Fr. Roger J. Landry: The Real Presence: Knowing What We Are Doing

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Mass is celebrated at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.

COMMENTARY: Now is the time for bishops, priests, deacons, catechists, parents, godparents, writers and all those with the responsibility to pass on the faith to articulate with clarity and conviction the Church’s Eucharistic faith.

By Father Roger J. Landry, National Catholic Register, 9/12/19

On Sept. 6, I had the privilege to offer Mass for the 10,000th time as a priest. It’s a great source of thanksgiving for me.

Sometimes people are surprised when other priests or I mention exactly how many Masses we have celebrated, as if, on the positive side, we might have the world’s greatest memory or, on the negative side, we might be neurotically obsessed about details.

But there’s a practical reason we know. When priests are ordained, most of us get a book to record the Masses people ask us to pray for their intentions. One part of the book has the Mass requests to which we’ve committed, and the other records the Masses we’ve actually fulfilled. This is so if we die suddenly, another priest, finding the book, can celebrate the Masses we were not able to, fulfilling our duty to those who gave the stipends.

There’s a spiritual reason, however, why this is a good practice. Priests are called to celebrate each Mass as if it were their first, their last and their only. Each Mass is meant to be cherished, because in each we engage in what our faith teaches us is the most important event that happens that day in the world, when the Son of God miraculously becomes incarnate on the altar.  ….