My Jesus Mercy!
(100 Days Indulgence)
(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 76-78, 1937 Imp.)
THAT THE PASSION OF
CHRIST BROUGHT ABOUT
ITS EFFECT BECAUSE IT WAS A SACRIFICE
1. A sacrifice properly so called
done to render God the honour specially due to
Him, in order to appease Him. St. Augustine
teaches this, saying, " Every work done in order
that we may, in a holy union, cleave to God is a true
sacrifice every work, that is to say, related to that
final good whose possession alone can make us
happy." Christ in the Passion offered himself
for us, and it was just this circumstance that he
offered himself willingly
which was to God the
most precious thing of all, since the willingness
came from the greatest possible love. Whence it is
evident that the Passion of Christ was a real sacrifice.
And as he himself adds later. The former sacri-
fices of the saints were so many signs, of different
kinds, of this one true sacrifice. This one thing
was signified through many things, as one thing
is said through many words, so that it may be
often without beginning to weary people.
St. Augustine speaks of four things being found
in every sacrifice, namely
a person to whom the
offering is made, one by whom it is made, the thing
offered and those on whose behalf it is offered.
These are all found in the Passion of Our Lord.
It is the same person, the only, true mediator
himself, who through the sacrifice of peace recon-
ciles us to God, yet remains one with him to whom
he offers, who makes one with him those for whom
he offers, and is himself one who both offers and
2. It is true that in those sacrifices of the old
law which were types of Christ, human flesh was
never offered, but it does not follow from this that
the Passion of Christ was not a sacrifice. For
the reality and the thing that typifies it
must coincide in one point, it is not necessary that
they coincide in every point,
for the reality must
go beyond the thing that typifies it. It was then
very fitting that the sacrifice in which the flesh
Christ is offered for us was typified by a sacrifice
not of the flesh of man but of other animals, to
foreshadow the flesh of Christ which is the most
perfect sacrifice of all. It is the most perfect
sacrifice of all.
(i) Because since it is the flesh of human nature
that is offered, it is a thing
fittingly offered for
men and fittingly received by men in a sacrament.
(ii) Because, since the flesh of Christ was
able to suffer and to die it was suitable for immolation.
(iii) Because since that flesh was itself without
sin, it had a power to cleanse from sin.
(iv) Because being the flesh of the very offerer,
it was acceptable to God by reason of the un-
speakable love of the one who was offering his
Whence St. Augustine says, "What is there more
suitably received by men, of offerings made on
their behalf, than human flesh, and what is so
suitable for immolation as mortal flesh? And
what is so clean for cleansing mortal viciousness
as that flesh born, without stain of carnal desire,
the womb and of the womb of a virgin? And
what can be so graciously offered and received
as the flesh of our sacrifice, the
body so produced
of our priest?"
(3 48 3.)
Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!
The Papal Restoration Staff