THEOLOGY OF THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS #20

Instead of including the usual accompanying prayer to the graphic, I thought it apropos to instead quote Fr. N. Gihr in his teaching on the Hanc ígitur.   Aside from helping us to better understand this part of the TLM, the quote can also be a subject for Lenten meditation since the pertaining prayer asks God to number us among the “elect”, predestination being a subject of deep mystery.

The priest holds his hands over the chalice with his thumbs overlapped in a cross.  There is a mystical meaning in positioning the hands thus.  It is symbolic of transferring something to another, and in this case, the transference of our sins and guilt unto the Victim who makes expiation for us through His death.

 Lenten meditation from Fr. N. Gihr

Let us call to mind the impenetrable darkness that envelopes the mystery of predestination for us poor mortals here below and we shall be moved spontaneously to direct often and earnestly similar petitions for eternal salvation to God “to whom alone the number of the elect is known…”   Prayers of this nature are useful and necessary, but they alone do not suffice.  God receives into heaven only those who by faith and works belong to Him and are entirely His. Hence we must faithfully employ the grace of God, work out our salvation in fear and trembling, making our calling and election sure by good works (Phil. 2:12;  2Peter 1:10).  Be poor in spirit, be meek and humble, live in holy and salutary compunction, hunger and thirst after greater perfection, love and practice works of corporal and spiritual mercy, carefully preserve purity of heart, seek and endeavor, as far as possible, to live in peace with all mankind, [A good place to start is with family. :-)] be glad and rejoice when, by reason of exercising these virtues, and for the name of Jesus, you are obliged to suffer persecutions and insults – then may you confidently hope to belong to the number of the elect…But pray we must without ceasing “the God of all grace, who hath called us unto eternal glory in Christ Jesus” that after we have suffered a little, He will Himself perfect us in the life to come, and confirm and establish us in this world (1Peter 5:9).

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Call to mind at the “Hanc ígitur” Jesus comforting the women of Jerusalem and be filled with gratitude for the graces He has merited for those suffering wayfarers in this valley of tears who love Him:  “Food of Angels”, a clean conscience and the hope of eternal bliss!

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About ihmprayforme

lifelong Catholic; homeschooled our children; have been regularly attending the Tridentine Mass for at least the past 17 years.
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