1. EUCHARISTI | After-Mass chatter, although it may revolve around holy and good things, can stand as a sound-wall between people (especially children) who are still in communion, or eucharisti, a sacred exchange with the Lord. St. Thomas’ Thanksgiving Prayer after Mass is a wonderful lens to this reality in sacred space! It is included below.
2. DIVINE SILENCE | Would we speak aloud before Mass? If not then, then why afterwards? We have just participated in the heavenly liturgy, the way God wants to be worshipped on earth as he is worshipped in heaven.The blood of the Lamb is still fresh and the incense of offering still lingers within this holy space. We’ve been to heaven and back, our little cups overflowing, struck dumb by the awesome presence of God who’s Divine Word fills even the prophets with the holy silence of total encounter. Silence is not a void. It is an invitation filled by the Word which paints itself upon glass, walls, and heart.
3. VIA MARIA | After the Paschal mystery has been lived in the Holy Mass, let us stay with Mary, and hold the Bethlehem-child who has just freely offered himself as the Lamb of God, and weep for our sins. That same Jesus remains in the tabernacle and as the Host within us after Mass. What a great privilege!
4. COMMUNIO | Our example will either build up or tear down the invisible mysteries of faith which we profess and strive to impart to our children and to others. For us Catholics, communion begins at the altar, in this holy place, and then extends outward, through our actions like little walking sacramentals, always pointing to Him who is Love.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Thank you for being living stones and re-building the Church through your prayers in this sacred space.
Thanksgiving Prayer after Mass by St. Thomas Aquinas
I thank you, holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, who deigned to feast me, sinful and unworthy servant, with the precious body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, not for any merit of mine, but only because of your merciful goodness. And I pray that this Holy Communion, far from condemning me to punishment, may bring about my pardon and salvation, encompassing me with the armor of faith and the shield of a good will. By it let my vices be done away, all lustful desires extinguished. May it advance me in charity, patience, humility, obedience, and every other virtue. Let it be strong defence against the wiles of all my enemies, visible and invisible, allaying for me every disturbance of flesh and spirit, binding me firmly to you, the one true God, and bringing my last hour to a happy close. I pray, too, that it may be your pleasure to call my sinful self one day to that banquet, wonderful past all telling, where you, with your Son and the Holy Spirit, feast your saints with the vision of yourself, who are true light, the fulfillment of all desires, the joy that knows no ending, gladness unalloyed, and perfect bliss: through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.