Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
South Bend, IN 46601
Pastor: Fr. Leonard Chrobot
Chaplain: Fr. George Gabet, FSSP
Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays, 7:45 am, and 7:00 pm on holy days of obligation.
Potluck Breakfast and coffee after Mass on all Sundays
Religious Ed, Community activities, 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.
Eucharistic Adoration on the Eve of First Fridays, 6:00pm - 10:00pm
(If you have pictures of your local Traditional Latin Mass and would like have them posted here along with information pertaining to the Mass and your community, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.)
Friday, May 28, 2010
*The Knights of Columbus say that Catholic politicians who actively support legal abortion and same-sex marriage are still welcome in their ranks. Thomas Peters takes on their logic, or lack thereof. RealCatholicTV takes aim.
*Church officials concerned about the creation of synthetic cells.
*Remember when I said South America would be next hit by the scandal? Well, here we go.
*When traditionalists cause "a wound to Catholic unity" they get excommunicated. What will happen to dear Sr. Carol Keehan?
*"Hispanic ministry should mean only one thing—bringing Hispanic people to the encounter with Jesus Christ in his Church." - Archbishop Gomez.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
First, a demographic fact that inclines me to disagree with my conservative friends on the whole undocumented immigration issue: the influx of Latin American immigrants into the United States and Canada is the only thing warding off the impending Christian demographic apocalypse that is already ravaging Europe.
With a birth rate of just 2.0 per family, population stability in the United States is unsustainable. The population of the United States will fall at the current fertility rate. In fact, European populations would already be drastically declining if were not for immigration from the Middle East and Asia. Most statisticians are convinced that the population in the United States would also already be declining if it were not for undocumented immigration from Latin America. With the incredible population growth in the Muslim world, the only thing warding off a Christian population collapse in North America is the influx of undocumented immigrants. Every time the United States tries to crack down on immigration from Central and South America, the United States takes itself one step closer to becoming an Islamic nation.
The second fact is that the vast majority of Latin Americans are Catholic, and right now the Latin American immigrant communities offer the only positive Christian population growth in this country. Latin American immigrants give the Catholic Church a unique opportunity to re-establish itself in American society.
This fact has not been lost on the Modernists and other leftists. So far only the left, the political left and the religious left in the Catholic Church, has been able to mobilize and influence this growing Catholic population. As a result, "Hispanic ministry" programs have become a breeding ground for Modernism in the modern American Catholic Church. It is critically, important, therefore, for faithful, traditional Catholics to reach out to the Latin American immigrant population. It is not just critically important. It is absolutely necessary!
One of the greatest untapped resources for growing Traditional Latin Mass communities in the United States is the Latin American immigrant population. Many Latin Americans have never experienced the Traditional Latin Mass, and I can't find one single internet site or other traditional Catholic medium, that has even made a small effort to reach out and communicate the beauty and sublimity of traditional Catholicism to Latin Americans.
The simple fact of the matter is, traditional Catholics are dropping the ball, and the Modernists are running with it. The doctrines of the leftists will destroy the beautiful Latin American Catholic culture, eventually doing the same to Latin American culture as was done to western Catholic culture in general, wrecking the Church, and causing a population implosion. The damage is already evident among second generation Latinos whose fertility rate is half what their parents' generation's fertility rate was. The longer Latin American communities are exposed to these leftist political and religious doctrines, the more likely they are to go the way of Caucasian Americans, becoming secularists who are slowly widdling themselves into oblivion.
Latin American Catholics possess a rich and many faceted Catholic culture that is ultimately preserved only by traditional Catholicism and the Traditional Latin Mass. Traditionalism is naturally inclined to preserving culture, because traditionalism understands that identity is shaped by culture and history and established mores. The Traditional Latin Mass likewise enriches particular cultures by moving them beyond themselves toward the ultimate reality. As completely centered on Christ, the Traditional Latin Mass orientates particular cultures and people of those particular cultures toward life with Our Blessed Lord in heaven, which is the proper end of all people.
