In the happy days following Corpus Christi, the Church calls to mind the mysteries of the Sacred Species and the beauties of Holy Mass. It is a topic on which St. Jean-Marie Vianney writes on in his sermon for today, the second Sunday after Pentecost. He calls to mind the glorious nature of every Mass and the riches contained therein.
Why is it then, you are going to ask me, that we assist at so many Masses and yet we are always the same? Alas my dear brethren, it is because we are there in body but not in spirit and that rather our coming there completes our condemnation because of the bad dispositions with which assist. Alas! For all those badly heard Masses which, far from insuring our salvation, harden us the more.
When our Lord appears to St. Mechtilde, He said to her “Know this my child, that the saints will assist at the death of all those who have heard Mass devoutly, to help them to die well, to defend them against the temptations of the devil, and to offer their souls to My Father.”
What wonderful happiness for us, my dear brethren, to be helped at this formidable moment by as many saints as we have heard Masses!
No my dear children, we need never fear that the Mass hinders us in the fulfilment of our temporal affairs; t is altogether the other way around. We may b sure that all will go better and that even our business will success better than if we have the misfortune not to assist at Mass.
Here is a splendid example of that. It concerns two artisans who belonged to the same trade and who lived int eh same little town. One of them, who had a very large family and never missed Mass every day, lived very comfortably by his trade, but the other on the contrary, who had no family, worked all day and part of the night, and very often on the holy day of Sunday, and still had the greatest difficulty in the world in making ends meet. The latter, when he saw how well things were going for the other man, asked him on day when he met him how he managed to make enough to maintain so comfortably a family as large as his. Alas for himself, he said, although there were only his wife and himself and whenever stopped working, he was often short of everything. The other replied that if he so wished, he would show him the following day so that he might learn how to make his fortune. True to his word, his friend called for him. So there he was, setting off in great heart, and full of confidence, following his friend who brought him to church, where they heard Mass.
When they came out the friend said, quite at his ease, “You can go back to your work now.” The same thing took place the following day, but on the third day, when the friend came to bring the unsuccessful artisan along to Mass, the latter objected. “What is this all about?,” he said. “If I want to go to Mass, I know the way without your taking the trouble to come and get me. That is not what I wanted to know, but the place where you find all the money that enables you to live so comfortably. I wanted to see whether, if I did the same as you, I could get something out of it too.”
“My good friend,” said the other to him. “I do not know any other place than the church, and no other method than that of hearing Mass everyday of the week. I assure you that I have never used any other means to acquire the money which surprises you. But have you yourself not seen where Jesus Christ tells us in the Gospel to seek first the kingdom of God and that all the rest will be added unto us?”
Are you surprised at this story my dear brethren? I am not. It is only what we see every day of our lives in those homes where there is some religion. Those who come often to holy Mass manage their affairs much better than those whose weak faith makes them think that they have no time for Mass. Alas, if only we put all our trust in God and relied on our own efforts for nothing, how much happier we should be than we are!
Yes, you will tell me, but if we have nothing, no one is going to give us anything.
What do you want God to give you when - as is shown by the fact that you do not give even the time to saying your morning and night prayers and that you are quite content to come to Mass once a week - you depend solely on your own efforts and not at all on Him? You have no knowledge of the resources of the providence of God for anyone who confides and trusts in Him. Do you want a more striking proof of this? It is before your eyes. Look at your pastor and examine his case in the light of God’s providence.
Oh, you say, that is because people give to you.
But who gives to me, unless it is the providence of God? That is the source of my treasures and nothing else. Alas, that man should be blind enough to worry and fret so much as to damn himself and yet be quite unhappy in this world. If you have the great happiness to think a lot about your salvation and to assist at Holy Mass as much as you can, you will soon see the proof of what I am telling you.