Before we begin to study the “ad orientem” posture for Mass, I thought it would be good to first of all examine our motives for attending Mass and make sure that we are striving for purity of intention in this area, as that is the only way that the super abundant graces of the Holy Mass will take effect in us. We come to Mass to gain the graces* we need to truly reach our goals of self-improvement and holiness, which of course produces fulfillment and great happiness. If we come to be entertained or seeking a particular emotional experience, then we are in the wrong place. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was never intended to be these things and when it is bent or deformed to entertain or produce certain emotions, it is no longer the true and Holy Mass. I often hear people say: “I like going to Mass at St. N parish because the Music is good” or “I don’t like going to Mass at that parish because it doesn’t make me feel good.” God wants to give us something of eternal value and I cannot get beyond the ephemeral and fleeting sense of being entertained or being given a useless passing emotional experience? We raise our hearts and minds to God through our prayers of praise and thanksgiving (the Gloria) and in asking for the forgiveness of our sins (penitential rite and Kyrie). God comes to us through his living word in the readings and the Gospel, through the Church in the Homily, and through His Son in His body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist. Then we go with God into the world as His Apostles filled with His grace to make the world a better place, as I am now a better person. Next week we will look at the current legislation in the Church concerning the orientation of the Mass.
*grace– is a supernatural gift of God that enables me to do all the good I should do.