In Acts 1:2, we witness angels speaking to the Apostles who were staring into the skies into which the Lord had just ascended: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye there gazing into heaven?  This Jesus, Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Taking this scriptural passage so pertinent to the Easter season and the great mystery of the Ascension, I wish to speak to you of the historical basis for Mass being celebrated – to use a popular and depressingly ignorant expression – of Mass being celebrated, so-called, “with the priest’s back to the people.”

If Christ be God and Scripture Divine, then we would do well to pass over the illusions of modern man and the manufactured ideas arising from a world deeply divorced from its own roots. Rather ought we in Christian humility turn to an apt phrase that came from the pen of that very great Pope, Benedict XVI – arguably the greatest theologian to occupy the Chair of Peter since Gregory the Great. I want to bring to your consideration some historical facts regarding the position of the Christian altar, and that while employing Pope Benedict’s term, “the asceticism of truth.”  Continue Reading

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