Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Embracing the Mass

"They recounted what had happened to them on the road, and how they had come to know Him in the breaking of the bread."  (Luke 24:35)

Mass is the highlight of the monastic day.  The other prayers prepare for it, revolve around it, highlight and underscore it... and carry its themes into every other part of the afternoon and evening.  This is reasonable, logical, for "The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life...  In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith."  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #s 1324 and 1327)

Before the great Wonder of the Eucharist, of Jesus with us in Flesh and Blood, I am, frankly, speechless.  So I look to one more eloquent than I as I pass along these words: 

"We must continually remind ourselves that the greatest need in the world today is to centre our lives more and more in the oblational aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; for today, when the whole world is galloping away from the very shadow of the Cross, we must embrace it and cling to it ever more firmly, in union with Jesus Christ.... We should never come to Holy Mass without preparation, and it is for this reason that, in Religious Houses, the Community Mass is celebrated after the Spiritual Exercises of the morning.  Of all the works of the Sacred Heart here below, Holy Mass together with Holy Communion is the Masterpiece."  (from The Living Pyx of Jesus by 'A Religious,' Pelligrini, 1941, p. 443)

Can I get to Mass today?  If so, I ask for the grace of opened eyes.  Eyes that can truly see Him in the breaking of the Bread. 

But perhaps I am limited - maybe by familly needs, illness, work, disability.  What then?   I can at least make a spiritual communion, perhaps using words like these: 

"My Jesus, I believe You are truly present in the most Blessed Sacrament.  I love You above all things, and I desire to possess You within my soul.  Since I am unable now to receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace You as if You were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You; never permit me to be separated from You."  (St. Alphonsus)

Text not in quotes

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