1. The internal dimension of the Holy Mass


St. Padre Pio:  You must remember that the Holy Mass has its internal dimension that transcends in its splendor and its majesty the external dimension. By impoverishing the external dimension of the Mass: the liturgy, the altar, one also impoverishes unfortunately its internal dimension within the souls, and this is why your thoughts flee at all times from below the cross of the Lord. Jesus, however, throughout the entire duration of the Mass, is present on the Golgotha. If we move away from the altar in our thoughts, in doing so we leave Him there alone.


St. Padre Pio:  I’ve already told you that by its impoverishment [the Mass], people have lost faith because they were deprived of the mystery and the awe, the holy awe before the mystery of God. They gained certitude that they can control the functioning of God within His Church, and also within the world. God allows all this in appearance, but He is very grateful to those who were not deceived. He finds in them a real consolation. The liturgical reform has introduced a great number of restrictions to the action of God’s grace and the multiplication of faith, but even more abuses, which are the arbitrary interpretations of this reform and their testing on the faithful: to mar the Mass as much as possible as long as it still pleases the faithful.

2. Preparation for the Holy Mass

  • a) The absence of mortal sin.

I would like, in my deliberations, to start from the very beginning, from the attitude with which one should go to the meeting with God. First, the human heart must be pure. The Holy Mass is the most marred by those who come in a state of mortal sin and do not seek help, do not desire repentance, but have lost the sense of guilt, have the conscience hardened due to the large number of sins, and have no intention whatsoever to regret and to profess their faults. They are a salient disgrace for the Church.  So in order not to increase their considerable number, every true Catholic should reflect before the Holy Mass if he is worthy to enter in his current state of the soul on Mount Golgotha and to look the Saviour in the face. If there are mortal sins in us, we will not be able to do so.

  • b) Venial sins – weakening of the capacity for compassion for the Savior.

Venial sins must be examined differently. We have to ask ourselves if these are accidental sins, which are rare and are the result of circumstances and weakness, or if these are constant sins that are rooted in our souls and to which we became accustomed. These are the most dangerous because if we get used to them and begin to accept them, we assume that God will do the same. This is not the case. The longer we allow the sins to be present and to repeat themselves, the stronger and more hideous they become. We have to take the decision to fight against this type of sin and ask for God’s help. Depending on the state of our soul, in the same way, we will be able to commiserate with the Savior on the cross.

  • c) Persistence in hatred – you go under the cross in vain.

If in our conscience we find any treachery, a conflict with a neighbor, we must do everything in our power to achieve reconciliation. In order to obtain the grace of forgiveness of sins, we must forgive ourselves. People who persist in hatred and in whom there is no forgiveness, come under the cross of Jesus in vain. They will not receive forgiveness, for they themselves have not forgiven. You must forgive more and more often. If you do not do it your heart, then do it in your mind; if not yet in your feelings, then in your will. That will suffice. Only after such a settlement you can enter on this Holy Mount upon which we will witness the miracle of Transfiguration, the miracle of Death and the miracle of Resurrection.

  • d) Meeting face to face with God – Golgotha.

Every human must realize the importance of this majestic moment when he comes under the cross of God. During the Holy Mass, we receive the grace of meeting God face to face, even more, because few were those who had the opportunity to live the Passion of Our Lord during His life. Now God lives through it during every Holy Mass, so that every human being can in a certain way go back in time, until the time when Christ walked the earth, so that no one may judge God to be unfair. We have all received this grace, for it is the greatest grace given to mankind and each Christian can participate fully and suffer with God at the moment during which He was saving the world, the moment that will last forever in all the Holy Masses that were, are and will be celebrated.

3. Faith is the basis for experiencing the Holy Mass


The Holy Mass is a miracle above miracles.  It is the realization of the sacrifice of Golgotha, the Mystery of the Passion of Christ on earth.  Here and now happens what was happening when I was not yet on earth. It is known that the main obstacle which prevents us from experiencing adequately the Holy Mass is the lack of faith. Then everything appears to be incomprehensible and empty. This emptiness and lack of understanding can only be fulfilled by faith. Here, the Church has committed the greatest mistake, thinking that it is possible to fill the emptiness and the lack of understanding by introducing comprehension, by shortening the incomprehensible portions of the Holy Mass, as well as by introducing new forms, more interesting for the faithful. However, these actions have the opposite effect, because as I have mentioned before, faith is needed here. The radical changes which should have opened the Church to the whole world and should have made it accessible and open to everyone, caused the faithful to lose the sense of sacrum and of mystery. Today, no one goes anymore to the Holy Mass to let oneself be crucified together with Christ. We go to the Holy Mass to listen to the Word of God, to receive graces, to listen to the priest, to settle our affairs with God. We go out of a sense of obligation, but not from the need to take part in the punishment, with which was saddled our Savior for the sins of the whole world.

