Going to mass nowadays is quite easy in compare to the ancient days. Before, the church goers have to walk miles after miles in order to attend the august sacrifice of the Mass. Today, it is as easy as eating a piece of cake because of the means of transportation we have. Within minutes we can be at the church if we want to or anywhere. But why we still have no time to prepare ourselves when attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Fixing oneself to appear nice and beautiful, yes, but spiritually, it seems not. It seems everything is given to facilitate us during the act of worship yet still seemingly not enough.
Let us remember that, the Mass is not an ordinary activity conducted by the church for the believers. It is very special act of love of Christ for us. St. Peter Julian Eymard tells us that “The Eucharist is the supreme proof of the love of Jesus. After this, there is nothing more but Heaven itself.” Do the believers still show their belief in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist just like the ancient ones? St. Pedro Calungsod for sure had this kind of sentiment. We could imagine how he knelt down on bare ground during the consecration without a kneeler and his seriousness in serving as an acolyte in the Mass. Everything he did with great reverence because he has a great love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
He always makes sure that he has prepared spiritually before attending the mass. He did this to gain more grace and merits that helped him in his difficult days. This is what St. Bonaventure said “Guard against approaching the holy table with too tepidity, want of preparation, or thoughtlessness; for you receive [Christ’s Body] unworthily unless you approach with reverence mature deliberation, and reflection.” Each of us could do this too, and like Saint Pedro would gain lots of graces and merits.
“Our Savior has instituted the most august sacrament of the Eucharist,” says Saint Francis de Sales, “which contains his flesh and blood in their reality, so that whoever eats of it shall live forever. Therefore, whoever turns to it frequently and devoutly so effectively builds up his soul’s health that it is almost impossible for him to be poisoned by evil affection of any kind.” And Ven. Louis de Blois said “No tongue can express, no heart can comprehend how boundless are the spiritual goods which come to the soul from the devout reception of this sweet sacrament of the Eucharist.” Do we, like St. Pedro receive Jesus in communion with great devotion?
By Angelico M. Lamigo (KNMC)