Friday, 13 May 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 63.

REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada

Q. Have you any thing more to allege for proof of the sacrifice of the mass ?

A. Yes; we have the words of the institution, as they are related by St. Luke, xxii. 19, 20. This is my body which is given for you. This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which (cup) is shed for you. Now, since we really believe by the words of consecration, that the bread and wine are truly changed into the body and blood of Christ; and consequently, that our victim, which for us was immolated upon the cross, is in the mass exhibited, and presented to God. The mass therefore is properly an offering or sacrifice; and it is also a propitiatory sacrifice; for if the cup, viz.: The blood of Christ be shed for us, that is, for our sins, it must needs be propitiatory, at least by applying to us the fruit of the bloody sacrifice of the cross.

Q. But what need was there of the sacrifice of the mass, since we were fully redeemed by the sacrifice of the cross?

A. First, that we might have in the sacrifice of the mass, a standing memorial of the death of Christ. Secondly, that by the sacrifice of the mass the fruit of his death might daily be applied to our souls. Thirdly, that his children might have, until the end of the world, an external sacrifice, in which they might join together in the outward worship of religion; as the servants of God had always done, from the beginning of the world. Fourthly, that in and by this sacrifice they might unite themselves daily with their high priest and victim Christ Jesus; and daily answer the four ends of sacrifice.

Q. What effects has the eucharist as a sacrifice?

A. The council of Trent (Sess. xxii. Can. iii.) has defined that it is more than a sacrifice of praise, or a mere commemoration of Christ's passion, and that it is latreuticum, that is to say, by it we give to God divine honor; eucharisticum, that is, by it we give thanks to God, for his benefits and mercies bestowed upon us ; propitiatorium, that is, by it we obtain pardon and remission of our sins; impetratorium, that is, by it we obtain new graces and blessings.

Q. Does it remit sin, or the pain due to sin, by way of satisfaction?

A. It is propitiatory, and satisfactory, by virtue of the divine institution; as to pain, both in this world, and purgatory, when it is applied with due dispositions, and according to the intention of the Church, it being the best of satisfactory or good works.

Q. Is the mass of a wicked priest, as valuable as that of a just one?

A. It has the same effect absolutely, because a wicked man offers in the person of Christ and the Church; yet the private devotion of the good priest may add to the efficacy in other respects.

Q. For whom is mass offered ?

A. For all the faithful both living and dead, as also for all infidels, heretics, etc., that they may be converted ; yet, their particular names are not to be mentioned in the mass.

Q. What advantage is the sacrifice of the mass to the living and the dead ?

A. It procures to the living the merits and the fruit of the sacrifice of the cross, that is, the grace we stand in need of, especially to those for whom it is said, and those who assist devoutly at it. As to the dead, it lessens their pains in purgatory, and hastens their deliverance out of it.

Q. What means all the ceremonies of the mass, and how can additions be made to the sacrifice instituted by Christ ?

A. They have a spiritual meaning and are instructive: they are added, some by Christ himself, others by the Apostles, others since by the Church, but are not essential, yet they cannot be omitted without a great sin. We shall explain these ceremonies hereafter.

Q. How ought persons to hear mass, and with what affection ?

A. With great respect, devotion and attention, Jeremiah xviii. 10, and with that affection for which sacrifices were instituted, that is, with a devout acknowledgment of our duty to God; with an earnest desire to appease the wrath of God, which we have deserved for our sins; and also with thanksgiving to our blessed Saviour, that he has vouchsafed to leave to his Church his own precious body and blood, as a pledge of his love, to be offered up to his eternal Father by us, in testimony of the aforesaid acknowledgement, and as a means to appease his deserved anger.