass. Let us see if we have not lost much from the Masses we have heard throughout our lives, and through our own fault. What an incomparable blessing is one Mass! Let us profit from this transcendent grace."
-- Seeds of the Kingdom: Notes from Conferences, spiritual directions, meditations by Almire Pichon, SJ