The Weight of One Mass?

     The following true story was related to Sr. M. Veronica Murphy by an elderly nun who heard it from the lips of the late Reverend Father Stanislaus SS.CC.
     One day many years ago, in a little town in Luxembourg, a Captain of the Forest Guards was in deep conversation with the butcher when an elderly woman entered the shop. The butcher broke off the conversation to ask the old woman what she wanted. She had come to beg for a little meat but had no money. The Captain was amused at the conversation which ensued between the poor woman and the butcher, "Only a little meat, but how much are you going to give me?"
     ''I am sorry I have no money but I'll hear Mass for you." Both the butcher and the Captain were good men but very indifferent about religion, so they at once began to scoff at the old woman's answer.
     "All right then, " said the butcher, "you go and hear Mass for me and when you come back I'll give you as much meat as the Mass is worth."
    
The woman left the shop and returned later. She approached the counter and the butcher seeing her said, "All right then we'll see." He took a slip of paper and wrote on it "I heard a Mass for you." He then placed the paper on the scales and a tiny bone on the other side but nothing happened. Next he placed a piece of meat instead of the bone, but still the paper proved heavier. Both men were beginning to feel ashamed of their mockery but continued their game. A large piece of meat was placed on the balance, but still the paper held its own. The butcher, exasperated, examined the scales, but found they were all right.
     "What do you want my good woman, must I give you a whole leg of mutton?" At this he placed the leg of mutton on the balance, but the paper outweighed the meat. A larger piece of meat was put on, but again the weight remained on the side of the paper. This so impressed the butcher that he was converted, and promised to give the woman her daily ration of meat.
     As for the Captain, he left the shop a changed man, an ardent lover of daily Mass. Two of his sons became priests, one a Jesuit and the other a Father of the Sacred Heart.
     Father Stanislaus finished by saying "I am the Religious of the Sacred Heart, and the Captain was my father."
     From that incident the Captain became a daily Mass goer and his children were trained to follow his example. Later when his sons became priests, he advised them to say Mass well every day and never miss the Sacrifice of the Mass through any fault of their own.

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