At Mass with Mary

By Anonymous (Russia) (Walters Art Museum:  Home page  Info about artwork) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Anonymous (Russia) (Walters Art Museum: Home page Info about artwork) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By John Sexton Kennedy, Catholic Truth Society

A glory of new stars, downward flung And forged into seven swords, has stung The heart of the Woman whom I pass On my way to the altar for morning Mass. There is no shrill crowd, there are no hoarse cries, But I meet One bearing a cross in her eyes. – JOHN SEXTON KENNEDY

Those people who twenty centuries ago were present on Calvary because they hated Jesus Christ paid more attention to the sacrifice of the cross than do most of us who are Sunday after Sunday present at Mass because we love Jesus Christ. This is a fact at once startling and sobering. At the beginning of each week we and many, many like us take our places before a thousand altars, and, as the great Action wherein Christ intended that we should, each of us, intensively participate, proceeds, we stand, kneel, sit absently. For us the Mass remains the measured movements, the mystifying mumblings of a remote, brightly clad figure. And so we are paupers in the midst of plenty, drought-ruined in a land of living waters; we miss the full worth of this unique means of best paying our debts to God, this unique means too of best building up and improving our poor, uncertain lives. What are we to do? Methods of hearing Mass well are numerous. Some have been explained to us. We have found them involved, almost baffling. What is most difficult is to keep well focused the basic truth that the Sacrifice of the Mass is really the same sacrifice as that of Calvary. In the absence of glittering spears, strained and distorted faces, hideous cries, a grim cross we utterly forget that we attend the crucifixion of Christ. Could we but sufficiently appreciate the fact, our problem of keeping attentive, devout at Mass would be solved. As a means to this end, a means not indeed perfect but if earnestly tried quite effective, we are suggesting the effort to hear Mass with Mary. The lessons which we can learn from Our Blessed Lady are quite beyond numbering; none of them is simpler or of greater value than that of worthy assistance at holy Mass. Herein we shall consider first the thorough excellence of Mary’s following of the first Mass, and then the value to us of her exceptional example. (more…)