Note: Part 17 on a series on the Mass. Read the first part here. For an overview of Venerable Bruno’s method, go here. For a PDF of the method, click here. For Fr. Tim Gallagher’s explanation of the steps, buy the book at his website or the Oblates’ bookstore.
Lesson: Can I participate in the Mass with Mary’s heart?
In May 2020, I began the first entry on Venerable Bruno Lanteri’s preparation for the Mass. My original purpose was ongoing formation for the extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine during the pandemic. This process began my own deeper appreciation of the Mass. The spring 2021 class on the Eucharist and Holy Orders provided resources for my reflections and my spiritual growth.
How can I best summarize Venerable Bruno’s method? Pray the Mass with Mary’s heart. Each of the 15 steps invites all of us to enter into the Mass with Mary’s heart. Such an attitude engages the heart and mind. A Christian cannot go on autopilot with this method.
Three aspects highlight this Marian attitude toward the Mass:
Twice, Scripture recorded that Mary kept particular moments in her heart: the announcement of the shepherds and the finding of Jesus in the Temple. Similarly, Venerable Bruno invites us to ponder the actions of the Mass by using biblical images and stories. The Mass thus reminds us and reconnects us to the mysteries and events of our salvation. The greatest danger is forgetfulness of our story. Thus, we can go through all the liturgical action mindlessly. We complain that we receive nothing from the Mass. But when we ponder like Mary, we stay engaged in the Mass.
On Calvary, Mary united her sorrows to those of her son, Jesus. His one sacrifice on Calvary is sufficient for our salvation. But He allows us, like Mary, to participate by joining our sacrifice of self to His. When Venerable Bruno asks that we have the sentiments of Jesus during the Consecration, he reminds us to offer our whole selves (joys and pains) like Jesus. But such a gift is not limited to the consecration. Anyone can make it at the offertory by fostering the sentiments of Melchizedek. Like that Old Testament priest, we respond to a victory (Jesus’ on the Cross) with a gift. It’s not limited to money. For example, in an episode of Restore the Glory podcast, Jake Khym suggested putting our wounds, lies and pains onto the paten on the altar so that they can be healed and transformed.
The self-giving in the Mass provides the basis of Marian consecration. In such a consecration, the Christian gives everything to Mary so she can give all she has. But what she has is Jesus. But our giving is not a one-time thing. Rather, we are encouraged to renew our consecration daily. But where is this lived out? In the Mass. Marian consecration prepares the Christian to make the offering of self at the Mass in which God the Father gives us Jesus. Each Mass furthermore offers an opportunity to renew any consecration (priestly, religious, consecrated, matrimonial, Marian, St. Joseph, Merciful Love, etc.)
Scripture passages for prayer:
- Luke 2:19 and Luke 2:51: Mary ponders these things in her heart.
- John 19:25-30: Mary participates with Jesus in His one sacrifice on Calvary.
- Malachi 3:10: God guarantees generosity when we are generous to Him.
- What was your favorite step in Venerable Bruno’s method?
- How has the method deepen your appreciation for the Mass?
- How would you share this method with others?