Thursday, September 17, 2009


It was Sunday morning over breakfast in the dining room while the parochial vicar was having Mass and over the intercom the words of institution were heard. It put me in mind of this picture from the CCD book I had growing up. As a side note I mention that I remember this picture so distinctly. We were a little bit behind the times in our materials but I am glad for it because it worked for me. I remember these pictures so well (obviously I remember them to this day!) and the pictures in the Stations of the Cross booklets and even as a child was so disappointed when we switched to modern books with bright colors and cartoon figures that for me failed to engage the imagination. To this day I am disappointed in the breviary and many of the other liturgical books the art of which I derogatorily refer to as Playschool symbols. However they must work for somebody – who knows, maybe even most people.

But I digress.

Hearing the Mass over the intercom put me in mind of the picture above and how we were taught that at all times somewhere in the world the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was being offered. The thought came again during a Mass at which I was celebrant that owing to the different paces at which various which priests celebrate, the different times at which Mass might be begin, time zones, late starts, private Masses begun at odd moments of the hour that there cannot be a single moment of the entire day at which any part of the Mass is not being celebrated. Even at this moment as you read this hundreds of hands of priests are elevating the Blessed Sacrament and hundreds of priest voices are intoning, “Through Him, with Him, in Him, . . .” uniting mankind with the Father in a continuous offering to Him for our sake and that of the whole world.


And I remembered our CCD teacher telling us that at any moment we can unite ourselves to that great offering in a spiritual way at any moment of the day no matter what we were doing – and especially if we are faced with temptation. The writing under the above picture states, “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered every hour somewhere in the word. Wherever he is, a Catholic knows that whatever he may be doing he can join spiritually in the Holy Sacrifice.”

I am chuckling as I say to myself, “I should keep this in mind and do it sometime.” Why not do it right now? “Lord, I wish to be united to the one Mass being offered around the word and throughout time. May it be a sacrificed holy and pleasing to You, a ready remedy for our sins, and a strengthening of our covenantal bond through Christ our Lord.”


Adoro said...

Thank you. I really needed to read this this morning.

Also, I'm with you on the crappy bright pictures and microsoft-style boring pictures.

We've lost a sense of real art and how it elevates us to the First Artist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Father, for this wonderful meditation.

Michelle said...

Oh yes, I would love a breviary without the insipid art. I learned to illuminate a few years back and have started an illuminated version of Compline. It's not a quick project (more than a year and counting...)

Between the Liturgy of the Hours and the Mass, our prayer is unceasing!