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Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

At the Introit of the Mass pray with the priest for the forgiveness of your sins: If thou shalt observe iniquities O Lord: Lord, who shall endure? for with thee is propitiation, O God of Israel. From the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. (Ps. CXXIX.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all goodness, hear, we beseech Thee, the devout prayers of Thy Church, and grant that what we faithfully ask we may effectually obtain. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Philipp. I. 6-II.) Brethren, We are confident in the Lord Jesus, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus. As it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my heart, and that in my bands, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of my joy. For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding: that you may approve the better things; that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

EXPLANATION This epistle was written by St. Paul at Rome, where he was imprisoned for the faith, to the inhabitants of Philippi in Macedonia whom he had converted to the true faith. He congratulates them that they so willingly received and conscientiouly obeyed the gospel which he had preached to them, and he says, he trusts in God to complete the good work which He has commenced, and to give them perseverance until the day of
Christ, that is, until death.

GOSPEL (Matt. XXII. 15-21.) At that time, The Pharisees went and consulted among themselves how to ensnare Jesus in his speech. And they send to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man, for thou dost not regard the person of men: tell us, therefore, what dost thou think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? Show me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Caesar’s. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Why did the Pharisees try to ensnare Jesus in His speech?

In order to find some reason to accuse Him before tho emperor, or to make Him hated by the Jews; for had He denied tribute to Caesar, they would have accused Him before the emperor as guilty of high treason; had He, on the contrary made it obligatory to pay tribute, then they would have denounced Him as a destroyer of the liberty of the people, who considered themselves a free nation owing allegiance only to God. Like the Pharisees are all those who, under the appearance of friendship, only cause vexation and misfortune to their neighbor.

Who are really hypocrites?

Those who in order to cheat their neighbor, appear outwardly pious and holy, whilst inward they are full of malice; those who have honey on the tongue, but gall in the heart, and sting like scorpions, when we least expect it. Because there are so many vices connected with hypocrisy, (Matt. XXIII.) therefore Christ has denounced no sin more emphatically than this one. Hypocrites are brethren of Cain, Joab, and Judas, of whom the first killed his brother, the second his cousin and the third betrayed his divine Master with a kiss. Such false men are cursed by God. (Mal, I. 14.) I hate a mouth with a double tongue. (Prov. VIII. 13.) “The devil silently possesses the hearts of hypocrites and quietly sleeps in them, whilst he gives them no peace,” says St. Gregory; and St. Jerome writes: “Pretended holiness is double malice.” Better is an open enemy, before whom we can be on our guard, than a hypocritical friend of whom we have no suspicion, because we look upon him as a friend. Beware, therefore, my dear Christian, of the vice of hypocrisy, which is so hateful to God; endeavor always to be sincere with God, thyself and thy neighbor, and to walk in-true humility before God, then mayst thou carry His image within thee.

PRAYER Help me, O Lord, for the number of the saints is decreasing and truth is becoming rare among men. They speak vain things each with his neighbor: their lips are deceitful, and they speak with double hearts. Let the Lord destroy all those who say: We will magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; who is Lord over us? O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips and deceitful tongues give me grace to preserve Thy image in my soul, by piety and virtue. Direct my heart to justice and keep it from avarice, that I may give to each his own.

INSTRUCTION ON THE FOLLY OF HUMAN RESPECT
Thou art a true speaker ‘ neither carest thou or any man, for thou dost not regard the person of men. (Matt. XXII. 16.)

In this Christians ought especially to follow the Saviour, and not permit themselves to be deterred from piety, and the practice of virtue by fear or human respect. What matters it, what people think and say of us, if we only please God? He alone can truly benefit or injure us; therefore he alone is to be feared, as Christ says: Fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. X. 28.)

How foolishly, therefore, do those act who through fear of displeasing certain people, are afraid to serve God and practice piety; who even go so far as to commit sin; who in order to be pleasing to others, oppress innocent, poor and forsaken people; who adopt the latest and most scandalous fashions and customs; those who eat meat on days of abstinence, or give it to others; those who sing sinful songs, or what is still worse, do not hesitate to ridicule sacred things to give others occasion to laugh, or in order to be considered strong-minded. Implore God daily and sincerely, that He may take from you this vain fear of men and give you instead the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.

INSTRUCTION ON THE VALUE AND DIGNITY OF THE SOUL
Whose image is this? (Matt. XXII. 20.)

Thus we should often ask ourselves with respect to our soul, particularly when we are tempted to stain and rain it by sin, Whose image is this? We should then say to ourselves, “Is it not the likeness of God, a likeness painted with the blood of Jesus, an image for which the Saviour gave His life? Should I defile and deform this by sin and voluptuousness? God forbid!” For in truth, what among all created things, except the angels, is more beautiful and more precious than a -human soul, which is in the state of grace? “Could we,” says St. Catherine of Sienna, “behold with our corporal eyes a soul in the state of grace, we would see with astonishment that it surpasses in splendor all flowers) all stars, the whole world, and there is probably no one who would not wish to die for such beauty.” It is a dwelling of the Blessed Trinity! Christ did not give His life for all the goods and treasures of this earth, but for the human soul. And yet many estimate their soul at such little value that they sell it for a momentary pleasure, for a present not worth a penny! For shame! The body we estimate so highly that we take all pains to decorate it and keep it alive, and the soul the image and likeness of God, we take no pains to keep in the state of grace, and adorn with virtues! What folly!

INSTRUCTION ON THE OBLIGATION TO PAY TAXES OR TRIBUTE TO THE GOVERNMENT
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. (Matt. XXII. 21.)

To pay tribute to the lawful government is a duty of justice which the Spirit of God Himself commands us faithfully to fulfil. (Rom. XIII. 6, 7.) Christ Himself paid the customary didrachma for Himself and St. Peter; (Matt. XVII. 23.) “and if the Son of God Himself paid duty and tax,” says St. Ambrose, “who art thou, O man, that thou wouldst free thyself from it?” The government must watch lest the life of its subjects be at hazard, that their property be not endangered or stolen, that there be security on the highways, that peace, harmony and order be preserved among the citizens, that their temporal welfare be promoted; that science and art flourish, etc. For this, teachers, judges, officers and soldiers are necessary, for whose support care must be taken, and whose trouble must be rewarded. Besides this the government must care for the security of the country, for public streets and bridges, and institutions necessary for the common good; to enable the government to perform these duties, taxes are necessary and lawfully assessed. If you oppose these laws, you oppose God, for by Him princes rule, and the mighty degree justice. (Prov. VIII. 16.) Let the payment of duties be done willingly, because you pay them for love of God, and resigned to His holy will as the early Christians did, who even served their heathenish government with pleasure, in all that was not contrary to God’s will, and cheerfully paid the duties.

November 8, 2019   No Comments

Leftist Catholic magazine slams Latin Mass as ‘cult of toxic tradition’

Life Site News, November 6, 2019, Joseph Shaw

A certain Zita Ballinger Fletcher, writing in the National ‘Catholic’ Reporter (a notoriously not-very-Catholic publication) has written an unintentionally hilarious article attacking the traditional Mass. It alternates between statements of the obvious, presented as though they were horrifying revelations — the Latin Mass is said in Latin! The priest celebrates facing away from the people! — with bizarre non sequiturs: this form of the Mass is sexist, oppressive, and clericalist.

And worst of all, people aren’t allowed to wear red.

