Thomas A. Droleskey
Recent reports have made much of what is being called a "quickie" offering of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service in Northern Ireland. A presbyter there is offering this false worship service that is so offensive to God in about fifteen minutes.
An Irish cleric's congregation has increased tenfold in a week -- thanks to a quickie Mass.
Despite the controversies which have rocked the church in recent years and the resulting fall-off in attendances at church services, Fr Michael Kenny has been packing them in at his Kilconly parish in Co Galway.
The popular priest started his 15-minute Mass as nothing more than an experiment at the start of Lent, just over a week ago. And he attributes the speed of the service to foregoing a sermon -- and having the help of a Eucharistic minister for communion.
The regular morning Mass at 9am had been drawing an attendance of just three or four up to the start of his no-frills experiment.
Fr Kenny decided to bring the time back to 7.30am and guarantee he would keep parishioners no longer than a quarter of a hour.
Attendances at the small north Galway parish church have now soared to between 30 and 40, with Mass-goers walking out the door by 7.45am.
"The general view among parishioners is that the 9am Mass was totally unsuitable for people going to work.
"Now, more and more people are coming along to the Mass at 7.30am as they know they can be on their way to work or school 15 or 20 minutes later and it is far more suitable," said Fr Kenny.
Fr Kenny explained that he was very conscious of the work commitments of his parishioners when he opted to try out the quickie Mass at 7.30am.
He decided to abandon the usual sermon and enlisted the help of a minister of the Eucharist to ensure that the congregation would be on its way by 7.45am.
"We have to think of the needs of people who have to travel long distances to work, some to Galway city 40km away.
"The only way they could be in time for work while also attending morning Mass during Lent is by being out of the church by 7.45am
"We are not leaving anything out of the Mass. Everything is there, but of course I do not make any sermon. People seem to like the idea as I have the help of a Eucharistic minister each day and that speeds up the service," Fr Kenny said.
He added: "We are here to facilitate the congregation and if there are any further increases in numbers attending, then the more the merrier."
Local parishioner, Marie Woolley, from Castlegrove, said the quick Mass had worked out so well in Kilconly that she hoped the practice would be repeated in other parishes.
"It is very refreshing to go to Mass so early every morning and you feel spiritually uplifted for the rest of the day. Fr Kenny has come up with a great idea and I hope other churches copy what he is doing," she said.
Frank and Noreen Curley, from Ballyroe, said the early Mass lasting 15 minutes suited everybody -- especially Frank, who travels to work in Tuam.
"Fair play to Fr Michael for factoring in the work needs of his parishioners when planning the morning Mass during Lent," said Frank. (Belfast Telegraph, Thursday, February 25, 2010; it is normally my policy to provide hot links to articles for the sake of documentation, something that cannot be done in this instance because of the truly scatological images on the page on which this article is found.)
Pardon me, this is news?
As readers will be reminded below in an article written to discuss the scandal of rushed offerings of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition even by some true priests, I personally witnessed a Novus Ordo presbyter complete his service from beginning to end, including the distribution of what purported to be Holy Communion, in thirteen minutes. It was almost literally the case that the presbyter had the chalice elevated before the host was down. And I've been to plenty of eighteen and nineteen minute Novus Ordo services back in my "conservative" days. The "news" out of Belfast is, like so many other things that present themselves to us as "news" today, not news at all.
One would think that such abuses of rushing the offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition would be almost nonexistent. This is not the case. We have been to both simulated and true offerings of the Mass of all ages that have been completed somewhere between twenty-two and twenty-five minutes. This is scandalous. There is no rush hour at Calvary, which is why I am presenting to you once again this article from September 21, 2007.
No Rush Hour at Calvary
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice offered by the God-Man, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to the Father in Spirit and in Truth to atone for human sins. Our Lord voluntarily took upon Himself the debt of our own sins so as to make it possible for us to know an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise. We must have a deep and an abiding love for Holy Mass, which transcends time and places us at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Mary Magdalene, as well as each member of the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering, and is at the same time a foretaste of eternal glories in Heaven. Our love for Holy Mass should impel us to move, if necessary, so that we can assist at its offering by true bishops and true priests who make no concessions whatsoever to conciliarism or to the nonexistent "legitimacy" of the wolves masquerading as shepherds in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Nothing is more important than our assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a daily basis. Nothing.
