Yes, it's regrettably overused, and a part of all sorts of self-help (material and spiritual) phenomena, but...it's true.Our correspondent, Guy Noir - Private Eye, comments:
You should put the first things first.
In my case, what drew me to Catholicism was not the fabulous shepherds, but Christ. Specifically, the Real Presence.
I've been re-learning that of late through this virtually-unknown treatise whose first edition dates from the second decade of the 20th Century.
It's...dense and very, very thorough. Too many of the footnotes are in Latin. But it is a real masterpiece, repaying re-reads of each page. I'm only 50 pages in, but I am truly inspired by it. The book starts with a discussion of what constitutes a "sacrifice," examines Christ's on Golgotha and works its way from there. Brilliant, and back in print (not sure which edition) from a reprint house, it is a meditation on the Cross and the Mass. One that deserves to be better known. Tolle, lege.
Interesting to note the com box endorsement from Michael Potemra, increasingly less visible National Review religious books editor, Episcopalian, and gay marriage advocate. It prompted various thoughts, including what books might I suggest for being helpful introductions to the Mass that emphasize what's important, don't seem like hastily assembled Books for Dummies, and also are written with some sort of enduring style (not to slam the helpful materials Scott Hahn produces, but his pun-infested prose is hard to pass along to people not so genially inclined). These are what I came to mind. I would love other suggestions.
Recent and intentionally modern (vs Modernistic)
- Catholics and the Eucharist: A Scriptural Introduction by Stephen B. Clark
- The Hidden Manna: A Theology of the Eucharist by Rev. James T. O'Connor
Older and more expansive
- Calvary and the Mass by Fulton J. Sheen
- This is the Mass, by Henri Daniel-Rops
- The Mass in Slow Motion by R Knox
Newer and more unsettling
- The Mass: The Presence of the Sacrifice of the Cross by Charles Cardinal Journet
- The Mass of St. Pius V: Spiritual Commentaries by Bernard-Marie de Chivre
- Your Mass and Your Life by Richer-Marie Beaubien and Ella Marie Cooper
- The Council in Question by Nidan Nichols and Morya Doorly
- The Problem Of the Liturgical Reform by the ever-irksome SSPX