The Incredible Catholic Mass
from Chapter 3
The Mysteries of Holy Mass
The following remarkable incident will serve to illustrate what has just been
said and to kindle in the reader greater devotion toward Holy Mass. We read
in the life of St. John of Facundo, a noted member of the Augustinian Order,
that he never on any account omitted saying Mass, and in fact, urged by his
great longing to offer the Holy Sacrifice and receive Our Lord, he said it every
morning at the earliest hour possible. He was, however, so slow in celebrating
that the server used to go away and leave him at the altar, and at last no one
could be found to serve his Mass.
The Saint then went to the prior, and entreated him to order the brothers to
do so. But the prior spoke sharply to him, saying, "Why do you give the
brothers so much trouble by being so long over your Mass? I shall rather enjoin
upon you henceforth to say Mass like other priests." John did as he was
commanded, but obedience cost him so much that he went again to the prior and,
throwing himself at his feet, begged him to withdraw his command. The prior
would not consent to do this until John had confided to him in Confession the
reasons which made it impossible for him to say Mass more quickly. Having heard
them, he no longer hesitated to tell the brothers that they must serve Father
John's Mass, even though their patience was somewhat taxed. Furthermore, the
prior, having obtained permission from the Saint, communicated his secret to
another father, to whom he said: "You may believe me when I say that the
reason why our Father John says Mass so slowly is that God reveals to him the
profound mysteries that are accomplished in the Mass - mysteries so sublime
that no human intelligence is capable of grasping them. The secrets he disclosed
to me concerning them were of so tremendous a nature that I was overwhelmed
with awe and almost swooned. It is certain that Christ frequently manifests
Himself visibly to this father, speaking with him as one speaks to a friend,
and showing him His five sacred wounds, from which proceeds a light of exceeding
brightness, which, shed upon the Saint, quickens both body and soul, so that
he experiences no need of earthly nourishment. He also beholds the Body of Christ
shining like the sun at noonday and perceives its infinite beauty and glory.
Such are the lofty and divine things he is privileged to know, mysteries which
it is not given to man to fathom, much less to utter. Since I have thus been
made aware of the immense benefits accruing to mankind by the celebrating or
assisting at Mass, I have made a firm resolution never to omit saying or hearing
Mass and to do my utmost to induce others to do the same." From these noteworthy
words which the prior uttered we see clearly that solemn mysteries are contained
in the Holy Mass and we ought to reverence it most profoundly.
from Chapter 4
In the Holy Mass Christ Renews His Incarnation
In the preceding chapter the mysteries of Holy Mass were only slightly touched
upon; we will now take each in turn, expanding it more closely and explaining
it more fully.
The sublime mystery of the Incarnation is the first to claim our attention.
I will begin by adducing the testimony of the learned and pious Marchantius
to prove that every time Mass is said the Incarnation of the Son of God is renewed.
He writes: "What is the Mass if not a forcible and complete re-presentation,
nay, renewal, of the Incarnation, the birth, the life, the sufferings and the
death of Christ, and the redemption that He wrought?" With this statement,
wonderful as it is, and almost past our comprehension, some persons will perhaps
not agree. In order, therefore, to prove beyond doubt that it is true, we will
proceed to show, in this chapter, after what manner Christ becomes incarnate
anew whenever Holy Mass is celebrated.
We know how great, how vast, how inexpressible was the benefit God in His loving-kindness
bestowed on mankind when the Eternal Word, for the sake of man and of his salvation,
came down from Heaven, by the operation of the Holy Ghost became incarnate in
the womb of the Virgin Mary and took upon Himself our human nature. This incomprehensible
mystery it is which the priest adores when, in the Creed, at the words, Et
incarnatus est -- "He was made man" -- he does not merely bow
his head, but he bends his knee in reverent awe, returning thanks to the Giver
of all good for condescending thus deeply to abase Himself.
Holy Church in her wisdom has ordained that every year, throughout the season
of Advent, all the Faithful should meditate upon this infinite benefit, devoutly
adore the mystery of the Incarnation and render thanks to God for His goodness,
as is indeed our bounden duty. For in thus becoming incarnate, Christ won for
us such great graces, in His human Body He did and suffered so much for us,
that eternity will not be long enough to render Him the thanks that are His
But, marvel of marvels, Christ did not content Himself with merely becoming
man once for all. In order daily and hourly to renew and increase the satisfaction
which His Eternal Father and the Holy Ghost have before all time derived from
the contemplation of this mystery, in the fullness of His divine wisdom, He
devised and instituted the Sublime Mystery of the Mass, in which His Incarnation
is renewed as definitely as if in reality it again took place; nay, it does
actually take place again, although in a mystic manner. For this we have the
authority of the Catholic Church, for in the Secret prayers for the ninth Sunday
after Pentecost we read: "As often as the rememberance of this victim is
celebrated, so often is the work of our Redemption carried on." The words
are not: "So often is the work of our Redemption re-presented." but,
"So often is the work of our redemption carried on." And what is this
work of our redemption but the Incarnation, the birth, the Passion and the death
of Jesus Christ? All of which are in reality accomplished and renewed every
time the Mass is celebrated.
