|"I declare, to me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses forever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words, it is a great ACTION - the greatest action that can be on earth. It is not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before Whom the angels bow and devils tremble. This is that awful event which is the end and is the interpretation of every part of the solemnity. Words are necessary, but as means, not as ends; they are not mere addresses to the throne of grace, they are instruments of what is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They hurry on, as if impatient to fulfil their mission. Quickly they go - the whole is quick; for they are all parts of one integral action. Quickly they pass, for the Lord Jesus goes with them, as He passed along the lake in the days of His flesh, quickly calling first one and then another. Quickly they pass, because as the lightning which shineth from one part of the heaven unto the other, so is the coming of the Son of man. Quickly they pass; for they are as the words of Moses, when the Lord came down in the cloud, calling on the name of the Lord as He passed by: 'The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth.' And as Moses on the mountain, so we, too, 'make haste and bow our heads to the earth, and adore.' So we, all around, each in his place, looking out for the great Advent, 'waiting for the moving of the water,' each in his place, with his own heart, with his own wants, with his own thoughts, with his own intentions, with his own prayers, separate but concordant, watching what is going on, watching its progress, uniting in its consummation; not painfully and hopelessly following a hard form of prayer from beginning to end, but like a concert of musical instruments, each differing but concurring in a sweet harmony, we take our part with God's priest, supporting him, yet guided by him. There are little children there, and old men, and simple laborers, and students in seminaries, priests preparing for Mass, priests making their thanksgiving; there are innocent maidens, and there are penitent sinners; but out of these many minds rises one eucharistic hymn, and the great Action is the measure and the scope of it."|
Last modified 23rd April 1999, by David Joyce.