Bishop Athanasius Schneider: The Mass is the Life of the Church

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By Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Catholic Exchange, April 6, 2022

Bishop Schneider and coauthor Aurelio Porfiri encourage the revival of public prayers, such as the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharistic adoration. He explains how genuflecting, kneeling, and prostrating oneself are all outward signs of reverence that demonstrate this inward action. Our duty, he declares, is to render “perpetual thanksgiving” to God at Mass. Indeed, as he solemnly asserts, “The Mass is the greatest and most important work of the Church.”

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an excerpt in Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s book, The Catholic Mass: Steps to Restore the Centrality of God in the Liturgy. It is available from your favorite bookseller or online through Sophia Institute Press.

Sacred Scripture tells us that God has obtained the Church with His own blood (cf. Acts 28:28). According to the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the Cross. “The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.” “For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the Cross that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.’ ” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the Cross.

CCC 766, citing Lumen Gentium 3 and Sacrosanctum Concilium 5, and citing St. Ambrose, In Luc. 2, 85–89, PL 15:1666–68. …

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