• Usus Antiquior (Latin Mass of 1962)
  • Catholic Ordo for the 2021 Liturgical Year
    Usus Antiquior
    Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite

  • St. Joseph: The saviour of Our Saviour
  • St. Joseph: The saviour of Our Saviour

    Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.
    Roman Catholic Theologian

  • Thinking About The Sacrifice of the Mass and its History
  • Abel the Just, Abraham the Obedient, & Melchizedek the Mysterious

    Bruce Marshall
    Roman Catholic Theologian

    The Sacrifice of the Mass

    Fr. Antonio Royo Marin, O.P.

    Reading Time
    The Mass is substantially the same sacrifice as that of the Cross, and has all of its infinite value: the same victim, the same oblation, the same priest. There is only an accidental difference: the manner in which the sacrifice is realised (a bloody sac­rifice on the Cross, an unbloody sacrifice on the altar). This is the teaching of the Church in the Council of Trent. As a true sacrifice, the Mass realises the four purposes of sacrifice: adoration, reparation, petition and thanksgiving. Its val­ue is infinite, but its effects, so far as they depend on us, are applied to us only in the measure of our internal dispositions.

    The End and Effects of the Mass

    As a reproduction of the redeeming sacrifice, the Mass has the same purposes and produces the same effects as the sacrifice of the Cross. They are also the same as those of a sacrifice in general, the supreme act of religion, but they are incom­parably more sublime.

    1) Adoration.

    The sacrifice of the Mass renders to God an adoration which is absolutely worthy of Him and is infinite in the
    sense. This effect it always produces infallibly, by its own intrinsic power, even if those at Mass are all sinners. The reason is that the value of adoration depends on the infinite dignity of the principal priest who offers the sacrifice (Christ) and the value of the victim offered (Christ).

    We should recall the great longing of the saints to give glory to God. With the Mass we give to God all the honour which is due to Him in recognition of His sovereign grandeur and supreme dominion, and this is done in the most perfect way possible, in an infinite degree. One Mass gives more glory to God than do all the angels and saints in heaven, including the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

    In return for this incomparable glory, God inclines lovingly to His creatures. From this proceeds the sanctifying value of the Mass. And to think that many Christians, even devout Christians, have not yet become aware of this, but prefer their routine practices of devotion to an incorporation and participation in this sublime sacrifice which constitutes the principal act of religion and of Catholic worship!

    2) Reparation.

    After adoration, there is no other debt which is more press­ing than that of making reparation for the offences which we have commit­ted against the Creator. In this sense also the value of the Mass is absolutely incomparable, because by means of it we offer to the Father the infinite repa­ration of Christ with all its redeeming efficacy.

    The world is flooded with sin each day, and we may well ask why God does not punish us. The reason is that each day, indeed each hour, the Son of God, immolated on the altar, appeases the wrath of His Father and withholds the arm which is prepared to punish. Yet this reparatory effect is not applied to us in all of its infinite fulness, but in a limited and finite degree, according to our dispositions.Nevertheless, it is well to keep in mind the following points:

    a) We receive, unless we place an obstacle to it, the actual grace which is necessary for repentance for our sins. Consequently, there is nothing more efficacious for obtaining from God the conversion of a sinner than to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for this intention, asking God at the same time to rid the heart of the sinner of the obstacles for infallibly obtaining that grace.

    b) The Mass remits always and infallibly, as long as there is no obstacles, at least part of the temporal punishment which is due to sin in this world or in the world to come. Hence the Mass is likewise of great profit for the souls in purgatory. The degree and measure of this remission, however, will depend on our dispositions.

    No suffrage is of such efficacious value to the souls in purgatory as the sacrifice of the Mass.

    3) Petition.

    Our indigence is immense; we constantly need light, fortitude, consolation. We shall find all this in the Mass. There is, in effect, he who said: ‘I am the Light of the world, I am the Way, I am the Truth, 1 am the Life. Come to me, those who suffer, and I will refresh you. If anyone comes to me, I will not reject him.

