Thursday, September 18, 2003

On September 18, 1864....
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. preached a sermon on the Mass. As is true of most of his Catholic sermons, we do not have the complete text, as it was not the Catholic custom in England at the time to write out a complete sermon. However we do have his sermon notes, which are below.

"The Mass is to be viewed in two aspects—(1) as it regards our Lord; (2) as it regards us. As it regards Him, it is the great act of sacrificial atonement. As regards us, the great act of intercession. Texts, {193} Rom. viii. 32 ; Heb. vii. 22-25 , ix. 15 and passim; 1 Tim. ii. 5-6 .

1. He is the great High Priest who is ever offering up His meritorious sacrifice, and the Mass is but the earthly presence of it.

2. While He offers it above, the whole Church intercedes. (1) Mary on high, and the saints with her. Thus a heavenly Mass is now going on above. (2) Below—not a light benefit that we may intercede.

We have indeed a hope within us that God will hear us for ourselves, but will He hear us for others? It is only through His wonderful meritorious sacrifice that we have this power, and therefore fitly in the Mass is the intercessory gift exercised. Therefore the very privilege of Catholics above others is intercessory prayer; it is the imputation and the imparting to their prayers the merit of the sacrifice. Therefore St. Paul says, 'Pray without ceasing.' St. James, etc. All intercessory prayer all over the whole world, e.g. litanies, the priest's office, the breviary, is as it were in presence of the Mass. It is the great act of communion, etc. "


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