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The Consecration: Mass as it Relates to the Interior Life ~ Part VI

Fr. Samuel Waters | The Daily Knight | Sermon

The Consecration

“Hanc Igitur” (This therefore). The Priest spreads his hands over the Chalice and the Host, as the High Priest of the Old Testament did. Now Jesus, the only victim worthy of God is sacrificed for us. The Priest asks the Lord to accept the sacrifice offered for himself and for God’s sons.

Next the Prayer says: “Quam Oblationem” (Which offering) whose purpose is to obtain from God the Grace of Transubstantiation (This prayer asks God to change the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. It is God who performs the Miracle not the priest. The priest is the instrument of God not the one who actually changes the bread and wine into Christ). This does not deny the words of Consecration spoken by the priest in the name of Christ, but their purpose is to call on and proclaim the power of God which converts the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Jesus’s Body and Blood.

When this prayer is finished the words: “Delictissimi Filii Tui” (of your most dear son) forces the priest to join his hands as if to embrace and hold, our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Qui Pridie” (who on the day) this formula is the most venerable of all because it is almost all taken from the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and St. Paul and especially because it brings about the conversion of the substance of the Body and Soul of Jesus. It produces in an unbloody way the bloody sacrifice of the Supreme Pontiff of Humanity Jesus.

This is the central point around which all the formulas and ceremonies gravitate. It is the most majestic moment of the Mass. The priest, who up to this point acts in the name of Jesus Christ as a minister, now disappears before the Sacred Person of Jesus Himself who comes to repeat the gestures, words, and miracles of the Last Supper. He comes to perform the Supreme “Mysterium Fidei”, Mystery of our Faith.

The priest, after the words of Consecration for the Host and the Chalice, raises them above his head for the purpose of the Congregation to adore. The faithful should raise their eyes to contemplate their God, hidden under the sacramental appearance and afterwards should bow their heads to adore Him. The miracle of Transubstantiation is accomplished.

The simplicity with which we beg for the great miracle of Transubstantiation is similar to that which makes the Holy Scripture so sublime when it records the power of God in the miracle of the Incarnation of the Word in Mary’s womb: “Be it done to me according the Thy Word”, and “the Word was made flesh.” Those who have received the grace and honor of exercising such a subline ministry should remain in perpetual admiration, acknowledging and loving God, Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

The Priesthood is the greatest dignity on earth.

Oh, how great and honorable is the office of priest to whom is given the power to consecrate with the holy words of Consecration the Lord of all majesty to bless Him with their lips, to hold Him in their hands, to receive Him into their mouth, and to minister Him to others. How clean should the hands be, how pure the mouth, how holy the body and how undefiled the heart of a priest into whom so often enters the Author of all cleanness. What ought to proceed from the mouth of a priest should only be words that are holy, honest, and useful. His eyes should be simple and chaste because so often they behold the Body of Christ. Let no priest forget to offer Mass, to execute the noble functions of the Sacred Ministry without first of all seeking his own crucifixion.

To seek the honors and to refuse the sacrifices would expose himself to God’s vengeance. Jesus is the Great Master of all souls; He nourishes them with His Own flesh and blood with His entire self. Let us honor all priests.

There is a true story of a man ordained by St. Francis de Sales. The young man had the privilege of being able to see his Guardian Angel who walked with him in a visible form. Until he became a priest, the Guardian Angel always walked in front of the young man. Once the young man was ordained, the Guardian Angel refused to walk in the front of him and made the new priest go ahead of him.

All of us who receive the Lord into our hearts, how clean we should be, how chaste, how pure. What will become of us if we do not receive Him as well as we can? We are temples of God. How are we to give Him to others if we do not know how to keep Him in ourselves? If we do not pray, do not converse with Christ, how are we to know what He wants from us or what we must do to please Him. We see why there is so much effort lost and fruitless apostolate.

This is because our soul is not in it. He that loves God must love the souls which belong to God. However, we must not give ourselves in a way that is detrimental to our own spiritual/interior life. If we do not fill ourselves with Him first, we will not be able to work fruitfully. We cannot give what we do not possess. We must fill ourselves with Him and then we will be able to give others the overflow of our interior life. We cannot lose ourselves for the sake of saving others.

Following the Consecration of the Chalice, the priest continues, “Unde et Memores (having remembrances.).” He is fulfilling the Lord’s wish and calls to mind the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension. In the “Supra quae (over which things),” the Church reminds God of the three sacrifices of the Old Law which pleased Him: The Sacrifices of Abel, Abraham and Melchizedech. The priest asks God to look favorably on this offering also. Here again we are reminded that both Jesus and us, His Mystical Body are being offered to The Father.

At the word “Supplices (Humbly)” marks the approach of Holy Communion. It speaks of reception by participation at the Altar of the Most Sacred Body and Blood of Thy Son. The Church asks that the oblation be carried by the Angel of the Lord to the Altar on High so that the earthly sacrifice may form One Sacrifice and produce in our souls the effects of Grace.

Next the “Momento (memory)” of the dead. The priest commemorates those who died in the True Faith, for whom the Mass is being offered. He prays that they and all who sleep in the Lord may be granted a place of refreshment, light and peace. These are the Souls in Purgatory. St. Jerome says the Souls in Purgatory do not suffer while the Sacrifice is being offered on their behalf. We should remember the Souls in Purgatory very often, particularly friends and relatives.

The priest goes onto commemorate the Church Militant (the Church on earth) “Nobis quoque peccatoribus” and the Church Triumphant (the Church in Heaven). He prays that the Church Militant be admitted into the company of the Elect through superabundance of the Lord’s Mercy.

Now more of the Elect

The list of Martyrs continues:

St. John the Baptist, the Precursor who prepared the Way of the Lord;

St. Stephen, Protomartyr (First Martyr) who asked for pardon for those who killed him;

Matthias, who was the replacement of Judas Iscariot;

Barnabas, companion of St. Paul, he was martyred by a Blasphemer;

Ignatius of Antioch said he was going to be “ground by the teeth of wild beast to be made into pure bread”; Alexander, a Pope who was in office for 10 years;

Marcellinus, a priest taken three miles away from Rome and beheaded;

Perpetua, a mother and Felicity who was with child. They were both thrown to wild beasts.

The last five are all virgins:

St. Agatha, her breasts were removed because she would not surrender herself to a Roman Pagan. She was healed miraculously by St. Peter. Her virginal veil on multiple occasions extinguished the lava from Mt. Etna which threatened to burn the entire city of Rome. This is how God honored her heroic resistance against the assaults of human passion;

St. Lucy, told her judge: “Pure Hearts are temples of the Holy Ghost. The light (her virginity) in her, she guarded until the very end of her life;

St. Agnes, 13 years old told her executioner: “Strike the blow without fear because a bride would offend her bridegroom if she kept Him waiting;”

St. Cecilia, consecrated her virginity to God as a child. Forced to marry the Pagan Valerian, on the night of the wedding she told Valerian “Do not touch me, I have a Guardian Angel who guards my virginity.” Valerian was converted and when he was baptized, he then saw the Guardian Angel also.

Finally, St. Anastasia was martyred under the persecution of Diocletian. She tended to the tortured Christians while she was in prison with them.

All the martyrs for the True Faith were chosen to confound the powerful of this world. We should all recall their names and outstanding virtues in order to imitate them in this world and live with them in the next.

To be continued in Part VII...