Each offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by a true bishop or a true priest represents a miracle beyond all telling. There is no need to run off in this or that direction when learning about some alleged apparition or other kind of mystical phenomenon. The greatest miracle that takes place each day on the face of this earth is when a true bishop or a true priest utters these simple words, Hoc est enim Corpus Meum. . . .Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis Mei, Novi et Aeterni Testamenti, Mysterium Fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum, calling God down on an altar of Sacrifice under the appearances of bread and wine. A mere man utters mere words over the mere elements of this earth, making God Himself incarnate under the appearance of those elements by the working of God the Holy Ghost through his priestly soul, which bears the indelible impression of the Priesthood and the Victimhood of the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You want a miracle? Go to the Immemorial Mass of the ages every day of your life for a miracle that has inexhaustible treasures to offer us, not the least of which is, of course, the reception the God-Man Himself in Holy Communion if we are without the stain of Mortal Sin on our souls and are prepared with the proper interior dispositions of the soul to receive Him worthily, fittingly, devoutly and reverently.
We must take care in our own assistance at daily Mass so that we will indeed have the proper dispositions to hear Holy Mass well and to profit from the Sanctifying Graces we receive in Holy Communion. This means that we should make every effort to pray the Mass with the priest, following along in our Latin-English hand missals, which we should prepare with diligence before we arrive for Mass (setting the ribbons for the Ordinary and the Propers for the particular Mass of the day--and whatever commemorations and/or secondary collects are to be prayed). Although not always possible given the press of duties, especially for large families, we should try to arrive in church early enough to afford ourselves a sufficient amount of time in recollected, attentive prayer before Our King of Kings in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament so as to be ready for the great, inestimable privilege of assisting at the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. This time in prayer before Holy Mass permits us to formulate our own intentions for the Mass, which the priest who offers it gathers up with his own intentions in the Collect and presents to the Father through the Son in Spirit and in Truth.
Hearing Mass well, of course, depends upon the degree of reverence, devotion and solemnity with which it is offered by the priest. One of the worst abuses in the years prior to the "Second" Vatican Council and the dawn of the "liturgical reform" that produced the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo Missae was the perfunctory manner in which the Immemorial Mass of Tradition was offered. It is a sad truth that more than a handful of priests in the preconciliar years were not trained well with a true love of the Mass, seeing it as a "function" to be "gotten through," which is why these same priests were more than happy to have the banal Novus Ordo introduced so that they could "scoot" through Mass even quicker than they had done. One of the most scandalous things that I have ever witnessed in my life, leaving aside all of the sacrileges and abominations associated with the Novus Ordo Missae that I recount in G.I.R.M. Warfare, was an "offering" of the Novus Ordo by a conciliar "priest" in thirteen minutes (with the distribution of what purported to be Holy Communion factored into those thirteen minutes).
Indeed, the influence of the Novus Ordo was most evident back in the 1980s and 1990s as older, valid priests began to offer the Mass of their youth once again by means of the unjust and illicit "indults" granted by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II. Some, although certainly not all, of those priests fell back into their old habits of rushing through the offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. Some even tried to incorporate, whether wittingly or unwittingly, elements of the Novus Ordo into these "indult" Masses. The priests who were the best at "offering" the "indult" Masses in the early years of the "indult" were those who had been invalidly ordained after 1968, men who had grown to love the true Mass and who had studied--on their own in many instances--how to offer it well and in a manner pleasing to the Blessed Trinity.
One can only wonder what kind of liturgical training in the offering of the modernized version of the Traditional Mass that will be given to priests in the conciliar structures interested in learning how to offer it now that Summorum Pontificum has, at least in their own minds, given them "permission" to do so. Given the fact that the Society of Saint Pius X is notorious for training priests to say Low Mass quickly (a "priest" from the conciliar structures who offered the true Mass at a very devout and reverent pace when he was saying it privately in his rectory informed us that he was indeed told to "speed it up" when he started to associate with the Society of Saint Pius X), it is entirely possible that the abuses that help to lead to an acceptance of the Novus Ordo to begin with will become commonplace in the Motu world all over again.
The rapid offering of Holy Mass is offensive to God and scandalous to the faithful, who need time to pray the Mass well themselves and to meditate upon the great mysteries contained therein.
