Friday, September 29, 2006


fragments from "With the Church - Meditations on Topics from Missal and Breviary" edited by Fr Goossens OFM, 1962

In the Offertory prayer, the priest says, "Receive, O Holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, this spotless Host.....for my countless sins." Once again, Holy Church represents the world, and offers her sacrifice with that of the cross of Calvary, Jesus dies anew mystically, for the expiation of all the sins men committed today. Could we but penetrate this mystery, we should know something of the love which made the Saviour of mankind institute it. We must thank God daily for the divine sacrifice, and beg his grace that we may offer, at least in intention, at every hour of the day, the spotless Host, for our countless sins and negligences and those of our fellows. Christ came on earth to save us from eternal damnation by His Passion and death; a sacrifice which was sufficient to obtain forgiveness for the sins of countless worlds. And yet he still dies mystically every day for the sins into which we fall, as St. Augustine says:"Holy Mass is as true sacrifice as that of the cross, of which it is a symbol. At the consecration, by the mysterious presence of Christ's Body and Blood, we celebrate his death. It is the "Mysterium fidei", the mystery of faith. As truly as Jesus mystically dies in every Mass, so truly he dies for our sins, and offers himself as an infinite satisfaction for all our guilt."
On the Cross, Jesus merited all graces for all men, but they were not at that moment applied to each one. By union with Eucharistic sacrifice, we make our own all the homage Jesus offered to His Father, all the power of His prayer and his expiation. As the Council of Trent says, "By the unbloody sacrifice of the Altar, we receive, in full measure, all the fruits of the sacrifice of the Cross." Can there be a greater consolation for us sinful men? When I, the little host, lie beside the great one on the priest's paten, I am offered with it "for my countless sins." And when, at the Consecration, Jesus offered himself to his Father for the sins of the world, He allows me to offer myself with Him.
Living my mass so intensely, I receive all graces of reconciliation for myself and for all those for whom I pray. Here too my prayer must be universal, for all those for whom I pray. Here too my prayers must be universal, for the sinners and non-Catholics in our own land of course, but also for those of the whole world, and more especially for those who persecute the Church and insult and blaspheme Christ Himself in the person of our Holy Father the Pope. We will beg and implore their conversion, not only in our morning offering, but also throughout the day, in union with the Mass which is being offered at that same hour. Then all our day, all our life, will be one unceasing sacrifice to obtain their forgiveness and our own. O Jesus, I thank you for the Mass, the unbloody renewal of your sacrifice. Grant us grace to be deeply penetrated by the thought of its infinite value. May our lives be one long Mass, in which we adore and thank you and beg you to forgive us our sins.
O, Mary, beg your Jesus to grant us this grace.