WE COME TO YOU FATHER
There is a childlike boldness in declaring to Him what we dare to do!
Were it not that the ultimate possibility of this coming to Him is that Christ has gone before us, we could not dare to be so bold.
WE – in the first instance is Jesus the Priest, bound to the ordained man, the priest, through the sacred anointing of ordination: Jesus is more intimate to the priest than the priest is to his very self.
WE – through the infinitude of the Trinitarian oneness in love proclaim the reality that wherever Jesus is so is the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is always ‘about His Father’s business’ and here He is about His Father’s business ‘sacramentally’. The Holy Spirit is sanctifying and sacramentally unfolding the central act [mystery] of our faith.
WE – baptismally incorporated into the Mystically Body of Christ, the Church on earth, in purgatory, celebrating the Heavenly Divine Liturgy. Mary is with us most especially at this sacred time: She who is our Mother, model disciple, and, joy of all who sorrow. Wherever Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth is, so too is her entire court, all the Angels and Saints, for in the Holy Mass, heaven is joined to earth praising, adoring the Most Holy Trinity.
WE – in the heart of the priest, every human being: each man, woman and child upon the earth; believer and unbeliever; friend and enemy of the Gospel; saint and sinner, whatever their condition in life; the souls in purgatory; the blessed in heaven.
WE – ‘I’, bowed down before my own ego and reshaped into a sobornost, a oneness of compassion and love. For the priest must never approach the altar as the ego ‘I’ of stand-alone self, but, being the prayer-voice in persona Christi, with generous passion and joy, he offers and is offered for his brothers and sisters.
There is no greater suffering, no greater joy, no more important being or doing for the heart of the priest than to stand before the Holy Altar, one with Christ High Priest, offering the One True Holy Sacrifice for the sake of all.
To whom do we come, before whom do we stand sinful and sorrowful, bold and trusting, but Our Father! This we can do because Jesus Himself is our perfect prayer. He Himself is our contrition, our confidence, our faith, our yes to the Father’s most holy and benevolent will! We need only cry out: ABBA! ABBA! ABBA! To be one with the priest as he proclaims, ‘We come to you Father…..’
WITH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
This is love’s doing, love’s yearning, the inescapable need of the human heart to taste without fear the delight of createdness, to celebrate without restraint the sheer joy of gratitude, to experience from the heart of the cosmos all of creation being alive. This is only possible if we are cleaved to Christ’s own praise of and thanksgiving to, the Father. We who give praise and thanks are alive-sinners, redeemed by the love and blood of the Lamb who was slain.
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST YOUR SON
Do you see His Holy Face? Do you contemplate Him stretched upon the Cross between heaven and earth? It is Time that is no-time – not chronos but kairos. For here at the Holy Altar in the Canon Jesus is! Jesus our prayer. Jesus in whom we have come into being. Jesus our redemption. Jesus our reason for being. Jesus our life. Jesus our way. Jesus our truth. Jesus priesthood of priests. Jesus lavished upon us. Jesus Divine Mercy. Jesus our food and drink. Jesus our beauty. Jesus our everything.
THROUGH HIM WE ASK YOU
Our Father knows all that we need. Jesus has promised us that if we ask we shall receive, if we knock it shall be opened. What dare we ask but oneness with the Most Holy Trinity? What need have we opened to us but the gates of heaven?
On our own we would find that the dark, dead weight of our sins would render us mute with shame; on our own our self-serving egos would ask for what immediately gratifies, rather than for what eternally sanctifies; on our own in all of our pleading we would forget to place the needs of our brothers and sisters before our own.
TO ACCEPT AND BLESS
Acceptance and blessing of that, which of our own, is all that we have, viz.: our total poverty. For what else can we bring but what has already been given to us? Thus we boldly approach with childlike confidence, returning to the Father as gift to Him what He has already lavished upon us, viz.: The Gift, Jesus Christ Himself. At one and the same time The Gift is Himself the blessing.
THESE GIFTS WE OFFER YOU
The bread and wine are both stuff of created matter and the sweat, labour, dreams, expectations, yearnings, the lives of each human being, irrespective of their proximity or remoteness to this Holy Altar. Like the drop of water poured into the sacred chalice, co-mingling mystery and experience, the divine and the human, there is within the history of the bread and wine the co-mingling of the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands. In the generous allowance of divine mercy His tender Fatherly gaze sees in what has been given to us a gift, from us to Him, because He sees His Only-begotten Son’s Self-gift.
