Mediator Dei 124-125

Pope Pius XII speaks of praying in gratitude after Mass, but what he proposed here underscores the importance of silence after Communion. A suitably extended period of silence.

124. But, on the contrary, the very nature of the sacrament demands that its reception should produce rich fruits of Christian sanctity. Admittedly the congregation has been officially dismissed, but each individual, since he is united with Christ, should not interrupt the hymn of praise in his own soul, “always returning thanks for all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”[Eph. 5:20] The sacred liturgy of the Mass also exhorts us to do this when it bids us pray in these words, “Grant, we beseech thee, that we may always continue to offer thanks [Roman Missal, Postcommunion for Sunday within the Octave of Ascension] . . . and may never cease from praising thee.”[Roman Missal, Postcommunion for First Sunday after Pentecost] Wherefore, if there is no time when we must not offer God thanks, and if we must never cease from praising Him, who would dare to reprehend or find fault with the Church, because she advises her priests[Code of Canon Law, can. 810] and faithful to converse with the divine Redeemer for at least a short while after holy communion, and inserts in her liturgical books, fitting prayers, enriched with indulgences, by which the sacred ministers may make suitable preparation before Mass and holy communion or may return thanks afterwards? So far is the sacred liturgy from restricting the interior devotion of individual Christians, that it actually fosters and promotes it so that they may be rendered like to Jesus Christ and through Him be brought to the heavenly Father; wherefore this same discipline of the liturgy demands that whoever has partaken of the sacrifice of the altar should return fitting thanks to God. For it is the good pleasure of the divine Redeemer to hearken to us when we pray, to converse with us intimately and to offer us a refuge in His loving Heart.

Speaking of the “dismissal of the congregation,” we are not speaking of a dismissal to leave behind the spiritual and fully engage the world. For the believer, Mass should evoke a transformation. We bring something of Christ with us into the world when we go. Wherever we go. And we bring it with intent and the desire to cooperate with grace, whether we are praying consciously or not.

MD 125 has a pleasing evangelical scent to it, don’t you think?

125. Moreover, such personal colloquies are very necessary that we may all enjoy more fully the supernatural treasures that are contained in the Eucharist and according to our means, share them with others, so that Christ our Lord may exert the greatest possible influence on the souls of all.

Mediator Dei in its entirety on the Vatican web site.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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