Mediator Dei 123

How should a believer give thanks for all the good God has done for us? That’s not just a rhetorical question.

123. When the Mass, which is subject to special rules of the liturgy, is over, the person who has received holy communion is not thereby freed from his duty of thanksgiving; rather, it is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished, the person who has received the Eucharist should recollect himself, and in intimate union with the divine Master hold loving and fruitful converse with Him. Hence they have departed from the straight way of truth, who, adhering to the letter rather than the sense, assert and teach that, when Mass has ended, no such thanksgiving should be added, not only because the Mass is itself a thanksgiving, but also because this pertains to a private and personal act of piety and not to the good of the community.

A few things on what I believe is a laudable point, but not always a workable one. Monastics certainly have the style of life that provides for post-liturgical reflection. Priests probably less than lay people, who themselves are often scheduled to the hilt. Sometimes that is due to work or family obligations. Sometimes people are non-reflective types by habit or nature.

The cultivation of gratitude to God and the development of a prayer life always has an impact in a faith community. This is because God’s grace works in people who cooperate, and the grace of a more faithful community is quite often nudged by the intercession of those who ask for it, as well as part of an individual cultivation of reflection. In other words, a person who is good with God–authentically good with God–will likewise be good with others. The alternative is self-delusion.

Mediator Dei on the Vatican web site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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