Archbishop Fulton Sheen
The Sacrifice of the Mass may be presented-under another Analogy. Picture a House which had Two (2) Large Windows, on opposite-sides. One Window looks-down-into a Valley, the other to a Towering Mountain. The owner could gaze-on both, and somehow see that they were related: the Valley is the Mountain ‘Humbled’; the Mountain is the Valley ‘Exalted’.
The Sacrifice of the Mass is something like that. Every Church, in a way, looks-down-on a Valley, but the Valley-of Death and Humiliation, in which we see a Cross. But it also looks-up-to a Mountain, an Eternal Mountain, the Mountain-of Heaven, where Christ Reigns Gloriously. As the Valley and the Mountain are related-as Humiliation and Exaltation, so the Sacrifice of the Mass is related-to Calvary in the Valley, and to Christ in Heaven, and the Eternal Hills.
All Three (3), Calvary, the Mass, and the Glorified Christ in Heaven, are different levels-of the Great Eternal Act of Love. The Christ Who appeared-in Heaven, as the Lamb Slain from the Beginning-of the World, at a certain Moment-in Time, came to this Earth and Offered His Life in Redemption-for the Sins of Men. Then He Ascended-into Heaven where that same Eternal Act of Love continues, as He intercedes-for Humanity, showing the Scars of His Love to His Heavenly Father. True, Agony and Crucifixion are Passing-things, but the Obedience and the Love which inspired them are not. In the Father’s Eyes, the Son-made-Man, Loves always unto Death. The Patriot who regretted that he had only One (1) Life to-give-to his Country, would have Loved to have made his Sacrifice Eternal. Being Man, he could not do it. But Christ, being God, and Man, could.
The Mass, therefore, looks ‘Backward’ and ‘Forward’. Because we Live in-Time, and can use only Earthly Symbols, we see Successively, that which is but One (1) Eternal Movement of Love. If a Motion Picture Reel were endowed-with Consciousness, it would See and Understand the Story at-once; but we do not grasp it until we see it Unfolded-upon the Screen. So it is with the Love by which: Christ prepared-for His-Coming, in the Old Testament, Offered Himself on Calvary, and Now ‘Re-presents’ it in-Sacrifice, in the Mass.
The Mass, therefore, is not ‘Another’ Immolation, but a ‘New’ Presentation-of the Eternal Victim, and its application-to us. To-assist-at Mass is the same-as to-assist-at Calvary. But there are differences.
On the Cross, Our Lord ‘Offered’ Himself for all Mankind; in the Mass, we make Application-of that Death to-Ourselves, and Unite (1) Our Sacrifice, with His. The Disadvantage of not having lived at the Time-of Christ, is Nullified-by the Mass. On the Cross, He ‘Potentially’ Redeemed all Humanity; in the Mass, we ‘Actualize’ that Redemption. Calvary happened-at a Definite Moment in-Time, and on a Particular Hill in-Space. The Mass, ‘Temporalizes’ and ‘Spatializes’ that Eternal Act of Love.
The Sacrifice of Calvary was Offered-up in a Bloody-Manner by the Separation-of His Blood from His Body. In the Mass, this Death is ‘Mystically’ and ‘Sacramentally’ presented-in an Unbloody-Manner, by the ‘Separate’ Consecration of Bread and Wine. The Two (2) are not Consecrated-together by such Words-as “This is My Body and My Blood”; rather, following the Words-of Our Lord: “This is My Body” is said over the Bread; then, “This is My Blood” is said over the Wine. The Separate Consecration, is a kind of Mystical Sword, dividing Body and Blood, which is the way Our Lord Died on Calvary.