Reflections on the Seven Last Words of Christ, set like precious jewels in the crown of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. By Fulton J. Sheen, master of the use of paradox and the memorable phrase. Read his meditations on the unity of Calvary and the Mass and you will never again view the Holy Sacrifice in the same way.
In this 1936 work, then Msgr. Sheen takes Our Lord’s seven last words from the Cross and correlates them to appropriate parts of the Mass – the sacramental representation of that same sacrifice. A fascinating book that will give you a new perspective on the Mass:
1)The Confiteor: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
2) The Offertory: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.
3) The Sanctus: Woman, behold thy Son…Behold thy mother.
4) The Consecration: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me!
5) The Communion: I thirst.
6) Ite, Missa Est: It is finished.
7) The Last Gospel: Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit.
Bishop Sheen says, “Hence the Mass is to us the crowning act of Christian worship. A pulpit in which the words of our Lord are repeated does not unite us to Him; a choir in which sweet sentiments are sung brings us no closer to His Cross than to His garments. A temple without an altar of sacrifice is non-existent among primitive peoples, and is meaningless among Christians. And so in the Catholic Church the altar, and not the pulpit or the choir or the organ, is the center of worship, for there is re – enacted the memorial of His Passion.” (from the Prologue).