We now come to the ends of the Mass.
1. Ultimate End.
This is that of the Sacrifice of praise to the Most Holy Trinity according to the explicit declaration of Christ in the primary purpose of
His very Incarnation: “Coming into the world he saith: ‘sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not but a body thou hast fitted me’ “. (Ps.
XXXIX, 7-9 in Heb. X, 5).
This end has disappeared: from the Offertory, with the disappearance of the prayer “Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas”, from the end of the Mass
with the omission of the “Placet tibi Sancta Trinitas”, and from the Preface, which on Sunday will no longer be that of the Most Holy
Trinity, as this Preface will be reserved only to the Feast of the Trinity, and so in future will be heard but once a year.
2. Ordinary End
This is the propitiatory Sacrifice. It too has been deviated from; for instead of putting the stress on the remission of sins of the
living and the dead, it lays emphasis on the nourishment and sanctification of those present (No. 54). Christ certainly instituted the
Sacrament of the Last Supper putting Himself in the state of Victim in order that we might be united to Him in this state but his self-
immolation precedes the eating of the Victim, and has an antecedent and full redemptive value (the application of the bloody immolation).
This is borne out by the fact that the faithful present are not bound to communicate, sacramentally.
3. Immanent End
Whatever the nature of the Sacrifice, it is absolutely necessary that it be pleasing and acceptable to God. After the Fall no sacrifice
can claim to be acceptable in its own right other than the Sacrifice of Christ. The Novus Ordo changes the nature of the offering turning
it into a sort of exchange of gifts between man and God: man brings the bread, and God turns it into the “bread of life”; man brings the
wine, and God turns it into a “spiritual drink”.
“Thou are blessed Lord God of the Universe because from thy generosity we have received the bread (or wine) which we offer thee, the fruit
of the earth (or vine) and of man’s labour. May it become for us the bread of life (or spiritual drink)”.
There is no need to comment on the utter indeterminateness of the formulae “bread of life” and “spiritual drink”, which might mean
anything. The same capital equivocation is repeated here, as in the definition of the Mass: there, Christ is present only spiritually
among His own: here, bread and wine are only “spiritually” (not substantially) changed.
Suppression of Great Prayers
In the preparation of the offering, a similar equivocation results from the suppression of two great prayers. The “Deus qui humanae
substantiae dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti et mirabilius reformasti” was a reference to man’s former condition of innocence and to his
present one of being ransomed by the Blood of Christ: a recapitulation of the whole economy of the Sacrifice, from Adam to the present
moment. The final propitiatory offering of the chalice, that it might ascend “cum adore suavitatis”, into the presence of the divine
majesty, whose clemency was implored, admirably reaffirmed this plan. By suppressing the continual reference of the Eucharistic prayers to
God, there is no longer any clear distinction between divine and human sacrifice.
Having removed the keystone, the reformers have had to put up scaffolding; suppressing real ends, they had to substitute fictitious ends
of their own; leading to gestures intended to stress to union of priest and faithful, and of the faithful among themselves; offerings for
the poor and for the church superimposed upon the Offering of the Host to be immolated. There is a danger that the uniqueness of this
offer will become blurred, so that participation in the immolation of the Victim comes to resemble a philanthropical meeting, or a charity