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Catechesis
On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity



2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 9/20


MYSTERIUM FIDEI
("MYSTERY OF FAITH",
ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF
POPE PAUL VI)

In the Sacrifice of the Mass Christ is Made Sacramentally Present (continued)

All of us realize that these is more than one way in which Christ is present in His Church. We wish to review at greater length the consoling doctrine which was briefly set forth in the Constitution “De Sacra Liturgia.” Christ is present in His Church when she prays, since it is He who “prays for us and prays in us and to whom we pray as to our God.” It is He who has promised: “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them.” 

He is present in the Church as she performs her works of mercy, not only because we do to Christ whatever good we do to one of His least brethren, but also because it is Christ, performing these works through the Church, who continually assists men with His divine love. He is present in the Church on her pilgrimage of struggle to reach the harbor of eternal life, since it is He who through faith dwells in our hearts and through the Holy Spirit who He gives us, pours His love into those hearts.

In still another genuine way He is present in the Church as she preaches, since the Gospel which she proclaims is the Word of God, which is not preached except in the Name of Christ, by the authority of Christ, and with the assistance of Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. In this way there is formed “one flock which trusts its only Shepherd.”

He is present in the Church as she governs the People of God, since her sacred power comes from Christ, and since Christ, “The Shepherd of Shepherds,” is present in the pastors who exercise that power, according to His promise to the Apostles: “Behold, I am with you all through the days that are coming, until the consummation of the world.”

Moreover, in a manner still more sublime, Christ is present in His Church as she offers in His Name the Sacrifice of the Mass. He is present in her as she administers the Sacraments. We find deep consolation in recalling the accurate and eloquent words with which St. John Chrysostom, overcome with a sense of awe, described the presence of Christ in the offering of the Mass: “I wish to add something that is plainly awe-inspiring, but do not be astonished or upset. This Sacrifice, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul, is always the same as that which Christ gave His disciples and which priests now offer: The offering of today is in no way inferior to that which Christ offered, because it is not men who sanctify the offering of today: it is the same Christ who sanctified His own. For just as the words which Christ spoke are the very same as those which the priest now speaks, so too the oblation is the very same.” 

 

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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