IN all conceivable acts in the life on this earth, the lowly, familiar, and unobtrusive Mass holds the first place. There can be no comparison with other great acts of the world: neither with heroes or their wars and conquests, nor with vast popular movements that have changed the face of a nation. One day it is certain this truth will be recognised in a very awful and overwhelming way. Even in the order of human dispensations, this simple rite is a phenomenon that might well distract and mystify the Protestant mind when speculating over the course of terrestrial incidents. All fashions flourish, decay, change, or become extinct. But for nearly twenty centuries the Mass has endured. It seems the one imperishable monument of the world which will never pass away. No one, of whatever denomination, but must forecast that here there is evidence of endurance, as permanent in the future as it has been in the past. Every hour the Mass strikes deeper and deeper roots. It seems to overrun the earth with all the fertility of some tropical plant which defies the efforts of the most industrious gardener. With what mingled satisfaction and wonder does the Catholic recall the prophecy of Malachi, which he sees so largely, mysteriously, and literally fulfilled, that 'from the rising to the going down of the sun' this sacrifice should be constantly offered. It has been found that without metaphor there is no moment of the twenty-four hours without its :Mass. It literally travels with the sun. At every moment and particle of a moment the sacrifice is being offered; so that it seems like one unbroken act, continuous and uninterrupted. At any moment of the day or night the devout Catholic in these islands may transport his thoughts to the distant sacrifice, knowing that it is actually going on, and that he can join in spirit. In Europe at six in the morning there are Masses being celebrated; at seven, in portions of Africa, St. Louis, the Canary and Coral Islands. From eight to noon they are being said in South America, North America, and the various islands adjoining; and from noon to five o'clock, in portions of North America, California, Tonga Islands, Tahiti, etc. From six o'clock to ten at night, there are Masses going on in all the Austr~lian colonies, in New Caledonia, Japan, Corea, etc.; from ten until three a.m., in China, Tonquin, Thibet, Madagascar, Abyssinia, Zanzibar, Central Russia, etc.; from three until five, in Asia Minor, Turkey, Egypt, Tunis, Algiers, and parts of Europe. And thus is wondrously fufilled the prophecy, 'In every place there is offered to My name a clean oblation.' The Catholics of the world are estimated at about two hundred millions; and taking the proportion of Masses to every hundred thousand as one thousand, which is rather low, we shall find that about two millions of Masses are said daily! But if we put it at even half the number, what an idea it gives of the living force of this stupendous institution!
Percy Fitzgerald, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1493772791, ISBN 13: 9781493772797