By Fr F. ASTRUC.
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC TRUTH SOCIETY No. 722a (1936).
The Christian's Life is a Mass.
"Tu es sacerdos in aeternum!" “You are a priest for ever!” What a joy was ours when, on the morning of our ordination, a consciousness of this divine reality dawned in our souls: "You are a priest for-ever!" Yes, we were happy then with a happiness we could not measure, a happiness which the passing years have served but to increase.
Many Christians in the world envy us our sacerdotal dignity. Well do I understand their holy jealousy. For their consolation, I would remind them of a truth which they do not perhaps sufficiently recognize — Every Christian has received a true participation in the priesthood of Jesus Christ; as a member of the mystical Body of Christ, he belongs, as St. Peter has authoritatively declared, to "a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood." St. Ambrose repeats the same truth to the people of Milan: "All the children of the Church are priests; in Baptism they receive the anointing that makes them participate in the Priesthood; the victim which they must offer God is wholly spiritual: this victim is themselves."read...
On the first Wednesday of the month when I volunteer at the Apostleship of Prayer (AoP) I always take a few minutes to browse the library shelves. The AoP recently acquired the books of Fr. Richard Tomasek, SJ who has just passed away this past August, and I've found some real gems among his donations including Mystic Treasures of the Holy Mass by Fr. Charles Coppens, SJ which was written in 1905.
One of the very first posts that I wrote on this blog 2-1/2 years ago was about a pilgrimage that my sisters and I made to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in La Crosse, WI. It was at this Shrine where I experienced the Latin Mass for the first and only (so far!) time. I had written in that post that I was mystified by the translation that said that the priest offered a "secret" prayer. I wondered what that secret prayer could be and in Mystic Treasures of the Holy Mass, I found the answer to that long ago question.
"The entire series of prayers and ceremonies that make up the Canon are the most solemn that the human mind can conceive. But the words are not heard by the people; for this part of the Holy Mass is called "the Secret," from the "Sanctus" to the "Pater Noster," The silence entered upon by the priest soon spreads over the entire congregation...So during the secret portion of Holy Mass the incense of prayer from the hearts of the priest and people ascends to the throne of God in Heaven."
Sigh...isn't that a beautiful explanation? I also found this suggestion for prayer during the Consecration of the Mass to be especially touching and effective:
"At the most solemn portion of Holy Mass she suggests propriety of individual communing with Christ by the silence of her ministers at the altar. The time is most appropriate for laying our wants and desires before the throne of God's mercy. A practice familiar to many devout persons, one said to have been dear to St. Aloysius, consists in imaging ourselves at that solemn moment to see the crucified Lord, as He was on Calvary, and recommend our principal requests through the bleeding wounds of our Redeemer. By the wounds of his sacred head we may pray for all of our superiors, spiritual and temporal, the Pope, the Bishop, our pastors, rulers, parents, etc. By the wound of the right hand of Christ we beg blessings for our relatives and friends. By that of the left hand for all sinners, and in particular for our enemies, who hate, persecute and calumniate us. In the wound of the right foot of Christ we ask perseverance for all the just; in the wound of the left foot we recommend the souls in Purgatory, those chiefly for whom we have special reasons to intercede. Finally, in the wound of His Sacred Heart we seek a safe refuge for ourselves, enumerating our own personal wants of body and soul, for time and eternity."
77 Fruits of Holy Mass
- For thy salvation God the Father sends his beloved Son down from heaven.
- For thy salvation the Holy Spirit changes bread and wine into the true Body and Blood of Christ.
- For thy sake the Son of God comes down from heaven and conceals Himself under the form of the sacred host.
- He even abases Himself to such an extent as to be present in the minutest particle of the Sacred Host.
- For thy salvation He renews the saving mystery of the Incarnation.
- For thy salvation He is born anew into the world in a mystic manner whenever Holy Mass is celebrated.
- For thy salvation he performs on the altar the same act of worship He performed when on earth.
- For thy salvation He renews His bitter passion in order that thou mayest participate in it.
- For thy salvation He mystically renews His death, and sacrifices for Thee His precious life.
- For thy salvation He sheds His blood in a mystic manner, and offers it up for thee to the Divine Majesty.
- With this Precious Blood He sprinkles thy soul and purifies it from every stain.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as a true burnt-offering, and renders to the Godhead the supreme honor which it is due.
- By offering this act of worship to God, thou dost make reparation for the glory which thou hast failed to give Him.
- For thee Christ offers Himself to God as a sacrifice of praise, thus atoning for thy omissions in praising His Holy Name.
- By offering to God this oblation which Christ offers, thou givest Him greater praise than do the Holy Angels.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as a perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, making compensation for all failures on thy part to render thanks.
- By offering to God Christ’s act of thanksgiving, thou dost make ample acknowledgment of all the benefits He had bestowed on thee.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as the all powerful victim, reconciling thee to the God Whom thou hast offended.
- He pardons thee for all thy venial sins, provided thou art firmly resolved to forsake them.
- He also makes repartition for many of thy sins of omission, when thou didst leave undone the good thou mightest have done.
- He removes many of the imperfections attaching to thy good deeds.
- He forgives thee the sins, unknown or forgotten, which thou hast never mentioned in confession.
