Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Ascension

My brethren, let us follow the Lamb wheresoever He goes; let us follow Him suffering with patience; let us follow Him rising; let us follow Him still more eagerly when He ascends to heaven; and let us raise up our hearts to God the Father, in whom His glory reigns.--St. Bernard

I was reading my husband's missal this morning after Mass. He has the 1962 published by Angelus Press. I came across a section in the introduction that speaks to man's Ascension toward God and the part the Mass plays in it:

The Mass is the means whereby we may become the prolongation of Christ.

Through the offering of ourselves with Christ

Through the consecration of ourselves through Christ

Through the communion in Christ

to the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity and the sanctification of our souls. The Mass reminds us at one and the same time of God's CONdescension toward man, and of man's Ascension toward God! For the Mass sums up the twin mysteries of the Incarnation and the Redemption, at the same time that it applies to us their fruits. Crib and Cross manifest to mankind God's love for all; whereas the Mass stresses His love for the individual.

One ought, then, to look on the Mass as the sum total of man's ascensions toward God, because it presupposes and completes them. The sinner derives from it abundant graces of conversion. The just man finds fervor in it--outstripping himself from one Consecration to another. Through the Mass man offers to God praise that is worthy of Him.

This, then, is the place that the Mass occupies in God's plan. Like Christ, it is at the center: as a sun to bring light and warmth, to transform and uplift all creation and bring it back to its Creator in a hymn of thanksgiving.

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