Likewise, Traditional Latin Mass communities, which we must for honesty's sake admit, have a tendency toward insularity, can be immeasurably enriched by Latin American culture. Many Traditional Latin Mass communities already cherish the various ethnic and cultural treasures provided by the many different families that make up these communities. I have been introduced to the Polish Christmas Wafer, Slavonic hymns, authentic Wienershnitzel, beekeeping and homemade wine (to name just a few examples) through my involvement with Traditional Latin Mass communities. However, almost completely absent from so many Traditional Latin Mass communities is the immensely beautiful ethnic and cultural treasures of Latin America. This is a shame, and a sad loss for traditional Catholics.
These immigrants are our brothers in the faith. As I'm sitting here at my computer, in my bigger than needed home, after eating my richer than deserved supper, contemplating my well paying job, I'm acutely aware that there is more than enough room in this country for more Catholics. I'm also acutely aware that there is more than enough room at the Traditional Latin Mass for our Latin American brothers in the faith. If we truly believe in the excellency and superiority of the Traditional Latin Mass and traditional Catholicism, we would want to give this gift to our brothers in the faith. We would want not only to have a "Hispanic ministry" of our own, but we would want Hispanics to likewise influence and enrich our Traditional Latin Mass communities...
Or are we just a bunch of insular, myopic, xenophobic hypocrites?
Update: I have taken out the phrase "illegal immigrant" from the post and replaced it with "undocumented immigrant". A friend of mine rightly pointed out that persons are not illegal. I agree.
I would also like to share something that the same friend reminded me: As St. John Crysostom wrote, "Not to enable the poor to share in our good is to steal from them and deprive them of life."
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Here and here are two excellent treatments on the Ember Days.
(Our little fun family tradition is to turn the compost pile at every Embertide. No, really! It is a fun little family tradition... well, it is now that my kids are old enough to be the ones who are doing the actual turning!)
Over the coming weeks I hope to design more of these downloads so that you can take the methods with you to Mass in a practical format. Please keep an eye on the side bar. As I'm adding the downloads, I'm marking the chapters with "(download available)".
If you haven't had a chance to look them over, please refer to the links in the sidebar.
Friday, May 21, 2010
*Sodano under attack from his own.
*South American Church will be the next hit by the scandal.
*Alcuin Reid is a "tainted deacon"? I'm not one to agree with Rev. Mr. Reid's conclusions, but as a former seminarian in a very confusing time for the Church, and who was also far from perfect, I think that maybe he should be judged by his present actions and present superiors.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Traditional Latin Mass offered in the church that houses the 13th century Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem! (September 7th)
A three day liturgical conference at Fatima, with a daily Traditional Latin Mass, including a Pontifical Solemn Traditional Latin Mass offered by Bishop Basil Meeking, Retired Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand, at the high altar in the Basilica of Fatima! (September 8-11)
Then on to Spain...
The Traditional Latin Mass offered in the church that houses the relics of St. John of the Cross! (September 12th)
To Madrid and the church of St. Gines (September 13th), and then finally, on the third anniversary of the motu propio, Summorum Pontificum, the Traditional Latin Mass in the awe inspiring Pontifical Basilica of St. Michael! (September 14th, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius pull out all the stops!
For more information about the liturgical conference in Fatima and the pilgrimage, please visit the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, here.
(To generously offer to finance my going, email me immediately!)
Friday, May 14, 2010
*Scratch a neo-con and... Schönborn says there's "quality" to homosexual relationships, is undecided as to whether or not celibacy causes sexual deviancy, and thinks the Church needs to reconsider her stance in regards to re-married divorcees (i.e. she shouldn't really take Our Blessed Lord's words seriously anymore). Schönborn has always been a wolf in sheep's clothing, and traditionalists have known it for years.
*Brian Mershon interviews Bishop Fellay of the SSPX.
*The Pope in Fatima: The Church's Mission of Truth; Consecration of the World's Priests to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; Address to Priests, Religious, Seminarians and Deacons; Making God visible; Address at the Recitation of the Holy Rosary; Address to the Bishops.
*SSPX Rosary Crusade, final numbers are in. 19,142,065 rosaries, the most came for the USA (5,495,952).
*Obama's choice for Supreme Court a self-avowed leftist who praises socialism.
