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Several Excellent Methods of Hearing Mass
by Lady Lucy Herbert
A Method for hearing Mass according to the four Intentions for which Christ instituted it, and our Holy Mother the Church offers it.From the beginning of the Mass till the Gospel employ yourself in making acts of repentance for your manifold sins committed against God, considered as your God, your King, and your Father.
From the Gospel till the Sanctus bestow in acts of thanksgiving for the many great benefits you have received; especially for that of communicating himself to you in the adorable Sacrament.
From the Sanctus till after the last Elevation bestow in oblation of this dreadful Sacrifice, saying, "great God receive this holy Sacrifice in which your Son offers himself, and is offered by the priest to render you due homage and worthy thanks for all your benefits. Receive here also the entire Sacrifice which I make of myself; of my body, of my soul, and of all that I am: which I have united with that of your dear Son, for whose sake receive me, and the promises made for me at Baptism, together with those I made at my profession, which I here renew, and beg by the precious blood of Christ, which I adore on the Altar, grace to fulfill them perfectly."
From that time till the Agnus Dei, make petitions for all you want, and first ask to be freed from the evils that may be a hindrance to your salvation; and which you have reason to fear, both during life and at your death.
Then beg, through the merits of Christ, all that may conduce to God’s glory, and your own good; as pardon of your sins, the gifts of faith, hope, and charity, and perfect conformity to God’s will. A pure intention in all you do; a pious life, and a happy death.
Pray for your friends, and for each one of the family you are in, that God will please to bring them to that degree of sanctity and perfection, which his mercies have designed them; and keep them all united in perfect peace and charity.
Offer your requests for our holy Mother the Church; beg her exaltation, and the extirpation of heresy; true repentance for sinners, a happy death for those that are near or in their agonies; and release from purgatory for the faithful departed, especially ___________.
From the Agnus Dei till the last blessing, employ in preparing for, and making your spiritual communion. Produce the proper acts, to wit, humility, contrition, and a great desire of receiving your Divine Saviour. For which you may use these or the like affections:
“My sweet and amiable Jesus, I am not worthy that you should think of me, and you not only think of me, but also offer yourself to me in the Holy Eucharist, having an ardent desire to enter my heart, and to remain for ever with me. How great and admirable are your mercies! how excessive is your goodness! what is there in me capable to invite you? or rather, what is there not in me to disgust you from coming to me? you can find nothing in me but crimes, infidelities to your grace, tepidities in your service, and yet you desire to lodge in my heart!
“Come then, dear Jesus, come, for I truly desire you; come into my heart, and form it according to yours. Annihilate that pride, self-love and self-will, which you find in it, and all other evil inclinations which displease you: and in place of them establish your humility, meekness, obedience, zeal, and whatever may render me agreeable to your eyes. Grant me the grace to seek no other happiness but the accomplishment of your will; and your greater glory in myself, and those under my care, that so I may express my love to you. By your precious Blood I beg this grace, and that I may suppress all self-seeking, and interest which may anyways oppose the same.”
Considering with the eyes of faith Jesus Christ in you by his Divine Spirit, return him your most grateful thanks, saying:
“O Jesus, with my whole heart, I most humbly thank you for all your favours and mercies to me; and above all, for the frequent visits you have made me in this adorable Sacrament: and for descending this day from your throne of glory to our altar, to be the food and nourishment of my soul, which I beseech you to take full possession of, and dwell for ever in my heart.”
At the last blessing, beg the Father to bless you, the Son to protect you, and the Holy Ghost to sanctify you. “May the blessing of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be upon me, and all I shall do; and remain so for ever, Amen.”
During the Last Gospel, give thanks for the favour granted you of assisting at Holy Mass, saying:
“My Lord, God, and Saviour, I praise and thank you, and desire that all the Saints and Angels may bless and glorify you in my behalf, for those amorous thoughts you had for me from all eternity, and for all the graces you have bestowed on me by means of this great Sacrifice; and for granting me the favour of being present at it. Increase in me your love and grace, and grant that during this day I may pass no hour without elevating my heart and thoughts to you, as a grateful return for so great a blessing. Take possession of my heart, for it belongs to you alone.”
We may very much enrich ourselves if every morning, and every hour of the day, we offer all the Masses that are said that day and night throughout the whole world for the four ends for which it was instituted, and is offered; for so we shall render ourselves partakers of the fruit of them all. And there is no hour of the day or night in which Mass is not said in some part of the world.
Whenever we have any thing to ask of God, the best means to obtain it, is to request it in consideration of the Masses that are said upon earth, and in respect of the merits of the Son of God, which are applied to us by means of them.
Note from Lady Lucy Herbert:
Whoever makes use of these Methods for Holy Mass, I beg they will have the charity, for God’s sake, to join me with themselves, and my necessities with theirs: that in their act of repentance for their sins, they will deplore and beg pardon for mine: in their thanksgiving, that they will render thanks to God his mercies to me: in their oblation, offer my heart and soul to God: and in their petition be for me what they request for themselves, especially the divine grace and love. And as I hope the use of these methods will be in vigour when I am dead, I entreat their charity to be mindful of my poor soul in time of Holy Mass.
Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon her.
(Images, courtesy Godzdogz, The Oxford Martyr's Mass at Blackfriars, Oxford, 25 October, 2008.)