Please note that Pope Francis covers the chalice with a pall at his morning Mass. There is no such rubric in the Ordinary Form, nothing, zip, nada and thus it is permissible to import a rubric from the EF Mass such as when to cover the chalice with a pall during Mass if the OF Mass omits any reference. What other EF rubrics could we bring into the OF Mass I wonder?
Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday said that God is like a mother, He loves
us unconditionally, but too often we want to take control of this grace
in a kind of a spiritual book-keeping.
The Pope was speaking during his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta.
Taking his cue from the prophet Isaiah, Pope Francis said that God saves his people not from afar but being close and tender.
“God’s closeness is such that he is
presented like a mother, a mother who talks to her baby, and sings
lullabies to her baby” The Pope said that the mother even taken on the
voice and the language of a child so much so she can seem ridiculous if
one does not understand how great the context actually is: ‘Do not fear,
you little worm Jacob’. How often – Francis pointed out – does a mother
say this kind of thing to her child as she caresses him? ‘I will make
of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, full of teeth… I will make you
grow big’ and she caresses him again and holds him close. And so does
God. This is God’s tenderness. And He is he expresses his closeness with
tenderness: the tenderness of a mother”.
God loves is free - the Pope continued - just as a mother’s love is
for her child. And the child "allows himself to be loved": "this is the
grace of God." "But many times, just to be sure, we want to control the
grace". He said that "in history and also in our lives we are tempted to
transform grace into a kind of a merchandise, perhaps saying to
ourselves something like "I have so much grace," or, "I have a soul
clean, I am graced":
"In this way this beautiful truth of God's closeness slips into a kind
spiritual book-keeping: 'I will do this because it will give me 300
days of grace ... I will do that because it will give me this, and doing
so I will accumulate grace'. But what is grace? A commodity? That’s
what it appears. And throughout history this closeness of God to his
people has been betrayed by this selfish attitude, selfish, by wanting
to control grace, to turn it into merchandise".
The Pope recalled the groups at the time of Jesus who wanted to control
grace: the Pharisees, enslaved by the many laws that they loaded "on the
shoulders of the people." The Sadducees with their political
compromises. The Essenes, "who were good, very good, but they had so
much fear, they never took any risks" and ended up isolated within their
monasteries. The Zealots, for whom the grace of God was the "war of
liberation", "another way to transform grace into merchandise."
"The grace of God – Pope Francis said - is another matter: it is
closeness, it is tenderness. This rule is always valid. If, in your
relationship with the Lord, do not feel that He loves you tenderly, you
are missing something, you still have not understood what grace is, you
have not yet received grace which is this closeness". (This is the point I really agree and Bishop Lessard in the 1980's said the same thing!): Pope Francis
recalled the confession many years ago, of a woman who was tormented by
the question of whether a Mass attended on a Saturday evening for a
wedding was valid (as a fulfilling the Sunday obligation) as it had readings different to that on the Sunday.
This was his answer: "Madam, the Lord loves you so much. You went to
Church and there you received Communion, you were with Jesus... Do not
worry, the Lord is not a merchant, the Lord loves us, He is close":
"St. Paul reacts strongly against this spirituality of the law.’I am
right, and this and this. If I do not do this I am not right'. But you
are right because God has drawn close, because God caresses you, because
God tells you these beautiful things with tenderness: this is our
justice, this closeness of God, this tenderness, this love. At the risk
of seeming ridiculous our God is so good. If we had the courage to open
our hearts to this tenderness of God, how much spiritual freedom we
would have! How much! Today, if you have a little 'time, at home, take
the Bible: Isaiah, chapter 41, from verse 13 to 20, seven verses. Read
them. This tenderness of God, this God who sings in each of us a
lullaby, like a mother”.