Comprehensible only in awe before the Cross, accessible to a heart only when that heart is immersed in the holy Gospels. We often rush through this reality of sacrifice, fail to allow the word to sear into our being because we see only pain, giving-up, a type of loss or payment beyond our reach. Yet, the resonance of the word is found in all that is sacred. It is an act of love, sacred love, selfless love, Love Himself sacrificing Himself to Love. It is in the sanctifying activity of the Holy Spirit that an offering, a gift, becomes a holy thing, a true – the true – sacrifice.
WE OFFER THEM FOR YOUR HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH
It is as if each holy word uttered, each of the accompanying gestures, leads the priest, takes the priest, and with him all the people, deeper into the following of Christ. And all of this done in the company of every human being as if it were a single movement: every human attempt at offering something to God for whatever reason, which began with the incense-smell of the first offering of Abel and continues down to the tiny flame of a votive candle lit in the darkness of a lonely night by some widow before her favorite statue or icon.
This is an offering for our one true family, a type of Nazareth-gathering, for it is the existence of the Church which assures every human being that they can have a true family, true brothers and sisters.
This is an evangelical, a missionary offering, for unless our brothers and sisters know Jesus Christ they, as we ourselves, shall remain incomprehensible to self. It is the Church’s mission to proclaim Christ Jesus, especially through the lives of the Baptized as they live the Gospel without compromise.
The Church in her fullness is holy and yet, is being sanctified, in her members, her children: ‘catolicos’ [universal], for she embraces all peoples and cultures while straining to be healed of all division, to be one: ‘ecclesia’ [church] for she is the sacred gathering place where the fullness of sacramental life is available to all who would accept the gift of faith and be baptized into the death and resurrection of her Divine Bridegroom.
WATCH OVER IT, LORD, AND GUIDE IT
Lest the enemy prevail against Holy Mother the Church and her children, for until we enter the heavenly kingdom we remain vulnerable to our own sinfulness and to the lies of the prince of darkness. The plea to be guided is a cry for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Counselor, Consoler, Advocate, Spirit of Truth. These words of prayer for protection and guidance resound with confidence in Jesus’ promise never to leave us orphans. How well we know that cut off from Him we can do nothing.
GRANT IT PEACE AND UNITY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
Here, standing before the Holy Altar in the midst of a Christian history, blood-red crying out to heaven, each priestly heart experiences the trust of a lance piercing one’s heart, having pierced The Heart: the pain of the Church, the division among Christian brothers and sisters, a yearning and a missionary zeal to proclaim the Gospel and to proclaim ‘that they may all be one’ is the priest’s own pain. Simultaneously the lance is a lance of love: for the Church, for the successor of Peter, for all believers and in a special way for unbelievers.
WE OFFER THEM FOR ~~~~~ OUR POPE
Apostolic succession! Shepherd, Teacher, Vicar, Bishop, Priest! A proclamation of genuine love for our beloved Holy Father.
FOR ~~~~~~ OUR BISHOP
Through whose hands a man receives the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and becomes himself priest. Immediate Shepherd and Teacher, Servant of the local church. Again, a matter of love.
AND FOR ALL WHO HOLD AND TEACH THE CATHOLIC FAITH THAT COMES TO US FROM THE APOSTLES
Treasure of the millennia! Gift handed down with such immense care, fidelity, at such a cost in martyrdom, through the ages, across the nations, over the oceans, to the greatest cities and smallest hamlets: apostolic faith!
A prayer embracing the most vibrant and missionary of religious communities, to the most isolated of families, were rare is the occasion when a priest can come to the village to celebrate Holy Mass and all the other sacraments.
A prayer for the most persecuted ones, languishing in the most forgotten prison cells, yet holding within their believing, baptized hearts what has been handed down, pure, vibrant, treasured as lovingly as when first implanted by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the Apostles.
Held equally and lavished with equal generosity upon all who would approach in faith, reverence and fear of the Lord the sacred waters of Baptism – the Church of the East and the Church of the West.
For the sacred fragments held lovingly and with Christ-centered trust by all those Christian ‘sister churches’.
