The CAPG's Blog
Cardinal Newman's Summary of the Mass
To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming as the Mass said as it is among us. I could attend Masses forever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words, it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is not the invocation merely, but is I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble. This is that awful event which is the scope and the interpretation of every part of the solemnity. Words are necessary, but as means not as ends; they are not mere addresses to the throne of grace, they are the instruments of what is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They hurry on as if impatient to fulfill their mission. Quickly they go, the whole is quick; for they are all parts of one integral action. Quickly they go; for they are awful words of sacrifice, they are a work too great to delay upon; as when it was said in the beginning: "What thou doest, do quickly." Quickly they pass; for the Lord Jesus goes with them as He passed along the lake in the days of His flesh, quickly calling first one and then another. Quickly they pass; because as the lightning which shineth from one part of the heaven unto the other, so is the coming of the Son of Man. Quickly they pass; for they are as the words of Moses when the Lord came down in the cloud, calling on the name of the Lord as He passed by "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth." And as Moses on the mountain, so we too "make haste and bow our heads to the earth and adore." So we all around, each in his place look out for the great Advent, "Waiting for the moving of the water." Each in his place, with his own heart, with his own wants, with his own thoughts, with his own intentions, with his own prayers, separate but concordant, watching what is going on, watching its progress, uniting in its consummation; not painfully and hopelessly following a hard form of prayer from beginning to end, but like a concert of musical instruments, each different but concurring in a sweet harmony, we take our part with God's priest supporting him yet guided by him. There are little children there and old men and simple laborers and students in seminaries, priests preparing for Mass, priests making their thanksgiving; there are innocent maidens and there are penitent sinners; but out of these may minds rises one Eucharistic hymn, and the great Action is the measure and the scope of it." Cardinal Newman.
Source: The Mass and Vestments of the Catholic Church, 1909, Msgr. John Walsh