Pages: 163 (+notes)
Finished: Mar. 2, 2011
First Published: 1999
Genre: non-fiction, Catholic, theology
Of all things Catholic, there is nothing so familiar as the Mass.
Acquired: Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.
Reason for Reading: I love Scott Hahn's writings and plan to read as much of his work as possible. This is his most popular book so I decided to read it next.
This book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, something that is always important to me when reading Catholic non-fiction. Going back to the early Christian's for inspiration Hahn shows us how they used the Book of Revelation to understand the Mass. The two are connected to such an amazing degree that Hahn's easy to read lay person voice makes everything he explains abundantly clear. Hahn uses a heavy foundation of Old Testament scripture and explains thoroughly the need for sacrifice in the OT Jewish religion. This increasingly sheds light on Jesus' role as "lamb" in the New Testament, in Revelation and in the Mass. Hahn shows how Revelation is divided into two parts at Chapter 11 equalling the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. When "we lift up our hearts" we literally are lifting them up to heaven and the Mass is the one place and time that we experience Heaven on earth.
I have my monthly missal on my bedside table and as I was reading this book, I found myself grabbing it and reading through the actual words of the Mass as Hahn explained meanings of certain parts. I know my responses and I take them seriously. I always get tears when I say "I am not worthy ..." but Hahn made me see them again in a new light, such as examining the "Holy, holy, holy". But more than this, Hahn had me reading the priest's lines and truly grasping what is happening at Mass with new eyes. Every Catholic knows that Jesus, the angels and saints are with us at Mass but by reading this book you'll fully understand when, where and why. This is certainly a book that bears repeated readings. It is a short book, but I took my time with it usually only reading a chapter a night to mull it over (ok sometimes two). Just writing this review makes me want to go to Mass! This is a book every Catholic should read especially if you have fallen into the rut of following the routine and not paying attention to what you are doing and saying. You are missing the most wonderful part of being Catholic, the Mass, Heaven on earth. Read, read, read this book!