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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Book Study  |  Topic: Extracts from 'The Hidden Treasure' of St. Leonard of Port Maurice 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Shin
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« on: August 19, 2016, 11:46:25 PM »

It was the opinion of St. John Chrysostom, as we have already stated in the foregoing instructions (and this opinion is approved and confirmed by St. Gregory, in the Fourth Book of Dialogues), that while the priest is celebrating holy Mass the skies open, and multitudinous legions of angels come down from Heaven to assist at the divine sacrifice. And St. Nilus, abbot and disciple of the said St. John Chrysostom, protested that he beheld, while the holy Doctor was celebrating, legions on legions of those celestial spirits assisting the sacred ministers during the performance of this most holy function.

Now, let me point out to you the best method of assisting with great profit at holy Mass.

Approach the church as if you were approaching Calvary, and prostrate yourself before the altar as you would before the throne of God in the society of his holy angels.

See, therefore, how much modesty, reverence, and attention is required of us in order that we may gain the fruit and blessings which God is wont to grant to those who honour with devout deportment (internal and external) mysteries so sanctified.

We read that while the Jews were celebrating the sacrifices of the old law (which were, indeed, nothing but sacrifices of oxen, lambs, and other animals), it was edifying to witness withwhat earnestness, decorum, and silence, the entire body of the people assisted thereat; and although the multitude of the people was countless, independently of the seven hundred ministers who sacrificed, nevertheless, so still and solemn was the behaviour of all, that one would have imagined that the temple was empty, not as much as a whisper or a sigh being heard.

Now, if those old shadowy sacrifices, which were nothing more than figures and types of the tremendous sacrifice of the new law, deserved so great respect and veneration, how great should be your silence, devotion, and attention, during the celebration of holy Mass, in which the very Immaculate Lamb, the Word made Flesh, is offered up for us.

No one was more deeply impressed by this reflection than the great St. Ambrose, who (as Cesarius relates), when celebrating the divine mysteries, after reading the Gospel, used to turn to the people and exhort them, one and all, to devout recollectedness, commanding them at the same time to observe profoundest silence, not only by avoiding the merest whispering, but also by abstaining from coughing and every other sort of noise.

And, indeed, the people paid attention to his instruction; and every one who assisted at the Mass he celebrated felt himself overawed by a holy dread, and was so intensely moved that he derived great fruit and increase of grace.
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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