Tag Archives: Sacrifice

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Pt. 8)

Part I: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

Part II: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-2/

Part III: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-3/

Part IV: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-4/

Part V: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-5/

Part VI: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-part-6/

Part VII: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-7/

This is the final part in the series.  What a wonderful work on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Devotion to the Holy Trinity

Devotion to the Most Holy Trinity is an exquisite fruit of love for the Holy Sacrifice.  In all my experiences, I have never met a person who had a true devotion to the august Trinity, without having come to that devotion by the royal road of the Mediator of the Mass.  Knowledge and love of the Father and the Trinity are generated and developed in the radiance of the Altar.  This devotion will reach full growth on the day of the glory in the song of the Angels, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts” – Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabbaoth.

Here, it would see appropriate to speak briefly on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, celebrated the first Sunday after Pentecost.  More majestic than the Heavens, the Blessed Trinity so full of glory that the feast should be celebrated throughout the year.  This brings to mind the beautiful teaching that the great and marvelous Feast of the Most Blessed Trinity is celebrated daily by Heaven, earth and Purgatory together.  This uninterrupted and infinitely glorious celebration of the feast is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The Church triumphant, militant and suffering is united in one outburst of adoration, praise and love, singing in every Mass: “Glory to God in the Highest” – “Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” in the Sacrifice of the Altar.

No honor given to the Trinity is more divine, and hence none more worthy of the Divinity, than the official hymn of praise sung by the High Priest and Mediator, the Victim of the Holy Sacrifice. “I will praise thee upon the harp,” says the Church.  I praise thee on the divine harp, the Heart of the High Priest, the adorable celebrant of the Mass.  This is indeed the concert of eternity transposed to the Altar in the muted notes of the Eucharistic Mystery.  Holy Mass is the dawn of paradise, awaiting our death where its full splendor is revealed.

The reality of Heaven and the holy Altar is identical: substantial and divine.  The only difference lies in the vision and perfection of possession of this treasured reality.  Perfect vision, face to face, the eternal and definitive possession of this divine reality, is the prerogative of the citizens of Heaven.

Priests should have an especial burning devotion for this ineffable Mystery.  Their devotion should be extraordinary, based on solid doctrine and genuine piety.  Every priest should be a specialist on the Mass, for his own sake and the good of souls.  The priest is, what his Mass is.  That priest is fortunate who prepares his Mass carefully, lingers over it lovingly and piously lives it with all his heart!  “O Lord, give us many saintly priests who understand this doctrine, but above all, priests who live it.”

We have said that the Mass is the perfect and adequate expiation of the sins of the world.  Recall the insistence Our Lord made on the need for loving reparation when He appeared to Saint Margaret Mary.  He asked that fervent and solemn reparation be made for the horrible sacrileges committed against Him in the Blessed Sacrament.  Think also, that when Jesus gave Himself to the Father, He looked down the centuries and saw the agents and successors of Judas, yet willingly surrendered Himself to their will.

The race of Judas is not extinct.  The traitors who betray their Master with a kiss have been multiplied.  It would have been better for them had they never been born!  St. Paul says that these sacrilegious souls eat and drink their own damnation! You cannot imagine what devilish fury consumes them in their hatred for the Person of Jesus present under the white veil of the Host.  There, He is the centre and object of an exquisite Love.  But, there He is also the Victim of a hatred like that of the scribes and priests who sarcastically vilified the Christ dying on Calvary.  Have mercy on them all, O King of Love!  Pardon and mercy, O Jesus-Vicim, for all the Judases!  “May Thy pierced Heart take a merciful revenge, for they know not what they do.”

Parce Domine, parce sacerdotibus tuis, parce populo tue, me in aeternum irascaris nobis… miserere!  “Spare, O Lord, spare Thy priests, spare Thy people, lest Thine anger be enkindled against them forever…  Have mercy!”

To close this meditation, would that I had the inspiration and love of Him who sang the Lauda Sion Salvatorem!

If, in speaking of the majesty of the Holy Sacrifice, my words had been so full of conviction and so vibrant, that creation itself had been moved even as it was by the death of the Savior on Good Friday; and if, being so moved, it should begin a hymn of praise to the Creator hidden in the Host, I would stop the hymn, saying:

“Ye sun, stars and volcanoes, valleys and oceans, forests, vineyards and gardens, be still… do not sing, yet awhile!  Angels and Saints of Paradise you too, be silent for a while, do not sing!

And you, Mary, Queen of creation, divine Mother of the King of Kings, kneeling at your feet, I beg a moment of silence, for the divine harp of the Altar, Christ, is about to resound with song to His Father.

Jesus-Victim, Jesus-Mediator, Jesus-High Priest, sing, praise and bless the Most High in the name of humanity purchased with Your Precious Blood!

Heavens, be still; earth, be quiet, while thousands of priests from pole to pole elevate the Host and the Chalice.

And now, ye heavens and earth, hear the adorable harp vibrating.  He sings at the Altar the same hymn He sang on Good Friday on Calvary… O Jesus Christ, sing to the Trinity with the Church, and in the name of creation:

“Glory to the Father, the all-powerful Love.”

“Glory to the Son, the Merciful Love!”

“Glory to the Holy Ghost, the Substantial Love!”

“Glory to the Most High in the heavens!”

“Glory to the Trinity on the Altar of the Holy Sacrifice!”

And Heaven and earth would reply: “Hosanna! Hosanna!  Amen.  FIAT!  So let it be for ages without end!”

