Sep 10

Signs and Ceremonies: The Redemption

The following is from Teaching Truths by Signs and Ceremonies or The Church, Its Rites and Services Explained for the People by Rev. Jas. L. Meagher (1882, New York: Russel Brothers).

“[T]he Redemption was really and truly of infinite value, an infinite price,
not like the Pelagians and Socinians said, for these taught that Christ redeemed
us, not by paying the debt of our sins, but by resisting the temptations of the
evil one in the desert, or by being obedient to his Father; but the Catholic truth
teaches that Christ redeemed us from sin by wiping it completely out, pleasing God
in our place, and restoring us to heaven lost in Adam” (Ch. 7, pp. 117-118)

“He gave an equal return for the honor and respect and reverence due to God,
for sin is infinite because it is an injury done to an infinite God. But the reparation,
the satisfaction returned to God for that sin was infinite, for it was the prayers,
offerings, and the suffering and death of an infinite Person, Jesus Christ, the
Second Person of the Trinity; therefore his satisfaction was equal to the sin and
injury done to God.” (Ch. 7, p. 119)

“But he did not deliver us from the evils of temptation, of death, of sickness,
of suffering, or return to us the perfect and easy control which Adam and Eve had
before their fall, over the lower powers of our soul, or deliver us from all the
evils which fell on the human race from the sin of Adam, but only sanctifying grace,
which gives the right to enter heaven.” (Ch. 7, p. 120)

“And to say that Christ died for us all and that nothing more is required,
is to put the saint and the murderer, the good and the bad all on the same level,
all going to heaven, no matter what they do in this world. Our salvation then depends
on our own actions, the loss or the salvation of each one depends on their sins
or their good works; by these good works gaining the merits and graces of Christ
ready to be showered down upon us when we merit them. By His death he gained all
these, and these are to be given us when we show ourselves worthy by our good lives.”
(Ch. 7, pp. 120-121)

“Such then is the Mass; it is the applying of these merits of Christ to our
souls – the showering down of these graces into our hearts and the continuation
of the sacrifice of Calvary. A sacrifice is the great act of man offered to the
Divinity; here in the Mass we have the Victim only worthy of the Deity, the sacrifice
of the Son of God, there immolated to the God-head, the Offering only worthy of
the Deity of the Second Person of the Trinity is present there, and as the sublime
tragedy of Calvary is continued, there continued in remembrance of Him, the Victim
and the Sacrificer, as all is offered to the God-head, the face of the celebrant
is turned from the people toward God. The people are bowed down in prayer; it is
not necessary that they understand the words, for they are said not for them to
hear but for the ear of God. All may be in silence, still it is a sacrifice offered
to the Lord; not one besides the celebrant may understand these rites and ceremonies,
still they are for the eye of God and not of man
, and God accepts them from
the hands of the priest, for how can he reject the offering of His only begotten
Son?” (Ch. 7, pp. 121-122)

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