We are going through a period of liturgical exile, explains Bishop Athanasius Schneider in this enlightening book, and the vast proliferation of modern abuses are crying out for liturgical reform. The primary source of most modern abuses, he declares, is man’s narcissistic tendency to idolize himself instead of paying homage to God.
In what is sure to be seen as one of the most impressive and authoritative books ever written on the Catholic Mass, Bishop Schneider reestablishes what Catholics have known for centuries but have largely forgotten today: that the Mass is the highest form of Christian prayer, which enables us to express with exterior worship our interior belief.
He describes how saints such as Padre Pio and John Vianney helped the faithful enter into a profound spiritual experience during Mass, and he explains why the Mass should serve as a means to lift our hearts to God so we can surrender to His will. You’ll come to understand why the rubrics are vital to preserving the authenticity of the liturgy, and you’ll learn why architecture, music, sacred art, and even incense are vital symbols that direct our attention to Heaven. You’ll also learn:
- How to recollect and listen to God’s Word properly
- The keys to lifting your heart and surrendering to God’s will at Mass
- Why it’s essential to celebrate the Mass ad orientem
- How following the rituals assists you in contemplating the spiritual
- Ways you can unite yourself to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross
- The most profitable ways of spending time in thanksgiving following Holy Communion
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.”