Taught by the great theologians and by the humblest mother bending lovingly towards her children, where faith is taught with the lyrical simplicity rooted in the very heart of our Immaculate Mother.
Taught by the courage of missionaries shedding their blood like Peter and Paul before them.
Taught by the very life of those who use not the eloquence of spoken or written words, but herald the Good News with cups of water, bowls of soup, and quiet vigil beside those who would otherwise die alone.
Hold and teach: treasured in the heart and lavished upon others at one and the same time. Contemplation and action – yet another sacred co-mingling!
REMEMBER, LORD, YOUR PEOPLE
Father, if You are not mindful of us we should cease to exist!
ESPECIALLY THOSE FOR WHOM WE NOW PRAY
In the silent stillness here before the Divine Attentiveness, in utter selfless simplicity, we have the sacred opportunity to utter the names of those who occupy our heart’s compassionate awareness.
Here we can become the voice for all the living, in particular those who are unaware they have a voice, those whose voice is denied – – – the most vulnerable – – – the unborn facing abortion, the homeless, the refugees, the unjustly imprisoned. A voice for those unaware of their need to plead for His mercy. A voice for those who have forgotten, or have never known, He is their Father.
Each moment of a priest’s life is a prayer for all, but here, in a specific manner, the priest stands before the Holy Altar, ‘in persona Christi’, one with Christ who is Himself our voice to the Father. As priest we are both speaking and echoing, repeating the intimate and passionate prayer of Christ in our own hearts and with our own lips as a voice for all.
REMEMBER ALL OF US GATHERED HERE BEFORE YOU
Blessing beyond compare: to be here!
YOU KNOW HOW FIRMLY WE BELIEVE IN YOU
Perhaps we live as if we were ardent primarily in our own confidence in self – but in truth it is You alone in whom we must believe and struggle to believe and do believe – confident that You, through the Holy Spirit, constantly assist us in our lack of faith.
The weakness of any individual’s faith among those present is strengthened by the faith of the Church and this faith is witnessed by the rest of those here present.
It is a profound moment: the reality of being members of the one Body of Christ wherein the gap of personal doubt is bridged by the faith of the Church.
AND DEDICATE OURSELVES TO YOU
Here our hearts are full, pressed down and overflowing with the marvel of what a small but holy thing it is that we lay at His feet: our whole life!
WE OFFER YOU THIS SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Face to the ground, the heart enveloped by beauty and awe, for this is no-thing we offer. Our sacrificial offering is Someone! We offer the One who offers Himself! Jesus is our offering, our sacrifice and our praise!
At the same time, in the reality of being priest, ‘in persona Christi’, there is this holy and sublime mysterious reality, that the priest himself is both the one offering and is himself an oblation!
FOR OURSELVES AND THOSE WHO ARE DEAR TO US
Of sinners I am the greatest and the smallest.
Thus this personal plea for ourselves is not merely permitted but is urgently necessary.
And, if we have Gospel hearts, who is dearer to us than our enemies?
There are others who are dear to us and so, in the tenderness of our heart, we also call them to mind in this supreme act of prayerful petition and adoration.
WE PRAY TO YOU OUR LIVING AND TRUE GOD
Prayer as love’s dialogue ‘between two crucified persons’, as the Servant of God Catherine Doherty was so fond of teaching us.
Prayer as the confident leap of a child into the arms of their Father.
Prayer as a passion moving like waves of the ocean moving through our entire being, a surge of love and trust towards the Giver of all that is good.
Prayer as the stance of an uplifted heart, mind, soul, of one’s whole being as they strain to turn towards Love Himself, the way flowers on a spring morning turn towards the light and warmth of the sun.
Prayer as a standing in the depth, the height, the breadth of the ineffable mystery of encounter in communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity.
Prayer as the experience of that one reality: GOD IS! ‘I AM’ in prayer speaks to the depths of our being. And so, WE ARE!
Prayer above all as reception: we listen and it is in our listening to Him that we experience being heard.
FOR OUR WELL-BEING
Very simply that we be configured to Him by the Holy Spirit that we may be made holy by the Spirit as God Himself is holy.
It is for this that Christ leapt down from the heavens, not clinging to His Divinity but becoming man that He might live, suffer, die, rise from the dead, ascend to the Father and with the Father lavish upon us the Holy Spirit.
