Last July 1, I wrote about Catalina Rivas and her visions in which the Virgin Mary “opened” her eyes to what happens during the Holy Mass. Since then I’ve tried to consciously see the Mass the way Catalina did.
I continue to read the pamphlet as often as possible before the Mass so I can be reminded of the Virgin Mary’s words. To be clear, this is not to say that I am in a position to confirm the authenticity of Catalina’s visions. But I’m sharing this with a sincere belief that it would greatly inspire anyone who takes it to heart.
In the previous article, I ended at the Offertory portion in which Catalina described a procession of angels making their way to the altar to make their own offerings before disappearing from view. She then continued to the the final portion of the Preface, when the assembly sings or chants “Holy, Holy, Holy…”
As the people sang, she said, everything behind the priest vanished and on his left side appeared thousands of angels, all dressed in white tunics. All the angels knelt with their hands together and heads bowed in reverence as beautiful music played and a choir could be heard singing.
When the moment of the Consecration arrived, “the moment of the most marvelous of miracles,” the right side of the priest was also immediately filled up with a multitude of people. They were dressed in tunics in soft colors such as rose, green, light blue, lilac, yellow.
These were the saints, with faces that radiated joy and light. “They all seemed to be of the same age. You could tell (and I cannot say why) that they were people of different ages but their faces looked the same, without wrinkles, happy.”
The Virgin Mary confirmed that among the saints were also the souls of our beloved who were already enjoying the presence of God. It was at this point that Our Lady chose to finally reveal herself.
How it should be
“I saw her, she was there, exactly to the right, a step behind the celebrant… She was suspended a little off the floor, kneeling on some very fine fabrics, transparent but luminous at the same time, like crystalline waters. The Holy Virgin, her hands joined together, was looking attentively and respectfully at the celebrant. And she was speaking to me from there, but silently, directly to my heart, without looking at me.
“This is how it should be,” the Virgin Mary revealed. “Notwithstanding how much my Son loves me, He has not given me the dignity that He gives a priest, of being able to bring my Son in my hands daily as the priestly hands do. Because of this, I feel such profound respect for a priest and for the whole miracle that God carries out through a priest, that I am compelled to kneel here.”
Shortly after, more forms began to appear at the altar. This time, they were shadows in human form, gray in color with their hands raised up. The Virgin Mary explained: “These are the blessed souls of Purgatory who wait for your prayers to be refreshed. Do not stop praying for them. They pray for you but they cannot pray for themselves.”
The Virgin Mary continued with a reminder to the faithful,
“As you see, I am here all the time. People go on pilgrimages and look for my apparition sites, and that is good because of all the graces that they receive there. But during no apparition, nor in any other place am I present longer (over time) than at the Holy Mass. You will always find me at the foot of the altar when the Eucharist is celebrated.”
Catalina was filled with great sorrow to realize that many people who go to Mass get distracted, talking at that very moment when all of Heaven is present. “Never is a man more a man than when he bends his knees before God,” the Virgin Mary said.
Right after finishing the words of the Consecration, the priest began to transform—from a man of normal height, he started to grow and be filled with light.
“At that moment, the Host began to grow and became enormous, and upon it was the marvelous face of Jesus, looking toward His people.”
As soon as the words for the Consecration of the wine were said, “lightning began to flash in the sky and in the background. There was no church ceiling and no walls. It was all in darkness, but for the brilliant light on the Altar.
“Suddenly I saw Jesus crucified, suspended in the air. I saw Him from the head to the lower part of His chest. The beam of the Cross was sustained by some strong, large hands. From within the resplendent light, a much smaller, brilliant light came forth, like that of a very small, very brilliant dove. It swiftly flew once around the entire Church and went to rest on the left shoulder of the celebrant who continued being Jesus, because I could make out His long hair, His luminous wounds and His large body, but I could not see His face. Above was Jesus crucified, His head fallen upon His right shoulder… They (blood and water) were like jets of light coming forth towards the faithful and moving to the right and to the left. I was amazed at the amount of blood that was flowing into the Chalice. I thought it would overflow and stain the whole Altar but not a single drop was spilled!”
Miracle of miracles
It was at this moment that the Virgin Mary spoke again: “This is the miracle of miracles… Time and space do not exist for the Lord and at the moment of the Consecration, all the assembly is taken to the foot of Calvary at the instant of the crucifixion of Jesus.”
My personal belief was that He sacrificed Himself once, and that was it. But reading Catalina’s account changed my whole perspective, as I realized that the sacrifice is continuous.
As the Mass went on, Catalina was given instructions on how to pray certain parts such as during the “Our Father” in which she was told to pray while thinking of those who have harmed us the most so that we may embrace them and sincerely forgive them.
During the Communion, the Virgin Mary instructed Catalina to pray for the celebrant and all other priests.
This is especially important because we sometimes forget that our priests are human and have the same frailties that we have. We demand much from our priests but we must also pray and understand the challenges and solitude that priests face.
Catalina observed the people who received the Holy Communion and how those who received it with a pure heart were covered with a pure light, as if embraced by Jesus. As people around her knelt down in prayer, Jesus himself began to talk and said, “I have died for love and I am risen. For love I await each one of you, and for love I remain with you…”
As the Mass came to an end, the Virgin Mary reminded Catalina to take care in making the Sign of the Cross: “Remember, this blessing could be the last one you receive from the hands of a priest. You do not know if after leaving here you will die or not… Therefore, make the Sign of the Cross with respect, as if it were the last one of your life.”
Though the Mass was over, Jesus and Mary continued to speak to Catalina. They asked that we do not “run out” of the church as soon as the ceremony is over, but instead bring the Lord with us as we leave the church.
He reminded her that He stays with each of us after the Mass, for as long as we want Him there, and suggested we speak to Him continuously, sharing our life with Him as we do with the rest of our family.
“How many sit down before Me and have a conversation with Me, telling Me how it has been since the last time, their problems, difficulties, allowing me to share in their things? How many times?
“I know everything, even the deepest secrets in your hearts and minds, but you must allow Me to share, as the most intimate friend. How many graces man fails to receive by not giving Me a place in his life!”
Catalina ended by telling us that “we must not remain silent and allow our brothers and sisters to starve when we have so much bread in our hands.” I took this both literally and figuratively, as there is both a physical and spiritual hunger that our world is faced with today.
Catalina addresses people who stay within their comfort zone while watching the world crumbling around them. She reminds us all that we must reach out to those who are suffering and remind them that they are not alone.