Jesus Lives On In The Church (Pt. 2): The Mystical Tradition

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God Deserves Infinite Praise

‘Great is the Lord,’
says the Psalmist, ‘and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain’ (Ps. 47:2). Truly, God is worthy of infinite praise: ‘exalt Him as much as you can: for He is above all praise’ (Ecclus. 43:33). How then are we to praise God adequately?

The Chalice of Salvation
The answer is simple: unite yourself to Christ; live by His life (1 Jn. 4:9), by His hidden, Eucharistic life. There is no other way: ‘What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things He hath rendered unto me? I will take the Chalice of Salvation; and I will call upon the Name of the Lord’ (Ps. 115:12-13).

God Alone Can Praise God Worthily
God alone can praise Himself sufficiently. For this reason, God was made man; to this end He established the Church (‘the City of our God’), which offers to Him, upon her Altars (‘His holy mountain’), the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that is, the perfect ‘sacrifice of praise’ (Ps. 115:17), which mystically renews the offering of Christ on Calvary:

‘For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, My Name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for My Name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Mal. 1:11).

God is ALL
To reiterate: ‘What shall we be able to do to glorify Him? for the Almighty Himself is above all His works’ (Ecclus. 43:30). Be a host. Thus we shall realise, in full, the prayer of Jeremiah: ‘Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved, for THOU ART MY PRAISE’ (Jer. 17:14). This is the key to Christianity:

‘Sing to the Lord,
in union with His Bride, the Church, Who lives by His life,
O ye His saints: and,
through the Holy Mysteries,
give infinite praise,
through Christ, the God-Man,

to the memory of His infinite holiness.’

– Ps. 29:5 (the words in italics are mine)

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SOME REVELATIONS ON THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT

(1) A Vision of St. Hildegarde of Bingen
“As I gazed upon this Flesh and Blood I saw the signs of the Incarnation, the Birth, the Passion, of Our Saviour reflected in them as in a mirror, and just as we know these events to have been accomplished when the Son of God was on earth.” (‘Scivias’)

(2) Another Revelation of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Words of the Eternal Father: “Hence these mysteries shine before Me in the Heavenly places; for I have not forgotten them, but they will appear before Me in great brightness, like the dawn, until the end of the world.” (‘Scivias’)

Bl. Columba Marmion: “Doubtless we must never forget that under the Eucharistic species is found only the substance of the glorious Body of Jesus, such as it is at present in Heaven, and not such as it was, for example, in the crib of Bethlehem.
But when the Father looks upon His Son Jesus in the Heavenly splendours, what does He behold in Him? He sees the One Who lived thirty-three years upon earth for us; He beholds all the mysteries that this mortal life contained, the satisfactions and the merits whereof these mysteries were the source; He beholds the glory that His Son gave Him in living each of them.” (‘Christ in His Mysteries’)

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St. Gertrude in ecstasy

(3) A Revelation to St. Gertrude the Great
“It is related in the life of St. Gertrude, that one day, on the Festival of the Ascension, when she received the Sacred Host from the hand of the priest, she heard Jesus say to her: ‘Behold Me: I come, not to bid thee farewell, but to take thee with Me to Heaven, and present thee to My Father.'” (‘Christ in His Mysteries’)

The Saints are Eager to Share Their Spiritual Goods

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St. Mechtilde on the Feast of St. Agnes
“St. Mechtilde, when chanting… the responsory, ‘Amo Christum’ (“I love Christ”), interiorly complained to Our Lord that she had not, like Agnes, loved Him with her whole heart from childhood. Upon which He said to St. Agnes:
“Give her all that thou hast.”

By that word St. Mechtilde understood that God has conferred upon the Saints the privilege of being able to bestow all that His grace has worked in them upon those who (i) love them,
(ii) who thank Him, in their name,
(iii) and delight in the gifts He has bestowed on them.

St. Agnes, having done as Our Lord desired, Mechtilde was filled with ineffable joy, and asked the Queen of Virgins to give thanks for her [Agnes] to her Divine Son. Mary, complying with her request, gave her [Mechtilde] a share of all her riches, so, with them and the gifts of Agnes, she loved, honoured, and fully glorified God, for the past and for the present.

O admirabile commercium! Oh, most precious friendship with the Saints! We give them our praises, our thanksgivings, our love; and they, in return, make us participators in
all the gifts which God has so lavishly bestowed upon them for His glory.”
(Rev. Andre Prevot, SJ, ‘Love, Peace, and Joy: A Month of the Sacred Heart According to St. Gertrude,’ Benziger Brothers)

A Powerful Practice: Communicating in Honour of the Saints
Next time you participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, unite yourself to the Divine Victim and offer Him – an infinitely pleasing, living Oblation – to the Father in honour of a Saint or Saints. Also, receive Holy Communion in honour of a particular Saint, asking them to give you a share in their riches. A suitable petition would be the following: ‘I beseech thee that in me may be thy double spirit.’ (4 Kg. 2:9)

Do this often and you will see that the Saints do not forget! In this way do we discover one of the many reasons why the great Bl. Cardinal Schuster wrote the following: “The love of God is displayed chiefly through the Divine Liturgy.” (p. 149, vol. 3, ‘The Sacramentary’)

A Saint Tells Us How to Become “a great Saint”

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A Petition to be Made During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

“Why is it you do not ask great graces at this favourable time? I earnestly advise and exhort you to ask God in every Mass, the grace to become a saint.

