Consider again, what is the one great act of Catholic worship, which surpasses all others in dignity, and in the frequency of its celebration, and in which all Catholics are bound to join, at least on Sundays and great festivals, on pain of mortal sin. It is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Protestants, rejecting the Catholic doctrine about the Mass altogether, consider the “institution of the Lord’s Supper” as intended only to commemorate His sufferings in a special and solemn manner. Now, imagine for one moment that this opinion were the true one, I cannot suppose any more conclusive proof that Catholics are innocent of the charge brought against them, of undervaluing, or forgetting, or failing sufficiently to shew forth, the sacrifice of the death of Christ. The more we love ro care for a thing, the more often we remember it, and the more important do we deem it to preserve its memory. If, therefore, a Protestant really honours Jesus Christ more than a Catholic—if, especially, he values the merits of His death more than we do—it is at least strange that, acknowledging the “institution of the Lord’s Supper” to be the especial and most solemn commemoration of His sacrifice and death in the way appointed by Himself, he should think less of it, and celebrate it less often, and consider it less an essential part of his religion, than we do. And yet such is the fact. The Protestant, who professes that faith in Jesus Christ, and trust in His death on the Cross, is the very essence of true religion, commemorates it seldom. He who accuses Catholics of trusting in human ordinances, and placing the word of man above that of God, will go to church Sunday after Sunday, and hear sermons, and read prayers, and never think he has omitted any thing essential, in omitting to commemorate that sacrifice which he would have us believe is the very soul of his religion; whilst the Catholic, who, it is supposed, forgets his Lord, and despises His merits, and thinks to be saved without the shedding of that precious Blood, commemorates it every day, and makes its commemoration, not merely a part of his religion, but the chief act of worship, and that which it is sin to neglect. Not once at Easter, nor three times a year, nor every quarter, nor once a month, nor even once a week, satisfies the devotion of the Catholic Church, but every day, and, it may be, many times a day, in every church and chapel throughout the world, is celebrated that which Protestants right call “the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ;” perpetual indeed, but with us, not with them; perpetual with us, who are accused of despising it; occasional, and but scantily honoured, with them who say it is their all in all. Is this no contradiction?
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