The fervent priest and the faithful Christian who knows the true appreciation of the wonder of the love and grace that is in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; who loves the Mass with a holy passion, and what is more important, tries to live the Mass, is one of the predestined who is fortunate in having found the Messiah – Savior, even as the Samaritan woman had found Him.  But more than she, the Christian has received that same Jesus into his heart – Jesus Who is the fountain of living waters springing up unto eternal life!  Fervently beg the Holy Spirit to give you the divine light which shines from a divine flame, in order that you may know most thoroughly this Divine Gift par excellence: the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.

Thus, by the ladder of Jacob, the Arms of the High Priest and Victim of the Altar, you will be lifted up to the throne of the Trinity.  Go, then, and with a filial boldness win over the Heart of the Father through the Heart of the Son, the Mediator of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

Radiate the Host:  The man who has received Communion cannot be, should not be, like the man who did not receive!  When a lily has been in a room, the room is filled with fragrance.  When incense is burned in the sanctuary, the odor lingers.  Thus, when the Host has sojourned in our souls, we ought to emit the good odor of Jesus Christ.  Like living monasteries, we should show forth Christ, so that people seeing us after each of our Communions may say:

“Look! The Blessed Sacrament is passing by!”

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Pt. 7)

Part I: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

Part II: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-2/

Part III: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-3/

Part IV: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-4/

Part V: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-5/

Part VI: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-part-6/

Continuation of the booklet “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:

“Love and you will understand”

“This is the place to appreciate a saying popular among the Saints: “Love and you will understand.”  If you really wish to penetrate the obscurity of this great Mystery, to contemplate the incomprehensible in the drama of the holy Altar, then love, love, love passionately, and you will understand!  In the divine light kindled by an immense love, you will see what Mary, the Queen of Sorrows saw on Golgotha.

How calm Mary was!  How full of sweet and unchanging peace as She watched the deicide accomplished by the executioners.  She neither cried out nor made indignant protest.  Yet, she suffered an agony, for She is the Mother, a unique Mother in the sublime nobility of Her divine and virginal motherhood.  See how she stands fearless in the midst of the unutterable suffering, yet filled with unchangeable peace.  Her weeping is like a wounded dove, and Her moaning like the strains of a hymn, a Magnificat, enrapturing the Angels.

How can we explain this incomprehensible attitude of Mary on Calvary?  Her peace comes from the depth of her Heart, for She loved us as no other here below has ever loved. Love leads Her to penetrate the Mystery of the wisdom and folly of the Cross!  She is undisturbed and calm because She sees.

Yes, She sees and wonderfully comprehends the Mystery of Calvary because She loves with the heart of a queen, a virgin and a martyr.  She is the Mother of fair love!

Let us pray to Her that She may obtain for us, together with a light of great understanding, a fire of immense love.  Then, like Her, we will penetrate the Mystery of the Cross and the Altar!  Love and you will understand!  Saints like the Cure of Ars, Phillip Neri, Vincent de Paul and John Bosco, certainly possessed this science of charity: they loved with a love as strong as death.  They is why they are the Specialist-Saints of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

How many great masters in theology would receive a high rating were they to submit to an examination on this thesis given by the Cure of Ars!  We have floods of electric light, but it is cold and harmful to the eyes of the soul.  Such is the electric brilliance of a student who reads much but prays little.  He keeps his eyes open, for he would see.  But, unconsciously, he suffers a spiritual cataract, for he has no time for meditation.  He is unfortunate in not loving with a great love.

The Altar is the height which attains the throne of the Most High. Only these learned men reach this height who are Saints – Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Bellarmine, Contardo Ferrini. For Holy Mass, as someone has said, is the official ecstasy of the Church, a higher degree of contemplation than that of St. Paul.

Yet, withal, there are many humble little people who can relish with pleasure the mystery of the Holy Sacrifice.  They truly have the privilege of lifting the veil and, should we ask them how they explain the Holy Mass relative to God’s glory and the salvation of souls, we would indeed be greatly admonished at their answer.  As you listened to them with wonder, you would appreciate with deep feeling why the Savior, trembling with joy, cried out: “I give Thee thanks, O Father, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones.” (Luke 10:21)

Let us then love Jesus Christ.  Let us love Him with a heart ablaze with a holy joy.  Then, to reward us for our love, He will lead us into the sanctuary of His Heart, there to tell us the secrets which the Father confided to Him, the Splendor of His Majesty and His well-beloved Son.  Let us love, and He Who called Himself “the Light of the world,” He who is the Mediator and High Priest of the Holy Sacrifice, will give us the key of understanding which He reserves for His friends, like St. John, the privileged Apostle of the cenacle and Calvary.

If we love with an immense charity, as the Saints alone know how to love, we will then understand even they understood the precious and delightful fruit of their love.  Love and you will understand! During the adoration and prayer of the faithful, while the celebrant offers the Divine Victim to the Father in this, the greatest of actions, the Angels and Saints of Heaven sing out with, “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.”  (Jn. 3:16)  Contemplate Him at the altar.  He is indeed a Victim of His love for the Father, but also the Victim of the Love, which moves Him to give His whole self to us creatures with no grateful return.

The Mission of the Holy Spirit

Often, as I preached and, again in this little book, I have stated that the reason for our ignorance of so many simple and sublime truths in the Mystery of the Altar, is that the Holy Spirit is not loved.  With the exception of the most fervent Catholic circles, He is scarcely invoked. How few are they who habitually have recourse to the Paraclete, substantial Light and uncreated Love!  Nearly everywhere the sun of Pentecost is shrouded in a deep fog of cold indifference.  The Paraclete is an unknown God. Yet, at the same time,  the Paraclete alone has been given the mission in the Church to enlighten souls, to enkindle and sanctify them.  He alone is the Sanctifier.

