This Sunday’s reflection is the sixth in a series of meditations on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with specific references to the Ancient Rite of the Mass, the Usus Antiquior. There are many books in circulation that illustrate the theological and spiritual cohesion of the Ancient Rite of the Mass. It is the Rite that sustained and nourished the spiritual life of countless saints and which gave birth to Christian culture. It is my hope that these meditations may help us to appreciate and to understand that the ultimate purpose of the sacred liturgy is to form our souls in the beauty of holiness; so that we in our time, like those who have gone before us may be ‘the aroma of Christ to God…a fragrance from life to life’ (2 Cor. 2:15-16) for God’s greater glory and the salvation of souls. ⧾
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh (Jn. 6:51).
In our meditations on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we have considered the unchangeable heart of the Mass, the Canon or Eucharistic Prayer. It is the very heart of the Mass because this priestly prayer brings about the consecration of the offerings into the Body and Blood of Our Saviour, the Bread of Life. We have noted that the sacred liturgy nourishes our human nature since it addresses the totality of our being; mind and body, intellect, memory and will. The Eucharist specifically nourishes the seed of immortality which is an undeniable aspect of our personhood. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh (Jn. 6:51).