For example, consider Father Frederick Faber's reflection on the Fifth Dolor,the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus that is re-presented in an unbloody manner in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in his book The Foot of the Cross:
The marvel of His uncomplaining silence was more pathetic now that He had spoken. Grief seemed to have reached its limits; but it had not. The word threw down the walls, laid a whole world of possible sorrow open to it, and poured the waters over it in an irresistible flood. The well-remembered tone pieced her [Our Lady] like a spear. They very beauty of the word was anguish to her. Is it not often so that deathbed words are harrowing because they are so beautiful, so incomprehensibly full of love? Mary's broken heart enlarged itself, and took in the whole world, and bathed it in tears of love. To her that word was like a creative word. It made the Mother of God Mother of mercy also. Swifter than the passage of light, as that word was uttered, the mercy of Mary had thrown round the globe a mantle of light, beautifying its rough places, and giving lust re in the dark, while incredible sorrow made itself coextensive with her incalculable love.
The words of Jesus on the Cross might almost have been a dolor by themselves. They were all of them more touching in themselves than ny words which ever have been spoken on the earth. The incomparable beauty of our Lord's Soul freights each one of them with itself, and yet how differently? The sweetness of His Divinity is hidden in them, and for ages on ages it has ravished the contemplative souls who loved Him best. If even to ourselves these words are continually giving out new beauties in our meditations, what must they be to the saints, and then, far beyond that, what were they to His Most Blessed Mother? To her, each of them was a theology, a theology enrapturing the heart while it illumined he understanding. She knew they would be His last. Through life they had been but few, and now in less than two hours He will utter seven, which the world will listen to and wonder at until the end of time. To her they were not isolated. They recalled other unforgotten words. There were no forgotten ones. She interpreted them by others, and others again by them, and so they gave out manifold new meanings. Besides which, she saw the interior from which they came, and therefore they were deeper to her. But the growing beauty of Jesus had been consistently a more copious fountain of sorrow all through the Three-and-Thirty Years. It was not likely that law would be abrogated upon Calvary. And was there not something perfectly awful, even to Mary's eye, in the way in which HIs divine beauty was mastering every thing and beginning to shine out in the eclipse? It seemed as if the Godhead were going to lay Itself bare among the very ruins of the Sacred Humanity, as His bones were showing themselves through His flesh. It was unspeakable. Mary lifted up her whole soul to its uttermost height to reach the point of adoration due to Him, and tranquilly acknowledged that it was beyond her power. her adoration sank down into profusest love, and her love condensed under the chill shadow into an intensity of sorrow, which felt its pain intolerably everywhere as the low pulsations of His clear gentle voice ran and undulated through her inmost soul.
The thought which was nearest to our Blessed Saviour's Heart, if we may reverently venture to speak thus of Him, was the glory of His Father. We can hardly doubt that after that, chief among the affections of the created nature which He had condescended to assume, stood the love of His Immaculate Mother. Among His seven words there will be one, a word following His absolution of the thief at Mary's prayer, a double word, both to her and of her. That also shall be like a creative word, creative for Mary, and still more creative for His Church. He spoke out of an unfathomable love, and yet in such mysterious guise as was fitted still more to deepen His Mother's grief. He styles her "Woman," as if He had already put off the filial character. He substitutes John for Himself, and finally appears to transfer to John His own right to call Mary Mother. How many things were there here to overwhelm our Blessed Lady with fresh affliction! She well knew the meaning of the mystery. She understood that by this seeming transfer she had been solemnly installed in her office of the second Eve, the mother of all mankind. She was aware that now Jesus had drawn her still more closely to Himself, had likened her to Himself more than ever, and had more their union more complete. The two relations of Mother and Son were two no longer; they had melted into one. She knew that never had He loved her more than now, and never shown her a more palpable proof of His love, of which, however, no proof was wanting. But each fresh instance of His love was a new sorrow to her; for it called up more love in her, and with more love, as usual, more sorrow. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, written in 1857 and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 250-252.)
