St. Philip Neri's Mass
As in the lives of all of the saints,
the center and heart of the life of St. Philip Neri was JESUS present in the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Neri, known for his joy, love for the youth, and
fervor in prayer found his strength in Holy Mass.
The joyful saint observed something
that disturbed him at the very end of Mass. He noticed a man would rush out of
Mass before the final blessing. This bothered Neri! After noticing this man
scamper out of Mass, before it was concluded another time, the saint had a plan
prepared for the following day!
Once again, the following day at the
end of Fr. Philip’s Mass, the man scurried out the door before the final
blessing. Well prepared this time, Father Philip followed the man into the
street with two altar boys carrying candles, one on his right and the other on
Turning around the man saw Father
Philip and this noble procession following him into the streets of Rome.
Inquiring why this was done, St. Philip Neri explained that they were making a
Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Rome and that the man was
carrying the Blessed Sacrament in the very depths of his heart!
Excellent explanation of living the Mass!
Red with embarrassment and shame, the
man captured the meaning of the unique Eucharistic procession and from that
time on he would never rush out into the streets without making a proper
thanksgiving for the gift he had received in his heart--- the Most Holy
Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ the Son of the
Unfortunately this brief episode in
the life of St. Philip Neri is all too common in the participation of many
Catholics who attend the greatest prayer in the universe--- the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass.
How many people bolt out of Mass as
if their pants were on fire, or as if their turkey were burning in the
oven! The Document on the Liturgy from
the Second Vatican Council Sacrosanctum Concilium states that the faithful should participate fully, actively,
and consciously in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Eat and run!
A SIMPLE ANALOGY! The Eucharist is both Sacrifice and a Sacred
Meal. If you were invited to be a guest at a family in which the meal were the
focal point of the visit, would you gobble down the food and bolt out the door
without even rendering thanks to the family who so courteously invited you
after so much detailed preparation???? Of course not! That would be the epitome of ingratitude and
On the move!!!
Quite the contrary would happen with
well-mannered and civilized individuals! Arriving early to converse and share
with the hosts is good manners. Blessing the meal and sharing both food and
friendship in a calm, courteous, friendly and amiable fashion is the least to
be expected. Ending with a good desert
and cappuccino, all the while conversing with family and friends, all are clear
indications of hospitality and receiving hospitality graciously.
Analogously we apply the same example
to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist Meal. The Host is Jesus Himself. He invites all to
the meal with these words: “Come to me all of you who are weary and I
will give you rest…” Jesus has prepared the most succulent and exquisite
meal imaginable! There are two major portions: the Bread of His Word--- the
Liturgy of the Word, or the Bible Readings of the day. Then the Major Meal is
brought to the Table—the Most Holy Eucharist, His Body, Blood, Soul, and
Therefore, after being nourished by
the Bread of His Word and then being nourished by the “Bread of Life” in the
most Holy Eucharist, present in the very depths of your heart, it is only
logical that thanksgiving for such great gifts should be rendered to God
Himself. Remember that the word Eucharist
actually means from the Greek “Thanksgiving”!
The four parts of the Mass: Adoration, Contrition, Thanks, and Supplication
A very easy way to render Jesus
thanksgiving is through a very simple four-letter acronym: A.C.T.S. ADORATION…CONTRITION… THANKSGIVING… SUPPLICATION…
Feel free to use one, two, three, or
all of the distinct sentiments of the heart with the sole purpose of rendering
thanks to Jesus for coming to visit your home, the depths of your heart, in
Mass in the context of Holy Communion.
Angels adoring the Blessed Sacrament
ADORATION! Praise God for His
greatness, His Majesty, His ineffable beauty, His overflowing goodness and His
infinite love for you. You can even take one of the many Psalms and praise the
Lord through the inspired Word of God. (For example Psalms 148, 149, and 150).
CONTRITION. Offer to the Lord Jesus heartfelt sorrow and
compunction for all the sins of your past; beg the Lord through the power of
His Body and Blood now beating and circulating in your veins and very heart to
give you strength to fight against sin as a noble soldier that you were called
to be in Confirmation!
Jesus really present in the Consecrated Host!
thanks to the Lord for He is good; His mercy endures forever.” The nature of God is to give and to
give. We will more quickly tire of
receiving God’s gifts than God in giving His gifts to us! May your heart
overflow in gratitude for the countless gifts God has bestowed on you, is even
now bestowing upon you, and will pour down blessings upon you, up until your
dying breath! Among the multitude of
gifts, thank Him especially for the Eucharist, your belief in the Eucharist and
reception of such a sublime gift. With
that attitude of gratitude propose to prepare to receive Him better every day
if possible and render to Him a more worthy and heart-felt thanksgiving!
Padre Pio and his Holy Mass
SUPPLICATION. Saint Augustine asserts: “We are
all beggars before God.” God rejoices in His sons and daughters humbly
imploring Him for our daily bread for all that we need. Jesus Himself invites us with these words: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and
you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks,
receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door
will be opened.” (Mt.7:7-8). As beggars we can pour out our hearts to the Beneficent
Master asking for anything at all (aside from sin itself) and trust in God’s
goodness! However, we should strive to beg for the graces and gifts that would redound
to our sanctification and salvation as well as for the sanctification and
salvation of the whole world! St.
Ignatius reminds us in Principle and Foundation that we are created to praise
God and to save our immortal soul!
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
CONCLUSION. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ longs to
shower a deluge of blessings upon us especially in the context of the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass. However, this is largely dependent upon cultivating highly refined
church manners. Primarily this is manifested in rendering Jesus abundant and
heart-felt thanksgiving at the end of Holy Mass. May Our Lady of the Eucharist help us with
her powerful prayers to render praise and thanksgiving to our Eucharistic
King: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in
God my Savior…”(Lk. 1:47)