Do you think I advise you to ask too much? Well, I tell you it is not too much. Has not our good and loving Master promised us in the Gospel that for a cup of cold water, given in His Name, He will bestow the Kingdom of Heaven? How then can He refuse us a hundred heavens, were there so many, in return for the Blood of His Beloved Son, offered to Him on the Altar?

How can you, therefore, doubt that He will give you every virtue, and all the perfection required to make you a saint, and a great saint in Heaven?

O blessed Mass! Let your heart’s desires be then multiplied a thousand-fold, and ask as much as you will; remembering always that you are asking of God, Who cannot grow poor by giving, and, therefore, the more you ask, the more will He give you.
– St. Leonard of Port Maurice, ‘The Hidden Treasure’

What is the Ultimate Reason for the Incarnation?

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Why Was The Word Made Flesh?

To what end did the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, in all things equal to the Father (cf. Heb. 1:3, Jn. 3:35, Jn. 10:30 etc.), become man (Jn. 1:14)? Was it to call ‘sinners to penance’ (Lk. 5:32)? Was it that we ‘may not remain in darkness’ (Jn. 12:49), but rather that we might see (Lk. 9:39)? Was it to bring us to the ‘Bosom of the Father’ (Jn. 1:18; Ps. 18:6, Vulgate)? Yes: the Word became Flesh for all these reasons. ‘For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself…’ (2 Cor. 5:19)

But that is not all.

Love Seeks Union
While it is true that God desires ‘all men to be saved’ (1 Tim. 2:4), He does not will that we merely be saved; it is not enough, in an of itself, for a love like His, that we be in a state of sanctifying grace; love seeks union, and the greater the love, the more sublime the union.

More than our reconciliation, then, God desires our sanctification – that is, the most complete reconciliation possible. He wants us to be one with Himself; He wants to consume us in His Word, in the fire of His Love. To adapt a well-known saying of St. Augustine, you might say that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is restless until It rests in us. ‘My son, give me thy heart! … I thirst!’ (Prov. 23:26; Jn. 19:28)

Aim Higher
“I’ll be lucky to get to Purgatory!” some say. But that is not enough. It is in affront to Divine Love to hope for anything less than the greatest intimacy with God (‘Be ye perfect…’ – that is, all His). Why so? Because God, as infinite and undivided Love, has given Himself to us without reserve (cf. Rom. 8:32); He is a ‘jealous God’ (Deut. 4:24), Who created us for one thing: Love. “I alone,” said Our Lord to St. Mechtilde, “can fill the heart of man.” Creatures, He further explained, cannot satisfy us, nor can any number of earthly goods, for they are less than man; they were created for us, not we for them.

To love us: this is His great joy, His solace, His glory. How He thirsts for our love! ‘If thou didst know the gift of God, and Who He is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water’ (Jn. 4:10).

God: Our Common Vocation
Think about it: the God-Man, in Whose Sacred Heart is contained an infinite ocean of love, thirsts for our love! How He longs – He Who ’emptied Himself’ (Phil. 2:7) – to pour Himself out upon us, thereby giving us to share, with Him, in an ineffable communion with the Most Blessed Trinity: As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love. (Jn. 15:9) “[T]he works of grace,” writes Ven. Juan G. Arintero OP, “since they make us enter into the joy of the Lord, into the intimate and secret life of the Divinity, and into friendly and familiar fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, raise us up to a participation in those ineffable communications which are effected ad intra, in the very Bosom of God.” (quoted in ‘Cradle of Redeeming Love’ by John Saward)

What a vocation! ‘I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal VOCATION OF GOD in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:14) St. Therese was right: “MY VOCATION IS LOVE!” ‘God is Love.’

This brings us to the answer to our initial question: What is the ultimate reason for the Incarnation? The answer?

The Ultimate Reason for The Incarnation
We will let Our Lord speak:

+ ‘I am come THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, and may have it more abundantly… UNTO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE.’ (Jn. 10:10; Eph. 1:6)

And what is this Life of which our Saviour speaks? It is His own Life:

+ ‘By this hath the charity of God appeared towards us, because God hath sent His only begotten Son into the world, THAT WE MAY LIVE BY HIM.’ (1 Jn. 4:9)

There is the answer: Our Lord came that we might live ‘THROUGH HIM, AND WITH HIM, AND IN HIM’ for the Father’s glory (cf. Per ipsum of the Mass; Eph. 1:3-10).

This all brings us to the means by which God effects this sublime union: the Adorable Eucharist.

The Sacrament of Love
As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. (Jn. 6:58)
That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
And the glory which Thou hast given Me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as We also are One: I in them, and Thou in Me; THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE: and the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved Me.’ (Jn. 17:21-23)

“My beloved,” said Our Lord to Sister Catherine Agnes Planche, “I wish you to love Me with the same love that I have eternally for My Father.”

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‘For by ONE OBLATION He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’
– Heb. 10:14