Rev. Father Martin von Cochem, of the Capuchin Order, wrote many erudite and edifying spiritual treatises. None of these, however, is equal in learning and in practical usefulness to his Explanation of the The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
, which is compiled from the teaching of the holy Catholic Church, of the early fathers, of contemporary theologians and spiritual writers.
It is, moreover, written in an agreeable and impressive manner, and the perusal of it cannot fail to give the reader a better acquaintance with the nature of the Mass, to inflame him with devotion for it, and greatly to increase his desire to lose no opportunity of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice or assisting at it, as the case may be.
Father Martin von Cochem was born at Cochem, on the Moselle, in the year 1625, and died at Waghausel in 1712. Over two hundred years have now elapsed since his Explanation of the Holy Mass was first published.
God alone knows how much good it has done to countless numbers of the faithful. Now, if at that time a book of this description was greatly wanted to bring Christians back to the true well-spring of grace, the right form of divine worship, the need for it is even more urgent in the present day, since, under existing circumstances, Catholics are exposed to still greater dangers than they then were, both in regard to faith and practice.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, as Father von Cochem rightly says, an inexhaustible treasury, whence we all, sinners as well as just, may draw the riches we stand in want of. It is the fount of which we all must drink if we would remain steadfast in the practice of virtue or be purged from our sins. But who can appreciate aright, or make any use of, that of which he knows nothing?
Wherefore it is to be desired above all things in our own day to make the inestimable treasures that lie hidden in the holy Mass more widely known; and no better means of doing this can be found than by placing within the reach of all this Explanation of the Holy Mass, by Father Martin von Cochem.