Fletcher is worried about division in the Church — at least, this is presumably the point of talking about the Latin Mass creating ‘sects’ — but it is she, not Catholics attached to the ancient liturgical tradition, who is causing divisions with this article. Her embittered and rather personal attack contrasts very much with the attitude of her victims. Traditional Catholics do not fill their leisure hours attacking the character of Catholics who attend the ‘Ordinary Form’. They commonly share churches and parishes with them, nearly always as the junior partner, and want nothing but to live in peace and charity. We can have theological discussions without thinking our opponents are bad people, but this is a trick Fletcher doesn’t seem to have mastered.

Although the article is itself absurd in many ways, the link Fletcher strives to establish between the traditional Latin Mass and clericalism is a familiar enough theme to warrant a response. I leave aside the question of sexism, which seems more an angry accusation against the women who attend the traditional Mass than against the men. Fletcher seems scared of the ladies wearing veils in church and writes of a female friend: ‘I still don’t understand why she wanted to associate with that group, or why she decided to give in to oppression.’ Shrieking at women that they are self-hating misogynists is a really bad look.

Fletcher does not actually explain the connection between the ancient Latin Mass and clericalism; it seems to come down to an association of ideas. The priest wears nice vestments, he has his back to the people, he prays in Latin, and — whoosh! — he has somehow acquired power. This liturgy ‘places all power in the hands of the priest’; it is used to ‘wield control over believers’. Is it a magic spell? It certainly sounds like it. The altar rail, Fletcher tells us, is ‘a barrier that gives him privileges’. How does it do that? Like a magic wand?

At one point she writes that ‘the priest is at the centre of the spectacle’. Perhaps this is how she thinks it works. But isn’t the priest at the centre of any celebration of Mass? It has often been pointed out that the fact that, after the liturgical reform, the priest can look at the people and engage with them, with eye-contact, ex tempore prayers, and informal asides, means that the Ordinary Form is far more affected by the personality of the priest than the Extraordinary Form. Pope Benedict made this point about the celebration of Mass facing the people in his The Spirit of the Liturgy. The temptation for a priest who has personal charisma to use that to draw people in can be powerful in the context of the Novus Ordo. This is problematic because the priest’s personality can obscure the message of the liturgy itself. It could even, in extreme cases, be part of a personality cult. A priest who celebrates anonymously, using only the words of the liturgy, facing away from the congregation, and wearing formal vestments that any other priest in the parish might wear is in less danger here.

Many of Fletcher’s claims are comical. She says that when they receive Holy Communion, the people kneel at the priest’s feet. To whom, then, does the priest kneel when he genuflects before so much as picking up the Consecrated Host in the Traditional Mass? To whom, again, does he make repeated confession of his sinfulness, a far more prominent feature of the older Mass than of the newer? It is not a human being who is worshipped in the Mass, but God.

Even her observation about people kneeling at Mass is bizarre. She asserts, with apparent horror, ‘all the people inside the church are expected to kneel on cue at various points’. Are there not rubrics for the laity in the Ordinary Form? As a matter of fact, these are more formalised and demanding than those in the Traditional Mass, which are no more than local customs. People are far more likely to find themselves being corralled into actions with which they are not entirely comfortable, whether it be shaking hands with an overly friendly neighbour or going up to Communion, at the Ordinary Form.

And what is this about not being allowed to wear red at Mass? I confess I am completely baffled. The most charitable interpretation I can give is that with this Fletcher has, as with so many things, got the wrong end of the stick, but of what could have been the source of this particular misconception I have no idea.

November 8, 2019   No Comments

Abp Viganò: ‘The abomination of idolatrous rites has entered the sanctuary of God’ (Exclusive)

Life Site News,

 

ROME, November 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is urging the re-consecration of St. Peter’s Basilica, in light of what he calls “the appalling idolatrous profanations” that have been committed in its walls through the veneration of the Pachamama statue.

In a new interview on the Amazon Synod with LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò has said: “The abomination of idolatrous rites has entered the sanctuary of God and has given rise to a new form of apostasy whose seeds, which have been active for a long time, are growing with renewed vigor and effectiveness.”

He continues: “The process of the internal mutation of the faith, which has been taking place in the Catholic Church for several decades, has seen with this Synod a dramatic acceleration towards the foundation of a new creed, summed up in a new kind of worship [cultus]. In the name of inculturation, pagan elements are infesting divine worship so as to transform it into an idolatrous cult.”

Clergy and laity alike “cannot remain indifferent to the idolatrous acts that we witnessed,” the archbishop insists. “It is urgent that we rediscover the meaning of prayer, reparation and penance, of fasting, of ‘little sacrifices, of the little flowers, and above all of silent and prolonged adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.”

In this in-depth interview (see full text below), we discuss with Archbishop Viganò what the “Pachamama saga” reveals about the state of the Church and how it is the logical consequence of other “aberrant” declarations made under the current pontificate. We also talk about the synod’s final document, which he calls a “head-on strike against the divine edifice” of the Church; what the Amazon Synod reveals about “synodality”; and what its organizers have accomplished.

According to Archbishop Viganò, the “Amazon paradigm” is aimed at fundamentally “transforming” the Catholic Church, is aligned with a “globalist” agenda, and “serves as a catwalk to ferry what remains of the Catholic edifice towards an indistinct universal religion.”

“For all of us Catholics, the landscape in the Holy Church is becoming darker by the day,” he says. “If this satanic plan is successful, Catholics who adhere to it will in fact change religion, and the immense flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be reduced to a minority.”

“This minority will likely have much to suffer … but with him it will conquer,” he says, concluding his remarks with the provocative, prophetic and timely words of the 14th century mystic and saint, Bridget of Sweden.

Here below is our interview on the Amazon Synod with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

LifeSiteNews: Your Excellency, how would you characterize the arc of the synod narrative? Is there an image that aptly summarizes it?

Archbishop Viganò: The barque of the Church is in the grip of a raging storm. To quell the tempest, those Successors of the Apostles who have tried to leave Jesus on the shore, and who no longer perceive His presence, have begun to invoke the Pachamama!

Jesus prophesied: “When you see the desecrating sacrilege … there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Mt 24:15;21).

The abomination of idolatrous rites has entered the sanctuary of God and has given rise to a new form of apostasy, whose seeds — which have been active for a long time — are growing with renewed vigor and effectiveness. The process of the internal mutation of the faith, which has been taking place in the Catholic Church for several decades, has seen with this Synod a dramatic acceleration towards the foundation of a new creed, summed up in a new kind of worship [cultus]. In the name of inculturation, pagan elements are infesting divine worship in order to transform it into an idolatrous cult.

What do you think is the most concerning or problematic part of the Amazon Synod’s final document?

The strategy of the entire Amazon Synod operation is deception, the preferred weapon of the devil: telling half-truths to achieve a perverse end. A lack of priests: they therefore say it is necessary to open up to married priests and to a women’s diaconate in order to destroy celibacy, first in the Amazon and then in the entire Church. On what continent was the Catholic Church’s first evangelization ever carried out by married priests? The missions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were carried out primarily by the Latin Church, and only to a very small extent by the Eastern Churches with married clergy.

The final document of this shamefully manipulated assembly, whose agenda and results have been planned for a long time, is a head-on strike against the divine edifice of the Church, attacking the sanctity of the Catholic priesthood, and pushing for the abolition of ecclesiastical celibacy and a female diaconate.

What did the Pachamama saga reveal? And what ought to be done in response?

In Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis stated in writing that God “wills” all religions. Despite the fraternal correction offered to him in person and in writing by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Pope Francis has ordered that his heretical declaration be taught in pontifical universities and that a special Commission be created to spread this grave doctrinal error.

Consistent with this aberrant doctrine, it’s not surprising that paganism and idolatry should also be included among the religions willed by God. The Pope has shown us this and has implemented it personally, profaning the Vatican gardens and the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, and desecrating St. Peter’s Basilica and the synod’s closing Mass by placing on the altar of the Confession that idolatrous “plant” that is closely connected with the Pachamama.

