"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
In short, the only difference between the Sacrifice of the Cross and that of the Mass is that the mode of offering is different. On the Cross, the mode of offering was bloody; in the Mass, the mode of offering is unbloody. This is the only difference. Since Christ's Sacrifice is present both on Calvary and at every single Mass, it is the same Sacrifice, and what is said of one must be said of the other. Therefore, since Christ's Sacrifice on Calvary was propitiatory — i.e., sin-atoning — so is the Sacrifice of Holy Mass. The Council of Trent teaches very explicitly: "Appeased by this sacrifice [of the Mass], the Lord grants the grace and gift of penitence and pardons…crimes and sins."
By giving us the Mass, our Lord has ensured a way to apply the graces merited on His Holy Cross to us today, to all of His faithful in any and every age. As James Cardinal Gibbons noted, "In the Sacrifice of the Mass I apply to myself the merits of the sacrifice of the cross, from which the Mass derives all its efficacy." The Mass carries the Cross throughout the centuries until Christ returns. Each and every day (except Good Friday), the Church celebrates Mass to make present what Christ has wrought, to dispense and unlock again the infinite graces which He earned for us so that God's wrath for us on account of our sins might be appeased. Since Christ's Sacrifice is infinite and all-pleasing to God, there is potential forgiveness of any sin, if our souls are properly disposed and we are truly penitent.
From Rev. William Kremmell, then assigned to a parish in Revere, Mass., in an essay, "The Use of Media in the Liturgy," in Reading, Preaching and Celebrating the Word (Sunday Publications, 1980):
I once introduced a sermon on ecology by dumping a bag of trash in the sanctuary. I noted the shock of many people in the congregation, and suggested that they should be equally shocked at the litter on the sidewalks and streets of our community, since God is likewise present there and our neighborhoods are therefore as holy as the sanctuary of the Church building. On another occasion (the Feast of Christ the King) I placed a television set on a table in the sanctuary; I put lighted candles on either side of the T.V.; and I asked the people in the congregation: "Who or what is enthroned and given the greater place of honor in our homes, Christ our King, or the television set?" On one Easter Sunday, I gave my homily while seated atop an eight foot ladder in front of the altar. I suggested that we all want to be UP, to be on top of things in our life, and that this is Christ's ultimate promise to us through his Resurrection. I have used masks on Halloween, helium-filled balloons for the Ascension, and once I used a sledge hammer to break down the walls that separate us from one another, even at Mass. I have used many visuals (some people might be tempted to call them "gimmicks") which are the stuff of our people, just as Jesus used the fig trees and vineyards were the stuff of His people. I have used drama and have involved the congregation in the action; they have enjoyed it, and through it they have grown in their appreciation of the gospel message. #