Here we acknowledge, proclaim, and in a sense claim, what Christ, Who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, has purchased for us to the last drop of His Precious Blood: our redemption.
Of what more have we any need?
IN UNION WITH THE WHOLE CHURCH
Our Trinitarian faith cannot in any way be egocentric, individualistic but is always and essentially communitarian –‘communio’.
As Aron and Hur assisted Moses on the hill overlooking the battlefield, each of us needs the sacred companionship, the humble loving assistance of one another, that we might lift all up to Him.
It is a matter of the sacred celebration of the fullness of the mystery of faith.
Thus this intercessory proclamation, according to the season of grace, is enhanced to bear witness to the very day when Holy Mary gave the world its Saviour; that light-penetrating day when Jesus, the only Son of the Father, sharing the Father’s eternal glory, showed Himself Incarnate; that night of splendour when Jesus instituted the Most Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood; that very same night when Jesus our Lord and God was betrayed, embraced betrayal, so that in Himself our inherited betrayal from Adam and Eve and our own acts of betrayal, might be forgiven; then comes that most holy of all holy nights, turning night into day – the everlasting 8th day of His Holy Resurrection; there follows the day when, in some mysterious yet tangible truth taking the reality of humanity within Himself, taking us as it were, He ascended into glory to be seated forever at the right hand of the Father; and finally yet continually, the awesome day of the lavish outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
No day is a true day with the Eucharist.
To quote one of the pioneer priests of the Madonna House Lay Apostolate: ‘Once I have said Mass the day is complete. It is a divine success. It is a perfect day.’
WE HONOUR MARY, THE EVER-VIRGIN MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND GOD
It most pleased Him to come and dwell among us as ‘one like us in all things but sin’ yet ‘becoming sin for us’, through the fiat and person, the heart of Mary.
Clearly it most pleases Him that we should find our way to Him through the tender arms and the Immaculate Heart of Holy Mother Mary.
Who better to teach us how to treasure this entire sacred mystery, to treasure all things, to contemplate all in our heart, to teach us the joy, the love, of our Eucharistic Lord, to be perfect disciples, servants of one another, than she who gave God the very flesh and blood He sacrifices for our salvation?
Towards her, in a sense, each Holy Mass is a type of mother’s day!
WE HONOUR JOSEPH HER HUSBAND
Each act of honouring is an expression of gratitude.
Seeped in the richness of the Holy Gospel we will encounter this man of integrity, humility, courage. This model of how to do little things exceedingly well for the love of Jesus.
THE APOSTLES AND MARTYRS PETER AND PAUL, ANDREW, JAMES, JOHN, THOMAS, JAMES, PHILLIP, BATHOLOMEW, MATTHEW, SIMON AND JUDE; WE HONOUR LINUS, CLETUS, CLEMENT, SIXTUS, CORNELIUS, CYPRIAN, LAWERENCE, CHSYOGONOUS, JOHN AND PAUL, COSMOS AND DAMIAN
First and rightly so we honour the first Pope, the chief Apostle and the Apostle of the Gentiles, for ours is faith and truth ‘handed down from the Apostles’ for we are members of the ‘one holy catholic and apostolic church’.
We are surrounded by such holy companions because the whole heavenly court is with us at the Holy Altar, and we need their example, help and intercession.
These heavenly companions: Popes, Priests, Deacons, holy brothers in the Lord, are living icons of the continuity of Holy Mother the Church, East and West, across the ages and nations.
AND ALL THE SAINTS
We dwell in the companionship of all the Holy Ones in heaven, remembered and known by name, those known only to us in the intimacy of our hearts.
Each is a living icon of the possible: all is grace and the fullness of life is living the Holy Gospel.
MAY THEIR MERITS AND PRAYERS GAIN US YOUR CONSTANT HELP AND PROTECTION
Do you see it, feel it, embrace it – – this stupendous marvel of our baptized life?
Sacred Scripture assures us that ‘the prayer of the humble pierces the clouds’, thus those who have gone before us urgently plead our cause, through Christ our Lord, that we too might not falter on the journey, the pilgrimage of and to the Absolute.
Because Jesus Himself is our prayer which pierces the clouds to the heavens we can utter this infinite truth: ABBA! God IS our Father!