    Christ is offered to the Father in the Mass in order to obtain for us, through the infinite merit of His oblation, all the graces of divine life which we need. There He is always living to make intercession for us” (Heb.7:25), strength­ening our supplications and petitions by His infinite merits. Therefore, the impetratory value of the Mass is incomparable. Of itself, infallibly and immediately, it moves God to grant to men all the graces they need, without exception, although the effective distribution of those graces will be measured by the degree of our dispositions and can even be frustrated completely because of a voluntary obstacle (i.e., serious sin) which we may place to it.

    When incorporated with the Mass, our prayer not only enters into the river of liturgical prayer, which gives it a dignity and efficacy, but it blends it with the infinite prayer of Christ, and in attention to Him God will grant us whatever we need. Consequently, there is no novena or triduum which can compare to the impetratory efficacy of one Mass.

    What a disorientation frequently exists among the faithful as regards the objective value of things! That which we cannot obtain by means of the Holy Mass cannot be obtained in any other way. It is very well and good to make use of other practices and exercises which are approved by the Church, and it is beyond doubt that God does grant many graces through them, but let us put each thing in its proper place. The Mass is above everything.

    4) Thanksgiving.

    The immense benefits of the natural and supernatural order which we have received from God cause us to contract with Him an infinite debt of gratitude. An entire eternity would not suffice to pay this debt if we were not able to make use of other means which we are able to offer Him on our account. But there is at our disposition a wonderful means of com­pletely liquidating our debt: the sacrifice of the Mass. Through it we offer to the Father a Eucharistic sacrifice or a thanksgiving which is more than our debt because it is infinite. It is Christ Himself who is immolated for us, and in our place He gives thanks to God for his immense benefits. At the same time, the Mass is a fountain of new graces because it pleases God to reward those who do good. The Eucharistic effect or thanksgiving is produced by the Holy Mass of itself always and infallibly and indepen­dently of our dispositions.

    Such are, in brief, the infinite riches contained in the Mass. For that reason the saints, illumined by God, always held the Mass in the highest esteem. It was the centre of their life, the fountain of their spirituality, the resplendent sun around which all of their activities revolved. But in order to obtain the maximum sanctify­ ing benefits from the celebration of or attendance at Mass, it is necessary to insist on the necessary dispositions on the part of the one who celebrates or the one who attends.

    A Short History of the Roman Rite of the Mass
    Introduction: The Last Supper—The First Eucharist

    Fr. Michael Lang

    The Offering of Mass ad orientem in the Ordinary Form

    Mons. Marc B. Caron

    The Last Gospel Speaks the First Word

    Donald Demarco

    Clarification of Some Liturgical Questions
    (Kneeling, Genuflecting, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Orientation of Priest at the Altar

    Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

    Ep. 6: The Mystical Union of Christ and the Church

    Bishop Robert Barron
    Word on Fire Media

  • Our Lady of the Annunciation
  • On Devotion to Our Lady

    Fr. Antonio Royo Marin, O.P.


    One of the outstanding authorities on the role of Mary in the Christian life has stated: The more you look at Mary in your prayers, contemplations, actions and sufferings, if not in a clear and distinct manner, then at least with a general and imperceptible glance, the more perfectly will you find Jesus, who is always with Mary, great, powerful, active and incomprehensible, more than in heaven or in any other creature”.

    Mary is, in a word, the shortest and most secure path to Christ. God has wished that Mary should be so intimately associated with the divine plan of redemption and sanctification that they cannot be attained without her. Consequently, this is not merely a question of another devotion, but Mary has a basic and necessary role to play in the Christian life.

    Mary’s Role

    All the titles and glories of Mary stem from her divine maternity. She is immacu­late, full of grace, co-redemptrix and mediatrix because she is the Mother of God. Her divine maternity places her on such an exalted level that St. Thomas did not hesitate to say that it bestowed upon her a certain infinite dignity. And Cajetan says that Mary touches the boundaries of divinity. There is no other creature that has as great an affinity with God.

