Presence of God – Give me, O Lord, a better understanding of the value and meaning of Your Eucharistic Sacrifice.
The heart of liturgical worship is the Mass. Just as the redemptive work of Jesus reached its culminating point on Calvary by His death on the Cross, so too, the liturgical action, which continues His work in the world, has its climax in the Mass, which renews and perpetuates on our altars the Sacrifice of the Cross. Jesus has willed that the precious fruits of redemption, which He merited on Calvary for the whole human race, be applied and transmitted to each of the faithful in a particular way by their participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This fountain of grace which Jesus opened on Calvary continues to pour over our altars; all the faithful are obliged to approach it at least once a week by attending Sunday Mass, but we may approach it even daily, each time we are present at the Holy Sacrifice. Holy Mass is truly the “fountain of life.” By offering and immolating Himself continually on our altars, Jesus repeats to us, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37).
“The august Sacrifice of the Altar,” says the Encyclical Mediator Dei, “is not merely a commemoration of the Passion and death of Christ, but is a true and proper sacrifice, in which, by immolating Himself in an unbloody manner, the Great High Priest renews His previous act on the Cross.” The Victim is the same, so is the Priest; nothing but the manner of offering is different–bloody on the Cross, unbloody on the altar. If we do not see in the Mass, as Mary did on Calvary, the torn Body of Christ and the Blood flowing from His wounds, we do have, by virtue of the Consecration, the real presence of this Body and Blood. Moreover, as this divine presence becomes actualized under two distinct species, the bloody death on Calvary is mystically renewed by the real separation of the Body and Blood of the Savior.
“O eternal Father, permit me to offer You the heart of Jesus, Your beloved Son, as He offers Himself to You in the Holy Sacrifice of the altar. Accept, I beg You, this offering which I make You; accept all the desires, sentiments, affections, movements, and acts of His most sacred heart; they are all mine, because He sacrifices Himself for me, and I protest that I do not wish to have in the future any desires other than His. Accept them in satisfaction for my sins and in thanksgiving for all Your benefits; accept them, and grant me by Your merits all the graces necessary for me, especially the grace of final perseverance. Accept them as so many acts of love, adoration, and praise which I offer to Your divine Majesty, for they alone can worthily honor and glorify You.
“O my God, I offer You Your beloved Son, in thanksgiving for all Your goodness to me. I offer Him as my adoration, my petition, my oblation, my resolutions; I offer Him as my love and my all. Accept Him, O eternal Father, for all that You wish from me, for I have nothing worthy of You to offer, except Him whom You have given me with so much love” (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque).
“‘What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He has rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation.’ Yes, O my God, if I take this Chalice, crimsoned with the Blood of my Master, and in utterly joyous thanksgiving, mingle my blood with that of the sacred Victim, He will impart to it something of His own infinity, and it will give You, O Father, wonderful praise. Then my suffering will become a speech that proclaims Your glory. O Jesus, grant that I may become so identified with You that I may ceaselessly express You in the sight of Your Father. What were Your first words on entering the world? ‘Behold I come to do Your will, O God!’ May this prayer be like the beating of my heart. You made a complete offering of Yourself to accomplish the will of the Father; grant that will may be my food, and at the same time, the sword which immolates me. Thus, peaceful and joyous, I shall go to meet all sacrifices with You, my adored Master, rejoicing to be known by the Father, since He crucifies me with His Son” (cf. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Last Retreat, 7-14).
Note from Dan: This post on the Holy Mass is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on Holy Mass: St Margaret Mary Alacoque Contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Corrado Giaquinto, ca 1765, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.