It is not at all surprising, then, that the Mass is so little appreciated after twenty centuries of Christianity.  The greater part of the faithful, while they might be in good faith, have not the full faith, the true faith.

The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are so many candles for us to keep burning before the Altar, that the celebrant and faithful may enter the Holy of Holies filled with the sweet majesty of the Lord.  Since the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom on that first Good Friday, all of us have the right to enter therein: the Son of God calls us and waits for us there!  Now, with the protecting influence of the Holy Spirit, let us discover how we can enkindle in ourselves and others the flame that should consume us with the most holy Victim of the Mass.

In the first place, resolve to make a thorough study of the Holy Sacrifice.  This is a thesis of the greatest theological and spiritual value.  There are so many works on the subject that a choice is difficult.  However, a “must” in our study is the Canon of the Mass itself.  The prayers contained in the Canon form a mosaic of the most ancient prayers of the Church.  We are told that it contains the gold dust of the Mass of the catacombs and that some parts go back to St. Irenaeus.

Secondly, do not be satisfied with mere bodily presence at Mass.  Take an active part in the Mass, offering it with the priest by following the liturgical prayers and ceremonies with a Missal.  Your own private prayers would be satisfactory as long as they are in the spirit of the Holy Sacrifice.

We should adore, praise and implore the Most High, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, in perfect union with Holy Church.  Offer the Holy Sacrifice through Him, with Him and in Him.  In His Arms, and on His adorable Heart mount to the Father.  At the time of Holy Mass, the Father finds all his pleasures in the Son Who pontificates at the Altar.

Finally, promise sincerely never to miss a single Mass through your own fault.  Make a resolution to go to daily Mass and Communion, in so far as your duties will allow.  Christ, the Mediator, is the ladder of Jacob by which we go to the Father, for no one goes there except through the Son.”

To be continued…

~Damsel of the Faith

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Part 6)

Part I: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

Part II: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-2/

Part III: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-3/

Part IV: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-4/

Part V: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-5/

Continuation of the booklet “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:

The Conversion of Prodigals

“Sometimes, you hear mention of souls who are “impossible” to convert.  To convert souls who seem unconvertible!  How great a miracle is necessary to bring a poor sinner to tears of repentance who has been away from the Sacraments and who has led a scandalous life for many years.  Yet, there he is, cleansed by a sincere confession.  Look at him receiving Holy Communion as though for the first time.  And, indeed, it is practically the first time, for he has been away from the Sacraments for forty or more years!  It was not really impossible after all.  The miracle happened.

These wonders happen often enough, and it is always at the behest of the Victim of our Altars.  The Father cannot refuse this glory, this victory to His beloved Son whose last breath was spent in asking pardon, in offered paradise and infinite mercy.  Still, Heaven always demands the payment of the debt owed in justice.  The miracle takes place when justice is perfectly satisfied.  Then, it is that mercy opens the graves and puts a song of love on the lips of the risen dead!

There are devotions enough, but the queen of them all, the Mass, is very often neglected.  Which answers the question of why there are so few conversions.   I would like to stir up a strong reaction on this important point among good Catholics.  Like John and Magdalene, let us stand at the foot of the Cross with the Queen of Sorrows, praying and weeping before the Calvary of the Altar.  Let us beseech the Divine Victim on behalf of the dear prodigals of our home. Let us wrest these miracles with the omnipotence of the Mass.

This has been the classical approach to breaking the rocks of the greatest sinners, since Good Friday.   It is my conviction that the home which shelters a fervent soul devoted to the Mass, has one who pays the price and saves those who are in danger of hell.  This soul is a great apostle because he carries the chalice of salvation in his heart, and his heart lives in this chalice.

In this way, my own mother was the happy instrument before God for the salvation of my Protestant father and brother, and for my own vocation as well.  For the most part, I am speaking from happy experiences.  I place my hand on the Gospel and on the Altar to witness the truth of what I am to say! I am certain that, if you are faithful and docile in following this good advice, you will one day bless me together with the souls you have converted and saved through the apostolate of the Mass.

I hope that my colleagues in the priesthood will lend a kindly ear, and that preachers and missionaries and all the apostles of Catholic Action will read attentively.  When I speak thus, I am only calling your attention to the prayer of the Church at the Offertory of the Mass: “Accept, O Holy Father, this spotless Host… beseeching Thy clemency… for our salvation and for that of the whole world.”

While on the subject of the merciful mission which is necessary in order that wanderers be brought back to the fold, it is most opportune to call to mind here that the best prayer for helping the Poor Souls in Purgatory, always has been and always will be the offering of the Holy Mass.  Every morning, Holy Mother Church lets fall drops of the Precious Blood like a shower of refreshing dew and, often, this is the price of final liberation for souls who have been purified and have done penance in that place of torment.

I like think that thousands of souls fly off to Paradise praising the Divine Mercy, while priest and faithful pay the last penny of their debt at the Altar.  Never forget the Poor Souls in the offering of the Holy Mass.  In a more special way, we should remember the souls of priests in Purgatory.  They have renounced the right to create their own homes and, thus, without a family, they are often the most abandoned souls in Purgatory!

