Is the Mass the center of practicing the catholic religion?

In the catholic missal I am studying, I see there seems to be a kind of a heartbeat to practicing the catholic religion.

What I mean to say is that there seems to be this idea that the sacrifice of the mass is the center of the life of a catholic? Is this correct?

From the Catholic Missal:

My daily work in the world is a continuation of the offering made to God at the altar during Mass - p.47 Catholic Missal

The suffering and fatigue of my daily work have been offered to God in the Mass offertory - p.61 Catholic Missal

At Mass I give my life to God in union with Christ. I give, too my daily tasks, my occupation - p.74 Catholic Missal

Joined to Christ, as a member of His Mystical Body I give meaning to my act of love at Mass, by bringing truth’s light to others - p.87 Catholic Missal

The world in which I work must be made Christian. For that task I must work; at Mass I pledge myself to achieving that task- p.100 Catholic Missal

The missal is filled with these little instructions.

Is this theme of being an offering to God what you do and how you form your thoughts and actions as a practicing catholic?

I. THE EUCHARIST - SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF ECCLESIAL LIFE
1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."136 "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."137

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The Mass is a participation in the eternal sacrifice of the Son to the Father in the Holy Spirit. In the Mass, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord become present in the Eucharist.

Everything else revolves around the fact of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. God makes Himself present to us. And He does so in the most common of appearances of bread and wine, and does so in complete humility and allows Himself to be handled, held, and eaten by us lowly humans. Jesus knows that some will not respect Him, will not care about Him, will not reverence Him, will not give Him praise, and yet He still allows Himself to be offered to us in complete humility. We have the opportunity to enter complete and pure communion with the Creator of the universe. Everything else is secondary to that.

I would answer this way:
(1) Christ is the center of Catholic Life.
(2) Then everyting else everyone has stated.

My question again is does the catholic church teach how to practice the catholic religion? . There must be a hundred of these instructions in this missal and they are all directed toward living your life as a sacrificial offering for the Holy sacrifice of the Mass.

Do all catholics go about their day considering their life’s work and their activities, their actions, their thoughts as a sacrificial offering to be placed on the altar of God with the pure victim spotless victim Jesus Christ?

Can anyone give me a Yes? or No?

Is this the way you preach and teach how to live the catholic religion?

My daily work in the world is a continuation of the offering made to God at the altar during Mass - p.47 Catholic Missal

The suffering and fatigue of my daily work have been offered to God in the Mass offertory - p.61 Catholic Missal

At Mass I give my life to God in union with Christ. I give, too my daily tasks, my occupation - p.74 Catholic Missal

Joined to Christ, as a member of His Mystical Body I give meaning to my act of love at Mass, by bringing truth’s light to others - p.87 Catholic Missal

The world in which I work must be made Christian. For that task I must work; at Mass I pledge myself to achieving that task- p.100 Catholic Missal

From what I have gathered from your posts, you seem to be more and more interested in the Catholic Church, but you are befuddled by taking a look around and seeing yourself surrounded by mediocre Catholics who don’t know anything about what they are talking about, or even the basics of the faith? Am I right?

Let’s state the obvious: I don’t know where you are from, but in America, there are vast swaths of Catholics who do not practice the religion. Some of them don’t know basics of Church teaching, others do know a lot of Church teaching but simply don’t care. This is something that is very shocking to many protestants, especially those with a “Invisible church” mentality where only the really serious or really devout should be included.

I think the best way to explain this would be to use Jesus parable of the dragnet:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:47-50)

This has always been the Church’s conception of itself for 2000 years. The Church is filled with sinners and saints. The Church will always have plenty of members who don’t care to practice the faith, and it will always have plenty of members that are very serious and devout. It has been that way all the way sense apostolic times, and it continues to be that way today. It is frustrating, but the Church keeps proclaiming the same Gospel message and inviting the faithful to conversion of heart and a return to the sacraments.

As for knowledge of the teachings of the faith, this has hit a particular low point in the western world, as teaching of the faith really went downhill in the 1970’s, but the Church is working to restore proper instruction on the faith.

And as for the last part of your question, yes, many Catholics that are living the faith do go about the day offering everything up to Christ openly.

AmosTown…

What is this missal you are reading? Can you give us a title other than “Catholic Missal”?

You have referred to it as “Catholic Missal” in more than one thread but that can’t be a title. The Church does not have an official Catholic Missal which defines our spirituality and religious practices for us. There are many missals out there. Which one are you reading? Who makes it?

Our religion and faith are much deeper than what can be stated in any one missal. I would urge you to seek sources other than just one missal. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great place to start.

-Tim-

Yes, in some regards I suppose. I don’t really don’t have a perspective of mediocre Catholic because I need to get a perspective on “catholic” first. I suppose I do have the perspective of the memory of my grandparents. I have my grandfathers books collection. Memories of grandma include her sitting in a rocking chair praying the rosary by the front window. In fact, there’s even a picture of a lady in the catholic missal doing the same thing!