    Because of her divine maternity, Mary is an intimate part of the hypostatic union, and hence she enters into the incarnation of the Word and the redemption of the human race as an essential element. But the hypostatic union infinitely surpasses the order of grace and glory; therefore, the divine maternity surpasses the adoptive fili­ation through grace, because adoption establishes only a spiritual and mystical rela­tionship, while the divine maternity establishes a relationship of nature and of blood with Jesus Christ, as well as one of affinity with the Blessed Trinity. The divine maternity, which terminates in the uncreated person of the Word made flesh, sur­passes, by reason of its end, the grace and glory of all the elect and the plenitude of grace and glory received by Mary herself. It surpasses all the graces (freely given) and the charisms, because these graces are less than sanctifying grace. Because of this, Mary is intimately associated with the entire redemptive mission of Christ, and all that He merited for us in strict justice, she likewise merited for us, but in a different way.

    The Expectation of Our Lady

    Aquinas on the Blessed Mother: Her Freedom, Her Genius, Her Beauty

    Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P.
    Roman Catholic Theologian

    Grace & Anxiety:Spiritual Growth in a Time of Turmoil

    Fr. Dominic Legge, O.P.
    Roman Catholic Theologian
    Director of the Thomistic Institute, Washington D.C.

  • Saints Feast Days
  • The Feast Days of the Saints

  • Liturgical Prayer
  • The Spirit of the Liturgy

    Mons. Romano Guardini
    Roman Catholic Theologian

  • The Liturgical Reform

  • Why the Liturgical Reform? ,or ‘What if we just say no to any liturgical change?’

    Helen Hull Hitchcock

  • The Sacrament of Penance

  • The Sacrament of Penance

    Fr. Antonio Royo Marín. O.P
    Roman Catholic Theologian

    Confessions are heard in the Sacristy After Mass

    Penance and Compunction

    The reception of the sacrament of penance has an extraordinary sanctifying efficacy, but it is a transitory act which cannot be repeated continuously. What should remain habitually in the soul is the virtue of penance and the spirit of compunction, which will preserve in the soul the fruits of the sacrament. For the sake of brevity, we shall summarise the fundamental points which should be kept in mind in this matter. The virtue of penance is a supernatural habit by which we are sorry for past sins and have the intention of removing them from the soul. Therefore, it implies the desire of expiating them. Thus virtue should be manifested by acts which are proper to it, but in itself it is a habitual attitude of the soul which preserves in us the sorrow for having offended God and the desire of making reparation for our faults. This spirit of compunction is necessary for all those who have not lived in perfect innocence. When it is profound and habitual, this sentiment of contrition gives great peace to the soul, keeps it in humility, is an excellent instrument of purification, helps the soul mortify its disorderly instincts, fortifies it against temptation, impels it to use all the means at its disposal to make reparation for its sins, and is a guarantee of perseverance on the way of perfection. Many souls experience an instinctive repugnance to anything that signifies penitence and renunciation. This instinctive movement, originating in the depths of the human spirit, which moves man naturally to flee from pain, is no obstacle to the possession and practice of the virtue of penance, which, as such, resides in the will and has nothing to do with the rebellion of the instinct. The spirit of compunction was found in all the saints; all of them were aware that they were sinners in the eyes of God. And the Church herself has placed in her liturgy various formulas of contrition, especially in the Mass, in which such expressions are multiplied in an impressive manner. This is the spirit which animates the Church, the Spouse of Christ, as long as she performs this most sublime and most holy action in this world. Penance makes us participants in the suffering and the merits of Christ. Union with Christ in our sufferings, besides being an indispensable condition for their value, is an ineffable source of consolation. The saints did not dare to live without the Cross.

    Following the thought and the intention of the Church as manifested in the formula which accompanies sacramental absolution, we must refer, by an explicit intention, the act of the virtue of penance to the sacrament itself. This practice is of singular efficacy for the remission of our sins, for the increase of grace and for the attainment of the reward which will be ours in eternal life.

    The principal means for acquiring the spirit of penance and of compunction are: 1) prayer, since this is a gift from God; 2) meditation on the sufferings of Christ because of our sins and His infinite mercy in forgiving the repentant sinner; 3) the voluntary practice of mortification performed with the spirit of reparation in union with Christ.

    Misericordia Dei

    On Certain Aspects on the Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance

    Pope St.John Paul II

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