To this St. Augustine also bears testimony: "How great the dignity of
a priest," he says, "in whose hands Christ again becomes man! O celestial
mystery, wrought in so marvelous a manner by God the Father and by the Holy
Ghost through the instrumentality of the priest!" St. John Damascene says:
"If I am asked how bread is changed into the Body of Christ, I answer:
The Holy Ghost overshadows the priest and operates that in the elements which
He effected in the womb of the Virgin Mary." Again, we find the same clearly
stated by St. Bonaventure in these words: "God appears to do no less a
thing when He deigns daily to descend from Heaven upon our altars than He did
when He came down from Heaven and took upon Himself our human nature."
These remarkable words of the seraphic doctor, the meaning of which it is impossible
to mistake, warrant us in asserting that Christ performs as great a miracle
in every Mass that is celebrated as He did when He became man, more than 1900
Taken from The
Incredible Catholic Mass by TAN
Books & Publishers, Inc.
Other pages discussing Catholic
doctrine and history:
- Our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Sacred Heart
of Jesus - Learn all about this beautiful devotion to Our Lord.
- The Shroud of Our Lord -
Discusses the convroversy over the Shroud of Turin - is it real or a forgery? Evidence points to its authenticity.
- Infinite Mercy of Jesus - Learn how
the Heart of Jesus has a strong desire to love and pardon sinners who sincerely return to Him.
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
- Immaculate, pure, and our most powerful intercessor after Our Lord
- The Holy Slavery
- To Jesus, through Mary -- the same way Jesus came to us (through His Mother)
- Edifying and Beautiful -
Learn about God's Providence in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, her graces and merits, the details of her life!
- Our Lady of Fatima - Her predictions and warning for the future.
- Saints who Saw Mary
- Tells the story of 17 great Saints who saw and heard the Blessed Mother, whom they were so devoted to!
- History and Culture
- Wearing Pants Incites Men to Lust
- Learn how women's fashions have corrupted, how evil forces are behind most modern fashions, and much more! Includes practical advice.
- How to Run a Catholic Family
- Discusses how to bring the Catholic Faith into family life! How the family can best celebrate feast days, and make use of good Catholic customs.
- A TRUE History Book -
This premise of this history book: The coming of Jesus Christ was the most important event in history.
- Catholic History Workbook -
Fascinating; hard to put down! It makes more sense of History than secular books which explain things in a disjointed manner.
- Homeschooling Workbook -
With questions for every chapter of Christ in the Americas - multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, and more!
- Crisis in the Church
- Read about St. Athanasius - faithful and courageous, known as the "champion of orthodoxy". One of the 33 Doctors of the Church!
- St. Athanasius - The great defender of the Catholic Faith against Arianism
- Crisis in the Church - How the enemies of God plot to overthrow the Church from within.
- Revolution in the Church - How Vatican II and its aftermath caused a crisis in the Catholic Church.
- Freemasonry - Pope Leo XIII unmasks this evil society, and forbids all Catholics to join.
- Combination of ALL Heresies - Pope St. Pius X unmasks the Modernists, giving us their doctrine and methods!
- Vatican II - Impartially discusses what happened at Vatican II -- mostly quotes from the men that were there!
- Fascinating if true - A man's deathbed confession.
- St. Therese, the Little Flower
- St. Therese the Little Flower - Under obedience, she tells the story of her childhood, religious life, etc.
- Mother of St. Therese - Learn about the woman who raised 5 saintly daughters, all of which entered the religious life!
- Father of St. Therese - Learn about the man who let the holy family of Lisieux so well, that his 5 daughters entered a convent!
- From the Sister of St. Therese - In her biography, she writes many things not found in
Story of a Soul.
- Lives of the Saints
- Learned Mystic and Theologian -
St. John of the Cross suffered greatly, even prison, for the Carmelite Reform. Father of the Discalced Carmelites.
- Beautiful story of a young girl -
Anne de Guigne was clever and passionate, yet practiced humility and all the other virtues -- and she died at the age of 10.
- Refuge for Billions of Catholics -
Catholics have always prayed to these saints in their necessities. St. Blaise, St. Christopher, etc. Includes countless novenas!