It is not possible to fathom all of the great treasures contained in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is why a dignified amount of time needs to be taken in its offering. Holy Mass has its own pace, which is neither rushed nor deliberately slowed. Saint Leonard of Port Maurice explained this in The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass:
Stir yourselves up, then, O priests of Christ, and make it your first point to be pure and single of eye, your intentions being entirely referred to God. For this end, before commencing holy Mass, renew, at least mentally, the four ends indicated above, and prescribed by the Angelic Doctor. Then in your mementos, after applying the sacrifice for those to whom you are under that obligation, make briefly the offerings aforesaid to the Most High, directing your act to those hold ends for which it was primarily instituted' that is, to honor God, to thank Him, to make satisfaction to Him, and to beseech all blessings from His goodness. Use likewise all diligence to celebrate with the utmost modesty, recollection, and care, taking time to pronounce well and distinctly every word, and perfectly to fulfill every ceremony with due propriety and gravity; for words ill articulated, or spoken without a tone of meekness and awe, and ceremonies done without decorum and accuracy, render the divine service, instead of a help to piety and religion, a source of distress and scandal. Let the priest keep the inner man devoutly recollected; let him think of the sense of the words which he articulates, dwelling on their sense and spirit, and making throughout internal efforts corresponding to their holy suggestions. Then truly will there be an influx of great devotion into those assisting, and he will obtain the utmost profit for his own soul. (Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass, published first in 1980 and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1970, pp. 66-67.)
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori discussed the importance of using time well in the context of his masterful Preparation for Death. This great saint's words about the proper use of time apply also to how it should be used in the careful, recollected and dignified offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
Son, says the Holy Ghost, be careful to preserve time, which is the greatest and the most precious gift which God can bestow upon you in this life. The very pagans knew the value of time. Seneca said that no price is an equivalent of it. But the saints have understood its value still better. According to St. Bernardine of Sienna, a moment of time is of as much value to God; because in each moment a man can, by acts of contrition or of love, acquire the grace of God and eternal glory.
Time is a treasure which is found only in this life; it is not found in the next, either in hell or in heaven. In hell the damned exclaim with tears: Oh! that an hour was given to us! They would pay any price for an hour of time, in which they might repair their ruin: but this hour they will never have. In heaven there is no weeping; but, were the saints capable of weeping, all their tears world arise from the thought of having lost the times in which they could have acquired greater glory, and from the conviction that this time will never again be given to them. A deceased Benedictine nun appeared in glory to a certain person, and said that she was perfectly happy, but that if she could desire anything, it would be to return to life, and to suffer pains and privations in order to merit an increase of glory. She added, that, for the glory which corresponds to a single Ave Maria, she would be content to endure till the day of judgment the painful illness which caused her death.
My brother, how do you spend your time? Why do you always defer till to-morrow what yo can do to-day? Remember that the time which is past is no longer yours; the future is not under your control: you have only the present for the performance of good works. "Why, O, miserable man," says St. Bernard, "do you presume on the future, as if the Father had placed time in your power?" St. Augustine asks: "How can you, who are not sure of an hour, promise yourself to-morrow? If then, says St. Teresa, you are not prepared for death to-day, tremble lest you die an unhappy death. (Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Preparation for Death, Redemptorist Fathers, 1926 printing, Brooklyn, New York, pp. 117-118.)
Neither a priest or any member of the laity present at his offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass knows whether that particular Mass will be the last one of their lives. There can never be, therefore, even the appearance of being perfunctory on the part of a priest or of disinterestedness on the part of the lay faithful. The priest, who is acting in persona Christi at the altar of Sacrifice, and the members of the laity, if any are present, must treat each Mass as though it is their last, steeped in a sense of true awe and wonder at the great privilege accorded to them by the King of Kings to transcend time and keep Him company at the foot of the Cross, permitting us the opportunity for making up for the fact that our sins put us on the wrong side of the Cross on the first Good Friday. There was no "rush hour" at Calvary on the first Good Friday. There must be no "rush hour" at any time Holy Mass is offered.
High Mass is meant to be the norm in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church so as to give God the full solemnity and glory that are His due. Not every parish or school has the capacity (lack of a trained schola) to offer High Mass, admitting that "time" should never be an issue. Nothing is more important than daily Mass in the life of a parish or in the life of an authentically Catholic school. The entirety of each of our lives--as well as the activities of a true Catholic school--must revolve around the daily offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. The Low Mass, which is derived from the High Mass for pastoral reasons, must nevertheless be offered with the same attention to detail as High Mass. God is pleased with a priest's careful attention to detail and He is pleased with the faithful's prayerful efforts to "pray the Mass" well by following it in their hand-missals, which becomes very difficult to do if a Mass is the priest is racing through its offering.
