Of The Fruit And Profit Which Commeth, And Is Reaped, By Hearing Of Mass
The fruits, which a man may gather by hearing of Mass are great, and many in number.
1. The first is, that a man is admitted unto the inward familiarity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to be near to his person, as his secretary, or chamberlain, where he both heareth and seeth, so many divine secrets: which places and rooms in the courts of earthly Princes are so much sought after, even by the greatest Lords and Nobles of this world, and are so highly esteemed, that often times they are content to serve their whole life for them, without any recompense at all in the end: whereas our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Heaven and Earth, doeth never (unless he be forsaken) forsake him who hath done him service, nor leaveth him without reward and recompense.
2. Secondly. he who is present at Mass, doth participate so much the more of this divine Sacrifice, for as much as in the same, more particular prayer is made fro him, then for the absent; the Priest saying, Et pro omnibus circumstancibus. And for all that are standing about. He profitteth also more by the attention and devotion, caused by the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ: even as the Sun doth more heat the countries near unto it, then those that are further from it: and the fire doth more warm those that approach unto it, then those that stand a far off from it. And hence it was, that the Apostles received so many graces and privileges, because they were continually in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. St. John Chrysostome also saith, that grace is infused into sundry persons in the presence of the body of Jesus Christ.
3. Thirdly, in hearing of Mass devoutly, we receive pardon of our venial sins, & obtain remission (at the least in part) of the temporal pain, which remaineth after the fault or guilt of our sins is forgiven us, and for the which a man is to endure, either in this life, or in Purgatory: which is truly a most wonderful benefit. seeing that the very least pain in Purgatory, is greater then all the pains of this world together. Insomuch that St. Anselm; doubteth not to affirm, that one Mass, heard by us with devotion in this life, is of greater value, then a thousand said for us by others, after our departure.
4. Fourthly, in hearing of Mass devoutly, a man disposeth himself, to receive pardon of his mortal sins: for as much as he hath occasion by the memory of the Passion of Jesus Christ, and of his great love and benefits, and of this sacrifice, offered up for our sins, and with the real presence of Jesus Christ, to have repentance, and to be moved to contrition for them.
5. Fifthly, it doth bring us increase of grace, to resist all our evil passions, and to vanquish all sorts of temptations: wherefore well is he that may hear it daily. St. Hier.lib. in Ioan.St. Aug.cont.Petli.4.cap.10.
6. Sixthly, it is a strong, and assured buckler against all evil spirits, and a singular means, to obtain of God, safeguard against all dangers, together with many blessings, even corporal, as health, & such other like; it maketh us more capable, of the visitation and protection, of our good Angel, yea, and more ready for death, how soon soever it shall assail us. Clemens.can Apost.li 8, Cyril. Cath.3, Chrisost.hom.13.ad Heb.
7. Seventhly, it is a singular remedy against all superstition: & a most peculiar and effectual means, to conserve all faithful Christians in perfect love, charity, peace, and concord, as being particular instituted to that intent St. Aug.Lib.22.de civit.Dei.c.10.Sozo.hist.Eccles lib 9.c.8.I.cor.10.
8. Eighthly, by hearing of Mass, commeth an other special fruit (to wit) the fruit of instruction which is had and obtained, in the doctrine, which a man heareth and learneth, by being present at the same. Wherein he is taught at the Confiteor, to ask pardon of his offences. At the Misereatur, to pardon the faults of his neighbor. At the Introite, to laude God. At the Kyrie eleison, to ask mercy of God. At the Gloria in excelsis, to magnify God. At Dominus vobiscum, to be united with his neighbor. At the collects, to present his prayers. At the E[pistle, to think of the contempt of the world. At the Gospel, to follow Jesus Christ. At the Credo, to profess that, which he ought to believe. At the Preface, attention. At the Canon, devotion. At the first Memento, to pray for the living. At the second Memento, to pray for the departed. At the Elevation, to adore Jesus Christ. And at the Communion, to communicate spiritually.
A Devout Exposition Of The Holy Masse 1622
By John Heigham