Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Weight of the Holy Mass

Have you ever taken the Mass for granted? Have you heard Mass casually and with little attention? Miracles related to the Mass do happen and this story tells of one. The story is also told in a longer version here. The graces from one Mass are inestimable!  Let's each resolve to never take the Mass for granted, never to undervalue the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Let us resolve to read materials that increase our devotion to the Mass. One wonderful book is by Romano Guardini, Preparing Yourself for Mass. It was written before Vatican II, but the 32 meditations are timeless. Let me offer just one paragraph from the meditation entitled "Encounter and Feast":

The participant in Holy Mass enters into a community at table, with his prayers, glorifying God and placing his personal concerns at the feet of the provident Father. Then, beholding and participating, he helps to prepare the sacred meal, to which he brings his offering. And however impersonal the money-piece, it is the accepted substitute for the more vital form of giving. Now with the priest he turns to the Father and receives through faith the presence of Him who said: "I am the living bread that has come down from heaven." At Communion he sees in spirit the Father's hand proffering the sacred nourishment, which he reverently accepts, that he may "have life." But this conception of the Lord's Supper or Feast does not stand alone. It is coupled with another: that of Christ's "coming."
Another book, one I've read over and over is a slim volume of St. Teresa of Avila's after-Communion meditations called Lingering with my Lord. She left 17 of these brief meditation which expose the depth of her love and intimacy with the hidden Jesus within her. Here's a little bit from meditation X:
Children's story loosely based on the facts.
O Christians! Now is the time to defend your King and to keep Him company in His great solitude; there are so few vassals who remain with Him and such a great multitude that follow Lucifer. And the worst of it is that they show themselves to be friends in public, and sell Him out in secret. There is hardly anyone who can be found that He can trust. O true Friend, how badly are You repaid by the one who betrays You! O true Christians! Help out by weeping for your God, because those heartfelt tears were not just for Lazarus, but for others who would not desire to rise from the dead, even though His Majesty gave them voices to cry out for this favor. O my Good, how aware you are of the faults that I have committed against You! May these faults cease, Lord, may they cease and those of all men.
How this reminds me of the little shepherd Francisco calling out in sorrow as he kept company with the hidden Jesus in the tabernacle, "Love is not loved."

Please, Lord, help me never to hear Mass again without my full attention and gratitude for Your great gift.

There is a lovely book based on the true story above. The locale is shifted to the town bakery which, as you can imagine, offers lovely illustration possibilities.


Michael said...

How beautiful! Now I am going to have to purchase that little meditation book by St. Theresa of Avila. She is one of my favorite saints for prayer. Thanks for linking back to my site. God Bless! Michael

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You're welcome, Michael. I live in Woodstock and attend St. John Bosco so we are practically neighbors. I'm sure you are getting great vocation advice from Fr. Gould. May God bless your discernment.