This meditation on the Mass by the mystic Von Speyr contains many penetrating insights, particularly about the nature of the Mass as sacrifice—of Christ, of his priest, and of every believer united in and with the entire Church—expressed with a poetic layering of concepts and images that is at once complex and lucid, dense and transparent. The meditation rewards the present-day reader's effort with a fresh and palpable sense that the real truth of the Church's constant re-presentation, re-enactment of Christ's "sacrifice once offered" transcends not only the nearly half-a-century since Von Speyer's meditation, but all time —time which is itself sanctified precisely through the endless repetition of the Sacrament of unity that is the Holy Mass.
Adrienne von Speyr (1902–1967) was a Swiss medical doctor, a convert to Catholicism, a mystic, and an author of more than sixty books on spirituality and theology. She collaborated closely with theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, her confessor for twenty-seven years, and together they founded the Community of Saint John. Her numerous books, published by Ignatius Press, are a major contribution to the wisdom of the Church. Among her most important works are Book of All Saints, Confession, The World of Prayer, Handmaid of the Lord, and The Passion from Within.