What is the appropriate Catholic response to a “black mass”?
October, also the month dedicated to the Rosary, is a popular time for the satanic ritual commonly referred to as a “black mass”. The term itself rings false—there really is no such thing as a “black mass”—the qualifier denigrates the power of the real Mass.
This satanic ceremony inverts the traditional Catholic Mass by ritually violating and abusing a consecrated Host. Obviously, this is offensive to the core of every Catholic, but how should we react?
A friend of mine suggested that Catholics ought to take the Eucharist back, thus saving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus from obscene acts and humiliation. He reasoned:
“If we really believe the consecrated Host to be the body of Christ, shouldn’t we do everything in our power to protect it? Doesn’t our loyalty to God outweigh everything else?”
Yes … and no.
Our loyalty to God should be first and foremost. For that reason, we must look to him to decide the right course of action.
Using Scripture as a Guide
Our Lord is no stranger to ridicule and humiliation—in fact, it is a theme throughout Scripture.
Isaiah 50:6 says:
“I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who tore out my beard;
My face I did not hide
from insults and spitting.”
And in Matthew 5:39-41 Jesus says:
“But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
These verses are widely misunderstood. There are two natural reactions when someone slaps you or spits on you: cower and cover your face, or strike back. But this Scripture offers a third way, and it is pretty extraordinary: Look them square in the eyes, forgive them, and pray for them. Actively and sincerely advocate for them and try to bring them to God. Not an easy thing to do in any situation, let alone this one.
Instead of cowering or striking back, we should strive to bring people who participate in these rituals to God.
Can we really bring literal satanists to God? Definitely not on our own. But Jesus can (and has) and we have to let him.
It’s not easy to let someone you love be put in danger. Nobody knows this better than Mary. She looked upon her son being tortured and killed, and knew that she could do nothing to intercede, nor did Jesus want her to.
We must take up the attitude of Mary looking upon her son and put his will above our own. In Matthew 26:52-53, Jesus said:
“Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”
If the Eucharist is put into the hands of wicked men and women, then so be it. We will refrain from storming the castle, so to speak, but we do not have to sit idly by.
What We Can Do
First, an ounce of prevention. We need to protect the Eucharist while it is in our care. In order for this ritual to take place, someone needs to steal a consecrated Host. This is one of the reasons why Hosts are locked in a tabernacle.
I once had a priest announce to the congregation that if someone walked away with a Host in their hand, he would follow the person back to the pew until he was sure it was consumed. People chuckled, but he was serious.
If you or someone you know is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, take extra care to ensure that the communicant consumes the Host on the spot. Do not let anyone walk away with a consecrated Host!
(An exception to that rule is if a parishioner or someone familiar with the parish is taking the Eucharist to someone sick and/or homebound. In that case, the Host should be placed in a pyx. When in doubt, offer to have an extraordinary minister, deacon, or priest bring the Host personally.)
Pray and Fast
Second, a pound of cure. We can make reparations. Reparation is the concept that, by virtue of the oneness and solidarity of the mystical Body of Christ, we can make up for the sins of others by adding our prayers, labors, and trials to those of Our Lord.
If the Eucharist is desecrated in a satanic ritual near you, here are six things you can do in reparation.
- Pray this Act of Reparation to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
- Say a Rosary. Here is a great reflection on the Sorrowful Mysteries.
- Pray the St. Michael prayer. A lot.
- Dedicate a fast (here’s how).
- Spend an hour with Jesus in adoration.
- Ask your pastor to dedicate a Mass in reparation to the Blessed Sacrament.
It is a strong testament to the power of the Mass that the devil seeks to twist and distort it. We know that God triumphs over evil, and we do not need to be afraid. Let’s do everything in our power to protect the Eucharist while it is in our care and fervently pray for the conversion of our enemies.
Has there been this type of satanic ritual near you? How did your community react? Share your story in the comments section.
An excellent way to prevent the so called black mass would be to return to tradition by way of the alter rail and receiving Christ on the tongue. If we really believe we are receiving the King of all creation, should we not show our reverence to His Majesty by kneeling before him?
I’m in favor of alter rails as well. Unfortunately it’s still possible to remove the Host from the tongue and carry it away, so we still need to be careful.