*SSPX hitting back: lodges two suits (here and here) in European courts for discrimination.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Some background by Sandro Magister. However, is this all there is to the third secret? Anthony Socci's Fourth Secret of Fatima can be purchased here.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The word, Rogation, comes from the Latin rogáre, meaning "to ask." On these days we humbly ask, by processions and public supplications, that God avert his just anger for sin, and the scourges we so deserve for turning away from Him.
Like Ember Days, the Rogation Days were left untouched by the liturgical changes after the Second Vatican Council. Unfortunately, they were untouched, literally, in the life of the Church. Also like Ember Days, the Rogation Days were sorely neglected in most places, even before the Council, throughout much of the Twentieth Century, another particularly lamentable rotten fruit of the Liturgical Movement. Today Rogation Days are all but unknown in the mainstream Church, and even in traditional Catholic circles they are barely experienced beyond a passing reference to their observance in the hand missal. Rare and precious is an offering of the Mass of Rogation with its accompanying litanies, and even more rare is a public procession.
However, that which was once holy and good can not be now, suddenly, otherwise. What was holy and good is still holy and good, even if it be rarely observed for now. Like the setting of the sun was disappearance of our liturgical and cultural heritage, but that long night is now coming to an end. The sun will rise again, and indeed it is but just below the horizon, and a glorious dawn awaits the Church, perhaps not with the pomp and regalia we would all desire, but a glorious dawn, nonetheless.
A glimmer of this new dawn of our liturgical and cultural heritage can be brought to life even now by incorporating the public aspect of the Rogation Days in our traditional Catholic homes, by gathering the family together in the morning and reciting the antiphon for the Rogation Day, followed by the litany of the saints as is prescribed in our hand missals. Maybe you will not have the opportunity to experience a Rogation Day procession or even the Mass of Rogation, but that does not mean you are consigned to flipping past these pages in the hand missal.
Therefore, consider observing these Rogation Days in your home.
Friday, May 7, 2010
*Thousands of Anglicans could cross the Tiber with their bishops.
*Pope Benedict XVI to visit Fatima.
*University of Notre Dame president, Jenkins, refuses to ask for leniency for the ND88. Is this Jenkin's idea of speaking truth to power(less)?
*Pro-Choice?? Teen forced to undergo abortion by Philly Department of Human Services caseworker. Also very revealing as to how involved the government and your tax money are in the abortion industry. Did you know that there are court ordered abortions?
*Bishop Fellay's latest letter to the Friends and Benefactors of the SSPX.
*Christopher Ferrara on the third secret of Fatima.
Here is a portion of his letter:
...Since the Second Vatican Council, it seems that a wave has been trying to carry off everything into the deep, leaving only a heap of ruins, a spiritual desert, that the popes themselves have called an apostasy. We do not want to describe this harsh reality again; we have already so often done, and all of you can see that it is so. Still, to us it seems useful to comment somewhat on the events of the past months; I want to speak about the surprisingly violent and particularly well-orchestrated blows that have been dealt to the Church and the Supreme Pontiff. Why such violent attacks?
To return to our metaphor, it seems that for some time now, more or less since the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, a new wave has appeared which is much more modest than the first, yet persistent enough that it is noticeable nevertheless. Contrary to all expectations, this wave seems to be going in the opposite direction compared to the first. The indications are sufficiently varied and numerous, that we can state that this new movement of reform or renewal is quite real. We can see this especially with the younger generations, who are plainly frustrated by the spiritual ineffectiveness of the Vatican II reforms. Considering the very harsh and bitter reproaches leveled by the progressives against Benedict XVI, it is certain that they see in the very person of the present pope one of the most vigorous causes of this incipient renewal. In fact, even if we find the pope’s initiatives rather timid, they run deep and are contrary to the agenda of the revolutionary, left-leaning world, both inside and outside of the Church, and this is true at several levels.
The resulting irritation of the progressives and of the world is sensed initially in questions concerning morality. Specifically, the Left and the liberals have been irritated despite the pope’s well-pondered words about the use of condoms in dealing with AIDS in Africa. As for the life of the Church, the restoration of the Mass of All Ages to its rightful place in 2007, and then two years later the rescinding of the degrading punishment aimed at disqualifying us, provoked the rage of liberals and progressives of all stripes. Moreover-the felicitous plan of a Year for Priests, restoring the priest to a place of honor, recalling his important and indispensable role in the salvation of souls, and proposing the holy Curé of Ars as a model, is not only an invitation to the Christian people to pray for their priests, but also a call to make use of the Sacrament of Penance, which had completely sunk into oblivion in broad sectors of the Church, and also to foster Eucharistic devotion, calling to mind in particular the importance of adoring Our Lord in the Sacred Host, a clear sign of the reality of the real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ...
