"It is an error consequently and a mistake to think of the Sacred Liturgy as merely the outward or visible part divine worship or as an ornamental ceremonial . . . Very truly, the Sacraments and the Sacrifice of the altar, being Christ's own actions, must be held to be capable in themselves of conveying and dispensing grace from the Divine Head to the members of the Mystical Body . . . . .
  "The fact, however, that the faithful participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, does not mean that they are also endowed with priestly power. It is very necessary that you make this quite clear to your flocks."
 ------- His Holiness, Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei
    "In writing about the celebrant's position at the altar and how it should change, Martin Luther, the reformer, refers to Christ's own behavior during the Last Supper. Apparently Luther envisioned the scene of the Last Supper in the framework of his own time: Jesus standing or sitting at the center of a long table, the Apostles placed at His right and left. Can we positively say that this is how Jesus actually sat at the table?
 What we can say is that he probably did not-----simply because it would have contradicted the table etiquette observed in antiquity. At the time of Jesus, and during the following centuries, no round or semi-circular tables were in use. The side of the table facing the observer remained empty: it was the side from which the food was served. . . .  During the first centuries, when the number of the faithful in a community was still small, the seating order used during the Agape meal carefully followed the order used during  the Last Supper-----which is not surprising, that at the time, this was part of common table etiquette anyway. . . In the towns where larger numbers of faithful needed to be accommodated during worship, several tables would be set up. The bishops and presbyters would sit at one table, while the faithful would sit at others. . . During the celebration of the Eucharist [following the Agape portion], the people got up and stood behind the celebrant at the altar. . . "One would look in vain for a statement in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council that said that Holy mass is to be celebrated facing the people . .  . in 1947, Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical, Mediator Dei, pointed out that the person 'who wants to change the altar into the old form of the Mensa [table] is going down the wrong road.' The celebration of the Mass versus populum was not allowed until the Second Vatican Council . . . Since during our pilgrimage here on earth, we are unable to understand the true magnificence of the mystery being celebrated, let alone to see Christ Himself and the "community of Heaven," it is not enough to simply talk about the solemn character of the Sacrifice of the Mass; rather, we must do everything we can to demonstrate the magnificence of theevent to the people-----through the
                       celebration itself, and . . . above all of its altar.
   ------- THE REFORM OF THE LITURGY by Msgr. Klaus Gamber
                       From the rising of the sun even to the going down, My Name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is a sacrifice, and there is offered to My Name a clean oblation: for My Name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:2)
The world, in fact, since the redemption, is an immense temple where at each moment of time, as the sun advances over a hemisphere, the Victim of Calvary is uplifted between Heaven and earth by the Most high. Victim essentially immaculate, Who keeps His sanctifying virtue when He is offered by unworthy hands, Jesus substitutes Himself for guilty men, to give to the Father the honor His Sovereign Majesty demands, and to implore His mercy and graces on their behalf.
The main point of the Holy Mass is in the words of Consecration. How glorious it is! After the Consecration the Good God is there as in Heaven! If man really understood this mystery, he would die of love. God spares us because of our weakness. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the same as that of Calvary, of the Cross, which was offered once on Good Friday. The only difference is that, when Jesus offered Himself on Calvary, the Sacrifice was visible; that is to say, Jesus Christ was seen with the bodily eyes, being offered to God, His Father, by the hands of His executioners, and shedding His Blood: it means that the Blood came forth from His veins and was seen flowing down onto the ground. But in the Holy Mass, Jesus Christ offers Himself (not us) to His Father in an invisible and unbloody manner.
Man, as a creature, owes to God the homage of his whole being, and as a sinner he owes Him an atoning victim. We cannot atone for ourselves, either as individuals or  "as Church" as the Modernists put it currently. We cannot make entire satisfaction in of ourselves, we need a holier, purer Victim, One Who continues to immolate Himself to the ends of the world and Who is capable of rendering what is owed to God for sin. That holy Victim is Jesus Christ, Who is God like His Father, yet man, like us in that he shares our human nature, if not our personhood. Every day he offers Himself again on Calvary for us, through the priest, who is not a presider, but an alter Christus or another Christ. And he is another Christ, not by right, but by Divine privilege and calling, not because the priest is perfect, for he, too is a sinner, but because Christ chose him. It is Christ who is asking the priest to cooperate with Him as Victim on the Altar. The Mass is essential an action before God. He is addressing God, not the  community and thus should not be facing the people, which gives us a distorted idea of the Mass;  it is no accident that most catholics today think that the Mass is a communal meal and a fellowship experience. Our fellowship must be with Christ, in utter adoration; if it were possible, we must "die of love." Of course we cannot as we said above, but we should at least be aware of what the True Mass is and what our countenance before God at mass should be. Our focus should be the Victim in thanksgiving and adoration, not shaking hands and feeling good.
This short exposition was based in part on the writings of the Cure D'Ars, EUCHARISTIC MEDITATIONS