- St. Anne - Grandmother of Our Lord -
According to Ven. Mary of Agreda, she possessed all the virtues, especially purity. Learn more about her!
- Young Italian Maiden -
Who suffered the Stigmata every Friday, and was pious from her youth. St. Gemma Galgani, called the "Gem of Christ"
- Heroic Chastity -
Read how St. Maria Goretti had to give up her life to preserve her purity! She is called the patroness of youth.
- All Glory to Almighty God -
Well documented cases of the miraculous taken from the lives of the Saints. Fascinating!
- Defeated Persian Sorcerers -
The glorious life of St. Jude Thaddeus, Apostle and cousin of Our Lord, as taken from ancient Catholic traditions.
- Angels and Devils -
Learn all that Scripture and Tradition teaches us about the pure spirits God created. Fascinating and enlightening!
- Life of Mary Magdalen - Learn fascinating details of her life that you didn't know before! From the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich.
- The Angel of the Judgment
- At a critical point in Church history, his preaching and miracles served as a warning of impending chastisement.
- Miracles All His Life -
The miraculous was very common in the life of St Gerard Majella, great saint and Patron of Expectant Mothers.
- Eyewitness to Gospel events -
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich saw so many biblical events in her visions. Be inspired and edified by her virtuous life!
- United with Jesus Christ -
She suffered for souls and for the Church, and received countless visions all her life. One man wrote down her visions for YOUR sake!
- Never a Moment Wasted
- this zealous missionary and client of Our Lady is a model for all Catholics. Read about his saintly life.
- She saw her Guardian Angel
- this innocent girl tells us the story of her saintly life -- beautiful, inspiring!
- Servants of Satan
Establish Paganism - Astrology, witchcraft, and countless systems of idolatry
set up after the Confusion of Tongues.
- Fervent Catholic Indians - Father De Smet was like an Apostle, suffering greatly to bring the True Religion to the Native American peoples.
- Classic Sermons for Lent - On the Last Things, aimed at moving you to serve God even more
faithfully. By St. Francis de Sales.
- Those Who Met St. Padre
Pio - Stories of conversions, miracles, etc. from those who met this living Crucifix. Recently canonized.
- Beat Up by the Devil
- This great Saint had prophetic visions in the form of dreams, and often physically struggled with the devil.
- Life of St Gertrude
- Our Lord appeared to her many times, and she was much loved by Him because of her purity.
- Jesus Dearly Loved Her
- Because of her love and confidence in him, her heart was His favorite place to dwell, after the Blessed Sacrament.
- The Dolorous Passion - Giving never before seen details of Our Lord's Passion! From
the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich.
- Braving the English
Torture - St. Margaret Clitherow was a wife and mother - and she kept the Faith even to martyrdom!
- Details of The Good Thief - Learn about his life with a gang of brigands, how he helped the
Holy Family, and much more.
- Classic Catholic Sermons - You won't fall asleep here! Sermons by a Doctor of the Church, filled with energy and the spirit of Faith.
- Miracles Taking Place Today - St. Philomena is famous for the number of miracles surrounding her shrine - here are some of them.
- Isabella of Spain - A holy Catholic queen, and a valiant defender of Christ's kingdom.
- St Anthony - the Wonder Worker - His life was filled with proofs that God was with him.
- St Vincent de Paul - famous for his charities, this great Saint was canonized only 77 years after his death!
- The Cure of Ars - Three of him could destroy the devil's kingdom! Read about his physical struggles with Satan.
- St. Rita - Nothing is impossible with God! Her life is an example for us all, especially to mothers.
- Sermons of St. Francis de Sales - Here he speaks all about the kinds of prayer.
Learn what (and what not) to do!
- St. Teresa of Avila - She founded many convents, which were to adhere to the strict observance of the Carmelite Rule.
- St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Known for her generosity to the poor
- Alexandrina - A victim soul who suffered the Passion on Fridays
- The Spiritual Life
- Jesus, Prisoner of Love
- Meditations on the most beautiful doctrine of the Catholic Faith - the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
- Spiritual Exercises
- Written by a great saint, these meditations have converted millions of souls.
- Manual of the Spiritual Life - Your duties as a penitent toward your confessor/spiritual director.
- Lessons from Calvary - 31 meditations on Our Lord's Passion that will help you to easily avoid sin.
- Finding Peace of Heart
- Only by knowing how to follow God's will, can a person be truly happy.
- Strategy for Getting to Heaven - We must learn how the devil works on us, how to avoid his snares, to win the "War for our Souls".
- How to Fight the Deadly Sins - Timeless advice on how to combat each of the Capital sins.
