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Saturday, October 1, 2016
Review: Why go to Mass? - CTS Pocket Classics
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 Review: Why go to Mass? - CTS Pocket Classics

Frances Dodd

The Pocket Classic series is a small collection of the most demanded booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. 'Why Go To Mass?' explains the Church's teaching on the Mass and the importance of regular attendance, collecting together, as the author puts it, 'a few thoughts for reflection rooted in the Catechism.'

It provides a useful grounding for all those who wander or question, for those who attend through habit or are questioned and criticised by children and adults, or those who have lost sight of the deep significance of the Mass.

The author sets out the essential aspects of the Mass in concise sections, drawing extensively from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and from the liturgy. The message is positive and easy to understand. In the limited space available, the author provides an explanation of the Eucharist and the Mystery of the Trinity, giving meaning to the words and actions of the Mass.

The theology of Transubstantiation is explained with clarity using the Catechism. The author addresses the pitfalls of inaccurate interpretation, and draws on the historical interpretations of Eucharistic thought. The booklet explains how the reality of Christ's presence informs one's outer and inner preparation for the Mass.

Drawing from the Catechism the author calls the Mass an 'Easter Communion'. As a memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ, each Eucharist is an 'Eastertidal moment' with a note of 'festive joy', which encourages full participation of the whole community in the Lord's sacrifice.

We are reminded that receiving the substantial presence of Christ, 'is as vital to our spiritual life as ordinary food is to our physical and mental life.' By receiving the body of Christ together we become the Church. As the author says, 'We receive the sacramental presence of Christ in the Eucharist in order to be together the sacramental presence of Christ in the world.'

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