Tuesday, February 12, 2019
What notion of sacrifice?
What is needed, rather, is to see the Mass through the lens of the Office. We need to see the Mass as a sweet-smelling sacrifice of praise offered up in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, thanking God for His great glory, adoring, placating, supplicating Him. Only after that does it make sense to see it as a banquet to which we are invited. We are invited to a sacrifice of which we may then partake if we are properly disposed; we reap spiritual fruit in proportion to how well we have been prepared by the very liturgical action in which we have participated.
What notion of gift?
The Mass is not a utilitarian process designed to maximize the efficient delivery of goods. The Mass is not, as such, a communion service. It is a complex ceremony of repentance, adoration, petition, and thanksgiving, with a sacramental sacrifice at its core. It was given to us by our Lord and His Church as the highest form of prayer, which prepares for, culminates in, and gives thanks for the gift of His Most Holy Body and Blood. It does not begin and end with that gift.
Throw in some mystical bride spirituality, too, which admittedly can be found in some of the Eastern fathers like Origen and St. Maximos.
Think of it this way: If you were Mary of Bethany, sitting at the feet of Jesus and soaking in His words, would you want to sit there quietly, for quite some time, preparing yourself deeply for the spiritual marriage with Him — “the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself” (Rev 19:7) — or would you want to listen for a few minutes, jump up, give Him a hug and a kiss, and be off to the next thing?
Mass is a service of prayer:
In short: the Mass is not just about communion. It is a many-sided service of prayerBut you don't need to understand it to pray it, because "Mystery" is important too. Or, just use a bilingual missal!
Let us consider this fact. It would have been a lot “simpler” if Jesus had remained among us under His natural appearances until the end of time. He surely could have done that; the Ascension was not necessary, in the strict logical sense of necessity.
What does 'logical' necessity have to do with practical reason? It was 'morally' necessary, means to end. (John 16:7)