I sometimes like to joke with my parishioners that our church building which is located on the same street as United States Capitol has quite an exulted status.

For, indeed, just up the street from my parish of Holy Comforter, is the United States Capitol.  It is arguably one of the most powerful buildings on the planet. In it the decisions of the enormous importance are made, decisions about war and peace, decisions about spending money at an enormous levels, decisions about laws that affect hundreds of millions of people.

Yes, the United States Capitol, is a very important building, the second most important building on East Capitol Street, in Washington DC.

The most important building on East Capitol Street is Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Roman Catholic Church. And while I say this in some jest, and with no intention to sound triumphalistic, nevertheless, there is a fundamental truth to what I say.

For, the US Capitol has many powerful people: senators and congressmen, indeed there is the Speaker of the House, there is the Majority Leader of the Senate, and the Vice President who presides.

However, in Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Church, the King of the Universe tabernacles! All things came to be through him, and in him all things are, and hold together (cf Jn 1:3; Col 1:16-17). Heaven and earth shall pass away, but his Word and his Kingdom shall never pass away (cf Mt 24:35; Daniel 7:27).

And in this Catholic Church of the Holy Comforter exists also the most powerful prayer and event on earth: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If anything good comes out of the second most important building on East Capitol Street, it is only because in the most important building on East Capitol Street, prayer has preceded, and God has inspired and blessed it. Nothing that comes from United states Capitol, will be good, or lasting, unless the King in the most important building on East Capitol Street empowers it. Do you want to change world history? Do you want a place at the most important “table” on the planet? Go to Mass, for the most important table isn’t a negotiating table, it’s an altar.

For indeed, the most powerful and efficacious act on the planet takes place in the first and most important building on East Capitol Street, and at the altar in every Catholic Church.

Nothing is more efficacious, nothing more powerful that the Holy Mass. It is more powerful than the trillion dollar budgets passed the second-most important building, it is more powerful than the great war machine that the second most powerful building can activate, its power to renew is more vast than the hundreds of billions of dollars in education funds. And on and on the list could go…

At the bottom of this article is a beautiful video that lists many quotes from the Saints and the Fathers of the Church, indicating the glory and the power of just one Mass. I want to list a few here, and invite you to view the video to see the rest. Consider these quotes.

If we really understood the Mass, we would die of Joy – St. John Vianney

It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun, than to do without Holy Mass – St. Padre Pio

Oh Lord, how can I thank you?! He replied to me, ‘Attend one Mass’– St Teresa of Avila.

I believe that if it were not for the Holy Mass, as of this moment, the world would be in the abyss. – St Leonard of Port Maurice.

Put all the good works in the world against one holy Mass; they would be as a grain of sand against a mountain. – St. John Vianney

He who is in the habit of devoutly hearing Holy Mass shall in death be consoled by the presence of the angels and saints. – Jesus speaking to St. Mechtilde

Yes, the glory of the Mass and the presence of the King of the Universe in every Catholic Church. This makes Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Catholic Church the most powerful building on East Capitol Street,  in the most powerful city on the planet.

And now, let me ask you, do you believe these quotes? Someone may say to me, “But Father, but Father! If the mass is so powerful why is the world in such a mess?”  Yes, why!?

Could it be that too many Catholics never think of the Mass this way, never really fervently join their prayers to it? High expectations unlock many blessings, low expectations block blessings. The Bible says, You have not because you ask not (James 4:2). Even many church-going Catholics, find mass a sleepy affair, more of a tedious ritual to get through than transformative reality that changes all things. As a consequence, we do not ask, and therefore we do not receive.

If people knew the blessing of one Holy Mass, they would be breaking down the doors to get in the Catholic Church, and everywhere they would insist that Mass be celebrated around the clock. They would not even allow the priest to leave the sanctuary.

Yes, believe. There is no event more powerful on earth than the Holy Mass, none whatsoever. Get your seat at the table, the Altar where you can help guide the events of world history. Admission is free, though donations, and tithes are gladly accepted.

Enjoy this video for more quotes:

20 Responses

  1. Annette Strachan says:

    Thanks, The Meaning of the Mass – Venerable Fulton Sheen – on YouTube (Catholic clips) is timeless.