True Love is giving oneself

We are coming towards the close of this meditation and I hope that it has acted as a beautiful sun to enlighten and warm your hearts.  It is necessary in this place to dwell on a point of doctrine found in every page of the Gospel and the Epistle of St. Paul.  It is what St. Paul calls the “science of the charity of Christ,” the charity that “presseth us” (2 Cor. 5:14).

It is too bad that there are so many who hesitate to speak on this subject simply because they are afraid to love.  In excusing themselves, they openly try to keep us from the danger of what they call fantastic and poetic “sentimentality,” “affectedness” and “fancies,” as though the First Commandment, Thou shalt love, were an error of Heaven and the spirit and fiery style of St. Paul weakness and dreaming!  Love is decidedly, not mere sentiment nor poetry.  Love is the giving of oneself!

This sublime donation of self to God and the good of souls always has been and will ever continue to be the basis and essential element of all Christian virtue.  Divine love is the great secret, the only secret of all heroism.  “Love is the fufilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

It is easy to pride oneself on being a thinker or intellectual, for this costs nothing in the way of moral consequences.  Such pretense is often nothing but self-inflation, happily painless.  But, love has always been exceedingly arduous!  In fact, to give oneself and to surrender oneself in imitation of Jesus Christ, so far from being a sentimental love, is an interior martyrdom.  True love is always a noble tyrant.

Yet, love is the first and greatest Commandment.  Since it is so easy to believe and to be called a thinker and intellectual, believers and thinkers abound.  But cowardice keeps many of them from giving themselves, from loving with their whole heart, and the result is that there are few saints.  Ask the Martyr of the lepers, the celebrated Father Damien, whether love is sentimentalism, a weakness… or rather a sweet and terrible tyrant!

The Holy Sacrifice is above all the Mystery of Faith and Love.  We find its supernatural explanation in these words, as solemn as they are divine and strong: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”  (Jn. 3:16)  These are the words of the Holy Spirit.  Further comment is useless.  Yes, the Love of God the Father, and of God the Son, Incarnate and Victim through love, gives us the key of this ineffable mystery!  Just as the beatific vision revolves itself in an endless ecstasy of love, so here below the Mystery of the Holy Sacrifice is revealed in the light which pours forth from the flame of a burning love.”

To be continued…

~Damsel of the Faith

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Pt. 5)

Part I: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

Part II: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-2/

Part III: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-3/

Part IV: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-4/

Continuation of the booklet “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:

“He delivered Himself for us”

“There is a scriptural passage which vividly describes the unity among the Mysteries of the Incarnation, the Redemption and the Mass: “He delivered Himself.” (Eph. 5:2)  Let us consider its doctrinal import.

The Word of God, for the glory of His Father and the Redemption of sinful men, delivered Himself up to death, to the death of the Cross and, in addition, to the immolation of the Divine Eucharist throughout the centuries.  He is, then, our Victim of love for expiation of our crimes and transgressions.  At the Altar, He is the holocaust of expiation and propitiation, appeasing the wrath of the Father, His Heart vanquishes this wrath and keeps it captive forever.

During Mass, there is a transcendent and peculiarly priestly action: the Consecration.  When the priest performs this act, he partakes of the Priesthood of Christ, invested as he with a unique power by Jesus Christ Himself on Holy Thursday.

As He came into the world, Our Lord said, “Father, behold I come to do Thy Will, by dying a cruel and ignominious death.”  This is the Innocent One, the Just, the Holy One who is speaking!  That we might be less unworthy of celebrating with such a High Priest, that we might participate more intimately in His Eucharistic Sacrifice, it is necessary that we know how to deny ourselves.  It is thus that we adhere in spirit and truth to the Victim of the Cross and Altar.  We must never forget that it is in this daily dying to ourselves, in this abandonment of our will to the Wisdom and Love of the Father, that the most genuine and sublime celebration of the Holy Sacrifice consists.

In order truly to communicate with His Body and Blood, one should communicate in His Life and Death.  He continually offers Himself.  As it is for Him, so it should be for us in celebrating Mass with Him, an unreserved self-surrender. You cannot separate the Victim from the celebrant and keep the integrity of the Mass, for the celebrant must be like Jesus Christ, a victim.  Let us not be deceived. Only a love as strong as death gives us a solution of this sublime Mystery.  Only the heroes of love know how to die in this way, for they alone know the meaning of self-surrender.  They alone, with complete understanding, desire to reproduce in themselves the “He delivered Himself” of Christ, His total surrender on the Altar.

The Precious Blood of the Chalice

Now, let us ponder the saving mission of the Chalice, the Chalice of Salvation, which is offered for the redemption of many.  Our souls have been redeemed at a great price.  In the Eyes of the Father, we have cost the torrent shed on the Cross, the last drop of the Savior’s Blood: “Thou hast redeemed us to God in Thy Blood.”  (Apoc. 5:9)

Redeeming grace comes to us in many ways.  In the first place through the Sacraments, then through the preaching of the Gospel, missionary activity, through the prayers and good works of the Communion of Saints, through the mediation of Mary, etc.  But the primary source of all salvation, the power of all divine fruitfulness, is the redeeming Blood of Jesus Crucified.  In making the Stations, we say, “We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because of Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.”