Let’s state the obvious: I don’t know where you are from, but in America, there are vast swaths of Catholics who do not practice the religion. Some of them don’t know basics of Church teaching, others do know a lot of Church teaching but simply don’t care. This is something that is very shocking to many protestants, especially those with a “Invisible church” mentality where only the really serious or really devout should be included.

Hmm. Not surprising for such a big church. But this doesn’t make it easier for me because I’m forming ideas about what it means to live your life for God as a Catholic.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:47-50)

No arguments here of course. Jesus said it. I believe it. It seems to be end times because the christian persecuting Roman Empire seems to have expanded to the entire world.

And as for the last part of your question, yes, many Catholics that are living the faith do go about the day offering everything up to Christ openly.

But I need to know, do you evangelize the faith in the way taught in this missal?

It seems very significant because of the connection to the martyrs and early church which is what I’m trying to find.

I’m looking for the church that teaches and lives the faith in the same way of living out the Truth of Jesus just like the early Christians.

I seemed to have found it exactly in this missal.

When I read about the Mass I see it as Jesus’ sacrifice of his body and blood to give the new covenant. Since the covenant is a vow, the apostles took Jesus’ same vow of self denial and self sacrifice to bring the Gospel into the world. The apostles too were all killed for following obeying Jesus. Then the martyrs did the same.

The catholic mass shows that Jesus’ remembrance is also the remembrance of his disciples, apostles, martyrs and saints.

This entire mass ritual is the rite of self sacrificial martyrdom. You had to be ready to die to gather and break bread. So your soul always needed to be examined for purity, not just because you might die physically, but because Jesus asks us to die to our selves.

We have to have the courage to do this and therefore, these priests gathered together at the altar of Christ’s sacrifice to prepare souls for heaven to give courage to die to self as the Jesus prescribes.

Some of us bible christians use the expression “staying in the word”. You have to be absorbed in bible study all the time to feel that your living pure. If the members aren’t helping one another then the backsliding comes.

But the early christians they took to the next level see. You really had to mean it when you gave your life to be a member of the church. You have to put your soul on the Altar of the Holy of Holies, the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus’ Body and Blood.

You can’t feel good about placing your sins on the altar with his pure sacrifice, then receive his spotless body and blood with an impure mouth. No none of that. Because you would be a blasphemer with double guilt like Judas.

This practice I see in this missal is a “get yourself ready, every day, to meet God” religion.

People need that pounded into them by the shepherds otherwise the flock will stray. The shepherd has to be a holy priest renounced from all worldly affections because he takes the same covenant vow of Jesus.

This is why my question is so important to me. Does the Catholic church officially teach and preach that you live your life according to the way in which this Catholic missal says? Every second of everyday your life is attached to the holy sacrifice of Jesus at the Mass.

To get some perspective:

All world religions that believe in God usually have some sort of sacrifice ritual.

Judaism, which preceded Christianity certainly would be included.

Christianity has built upon, and perfected Judaism by abolishing the Temple sacrifice and instead offering the sacrifice of the Mass. This was the norm until the Reformation. It continues to be the norm in all Catholic and Orthodox churches.

In Judaism & Catholicism, God Himself has established how and what is sacrificed.

This is why Protestants are so confused about worshipping Mary, the Saints etc. etc. They have LOST the central REASON for religion which is to offer Sacrifice to GOD. They confuse praying with worshipping, making them equal, which they are not.

Catholicism teaches that Jesus Christ is our High Priest, at the Mass, while offering Himself as the perfect unblemished Victim. Catholicism DOES NOT teach that Jesus is being Sacrificed over and over. It DOES teach that His perfect offering on the Cross, done once, is RE-PRESENTED before GOD, until the end of time. This is by Divine Instruction from Jesus Christ Himself at the Last Supper.

The Missal - Reverend John P. O’Connell Catholic Press 1954. Imprimatur Samuel Cardinal Stritch Archibishop of Chicago

The Church does not have an official Catholic Missal which defines our spirituality and religious practices for us.

I’ve read it again and again and I take it that the Catholic Missal summarizes the entire year, day by day, of the Catholic Mass. I also see that the priests have a common prayer of the church that defines their religious practice including praying the catholic mass. That right there tells me that the catholic missal without doubts is the summary of living the catholic religion. It makes sense to me that way because the idea matches what had to go on in the church of the apostles and martyrs, the church described in Acts, and the churches of St. Paul’s letters.

Our religion and faith are much deeper than what can be stated in any one missal. I would urge you to seek sources other than just one missal. The

Deeper than what is in the missal? I say that would be impossible. The covenant made by Jesus’ sacrifice of his body and blood contains everything. It is all in all. Nothing else exists but his love for us in paying for our sins with his body and blood. Jesus’ cross is our life.

Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great place to start.

That’s a big book! I’m seeking the ‘so simple a child can understand’ early church first.

Thanks. I think I get what your saying and have read and re-read about the Mass as teh re-presentation of Jesus’ eternal covenant.

What I’m asking is if Catholics teach and preach that everything you think say and do is an offering joined to the Mass? This is what is being taught over and over and over in the Catholic Missal I have.

I want to know if this is the uniform way in which the catholic church teaches its flock to live and practice catholicism.

We don’t live in the early Church. We live in 2013.

