A Spiritual Guide for Praying the Traditional Latin Mass
44 page booklet
“Picture then the High Priest Christ leaving the sacristy of heaven for the altar of Calvary. He has already put on the vestment of our human nature, the maniple of our suffering, the stole of priesthood, the chasuble of the Cross. Calvary is His cathedral; the rock of Calvary is the Altar Stone; the sun turning to red is His sanctuary lamp; Mary and John are the living side altars; the host is His body; the wine is His blood. He is upright as Priest, yet He is prostate as Victim. His Mass is about to begin.”
Fulton John Sheen (May 8, 1895—December 9, 1979) was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Bishop of Rochester and American television’s first preacher of note, hosting Life Is Worth Living in the early 1950s, first on the old DuMont Television Network and later on ABC, from 1951 to 1957. He later hosted the Bishop Sheen Program in syndication with a virtually identical format from 1961 to 1968; these later programs, many of which were taped in color, are still frequently rebroadcast today.
Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois, the oldest of four sons of a farmer. Though he was known as Fulton, his mother’s maiden name, he was baptized Peter John Sheen. As an infant, Sheen contracted tuberculosis. After the family moved to nearby Peoria, Illinois, Sheen’s first role in the Catholic Church was as an altar boy at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Excerpts from Calvary and the Mass...
“I thirst.” - John 19:28
Our Blessed Lord reaches the communion of His Mass when out from the depths of the Sacred Heart there wells the cry: “I thirst.” This was certainly not a thirst for water, for the earth is His and the fullness thereof; it was not a thirst for any of the refreshing droughts of earth, for He calmed the seas with doors when they burst forth in their fury. When they offered Him a drink, He took it not. It was another kind of thirst which tortured Him. He was thirsty for the souls and hearts of men.
The Last Gospel
“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” - Luke 23:46.
It is a beautiful paradox that the Last Gospel of the Mass takes us back to the beginning, for it opens with the words “In the beginning.” And such is life: the last of this life is the beginning of the next. Fittingly indeed, then, that the Last Word of our Lord was His Last Gospel: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Like the Last Gospel of the Mass, it too takes Him back to the beginning, for He now goes back to the Father whence He came. He has completed His work. He began His Mass with the word: “Father.” And He ends it with the same word.