Daily Mass

Today I went to St Mary’s to celebrate the daily Mass at 12:00. I was busy. There was business at school and people to talk to. I was running late. The traffic was heavy and every traffic light was red. I arrived a few minutes late and felt bad because I had not left enough time to prepare properly for the sacrifice of the Mass.

I robed and walked in with the server and the deacon with a plea for forgiveness on my lips and an awareness that I was feeling weak and tired and I really had nothing to offer at all except my time. Then at the heart of the Mass was a tremendous silence. The liturgy of the Church was waiting to welcome me. Not my words, not my wisdom, not my clever thoughts, but the Word of God, the gospel of Christ and the liturgy of Holy Mother Church to gather me up and bear me along. I looked out at the faces of the faithful—nearly a hundred people who had turned up–were waiting for God, waiting for his Word, waiting for his presence. It was too much, and I felt quite overwhelmed by it all.

Who am I –a married man, a grateful, but still learning convert, a terrible sinner and a pretty complacent and lazy man–who am I to minister to these faithful people who are obviously much better followers of Christ than I will ever be?

This was the only sacrifice I could offer–not myself, but by some strange twist of God’s providence–at my hands the eternal sacrifice of the Mass, the Body of Christ for the Body of Christ. The cross of Christ crucified proclaimed in the Mass and offered for the salvation of the world.

All of this poured into an ordinary daily Mass.

Kyrie Eleison. Christe Eleison. Kyrie Eleison.

  • Jeannine

    Thank you, Father. This was beautiful.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13831473704338746499 Sursum Corda

    Now that IS a post

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09356738924839809045 Andrew

    Thanks, Father, for a timely reminder that the Mass is ultimately about Him and not so much about us and how sometimes, all of us, priest and people alike, should just let go and be aware of the great mystery before us and the great Presence in our midst. I hope that other holy priests come to this realization as well.The Mass is the Mass is the Mass, regardless of whether it is celebrated by the Holy Father himself on the High Altar of St. Peter’s or by a humble missionary priest in a hut somewhere in Africa. The Liturgy is NOT the Mass and neither is the ritual and other non-essentials. As long as the essentials are there Christ is made present. Of course this realization should spur any Christian to give God the best, with all the Church prescribes, but oftentimes, we let our disputes on the non essentials obscure the great mystery before us. Thanks for another timely reminder about the necessity of recognizing Christ in the breaking of the bread.When we recognize our own humility and realize who and what we are before the Almighty, then He can start getting to work on us.

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Dwight, your questions on the traditional rite were interesting as were the reponses they elicited. In this post you have gone to the heart of what we as priests need to be aware of when celebrating the Mass and sacraments. We are servants of the Church’s liturgy. Poor sinners that we are, the Church’s liturgy has “to carry us.” What could we add, how could we improvise that would be an improvement on the prayer of the Body of Christ? If more of us lived the spirit of what you have written, the real spirit of the liturgical reform would be evident and there would be less Catholics dismayed by the state of the liturgy. Thank you for your wisdom. Fr. Richard McNally ss.cc.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05227411938775535934 Jeffrey Smith

    This one convinces me you SHOULD write your autobiography.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00997766157711823147 the owl of the remove

    Good points – I’m back in your old stomping ground – will pray for you at some of the holy spots – and have a beer for you in some of the pubs – I’ll blog about it!

  • http://nwmwmomma.wordpress.com Jenny

    Thanks Father Dwight, it rendered peace in my heart.In our parish, the priest values prayerful silence after his homily but prior to the liturgy offers a game-showesque “any visitors, birthdays, anniversaries” atmosphere. I wish I could tactfully share your insight without stepping on toes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17691145638703824456 kkollwitz

    There is something about the scale and quiet of the miracle at a daily Mass that isn’t reproduced on Sunday.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07822146312033633535 ~m2~

    Again, you offer me many reasons why I desire to remain a Catholic.God bless you, sir.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06090780291629471131 Karen Marie

    What you have to give to God and to give to us is just that you have been called and are willing to answer.My retired archbishop wrote about this to his priests many years ago

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02284165373991543203 + Alan

    I meant to say this the other day when I first read it, but this was a beautiful story – very much the heart of the liturgy. Good stuff Father. Pax vobiscum.