 4. Holy Mass – Mystery of the Passion of Christ

  • a) One and the same sacrifice

The sacrifice of Golgotha remains the same. The cross of Jesus stands in the same place; in the same place kneels the Most Holy Virgin Mary; in the same way angels fall down on their faces; in the same way holy women cry under the cross; in the same way God the Father opens His arms to embrace the martyred Spirit of His Son. The blood that flows from the Most Sacred Body is the same; the pain of the Savior is the same, His fear is the same and the immeasurable sadness, rejection, and loneliness, which Christ is experiencing, are the same. His Wounds are ripped open in the same way, His suffering occurs in the same way. Everything happens today on the Altar in the same way as then, because today’s Passion of Christ before our eyes is no different from the one that happened centuries ago. It is one and the same Sacrifice. It is us who are taken away from the earthly reality and relocated under the cross.  Jesus comes in the sense that He allows us to discover Him, but it is us who are liberated from our limitations to be able to be there, then, under the cross and comfort our Savior. As believing Christians, we have the right to stand under the cross and collect the precious Blood of Jesus in the vessels of our hearts. The priest, by ascending the steps of the Altar, makes this Sacrifice a reality; he opens the door and pushes away the heavy curtain of time and space, so that we may be there, then, with Him.

  • b) The cross did not change but people did

Thus, the cross of Jesus has not changed, but the circumstances in which Christ dies and the environment in which it is located, are different. People who have been redeemed by His Blood come under the cross, but they do not sympathize with Him at all. They come but not to thank Him and to show gratitude for the fact that He has accepted this terrible punishment, so it would not be poured on us. People come under the cross to unwittingly stand through the time of the agony of Christ and then disperse to their how so engaging activities. Every Holy Mass is a shock for Heaven and Earth. The suffering of Christ occurs to rescue and to reinvigorate the world, to fill up the granaries of the Church.  And no change occurs in the souls for whom Jesus suffers because they waste this grace, passively looking at the death of God, not comforting Him, not sympathizing, and not co-suffering with Him. People are like donkeys placed under the cross and they get as much as donkeys, for merits equivalent to the merits of donkeys. Jesus dies for man, and during this time man is unable to even show compassion and to say the simplest: ”thank you ”. Christ grasps the last breaths, his face becomes livid, and during that time women reflect about their creams, and men about their tools, which they will acquire or have acquired. Believe me, consumption has supplanted God and this process is very difficult to reverse.

Consumption has grown into the souls of men and even societies that are very poor live through consumption in their dreams; they are consumers in their daydreams despite extreme outward poverty. The modern world has led to this. When Jesus dies, we should thank Him for what He is suffering, so that we may not suffer. We should offer Him our lives because He has laid down His life for us.  And we should ask for the grace of a worthy participation in His Passion, so its fruits may lead us to Salvation. For the souls which experience the Holy Mass in such a way, Jesus joyfully proceeded to the Golgotha, precisely for these souls which will appreciate His Passion.

  • c) God has already done everything – the fate of the world depends on man

And today, well, few are the priests who consciously ascend on this Holy Mountain of Golgotha and extend their arms for Jesus. Even fewer are those who urge the souls to do the same. God is waiting for souls, for their conversion, but God in His Son has already accomplished everything. He can not suffer yet more and He can not suffer for a second time, because what has been accomplished in God continues, has no beginning and no end.  It can not be repeated, because it lasts. It is difficult for man to understand. You have to believe us. Under the cross, Jesus has accomplished everything that he could have accomplished in order to help us attain the graces which He has obtained for us. We have received a Mother; we have received an Intercessor and a Consoler. We have obtained the support of the Mother of God, and the goodness and the gentleness of Her Heart, which from now on always cares for every soul with an unimaginable concern. Now, the further fate of the world depends on man, because God has already done everything.

5. Significance and symbolism of subsequent parts of the Holy Mass

  • a) The priest ascends ‘‘the steps of the Altar’’


I would like to show you from the beginning what is happening during the Holy Mass and the workings of the hidden symbols within it, symbols which today are not completely understood. Everything begins with the ascension of the priest on the Mountain of Golgotha, so-called the steps of the Altar. It indicates the readiness to make the Sacrifice, the suffering of God connected with his own suffering. The priest, by proceeding on the steps of the Altar, must be aware that he himself becomes a sacrifice for God, because Christ, by making him a priest, has made Himself a Sacrifice within this priest and his body serves as the Ark of the Covenant for Christ on earth. This is what every priest walking on earth became: a dwelling for the living God, who acts, suffers, teaches and dies within him. So, by ascending the steps of the Altar, the priest should profess in his heart his readiness to suffer with Jesus. Each member of the Church should come to the Holy Mass with the desire to participate in and with the readiness to accept even a part of the suffering of the Savior, or at least to alleviate His suffering through sincere compassion.