Because Christ Himself is our prayer, our voice, our plea, there is a type of divine urgency, divine expectation, divine confidence here.
ACCEPT THIS OFFERING
Our offering is Jesus Himself.
‘Accept this offering…’ – – accept Jesus.
Jesus Incarnate. Jesus in the Jordan. Jesus at Cana. Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom and the call to conversion. Jesus transfigured. Jesus instituting this Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood. Jesus in the Garden. Jesus upon the Cross. Jesus in the Tomb. Jesus Risen. Jesus at Your right hand. Jesus returning in glory.
FROM YOUR WHOLE FAMILY
The whole family, believer and unbeliever, friend and enemy, saint and sinner.
If our hearts are not full of love and forgiveness then at this moment we must leave our Gift at the Holy Altar and go until we have been reconciled with our brother or sister.
Twice, on two days sacred in a particular way, we express the memorial offering in recognition of the institution of this Most Holy Sacrament and announce the joy of His Holy Resurrection – joy on that day too over those born into new life through the waters of Baptism.
Here the priest’s heart encompasses the whole earth, the entire cosmos, all of human history – each human being whatever their condition. It is an embrace of priestly love, compassion, atonement and intercession – ‘in persona Christi’ most assuredly, but also as an individual ordained man, a baptized person, for with each sacred word uttered the priest is entering ever more deeply into his very reason for being: he is servant, called to bring God to our brothers and sisters, the living and true God, who becomes in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence, Food for Life!
GRANT US YOUR PEACE IN THIS LIFE
Not absence of strain or suffering; not life without the Cross; rather the gift of dwelling always in His presence, His peace, leading lives that are peaceful, thus holy and without sin.
SAVE US FROM FINAL DAMNATION
Never let us be parted from You!
AND COUNT US AMONG THOSE YOU HAVE CHOSEN
Jesus has told us that ‘many are called but few are chosen’; we beg to be counted among the chosen.
In this moment we enter deep into the very essence of our createdness and sinfulness – – out total and utter need of Him.
It is a prayer of sheer trust, for of ourselves we can do nothing, least of all save ourselves.
BLESS AND APPROVE OUR OFFERING
The Holy Spirit moves over the lifeless void of bread and wine.
The Sanctifer Himself is at work.
We are bathed in Divine Fire!
MAKE IT ACCEPTABLE TO YOU
As priests we cannot do this on our own. We are not pure enough, faith-filled enough, strong enough, holy enough; we are unable to stand there but that our hands and our whole being tremble with awe and wonder in the fear of the Lord and His might.
We need the Holy Spirit.
We thus stand with humility, co-operating with the Holy Spirit, as He performs His Sacred Work.
AN OFFERING IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
LET IT BECOME FOR US
This is to experience the fullness of ‘God said…’, and that which was not comes into being!
THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, YOUR ONLY SON OUR LORD
For Jesus promised us, Father, that He would not leave us orphans, but would remain with us until the end of the age; that He would give us Real food to eat: Himself!
THE DAY BEFORE HE SUFFERED
Once each year we speak out loud the immediateness which is present in the Divine Liturgy of every Holy Mass: ‘to save us and all men, that is, today.’
The full truth of all that He suffered penetrates our entire being and with face to the ground we lie in humble adoration before such a wonderful God who lavishes Himself upon us.
HE TOOK BREAD INTO HIS SACRED HANDS
It takes a grace within the grace of ordination to sustain, in his body, the soul of the priest as these words pour forth in awe and wonder.
There is but this present moment.
There is an all encompassing, universal stillness in heaven, on earth, in all creation; an expectant silence before the incomprehensible, sacred, though marvelously accessible mystery which is unfolding in our very midst.
AND LOOKING UP TO HEAVEN, TO YOU HIS ALMIGHTY FATHER, HE GAVE YOU THANKS AND PRAISE
It is Jesus Himself who is both the humble one and the prayer which pierces the heavens.
Looking into those eyes of glory raised to the Father we know that the Holy Spirit cannot refuse to make holy that which is offered.
This is fundamentally communion of love of the Trinity within the Trinity and communion of love of the Trinity for us!
HE BROKE THE BREAD, GAVE IT TO HIS DISCIPLES AND SAID
+ + +
WHEN SUPPER WAS ENDED, HE TOOK THE CUP. AGAIN HE GAVE YOU THANKS AND PRAISE. GAVE THE CUP TO HIS DISCIPLES AND SAID
+ + +
The most sacred words uttered by Jesus Himself as recorded in the Holy Gospel are so sacred I never utter them outside the actual Sacrifice itself.
In a sense, assuredly so for the priest and in a manner for all the Baptized, it is for this moment that we have been created: to stand in awe, reverence, beauty, gratitude, humble contrition, holy confidence and joy, in this eternal-now of salvation.
For we have been created to know in communion of love: Jesus and through Him, in the Holy Spirit, the Father.
For we been created and redeemed, are being through this Holy Sacrifice, sanctified for this communion of love with the Holy Trinity.
This is therefore the true Trinitarian moment as we experience Christ gifting Himself to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit in this Sacred Eucharist.
And for us, in the rest of the Sacred Canon, after praise, intercession and gratitude, this gifting culminates when the priest lavishes Christ upon us in Holy Communion.
FATHER, WE CELEBRATE THE MEMORY OF CHRIST YOUR SON
What more loving thing can we say to our Abba than this?
We began by asking the Father to be mindful of, to remember us, to sustain us in existence in the depths of His love.
Now is the moment of our remembering, of our celebrating the center of our being – – Christ our Lord and God, our Redeemer – – within the heavenly liturgy celebrated here on earth in this moment -–and this is the very moment wherein, as says the Servant of God Catherine Doherty we enter into what should be the reality of our lives, namely that we should ‘live between two Masses…..the one being participated in and the next one we shall participate in’….for ‘ In God every moment is the moment of beginning again’.
To dwell with our entire being in the awareness that Christ transfigures us, transforms all we are, all that we do, into the reality of Himself, by the action of the Holy Spirit – this is Eucharist lived. This is Gospel life!
WE YOUR PEOPLE AND YOUR MINISTERS
Priests must be priest – nothing less holy.
Laity must be Christ’s faithful lay people – nothing less holy.
Only in the stark purity of the uniqueness of priest and uniqueness of lay person, devoid of all confusion of sacrament and vocation can there be that unity of which the Holy Eucharist is source and summit – our being one in Christ as He and the Father are one.
Love does such things.
RECALL HIS PASSION, HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, AND HIS ASCENSION INTO GLORY
This is our faith.
Ours is the religion of glory.
This is our life.
Our life is participation in the very life of Christ.
This is our proclamation.
To the whole cosmos.
To the entire human family.
To each individual person.
We proclaim the Gospel of Life and Truth.
We proclaim Christ crucified and risen from the dead.
We proclaim love.
To celebrate the memory of all that Christ is and has done for us at the heart of the Sacred Liturgy is so that we can then go forth from here, living between two Masses, into the sacred duty of the moment – for this is where we continue to most intimately encounter Christ in the place where we are called to obey the will of the Father as Christ Himself who says of Himself ‘I have not come to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.’ – Eucharist is not only our moment of being fed by Him but it is also the moment into which and from which we are sent.
AND FROM THE MANY GIFTS YOU HAVE GIVEN US, WE OFFER TO YOU, GOD OF GLORY AND MAJESTY, THIS HOLY AND PERFECT SACRIFICE
Our God, the One True God, the Triune God, is never outdone in generosity.
The altar, the vestments, the sacred vessels, the candles, the books, the bread, the wine, the priest, the people, our very existence – – we can never enumerate all the gifts – each and all IS gift from Him.
And yet all that we are, have, experience, see, touch and hear – – as far as the human imagination can reach – – is only a real and a significant offering because of The Offering, The Gift, The True Sacrifice: Jesus Himself.
THE BREAD OF LIFE AND THE CUP OF ETERNAL SALVATION
The Servant of God, Catherine Doherty, urges us to ‘trust the untrustworthy’ and this too Our Lord and God Jesus Christ has done for us first.
Now, here He is before us, vulnerable, under the appearances of bread and wine – and when we go forth from here we must never forget He is also vulnerable under the appearance of other persons – through whom we may either love and serve Him – or hate and reject Him.
Basically we are, because we are sinners, untrustworthy.
Yet He trusts us not only with this Most Sacred Gift of Himself in the Eucharist but to proclaim His Gospel and to be – through our humble service of one another – His Face to the world.
