Editor’s Note: This guest post was to be posted at the time Mass was shut down due to Covid. Somehow it got saved as a draft instead. But it’s good to read it in retrospect.
This post was written by a guest blogger who goes by the name of Blessed Mother Blue
Now many clouds have a silver lining. The one I see in regards to the closing of public Catholic Mass due to the Covid, I thought I’d share with you.
I used to attend daily Mass, and at the Mass I would read the readings for the Mass from my Magnificat (a small monthly magazine with all the Novus Ordo Masses for the month). It is quite good. And I had also developed a series of methods to keep me focused on the holiness of the Mass.
First, my Magnificat I filled with pictures (printed from my computer) of the spiritual dimensions of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to keep me focused on what was truly spiritually occurring during the Mass. (For example, we are joined by the saints and angels in heaven; the souls in purgatory receive help; and we are in a certain sense, present ourselves at Calvary).
Second, I veiled my head for Our Lord, present in the Holy Eucharist, out of reverence for His Presence, and as a sign of my belief in His Real Presence.(I’ve also heard that a woman’s skirt is a veil for her uterus, which is a holy place because God begins new human life there.)
Third, I tried to be as reverent as possible, including a full genuflection toward the tabernacle (with knee to the floor, back straight, and facing the tabernacle), whenever I entered or left the church or passed in front of the tabernacle.
Fourth, I would avoid looking at the priest, who nearly always had his back to Our Lord in the tabernacle (!) and instead was facing us, and seemed to be speaking the prayers of the Mass to us in the pews. Here the pictures I kept in my Magnificat helped me remember that the priest was supposed to be Persona Christi, offering to God His Father His own Body and Blood, in an unbloody way at the Mass, for our salvation. And we in the pews were to be uniting ourselves with him spiritually in our hearts.
However, it was a challenge: not infrequently the priest would add personal dialogue to the Mass, change the Mass words, omit words (or whole prayers) and/or utter the words with indifference; usually it was some combination of all those things. Some priests would even initiate dialogue with us in the pews during the homily and/or during the prayers of the faithful. Sigh. No wonder some people in the pews seem to view Mass as just a social event.
It was a great longing of mine to attend Mass offered by a priest who was reverent and devout, as evidenced by his following the Mass ritual faithfully and performing everything with care. Actually, there was one such priest I knew, but he is no longer available. 😦
So the silver lining here is, that although deprived of receiving Our Lord sacramentally in a Mass, I am still receiving spiritual benefits from the Mass.I read through ALL the prayers (Propers and Ordinaries) of the daily Mass from the Magnificat with all the reverence, care and devotion that I can. (The liturgy is very beautiful and spiritually uplifting with much for meditation; it has been carefully formed for the worship of Almighty God.) At “homily time” I read the meditation in the Magnificat that goes with that day. At Communion time I make a Spiritual Act of Holy Communion. So the silver lining is – that I am not disturbed by the apparent lack of holiness of the celebrant of the Mass – while I still receive benefits from the Mass.