DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     July 6, 1998     vol. 9, no. 130


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Weekly Column by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

          "Hearts-to-heart Talk" is a compendium of talks & writings on "How to Pray with the Heart" by the popular Franciscan from upstate New York - Father Stephen Valenta, O.F.M. Conv. and is a regular column each week on Mondays. This quiet, sincere priest, with over 45 years in pastoral care and in the radio/television ministry, will touch your heart as he pinpoints the "how to's" of praying with and from the heart. In his column today in the DAILY CATHOLIC he continues his series on Meekness of Heart in honor of the Sacred Heart and the upcoming month of July - dedicated to the Precious Blood.    Fr. Stephen's column along with columns by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto and Father John H. Hampsch, C.M.F. promise simple, but effective and vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can reach Fr. Valenta at Hearts to heart Center at P.O. Box 212, Rensselaer, New York, 12144 or you can reach him at (518) 434-1723.

Learn from Me for I am Meek and Humble of Heart part three

          What has a very great bearing on the confection of every Sacrament is the intention of the minister. This is certainly true as far as the Eucharist is concerned. Canon Law does not enter into this, but moral theology does. It is essential for the priest as he celebrates Mass to have the intention of doing what the Church does. The fact that he himself may not personally believe in the transubstantiation, does not take away the validity of the confection; the confection takes place as long as he has at least the virtual intention of doing what he is mandated to do by the Church. A virtual intention is one grade lower from an actual intention wherein the latter is one in which the minister is fully aware of the intention he is making and makes it clearly and deliberately; the former is an intention which the minister has in mind and will, but one in which there is a degree of distraction. Now, it follows that if the priest who is the celebrant does not have the intention of doing what the Church does, but has a private or personal intention of his own opposed to that of the Church, his confecting is not valid. In the case of the Eucharist, it means that transubstantiation does not take place.

          We know that Christ is the principal Confector of all of the Sacraments; nonetheless, He cannot do it alone. He needs to do it through a human being. In some cases one who is ordained, in other cases one who is not ordained. In order for the Eucharistic Sacrifice to take place validly, Christ must work through a validly ordained minister with the least requirement - that of doing together with Christ that which the Church mandates (Manuale Theologie Moralis - DM Primer nos. 62-69 inc.). Without this intention, though the matter and form be present (bread, wine, and the words of consecration) the confection of Eucharist does not take place.

          Now for the ugly part; the above has all been part of the beautiful. The meek and humble Jesus is being met these days with new Judases, with new Pilates, with new executioners. There have risen within the ranks of Christ's priests those who are attacking Him, those doing serious harm to many of the faithful. They are those who have been ordained and who celebrate but with a bent on doing not what the Church wants, but choose to fulfill their own concept of what they believe the Mass should be. Whether they were given the incentive to act this way within their seminary training or whether they have been bitten by the New Age serpent, I cannot say.

          They do not consider the Mass as an act of sacrificial worship, but a celebration, a celebration of life, even a celebration of Christ's resurrection. They are promoting the Body of Christ, but not the Sacrificial Body. They have replaced the Sacrificial Body with the Mystical Body and are rejoicing over the fact that we are all members of that Body, of which we are, but not without destroying for themselves and for others the essential truth, the teaching of the Church that the Mass is primarily a sacrificial act, the unbloody sacrifice of the Cross.

    Next installment: Further erosion of the Sacrificial nature of the Mass.

July 6, 1998       volume 9, no. 130
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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