According to the tradition of the Church, the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina and St. Peter’s Basilica must be re-consecrated in light of the appalling idolatrous profanations that have been committed in them.

The Pachamama saga revealed a blatant and very serious violation of the First Commandment, as well as the drift towards idolatry in a “Church with an Amazonian face.” That rite, which took place in the heart of Christianity, and which Bergoglio attended, assumes the value of an initiatory rite of the new religion. Veneration of the Pachamama is the poisonous fruit of “inculturation” at any price, and a fanatical expression of “Indian Theology.” The Synod offered a launching pad for this new syncretistic, neo-pagan church, which is dedicated to the cult of Mother Earth, to the naturalist myth of the “good savage,” and to the rejection of the Western model and lifestyle of advanced societies.

Idolatry seals apostasy. It is the fruit of the denial of the true faith. It is born of mistrust in God and degenerates into protest and rebellion. Fr. Serafino Lanzetta recently said:

To worship an idol is to worship oneself in place of God… it is to worship the anti-god who seduces and separates us from God, i.e. the devil, as can clearly be seen from the words of Jesus to the tempter in the desert (cf. Mt 4:8-10). Man cannot but adore, but he must choose whom he will adore. In tolerating the presence of idols— the Pachamama in our present context — alongside faith, it is said that religion is basically what satisfies man’s desires. Idols are always enticing because one adores what one wants and, above all, one doesn’t have to endure many moral headaches. On the contrary, idols for the most part are the sublimation of all human instincts. The real headache, however, comes when moral corruption spreads and infests the Church. An “abandonment of God” for impurity, to become prostitutes to other gods by exchanging God’s truth with lies, and by worshipping and serving creatures instead of the Creator (cf. Rom 1:24-25). It seems that St. Paul is speaking to us today. The root of this sad and tragic story is dogmatic and moral collapse.

We cannot remain indifferent to the idolatrous acts that we have witnessed and left us dumbfounded. These assaults against the holiness of our Mother Church demand from us a just and generous reparation. It is urgent that we rediscover the meaning of prayer, reparation and penance, of fasting, of the “little sacrifices, of the little flowers,” and above all of silent and prolonged adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

Let us beg the Lord to return and speak to the heart of his Beloved Bride, drawing her back to Himself in the grace of her first and irrevocable love, after making the mistake of surrendering herself to the world and its prostitution.

What has the Amazon Synod shown us about the nature of “synodality”?

The Church is not a democracy. The Synod of Bishops, since Paul VI established it with the Motu Proprio Apostolica Sollicitudo on September 15, 1965, has always dealt with problems concerning the universal Church, and has granted bishops representing all episcopal conferences wordwide the right to participate. The Synod for the Amazon did not respect this criterion.

The Church in the Amazon certainly has major problems of its own, which therefore need to be addressed at the local level. To resolve them it would have been sufficient for the Latin American bishops to have followed the recommendations that Pope Benedict XVI made to them on the occasion of his visit to Aparecida in 2007. They did not do so. Indeed, for decades many of them have allowed if not encouraged adherents of liberation theology and ideologies of largely Germanic origin, with the Jesuits on the front line, to continue to refuse to proclaim Christ as the only Savior.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt 7:15). The situation in part of the Church in the Amazon has been a failure, partly because of the apostolic nuncios in Brazil, such as the current Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, who proposed candidates for the episcopate such as those we saw at the Amazon Synod. By holding a Synod in Rome, instead of holding a local synod, and by inviting bishops selected from among the blindest ones to guide other blind men, was there an attempt to export and spread the disease to the universal Church?

Pope Francis uses “synodality” in a highly contradictory and minimally synodal way! “Synodality” is one of the “mantras” of the current pontificate, the magical solution to all the problems affecting the life of the Church. The much acclaimed “synodal conversion” has supplanted conversion to Christ. This is precisely why “synodality” is not the solution but the problem.

Moreover, Pope Francis seems to conceive of synodality as a one-way street: the actors, content and results are planned and directed in a targeted and unambiguous way. As a result, the synodal institution is seriously de-legitimized, and the faithful’s adherence to it is undermined.

One also has the impression that synodality is being seized and used as an instrument to break free from Tradition and from what the Church has always taught. How can true synodality exist where absolute fidelity to doctrine is absent?

Speaking at the Angelus about the recently concluded assembly, Francis said: “We walked looking into each other’s eyes and listening to one another with sincerity, without hiding the difficulties.” These words speak of a synodality exercised from below, not from Christ the Lord nor from listening to his eternal Truth. They reflect a sociological and worldly synodality that serves a merely human, ideological project.

Do you have any thoughts on how the Vatican media apparatus handled the synod? Critics say it has lost all credibility.

During the Synod we witnessed a Soviet-style communication management, with the imposition of an “official version” that almost never coincided with reality. When the evidence of lies or ambiguity was brought to light by so many courageous journalists, they denied it or denounced conspiracy.

Garments were rent, to the point of filing an official complaint, over the goddess mothers Pachamama being thrown into the miry Tiber! Then there were the usual epithets: conservative and fanatical Catholics, retrogrades who don’t believe in dialogue, people who ignore the history of the Church, according to an editorial published in Vatican News, complete with a quotation from St. John-Henry Cardinal Newman, and was favorable to the statues. Yet the Newman quote, according to which the elements of pagan origin are sanctified by their adoption into the Church, not only testifies to the bad faith of the person who used it but also backfires against him.

The Newman quote in fact highlights the substantial difference between the wise practice of Christ’s Church and the methods of the modernist apostasy. Indeed, the Roman Church, which destroyed the tyranny of demonic idols (think of the demolition of the temples of Apollo by St. Benedict or the sacred oak by St. Boniface) and established the kingdom of Christ, adopts forms of ancient pagan religion and baptizes them. The new modernists, on the other hand, who believe that God positively wills the diversity of religions, happily surrender themselves to syncretism and idolatry.

What specifically about the Church and her Faith has been put at risk or threatened by the Amazon Synod?

The Amazon Synod is part of a process that aims at nothing less than changing the Church. The pontificate of Pope Francis is studded with sensational acts aimed at undermining doctrines, practices and structures that until now have been considered consubstantial with the Catholic Church. He himself has defined this process as a “paradigm shift,” i.e., a clear break with the Church that preceded him.

With the Amazonian Synod, the utopia of a new tribalist and ecologist church has emerged on the horizon. It is the old project of that Latin American progressivism that was already confronted by John Paul II and then-Cardinal Ratzinger but never really eradicated — and now it is being promoted by the top of the Catholic hierarchy. The aim of this Synod is to move towards the definitive consecration of liberation theology in its “green” and “tribal” version.

With this Synod, as on other occasions, the Catholic Church appears to be aligned with the strategies that dominate the globalist scene and are supported by powerful forces and finance. These strategies are radically anti-human and intrinsically anti-Christian. The agenda even includes the promotion of abortion, gender ideology, and homosexualism, and it dogmatizes the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

For all of us Catholics, the landscape in the Holy Church is becoming darker by the day. The ongoing progressive offensive portends a real revolution, not only in the way the Church is understood, but also in the apocalyptic images it gives to the whole world order. With deep sadness, we see the present pontificate marked by unusual facts, disconcerting behavior and statements that contradict traditional doctrine, and which sow a general doubt in souls about what the Catholic Church is and what her true and immutable principles are. It feels as though we are in the grip of a religious chaos of gigantic proportion. If this satanic plan is successful, Catholics who adhere to it will in fact change religion, and the immense flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be reduced to a minority. This minority will likely have much to suffer. But it will be sustained by Our Lord’s promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, and with Him it will conquer in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised by Our Lady at Fatima.

