Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Silence of the Host

I've been reading Bl. Columba Marmion's Christ, The Ideal Priest during this Year for Priests. My spiritual director loaned it to me months ago. I've relished reading slowly which in Bl. Marmion's case is a good thing. Every page has a wealth to ponder upon. Last night, during the Elevation of the Host, it struck me how true this following passage is:
In heaven, the liturgy will strike no note other than those of reverent praise, of love and of joy. The sacrifice of Jesus will certainly be ever present in its effect: it is He alone Who saves and beatifies the elect; but expiation, and the petition for pardon, as such, will no longer exist. In Revelation, St. John describes this glorious liturgy of heaven: he has seen the Lamb immolated, standing before the throne of God; it was surrounded by the ancients and the innumerable multitude of the elect redeemed by His precious blood, and they sang: "To Him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb benediction and honour and glory and power for ever and ever". Through the veil of these symbols we must try to catch a glimpse of the splendours of the reality that lies beyond.

Every Mass celebrated here on earth is united to the liturgy of heaven. In the silence of the Host, the Son of God, as the Word, renders to His Father boundless glory. It is beyond our understanding, it is inscrutable; but we can offer this praise, for the Father is pleased with it: Is not the Son the very splendour of His glory? the silence of the Host the Word renders to His Father boundless glory. There we were, in the silence of the Canon, adoring the elevated Host. There is no human sound that can equal that offering. In fact, any sounds at the moment distract from that moment of utter love given and returned.

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