What is the Mass, fundamentally? It is the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Christ, the God-man.
How does the celebration of Holy Mass affect our minds? Hopefully, it focuses them on this essential fact: The God-man died, and He rose. This is the fact. This is the central fact of them all, the fact according to which we understand and interpret all other facts.
In Adam all died. In Christ all rise.
The niggling little critics might ask us questions like: You believe all people descend from Adam and Eve? Then where did Cain and Abel’s wives come from? Or: Did Original Sin occur before or after the dinosaurs?
We just say: Look, critics, niggle all you want. We start with the new Adam. The divine Christ, Jesus. The poor wanderer Who is the High Priest of all creation. He died on the Cross and rose on the third day.
That’s the central fact. We cannot understand anything, really; we can’t study dinosaur bones, or the night sky, or the cave paintings of Lascaux—and understand any of it—without first considering the fact at the heart of the Mass. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, dear carping critics, then let’s chat some more about things like the Big Bang theory.
So: When we Christians pray for our dead, and talk to them, and look forward to our reunion with them; when we Christians greet every day as an opportunity to gather up moments of divine love for eternal life; when we try to live as mystics of the Mass, we engage in no maudlin sentimentality. We engage in no fancy mythopoesis. No. We deal in pure facts.
Where does reality begin? The only reasonable answer is: God. And God became a man, and died, and rose again. Reality begins with the inner mystery of Holy Mass. Reality as a whole makes sense, when we take the immortal Mass as Fact #1.