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Beauty in the Worship of the Church

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).”

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“There is so much beauty in the worship of the Church, so much power to fill the mind with great thoughts and lift up the heart to heavenly things, that one who worships within the Mass with devotion cannot but feel in his soul an impulse to holier living. Such is the experience of those especially who begin each day by attending at Mass…they will grow in faith and fervor, and their holiness will be for all a source of edification.

“It is likewise consoling to see in our time a revival of the spirit which, in primitive ages, led the Christian to receive each day “the Bread that came down from heaven (John 6:32-35).” In the Holy Eucharist, the love of Jesus Christ for men passes all understanding. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:56). A worthy communion unites us with our Saviour, and even transforms our spiritual being, so that we may say with the Apostle: “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). As by His continual abiding within the Church, the Church is holy and without blemish, so does the presence of Christ in each soul purify it even as He is pure, and give it power to do all things in Him who strengthens it (Phil. 4:13).

“The sense of our unworthiness may incline us to draw back from the Holy Table; but, as St. Paul tells us: “Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:28). Only sin can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, and for sin He has provided a remedy in the Sacrament of His mercy. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Through these two Sacraments, the one given for the healing of our souls, the other for their nourishment, we are established in the life of grace and are “filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19). (U.S. Bishops assembled in conference, September, 1919. )

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