« EdellinenJatka »
of Holy Orders are so fitting and so devotional that we are inclined to picture to ourselves our Lord, our great High Priest, the Shepherd and Bishop, of our souls (1 St. Peter ii.), handing down to His Church the main features at least of her beautiful ritual. If, on the contrary, we think, as some holy men do, that Jesus, being Lord of all things, chose to give the great sacramental graces with very scant outward ceremony, then St. Paul says to us, Let every man abound in his own sense ; since Holy Church teaches us no doctrine on these points. Do
ye this in memory of Me. We
e may here take notice that in the Liturgy we do not find exactly these words, but others akin to them, after the consecration of the chalice : These things, as often as you shall do them, you shall do in memory of Me, but neither these words nor any other like them after the consecration of the bread. In St. Paul's account, however, of the revelation made to him, we read after the consecration of the bread: This do for the commemoration of Me; and again, after the consecration of the chalice: This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me.
St. Matthew and St. Mark omit these words in both places.
In this instance, as in so many others, we see how all the inspired writers are independent witnesses who do not blindly copy one another; and all these variations, when carefully considered under the guidance of Holy Church, help to bring the revelation of our Lord more and more into the full light.
In our present case the omission of these important words by St. Matthew and St. Mark casts no doubt whatever on their authenticity. Neither does St. Luke's testimony prove in any way that our Lord said the words only after the consecration of the bread, Nor can we conclude from the Liturgy of St. Peter that our Saviour only pronounced these words once after the consecration of the chalice. Each sacred writer sets down what the Holy Spirit wishes him to record, and our Lord has told us that the Spirit breatheth where He wills, and we may add also “as He wills".
St. Matthew and St. Mark set down many great truths, and also omit very many.
St. Luke and St. Paul are prompted by the Holy Spirit to record other important truths, and they also omit many words and acts of our Saviour of great moment. Some of these omissions St. John many years afterwards supplies. But much more, very much more, is not committed to writing at all, but is by the Holy Spirit stored in the minds of the Apostles, and by their preaching and the teaching of Holy Church, is handed down from age to age.
Do ye this in memory of Me.
It is quite certain then that, as we find in St. Peter's Liturgy, our Saviour, after He had consecrated both the bread and the chalice, pronounced these words, or the other kindred form which we find in the Roman Liturgy: These things as often as ye shall do, you shall do in memory of Me. If He had only said them at this
one time, He would by this one utterance give to His new priests the power to do all that He had done.
But to St. Paul it is revealed that after the first consecration, He said the words, This do for the commemoration of Me; and again, after the consecration of the chalice, He said, This do ye as often as ye shall drink for the commemoration of Me. This account given by St. Paul may perhaps be considered the most complete. For inspired writers may omit words or events; and no Evangelist professes to tell us all that concerns our Lord. But it seems less likely that an inspired writer would add to what our Lord said. Consequently, as St. Paul states, according to all the best Catholic authorities, that it was revealed to him that our Blessed Saviour twice pronounced the Ordination form, Do this for the commemoration of Me, once after the consecration of the bread, and again after the consecration of the wine, we may receive this as an accurate account.
St. Paul is the only one who has preserved for us the additional words, For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the Death of the Lord, until He come (1 Cor. xi.). Yet these words are most important, for they set before us briefly and clearly that the clean oblation, the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass, is to be a substantial representation and continuation of the Sacrifice on Calvary; and it is to be the juge sacrificium, the everlasting Sacrifice of the New Covenant, until the end of the world.
Do ye this in memory of Me.
The question might be asked: Did our Blessed Lord pronounce these words over each of His new priests separately, or only once over them collectively? It is quite clear that He to Whom all power is committed, and Who is the Giver of all good gifts, could confer grace in either way. As Holy Church is always guided by the Holy Spirit, the practice of the Bride of Christ naturally inclines us to think that He too would repeat the sacramental form over each separately. On the other hand, the form as handed down to us by St. Paul, St. Luke, and the Liturgy, applies to all collectively.
Do ye this in memory of Me.
In the present Liturgy of the Church, as well as in St. Paul's account and St. Luke's, these words follow immediately the words by which the bread and the chalice are consecrated. This question may therefore also be asked: Must we necessarily conclude that our Lord also pronounced them immediately after giving the Blessed Sacrament to His Apostles ?. Or may we suppose that some interval of time elapsed during which He used other holy ceremonies, such as the application of the chrism, and then pronounced the form of ordination ? From all the sacred writings before us it seems as if our Lord pronounced the words, Do ye this in remembrance of Me, immediately after consecrating and distributing the Blessed Eucharist. If so, it was at this moment that He conferred the great fundamental power of the priesthood. The anointing, therefore, with chrism, and other ceremonies, may either have come before, as a preparation, or followed after the conferring of the sacerdotal office.