What do you think synod organizers have accomplished from their point of view? What advances have they made in their agenda?

The organizers and protagonists of the Synod have certainly achieved one of their objectives: to make the Church more Amazonian and the Amazon less Catholic. The Amazonian paradigm is therefore not the end of the transformation process at which the “pastoral-revolution” promoted by the current papal magisterium aims. It serves as a catwalk to ferry what remains of the Catholic edifice towards an indistinct Universal Religion.

The Amazonian paradigm, with its pantheistic veneration of Mother Earth and utopian interconnection between all the elements of nature, should enable (according to the theological speculations developed in the Germanic regions) the overcoming of the traditional Catholic religion through a Worldwide and Stateless Pantheon. The recent Synod has been successful in the sense of creating an Amazonian church constituted by a set of beliefs, worship, pagan-sacramental practices, liturgies that are inculturated in communion with Nature, and many married Indian clergy, with a view towards ordaining women. It is an aberrant and truly significant step in the agenda of an “out-going Church” that is busy in the process of the Great Substitution of Catholicism with Another Religion, that which glorifies Man in the place of God.

You are the former apostolic nuncio to the United States. What would you think of the laity flooding the Vatican and Apostolic Nunciatures with letters?

“The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and men of violence take it by force.” (Mt 11:12). As Professor Roberto De Mattei invites us: “We must militarize our hearts and transform them into an Acies Ordinata. The Church is not afraid of her enemies and always wins when Christians fight. Our adversaries are united by their hatred of the good, we must unite in love for good and truth. This is not an ordinary battle but a war! It is urgent that the Catholic resistance be strongly united and visible in the face of the ongoing process of the Church’s self-demolition, also by overcoming “the many misunderstandings that often divide the field of the good and seek among these forces a unity of purpose and action, while maintaining their different legitimate identities” (De Mattei).

In this gravest of hours, the laity are certainly the spearhead of the resistance. By their courage, they must appeal to us shepherds and encourage us to come forward, with more courage and determination, to defend the Bride of Christ. The warning of Saint Catherine of Siena is addressed to us shepherds: “Open your eyes and look at the perversity of death that has come into the world, and especially into the Body of the Holy Church. Alas, may your hearts and souls burst at seeing so many offenses against God! Alas, enough silence! shout with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that, through silence, the world is dead, the Bride of Christ is pale.”

Is there anything you wish you add?

Let us give the last word to St. Bridget of Sweden, co-patroness of Europe:

The Father spoke, while the whole host of heaven was listening, and he said:

“Before you I state my complaint that I gave my daughter to a man who torments her terribly and binds her feet to a wooden stake so that the marrow has all gone out of her feet.”

The Son answered him: “Father, I redeemed her with my blood and betrothed her to myself, but now she has been seized by force.”

The Father exclaimed: “My son, I share your lament, your word is mine, your works are mine. You are in me and I in you. May your will be done.”

Then the Mother spoke, saying: “You are my God and my Lord. My body bore the limbs of your blessed Son, who is your true Son and my true Son. I refused him nothing on earth. For the sake of my prayers, have mercy on your daughter, the Church!”

The Father replied: “Since you refused me nothing on earth, I do not want to refuse you anything in heaven. May your will be done.”

After this, the angels spoke, saying: “You are our Lord, In you we possess every good thing, and we need nothing but you. When you chose this Bride, we all rejoiced; by now we have reason to be sad, because she has been given over into the hands of the worst of men who offends her with all kinds of insults and abuse. So have mercy on her according to your great mercy, and there is no one to console and free her but you, Lord, God Almighty.”

Then he said to the angels: “You are my friends and the flame of your love burns in my heart. I will have mercy on my daughter, my Church, for love of your prayers.” (Revelations, Book I, Chapter 24).

Again, let us allow St. Bridget to speak:

“Know that if any pope grants priests the permission to contract carnal matrimony, he will be spiritually condemned by God … God would completely deprive that same pope of spiritual vision and hearing as well as of spiritual words and deeds. All his spiritual wisdom would become altogether frozen. Then, after his death, his soul would be thrown into hell to be tormented forever, there to become the food of demons eternally and without end. Yes, even if Pope St. Gregory himself had decreed this, he would never have obtained God’s pardon from that sentence, unless he had humbly revoked it before death” (Revelations, Book VII, 10).

Lord, have mercy on your Church, for love of our prayers and afflictions!

November 8, 2019   No Comments

Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

At the Introit of the Mass is said a prayer of Mardochai, which may be used in all necessities:

INTROIT All things are in thy will, O Lord: and there is none that can resist thy will: for thou hast made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven: thou art Lord of all. (Esth. xiii. 9, 10.) Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. (Ps. cxviii.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy family by Thy continued goodness: that, through Thy protection, it may be free from all adversities, and devoted in good works to the glory of Thy name. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Ephes. vi. 10-17.) Brethern, Be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil: for our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in high places. Therefore take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of, the most wicked one: and take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

EXPLANATION The apostle teaches the Ephesians how hard and dangerous a struggle every Christian has to make, not against human enemies of flesh and blood, but against spiritual, invisible enemies, who were at one time powerful princes in heaven, but through sin became princes of the darkness of this world, who govern the adherents of the world, and exercise their evil influence in the air as well as on the earth, as far as God permits them, for our chastisement or trial.

He shows us also the manner in which we can gain the victory in the evil day, that is, the time of temptation, and particularly at the hour of death, when he admonishes us to have confidence in God and gives us the weapons for the contest. We should, therefore, gird ourselves with the girdle of truth, which shows us that honor, concupiscence and riches are vain and useless; we should put on the breast-plate of justice which is made of good works: the shoes, by regulating our lives according to the precepts of the gospel, which alone can give us true peace; the shield of faith, which teaches us how richly God rewards virtue and how terribly He punishes those who succumb to temptation and sin; the helmet of salvation, namely, confidence in God and the hope of heaven; the sword of the word of God, by making use, when violently tempted, of consoling and strengthening expressions of Holy Scripture, by which we can put the devil to flight, according to the example of Christ (Matt. iv.) and the saints. – Let us diligently use these weapons, and we shall be victorious in this spiritual combat, and be crowned with eternal glory in heaven.

GOSPEL (Hall. XVill. 23-35.) At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account one was brought to him that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant, being moved with pity, let him go, and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him a hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. And his fellow-servant falling down besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not; but went and cast him into prison till he paid the debt. Now his fellow-servants, seeing what was done, were very much grieved: and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him, and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

Who are understood by the king, and the servants?

The King is God, and the servants are all mankind.

What is meant by the ten thousand talents?

The ten thousand talents, according to our money more than ten million dollars, signify mortal sin, the guilt of which is so great that no creature can pay it; even all the works of the saints cannot make atonement, because by every mortal sin the infinitely great, good, and holy God is offended, which offense it is, it is impossible for any creature to cancel as it is for a poor servant to pay a debt of ten million dollars. Nevertheless God is so merciful that He remits the whole immeasurable debt of sin, on account of the infinite merits of Christ, if the sinner contritely begs forgiveness and amends his life.

Why did the master order, not only the debtor, but also his wife and children to be sold?

Probably because they assisted in contracting the debt, or gave occasion for its increase. This is a warning to those who in any way make themselves partakers of others’ sins, either by counsel, command, consent, provocation, praise or flattery, concealment, partaking, silence and by defending ill-done things.

What is understood by the hundred pence?

By the hundred pence are understood the offenses committed against us, and which, in comparison with our debt against God, are very insignificant.

What does Jesus intend to show by this parable?