A putative priest in an "indult" community some years ago was noted for "offering" Low Mass, according to the modernized 1962 Missal, in about twenty-two minutes, including the distribution of what purported to be Holy Communion to the faithful. This was scandalous. The "priest" knew his Latin very well. He simply rushed through the Mass, running his words together so quickly that it was impossible to determine what he was saying. Although the Low Mass of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition is to be offered in in a low tone of voice, the priest is supposed to pronounce each word carefully and distinctly. There are days on which a priest might choose some Votive Mass, for example, which is not announced beforehand or in the parish bulletin. The faithful must then rely upon the color of his vestments (and the tabernacle veil) and the first words of the Introit to ascertain what particular Mass he is offering. Apart from offending God with an indistinct, rushed pronunciation of the words, a priest makes it very difficult for the faithful to pray their Mass well when they cannot ascertain the Propers for the particular Mass he is offering.
Dom Chautard wrote the following in The Soul of the Apostolate:
If the priest is a saint, the people will be fervent; if the priest is pious, the people will at least be decent. But if the priest is only decent, the people will be godless. The spiritual generation is always one degree less intense in its life than those who beget it in Christ.
Similarly, the faithful's fervor for Holy Mass will be increased by the reverence, solemnity, care and dignity by which a true priest offers the Sacrifice of the Cross with his consecrated hands. We have been privileged not only assist at Saint Gertrude the Great Church in the past eighteen months or so but to assist at Masses elsewhere in the Catholic catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or to its false shepherds, being truly edified by the reverence and solemnity by which Holy Mass is offered. A particular privilege has been to assist at the Masses offered by Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., whose forty-five minute Low Mass is neither rushed nor exaggeratedly slow. Every word, every gesture is performed with the priestly dignity of the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (No, no amount of criticism that Father Martin levels at me can take away our love for him or our true appreciation of his exquisite offering of Holy Mass.)
Those of us in the laity should never remonstrate with a priest who may have grown lax in his offering of Holy Mass (or who may not even realize that he is rushing his offering of the Mass). There's been quite enough of that in the Novus Ordo world, thank you, and I was an active participant for far too long in the utterly futile exercise of attempting to correct liturgical abuses in the liturgical abuse par excellence, the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. We should pray for our priests, offering sacrifices for them to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We could, say, at an appropriate time (Christmas, a priest's anniversary of his priestly ordination, perhaps his birthday) send a priest a copy of Saint Leonard of Port Maurice's The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass, praying that a few passages might spur some reflection on the seriousness of offering Mass well so as to give God the full honor and glory that are His due and for the edification of the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
For our part, however, we must stop making excuses to miss the true offering of Holy Mass on a daily basis if there is one available to you offered by a true priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism or its false shepherds. We can do much for our priests, who are few in number and scattered about the the face of the earth at present, by our assisting at Mass on a daily basis and hearing Mass well, spending time in Thanksgiving after Mass as the duties of our states-in-life permit on any given day. Saint Leonard of Port Maurice has words of wisdom, written in the Eighteenth Century, for us in the laity that apply to persons of all social classes, from the royal classes to the most common peasant (and most of us, truth be told, are from utterly peasant stock, something is good for our own humility to contemplate!):
Many are the excuses which those who attend holy Mass grudgingly and with reluctance find for their tepidity. You may observe them all immersed in business, all anxious and intent (to use a common and most accurate expression) on promoting "their own dirty interests." for these, every fatigue is a trifle; nor is there any inconvenience which they will allow to stand in their way; while, for attending holy Mass, which is the great affair of all, you will perceive them languid, cold, with a hundred frivolous pretexts at hand about important occupations, weak health, family troubles, want of time, multiplicity of business, and so on. In short, if holy Church did not oblige them under pain of mortal sin to frequent the divine mysteries at least on festivals, God knows if ever they would visit a church, or bend a knee before the altar. O, shame and utter disgrace to our times! Miserable that we are! How have we declined from the fervor of those first believers who, as I said before, every day assisted at the adorable sacrifice, and refreshed their souls with the Bread of Angels, communicating sacramentally! And yet they also were not without transactions and business and occupations; nay, by this very means their temporal business and interests, as well as their spiritual, got on all the better. Blind world, when wilt thou open thine eyes to recognize delusions so gross? Up, and awaken, one and all! Be this your most sweet and beloved devotion--to hear holy Mass every morning, and to accompany it by a spiritual Communion. To gain this end with you, I know no method more efficacious than example, it being an irrefragable maxim, Vivimus ab exemplo; and everything is rendered easy and pleasant which we see done by our companions or equals. . . .
