Monday, March 22, 2010

Understanding Catholic Mass

I decided since there is so much to the Mass to understand and I really don't know very much myself, I would start studying and looking up different things about the Mass. What words mean, why certain things are done and why certain things are just the way they are. I am going to try to make this a new category on my blog. I hope it will help you as I am sure it is going to help me.

I am starting out with the word; Mass

Mass is the  Sacrifice of the Eucharist.  It is the main act of worship of the Catholic Church.  The word Mass comes from the word  missio (sending), from which Christians are sent out to put into practice what they have learned and use the graces they have received in the Eucharistic liturgy.

At the council of Trent the Mass was defined as  "The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner." The Mass is a truly appeasing sacrifice where  God grants grace and the gift of repentance. It is where He pardons our  wrongdoings and sins, even grave ones. For it is one and the same victim as at Calvary. He who now makes the offering through the ministry of priests and he who then offered himself on the cross.  The only difference is the manner of the offering.

It is a re-presentation  because Christ is really present, in heaven and on the altar, he is able now as he was on Good Friday of freely offering himself to the Father. He can no longer die because he now has a glorified body, but the essence of his offering of His body and blood, soul and divinity remains the same.

The Mass is also a memorial. Christ's death is commemorated not only as a psychological remembrance but as a mystical reality. He voluntarily offers himself, the eternal high priest, just  as he did on Calvary.

 Mass is a divine way of applying the merits of Calvary. Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification. At Mass we receive God's graces won at Calvary.

The Mass is a banquet, a celebration. The priest is needed because of his holy calling to pray the Eucharistic prayer and change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ but we are also needed. Our participation is needed and brings glory to God.

When we are at Mass, it is not about entertainment. It is not about how good the music or sermon is, though, those are nice. The Mass is about our coming to Christ, our communing with Christ. It is about what Jesus did at Calvary and continues to do every day, offer himself for us. I think when I remember those things and that I am there to pray and worship,not be entertained,  I find I am participating more fully and am brought more closely to the Lord.

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Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain