Hoc fácite in meam commemoratiónem.
The glory of God’s Name and knowledge of It spread throughout the world: these are the fruits of the Holy Sacrifice of the New Covenant. It is the divine bestowal in answer to the first petition of the Our Father: Hallowed be Thy Name. How often of my Jesus, I have felt ashamed of the fruitlessness of my priesthood! I made a sad mistake. With just the daily celebration of the Mass I co-operate to bring about the greatest good of God and of creatures: the furtherance of the glory of the Lord.
To consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ is the Church’s mightiest exercise of power. To approach with imperiousness, with three words, the Right Hand of God, the Bosom of the Father, and there to lay hold, in a certain sense, on the Only-Begotten Son and bring Him down to earth; to renew each day, each hour, each moment, over the face of the earth, the most glorious, the most meritorious feat of the Word of God, His Sacrifice; to earn, to seek, and find, for all Her countless children their daily Bread, and to feed them with It… almost force It upon them, lest they hunger, faint and die. O Lord! For this alone Thy Church is worthy to be named mankind’s chief Benefactress, and this our priestly dignity, the greatest and holiest power for good on earth.
The Mass is the very Immolation of Calvary, and therefore, the goal of Christ’s coming to the world and living in mortal flesh. And in the Mass, the same as on Golgotha, there can intervene, at least attend, a great variety of people in a variety of roles. What is the role of the Priest when celebrating? Will he be one of Christ’s executioners? One of the soldiers offering the Victim gall and vinegar? One of those cruel adversaries who mock at His sorrows and blaspheme? One of the crowds of the merely inquisitive who get a thrill from the tragic details of an execution? Or will he be found among those good souls who believe in Christ and accompany Him in His prayer and Agony? Will he stand between the Mother and the beloved Disciple? NO. My place and role, when saying Mass, is pre-eminent: I have identified myself with the Divine Victim and Sacrificer, with the Lamb of God and the Eternal Priest Who immolates It; through my lips speak the lips, the Omnipotence, and the Heart of Christ: Hoc est Corpus Meum; Hic est Sanguis Meus.
2) And since the veneration which the Mass inspires the faithful depends, in no small measure, upon the priest’s pious observance of the rubrics, I propose to revise the ceremonies of the Missal, so that in all earnestness, and as soon as possible, I may examine my conscience on how I abide by them.
I desire, for the Savior’s sake, to win the compliment paid to St. Vincent de Paul: “There indeed you have a priest who says Mass well!”