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The Mass as it Relates to the Interior Life ~ Part V

Fr. Samuel Waters | The Daily Knight | Sermon

The Canon

The Canon is the mode of offering the Sacrifice.

By the 7th Century (600’s AD) it already had the same form as it has today. Originally it began with the “Sursum Corda”, (Lift up your heart” first line in the Preface). Today it begins following the “Santus”. During the Canon there is silence. We also should be silent. We should impose silence on all our cares and distractions. We should follow the priest with profound respect. Now the most majestic mystery of the Altar is going to be offered.

At the “Te Igitur” the priest asks God to come down and bless our offerings. In the second paragraph which begins with the words “In Primis,” the priest prays for the necessities of Holy Church. He asks God to grant it peace, to protect it, to unite it, and govern it throughout the world. He asks God to guide the Pope, and to direct the bishops.

Finally, the priest prays for all true Sons of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is in union with all of those that he offers the Holy Sacrifice. Next, he openly affirms the community in faith and charity with those who have gone before and who are still united to them in Christ. Across time and space, he makes note of those apostles, the martyrs who have gone before us to be renewed in our oneness. who profess the same Faith.

Never forget the Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity.

The purpose of the Mass is to pray for the Church. It is also for the devotion of many souls, those faithful who give first place to the care of the Church, the spouse of Christ. They see to it that it is kept beautiful, like God Himself, powerful in its actions and victorious in its struggles. We should expand and increase our piety. We should be noble souls who seek the Glory of God and the Glory of His Christ. We should seek it through the Church of Christ.

“Momento Domine” (Remember Oh Lord thy servants), This is when the priest prays for the intentions of the living individuals, those for whom the Mass is being offered.

This is the spiritual fruit of the Mass which is the property of the priest who offers it. What a privilege it is to be present on the lips and in the thoughts of the priest when he is about to accomplish the most tremendous and sacred act known to man.

The priest then prays for all who are present, those who are assisting at this Mass. Those present have a special right to the fruits of the Holy Sacrifice, first those in the sanctuary then those in the congregation.

If only we attended Mass with real faith and devotion, “Quorum tibi fides conita est nota devo” (whose faith and devotion unto thee is known).

The priest prays for those present, for their Catholic relatives and friends. They may be present or absent. (Non-Catholics can only be prayed for in the Mass for their conversion to the Catholic Faith. No deceased non-Catholic can be an intention at Mass). “Pro se sinisque omnibus” (for whom we offer unto thee or they themselves do offer). The priests prays for the redemption of their souls, the hope of their salvation and even for their bodily safety. “Et memoriam Venerate” (venerating the memory).

Next the priest honors the Church Triumphant. He honors the memory of the BVM, the apostles, martyrs and all the saints. The sacrifice is offered to God alone. It is offered in honor and in memory of the saints. It commemorates them, to ask for their intercession, to give God thanks for His predilection of them and to obtain for ourselves the strength to imitate their lives and practice their virtue.

First, comes Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, conceived without sin. She is a Virgin before and after the birth of Her Son. Next are the apostles who are the foundation stones of the great edifice which is the Mystical Body of Christ. The apostles are listed.

In our prayer we acknowledge their witness in their ministry and in their death, the commitment to the Truth that Christ came to live and teach.

Peter: The Rock on which Christ built His Church, the Vicar of Christ, prince of the apostles and was given the Keys of the Kingdom. His humility had him seek to be crucified upside down.

Paul: He was converted from an enemy to an apostle of the Church.

Andrew: Saluted the Cross and asked the cross to receive himself because he was a disciple of Christ.

James the Greater: Chosen as one of the apostles to be present at the Transfiguration.

John the Beloved: Evangelist who soared like an eagle, speaking of the Word made Flesh.

Thomas: His doubt obtained certainty for us.

James the Less: Cousin of Christ and brother of the apostle Jude Thaddaeus. Thrown from the top of the Temple, before the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.

Philip: Asked Jesus to show him “the Father”. “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”.

Bartholomew: Skinned alive and suspended on a cross.

Matthew: Began his Gospel with a list of ancestors from whom Jesus the man descended.

Simon the Canaanite: Announces the Gospel to those in the East.

Jude Thaddaeus: Cousin of Jesus martyred with Simon the Canaanite in Persia.

Now we have the Pope-Martyrs:

Linus: He followed Peter in the role as Pope.

Cletus: The third Pope who was converted by Peter.

Clement: He wrote a letter to the Corinthians, a valuable, document in the First Century.

Sixtus: He was a lover of peace and was excellent in every kind of virtue.

Cornelius: he opposed the first anti-pope.

The Canon, leading up to the Consecration, concludes with other illustrious saints:

Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage whose writings were considered brighter than the Sun by St. Jerome.

St. Lawrence who was one of the first seven deacons at the service of the Roman Church. When asked for the Treasures of the Church, he showed them the poor people from his local Church.

St. Chrysogonus, a Roman priest who helped Anastasia (who is also a Martyr and mentioned in the Canon after the Consecration) to comfort imprisoned and tortured Christians.

John and Paul: they saw an idol and were horrified. They asked the Lord to remove it from their sight and were beheaded.

Cosmas and Damian: Blood brothers and medical doctors. They were healers of bodies and souls.

Being named in the Canon, gives the saints more honor and glory than any other pious practice (the requirement to be listed in the “Roman Canon was that they had to be a martyr). These prayers of the Canon were established at the time of the martyrs and in the funeral chapels of the catacombs.

Now we come to those Solemn Prayers which come before the Consecration. The entire Church, in Heaven, on Earth and in Purgatory have their eyes on the Altar. Let us intensify our interior recollection to assist at this Mystery of Faith.

....To be continued in Part VI next week....