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  • Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight

Kiss of Peace: The Mass as it Relates to the Interior Life Part VIII

Fr. Samuel Waters | The Daily Knight | Sermon

The Kiss of Peace is only given during the Solemn High Mass when the Priest, Deacon and Subdeacon are present. It is a symbol of the charity which should unite all those who approach the altar. Since the beginning of the Church, Love was always the characteristic of the Disciples of Jesus, a sign of their unity. The kiss during the Mass was given in a pure and unsullied way. Love in its pure expression always leads to peace. The Kiss of Peace was originally given before the Offertory as a farewell to the Catechumens (those taking instruction to become a follower of Christ). It was later placed in its current location in the Mass before Communion and the Breaking of the Bread.

Before giving the Kiss of Peace, the Celebrant kisses the altar (the altar represents Christ). If he is a priest, he gives it to the Deacon and the Deacon in turn gives it to the Subdeacon. The Subdeacon then gives it to the choir and the lower ministers. Originally the kiss was given and received on the lips. Today the Kiss of Peace is given to the clergy by an embrace. The clergyman who is giving the Kiss of Peace says, “Pax Vobis” (Peace be with you) and the clergyman receiving the Kiss of Peace says, “Et cum spiritu tuo” (and with your spirit).

After the Kiss of Peace, the prayer “Ad Pacem” is prayed, “Oh Lord Jesus Christ who said to Thy Apostles, peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, look not on my sins, but on the Faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant Her that peace and unity which is agreeable to Thy Will: Oh God who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.”

This prayer asks for peace for the entire Church. Liturgical Prayer always has regard for the society and the Mystical Body. The priest asks God not to regard his personal sins but the Faith of the Mystical Body, the Faith of the Church. The priest asks God to be seen in union with all the faithful as a member of the Mystical Body of which Jesus is the Head.

How often a friendly word, a smile will do the soul good. It can “dry up” contemptuous thoughts; quiet a tempest in the heart; encourage to persevere and restore peace. Your religion must be very true. You must respect the reputation of others in keeping your word, whatever the cost as you are fulfilling your duties. Your active life must be an overflow of your interior life.

Do not think you can please God only by being faithful to your duties to Him. Being faithful to your pious duties and devotions is only part of being faithful to the True Faith and to God. You also must make the effort and take time to be charitable to others in your daily life. Seek to be in agreement with you fellow men and women provided that your duties to God do not suffer. Your neighbors (others in our society) have their own character, their own principles, their own way of looking at things and their own way of living. You also have all of these as well.

Go to your neighbors full of pity and compassion for their defects, determined to be tolerant of all their “ways”. Open up your heart. Try to find those points that you have in common. Put yourself in their place, step into their shoes. Imitate St. Paul who said, “to the weak, I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all (I Corinthians 9: 20-22). You will/may see how they come closer to you, how your hearts will/may join with your heart in a deep love and friendship. Thus, you will have peace in your own heart and in your relations with your neighbors, peace born from generosity.

In disturbances and in calm, in interior dryness and in sensible consolation, in every state of soul and in the circumstances of life you must try to keep your Will closely united to the Will of God, to regard whatever happens to you as the best since whatever happens to you comes from God.

Embracing His Will for you will bring you to have peace in your heart. Never let sadness or gloom enter into your heart. Whatever happens to you is God’s Will and He wishes only your good. Being sad is useless, it takes away all of one’s energy. Rejoice always in the Lord for He loves a cheerful giver.

Repentance is a very good thing, but it must be accompanied by great serenity and great peace and great confidence in the Lord’s infinite mercy. Fear may be the beginning of Wisdom but the end of fear is Love.

There are times when the devil wants to see us downhearted and he suggests that we stop praying and give up all our pious practices. There are times when our prayer gives us no satisfaction, no consolation and we find it an activity we think is a waste of time when this happens. In our interior life we all have experienced this. These periods of prayer are known as “being in the desert”.

This is when we learn that praying is a duty that every Catholic has. We all have a duty to pray. Praying is not a luxury that we can chose to do or not do. Catholics have a duty to pray everyday. Sometimes that is all it is for us, duty. Do not be deceived by the devil. Do not give in to the temptation to stop praying, rather at this time when you want to just stop praying, pray more! Pray more than ever, even though you find it difficult and you do not feel any inclination to pray.

Do everything you can to pray properly, attentively and devoutly. Praying in this way, you can be assured that your prayer has great value. It is even more valuable than when it is accompanied by consolation, satisfaction. Wait patiently. Heavenly dew will fall on the dry earth. Even if it is a long time in coming. Praise and thank God for these trials which He sends you. Be faithful in your service, confident in the knowledge that the person who perseveres to the end, will be saved.

The Kiss of Peace in the Solemn High Mass reminds us that charity to others and praying to God are essential to our living the Catholic Faith. These go along with The Sacraments, Spiritual Reading and Scripture Reading that make up the elements of living The Catholic Life.

To be continued in Part IX...

In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus.

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