He trusts here in the Eucharist in particular that we will see The Real before us: Himself.
That we will approach with faith, reverence and holy fear.
LOOK WITH FAVOUR ON THESE OFFERINGS AND ACCEPT THEM AS ONCE YOU ACCEPTED THE GIFTS OF YOUR SERVANT ABEL
Cleaved to Jesus we offer our entire life.
The work of our human hands – and minds, hearts, wills.
The favorable gaze of the Father, this yearning that He look upon us with delight – which He will do because through our reception into our beings of Christ in Holy Communion when the Father looks upon us He will see the Beautiful Face of His Glorified Son who has communicated Himself into our being – includes the cry of Christ that He has come to lavish fire upon the earth and so through Christ we can become flame!
Like Abel we offer the best, the first fruits of creation – and our best, our ‘first’ which we offer is Christ Himself.
THE SACRIFICE OF ABRAHAM, OUR FATHER IN FAITH
In essence the sacrifice of Abraham was an act of faith and holy obedience.
We too believe and trust that what is offered here is real because Jesus Himself offers Himself in obedience to the Holy Will of the Father.
Indeed the night before He died Jesus told us that it is because of His death and resurrection that the Father loves Him so – and we are plunged into that very death and resurrection at the moment of our Baptism, which is the gateway to this very source and summit of our faith – of our baptized lives – which we are now celebrating and wherein again and again the Obedient One cleaves us to His very self so that this sacrifice is even greater and more pleasing to the Father than we can possibly imagine even though in our prayer we strain for holy comparisons.
Whatever of ourselves we treasure as much as Abraham treasured Isaac, this we must join to the offering made to the Father by His Only-Begotten Son.
By this we cling to no-one, to no-thing other than Jesus Himself, willing to loose our life that through Him we might save it.
He is the Lamb who takes our place, dies for us, that we might have life in abundance.
AND THE BREAD AND WINE OFFERED BY YOUR PRIEST MELCHISEDECH
We almost automatically assume that what is accessible to the senses is what is actually real.
In truth which is visible is so damaged by original sin and actual sins its very authenticity is suspect.
Especially our human capacity to perceive reality and truth.
The actual real – such as the reality of the Real Presence under the appearance of bread and wine – is invisible to the naked eye.
Thus without a particular gift of grace we do not appreciate the reality of the Holy Mass, the Divine and Heavenly Liturgy nor its fullness – – that is UNLESS we realize and trust what we cannot ‘see’.
While the Real appears invisible to the senses, He is accessible to the heart by faith.
The altar in heaven and the altar on earth are one and the same – – Christ Himself.
ALMIGHTY GOD, WE PRAY THAT YOUR ANGEL MAY TAKE THIS SACRIFICE TO YOUR ALTAR IN HEAVEN
Here Jesus is the ‘angel’!
The One offering is the One offered and the One offered is the One taking from this altar the sacrifice – Himself – to the Father!
This is why we must cry out at every Mass: ‘Let us proclaim the mystery of faith!’ – a proclamation not of non-understanding but of such sublime and joyful assertion of reality that only a statement of faith such as declaring the reality of Christ’s death, resurrection and return in glory, can possibly express our wonderment and gratitude.
Not for us to yearn for a mere Jacobian ladder vision for we behold in Holy Mass the Angel Himself descending upon the altar to be our Holy Communion and ascending to the Father to be our prayer!
THEN AS WE RECEIVE FROM THIS ALTAR THE SACRED BODY AND BLOOD OF YOUR SON, LET US BE FILLED WITH EVERY GRACE AND BLESSING
Here the priest bows before the awesome lavishness before us on the Holy Altar – – the fullness of divine mercy, beauty, generosity, life, truth, love: JESUS!
To be filled with every grace and blessing is to be filled with Christ.
It is to no longer live but only for Christ to live in us.
Christ is everything.
REMEMBER, LORD, THOSE WHO HAVE DIED AND HAVE GONE BEFORE US MARKED WITH THE SIGN OF FAITH, ESPECIALLY THOSE FOR WHOM WE NOW PRAY
With Christ-like generosity we plead for those no longer able to plead for themselves, especially our enemies, our ancestors, and those who faith is known to Him alone.