That if God is so merciful and forgives us our immense debts, we should be merciful and willingly forgive our fellow-men the slight faults and offenses, which they commit against us; he who does not this, will not receive pardon from God, in him will be verified the words of the apostle St. James: Judgment without mercy to him that hath not done mercy. (James ii. 13.)

Who are those who throttle their debtors?

These are, in general, the unmerciful, but particularly those who have no compassion for their debtors; those who immediately go to law and rest not until the debtor is left without house or home; those who oppress widows and orphans, if they owe them anything, thus committing one of the sins which cry to heaven for vengeance; (Ecclus. xxxv. 18. 19.) those who even in just lawsuits act harshly and severely with their opponent, without the slightest inclination to come to an agreement with him; finally, rulers and landlords who overburden their subjects with excessive tithes and taxes, and exact their share with the greatest rigor.

Who are those who accuse these hardened men before God?

They are the guardian angels and their own conscience; the merciless act itself cries to God for vengeance.

What is at to forgive from the heart?

It is to banish from the heart all hatred, ill-will and revengeful desires, to treasure a true and sincere love towards our offenders and enemies not only in our hearts, but also manifest it externally by deeds of charity. Therefore those have not forgiven from their hearts, who, indeed, say and believe, that they have no ill-will against their enemy, but everywhere avoid him, refuse to salute him, to thank him, to pray for him, to speak to him, and to help him in necessity, even when they might do so, but who rather rejoice at his need.

INSTRUCTION ON THE VIRTUE OF PATIENCE

Have patience with me. (Matt. xviii. z6.)

Since God has such great patience with us, ought not this to move us to have patience likewise with the faults and weaknesses of our fellow-men, and to resign ourselves patiently in all the sufferings and tribulations sent us from God? What will your impatience avail you? Will you thereby change or ease your sufferings? Do you thereby correct the faults of your neighbor? No; on the contrary, it makes suffering more oppressive, misfortune greater, and the erring neighbor more obstinate, so that he will ultimately refuse even mild and patient corrections. Besides impatience leads to many sins, to cursing, raillery, quarrelling,. contention, and murder. The pious Job gives us a good example of true patience and resignation to the will of God. He was a wealthy, respected, God-fearing man in the land of Hus, the father of seven sons and three daughters, and lived peacefully and happy. God wished to try him and permitted the devil to vent his entire rage upon him. Job was deprived of his children and all his property, and, finally, he was himself afflicted with the most painful disease of leprosy. But in the midst of all these dreadful misfortunes he remained calm. Naked, covered only with a few patches, he sits on a dunghill, a picture of misery, and yet no sound of murmuring comes from his lips, he does not curse, does not blaspheme God, but says resignedly: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord. To all this misery was added the baseness of his own wife, who came and mocked him, and of three intimate friends, who instead of consoling him, judged him falsely and said, that his misery was a just punishment from heaven. Still Job did not murmur against God’s wise dispensations; with unshaken patience he faithfully confided in God, and he was not forsaken. God rewarded him well for his fidelity and patience; for He restored him to health, and gave him greater wealth than he had previously. See what patience can do, what reward is in store for it! And thou a Christian, a follower of Christ, the patient, crucified Lamb, art immediately irritated, become angry and morose at every little cross which you meet! Be ashamed of your weakness, and learn from the pious Job, to practice the virtue of patience, for patience proves hope, and hope permits us not to be put to shame. Patience always gains the victory, and will be rewarded in heaven.

If you find yourself inclined to impatience, make every morning a firm resolution to battle bravely against this vice and often ask God for the virtue of patience in the following prayer:

O God who by the patience of Thy only-begotten Son hast humbled the pride of the old enemy, vouchsafe that devoutly considering what He has suffered for us we may cheerfully bear our adversities, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, etc.

November 2, 2019   No Comments

Feast of All Souls

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

The Church’s Year

Instruction On The Feast

Of All Souls
[November 2]

What is All Souls’ Day?

It is the day set apart by the Catholic Church for the special devout commemoration of all those souls who have departed this life in the grace and friendship of God, for whom we pray, that they may soon be released by God from the prison of purgatory.

What is purgatory?

Purgatory is a middle state of souls, suffering for a time on account of their sins. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians: And the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide, which he hath built there upon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. (i. Cor. in. 13-15.) “And when St. Paul,” says St. Ambrose (Serm. 20. in Ps. cxviii.) “says, yet so as by fire, he shows that such a man indeed becomes happy, having suffered the punishment of fire, but not, like the wicked, continually tormented in eternal fire.” St. Paul’s words, then, can only be understood to refer to the fire of purification, as the infallible Church has always explained them.

Are the heretics right in denying that there is such a place of purification as purgatory?

By no means, for by such denial they oppose the holy Scriptures, tradition and reason. The holy Scriptures teach that there is a purgatory: it is related in the Second Book of Machabees, that Judas Machabeus sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem, to be used in the temple, to obtain prayers for those who fell in battle, for he believed it a good and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins. But for what dead shall we pray? Those in heaven do not require our prayers; to those in hell they are of no avail; we must then pray for those who are in the place of purification. Christ speaks of a prison in the future life, from which no man comes out until he has paid the last farthing. (Matt. v. 25, 26.) This prison cannot be hell, because from hell there is never any release; it must be then a place of purification. Again Christ speaks of sin which shall be forgiven neither in this world nor in the next, (Matt. xii. 32.) from which it follows that there is a remittance of some sins in the next world; but this can be neither in heaven nor in hell, consequently in purgatory. As the council of Trent says, (Sess. 6. c. 30.) the Church has always taught, according to the old tradition of the Fathers, in all her councils, that there is a purgatory, and every century gives proofs of the continual belief of all true Christians in a purgatory. Finally, man’s unblinded reason must accept a purgatory; for how many depart this earth before having accomplished the great work of their own purification? They cannot enter heaven, for St. John tells us: There shall not enter into it any thing defiled. (Apoc. xxi. 27.) The simple separation of the soul from the body does not make it pure, yet God cannot reject it as He does the soul of the hardened sinner in hell; there must then be a middle place, a purgatory, where those who have departed not free from stain, must be purified. See how the doctrine of the Church, reason and the holy Scriptures all agree, and do not let yourself be led away by false arguments from those who not only believe in no purgatory, but even in no hell, so that they may sin with so much more impunity.

For what, how much, and for how long must -we suffer in purgatory?

Concerning this the Church has made no decision, though much has been written by the Fathers of the Church on the subject. Concerning the severity of the punishment in purgatory, St. Augustine writes: “This fire is more painful than any that man can suffer in this life.” This should urge us to continual sanctification and atonement, so that we may escape the fearful judgment of God.

How can -we aid the suffering souls in purgatory?

St. Augustine writes: “It is not to be doubted that we can aid the souls of the departed by the prayers of the Church, by the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and by the alms which we offer for them.” The Church has always taught that prayers for the faithful departed are useful and good, and she has always offered Masses for them.

What should urge us to aid the suffering souls in purgatory?

1. The consideration of the belief of the Church in the communion of saints, by which all the members of the Church upon earth, in heaven, and in purgatory are united by the bonds of love, like the members of one body, and as the healthy members of a body sympathize with the suffering members, seeking to aid them, so should we assist our suffering brethren in purgatory. 2. The remembrance that it is God’s will that we should practice charity towards one another, and that fearful judgments are threatened those who show no charity to a brother in need, together with the recollection of God’s love which desires that all men should be happy in heaven. 3. We should be urged to it by love for ourselves, for if we should be condemned to the pains of purification, we would assuredly desire our living brethren to pray for us and perform good works for our sake, while the souls who have found redemption, perhaps through our prayers, will not fail to reward us by interceding for us.

