by Rev. Albert Rung



The greatest prayer and the one combining all the kinds of prayer just suggested, is the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Such as follow the priest, reciting with him the prescribed Mass prayers, will find in the text very beautiful prayers of praise, thanksgiving, petition and propitiation.  These motives are the four ends for which each holy Mass is offered.  Thus the holy Mass can be considered the best of prayers and is at the same time the most powerful.  Holy mass is the mystical repetition of the sacrifice on Calvary.  he Church has borne this fact in mind in formulating the prayers surrounding this sacred function.  The sentiments of praise, thanksgiving and propitiation which they contain, are thus easily explained.  Petitions, too, are offered for soul and body, for the individual and for the entire Church, for the living and for the dead.  What a priceless gem is holy Mass!  "Holy Mass, in comparison with the other services of the Church, is like the diamond to its setting."  It offers God the most true and unstinted praise, because it is the praise of the Son of God Himself.  It affords the heavenly Father the sincerest thanksgiving because it springs from One who realizes the benefits, and, what is more, the great love of the Giver.  It gives satisfaction, which is adequate, because it is given by an equal.  It petitions most powerfully because the petitioner is most loved by God of all beings.

Everyone who assists at holy Mass is a co-offerer with Christ of this august sacrifice.  It is the prayer of Christ Himself in which those hearing Mass join.  A realization of what Mass is prompts to attend Mass whenever possible. Because religious hold so high an estimation of the holy sacrifice they hear two and three Masses a day, when time and opportunity allow.  Such action seems exaggerated to the worldly-minded.  But upon the day of general judgment the wisdom of this practice will be realized, and the neglect of hearing Mass, when it was easily possible, regretted, for it will be seen how those who used every opportunity to hear Mass laid up great treasurers in heaven.

The practice of hearing Mass every morning ought be more widespread.  Many by rising but a little earlier could hear Mss daily without interference with any of their daily duties.  There has been a league formed in Ireland, and since spread to America, whose members oblige themselves to attend Mass every morning.  It is but another effort to bring us back to the early practices of the Church, when the faith was strong and active.  Would that many would go to Mass daily and realize the blessings and peace which accompany it.  An Irish peasant, giving his reason for never missing Mass on Sunday, astonished his Protestant questioner with the remark: "You know, it helps to keep you nice and quiet all day long."  Similarly, daily Mass has its influence upon the entire day.  It aids in overcoming temptation and gives a quiet peace, which sweetens the day.  The remarkable virtues of the early Christians were due to a very great extent to their love for the Holy Eucharist, both in holy Mass and in holy Communion.  And were we of the present generation imbued with a like love, their virtues would abound and flourish also in our day.  Let us warm our hears with a love of Jesus in the blessed sacrament in attending holy Mass, and the beautiful virtues of the early Christians will spring up also in our own souls.