The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is sublime worship. It’s the greatest way of providing worship to God; and He deserves worship in the way that He established it.
By Hector Duarte
19 February 2021
It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.St. Padre Pio
Every Catholic who is bound by the law must attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. Some people don’t appreciate these supernatural gifts. They see them as burdens. God, by His infinite knowledge, and out of pure love, knows and wants what is best for us. He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins and created the Mass. He also instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper when He commanded His apostles to do the re-presentation of the sacrifice in His memory. During Mass, we’re transported to the foot of the Cross in Calvary and given the gift of being able to be in His presence. He allows us to partake in this Sacrifice daily, be able to grow in holiness, and be united with the creator of Heaven and Earth. It’s a great gift, completely undeserved. Sadly, it’s sometimes not valued but taken for granted. No activity on earth is greater than attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
It is a Re-Presentation of Calvary
There’s a difference between saying that Mass is a representation of the Sacrifice and that Mass is a re-presentation. If we were to refer to it as a representation only, we would be implying that God isn’t there physically. It would be just bread and wine. So rather, we say that it’s a re-presentation. This makes God fully present in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is God, the Bread of Life, and the center of our lives. Without Him, we would not have life within us. He is truly present, “hidden” under the accidents (i.e., physical appearance, e.g., the smell, taste, color, etc.) of bread and wine. However, as earlier discussed here, we can prove, by using reason and revelation, that God is present in the Eucharist.
An Old Tradition
In the Catholic Church, there are 24 different rites, one Latin (Roman), and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. When the Orthodox separated from the Catholic Church after the Great Schism, some of them declared publicly their loyalty to the Pope, the successor of Peter. They wanted to retain their Traditions for celebrating the Liturgy while being in full communion with The Holy See. Therefore, since they’re part of the One True Church, one can attend their Liturgies and receive the Sacraments from them, even if one isn’t part of their rite. That is the beauty of the One True Church. We’re one, as Jesus intended it to be. However, one has to be careful. Verify that the Church is Catholic and of an Eastern rite, not an Orthodox Church. They might look similar, but the Orthodox churches are in schism. While they have valid sacraments, we can’t licitly receive sacraments from them regularly.
The Latin rite was reformed after the Second Vatican Council. For the first time, the Latin Church had a new form of celebrating the Mass. The old form of the Latin rite was banned after the Council. It was restored by His Holiness, Pope (now, Emeritus) Benedict XVI, in the year 2007 with the Apostolic Letter, “Summorum Pontificum“. He declared in the letter that the priests could celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in either the ordinary (the “new” Mass) or extraordinary form (the old Mass, before the Council). This adds a lot to the beautiful history and tradition of the Church. Regardless of the rite or form you attend, ultimately, it’s the same living Liturgy, Latria, and obedience to the same One True God in His One True Catholic and Apostolic Church that He founded in 33 A.D.
Mass Sanctifies Us and Brings Us Closer to God
Understanding what happens at Mass makes us appreciate it for what it is. Many people have testified that their lives have been transformed positively through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That’s why I invite you to attend daily Mass, which lasts for about 40 minutes. It’s the fuel for our lives, which will help to increase, through the Graces provided by Our Lord, our theological virtues, of Faith, Hope, and Charity.
If you’re a Catholic in a state of grace, you can receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Sacrament of the Eucharist provides Sanctifying Grace that draws us closer to our Lord. It gives us the needed strength to keep His Commandments.
However, if you’re not Catholic, going to Mass can still be beneficial. The Lord can work through the experience by providing Actual Grace that will bring you closer to Him and help you to discern Catholicism and bring you to full communion with His Church. Many who have converted to Catholicism started their conversion journey at Mass.
If you are a Catholic but not in a State of Grace, He can encourage repentance for our sins and prepare us in a deeper way for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (which we should go to frequently, once a year minimum and whenever we need it,) and also, if it is a Mass that has to be attended under the precepts of the Church, even if in a state of mortal sin, one still has the obligation to attend, and not receive the Lord. Failing to do so would be another mortal sin, which of course is not good.
The Highest Form of Worship and Instituted by Christ
It’s noteworthy that Mass isn’t just an earthly gathering to pray. This is one of the biggest differences between the churches of our separated protestant brothers and sisters. Our worship is supernatural. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest way of providing Latria (worship) to God! Some people say it’s too repetitive for them, so they prefer not to attend. It’s important to understand that not everything is about us. Remember that love is a decision, not a feeling. We must give to God what He deserves. He deserves the worship in the way that He established it. We’re encouraged to worship Him outside of the context of Mass in any way we prefer that is pleasing to Him. However, with liturgy, we need to be humble. Even if we were not to like it, it’s not our way, but God’s way. The reality is that when we finally understand that Mass is the highest way of worship on earth, it becomes the most important event in our lives. When we finally understand the roles that every part in the Mass play, we appreciate its importance and beauty. It no longer seems repetitive.
Even though every Mass is structured essentially the same way, it’s a unique experience of the same sacrifice, offered by Jesus Christ, through the priest, in persona Christi, to God the Father. Every Mass is an opportunity to get closer to God. The readings and gospel change daily. Every year, we go through the life of Jesus in the liturgical calendar, marked by seasons of preparation, sorrow, joy, and glory. We’re complete partakers of the Holy Mysteries when we fully engage, live, and meditate on His life. If you attended Mass every day for three years, you would hear a majority of the entire Bible with great reflections from the Homilies. They teach how to live according to Christ’s teachings. Most importantly, we would receive our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Having a Deep Understanding of the Mass
We invite you to join us here at Joy in Truth to explore a series of yet-to-be-published helpful articles that will give a deeper understanding of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Latin Rite. Kindly subscribe to the newsletter and visit the website to read these exclusively published articles.
Hector Duarte is a high school student born in Guatemala, a country in Central America. A year ago, with the help of God, he was accepted in a Catholic High School in the United States allowing him to continue his studies, and learn more about Catholicism. In his free time, he likes to code and to learn new things about technology. He also loves writing and exploring more about Catholicism.