Skip to main content

The Benefits of Holy Mass, the Hidden Treasure.

The god of our times is self-interest, and, sadly, how many prostrate themselves before it, offering to it at all times and in all places their complete worship!  And in following this god, they forget the true God, and so they plunge themselves into an abyss of evil, and a continual poverty of all true good; whereas, all who seek God first, shall not meet any evil, but shall flourish in all good. This is thoroughly demonstrated in those who, before being concerned about their business, manage first to assist at holy Mass.

This is well illustrated about certain traders who had gone to a public fair held in the town of Cisternio, in Italy. Having sold their goods, two of them began to speak of going, and wanted to start the next day at dawn so as to arrive by evening in their own neighborhood. But a third would not consent to start then, and protested that the next day being Sunday, he would never think of going on a journey without having first heard holy Mass. Also, it would be better to eat something first just in case there were no inns on the road. His companions did not listen to this wise counsel, but determent on arriving home the next night they answered that Almighty God would have compassion on them if they missed Mass for once.

So, on Sunday morning before dawn, without ever entering the church, they went on their way on horseback to wards home. They arrived near the river Corfuine. Because of the violent rain which had fallen during the night, the river was now extremely swollen and the current beating strongly against the wooden bridge had weakened it. They started to-wards the bridge with their horses and no sooner had they reached the middle, when a still further rise and a furious rush of water came down and swept away the whole structure. The two unhappy traders were of course plunged with their horses into the river and drowned, losing all their money, their goods, their lives and almost certainly their souls.

At the sound of the crash the peasants ran to the spot and used hooks to pull the corpses out, which they then left stretched out on the bank in order that, if possible, they might be recognized and obtain a burial. Soon after, the third trader who had been detained by his wish to fulfill the law of attending mass, and who had then taken to the road with joyful  speed, came up to the river and saw the two bodies on the bank. Coming closer so as to have a look, he instantly recognized his two companions and heard from the bystanders all the miserable tragedy with the utmost anxiety of spirit. Then he lifted his hands to heaven returning thanks to the Most High, Who had so mercifully preserved him; and he blessed a thousand times the hour in which he assisted at the Holy Sacrifice, clearly recognizing the reason for his safety. Home again, he announced the sad news and asked the relations to obtain the proper burial for them and stirred up among all an active desire of attending daily at the Holy Mass.

Listen to me now. If you are tied down by a thousand things which you think are important, and without the strength to break through them, if you cease definitely to visit the sacraments often and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then woe to you. In this case, though your profits are honest, yet at such a cost they are sinful; there is within you a crude and offensive greediness which will treat you with the roof falling on your head. But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" (Luke 12:20-21.) So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God." Trust the words of the Gospel and if you do so, how can you doubt the fact? Does it not say clearly, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33.)

Source: St. Leonard of Port Maurice. The Hidden Treasure.