- He offers Himself as a victim to make satisfaction for a part at least of thy debts and transgressions.
- Each time thou hearest Mass thou canst do more to pay the penalty due to thy sins than by the severest work of penance.
- Christ places to thy credit a portion of His merits, which thou mayest offer to God the Father in expiation of thy offences.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as the most efficacious peace-offering, interceding for thee as earnestly as He interceded for His enemies on the cross.
- His Precious Blood pleads for thee in words as countless as the drops which issued from His sacred veins.
- Each of the adorable wounds His sacred body bore is a voice calling aloud for mercy for thee.
- For the sake of this propitiatory victim, the petitions proffered during Mass will be granted far sooner than those that are proffered at other times.
- Never canst thou pray so well as whilst present at Mass.
- This is so because Christ unites His prayers to thine, and offers them to His heavenly Father.
- He acquaints Him with thy needs and dangers to which thou art exposed, and makes thy eternal salvation His particular concern.
- The angels also, who are present, plead for thee, and present thy poor prayers before the throne of God.
- On thy behalf the priest says Mass, by virtue of which the evil enemy will not be suffered to approach thee.
- For thee and for thy everlasting salvation he says Mass, and offers that holy sacrifice to God Almighty.
- When thou hearest Mass, thou art thyself in spirit a priest, enpowered by Christ to offer the Mass both for thyself and others.
- By offering this Holy Sacrifice, thou dost present to the Blessed Trinity the most acceptable of all oblations.
- Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, of greater value than all things in heaven and earth.
- Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, for it is none other than God himself.
- By this sacrifice thou does honor God as He alone is worthy to be honored.
- By this sacrifice thou dost give infinite satisfaction to the Most Holy Trinity.
- Thou mayest present this glorious oblation as thine own gift, for Christ Himself gave it unto thee.
- When thou hearest Mass aright, thou dost perform an act of highest worship.
- By hearing Mass thou dost pay the most profound reverence, the most loyal homage, to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
- It is best means whereby to venerate the Passion of Christ, and obtain a share in its fruits.
- It is also the best means of venerating the blessed Mother of God, and increasing her joy.
- By hearing Mass, thou canst also enrich thy soul more than aught else in the world.
- By hearing Mass devoutly, thou canst give greater honor to the angels and the saints than by reciting many prayers.
- For this in act thou dost perform a good work of the highest value.
- It is a signal exercise of pure faith, which will receive a great reward.
- When thou dost bow down before the Sacred Host and the Sacred Chalice, thou doest perform a supreme act of adoration.
- For each time thou doest gaze reverently upon the Sacred Host thou wilt receive a recompense in heaven.
- Each time thou dost smite thy breast with compunction, some of thy sins are remitted to thee.
- If thou hearest Mass in a state of mortal sin, God offers thee grace of conversion.
- If thou hearest Mass in a state of grace, God gives augmentation of grace.
- In Holy Mass thou doest spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood.
- Thou art privileged to behold with thine eyes Christ hidden under the sacramental veil, and to be beheld by Him.
- Thou dost receive the priest’s benediction, which is confirmed by Christ in heaven.
- Through thy diligence in hearing Mass, thou wilt also obtain corporal and temporal blessings.
- Furthermore, thou wilt be preserved from many misfortunes that would otherwise have vanquished thee.
- Thou wilt also be strengthened against temptations which would have otherwise have vanquished thee.
- Holy Mass will also be to thee a means of obtaining grace of a holy death.
- The love thou hast shown for Holy Mass wilt secure for thee the special succor of angels and saints in thy last moments.
- The remembrance of the Masses heard in thy lifetime will be a sweet solace to thee in the hour of death, and inspire thee with confidence in the divine mercy.
- They will not be forgotten when thou dost stand before the strict Judge and will incline Him to show thee favor.
- Thou needest not a fear a long and terrible Purgatory if thou hast already to a great extent atoned for thy sins by frequently assisting at Holy Mass.
- One Mass devoutly heard will do more to mitigate the pains of Purgatory than any act of penance, however difficult of performance.
- One Mass in thy lifetime will be of greater service to thee than many said for thee after death.
- Thou wilt attain a high place in heaven, which will be thine to all eternity.
- Thy felicity in heaven will, moreover be increased by every Mass thou hearest on earth.
- No prayers offered for thy friends will be as efficacious as a single Mass heard and offered on their behalf.
- Thou canst amply recompense all thy benefactors by hearing Mass for their intention.
- The best help, the greatest consolation, thou canst afford the afflicted, the sick, the dying is to hear Mass for them.
- By this same means thou canst even obtain for sinners the grace of conversion.
- Thou canst also earn for all faithful Christians saving and salutary graces.
- For the suffering souls in Purgatory thou canst procure abundant refreshment.
- And if it is not within thy power to have Mass said for thy departed friends, thou canst by devout assistance at the Holy Sacrifice release them from the tormenting flames.
If Christians only knew how to profit by Holy Mass, they might acquire greater riches than are to be found in all things God has created.We have indeed a precious storehouse in the Mass: happy he who can earn treasures so great at the cost of so little labor! Who would willingly miss Mass? Who would not delight in hearing it? Let us resolve never to lose an opportunity of hearing Mass, provided the duties of our state of life do not prevent us from doing so.