  2. Peter Wolczuk says:

    During the time of the Christan church many empires, and influential cultures, have risen and fallen. True, many were built from the back of a horse with use of a sword and lance or; grew by the passing around of hand written documents which went from one community to another via horse and wind powered ships. Yet, in the context of their times (relative, as opposed to empirical value) many of them were in much the same league as the mighty armor, nuclear powered ships, super sonic planes and satelite delivered communications which the US Government seeks to use for the benefit of the world. Yet many have passed away and the dust of their achievements drifts before the errant winds which carry it down alleys and into deserts.
    But the Church on the Rock (of which Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Church is a part) remains in spite of all attempts of the gates of hell to prevail against it.
    But, can the Church continue to prevail and to develop? Certainly it will not be prevented by the power alone of all the demons and their domains. But, what if we allow it by letting the powerful solemnity appear tedious? What if we allow the sports heros and entertainment celebrities draw us away with thier immediate and tangeable prescence? What if we forget that Christ Himself is with us always if we just make room for Him and His Supernatural prescence? In short, what if we let the hype and superficial excitement of the worldly draw us away? Perhaps the church will maintain but will we a be part of it as its links to us are severed?
    Maybe it’s not just the exciting enticement of the worldly but, rather, giving in to a sort of peer pressure of those who tell us not to preach,and impose, on them by merely ringing church bells during the day when noise by-laws are not in effect. Do we allow the pain of derision over-rule our love of the truth which wlil set us free from slavery to sin? Do we fear the limitless and intangeable fellowship of the mass and communion and turn to the “in our face” stimulation with our buddies as we watch the current sports or rock music video with a beer in each person’s hand?
    I have done all this, and worse, during so much of my adult life as I tried, in futility, to fill the emptiness within and go beyond the limits of the limited experience without.
    Now; at mass or a prayer group meeting or a Christian music concert; I enjoy myself and – if it appears tedious and I recognize the ego and the desire to be apart which is accompanied by a desire to be no longer be a part but, instead, to be merely entertained. Then I quietly say, “Thy will not mine be done” and the joy and being a part of(rather than apart from) returns. The devil is cunning and quick to imply that only that which my five senses can detect really exists. Without the committment to God’s will he can brush aside all my reaches toward there is no limit.
    But, when I say this tiny prayer of submission; James 7, the devil’s power crumbles away from me. And, when the excitement flows, I start to expect more and this presumption (on my part) leads to a loss of unity so – I again say. “Thy will not mine be done” and something wonderously unexpected happens.
    At any rate I received my Christmas card poem today at church. It wasn’t during the celebration of the mass, which would have come closer to my expectations … expectations which may have caused me to turn away and miss seeing it. Afterward there was coffee and cookies served in the parish house and that’s where it was sent. So I borrowed a pen, wrote it down, returned the pen, shared the poem with the pen’s owner and proceeded.
    As has been my practice, I will place it here for the use of anyone who wishes to use it; perhaps in ways which are beyond my understanding, for I don’t claim copyright on such a gift.
    “Where is the lamb?” asked Isaac
    “The lamb for the sacrifice?”
    “God will provide the lamb” said the father
    There was no need to say it twice
    Other lambs came & went
    Through the ages
    Like the one at the first Passover
    As the people proceeded through stages
    Until shepherds watched their sheep
    Which they guarded as best as they were able
    As God sent the Lamb Who is Shepherd
    Born, appropriately, in a stable.

  3. Robertlifelonfcatholic says:

    I remember back during the Cuban missile crisis how the blockade of Cuba by the U.S. and the stalemate between Russia and the U.S. over dismantling the Cuban missile sites had people turning to the most important house on the face of the earth, requesting guidance and intervention.There was a run on votive candles and the Church had people coming and going from sun-up past sun-down. Maybe we are about due another such crisis to bring people back to their senses as to where their refuge lies.

    • I Like The Church Fathers says:

      I heard that some churches had 24-hour novenas during the Cuban missile crisis. It appears that all that prayer worked! I also remember the churches being more full than usual for a little while after 9/11. The church is always there to welcome the return of its often errant children.

  4. Alfred says:

    Greetings Mgr.Pope,

    What you have said is the absolute truth.

    Please God, that we may all be convinced of it and rush to spread this truth amongst our Christian brothers and sisters to whatever extent we can, even, for example, by emailing this article to as many people as possible.

    It’s always beneficial to read your catechesis, Mgr.Pope.


  5. Steve B says:

    Being a Daily Mass “Junkie”, I find the Daily Mass the absolute best part of the day. It feeds you, it helps you regroup, it helps you perceiver, it does it all – like a multi-vitamin for the soul!

    God Bless you Msgr. Pope

  6. Jamie says:

    Very nicely done Msgr. I often wonder if any of the “Catholics” inside the Capitol Bldg ever pass by St. Cyprian Roman Catholic Church and acknowledge the very same thing. (I pray they do).

  7. Anna says:

    Thank you again Msgr ., for a needed reminder , on this Feast of Dedication of The Basilicas of Sts Peter and Paul , on how blessed we are , to be in the kind of worship that has been planned and instituted by The Lord Himself ( Bl.Emmerich beautifully describes the scenes of Holy Mass that The Lord does, with the Apostles , both before and after The Passion . )

    He , thus profoundly carries forth His role and mission , to bring God , to man !