I know a monk who is 103 years old, has been a monk for 65 years, prays seven hours every day and goes to Mass every morning at the monastery, and has probably never seen a missal. Our faith is deeper than a sixty year old missal. Mine is.

You can do whatever you want but I would suggest that you get some other books to read besides that missal. You seem fixed on it.

-Tim-

:slight_smile: Perhaps the Youcat (Youth Catechism) would be helpful. I’m playing ‘catch-up’ myself, having fallen away for too many years, and not the best catechesis growing up, and have been considering a book of simple Bible stories that I read as a child, or something similar, to refresh my memory and give me a primer as I start to learn again.

God bless you!

If you are looking for something that may help to give you an overview of the faith, Catholicism for Dummies could help (make sure of the authors though, the first one was not good at all. Get the one by Fr. Trigilio)

dummies.com/store/product/Catholicism-For-Dummies-2nd-Edition.productCd-1118077784.html

And just to clear up something to help, looking for the “early church”, or the Church described in the Book of Acts, you simply won’t find it. And the reason why is because Jesus told us so. Remember His teaching on the mustard seed. How it is one of the smallest seeds, and then flowers into a mighty bush/tree. Same with the Catholic Church that you read about in Acts. It is a small seed then, and flowers into the Kingdom of God promised by Christ. That is why you can’t find the Church of Acts, because it has grown into the mighty tree. Some things will look the same, others won’t.

Well, practically speaking, the homily at the Mass is focused on the Scripture readings. What do people remember from their early school days?
But a conscientious Catholic will study and learn throughout his/her life.
There is enough to learn in Catholicism than can be absorbed in a single lifetime!

But even the slackest Catholic knows the Mass is central to his Faith. If that Catholic bothers to pay attention to what is being said at Mass, then yes, he is uniting his own life, body and soul, all his sufferings and joys together with the offering made by Jesus Christ at the Mass. Lex orandi lex credendi. :wink:

I’ll go out on a long thin limb here, and say No.

Mainly because with 1.1 Billion members, virtually nothing anyone claims can be universally applicable to every single one of them–other than the **presumption ** that they were all baptized (because that is how we arrived at that ‘head count’).

You contradict yourself.

The missal is not 'the Covenant", first of all.

Secondly, the Mass, while extremely important, and in fact, the highest expression of the Faith, is not the end all and be all of the Faith.

What we do between masses, is at least as important as what we do at mass.

Going to mass regularly, but living like a heathen, nullifies any benefit Mass could bestow on us. Participating in mass, while harboring every intent to return to sin, disrespects the mass, and the sacrifice. Makes it hollow.

Conversely, neglecting mass, refusing to participate in mass, though living the life of a saint outside of ‘church’, disrespects Christ, in that one is placing too much emphasis on their own ability, and failing to properly thank the Lord, as He calls us to–note the word Eucharist comes from the Greek word ‘eucharistia’, and means ‘thanks giving’.

The mass is a sacrifice–but it is also a ‘thanksgiving’–or giving ‘thanks’ to/thanking–the Lord–by offering the sacrificial lamb–God the Father’s only begotten Son–to Him–just as Christ instructed His hand chosen Apostles to do…and as they instructed their successors…on down the line…

Thirdly, while I do not discount the beneficence of the missal…you seem to be overstating its value and place. It is a book. It guides us through the mass. It does not substitute the Mass itself, nor the Bible, nor the Catechism, and certainly not the Faith itself–which is as much (actually more) a call to how we live, than to how we think.

^^^worth noting–the word ‘Mass’ comes from the Latin word ‘missa’–(as does ‘missal’).

The reason it is so called, is because at the end of mass, we are ‘dismissed’–as in:

Ite missa et!

Literally, “***Go! You are dismissed!***”. More loosely, it has also been read to mean that we are sent on ‘mission’–which is also derivative of ‘missa’ (missio, actually, but you see the relation)–on mission to go and evangelize, and spread the ‘Gospel’–or ‘good news’.

Point being, mass isn’t intended as an end unto itself–it is a beginning. It is how we kick off our weekly ‘mission’.

:wink:

NOTE RE. PRIOR POST (too late to edit):

Greek word is ‘Eukharistia’–i.e.–sub ‘k’, for ‘c’.

The Catholic Church highly recommends the practices mentioned in your missal. However, at the moment, you seem more interested in learning about the required practices of the Church. In addition to keeping the Ten Commandments and otherwise living a moral life, the Church has five required practices, known as “The Precepts of the Church.” The Precepts of the Church are mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2041-2043:

II. The Precepts of the Church

2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. the obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.") requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.

The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.

The third precept (“You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.

2043 The fourth precept (“You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.") completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.

The fifth precept (“You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.

YES! THANK YOU! That’s the kind of thing I want to hear!
Teach the holy faith in action like this perfect Catholic Missal! Proclaim yourself as the Church of the Acts, the Church of the saints and Martyrs. You have the authority of Jesus in apostolic succession!

You all took vows to be catholic! I’ve studied up on it. You are apostles.

My new slogan:
**“C’Mon Catholics, Get your game on!” **

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