...Even though people in our circles rightly think that these [papal] efforts are still insufficient to stop the decay and the crisis of the Church—especially in view of certain acts along the regrettable line of his predecessor, such as the visits to the synagogue and the Protestant church—in Modernist circles however, the hour has come to report to their battle stations! The big wave is attacking the very little one with unexpected violence. It is not surprising that the meeting of these two ill-matched waves should cause a lot of backwash and turbulence and give rise to an extremely confused situation in which it is quite difficult to tell and predict which of the two will win the day. This, however, is something new that deserves to be commented. It is not a question of giving in to thoughtless enthusiasm or believing that the crisis is over. On the contrary, the aging forces that see their gains, which they thought were definitive, being called into question, will no doubt put up a large-scale battle to try to save this dream of modernity which is starting to fall apart. It is very important to remain in this regard, as realistic as possible about what is happening. Although we rejoice over all the good that is being done in the Church and the world, we nevertheless have no illusions about the seriousness of the present situation.
What should we expect to see in the coming years? Peace in the Church, or war? The victory of good and its long-awaited return, or a new tempest? Will the little wave manage to grow enough to prevail someday? The assurance that the promise of Our Lady of Fatima will be fulfilled—“in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph”—does not necessarily or directly resolve our question, because it is still quite possible that we will have to first pass through an even greater tribulation before the long-awaited triumph occurs….
A terrific challenge is also intended by our rosary crusade. We would not want to diminish in the least, the joy over the announcement of the extraordinary result of our Rosary Crusade. We boldly asked you one year ago for twelve million rosaries so as to crown our dear Heavenly Mother, the Mother of God, as if with an equal number of stars, and to surround with a magnificent crown of praise that Mother, who to the enemies of God appears “terrible as an army set in battle array” (Canticle of Canticles 6:3). You responded so generously that we can now bring to Rome a spiritual bouquet of more than nineteen million rosaries, not counting all those not directly affiliated with our priories and chapels who joined in our campaign......Let us remember also that the essential element of the Fatima message is not just the consecration of Russia, but above all devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May all these prayers and sacrifices lead us to increase and deepen our special devotion to the Heart of the Mother of God. For, through it God wants to be moved.
Notably absent is any reference to the on going talks between the SSPX and the pope's theologians, however, Bishop Fellay's tone belies an explicit support of the Holy Father's efforts, although he acknowledges the thoughts of many SSPX supporters that such efforts may be insufficient. Fellay's support of the Holy Father demonstrates a degree of faith in the direction the pope is leading the modern Church. He clearly is encouraging friends and benefactors of the SSPX to support these efforts by prayer and confidence in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Fr. Dominic Holtz, O.P.Reflections on the public celebration of the Mass according to the usus antiquior
One of my readers has asked me to consider reflecting here on my recent celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal on April 29, which was also my first public celebration of the Mass according to this form. While the impressions are still fresh in my mind, I thought that fulfilling his request would be a worthwhile endeavor, for me at any rate, even if not for my readers.
I should point out a few things. First of all, I have celebrated, but only privately, the Mass in the extraordinary form a few times. Also, I have also celebrated publicly, indeed starting even two weeks after my ordination, the Mass in the ordinary form in Latin, ad orientem, with chant and some polyphony, etc. I cleave to the text of the Missal, try my best to conform my gestures, posture, and the like to the classic forms, make generous use of opportunities for silent prayer (especially at the Offertory), and so on. In other words, my impressions here truly are based on the public celebration of the classic form of the Mass, and not the result of other sorts of factors.
