Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday After Ash Wednesday

St. Josemaria Escriva offering the Holy Mass

The Prayer over the Offerings from the corrected translation of the Roman Missal for today is:

We offer, O Lord, the sacrifice of our Lenten observance,
praying that it may make our intentions acceptable to you
and add to our powers of self-restraint.
Through Christ our Lord.

This prayer over the gifts of bread and wine which will become the very Sacrifice of our redemption, the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross, reminds us of something of great importance. It reminds us that all we are and all that we do, in particular our Lenten observances, can and should be united to the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

One particularly effective way to do this is to mentally and spiritually place ourselves and our actions upon the paten and in the chalice as the priest offers them at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. By doing so, we ourselves become united to Christ, the Lamb of God, the Victim for sin, and are offered to the Father by Christ and with Christ. This is truly the full, active, and conscious participation that the Second Vatican Council called for. When we do this we no longer become merely causal observers, but actual participants in the Paschal Mystery. When we do this our Lenten penances, resolutions, and acts of charity become united with the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ and take on even greater meaning.