Can we aid the souls in purgatory by gaining indulgences?

Yes, for indulgences, (as explained in the Instruction on the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost,) are a complete or a partial remittance of the temporal punishment due to sin, bestowed by the Church to penitent sinners from the treasury of the merits of Christ and His saints. If we gain such a remittance, we can apply it to the souls in purgatory. Such an indulgence, however, can be transferred only to one soul.

For which souls should we pray?

We should, on this day especially, offer prayers and good works for all the faithful departed, but particularly for our parents, relations, friends and benefactors; for those who are most acceptable to God; for those who have suffered the longest, or who have the longest yet to suffer; for those who are most painfully tormented; for those who are the most forsaken; for those who are nearest redemption ; for those who are suffering on our account; for those who hope in our prayers; for those who during life have injured us, or been injured by us; and for our spiritual brethren.

When and by what means was this yearly commemoration of the departed introduced into the Church?

The precise time of its introduction is not known. Tertullian (A. D. 160) writes that the early Christians held a yearly commemoration of the faithful departed. Towards the end of the 10th century St. Odilo, Abbot of the Benedictines at Cluny, directed that the yearly commemoration of the faithful departed should be observed on the 2nd of November with prayers, alms and the Sacrifice of the Mass, which time and manner of celebration spread through various dioceses, and was officially confirmed by Pope John XIX. This day was appointed that, having the day previously rejoiced at the glory of the saints in heaven, we might on this day most properly pray for those who are yet doing penance for their sins and sigh in purgatory for their redemption.

The Introit of this day’s Mass as of all Masses for the dead reads: Eternal rest give to them, O Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon them. A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Sion; and a vow shall be paid to Thee in Jerusalem: hear my prayer; all flesh shall come to Thee. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon them.

COLLECT O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins: that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. ! Who, livest &c.

EPISTLE (i. Cor. xv. 51-57.) BRETHREN, behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall all indeed rise again, but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and , we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

GOSPEL (John v. 25-29.) At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Amen, amen, I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath given to the Son also to have life in himself: and he hath given him power to do judgment, because he is the Son of man. Wonder not at this, for the hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.

The Epistle and Gospel of this day speak of the resurrection of all men and of the judgment, when every one according as he has lived, sinful and impenitent, or pure and innocent, will receive an eternally miserable or an eternally happy life. Purgatory will then end and there will be only heaven and hell. It remains with us to choose which of these two we shall possess.

At the Offertory of the Mass the priest prays:

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the deep pit: deliver them from the mouth of the lion, that hell may not swallow them up, and they may not fall into darkness: but may the holy standard-bearer, Michael, introduce them to the holy light: which Thou didst promise of old to Abraham and to his seed. We offer to Thee, O Lord, sacrifices and prayers: do Thou receive them in behalf of those souls whom we commemorate this day. Grant them, O Lord, to pass from death to that life which Thou didst promise of old to Abraham and to his seed.

We may profitably and devoutly repeat the following as often as we pass a graveyard.

V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord,
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace,
R. Amen.
V. May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace,
R. Amen.

November 2, 2019   No Comments

Instruction On The Feast Of All Saints [November 1]

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

Why has the Church instituted this festival?

1. To give praise to God in His saints, (Ps. cl.) and to pay to the saints themselves the honor which they merit for having made it the work of their earthly life to promote the honor of God.

2. To impress vividly upon our minds that we are members of that holy Catholic Church which believes in the communion of saints, that is, in the communion of all true Christians, who belong to the Church triumphant in heaven, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church militant upon earth; but, more particularly, to cause us earnestly to consider the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet battling on earth.

3. To exhort us to raise our eyes and hearts, especially on this day, to heaven, where before the throne of God is gathered the innumerable multitude of saints of all countries, times, nationalities and ranks of life, who have faithfully followed Christ and left us glorious examples of virtues, which we ought to imitate. This we can do, for the saints, too, were weak men, who fought and conquered only by the grace of God, which will not be denied to us.

4. To honor those saints, for whom during the year there-is no special festival appointed by the Church. Finally, that in consideration of so many intercessors God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may permit us to share in their merits, and may grant us the grace to enjoy with them, one day, the bliss of heaven.

Who first instituted this festival?

Pope Boniface IV. first suggested the celebration of this festival, when in 610 he ordered that the Pantheon, a pagan temple at Rome, dedicated to all the gods, should be converted into a Christian church, and the relics of the saints, dispersed through the different Roman cemeteries, taken up and placed therein. He then dedicated the Church to the honor of the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, and thus for the first time celebrated the Festival of All Saints, directing that it should be observed in Rome every year. Pope Gregory IV. extended this feast to the whole Catholic Church, and appointed the 1st of November as the day of its celebration.

At the Introit the Church sings: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival day in honor of all the saints; at whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. Glory &c.

COLLECT Almighty everlasting God, who givest us to venerate in one solemnity the- merits of all Thy saints: we beseech Thee to bestow upon us, through our multiplied intercessors, the fulness of Thy propitiation. Thro’. &c.

LESSON (Apoc. vii. 2-12.) IN THOSE DAYS, behold, I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred and forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Ruben twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Aser twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Nephtali twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Manasses twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe1 ‘of- Issachar twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Zabulon twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

EXPLANATION The words of this lesson relate immediately to the divine punishment on Jerusalem and the Jewish people, as they were revealed in spirit to John; in a higher and particular sense they refer to the general judgment. At this judgment there will be chosen ones, from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But that it might not be thought that the elect are principally Christian converts from Judaism, St. John was shown a countless multitude of Christians from heathen lands, by which it is seen, that it is the pagans who will principally fill the Church of Christ and heaven. This multitude clothed in white and carrying palms in their hands, stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, that is, Christ. The white robes are tokens of their innocence; the palm is the emblem of their glory and of their victory over the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. They shall adore God, and forever sing to Him, in communion with all the heavenly spirits, a canticle of praise for the power and glory which He has bestowed upon them.

Let us strive so to live, that we may one day be among these chosen ones.

GOSPEL (Matt. v. 1 -12.) AT THAT TIME, Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain. And when he was sat down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you untruly, for my sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.

Why is the Gospel of the Eight Beatitudes read on this day?

Because they form, so to speak, the steps on which the saints courageously ascended to heaven.

If you desire to be with the saints in heaven, you must also mount patiently and perseveringly these steps, then God’s hand will assuredly aid you.

EXPLANATION OF THE EIGHT BEATITUDES.

I. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

THEY are poor in spirit who, like the apostles, leave all temporal things for Christ’s sake and become poor; they who have lost their property by misfortune or injustice, and bear this loss with patience and resignation to the will of God; they who are contented with their poor and lowly station in life, do not strive for greater fortune or a higher position, and would rather suffer want than make themselves rich by unlawful means; they who though rich do not love wealth, nor set their hearts upon it, but use their riches to aid the poor; and especially they who are humble, that is, who have no exalted opinion of themselves,’ but are convinced of their weakness and inward poverty, have a low estimate of themselves, therefore, feel always their need, and like poor mendicants, continually implore God’s grace and assistance.

II. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.

He is meek who represses every rising impulse of anger, impatience and desire of revenge, and willingly puts up with every thing that God, to prove him, decrees or permits to happen to him, or men inflict upon him. He who thus controls himself, is like a calm and tranquil sea, in which the image of the divine Sun is ever reflected, clear and Unruffled. He who thus conquers himself is mightier than if he besieged and conquered strongly fortified cities, (Prov. xvi. 32.) and will without doubt receive this earth, as well as heaven, as an inheritance, enjoying eternally there the peace (Ps. xxxvi. n.) which is already his on earth.

III. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

The mourners here mentioned are not those who weep and lament over the death of relatives and friends, or over misfortune or loss of temporal riches, but those who mourn that God is so often offended, so little loved and honored by men, that so many souls, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, are lost. Among these mourners are also those who lead a strict and penitential life, and patiently endure distress; for sin is the only evil, the only thing to be lamented, and those tears only, which are shed on account of sin, are useful tears, and are recompensed by everlasting joy and eternal consolation.

IV. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.

Hunger and thirst denote the ardent longing for those virtues which constitute Christian perfection. He who seeks such perfection with ardent desire and earnest striving, will be filled, that is, will be adorned by God with the most beautiful virtues, and will be abundantly rewarded in heaven.

V. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

They are merciful who assist the poor according to their means, who practice every possible spiritual and corporal work of mercy, who as far as they can, patiently endure the faults of others, strive always to excuse them, and willingly forgive the injuries they have received. They especially are truly merciful, who are merciful to their enemies, and do good to them, as written: Love your enemies, and do good to them that hate you. (Matt. v. 44.) Well is it for him who is merciful, the greatest “rewards are promised him, but a judgment without mercy shall be passed on the unmerciful.

VI. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

They are clean of heart, who carefully preserve the innocence which they received in baptism, and keep their heart and conscience free not only from all sinful words and deeds, but from all sinful thoughts and desires, and in all their omissions and commissions think and desire only good. These while yet on earth see God in all His works and creatures, because their thoughts are directed always to the Highest Good, and in the other world they will see Him face to face, enjoying in this contemplation a peculiar pleasure which is reserved for pure souls only; for as the eye that would see well, must be clear, so must those souls be immaculate who are to see God.

VII. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Those are peace-makers who guard their improper desires, who are careful to have peace in their conscience and regulated tranquility in all their actions, who do not quarrel with their neighbors, and are submissive to the will of God. These are called children of God, because they follow God who is a God of peace, (Rom. xv. 33.) and who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world, and bring upon earth that peace which the world does not know and cannot give. (Luke ii. 14.; John xiv. 27.)

VIII. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Those suffer persecution for justice’ sake who by their words, writings, or by their life defend the truth, the faith and Christian virtues; who cling firmly to God, and permit nothing to turn them from the duties of the Christian profession, from the practice of their holy religion, but on its account suffer hatred, contempt, disgrace, injury and injustice from the world. If they endure all’ this with patience and perseverance, even, like the saints, with joy, then they will become like the saints and like them receive the heavenly crown. If we wish to be crowned with them, we must suffer with them: And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution, (ii. Tim. iii. 12.)

SUPPLICATION. How lovely, O Lord, are Thy tabernacles! My soul longeth for Thy courts. My body and soul rejoice in Thee, most loving God, Thou crown and reward of all the saints, whose temporal pains and sufferings Thou dost reward with eternal joy, filling them with good! How blessed are they who have faithfully served Thee, for they carry Thy name on their forehead, and reign with Thee for all eternity. Grant us, we beseech Thee, O God, by their intercession, Thy grace that we, after their example, may serve Thee in sanctity and justice, in poverty and humility, in meekness and repentance, in the ardent desire for all virtues, by mercy, perfect purity of heart, in peacefulness and patience, following them, and taking part, one day, with them in heavenly joy and happiness. Amen.

November 1, 2019   No Comments

~The Feast of Christ the King~ Last Sunday of October

“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in Heaven, on earth and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:10-11

Christ Himself speaks of His Own kingly authority [see link for Bible Citations]: in His last discourse, speaking of the rewards and punishments that will be the eternal lot of the just and the damned; in His reply to the Roman magistrate, who asked Him publicly whether He were a king or not; after His resurrection, when giving to His Apostles the mission of teaching and Baptizing all nations, He took the opportunity to call Himself king, confirming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaimed that all power was given Him in Heaven and on earth. These words can only be taken to indicate the greatness of his power, the infinite extent of His kingdom. What wonder, then, that He Whom St. John calls the “prince of the kings of the earth” appears in the Apostle’s vision of the future as He Who “hath on His garment and on His thigh written ‘King of kings and Lord of lords!’.” It is Christ Whom the Father “hath appointed heir of all things”; “for He must reign until at the end of the world He hath put all his enemies under the feet of God and the Father.”

It was surely right, then, in view of the common teaching of the sacred books, that the Catholic Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, destined to be spread among all men and all nations, should with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings. And, in fact, she used these titles, giving expression with wonderful variety of language to one and the same concept, both in ancient psalmody and in the Sacramentaries.

www.catholictradition.org/Christ/cking-feast.htm

October 31, 2019   No Comments

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Image result for traditional latin mass

 

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

INTROIT I am the salvation of the people, saith the Lord: in whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them: and I will be their Lord for ever. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (Ps. LXXVII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep us from all things that are hurtful; that we, being set free both in mind and body, may with ready minds accomplish whatever is Thine. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Ephes. IV. 23-28.) Brethren, Be re­newed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth. Wherefore, putting, away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go clown upon your anger. Give not place to the devil. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labor, work­ing with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

EXPLANATION  St. Paul admonishes the Ephesians to lay aside the- old man, like a worn out garment, and put on the new man, that is, to renew their internal and external life. This renewal according to his teaching takes place, when we by a true repentance put away our vices, shun all lies, anger, injustice, &c., and adorn our soul with virtues, and zealously seek after Christian justice and perfection. We have, perhaps, already sought to change our manner of living, for which a jubilee or some other particular solemnity of the Church gave us occasion, and at that time, perhaps, purified our soul by a general confession, making the firm resolution to live for God, and work out our salvation, we appeared converted, and to have become other men: but how long did this conversion last? Ah, how soon did we fall back into the old, sinful ways. And why? Because we lived in too great, deceitful security. We thought everything accomplished by the general confession; we were satisfied, and omitted to employ the means of remaining in the state of grace. We did not thank God for the grace of conversion; we did not ask Him for the grace of perseverance; we frequented evil company, and did not avoid dangerous occasions; we indulged in idleness and pleasures as before. How can it appear strange, if such a conversion is fruitless? Ah, we should remain in wholesome fear even after the remission of our sins. (Ecclus. V. 5.) Even if we could say that we have done everything, nevertheless we cannot be certain, whether we be worthy of hatred or love. (Ecclus. IX. 1.) We should, therefore, work out our salvation according to the advice of St. Paul (Philipp. II. 12.) in fear and trembling, and thus not fall into the old life of sin, losing the hope of a new conversion.

Tenth Sunday After PentecostGOSPEL (Matt. XXII. 1-14.) At that time, Jesus spoke to the chief priests and the Pharisees in parables, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son. And he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage, and they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited, Behold I have prepared my dinner; my beeves and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the marriage. But they neglected: and went their, ways, one to his farm, and another to his mer­chandise: and the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death. But when the king had heard, of it; he was angry: and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city. Then he saith to his servants: The marriage indeed is ready; but they, that were invited were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage. And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together, all that they found, both bad and good; and the marriage was filled with guests. And the king went in to fee the guests; and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment: and he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding garment? But he was silent. Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

REMARK Thir parable agrees in many respects with that for the second  Sunday after Pentecost, and has the same meaning. See, therefore, the explanation of that gospel, as also of the feast of SR Catherine, to which Maybe added the following:

EXPLANATION In this parable the king is our Heavenly Father who has espoused His only-begotten Son to the Church, and on this occasion prepares the most sumptuous marriage-feast by giving the evangelical doctrine, the holy Sacraments, and the heavenly joys. The servants sent to invite the guests are the prophets, apostles and disciples of Christ. Those invited are the Jews who despised the honor and grace of the divine King, destined for them, abused and killed His servants, and were, therefore, cast aside and with their city Jerusalem, destroyed by the armies of their enemies, as a just punishment; in their stead the heathens and all those nations were called, who were on the broad road to destruction, and who now occupy the places of the unfortunate Jews at the marriage feast of the Church, and shall also occupy them in heaven. In the Jews to whom Christ addressed this parable, is verified that many of them, nay, all are called, but few chosen, because they would not heed the invitation.