I also want to say, by way of preface, that I recognize that, musically, I had a superb and likely rarely to be repeated privilege of hearing a choir (with portative and instrumental ensemble) sing a setting of the Mass, both Ordinary and Proper, along with motets, likely heard together rarely, if ever, since the time and place of the royal courts in Bavaria and Austria in the late sixteenth century. The music was simply sublime, and I admit that my wonderfully positive and uplifting experience was, at least in part, due to the glorious music supplied by students and faculty from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Even so, I intend rather to speak more directly of my own experience of the celebration of the Mass qua celebrant, i.e. as a priest.
From the outset, when the initial jitters quieted in my stomach, I was impressed existentially by what I already grasped notionally, namely how spiritually useful the whole "fore-Mass" was, and most especially, the prayers at the foot of the altar. There was, once the servers and I began, a real spiritual calm, as well as a clear sense of the seriousness of what I was about to do when I finally approached the altar. To be sure, the vesting prayers and my own other recollections before Mass, which I would do anyway, were important, but this splendid antiphony between me and the servers, the mutual (not merely communal) confession of sins, the at once sobering and yet hopeful words of the Aufer a nobis and Oramus te, all the while not needing to worry whether I was "holding up" the celebration of the Mass, gave me a sense of purpose and intention from the start unlike I have had often before at Mass.
At the same time (this was a Missa cantata) I found real solace in the quiet recitation waiting on the choir to complete its Kyrie and Gloria. It was a kind of waiting that at one and the same time afforded my a space for private, recollected prayer and kept me attentive of my role as servant to the rite. As crucial as my role was, it was not "my" time to direct the action, but my time to wait.
I should mention here that the distinction of the whole Mass of the Catechumens as more vocal, more choral, more audible, if you well, also became experientially apparent, however I already knew it conceptually. What I, and the whole congregation, experienced from the beginning of the Introit through the conclusion of the Gospel was an extended and continuous act of praise and proclamation. To be sure, I wasn't continuously audible, but whenever someone was not singing or chanting, someone else was. I note this because the contrast with the Mass of the Faithful as more remarkable for its meaningful silences (more on that below) became, in the course of the Mass, all the more clear.
One curious note is the feeling of the homily as, not alien or foreign or even inappropriate, but at least a caesura, a Luftpause in the celebration. As any poet or musician will tell you, these are not inconsequential, and can really and truly "belong" where they are placed. Even so, they are breaks, stops, pauses, all the more obvious here ritually in my removal of the maniple, topographically in my movement away from the altar to the ambo, vocally in the shift from the singing of Latin to the speaking of English, and intentionally in the shift away from the words, movements, and gestures received from the Church to my own words, received from the prayerful encounter with the Scriptures in preparation for preaching. I at least "get" now, as I did not before, what homileticians meant in worrying over the older homily as not "liturgical". For the moment, whether this is or is not a good thing, I will withhold judgment. One thing the homily did evoke was how deeply I had entered into the sancta sanctorum I had prayed to enter in the Aufer a nobis since it was a real pulling away from one mental and spiritual place to another (as it involved a leaving not only my orientation but the space of the altar itself), even in ways that the turning at the Orate fratres or the admonition and preparation of the faithful for Communion was not (the Ecce Agnus Dei and triple Domine non sum dignus).
It is perhaps neither remarkable nor surprising, but nonetheless it is true, that I was most profoundly affected by the silent celebration of the Canon. There was an intensity, a presence, an abundance of content in that silence unlike any I have experienced before. Perhaps it was due in part to the contrast of the nearly continuous and sublime music I had heard up to and including the Sanctus. All the same, when the final Hosanna in excelsis came to an end and all that could be heard was the silence of my prayer ... It is an experience quite difficult to put into words, and all the more so were I to try to evoke what it meant to say the words of consecration without trying to communicate them meaningfully and vocally to a disparate gathering of the faithful, but to say them under the veil of silence so that they might be what they are in plain and profound simplicity ... I can only note here that it was transformative, or better, I hope it will be.
As I said above, I was also struck by the relative increase of silence in the Mass of the Faithful, the several, indeed frequent "interruptions" when nothing is heard. Even so, these were not mere pauses, nor simply my "finishing up" prayers that were too long for the music to cover. They were filled, meaningful silences, and they directed me at least, and I hope the faithful, to Communion in a way the ordinary form does not. I hesitate at this point to make a judgment here, but the experience was certainly different and notable.
