CH#II iii THIRD METHOD ON HEARING MASS
VI. The third method of hearing Holy Mass with fruit, consists of a middle course between the two just mentioned. This last method does not require as many vocal prayers as are used in the first ; nor such a sublime spirit of contemplation as is necessary for the second; but, if you consider the matter well, you shall find that this third method is more in accordance with the spirit of the Church, which invites us to unite our intention with that of the Celebrant, who is obliged to offer up the Most Holy Sacrifice for the four ends mentioned in the preceding chapter. Now, since you yourself exercise, in a certain manner, the office of priest, when you assist at Holy Mass, you ought to apply yourself, as much as possible, to the consideration of these four duties. This may be easily accomplished if you but make the four offerings which we shall now explain. The better to put this method in practice, carry for some time with you this little book, till you have learned by heart the offerings here indicated ; or, at least, till you have become well imbued with their sense, for it is not necessary to confine yourself to the mere words.
In order that you may hear Mass with all possible respect and devotion, at the beginning of the Holy Sacrifice, whilst the Priest is humbling himself at the foot of the Altar reciting the Confiteor briefly examine your conscience and form in your heart an act of true contrition, and imploring the assistance of the Holy Ghost, ask pardon of God for all your sins. Then divide the Mass into four parts, the better to acquit yourself of the four great debts you owe to God. The method is as follows: pg.63.
VII. In the first part, which is from the beginning of Mass to the Gospel, you will strive to acquit yourself of the first debt, which consists in adoring and praising the Majesty of God, Who is worthy of infinite honor and praise. Wherefore humble yourself with Jesus, and descending into the depth of your own nothingness, humbly acknowledge it in the sight of His infinite Majesty, and deeply penetrated with the sense of your unworthiness, say to Him : “ O my God, I adore Thee and acknowledge Thee for my Lord and for the Master of my soul: I protest that all I am and have are from Thee. And since Thy supreme Majesty deserves infinite honor and homage, while I am a poor miserable creature, utterly incapable of paying so great a debt, I offer up to Thee the humiliation and the homage which Jesus renders to Thee on Thy Altar. That which Jesus does, I desire also to do; I humble and abase myself with Him before Thy Majesty. I adore Thee with the same sentiments of humiliation with which Jesus adores Thee, I rejoice with all my heart, in thinking of the infinite submission which this Divine Savior undergoes for me.”
Then, close the book, and continue interiorly the same acts, rejoicing to think that God is thus infinitely honored, and repeat over and over again : ” Yes, my God I delight in the infinite honor which results to Thy Majesty from this Most Holy Sacrifice ; I rejoice exceedingly in it, and I experience a satisfaction and happiness greater than I can express.” It is not at all necessary that you should repeat these prayers word for word. You may freely use whatever words your devotion will suggest. Above all, be profoundly recollected and united to God, and you will thus have paid, to the last farthing, your first debt towards His infinite Majesty.
VIII. In the second part, that is, from the Gospel to the Elevation, you will discharge your second debt. Casting a glance over your most grievous sins and recognizing the immense debt which you have contracted towards the Divine Justice, say with sentiments of profound humility :
“Behold, my God, this traitor who has so many times rebelled against Thee. Alas! pierced with grief, I abhor and detest with all my heart my innumerable sins; I offer in atonement for them the same satisfaction which Jesus offers on the altar. I offer to Thee all the merits of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus, His whole self, God and Man at the same time, Who in quality of victim deigns still to renew His Sacrifice in my favor. And since He becomes, on this altar, my Mediator and Advocate, imploring Thee to pardon me through His Most Precious Blood, I unite my voice with that of His Adorable Blood, and I implore Thy mercy for so many enormous sins which I have committed* The Blood of Jesus cries for mercy, and my heart, pierced with sorrow, cries also for mercy. O God of my heart ! if my tears move Thee not, let the groans of my Jesus move Thee. Why should He not obtain for me the same mercy which He obtained for the whole human race on the Cross I Yes, my God ! I hope that in virtue of this most Precious Blood, Thou wilt pardon all my iniquities ; and I will continue to deplore them to the last breath of my life. “Then shutting the book, repeat these acts of a true and a lively sorrow for your sins, and giving full scope to the affections of your heart, say from your inmost soul :
“O dearest Jesus! give me the tears of St. Peter, the contrition of St. Mary Magdalen, and the grief of all the Saints, who, from sinners became true penitents, in order, that by the merits of this Holy Sacrifice I may obtain the entire pardon of all my sins.” pg.65.
Make many acts of this sort, keeping yourself in profound recollection, and be assured that in this way you will fully discharge the debt entailed by your many grievous sins.
IX. In the third part of the Mass, that is, from the Elevation to the Communion, recall to mind the great and manifold blessings received from God, offer to Him, in return, a victim of infinite value, namely, the Body and Precious Blood of Jesus Christ ; and invite all the Angels and Saints of Heaven to unite with you in thanking God in the following or similar words:
” Behold me, O dearest Lord, here crushed down under the weight of the general and particular benefits which Thou deign to lavish on me, and which Thou art still disposed to bestow on me in time and eternity. Thy mercies towards me are, indeed, infinite; yet I am ready to pay Thee all even to the last farthing. In return for all that I owe Thee, I present to Thee, by the hands of the priest, this most adorable Body, this most Precious Blood, this innocent Victim. I am sure that this offering is sufficient to repay all the gifts which Thou hast bestowed on me.
