I ran across a description of Catalina Riva's mystical experience of the Mass a couple of week ago while looking for Mass times on local parish websites. Apparently the priest at St. Cecilia's Church in Solvay has been quite smitten with her experience of the Mass and had been sharing it with everyone he preaches to. One of the people of the parish then attached the description to the parish website. I finally got a chance to read through it last night, and it is very, very fascinating and moving. In the spirit of the holiday, I would like to share with you 5 reasons that the Eucharist is the real thanksgiving according to this vision.
5. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary told her, "Now you have seen it; I am here all the time. People go on pilgrimages to the sites of my apparitions. That is good, because they will receive many graces there. But at none of my apparitions, at no other site, am I more present than at the Altar during Holy Mass. You will always find Me at the foot of the Altar, where the Eucharist is celebrated. I remain at the foot of the Tabernacle, with the angels, because I am always with Him."
4. After receiving Communion, she witnessed the behavior of another parishioner "She had just received Communion… Jesus said in a sad voice: 'Did you hear her prayer? Not once did she tell Me she loved Me. Not once did she thank Me for the gift of bringing My Divinity down to level of her poor humanity, that I might then raise her up to Myself. Not once did she say, 'Thank You, Lord.' It was merely a litany of requests. So it is with almost all those who receive Me. I died out of love for you, then rose again. Out of love I wait for each of you. Out of love I remain with you. But you do not realize that I too need your love. Remember that in this sublime hour of the soul I am the Beggar of Love.'"
I admit, I'm a little uncomfortable with the "Beggar of Love" language. It doesn't seem right for God to need anything from me, a poor mortal. But we do need to remember to be grateful as much as we make requests. Remember, ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) in that order!
3. As the liturgy of the Eucharist began, she saw "Some of them carried golden, bowl-like objects that gleamed with a golden-white light. The Virgin Mary said to me: 'These are the Guardian Angels of those who are offering up this Holy Mass for many intentions. They know what the Divine Liturgy means. They have something to offer to the Lord… Avail yourself of this moment to make an offering of yourself. Offer your sorrows, your pains, your hopes, your sadness, your joys, and your petitions. Remember the Mass has infinite value. Therefore, be generous with your offerings and petitions.'"
Just because God wants to hear us tell Him thanks doesn't mean He doesn't want to hear the petitions, too.
2.After the Mass: "Then I asked Him, 'Lord, tell me truly, how long do You stay with us after Communion?' The Lord replied: 'For as long as you wish. If you speak to Me throughout the day, exchanging words with Me during your daily chores, I will listen to you. I am always with you. It is you who leave Me. You leave the Mass and the day of obligation is behind you. You have observed the Lord's Day and now it is over… I read the deepest secrets of your hearts and minds. But I enjoy your telling Me about your life, your allowing Me to be a member of your family, being your closest friend. If you only knew how many graces you lose by not giving Me a place in your life!"
1. The number one reason why the Eucharist is the thanksgiving is because "At the moment of the Consecration, the entire assembly is brought to the foot of Calvary at the very instant of Christ's crucifixion." How cool is that!
To learn more:
The official organization publicizing her visions
The website of a journalist who went to disprove her and was convinced of her authenticity
And in the interest of impartiality: The skeptic's dictionary entry about her