One confirmation I had was this: it is infinitely more practical and at the same time more fitting, that the faithful (as they were able) receive the Eucharist on their tongues while kneeling. Mind you, I am delighted that any of the faithful, properly disposed, should come forward to receive our Lord in the Sacrament, and were the other option that they did not come forward, I would rather see them come hopping on their head than draw back in fear. All the same, from the practical point of view, having everyone's head, except the smaller children or taller men, at more or less the same place, not having to guess where or how or even whether this communicant was going to receive (hand or tongue, standing far back or up close, etc), permitted me to be more at ease in communicating them. (I note this from several years of experience helping out at the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis, where, for all of its laudable celebration of the Mass, the people coming to receive Communion can and do present themselves in a curious variety of ways!)
I should also add that, despite the relatively longer ritual surrounding both my own Communion and the ablutions, I did not feel remotely rushed. Again, the strong sense of being in the holy of holies, and the prayers which assisted me in doing so, truly kept me focused on the affairs of the altar more than simply orientation has been able (although, I would not want the best to be the enemy of the good here, and wholly endorse the goods which I also know experientially come from the celebration of the ordinary form of the Mass ad orientem). Likewise, the Placeat (which I pray at the end of Mass even in the ordinary form, but usually on my way back to the sacristy) and the Last Gospel did not feel appended, but wholesome ways to lead me away from the altar and back to the world beyond.
It should be fairly easy to see that this was a powerful and beautiful experience for me. Was every rubric observed perfectly? I doubt it. Did some of the beauty come from the music? Certainly. Was some of the power the result of the "novelty"? Perhaps. Time and experience alone will tell. What I can say for certain is that I now speak existentially what I would have before said rightly, but more notionally, namely, that there are real and great goods that come from the classic celebration of the Mass of the Roman rite, goods which priests and the faithful as a whole would do well to encounter.
An excellent treatment. Thank you, Fr. Holtz.
By Lady Lucy Herbert
We owe more to God, and to his Divine Son Jesus Christ, for the benefit of Holy Mass, than it is possible for us ever to repay. Whatever we can do, we still shall remain infinitely indebted for it, not only during life, but for the whole eternity.
Though we can never return what we owe, yet we must, a least, return what we can, to acknowledge the benefit of Holy Mass, and to imitate our dear Saviour, who therein daily offers himself a sacrifice for us. We must offer all our actions to God as so many sacrifices and testimonies of our engagement to his service, and submissions to his will. Holy Scripture gives the name of Sacrifice to almost all good actions; and St. Augustine says expressly, that each good action is a true Sacrifice.
Now as we are composed of body and soul, there are two sorts of sacrifices which we ought to offer; the first consists in referring to God all exterior and sensible actions; and the second, in consecrating to him all the motions of our heart and acts of our will.
This is the double Sacrifice which St. Paul exhorts us to make, and which, to be acceptable to God, must be animated with charity; that is, God’s love. Reason, as he says, engages us to render that duty to God for we have received all from him, and consequently owe all to him. It would be an act contrary to the rules of Justice and Reason, to employ for any other use but God’s service, what we possess purely from his liberality.
St. Paul makes the interior Sacrifice chiefly consist in two things: the first to strip ourselves of the sentiments and inclinations of the Old Man; and the second, to assume the sentiments and inclinations of the New One, Christ Jesus.
God does not exact the same exterior actions from all; for each 0one must act according to the state his Divine Majesty has placed him in; nor does he exact the same interior degree of perfection. Nevertheless he will have our whole life be a perpetual Sacrifice to him; which it will be, if we consider our employment as a commission from God, and accordingly acquit ourselves of it; being exact in all its parts and duties. Whoever proceeds so, is a true victim, which continually sacrifices itself to the will and pleasure of God; so that their whole life is a perpetual Sacrifice.
Each time we assist at Mass, we contract, as it were, a new obligation of living so, and of devoting ourselves entirely to God’s service, and of conforming ourselves to his will in all our actions; which is the fruit we should draw from Holy Mass, and the best return we can make for so incomparable a benefit.
To render this practice more easy, we may distinguish the four perpetual Sacrifices:
The first is a Holocaust.
