Monday, 25 April 2011

"Garden of the Soul”: Praying our way through the Mass

As promised in my post last Thursday, here is a flavour of the beautiful Prayers at Mass, from my Garden of the Soul. The union between the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacrifice of Calvary is very much a feature of these extracts.

O merciful Father, who didst so love the world as to give up for our redemption Thy beloved Son; who, in obedience to Thee, and for us, sinners, humbled Himself even unto the death of the Cross, and continues to offer Himself daily, by the ministry of His priests, for the living and the dead, we humbly beseech Thee that, penetrated with a lively faith, we may always assist with the utmost devotion and reverence at the oblation of His most precious Body and Blood, which is made at Mass, and thereby be made partakers of the sacrifice which He consummated on Calvary.

It is in Thy name, O adorable Trinity, it is to honour Thee and to do Thee homage, that I assist at this most holy and august sacrifice. Permit me then, O Lord, to unite my intention with that of Thy minister now at the altar, in offering up this precious victim; and give me the same sentiments I should have had on Mount Calvary, had I been an eye-witness to that bloody sacrifice.

To Thou Thyself, O Lord, raise up my heart; inflame it with Thy love …… Let it rest in heaven, where Thou, my treasure, art, and on this altar also, where Thou art going to present Thyself to the eternal Father for our sake.

O Father of mercy, graciously receive this most holy sacrifice, which we offer to Thee by the hands of Thy priest, in union with that which Thy beloved Son offered to Thee during His whole life, at His last supper, and on the cross.

Come, O Lord Jesus; come, sweet Redeemer of the world; come quickly to accomplish a mystery, which is an abridgment of all Thy other miracles.
Thou art, O Lord Jesus, the true Pastor of our souls, who didst lay down Thy life for Thy flock. Thou art the Lamb of God, who didst die upon the cross to save us.

I adore Thy goodness and return Thee infinite thanks, O gracious Lord, for Thy inestimable favour and mercy in admitting me to be present this day at the great sacrifice, where Thou art both Priest and Victim.

I hope these extracts will give you a good impression of the stream of personal prayer, flowing with the progress of the Holy Sacrifice, that was available to the faithful as a matter of course in those days. I am accustomed to reading these prayers at almost every Mass, and even so I have found that selecting the extracts, and setting them out for my readers, has been a surprisingly affecting experience for me.

I plan to include in my next post some passages from the lovely prayers of thanksgiving after Holy Communion.

Picture from, with thanks.

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