Yesterday, as normal, I said Mass at St. George. We had just got an inch or so of snow on the ground earlier in the day, so attendance was only a few people. As happens every once in a while, I had a number of things on my mind before Mass, and failed to clear my head when I entered into the chancel. So there I was, more than once, finding that I was distracted. At one point, right after the Sanctus, I even caught myself saying in my heart "why are there so many things pulling me away from focusing on what I am doing?"
And then it struck me. Of course there are things pulling me away. I am doing the holy work of confecting the bread and wine into the very body and blood of Christ and the devil is not pleased. He wants me to get confused, to be distracted, to mess things up, and (probably as well) to annoy the few parishioners who were there so that they will not come back. I can truly thank God that that did not happen (I always fear that I may). Then, somewhat suddenly, everything changed and my focus returned and I completed the re-presentation of the sacrifice on the altar, and Mass ended well. What changed, you may ask? It is best summed up by that fantastic quote from St. Augustine:
“The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.”
I knew it had happened. I felt it and knew that it was the grace of God to me an undeserving servant.
So, to my parishioners at St. George (and anyone else who happens to read this): pray for your priest. Pray that the angels would minister to him and help him to keep his focus. Pray that he would not mess up the Mass. Pray that the demons would be kept at bay and that the food of eternal life would be given to the faithful that they may find true salvation.