The Eucharist makes present the offering of Jesus « done once and for all » (Heb 9:28), perfect and definitive. Moved by faith, the Christian who “requests a Mass intention” refers to salvation and associates himself with it. He humbly asks God to apply the infinite merits of Christ the Savior to a more particular intention that is dear to him.. We see immediately that this Christian cannot ask for the satisfaction of a material desire. The Eucharist cannot be considered as a “deal” of the kind « I give to God so that He gives me ».
By “having a mass said”, the Christian opens up to a broader dimension of salvation: no one is saved alone ; the Church is “one”, comprising the living and the dead; what God expects consists of an ever more generous commitment to the service of others, an never-ending conversion. If I “ask for a Mass intention” for a deceased ancestor, I feel in communion with him beyond separation, because I want to act for his salvation.
An intention such as “the souls in purgatory” must be well understood. Purgatory is not a “place” where one would spend a certain time to expiate, but a state of purification which has nothing to do with a time of convalescence after the hospital. The deceased is no longer in time. He may still need to be freed from what prevents him from « see God as He is »(1 John 3, 2), because the accession of man to the sharing of the life of the Holy God implies his transfiguration.
On the occasion of a request for intention, the Church concretely reminds the faithful that priests are at their spiritual service.. To help them live their pastoral ministry, an offering is requested according to an amount fixed by the bishop. The mass is priceless: let’s talk about the offering paidon the occasion of a Eucharist celebrated for… “such an intention”.
The Fathers and Brothers of the General House areat the service of the whole Congregation. By having a Mass celebrated at the General House, you support all the action of the RSV in the world.
This participation is an explicit sign of a keener awareness of the communion of saints.
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