[To princes and other rulers] You summon diets, you convoke congresses, you establish public boards, you assemble councils of war to secure your provinces; yet all does not answer; while one thought, suggestive, perhaps of some middle course, would adjust a negotiation, and that negotiation adjusted might secure a kingdom. But that thought so advantageous, whence shall it come? From God--yes, understand me well, from God. And what the means most efficacious for obtaining it? The holy sacrifice. Hear, then, more Masses; cause, besides, many to be celebrated; provide the altars with sacred vessels, with precious vestments and furniture--and you will experience over you a most marvellous providence of God, which will secure your dominions, and will render you happy in time and in eternity.
Let us conclude this division with the example of St. Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia,which should at least in part be imitated by all of you. This holy king did not content himself with assisting every day at several Masses, with his knees bent on the bare pavement, nor with serving in person the celebrating priests, and this with greater humility than any cleric that has only received the lowest of minor orders; but besides this, he contributed to the sacred altars the richest jewels of his treasury, and webs of texture and embroidery the most precious in the royal wardrobes. He was, further, in the habit of making with his own hands the altar-bread which was to be used for the holy sacrifice; and with this view, without any regard to the royal dignity, he applied those hands, born to wield the sceptre, in cultivating a field, in directing the plough, in sowing the seed, and in reaping the harvest. Then he ground the grain, separated the finer flour for the oven, and made the breads which should afterward be consecrated; and these he presented, with the lowliest reverence, to the priests, to be converted into the most divine body of the Saviour. O hands worthy to have held the sceptre of this globe! And did other kings despise him for this? Far from it. Almighty God led the Emperor Otho I. to conceive for this holy king an unparalleled regard, so far as to grant him the right to quarter in his arms the imperial device (an eagle sable in an argent field), a favor not extended to any other prince. Thus god, by means of the emperor, rewarded with temporal honors the great devotion of Wenceslaus toward the divine sacrifice. But much more was he rewarded by the King of heaven when, by means of a most glorious martyrdom, there was granted to him a a crown of eternal glory: and we behold him, through his passionate tenderness for holy Mass, doubly crowned, in this and in the other world. Reflect and resolve. (Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass, pp. 65-66; 75-76.)
Saint Leonard wrote near the end of his treatise that he wanted reiterate the points he had been making throughout his book: the laity must make the effort o hear Holy Mass daily and priests must offer it well:
Therefore, if any one may speak out clearly on this subject, without any fear of reproval, it is I, who seek merely your good; as I do in all the other matters touched on in this little book, which now at its close I sum up afresh. Hear many Masses, I beseech you; hear many; cause many to be celebrated; get as many as you can. Make sure of this great treasure, which will be to you indeed a treasure both in this world and the next.
The second point to be extracted and stored up out of the incident now narrated is the efficacy of holy Mass for winning every benefit from on high, for procuring exemption or escape from every evil, and particularly for obtaining or reinvigorating our spiritual energies, so as to insure victory over all temptations. Let me, then, repeat: to Mass, I beseech of you; to Mass, if you want to triumph over your soul's enemies, and to behold all hell cast down and trampled under your feet.
One single counsel remains to be repeated, one applicable alike to clergy and seculars, which is, that to obtain in great abundance the fruits of holy Mass, you must hear it with the deepest devotion. I have struck at this nail several times in the course of my little book, but now just at the close, I must beat at it with still more vigor. When at Mass, keep deeply engaged in devotion; and if you like, make use of this book, putting it in practice with all the exactitude prescribed in he second chapter. I boldly refer you to experience as your master; for in a short time you will be conscious of a sensible change in your heart, and you will, so to speak, be able to touch with your very hand the great blessing which you will carry at your heart.
