Every Mass is Good – No Matter the Priest
Fr Sean Collins CSsR, Cape Town – I was enchanted to read Fr Ron Rolheiser’s article on the Mass (November 16). It made the point — not very often grasped these days — that every Mass is a good Mass, because in it Christ’s own flesh and blood sacrifice on the cross is renewed and rendered present in forms of bread and wine, no matter how “good” or “not so good” the celebrating priest may be.
I am reminded of the English author Evelyn Waugh, being asked by his wife when he returned home from Mass: “Anything special about the Mass today?” He answered: “Same as ever, just the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Blessed Lord, as usual. That’s all.”
What a statement, and it remains true, even today!
Sometimes it does take an act of special faith and perseverance to get through the verbosity and idiosyncrasies of some of us priests who might get in the way of Our Redeemer’s saving action at the liturgy. It’s heartening to see the persevering faithful at Sunday Mass, aware as we are that swathes of Catholics no longer show the same evidence of that dogged faith in the Mass (so much part of Evelyn Waugh’s generation).
Fr Rolheiser’s learned offerings on this, “the sacrifice of praise”, strike a resonant chord, surely, with all of us.
As the Irish are fond of saying at this time of the year: “There is no Christmas without Christ, and there is no Christ without the Mass.” Happy Christ’s Mass to all.