MAY THESE AND ALL WHO SLEEP IN CHRIST
This is the ultimate fulfillment of His invitation that all we who ‘labour and are sorely burdened’ come to Him and He will be our rest.
This is also the fulfillment of what the Servant of God Catherine Doherty was inspired to put as the final words of her Little Mandate for the Madonna House Lay Apostolate: I WILL BE YOUR REST.
FIND IN YOUR PRESENCE LIGHT, HAPPINESS AND PEACE
There is no real light but in His presence.
There is no real happiness but in Him who tells us of His yearning that His joy may be in us so that our joy may be complete.
There is not real peace but in Him who says He gives us His own peace.
This is ultimately a prayer for divinization.
FOR OURSELVES, TOO, WE ASK SOME SHARE IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF YOUR APOSTLES AND MARTYRS, WITH JOHN THE BAPTIST, STEPHEN, MATTHIAS, BARNABAS, IGNATIUS, ALEXANDER, MARCELLINUS, PETER, FELICITY, PERPETUA, AGATHA, LUCY, AGNES, CELCILIA, ANASTASIA AND ALL THE SAINTS
To live in the Communion of Saints, to love as they have loved, to lay down our lives in service of the Holy Gospel and of our brothers and sisters is to truly live Eucharist for their real fellowship was and is communion of love with the Father, through and in Christ, by the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit.
True fellowship is Trinitarian.
THOUGH WE ARE SINNERS
We dwell in the mystery, the poverty of the already and the not yet.
We are already baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ, already redeemed – – but – – we have not yet fully opened ourselves to nor co-operated with the Holy Spirit, thus not yet fully converted, emptied of false self, we are as yet not fully transfigured, sanctified, divinized.
We are sinners because of this resistance of ours to complete configuration to Christ by the Holy Spirit.
WE TRUST IN YOUR MERCY AND LOVE
This is our hope and joy, this gift of Mercy and Love Himself.
In sin we cut ourselves off from Jesus and thus can do nothing unless we approach, by in faith His grace, the throne of Divine Mercy especially in Sacramental Confession.
Then we approach here, made by grace holy that we might receive Holy Things – Jesus Himself in Eucharist.
The every moment beginning again moment!
DO NOT CONSIDER WHAT WE TRULY DESERVE, BUT GRANT US YOUR FORGIVENESS
What we truly deserve because of our sins is to be cut off from the Blessed Trinity forever.
Because Jesus became a man like us in all things but sin and became sin for us and sacrificed Himself for us He becomes what we truly, truly deserve and thus we are able not only to beg for forgiveness – in particular of our boldness to approach to receive Holiness Himself into our beings – but to receive He who is our forgiveness and thus we are forgiven.
THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD YOU GIVE US ALL THESE GIFTS. YOU FILL THEM WITH LIFE AND GOODNESS, YOU BLESS THEM AND MAKE THEM HOLY
Gift comes to us from the Father through Christ who is also the Father’s Gift to us and we are only able to receive The Gift because the Holy Spirit Himself comes to help us in our weakness for not only do we not know how to pray as we ought but we do not know how to receive as we ought.
They way we ought to pray is very simply: Give us Christ.
They way we ought to receive is very simple: Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom……..this in essence is what we do when before Holy Communion we speak: Lord I am not worthy to receive You but only say the word……
All gifts are of course facets of the one gift, Christ.
The blessing and holiness of all gifts, and not just the ultimate gift of Eucharist, is Christ.
Christ is incessantly, tenderly, lovingly, with divine passion and compassion, always knocking at the door of our being, begging leave to enter and commune with us, communicate Himself, and with Himself the Father and the Spirit, to us.
This is the indwelling of the Trinity within us promised us by Jesus if we will but open wide the doors of our being to Him.
Thus in a certain sense the reception of Christ in the Eucharist, our Holy Communion, each one from our First Holy Communion until that blessed day when we receive Holy Viaticaum, is both Christ knocking at the door of our being and entering – and thus each Communion is ultimately communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity, and therefore it is fitting and right more than we can comprehend until we participate in the Heavenly Liturgy in the Kingdom of Heaven, that we pray at the end of the Canon:
THROUGH HIM, WITH HIM, IN HIM, IN THE UNITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ALL GLORY AND HONOUR IS YOURS, ALMIGHTY FATHER, FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN.