February 16, 2016

On the Mass

The Eucharist and the Mass are the source and summit of our Catholic Christian faith.  Unwavering belief in the authenticity of the Eucharist as the actual Body and Blood of Christ (not a mere symbol) was absolute from the very origin of Christianity.

"Then He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.' " (Luke 22:19)

Hoc est corpus meum.

This IS my body.

Do this in memory of me.

So.  It's Lent.  And here's a nice Lenten habit for you: try to get to Mass at least one other time during the week besides Sunday.  Really.  You can do it!  Even if you can't do it every week, continue to try.


Here's why, courtesy of Dom Gregory Dix* in 1945, and I quote:

Do this in memory of Me.

Was ever another command so obeyed?

For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacles of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth.  Men have found no better thing than this to do

for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold;

for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church;

for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat;

for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die;

for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America;

for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover;

in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia;

for a village headman much tempted to return to fetich because the yams had failed;

because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna;

for the repentance of Margaret;

for the settlement of a strike;

for a son for a barren woman;

for Captain so-and-so, wounded and prisoner of war;

while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheater; on the beach at Dunkirk;

while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church;

tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows;

furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk;

gorgeously, for the canonisation of St. Joan of Arc --–

One could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them.  And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei – the holy common people of God.

To those who know a little of Christian history, probably the most moving of all the reflections it brings is not the thought of the great events and the well-remembered saints, but of those innumerable millions of entirely obscure faithful men and women, every one with his or her own individual hopes and fears and joys and sorrows and loves – and sins and temptations and prayers – once every whit as vivid and alive as mine are now.  They have left no slightest trace in this world, not even a name, but have passed to God utterly forgotten by men.

Yet each of them once believed and prayed as I believe and pray, and found it hard and grew slack and sinned and repented and fell again.  Each of them worshipped at the Eucharist, and found their thoughts wandering and tried again, and felt heavy and unresponsive and yet knew – just as really and pathetically as I do, these things.

[End of Dom Gregory's passage.  We now return you back to my comparatively exceedingly lame blog post.]

That's why.  

Try to get to Mass.  Go on Sunday, of course.  But, TRY to get to Mass just one other time during the week this Lent.  Or perhaps Eucharistic Adoration.  Even if you just pop in for 10 mintues!  He's there.



Waiting for YOU!



Don't you remember Who made you?
God made you.

Why did God make you?
God made you to know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

How can you possibly get to know Him, soften your heart to love Him, and learn how you are to serve Him if you don't even VISIT Him?  Jesus is waiting patiently for YOU in all the tabernacles of the world.  Through the miracle of the Eucharist, the person really truly present -- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity -- is Jesus Christ Himself.

'Tis Himself!

For YOU!

Go see Him.  Glimpse Heaven on Earth.  Get to church.  Go!  Run!  Your creator awaits you, filled with love.  For you!

May your Lenten practices and sacrifices bring you abundant blessings!


*  Dix, Dom Gregory, OSB. "Throughout All Ages, World Without End." The Shape of the Liturgy. Westminster: Dacre, 1945. 744. Print. 

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