The redeeming Blood shed on Calvary is the Precious Blood in the Chalice of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The Mass is the same redeeming wonder of Holy Thursday crowned by the miracle of Good Friday.  Holy Mass embraces the drama of the cenacle and the divine tragedy of Calvary: the mystical immolation of Holy Thursday and the bloody sacrifice of Good Friday!  But the celebrant and faithful can and should realize another marvel which is required of the priest in the Holy Sacrifice, and by those who offer the Divine Victim with him.  This moral miracle consists in fufilling and imitating the “total surrender of Christ to His Father” by a like surrender on their part to the Will of the Father.  “Father, into Thy hands, I commend My Spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

To surrender ourselves in this way is to die daily to ourselves, by a slow immolation of abandonment to the Father, to His Will, for His Glory, in union with the surrender of Christ on the Cross and on Calvary.  This self-surrender on our part would perfect and crown the sacrifice with Jesus Christ, and like Jesus Christ, as offerers who give themselves up and as victims who immolate themselves.

There, you have the complete celebration of Holy Mass.  In effect, we add to the thrice-holy liturgical rite, the total and voluntary gift of ourselves to the Father, through Christ the High Priest, with Christ the Mediator and in Christ the Victim.  This complete and integral celebration goes beyond the period of a half hour and extends through the whole day, permeating our very life.  As a matter of fact, before, during and after the liturgical celebration of the Altar, we must offer ourselves with a tremendous love and generosity, unceasingly and unreservedly to the Father Who has delivered His Son out of love for the Father and for us has become a Victim!  Two Victims in one and the same immolation!

Priests and faithful alike should be firmly convinced that the sacramental rite, divine though it is, will not give us, of itself and with no activity on our part, that spiritual participation in the death of Christ which we assuredly will obtain by our self-surrender and our moral death.  If we allow the Lord to offer Himself alone without giving ourselves with Him, we greatly detract from the accidental and exterior glory of the Father, and lose for ourselves an immense treasure that has been laid up for us.

Here, we can apply the axiom which says that, while sanctity pre-supposes the prevenient love which we receive freely, in practice it consists in the generous love we give in return.  To deliver oneself through Jesus Christ is, then, a greater love of sanctity than the mere acceptance of His gifts.  Whoever sets about a life of full and complete submission to the Will of God, particularly when it involves a crucifixion after the fashion of Gethesemane and Calvary, is a wise lover who knows how to surrender himself with complete abandonment.

When a priest mounts the Altar with these sentiments, he offers the Holy Sacrifice completely, for he is actually living it.  Similarly, when a fervent Catholic goes to the altar rail filled with this spirit, he assimilates the grace of his own sanctification.  The thoroughly Christian life is a living Mass!

Here is a great source of consolation for the many souls who sorrow as they yearn for the conversion of someone dear to them.  And, there are many Christian families with prodigals and publicans.  The Christian wife, the model mother, the pious daughter, endure a noble and holy anguish at the sight of a husband, son or father, who being far from God, is nothing but a moral corpse.  He works hard to earn money and enjoys life to the full, but he totters on the brink of hell.  Death draws near, like a thief in the night, to take him by surprise.  His spiritual accounts are far from being balanced!

How many holy souls, fervent religious, zealous priests, go through this same torment at the sight of souls in such danger!  What can be done?  What secret of mercy will being about a moral resurrection which is harder to accomplish than the resurrection of Lazarus?  To convert an ungrateful and hardened sinner is a greater feat than raising the dead.  Can it be done at all?  Yes!  With the merciful omnipotence of the Holy Sacrifice!  In the balance of justice and mercy, one Mass weighs more than all the good works of the Saints put together.  We should indeed follow the example of the Saints and perform good works, penances, almsgivings and prayers.  But to give a miraculous efficacy to these good works, let us put them as so many drops of water into the Precious Blood of the Chalice.”

To be continued…

~Damsel of the Faith

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Pt. 4)

Part I: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

Part II: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-2/

Part III: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-3/

Continuation of the booklet “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:

Eucharistic Communion and its supreme end

Take another morsel now of that which is flavored with the Blood of the Lamb!  Next, consider Holy Communion, which according to theology and liturgy is the consummation of the work of Jesus, that is, the mystical completion of the Sacrifice: its end and its crown.  As we have mentioned above, the Mass is not complete without the Communion of the celebrant; but according to the rules of the liturgy and the nature of Sacrifice, there can be no Communion without a Mass.

What can we say, theologically, is the supreme end of Eucharistic Communion?  What should be our strongest wish, our great ideal, when we receive Jesus in the Host?

Without question, the supreme end of Holy Communion is essentially connected with that of the Holy Sacrifice, namely the glorification of the Blessed Trinity!  This is evident when we consider the fact that Communion is essentially of the same nature as the sacrifice.

Holy Communion, then, should be received with the same motives which which we offer the Holy Sacrifice, that is, to give glory and praise to the Blessed Trinity.  In effect, Holy Communion finishes what the Sacrifice has begun, that is why the supreme end of both is the same: Glory to the Father, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Therefore, according to this beautiful doctrine, when the celebrant consecrates a large ciborium with five hundred hosts, it means that five hundred happy communicants wish to give the same glory to the Trinity at the altar rail that the celebrant gives at the altar.  So, Sacrifice and Sacrament are identically the same hymn of divine praise, the same hymn of glory to God!

Here, we must add that Holy Communion has another purpose, and one which concerns us all personally.  According to the formal teaching of Christ, Holy Communion is by divine institution a heavenly food.  The Author of Grace Himself is given and Jesus, the Victim, then becomes the food of our souls in Holy Communion.

The Manna of the Altar, the Bread of Angels, is then a masterpiece of our Savior’s love, in which we obtain a food which is the source of life and strength for us mortal wanderers in our exile.  We go to Holy Communion to obtain supernatural life and to get it more abundantly.  We go to Communion to sanctify ourselves through sacramental union with the Holy of Holies.