- A Manual for Confession -
How to benefit from the Sacrament of Penance: common pitfalls, scruples, how to make a good exam of conscience, and much more.
- Seven Deadly Sins -
Learn about the different forms of pride, avarice, lust, anger, envy, gluttony and sloth.
- How to Pray Well -
How we should pray to God - with confidence, perseverance, simplicity. Advice from St. Alphonsus Liguori!
- Marriage & Family
- How to Raise Good Catholic Children - With examples from the saints and wise and thoughtful commentary - a must-read for every parent!
- Haunted by Children She Aborted - Testimony from her own mouth: how she had 7 abortions, and how her life changed afterward.
- Catholic Doctrine on Marriage - Common sources of marital strife and how to avoid them, the differences between the sexes, periodic abstinence, and more.
- Your Labor of Love - The author talks about isolation, sufferings, the modern culture, and more.
- Spiritual Growth during Pregnancy - How expecting a child can bring a woman closer to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Includes much practical advice.
- St. Joseph
- St. Joseph - After Our Lady, the holiest mere man who ever lived
- Privileges of St. Joseph - Why St. Joseph receives so much honor in the Church
- Novenas to St. Joseph -
Universal Patron - Pray to St. Joseph for all of your needs - Jesus, now in Heaven, still listens to him as a father!
- The Last Things/Afterlife
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- Life Everlasting - Discusses death, judgment, heaven and hell; also the vices and virtues
- Beyond the Grave -
What we know about Purgatory from sacred history and the lives of the saints.
- Peaceful Rest or Almost Like Hell? - Discusses the two opposing Catholic viewpoints on the subject of Purgatory.
- Purgatory - Learn what the Catholic Church has always taught on this subject.
- What Will Hell be Like? - Discusses the sufferings of Hell in detail.
- Eternity of Hell - Including a story from a soul who was sent there!
- Catholic Doctrine and Dogma
- What is Sanctifying Grace? -
Learn all about the nature of Grace, what it does for us, how to increase it in our souls, and its importance.
- Catholic Dogma of Grace - God's grace vs. man's ability to merit for his actions.
- Sin and Forgiveness - True Catholic doctrine with quotes from Scripture and the Fathers.
- The Intellect of the Angels - What Catholic theology says about the angels.
- Simple Easy-to-Understand Catechism - For Catholics to better learn their faith, or to give to possible converts.
- Sodomy Condemned -
The Catholic Church has always condemned this unnatural vice - see proofs from the Magisterium, Church laws, Scripture, canons, and more!
- The Mass Keeps the World in Existence - and other lofty considerations; helps Catholics
appreciate the real value of the Mass.
- The Catholic Mass - Why it is so priceless; relates actual events which prove it!
- The Catholic Faith - Easy to read and follow, using the most solid Catholic doctrine. Very thorough.
- What Does The Bible Say About Marriage? - Find all Bible quotes about "Anger", for example, gathered into one page.
- Defending the Faith/Apologetics
- The REAL Luther - From the pens of Protestant historians, and Luther's own (foul) mouth -
learn about the real man.
- The Faith of our Fathers - A topic-by-topic explanation of what the Catholic Faith teaches. Great for apologetics!
- The Bible Explained - Why were all those various stories placed in the Bible for us to read? Here is why!
- How Christ Changed Society - Compare the ancient world with the world influenced by Christ.
- Scripture Alone for Salvation? - Even the Bible itself denies this! Read 21 compelling
reasons why Tradition is also necessary.
- The Bible is a Catholic book - Convincing arguments show clearly that criticism of the Catholic Church has no truthful basis! Excellent apologetics based on history.
- Defend Catholic Dogmas - Find rational arguments for what Catholics believe.
- Theory of Evolution
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A learned scientist discovers that there is no evidence FOR Evolution, but plenty AGAINST it!
- Proofs against Evolution -
Plenty of evidence against Evolution is out there, but it is often ignored by the media. Fascinating!
- Evolution is a
Fraud - So say countless biologists and scientists! Read more...
- King of Jerusalem
- Balwin IV of Jerusalem leads the Crusaders in this exciting novel.
- Exciting Adventures
- Tom Playfair and his friends at a Jesuit boarding school. Exciting, Catholic, fun!
- More Catholic Adventures
- written by Fr. Finn - Percy Wynn meets Tom Playfair and friends, and enters the boarding school (St. Maure's).
- Perpetual Motion Boy
- The Fr. Finn boarding school universe expands with Claude Lightfoot and other interesting characters.
- That Football Game
- written by Fr. Finn - Which is more important? English class, a math competition, or an upcoming football game?
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