And for you, O priests, tremble before the justice of God if, either by excessive haste or irreverent negligence, you transgress the rules of the sacred ceremonies, if you hurry out your words, or confuse the different acts, and, in short, bustle slipshod through your Mass. Reflect that then you consecrate, you touch, you receive, the Son of the Most High, nor are your blameless in regard to each the very slightest ceremony which you either leave out or perform more or less imperfectly. Such is the teaching of the most learned Suarez, when he treats of the question, Vel unius caerimoniae omissio culpae reatum inducit. Whence that oracle of Spain, [St.] John of Avila, was always firmly of opinion that the Eternal Judge will, in the case of priests, make, before every thing else, a most rigorous scrutiny into all the Masses they have celebrated. Thus when on one occasion a young priest had departed to the other world, just as he had barely finished his first Mss, the holy man, hearing of his death, heaved a sigh, and asked, "Had he ever offered Mass?" And when they told of his happy fate in dying so soon as his first Mass was celebrated, "Ah," he resumed, "he has much to thank God for if he has once celebrated Mass!" But you and I, who have celebrated so many, how shall we pass before the tribunal of God? Let us, then, make the holy resolution to re-study (at latest in our first spiritual retreat) all the rubrics of the Missal, and all the sacred ceremonial, so as to celebrate for the future with all exactness possible. It is my hope that if we priests shall generally celebrate with serious and devout exterior composure, and, what is far more, with thorough interior fervor of soul, the laity will return to daily hearing of holy Mass, and to hearing it with deepest devotion. Thus we shall have the joy of beholding renewed in the Christians of our time all the fervor of the first believers of God's Church, and thus will our most gracious and Almighty God be supremely honored and glorified--the sole and single aim of this poor work. (The translator asks here for a "Hail Mary" for himself, noting that Saint Leonard's request for one is mooted by the fact that he, Saint Leonard, is in Heaven! Thus, say a Hail Mary for the anonymous translator of Saint Leonard of Port Maurice's The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass, from which the above quotation was taken from pages 90-91.)
Makes things pretty clear, does it not?
A final meditation from the great treasure that is Father Faber's The Foot of the Cross might help to increase our fervor for Holy Mass and strengthen our resolve to move, if need be, to be able to assist at its valid offering each and every single day of our lives:
Such were the outward, or rather let us call them the official, occupations of Mary during the first hour upon the Cross. Her inmost occupation, and yet outward also, was that which was above her, overshadowing her in the darkness, and felt more vividly even than if it had been clearly seen,--Jesus hanging upon the Cross! As our guardian angels are ever by our sides, engrossed with a thousand invisible ministries of love, and yet all the while see God, and in that one beatifying sight are utterly immersed, so it was with Mary on Calvary. While she seemed an attentive witness and listener of the men dividing our Lord's garments among them, and of the nailing of the title to the Cross, or appeared to be occupied with the conversion of the thieves, she did all those things, as the saints do things, in ecstasy, with perfect attention and faultless accuracy, and yet far withdrawn into the presence of God and hidden in His light. A whole hour went by. Jesus was silent. His Blood was on fire with pain. His body began to depend from the Cross, as if the nails barely held it. The Blood was trickling down from the wood all the while. He was growing whiter and whiter. Every moment of that agony was an act of communion with the Father. Mysteries, exceeding all mysteries that had ever been on earth, were going on in His Heart, which was alternately contracted and dilated with agony too awful for humanity to bear without miraculous support. It had divine support; but divine consolation was carefully kept apart. The interior of that Heart was clearly disclosed to the Mother's inward eye, and her heart participated in its sufferings. She, too, needed a miracle to prolong her life, and the miracle was worked. But with the same peculiarity. From her, also, all consolation was kept away. And so one hour passed, and grace had created many worlds of sanctity, as the laden minutes went slowly by, one by one, then slower and slower, like the pulses of a clock at midnight when we are ill, beating sensibly slower to reproach us for our impatient listening.
The second hour began. The darkness deepened., and there were fewer persons round the Cross. No diceing now, no disturbance of nailing the title to the Cross. All was as silent as a sanctuary. Then Jesus spoke. It seemed as if he had been holding secret converse with the Father, and He had come to a point when He could keep silence no longer. It sounded as if He had been pleading for sinners, and the Father had said that the sin of His Crucifixion was too great to be forgiven. To our human ears the word has that significance. It certainly came out of some depth, out of something which had been going on before, either His own thoughts, or the intensity of His pain, or a colloquy with the Father. "Father! forgiven them; for they know not what they do!" Beautiful, unending prayer, true of all sins and of all sinners in every time! They know not what they do. No one knows what he does when he sins. It is his very knowledge that the malice of sin is past his comprehension which is a great part of the malice of his sin. Beautiful prayer also, because it discloses the characteristic devotion of our dearest Lord! When He breaks the silence, it is not about His Mother, or the apostles, or a word of comfort that affectionate forlorn Magdalen, whom He loved so fondly. It is for sinners, for the worst of them, for His personal enemies, for those who crucified Him, for those who had been yelling after Him in the streets, and loading Him with the uttermost indignities. It is as if at Nazareth He might seem to love His Mother more than all the world beside, but that now on Calvary, when His agony had brought out the deepest realities and the last disclosures of His Sacred Heart, it was found that His chief devotion was to sinners. Was Mary hurt by this appearance? Was it a fresh dolor that He had not thought first of her? Oh, no! Mary had no self on Calvary. It could not have lived there. Had her heart cried out at the same moment with our Lord's, it would have uttered the same prayer, and in like words would have unburdened itself of that of which it was most full. But the word did draw new floods of sorrow. They very sound of His voice above her in the obscure eclipse melted within her. . . .
