The Holy Mass: The Golden Key of Paradise


Holy MassI love coming upon new saints and their writings that I’ve never heard of before. Today I came across the book The Hidden Treasure, Holy Mass by St. Leonard of Port Maurice.

St. Leonard was a Franciscan friar, preacher, and mystical writer.  Apparently he was very influential because St. Alphonsus Liguori, himself a Church Doctor, called him “the great missionary of the 18th century.”

One of the things St. Leonard became well-known for was his great promotion of the Stations of the Cross; he reportedly set up hundreds of the stations across Italy.

In this mystical writing, The Hidden Treasure, Holy Mass, St. Leonard describes the many spiritual benefits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

This is interesting because we often hear and read many things about the benefits of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, which are great and profound; but this book associates many graces and benefits with simply attending Mass itself, not just receiving the summit of the Mass which is the Holy Eucharist.

This should be a great comfort for those who cannot receive Holy Communion at Mass, for example, those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church (such as those in RCIA classes now, or for whom starting RCIA is delayed) or those Catholics who for whatever reasons have not yet been restored to a state of grace following grave sin by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

There is great benefit in hearing Holy Mass (which is the greatest prayer of the Church) even for those who cannot partake of the Eucharist; there are still graces to be gained!

According to St. Leonard these benefits apply to the priests who celebrate Mass, to the acolytes who serve at Mass, and to the faithful who hear Mass with devotion; he even says that hardened sinners will benefit from attending Mass:

“Mass is the sun of the human race, scattering its splendors over good and wicked; nor is there a soul so vile on earth who, hearing holy Mass, doth not carry away from it some great good, often without asking, often without even thinking of it.”

In this book he also describes how St. Thomas Aquinas (who had a deep love and reverence for the Holy Eucharist, and who wrote definitely on the doctrine of transubstantiation), after attending Mass himself as the celebrating priest, would go to assist at a second Mass that same day simply for the great honor and graces associated with doing so.

Here are a few great benefits St. Leonard attributes to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as written in this little treasure of a book (again, these graces are associated with simply attending or serving at Mass even apart from receiving Holy Communion):

  • The Holy Mass calls down spiritual graces such as repentance for sins, victory over temptations, and the grace to walk in the ways of God.
  • Mass gives us good and holy inspirations and impulses which helps us to shake off spiritual tepidity and increase in spiritual fervor.
  • Hearing Mass gives us more upright and pure intentions.
  • Holy Mass is the most effectual means for obtaining from God the grace of final perseverance of eternal salvation.
  • The Holy Mass calls down temporal blessings, so far as these may not oppose the salvation of the soul.
  • In addition to those graces we ask for, God grants us many that we do not ask for too.
  • It is possible to gain more favor with God by attending with devotion one single Mass than by opening the treasure of your wealth to the poor.

 

And the points above were just a few of the many profound graces described; I pulled these out in just a quick glance through the book. In the book I also found these great quotes about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from the saints:

 

  • “It is most true that he who attends holy Mass shall be freed from many evils and from many dangers, both foreseen and unforeseen” ~ St. Gregory
  • “In Mass are contained all the fruits, all the graces, all those immense treasures which the Son of God poured out so abundantly upon the Church, His Spouse, in the bloody sacrifice of the Cross.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas
  • “Without doubt the Lord grants all the favors which are asked of Him in Mass, provided they be those fitting for us; and, which is a matter of greater wonder, ofttimes He grants that also which is not demanded of Him, if we, on our part, put no obstacle in the way.” ~St. Jerome

 

With such great graces associated with hearing Holy Mass (even if we do not have perfect devotion in our hearts every time) in the words of St. Leonard, “Holy Mass is the golden key of paradise; and while the eternal Father gives us this key, which of all His other benefits can he refuse?” Mass is a gateway of God’s grace, let’s not forget that and go as often as we can!

About Gretchen

Gretchen is a recent convert and completely in love with the Catholic faith. She is very active in her parish where she volunteers with the Evangelization & Respect Life ministries. She has special interests in theology, Thomistic philosophy, & politics. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics & currently works as a copywriter for The Catholic Company. Find her on Facebook at [www.facebook.com/SheThomist.page] and Pinterest at [www.pinterest.com/shethomist/] and Google+
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7 Responses to The Holy Mass: The Golden Key of Paradise

  1. Rose Ann Harold says:

    I so appreciated the reflections by the great leaders. My totally Catholic education included the teachings of St. Thomas, etc. It is sad to see so few “servers” at Sunday Mass, as if the children do not realize what an honor it is to assist the Priest. We retirees at our daily Mass value it highly!

  2. Beth says:

    This was very upifting I will try to find this book Thank you and any blessings to you all

  3. I thank God for calling me to the Mass and the Hour of Holy Adoration. We have an Intentions Book in back of Church that people sign daily for us to pray for them.

  4. Anne Julian says:

    How or where can I purchase a that book on the Massas well as the Holy Eucharist by St Leonard

  5. Gretchen says:

    Hi Anne, you can go ahead and order “The Hidden Treasure, Holy Mass” by St. Leonard here: http://www.catholiccompany.com/hidden-treasure-p1011296/ We are getting more in stock and yours will ship as soon as they arrive.

  6. Rita Zienty says:

    I love the Mass but it distracts when priests say mass and abuse it by not conforming to the rules in the G.E.R.M.The Tabernacle is not in the center of the sanctuary, the priest sits in the congregation during the readings, the priest blesses backwards, the priest adds words or changes words with no authority to do so. Also the music director changes the psalm with no authority. I feel that the Cantor should sing the refrain melody that is printed in the missallette. This allows the people respond easier. Private conversations between the priest and the Deacon are also distracting. The bishops should be more discipling to their priests The congregation deserves a Mass said properly and with reverence. The pope says a perfect Mass. EWTN says a perfect Mass Why do some parishes have people greet each other before Mass? This is silliness. The gathering room is for this purpose It is not in the G.E.R.M.

  7. Victor Ekeibo says:

    Mass is d greatest prayer & weapon we have without it we’re finished

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