Holy Communion is a sacred duty.  Our Savior declared, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you shall have no life in you” (Jn. 6:54).

When the priest distributes Holy Communion, he says, “May the Body of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, keep your soul until eternal life.”  In truth, a fervent communicant may say with St. Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ.” (Phil. 1:21).

To this end, it will be observed that the communicant, who appreciates the scale of spiritual values, will know from that how to increase grace and merit for himself. In other words, whoever makes the intention when receiving Holy Communion, primarily to give glory to the Blessed Trinity, will discover that this good disposition will cause him to be spiritually nourished with a hundredfold increase of graces.  It is quite certain that whoever gives first place to the honor due to the Trinity, not only loses nothing, but had his treasures multiplied and made marvelously efficacious.

For example, suppose that a king were to invite two men to a banquet.  One of those invited goes principally to enjoy the meat and drink of the royal table, while the other intends first of all to pay honor to his host who has honored him with the invitation, that is, he goes to pay respect to his king and show his loyalty.  Such intentions do not prevent him from enjoying the banquet as thoroughly as the first, but his enjoyment has more dignity and is more admirable.

Lovely as it is, like all other comparisons this comparison must fall short.  In the case of Holy Communion, the King who issues the invitations and the banquet, are one and the same!  Therefore, in receiving Holy Communion, we should seek first of all to give glory to the Blessed Trinity and then seek our own spiritual profit, uniting both ends with our faith and love.

Finally, when a servant of God, pursuing his own personal profit, gives to the Lord the first part of his attention, he is certain to receive the rest with the Kingdom of God and its justice, and to receive it more abundantly.  He has found the philosopher’s stone: the secret of turning gold alloy into perfect gold.

In conclusion, Holy Communion is essentially a sacrificial banquet which holds itself to the Sacrifice as a part to the whole.  The Sacrifice requires the consummation which is the Holy Communion of the celebrant.  Therefore, it is more suitable for the faithful to receive Holy Communion during Mass, although it is not absolutely necessary.

For a long time, the question had been mooted whether or not it was necessary for the faithful to receive Communion during Mass in order that they might participate in the Sacrifice.  His Holiness Pope Pius XII ended this discussion in his Encyclical on the Liturgy, Meditor Dei: “There may be a reason,” he says, “and that are not infrequently, why Holy Communion should be distributed before or after Mass… in these circumstances… the people duly take part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.  Still, though the Church with a kind heart of a mother strives to meet the spiritual needs of Her children, they for their part should not readily neglect the directives of the liturgy and, as often as there is no reasonable difficulty, should aim that all their actions at the Altar manifest more clearly the living unity of the Mystical Body.”

To be continued…

~Damsel of the Faith

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Pt. 3)

Part I: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

Part II: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-2/

Continuation of the booklet “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:

The Divine Majesty of Mass

In the celebration of the Mass, there is an action performed by the celebrant, which shows the majesty of the Sacrifice and admirably sums up the entire ideal of the glorification of the Father and the Trinity by the adorable High Priest and Mediator.  At this sublime moment, the nine Choirs of Angels, the whole Assembly of Heaven and Purgatory seem to surround the celebrant, drinking in his words and holding their breath at the divine majesty of his gestures.

Shortly after the Consecration, the priest takes the divine Host into his hands, and traces the cross over the Precious Blood in the Chalice saying: “Through Him, with Him and in Him, be to Thee, God the Father, in union with the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory.”  At this, he lifts the Chalice and Host together towards Heaven.

Let us stress the grandeur of this divine action.  St. Paul himself could not have found words, coming down from the third heaven as he did, capable of expressing the depth of this liturgical formula, so rich as it in meaning.

Through Him, the God-Man of Bethlehem, Tabor and Calvary, really present in the hands of the priest as He was in the arms of His Mother.

With Him, the God-Man crucified, dead and alive again.  He Who has mounted to Heaven and sits at the right Hand of the Father, to whom the Father has given all power in Heaven and on earth.

In Him, the God-Man, by whom and for whom everything has been created: who has been constituted immortal King, and the Judge who will come in the clouds of Heaven to pass sentence on the living and dead.

Through Him, with Him and in Him, may there be infinite glory to the august and adorable Trinity.

Should a miraculous light come down upon the celebrant disclosing to him the full meaning of his action, he would die on the spot: not from fright, but out of wonder and joy.  It was the signal privilege of the Blessed Virgin to anticipate the offering made by the priest by the oblation She made of Her Son to His Father in Bethlehem, in the Temple of Jerusalem and on Calvary.  Can you see, now, how the Mass is the official hymn of glory, the only one worthy of the August Trinity?

In this hymn, there is a stanza which Christ Himself taught the Apostles.  He sings it at the Altar through the mouth of His Church. “Our Father, who art in heaven… Father, hallowed be Thy name! Father, thy Kingdom come! Father, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” 

Just think of it!  The One who is saying this prayer is none other than the Incarnate Word, the Son of God and Son of Mary, Who, at the Altar, sings the glory of His Father and our Father.  The creation of the universe out of nothing is but a tiny spark of glory compared to the glory rendered at the Altar to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity by Jesus Christ, the High Priest.  Keeping our eyes and hearts fixed on the Golgotha of Calvary, let us make a bold and imaginative supposition, even as Our Lord did when He painted the incomparable pictures of His sermons and parables.