This gift of infinite value is alone worth all the gifts which I have hitherto received, which I continue to receive at each moment, and which I am yet to receive from Thee. pg.67.
” Angels of God, and all ye blessed inhabitants of heaven, help me to thank my God, and to offer Him in thanksgiving for so many benefits, not only this, but all the Masses which are actually being celebrated throughout the whole world ; in order that I may thus make a full return for all the graces which He has bestowed on me, for those which He at present bestows, and for all those which He will bestow on me for endless ages. Amen,”
With what a sweet complacency will this God of goodness receive these marks of such affectionate gratitude. Oh, how pleased He will be with this offering, which, being of infinite value, is worth more than the entire world. And, in order to excite more and more these pious sentiments in your heart, invite all Heaven to thank God for you ; invoke all those Saints to whom you feel a particular devotion, and say to them in the fullness of your heart :
” O you my holy patrons, return thanks to the goodness of my God, so that I may not live and die in ingratitude. Beseech Him to accept my good will, and to have regard to the loving thanks which my Jesus offers to Him for me in Thy most Holy Sacrifice.”
Continue in these pious sentiments and frequently repeat this prayer ; and be assured that in this manner you will fully acquit yourself of the infinite thanks due to God for ail His benefits. You will do well to recite every day, for this end, the “ Morning Offering” which can be found at the end of this little book, in order to offer to God not only your daily actions, but also all the Masses celebrated in the entire world.
X. In the fourth part of Mass, from the Communion to the end, while the priest communicates sacramentally, make a Spiritual Communion in the manner which will be explained at the end of this chapter ; keep your thoughts fixed on God . Who is now spiritually within you ; ask of Him with a lively faith all the graces of which you stand in need ; for it is at this moment that Jesus giver Himself to you, and it is He Who prays and supplicates for you. Enlarge your heart then, and put no limit to your desires, but ask of God the greatest graces, since the offering of His Divine Son which you have just made to Him is of infinite price. Say to Him with a profound humility: pg.69.
** I know, O my God, that I am unworthy of Thy favors : I sincerely confess my extreme unworthiness; I deserve not to be heard on account of the multitude and enormity of my sins. But canst Thou reject the prayer which Thy Divine Son addresses to Thee from this altar, on which He offers to Thee, in my behalf. His Life and His Blood. Accept, O my God, the prayer of Him Who pleads in my favor before Thy adorable Majesty ; and for His sake, grant me all the graces which Thou know to be necessary for me to succeed in the great affair of my salvation. Now, more than ever, am I emboldened to ask of Thee a general pardon of my sins, and the grace of final perseverance. Trusting, moreover, in the merits and intercession of my Jesus, I ask of Thee, my God, all the virtues necessary for me, and efficacious means of becoming a Saint. I ask of Thee, besides, the conversion of unbelievers, of all sinners, and especially of those with whom I am united by the ties of blood or friendship. I also implore Thee to grant the liberation, not of one soul only, but of all the souls actually detained in Purgatory. Deliver them all in virtue of this most Holy Sacrifice, that they may no longer remain in that place of torment and expiation. Convert all sinners, in order that this miserable world may become a Paradise of delights for Thy Sacred Heart, and that, after having loved, praised, blessed and adored Thee in time, we may praise and glorify Thee for all eternity in heaven. Amen.”
Ask with confidence ; ask for yourself, your friends and neighbors; ask assistance in all your necessities, both temporal and spiritual; ask also in behalf of Holy Church, the fullness of all good, and relief from all evils.
Do not ask for any of these things with indifference, but rather with a great confidence, being convinced, that your prayers, united with those of Jesus, will be heard.
After Mass make an act of thanksgiving in these words of the Church : ” We give Thee thanks, almighty God, for all Thy benefits, who live and reign world without end. Amen.” Leave the Church in a spirit of compunction as if you were returning from Calvary. pg.70.
Now tell me, if all the Masses at which you have assisted up to the present, had been heard by you in this manner, with how many graces would you not have enriched your soul ? Ah, what a loss have you not suffered in assisting at so great a Sacrifice with so little piety, looking about, and observing who was coming in, or going out ; sometimes even talking, and permitting yourself to be overcome by drowsiness, or, at most, in muttering some vocal prayer without attention or recollection. Take, then, the resolution of embracing this pleasing and easy method of hearing Mass with profit and devotion. Rest assured that by this means your soul will be enriched with singular graces and benedictions; you will conceive a higher esteem for the august Sacrifice of the Mass, and never again will it occur to you to think or say that, ” A Mass more or less is of no consequence.” End Chapter II, iv Pg.71.
THE HIDDEN TREASURE – Chapter 4 July 27, 2019
OR, THE VALUE AND EXCELLENCE OF THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS;WITH PRACTICAL AND DEVOUT METHODS OF HEARING IT WITH PROFIT;
by ST. LEONARD OF PORT MAURICE, Of the Order of St, Francis,
Daily Indulgence prayer: #153 An indulgence of _ days. A Plenary indulgence once a month for daily recital of this invocation, on condition of confession, a visit to some church or public oratory and prayer for the intentions of the sovereign Pontiff. )S.P. Ap., Apr. 23, 1932). ROCCOLTA pg.87-88.
“As the heart panteth after the water-springs, so panteth my soul after Thee o’God!”