  • b) The kissing of the Altar

The kissing of the Altar is a confirmation of this readiness of the priest, who is united with Christ. The priest, by kissing the Altar, professes to God his ”Fiat” – ”Your Will be done” and then begins the Passion of our Lord. From the very beginning of the Holy Mass, we participate in an extraordinary event, – Christ, by embracing further suffering, prepares Himself for the highest Sacrifice. Like a lamb that is cleansed before being sacrificed, in the same way Christ endures successive sufferings in which His Soul is cleansed from the sins that He consciously accepted for us. He offers every suffering for a different sin, every insult for a different blasphemy. As many sins, so many sufferings are inflicted upon Jesus, who consciously gathers them all in His Heart, as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. The Body of God becomes the arena for the stunts of the cruelest executioners, under whose figures are hidden all of our sins. For Jesus, tormentors are even diminutive women whom He lifts from their fall, and children who have no moderation in showing off before each other. The entire path of the Passion of the Lord is a preparation for the summit of suffering and ignominy, for the cross.

  • c) Apology to God

In this entire journey, Christ must endure immense suffering, as well as a great number of these smaller, less painful strokes, but nevertheless very tedious due to their number.  Thus, we must not ignore even minor sins. We have to bring them all to the Holy Mass and apologize to God for them. In our souls, we have to do a self-examination since the last Holy Mass, and apologize, regret, and ask God for help in combating these weaknesses.

  • d) Transubstantiation

Transubstantiation is the precise time during which happens an authentic connection between Heaven and Earth. Heaven opens up together with a whole lot of graces, the greatest of which is the presence of God. The suffering Christ appears under the guise of bread and wine. The Passion of Christ enters now into its highest and most terrifying stage – the cross. Christ hanging on the cross, hidden within the Flesh and Blood, makes His atonement for every human soul. Like the snake in the desert, so Christ on the cross does the miracle of healing the entire mankind. As the Israelites had to look at the image of the exalted serpent, so Christians should look at Christ exalted on the cross for them. Invisible in the human way, yet truly present in the Eucharistic Bread, He is exalted for us by today’s Moses, by the priest who makes atonement for mankind. Christ on the cross wishes to be worshiped. He wishes for the sickness-stricken human eyes to turn towards Him, to regain the sight of the soul, the health of the spirit, and to be healed. Jesus does not suffer His utmost misery to be hidden.  No, he is suspended from the wood of the cross in His utmost misery, so we may look at Him. He wants the human eyes to send him adoration, staring with love at the One who allowed His Majesty to be humiliated and annihilated. Let us look with love, look at Him so we may obtain healing. People should count on this healing and love, love from the whole heart God in Man, in Christ crucified.  

  • d) After transubstantiation

After transubstantiation comes the time during which we accompany Jesus with the Most Holy Mother in His worst hours, hours of the greatest darkness and Passion on the cross, when His body and Soul were dying in pain, but his lips were still whispering psalms of atonement. Let us die of sorrow together with Him. Let us comfort His Mother, joining our prayer with the prayer of Christ on the cross, prayer for the entire mankind, prayer of adoration of the Father in the prayer ”Our Father”. Now, may the words of Jesus resonate, His last words to the Father, whispered over us, for us. Christ did not beg for His Soul, but for the souls of the world, the souls of all mankind, the souls of the Church and souls of priests. So when the priest says the prayers for the Church, for the living and for the dead, we should also join these intentions, do not let our thoughts run away, but whisper in the spirit our prayers, united with the prayers of the priest.

  • e) End-time – Jesus gives away His Spirit to the Father

After these prayers, which have the greatest power because they are spoken with the last forces of the soul and body of Christ, comes the end time. Jesus gives his Spirit to the Father. Before his eyes, complete darkness; in the Soul, the last remnants of hope; the desperate supplication of the Mother, the desperate request for trust, the dying, the last breaths and silence. Jesus dies. This moment requires silence. This moment requires tears.  This moment requires thoughtfulness and all the love and gratitude that we can muster. Only after a while will resound the painful wailing of women and the weeping of the Mother, in whom the sword completes its stroke, piercing Her Heart. At this moment, our mouths and our hearts should join in the suffering of the Mother, professing the completed Sacrifice of Christ and imploring God with the words:

  • f) Lamb of God

”Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us ”. These words mean that we open ourselves completely to the grace of God poured into our hearts through the sacrifice of Christ. This completed Sacrifice was made for us, so that now we can call with full confidence upon the God who died a moment ago before our eyes, the same Christ, professing God in Him, already in the highest, already clothed with Majesty and glory. Let us beg for mercy upon us sinners, so He may deign to bestow upon us the fruits of His Passion. This is the meaning of the prayer ”Agnus Dei”.

  • g) Holy Communion

Holy Communion. The heart that has been cleansed, the heart full of sorrow for sins, the heart wishing for improvement and hungry for God, is to the martyred Christ a prize and a consolation for all the suffering. Thus, the heart of man should be clean, full of faith in the effectiveness of such a great Sacrifice, full of trust in God’s Mercy, and full of love and gratitude towards Christ. The heart of man becomes the center of the universe, hosting God in itself. Now is the time to thank, to comfort and to ask for mercy for oneself and the whole world, so that the fruit issued in such suffering would not be wasted in us. 


Translated from : Tajemnica Mszy świętej według św. Ojca Pio na podstawie Orędzi na Czasy Ostateczne które własnie nadeszły, Grzechynia 2013, p. 9-23