“I was once admitted to assist at the Mass of Pope Leo XIII,” a venerable priest told us, “and no book that I ever read on the Mass, no sermon I ever heard, produced on me such a profound impression. “It is now fifty years since that happy day, and never since have I forgotten that Mass of the Holy Father. Never have I celebrated Mass myself that I have not tried to imitate the devotion he manifested at his Mass.
“The Pope was then 85 years of age, and seemed to me feeble, and considerably bent as he entered the chapel. When, however, he proceeded to the altar he was filled with a new life, a new energy. “He began the Holy Sacrifice absorbed in devotion. All his gestures, all his movements, his slow, distinct utterance of the words showed clearly that he felt that he was in the very presence of God.
At the moment of Consecration his face lit up with a beautiful light, his great eyes shone and his whole expression was as of one looking at, conversing with the Almighty. “He took the Host in his hands with the utmost reverence and pronounced the solemn words of Consecration manifestly, with a full comprehension of the tremendous act he was performing. “He then bent his knee as if before the throne of God in Heaven; he raised the Host aloft and gazed at It in rapture, slowly returning It to the corporal. “He manifested the same unction and living faith at the Consecration of the most Precious Blood. “Thence on to the Communion, his fervor was visible at every moment. “At the Agnus Dei he seemed to be speaking face to face with God. “I do not venture to describe with what love he consumed the Sacred Host and drank the Precious Blood of Jesus.
“And yet the Mass was not very long, the whole ceremony was simple but so impressive that, as I have said, it has been ever before my eyes for fifty long years.”
~Source:”How to be Happy,How to Be Holy”
St. Thomas, the Prince of Theologians, writes wonderfully of the Mass. “The Mass,” he says, “obtains for sinners in mortal sin the grace of repentance. For the just, it obtains the remission of venial sins and the pardon of the pain due to sin. It obtains an increase of habitual [Sanctifying] grace, as well as all the graces necessary for their special needs.”
St. Paul, the Hermit, stood once at the church door as the people entered. He saw the soul of one man, a great sinner, in such a state of horrible corruption as appalled him. Moreover, he saw a devil standing by his side who seemed to have complete control of him.
On leaving the church, he saw the same man so completely changed that he called him aside and asked him confidentially if he was sorry for his sins. The poor man at once confessed that he had committed many and very grave sins, but during the Mass he had read in his prayer book, “If your sins are as red as scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.” “I began at once to ask God to pardon and forgive me, and I am very sorry for my sins and I wish to go to Confession at once.”
St. Paul saw that by his act of sincere sorrow the man was, by the infinite merits of the Mass, pardoned of all his sins.
In relation to the Mass, St. Gregory the Great is perhaps especially remembered by many for the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in 595 during the Holy Sacrifice. This famous incident was related by Paul the Deacon in his 8th century biography of the holy pope, Vita Beati Gregorii Papae.
Pope Gregory was distributing Holy Communion during a Sunday Mass and noticed amongst those in line a woman who had helped make the hosts was laughing. This disturbed him greatly and so he inquired what was the cause of her unusual behaviour. The woman replied that the she could not believe how the hosts she had prepared could become the Body and Blood of Christ just by the words of consecration.
Hearing this disbelief, St. Gregory refused to give her Communion and prayed that God would enlighten her with the truth. Just after making this plea to God, the pope witnessed some consecrated Hosts (which appeared as bread) change their appearance into actual flesh and blood. Showing this miracle to the woman, she was moved to repentance for her disbelief and knelt weeping. Today, two of these miraculous Hosts can still be venerated at Andechs Abbey in Germany (with a third miraculous Host from Pope Leo IX [11th century], thus the Feast of the Three Hosts of Andechs.
A group of English tourists, Protestants, assisted at the Holy Sacrifice in the Cathedral Church of Florence. The celebrant said the Mass with deep devotion, quite unaware that he was being closely watched by this group of strangers. Some of the group, when their curiosity had been satisfied, left their places near the altar and proceeded to examine the beauties of the sacred edifice. One, however, remained behind and continued to watch every movement of the priest until the conclusion of the Holy Sacrifice. He was evidently profoundly moved and was especially struck by the look of faith and joy visible on the priest’s face as he came from the altar and proceeded proceeded to the sacristy.
On his return to England, this gentleman begged for instruction and became a fervent Catholic. We do not hesitate to say that, when Protestants or unbelievers assist at a Mass said devoutly, they are frequently so deeply impressed that many of them, like the Englishman whom we have just mentioned, enter the Church.
Hasty and Irreverent Masses Far different, says St. Alphonsus, are the sad results caused to those who assist at a Mass hastily and irreverently celebrated.
~Source:”The Wonders of the Mass”
Two businessmen resided in the same French town. Both were engaged in the same line of commerce, but while one was prosperous, the other found it very hard to gain a sufficiency, notwithstanding that he worked harder and rose earlier than his friend. Reduced to extremities, he resolved to seek advice from his prosperous colleague, hoping to learn the secret of his success. “My good friend,” replied the wealthy merchant, “I have no secrets, I work just as you work. If there is any difference in our methods, it is this: I go to Mass daily. You do not. Follow my sincere advice, hear Mass every morning, and I feel sure that God will bless your work.” The poorer man did as he was advised, and soon, in some unaccountable way, his difficulties ceased and his business prospered beyond all his expectations.