That was many, many years ago— at the beginning of the twelfth century, in fact. In those sad days a dreadful heresy arose. Many refused to believe what the Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches. They believed and taught other and shameful things.
Those people were called the Albigenses. St. Dominic, you remember, afterwards converted great numbers of them by means of the devotion of the rosary.
Among other false things the Albigenses said that it was wrong to read a Low Mass. What a wicked thing to say! We know that Mass, whether it be High Mass or Low Mass, is the great Sacrifice of the New Law and is of infinite value. We know that a sacrifice is the offering of an object by a priest to God alone and the consuming of it to show that He is Creator and Lord of all things. We know that it gives to God infinite adoration, reparation, thanksgiving, and that through it we can obtain anything. No prayers, not all the prayers in the world put together, are nearly as good as even one Holy Mass!
We know that. And so did the good priest I am now going to call Father James. He loved the Mass. And, in spite of the prohibition of the Albigenses, he said Low Mass in his church, each time giving to God infinite honor and glory anew. But he was reported to the heretical authorities, who promptly had him arrested and brought before their judges.
"Do you know that there is a law forbidding the celebration of a private Mass?" the judge demanded. "And if so, how dare you disobey?"
"I am indeed aware of that iniquitous law," Father James replied, without the slightest fear, "and I have openly disregarded it. And if you would know the reason, I must answer in the words of the Apostles, when forbidden to preach in the name of Christ. Brought before the Jewish Council, they calmly said:
"We ought to obey God rather than man.'"
At that the judges became furious and commanded that his tongue be forthwith torn out of his mouth. The cruel sentence was quickly executed, in the presence of a large crowd of people.
In terrible pain and with the blood still filling his mouth, Father James entered the church and knelt before the altar where he had just said Mass. Stretching out his arms, he there poured forth his heart to God and to God's blessed Mother. Humbly and confidently he implored that his tongue might be restored to him again.
So fervent was the holy priest's prayer that Our Lady herself appeared to him in all her beauty, and with her own hand replaced his tongue in his mouth. What did she say? She said: "Priest of the Most High, your tongue is given back to you because of the honor you paid to God, the Creator and Lord of all things, and to, me by saying Mass. My child, make diligent use of it in continuing to offer up the Adorable Sacrifice."
You can imagine what a perfect thanksgiving Father James made to Mary. His heart overflowed with gratitude. Then he hastened out to the assembled multitude and spoke to them about the wonderful miracle the Blessed Virgin had wrought—because she loved the Mass.
And imagine the people's astonishment! Imagine the shame and confusion of the judges and all those who had spoken against the Mass!
Now, what do you think? Can there be anything more pleasing to God than Holy Mass? NO!
Source: "Just Stories, the Kind That Never Grow Old," Imprimatur 1929
A coloring picture can be found below.