The two other great powers of the priesthood, the faculty of forgiving sins, and the commission to preach the Gospel, our Lord chose to confer after His Resurrection.
A. Do this in remembrance of Me.
We may then contemplate the Divine High Priest of the new and everlasting Covenant, as He stands with His eyes upraised to His Eternal Father, stretching His sacred hands over the eleven chosen ones—possibly over each of them separately-and praying meanwhile with a strong cry of His Heart, which is heard at once for His reverence, that the Holy Spirit, the other Paraclete, may come down upon them.
B. Then, too, if we adopt the old tradition, or the revelations of holy mystics, we may watch Him while with the chrism which He has already blessed, He consecrates and sanctifies their hands for the holy work they will have to do at the altar.
As we watch, we may, with St. Peter, very heartily say: Not only my feet, Lord Jesus, but wash and sanctify my hands and my head, that I may be wholly clean.
C. Other ceremonies He perhaps adds to inform their minds and to signify the great and principal power of the Priesthood which He is now committing to them. Perchance He delivers into their hands the patena, or dish, with the unleavened bread upon it; and the chalice, containing the juice of the grape.
D. Be this, however, as it may, of one thing we are certain, that He raises them to their heavenly dignity, and constitutes them Priests for ever according to the order of Melchisedech in that moment when He most feelingly and solemnly pronounces the words : Do ye this in memory of Me.
E. “Attendite." Sursum corda !
Let us mark how to this heavenly command given by her Son, the Ever-Blessed Mother listens in a rapture of reverent love. For she knows that a power is at this moment given to poor frail men even greater in some respects than her own sublime privilege. For she gave birth to her Divine Child once, only once, and in one favoured spot; but the priest shall, with a creative power, give to Christ Jesus His Eucharistic Life upon the altar1 -Corpus Domini conficere, is the word sanctioned by Holy Church—every hour, from the rising to the setting of the sun, and from the sundown throughout the still hours till the daybreak. Every hour, and in every land under the sun, the priest can pronounce the word of power : This is My Body. This is the chalice of My Blood. " In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum (Psalm xviii.).
“O my Lord, and my God, O my Son,” her Mother's heart cries out, “ Fiat, fiat, may Thy most holy will be done, and may Thy priests be clothed with justice."
F. Now, too, let us contemplate the blessed choirs of Angels and Archangels, of Seraphim and Cherubim, all most humble of heart and most charitable, all so unlike their fallen companions whose malicious jealousy worked the ruin of men; all full of ineffable contentment because God has lifted up needy man from the earth, and from the dunghill raised up the poor to set them among the princes of His people. They are singing a new song to glorify God, who gave such power to men (St. Matt. ix.). “It is truly meet and just and equitable and salutary,” they say in gladness, “that everywhere and in all times we give thanks to Thee, O Holy Lord, O Father Almighty, O Eternal God, through Christ our Lord and our King. For He is Man, and the Son of Man And His Blessed Mother, a daughter of Eve, is our Queen. And through this Man and this Woman the serpent's head shall be crushed; and fallen man is lifted high above the earth.”
“ Solis presbyteris, solis presbyteris,” they now repeat
1" Est actio substantialiter productiva substantiæ Corporis et Sanguinis Christi sub speciebus, ut bene probat Suarez" (disp. i. sect. 4, 5), Ven. P. Lancicius, De Missa, lib. ii. cap. 2.
with most humble delight. To priests, to men, to priests only, is this heavenly office committed.
G. Oh! let us make a little leisure to study devoutly and contemplate, as St. Ignatius teaches us, each word of St. Thomas's Eucharistic hymn:
Sic sacrificium istud instituit,
“ 'Tis thus, 'tis thus He instituted this Sacrifice—'the unbloody, the everlasting Sacrifice of the Altar'-in which the ministry is confided to priests, only to priests; whom therefore it behoves to receive themselves, and to distribute to others, the Body and the Blood of the Lord."
This do for the commemoration of Me. For as often as you
shall eat this Bread and drink the Chalice, you shall show the Death of the Lord until He come (1 Cor. xi.).
A. “ Attendite." Give thought to every word, let not (any) part of the good gift pass thee by unheeded.
The priest is to do precisely what the Lord has done. He is to say: This is My Body. This is My Blood.
This is My Body that shall be delivered for you : that is given to you. This is My Blood, that shall be shed for you and for many.
And in that same hour the true Body of the Lord and His Most Precious Blood shall lie upon the altar, and Jesus Christ, God and Man, shall be there truly and really present. And the altar shall become Mount Calvary. And Jesus, the same Jesus to-day as He was then-His Heart, His compassion, His pleading for us all the same
-shall once more, as Priest and as Victim, offer Himself to His Eternal Father for us poor sinners, and as earnestly and lovingly as on Calvary, He will say again: Father, forgive them.
B. And so men, raised and consecrated to the priesthood