Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Heart Well Disposed

The Hidden Treasure: Holy Mass 
St. Leonard of Port Maurice. 
(with Supplemental Reading: Novena of Holy Communions). 
TAN Books. 2012. Kindle Edition. 

The original English language edition of this book carries a Nihil Obstat from 1890 (St. Leonard, 1676-1751, was a prolific writer and preacher in Italy, noted for propagating the Stations of the Cross in the form familiar to us yet today). The Supplemental Reading, Novena of Holy Communions, comes from the pen of Father Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D., and was first published in 1960. I am most grateful for the impulse received which led me to pick up this double treasure and read it through. 

I would encourage others to do the same for two reasons: a) it opens a valuable window to appreciation for classic Catholic Eucharistic devotion as lived out from long before preconciliar times, and b) it helps to understand the sense of lay people committing to daily Mass and frequent Holy Communion. 

Not only lay people could gain much for the life of faith by reading this book. It might just provide that nudge to priests in the parish to return to celebrating daily Mass (Down with the "Mass-less-day-off" business!), hence practicing the discipline of worthy Daily Mass and Communion themselves and preaching regular and more frequent Confession to their people, by giving good example as penitents and making themselves available in the confessional every day before Mass, plus Saturday afternoons and evenings, as well as the vigils of holy days of obligation.

Among the reasons for the lack of faith in the Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Christ our God under the forms of bread and wine in the Most Holy Eucharist is certainly a failure to ponder Christ's Sacrifice and know of His unbounded love in obedience to the will of the Father for our salvation. I think that the points made in this little volume could be of help to many in attaining a more conscious and vibrant faith life.

"Consider then, beloved, the cause of all this anguish, borne by our Crucified Redeemer and Lord, and you will find that it is nothing else but sin; therefore the genuine and principal way of showing the sympathy and gratitude which He demands of us, and which we are undoubtedly bound to render to Him, is to be sorry for our past sins purely from love to Him; to hate sin with a hatred beyond all other hatred, and to fight manfully against all His enemies and our own evil inclinations; that thus, putting off the old man with his deeds, we may be clothed with the new, and our souls may be adorned with the virtues of the Christian character." (from "The Spiritual Combat" by Lorenzo Scupoli)

I am greatly saddened to hear of people (even bishops) militating against Summorum Pontificum and the tender flowering of the regular celebration of the Vetus Ordo. There is something diabolical about this intolerance toward what has always and everywhere been in the Church and with great profit over the centuries. The expression "Cut off your nose to spite your face" comes to mind. We pray for openness and eagerness for all which would promote sanctity of life among our priests and people. Vivat! Crescat! Et floriat!


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