The Privilege Of A Mass
"Yesterday you did not believe. Today
you believe. Did your faith make any difference?".
This was asked to the Scottish physician
and novelist Archibald J. Cronin (+1981).
His answer was disarming. "Apparently
no difference. Yesterday I was married. Today
I am still married. Yesterday I went to work.
Today I still go to work. Yesterday I played
golf. Today also. But now through faith,
everything is beautiful because everything
has acquired a new significance to me."
A priest got lost in the desert. Not knowing
what to do, he just kept walking. Luckily,
a small building surfaced through the vegetation.
An old man opened the door and the priest
asked for hospitality. The old man was rather
diffident at first but when he realized that
this stranger was a priest, all barriers
disappeared. They had a simple nice meal
together and since it was late, the priest
went to bed. In the morning the chatter outside
the house woke him up. Looking out of the
small window he saw more than hundred persons
"What happened?" asked the priest
to the old man. "From where do all these
people come?" The old man answered,
"Father, are you going to say mass for
us?" "Yes of course, but these
people…?" "Well, Father, when you
told me that you are a priest," the
old man sheepishly answered, "that was
great news for us here. After you went to
bed, I sneaked out and went around all the
homes in the area to inform everyone that
finally our prayer has been fulfilled. Father,
we have been asking God to send us a priest
so that we can have the grace to participate
in a mass at least once before we die!"
"You have been praying this for months?"
asked the priest, rather confused. "Father,
not months, it has been seven years that
every week we gather and ask for the privilege
of having a mass!"
A gypsy boy, seven years old, was helped
by his sister to do his first confession.
When he went to the priest, he was trembling
not knowing what to expect. The priest reassured
him explaining to him that Jesus Christ was
always ready to embrace and absolve him.
"I am wearing this stole because I am
representing Jesus Christ. He is the one
who cancels all your sins. He is the one
who forgives you…" The small boy listened
intensely but as soon as he received the
absolution, he stood up and went running
to where the big crucifix stood on the wall
of the Church, and started kissing him and
telling him, "Thank you, Jesus. Thank
you!" This small boy understood the
heart of the sacrament. He was a good theologian.
The priest gave the elderly sailor the last
sacraments. Smiling, the seaman told his
relatives that were around his bed. "Now
I can go serenely over to the other side.
I am no longer afraid because the 'Navigator'
is on board."
On the tomb of one of the biggest missionaries
who died in the dry desert of the Sahara,
one can read these words, ""I want
to cry out the Gospel with all my life!"
This was the program of the life and work
of Charles De Foucauld.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
state, if this copyright notice is