    ( Guess , the name ‘Pope ‘ , thus has been prophetic , considering the location of Holy Comforter Church :) !

    P.S .- Forgot to mention , in sharing about the retreat experiences , in a previous post , how every such retreat starts / ends with the Holy Mass .

  8. RichardGTC says:

    1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”190–Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  9. Larry Peterson says:

    The most beautiful thing this side of heaven—-

  10. Ann says:

    Great reminder of the power of the Holy Mass. It makes me think that if we really understood the Real Presence how we differently we would approach Holy Communion.

  11. Fr Walter Macken says:

    The Mass is the centre and root of the spiritual life, St. Josemaria Escriva insists. This phrase came before the Vatican 2 phrase, “centre and summit”. But it is the same idea. Without the Mass there is nothing significant about our everyday activities. At the end of time, the Lord will show us all that we offered alongside his Cross through our Masses. The most apparently insignificant action, emptying a dishwasher, spending time listening to a child chattering, when it is presented on the altar acquires a truly supernatural significance. It becomes eternal like the action of Jesus on the Cross. I have said Mass every day for more than 50 years, and I still find it new every day, every single day. Jesus is there. And he is always waiting for each one of us. The Mass is really the greatest action any of us can carry out.

  12. annmarie says:

    Please pray that my sought after next home puts me near daily Mass so I can attend more often. Thanks in advance.

  13. Cindy Montanaro says:

    Thank you, Msgr. Pope, for so articulately and beautifully expressing this sublime truth which we can not ponder often enough. I pray that we may instill this cornerstone of our faith firmly in our children and grandchildren lest there be more generations of Catholics who do not appreciate and more church doors that are locked. May those of us who make the effort to attend daily Mass never regret the miles put on our cars, the blocks walked and the schedules re-arranged to be with the King of the universe at the most important event of all time!

  14. Glenn Harris says:

    The importance of The Mass was something I had forgot for years until I attended Mass offered in the Ancient Latin Rite one Sunday. When the Priest elevated The Host to the Crucifix with nothing but the chime of the bells and the scent of incense, then I remembered. This is Cavalry. And, That is my Savior on The Cross dying for me. Only a Catholic Priest can bring Him to me. No congressman, Judge, or president has that power. Every Catholic Church holds Christ behind its doors. Every Mass is His Holy Sacrifice.

    It was something I forgot after 30 years of “celebrations” and “banquets”. I have gone to the Old Rite, now the Extraordinary Rite, ever since. Not only for the love of It’s spirituality, but from the fear of ever forgetting that it is The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass and not a party. Deo Gratias.

  15. esiul says:

    Absolutely the best part of every day! The video is beautiful, you are so good at putting these videos together.
    Thank you, and may your parish inspire the Capitol occupants.

  16. Jack Perry says:

    I shall dissent, in part.

    I attend daily mass, in large part because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. But I also believe in free will, original sin, concupiscence, and all else that is taught by the Catholic Church, including the parts lots of Catholics of all stripes like to ignore. One of those parts is that God compels no one to choose; we all have free will. Going to Mass has changed me, and I like to think that it has changed for the better those I meet and pray for (which includes my enemies — all of them, which is spectacularly hard!). But if they choose nevertheless to give their hearts over to evil, then God can just as well harden their hearts.

    After all, there were, far more attendees at daily Mass in the runup to World War II than there have been afterwards, and of that number I suspect there were surely far more who genuinely embraced the Holy Sacrifice (if only from the number of vocations to orders!). Yet that did not slow the accumulation of sin, hatred, and unChristian sentiment that led like an avalanche to World War II — not among them, necessarily, but certainly among many that they prayed for.

    Or, again: I can’t remember the last time I went to Mass & didn’t hear someone say, “For an end to abortion, let us pray to the Lord…” Yet here we are in 2013, with men like Kermit Gosnell failing to arouse the outrage of a nation, while men who believe in traditional morality considered threats to civil order.

    By all means, attend & believe in the power of the Eucharist, but do not give in to determinist and/or magical thinking: beyond the veil lies a mystery, whose depths we cannot plumb.

  17. Maryanne Patrick says:

    I too am a daily Mass junkie. If Jesus is showing up every day, I want to be there too.

    “Faith, is truly the cornerstone of the Christian experience because it motivates the choices and actions of our daily lives.” –Pope Francis
    “Most people say they believe in God. I think people have to start getting serious about this,” Teresa Tomeo from God’s Bucket List.

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