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sábado, 23 de junho de 2012

How to Unlock the Infinite Riches of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Prayer of Reparation
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners.

How to Unlock the Infinite Riches of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

By Rev. Augustine Mary Hedderman M.V.A.
The following reflection is the first part of a series which will examine the nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and how to enter into this source and summit of all Christian life with reverence and awe. To begin, we ask the basic question: "What is the Mass?"
We look to John Paul II for help in answering this question. He says the Eucharist is "at one and the same time a Sacrifice-Sacrament, a Communion-Sacrament, and a Presence-Sacrament" (Redemptor Hominis, 20). All three of these dimensions are necessary for a Catholic understanding of the Mass
THE EUCHARIST IS A SACRIFICE-SACRAMENT
"The Eucharist is above all else a sacrifice" (Dominicae Cenae, 9). It is one and the same sacrifice as that of Calvary; each day the priest stands on Golgotha as he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (cf. John Paul II, Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, 1988, passim). This sacrifice of Calvary, which is permanent and definitive, the eternal source of man's Redemption, is perennially re-presented through the ministry of priests in a sacramental unbloody manner at the Mass. Thus Christ's definitive act of self-donation as Victim for our sins is made present to the faithful that they may offer themselves ever more perfectly in union with Christ the Mediator between God and man.
What does this mean? It means that the "'offering of His own Body' for us is not a long-ago act, committed to the cold pages of historical chronicles, but it is an event that is still alive even now, although in an unbloody way, in the Sacrament of the Body and Blood, placed on the table of the altar. Christ returns to offer His Body and His Blood for us now, so that the purifying wave of divine mercy may spread once more over the misery of our condition as sinner, and that the seed of immortal life may be placed in the frailty of our mortal flesh" (John Paul II, Address, 612183).
It means that daily, we have a place to go wherein our sins are consumed and burned away in the holocaust of love: that is in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
THE EUCHARIST IS A COMMUNION-SACRAMENT
Partaking of the Body and Blood of the Lamb enables all members of the People of God to be united sacramentally with the Son of God, the Head of the Mystical Body. Love of God and neighbor are perpetually revitalized in the Most Holy Eucharist where the hearts of the faithful are enflamed by the infinite love of Jesus, the Bridegroom of the Church. "It is the Eucharist above all that expresses the redemptive act of Christ the Bridegroom towards the Church His Bride" (Mulieris Dignitatem, 26).
It is by going to Mass to offer ourselves in union with the sacrifice of the Cross and receive Jesus in Holy Communion that our hearts are expanded and our capacity for love is increased. The Eucharistic liturgy is the bridal chamber where Jesus shows the depth of His love for the Church. It is the place where we as members of one Body grow in unity with Jesus and because of this, we grow in unity with each other. As each of us approaches the altar to receive Jesus, the same Jesus in each of us acts as a spiritual bond and bridge that unites us all into one Body.
Just as husband and wife give their bodies in mutual self-donation, so too Christ gives His Body to the Church who receives Him with great love: "Taking bread, and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying: 'This is my Body to be given for you."' (Lk. 22:19). How did the Lord give His Body for us? By opening His arms on the Cross!
THE EUCHARIST IS A PRESENCE-SACRAMENT
"In the reserved sacrament [Jesus] is to be adored because He is substantially present there through that conversion of bread and wine which, as the Council of Trent tells us, is most aptly named transubstantiation" (Eucharisticum Mysterium, 3f). "The unique and indivisible existence of Christ the Lord whereby he dives in the glory of heaven is not multiplied by the Sacrament but rendered present in every place where the Eucharistic Sacrifice is celebrated.... It is, then our bounder and loving duty to honor and adore in the Blessed Bread, which we see with our eyes, the Word Incarnate himself, whom we cannot see, but who nonetheless, without leaving heaven, is made present before us" (Paul VI, Credo of the People of God, 26). Jesus is truly, really, substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament. He is present par excellence in the Eucharist because by it Christ is made present before us in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity -- in the manner of a substance (cf. Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, 39). It is then our loving duty to worship Jesus in the Eucharist with the worship of latria [due to God alone].
A voice from more than eighteen hundred years ago cries out to us: "Not as common bread or as common drink do we receive these but just as Jesus Christ Our Savior was made flesh through the Word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food which has been eucharistized by the word of prayer from him, that food which by assimilation nourishes our flesh and blood is the Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Jesus" (St. Justin Martyr, Apologia 1, 62). In complete agreement, an even older voice proclaims, "The Eucharist is the selfsame body which was nailed to the Cross which suffered for our sins and which the Father with His goodness raised up" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epist. Smyrn. 7). Both St. Justin and St. Ignatius are 2nd century witnesses that authentically interpret the meaning of Our Lord's words, "This is my Body." These great saints did not doubt Jesus Christ; they knew that Truth Himself speaks truly. With Peter they say, "Lord, you have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).
To see the Eucharist as Sacrifice-Sacrament, Communion-Sacrament and Presence-Sacrament ensures that one is considering this greatest of sacraments in all of its magnitude. The Eucharist communicates to us how much our heavenly bridegroom loves us. In the burning love of His Sacred Heart, His wounded yet glorified hand reaches through the centuries to touch us and unite us with Himself We are not separated from our beloved by an ever widening gap of time; rather in every age He runs to embrace and kiss His bride. Each of us individually, as members of the Church, shares in the reception of this love. Adoremus in Aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum!
The Mass is a great mystery! If we are distracted and do not prayerfully prepare to enter into this divine mystery, if we do not know what Jesus has taught us about the Mass through His Church, we can miss the infinite wealth of the Eternal Son of the Father pouring forth His love for us through His Cross and Eucharist.
WHY Should I Go To Mass Every Day?"
(Taken from the Pieta Prayer Booklet)
"The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!" (Pope Paul VI)
For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death. (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great). Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than without the Mass.
The Cure'd'Ars, St. Jean Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.
A great doctor of the Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death. St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than many after it.
"The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death." (Pope Benedict XV).
Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank you?" Our Lord replied,"ATTEND ONE MASS".
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