The second, a sacrifice of Thanksgiving.
The third of Impetration.
The fourth of Propitiation.
Now the life of a good Christian ought to be a continual exercise of all those acts of virtue.
As the first, which is a Holocaust, in which the victim used to be entirely consumed by fire, God having given us our liberty, which is the precious thing we have to offer; it is that victim we consume by fire when for the love of him, and the desire we have to content him, we give him the entire dominion we have over our selves, actions, and goods; not reserving to ourselves the choice of any of our actions, nor of the circumstances that accompany the, It is not enough to present to God our labours, prayers, and fasts, or any other exercise, however good and holy, if they are not according to his will, and done both in the time and place he would have the, for other ways they will be of little or no merit in his fight; for if we reserve to ourselves the liberty of doing what actions we please, and when and how we please, God may reproach us as he did the Jews, who fasted by humour and inclination, that their fast was of no merit, because their own will was too much in it.
We should do well to question ourselves from time to time: saying, Am I in the place God would have me be in? Di I do what God would have me do? Be assured that the most excellent of all victims, is a perfect conformity of our judgment and will to the will of God. Great is the advantage religious person have; for in exactly observing their vows, their rules, and the orders of their superiors, both by day and night, they thereby become perfect Holocausts, immolated each moment of their lives to the will and pleasure of God. They may say with Jesus Christ, that they are always employed in doing what is pleasing to God. And he will say of them, as of the Royal Prophet, I have found a man according to my heart, who accomplishes all my wills.
The second Sacrifice is of Thanksgiving. We should continually offer this sacrifice to the Divine Majesty, since there is no moment of our lives in which we receive not some benefit from him.
In order to this we must reflect on those graces and favours, for which we are indebted to God’s goodness; an acknowledge him the author of all the good we have, which he has given us for his service, offering him all the possess; and letting no occasions pass without contributing as much as is in our power, to the advancement of his glory, and the accomplishment of his designs.
We must even thank him for all the good actions we do, he having the greatest share in them: and for his being pleased to make use of us for the advancement of his glory, and for having helped us to merit heaven: for as St. Augustine observes, God crowns his own benefits when he rewards our merits.
The third Sacrifice is of Impetration. To offer this sacrifice perpetually, we must persuade ourselves (as it is true) that of ourselves we neither can do, nor succeed in any thing, without God’s assistance. Which being, we must not fail to implore it each moment. If therefore we desire to offer his Divine Majesty this Sacrifice, we must have continually before our eyes our own miseries and weaknesses, the many evils which oppress us, and the dangers we are exposed to; the goods we stand in need of, and our inability as to the procuring the one, or freeing ourselves from the other, which will force us continually to have recourse to God.
This we may perform in several manners, sometimes by pronouncing certain words, as Deus in adjutorium…, sometimes by forming in ourselves a desire of God’s assistance; fixing the eyes of our soul upon him, from whom only we expect necessary forces, and strength to act. These short prayers and interior desires are victims, which breathe forth a more odoriferous smell, than perfumes which were formerly offered.
The revolt of our passions, the multitude of our temptations, the pain we find in labour, are as many admonitors to put us hourly in mind of exposing them to God; thereby to engage him to come to succour us, and make us feel the effects of his mercies.
The fourth Sacrifice is that of Expiation, or Propitiation, which we ought also to offer perpetually. There is no sacrifice which we should more frequently offer than this, we having in the bottom of our souls a source of sin, which even the just feel, an often every day they deplore the effects of it, an dare obliged to have recourse to this sacrifice to expiate them.
There are two things in sin, the guilt which is the offense of God, and the pain which is the chastisement it deserves. The sacrifice of expiation includes both grief for and punishment of the fault. You will perpetually offer this sacrifice, if as soon as you perceive yourself fallen into any sin, however small it be, you interiorly detest it, and mortify yourself in something; or at least in our examinations night and morning, if you not only grieve for the sins you have committed, but also impose some penance on yourself in satisfaction.
How holy would our life be, if, from morning to night, we employed ourselves in offering some of these sacrifices. Sometimes making acts of conformity to the will of God, at other times thanking him for his benefits, then imploring his help, and [always striving to make reparation for sin.]