The Divine Reality of the Mass

Suppose the movies, the radio and TV had already been invented during the times of the Roman Emperors, Augustus and Tiberius, and were even more greatly developed than they are now.  Suppose also that when Caesar had been told of the effect of the preaching of Jesus on the people of Palestine, and how the Sanhedrin had brought about His execution, the Emperor sent orders to Pilate to forward to Rome the proceedings of the trial together with a film record of the drama of the execution of the “so-called” King of the Jews.

How moved we would be at witnessing the sound-picture of the deicide of Good Friday, should it be shown in our churches as a preparation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!  This moving picture would be somewhat of a natural and scientific perception of the divine drama on our Altars.  We would be able to hear the Seven Last Words of Jesus, the blasphemies of His enemies hurled at the divine Victim.  Like Mary, John and Magdalene, we would be eye-witnesses and, like them, watch Calvary’s scene through three hours: from noon until three o’clock of that First Good Friday.

But, the Faith that cannot deceive presents for us a far greater reality than that picture could ever be. An intelligent and pious assistance at Mass leads us through the veil of mystery to perceive the reality. The film would be like the Holy Shroud of Turin, an historical monument.  The Mass is a present reality.  

For nearly twenty centuries, Mass has been offered uninterruptedly in the Catholic Church.  It is the same sacrifice as that of Good Friday when Jesus crucified was both Priest and Victim.  The Mass which has been renewed, reproduced and prolonged through all these ages, is our daily Mass.  It is not a beautiful religious pageant, nor a marvelous picture taken, let us say, by the Angels; no, it is the amazing divine reality of Calvary in exact reproduction on the Altar, with only the Suffering and shedding of blood left out.  The Eucharistic Victim is now glorious and can suffer no more.

On the basis of these principles, the Council of Trent declares that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is above all a work of strict justice, which pays the price of our sins with the “Blood of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.”  It is a truth of the supernatural order that the Holy Sacrifice saves us by appeasing the Divine Justice when the same price that was paid on Calvary is offered again in the Chalice.  Without this ransom, which alone is sufficient, there would be no remission of sins. Happily, Jesus died crying out, “Father, forgive them.”

Once the work of strict justice has been accomplished, mercy shines forth like a burning sun. Heaven and rebellious earth are reconciled.  But God demands that we continue to apply the Precious Blood of our Redeemer to the wounds of our sinful souls.  The Blood, shed on Calvary, now fills the Chalice of the Mass.

There is a difference, however, between the Golgotha of Jerusalem and the Calvary of our Altars.  Even though bathed in the Precious Blood, the latter is a glorious Tabor.  I say glorious, for the Victim there immolated is the risen God-Man who conquered death on Easter Sunday.  While the Altar is a Tabor, it is also a Calvary radiant in the splendors of the Resurrection.

So wonderfully brilliant is the High Priest’s glory hovering over the Altar, but visible only to the bewildered eyes of the Angels, that even the saintly Cure of Ars would not have dared to celebrate Mass, nor the Little Flower to approach Holy Table, were it not for the veil of Mystery that conceals that tremendous glory from the eyes of the celebrant and the faithful.  But, thanks to the shadow of Mystery, the Altar is not only accessible, but even attractive, in spite of the fact that it brings us nearer Heaven than Moses was on Mt. Sinai.

Seen in the light, the official prayer of Christ the Mediator during Mass is the only one which can pierce the clouds, touch and ravish the Heart of the Faith.  His appeal is omnipotent, springing as it does from the Heart of the all-powerful Mediator.  He tells us Himself that the Father always hears Him (Jn. 11:42).  When He prays, it is a command: His word affects what He asks, for He is God!

Therefore, when we visit the Blessed Sacrament, make our Eucharistic Adoration or our Night Adoration at home and, above all, when we assist at Mass, our prayer should always be the Canon of the Mass.   This liturgical formula is sanctified and venerable from its dogmatic content as well as its antiquity.  At any time of the day or night, we can unite ourselves to thousands of priests who at that moment are elevating the Host and the Chalice, like a bow in the heavens.  By this simple elevation of our hearts, we may renew the Christmas song of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest.”

To be continued…

~Damsel of the Faith

The Divine Sacrifice – Holy Mass (Pt. 2)

Part I can be found here: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-divine-sacrifice-holy-mass-pt-1/

From “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:

Light of the mind and fire of the soul

In this consideration, an effort will be made to enlighten the mind and enkindle the heart.  By this, I mean that a bright light will be brought to bear on the subject so that a deep and supernatural conviction will be generated concerning the Mystery of the Altar, for simple faith, without understanding, is not enough in our days.

In addition to this light, it is of greater importance that there be a burning love for Jesus Christ in your souls.  There are books enough which give light without warmth, and so may the Heart of Jesus enliven my thoughts and my pen, that I may write with the fire of love.

Yes, I want to set my readers on fire.  It would make me quite happy, were my readers to say, as did a student to a certain priest: “Father, your books set my soul on fire; your style moves me to tears, and my hands burn as they turn your pages.  How can you possibly write with such a fiery pen?”

Why should it be impossible to combine in perfect harmony, doctrine and unction, sound reasoning and great love?  Why do we separate the head from the heart when we discuss the things of God?  Why this strange anomaly?  Certainly, we must be clear.  Clarity is excellent and indispensable.  But, at the same time, we should aim at edification and kindling the fire of love.  We have an excellent example of this in the Gospel, which is at once a sun that gives light and a sun which gives life with the warmth of charity.  “I am the Light of the world,”  says the Master, “and what will I, but that it be kindled?”  (Jn 8:12).  And He adds, “I am come to cast fire on the earth, (Luke 12:49), “Come to me all of you, (Matt. 11:28).