But this was not the only thirst that word was intended to convey. His soul thirsted as feverishly for souls as His Body did for the water of the well. He brooded over all coming ages, and yearned to multiply the multitudes of the redeemed. Alas! we have approximations by which we can measure His torment of physical thirst; but we have no shadow even by which we can guess of the realities of that torment in His Soul. If the love, which the Creator has for creatures, whom He had called out of nothing, is unlike any other love either of angels or of men, if its kind is without parallel, and is degree an excess of the reach of our conception, so also is the spiritual love of souls in the Soul of the Saviour of the world. Saving love is without similitude, as well as creative love. As all the loves of earth are but sparks of creative love so all apostolic instincts, all missionary zeal, all promptitude of martyrdom, all intercessory penance, and all contemplative intercession, are but little sparks of that saving love of which Calvary is at once the symbol and the reality. The torment of this thirst was incomparably beyond that of the other thirst. Mary saw it; and no no sooner had she seen it, than the very sight translated her, as it were, into a fresh, unexplored world of sorrow. She saw that this thirst would be almost as little satisfied as the other. She saw how Jesus at that moment was beholding in His Soul the endless procession of men, unbroken daily from dawn to dawn, bearing with them into hell the character of baptism and the seal of His precious Blood. See! even now, while the Saviour is dying of thirst, the impenitent thief will not given Him even his polluted soul to drink! So it was going to be evermore. Mary saw it all. Why had He ever left Nazareth? Why had he gone through all this world of unnecessary suffering, only to succeed so inadequately at last? Was God's glory, after all, the end of Calvary, rather than the salvation of men? Yes! and yet also No! Mary, like Jesus Himself, grudged not one pang, one lash, one least drop of Blood that beaded His crowned brow. She too thirsted for souls, as He did, and her heart sank when she saw that He was not to have His fill. Oh, poor, miserable children that we are! how much of our souls have we not kept back, which would have somewhat cheered both the Mother and the Son that day! (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, pp. 248-250; 255-256.)
And your excuse for not getting to a true offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition today is exactly what? If at all possible, which it is not in many instances, your excuse for not moving to a safe haven in the Catholic catacombs is exactly what? Your excuse for being habitually late for Holy Mass and not praying it well is precisely what? There is nothing more important than hearing Holy Mass and praying it well every day of our lives. The state of our immortal souls--and thus of the world--depends upon the valid offering of Holy Mass and the worthy, fervent reception of Holy Communion by the clergy, the consecrated religious and the laity alike. This is why the devil attacked the Mass during the Protestant Revolt. This is why he has attacked the Mass by means of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. This is why he has attacked the sacramental validity of the transmission of Holy Orders in the ranks of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
Priests have an obligation to offer Mass well. We in the laity have the obligation to hear it well, to pray it well, to live it well, extending our time before the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in profound Eucharistic piety and meditating upon the mysteries of our Redemption that are contained within Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. No one, priest, consecrated religious or a member of the laity, can be in the least bit "rushed" about the sacred mysteries of our Redemption that are contained in the Mass and meditated upon in the Rosary. Time well spent at Holy Mass will help us to have an eternity well spent in the glory of an unending Easter Sunday in Paradise in the Presence of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
May Our Lady, who stood so valiantly at the foot of the Cross, help us to love the Mass and to treat each one we hear as though it is the last Mass of our lives. We ask her to pray for us nunc et in hora mortis nostrae in each Ave Maria. May our keeping close to her at the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross each day in the true offering of the Holy Sacrifice of Mass and in our praying as many Rosaries as our states-in-life permit help to plant the seeds for a day when all people will recognize that no day is complete unless we are at Calvary, on whose heights was Crucified the King of Kings and on which stood our Immaculate Queen, both of whom beckon us to be with them there each day so that we can be with them for all eternity.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Maria Regina Immaculata!
Omnia instaurare in Christo.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.