Not for all the world would I write a mere skeleton of a book, devoid of a soul of love.  And why?  Is it not true that the Love of God is the apex and substance of genuine theology?  Never forget that the genius who wrote the incomparable Summa, was the same who composed the masterpiece, the Mass of Corpus Christi.  It is not the marvelous intellect of St. Thomas Aquinas that I envy, but his burning priestly heart, for I am a priest as he was a priest.

This is the practice of the Church in Her simple yet beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit: “enlighten my mind,” “enkindle my heart.”  The Church asks for light that cuts the way to grace and love, to complete its action and make it efficacious. 

One 25th of March, the Holy Spirit, in fitting a body for the Word of God in the virginal womb of Mary, consecrated this humanity High Priest for the Glory of the Trinity and constituted Him a Victim for the Redemption of Adam and his posterity.  The Church expresses this Mystery thus, in the collect of the beautiful Mass of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, “O God, who for the glory of Thy majesty and the redemption of the human race, has constituted Thine only-begotten Son, Eternal High Priest…”

In the Incarnation, the Son of God became Son of Man, and as such was possible, that is, capable of suffering, of being in agony, of dying.  He who was immortality and life became subject to death.  He came into the world as Messiah and Savior: “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). His coming was primarily directed to the end that He might be a holocaust of infinite worth in the supreme Sacrifice of the New Covenant.

How impressive and overwhelming it is to consider that, while He could have saved us on Mt. Tabor, shining with glory and bliss, out of love He chose the folly and ignominy of the Cross.  Now, let us begin with joyful hearts.  Grant that by this meditation, souls may find themselves captivated by the august Mystery we are treating.  Now, more than ever, may the Holy Spirit be with me!

Divine Adoration, Expiation and Supplication

What is the Church’s definition of Mass?  The Holy Sacrifice is the adoration of Christ Jesus.  The God-Man gives the same praise to the Father and the Trinity on the Altar that He gave them by His death on Calvary.  The Son of God, Priest and Victim, adores God the Father.  His adoration is divine!

Fundamentally, the Holy Sacrifice is the perfect expiation which Christ Jesus, the God-Man, offers to His Father, gravely offended by the criminal rebellion of sin. Thus, He, Who is the Lamb without spot, is offered from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, and He offers His own Precious Blood as a Holocaust of propitiation for our countless sins and to save sinners. His expiation is divine.

What would be a theological consideration of the Mass? The Holy Sacrifice is the Eucharist, that is, the act of thanksgiving which Christ Jesus, the God-Man, makes to His Father in the name of ungrateful mankind.  Without this supreme act of thanksgiving, our black ingratitude would call down upon us the wrath of Heaven.  We have to many spiritual and temporal blessings to be thankful for:

-The waters of Baptism

-The Baptism of Blood on Calvary

-The Baptism of fire in the cenacle on Pentecost

-Our adoption as children of the Father

-For the oceans of Grace that flow from the Sacraments

-For the Church, the Ark of Salvation, and in Her the rock of Peter, the Roman Pontiff

-For the divine motherhood and universal mediation of Mary; for all Her other privileges, which are so many graces given to us

-For the Gift of Gifts, the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which will endure until the end of time.  “He loved them unto the end” (Jn. 13:1).  His thanksgiving is divine.

What other unusual prodigy is there on the Altar?  The Holy Sacrifice is the supplication prayer of Christ Jesus, the God-Man.  Completely aware of our moral poverty, He asks the Father, with wisdom and mercy, for a shower of graces for us.  He alone knows our needs; He alone can obtain them for us.  He has said, “Father… thou hearest me always” (Jn. 11:42).

This is a continuance of His role as advocate.  He sends up a never-ending cry for us to the throne of the Most High. In a greater way than Moses, Jesus Christ at the altar raises His pleading, pierced hands to protect us from the rigors of divine justice.  The blessings He calls down upon us far surpass our sins.  His supplication is divine.

There is no better way to sum up these reflections than to quote the definition of the Holy Sacrifice given by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII: “The Eucharistic Sacrifice of its very nature is the unbloody immolation of the divine Victim, which is made manifest in a mystical manner by the separation of the Sacred Species and by their oblation to the eternal Father.  Holy Communion pertains to the integrity of the Mass, and to the partaking of the august Sacrament; but while it is obligatory for the priest who says the Mass, it is only something earnestly recommended to the faithful.”

Let us stop for a brief and spirited comment on these thoughts.  We will share the tasty crumbs of this doctrinal bread.  May of none of them be lost.  Take them and digest them with love.

The voice of Christ, the Priest and Mediator, adoring, expiating, giving thanks and petitioning at the Altar, is the voice of the Catholic Church.  The Mass is the official, social and public homage made by the redeemed humanity, adoring, praising and blessing One God in three adorable Persons through the wounds of Christ its Mediator, on the Altar.  That is why one Mass gives more glory to God than all the miracles, than all the praises of Angels and Saints in the heavenly court.  At the Altar, it is a God Who adores and praises God with an infinite glory.

Thus, the Mass is public homage, at once a Sacrifice and a public prayer.  It is not a private devotion, like the visits we make to the Blessed Sacrament, the Way of the Cross or the Rosary.  It is the cry of the Church, of the Christian family which suffers exile and longs for Heaven.

To be continued…

~Damsel of the Faith