APPLICATION We have the honor not only to be invited to this marriage-feast, but are in reality guests at it, because we are members of the Church of Christ by faith. “But the Christian,” says St. Gregory, “who is a member of the Church by faith, but has not charity, is like to a man who comes to the marriage-feast without the wedding garment.” With this garment which is charity, Christ was vested, when He came to celebrate the nuptials with His spouse, the Church, and by the bond of charity the Son of God also unites Himself with His elect. He clearly lets us know that charity is the wedding garment which should vest us. Those, therefore, who believe and are in the communion of the Church, but who do not preserve the grace of charity, are indeed in the wedding-chamber, but they are not adorned with the wedding garment. They are dead members of the Church, and shall not be admitted without this garment into the celestial marriage-feast in the triumphant Church, but rather be cast like that unfor­tunate guest into exterior darkness. This guest was silent, when asked by the king, why he had not .the wedding gar­ment. By this we see, that no one can excuse himself to God for not having charity, because every one can have it, if he asks it from God, and, as St. Augustine says, our heart is the workshop of charity, and every one who has a heart can practice it.

PRAYER I thank Thee, O Jesus, that Thou didst call me to the marriage-feast in Thy Church; give me the wedding garment of charity that I may be present at the celestial marriage-feat, and not be cast into exterior darkness.

INSTRUCTION CONCERNING HELL

Cast him into the exterior darkness. (Matt, XXII. 13.)

What is hell?

Hell is that place where the damned must suffer eternal punishment.

Is there a hell?

Yes; reason, holy Scripture and the Church teach us that there is a hell. Reason tells us that there is a just God who will punish sin. It is evident that all sins are not punished in this world; there must, therefore, be a place, where every mortal sin, not atoned for by sorrow and penance, will be punished, and this place is – hell. All nations from the beginning of the world, even those who had not the light of revelation, believed this.

But clearer still is the existence of hell shown by holy Scripture: The pious Job, (X. 22.) speaks of a region of misery and darkness, where the shadows of death and no order, but where eternal terror dwells. The Prophet Isaias (XXX. 33.) says that hell is deep and wide, and that the fire burning in it, is like a stream of sulphur, ignited by the breath of the Lord. Our Saviour expressly says that those who have done evil, shall go to everlasting torment, (Matt.  XXV. 46.) that they shall be tortured by everlasting fire. (Matt. XXV. 41.) He makes mention of hell, and says that an inextinguishable fire burns there, and a worm which never dies, plagues the wicked. (Mark IX. 42. 43; Matt. X. 28.) All the Fathers of the Church teach and testify to the same doctrine. St. Augustine, among many others, says: “The infinite wisdom of God tells us that there is a hell, and the illimitable power of God it is that punishes the dam­ned in a wonderful, but real manner.”

Wherein do the pains of hell consist?

Sacred Scripture and the Church teach concerning the pains, of the reprobate in hell, that the damned burn there in an inextinguishable fire. (Mark IX. 45.) The holy doctors of the Church say, that this fire is never extinguished, and its smoke ascends or rises from century to century, “I see this fire,” says St. Gregory, “as if it were gifted with reason; it make a distinction between the guilty, and tortures the damned according to the nature of their sins.” This fire burns, but never consumes its victims; it commu­nicates, as Cassiodorus says, immortality to the reprobate and lets them suffer pain, which preserves them, like salt which penetrates the flesh and keeps it from corruption, as Jesus says: Every one shall be salted with fire. (Mark IX. q.8.) This fire does not shine, it leaves the reprobate in darkness, (Matt. VIII. 12.) and with this fire a never dying worm continually torments the damned. This worm is not only a bad conscience, say the holy Fathers, but particu­larly the privation of the Beatific Vision. Eternally will the thought torment the damned: I have lost God, the only true and highest Good, I have lost Him through my fault, I have lost Him for a brief pleasure, I have lost Him forever. In hell eternity devours all time; and if after millions and millions of years a damned soul wailingly asks his companion in misery: What time is it? he receives the answer: Eternity.

Who would not fear hell, and avoid sin which incurs eternal punishment, when he reflects upon this! Arid yet there are many, , upon whom the truth of the existence of a hell makes no impression, who even deny that there is such a place, and who say: God is love, He can have no pleasure in the torments of His creatures, He cannot eter­nally punish a sin which was committed in so short a time as is the life of man.” But those who speak thus, forget that God is just, that His love and mercy are indeed always ready to forgive the contrite and penitent, but that His justice must also be satisfied, when the sinner continually rejects the merciful love of God; they forget, that every grievous sin which man commits voluntarily and knowingly is an infinite, eternal insult, offered to God, which can only be atoned for by an eternal punishment. For the perverted and malicious will of a man, who dies in mortal sin, remains perverted and malicious forever, therefore he must also be punished eternally.

O my dear Christian, do not listen to such deceivers; for just on account of their sinful life, they fear hell and therefore they endeavor to free themselves from this fear by denying the existence of hell; but they cannot succeed; for Jesus, the Truth, has told us that there is a hell, and His word remains for all eternity. Endeavor rather by a pious life to escape hell, descend there in spirit frequently according to the advice of a saint, contemplate the torments of the damned, and let this reflection urge you to imitate Christ, who has promised the joys of heaven to all His faithful followers.

CONSOLING DOCTRINE ON THE JOYS OF HEAVEN

The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son. (Matt. XXII. 2.)

Heaven is compared by Christ to a marriage-feast because we will there enjoy all imaginable pleasures in the most perfect union with God. In what these joys consist, fit. Paul could not describe, although he was wrapt into the third heaven and tasted these pleasures; he only said: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him. (I Cor. II. 9.) Holy Writ, indeed, gives us many descriptions of the celestial joys, by comparing heaven to a paradise of bliss, sometimes to a precious pearl, or a treasure which neither rust nor moth consumes, nor thieves steal; again it represents heaven under the picture of a kingdom, a throne, a crown, whereby we are raised to the highest honor; at another time to the picture of a city which is built of gold, precious stones and pearls, lighted by the splendor of God, filled with magnificence and glory, and where the inhabitants enjoy undisturbed peace and security. These are only images or similitudes, which are taken from the most beautiful, most precious, and magnificent things of the earth, to teach us that heaven is as beautiful and pleasant a place, as we can wish and represent to ourselves, and that all possible beauty, agreeableness and joy may be found there in the highest and most perfect manner, free from evil, anxiety, disgust and fear of losing them.. In heaven we will possess God Himself, the source of all joy and bliss, and will enjoy His own happiness for all eternity. More is riot needed to give us the highest conception of heaven.

Who would not willingly despise the vain, short and im­perfect pleasures of this earth, whilst contemplating this indescribable bliss? Who would not willingly bear all the misfortunes. and misery of this world, when considering that the more .miserable we have been in this life the happier will we be hereafter. What would it avail us to have enjoyed all the pleasures of this world, if deprived of the pleasures of heaven, in, eternity!

ASPIRATION How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord, of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. (Ps. LXXXIII. 2-3.) How do I loathe the world, when I contemplate heaven.

(St. Ignatius Loyola.)

October 19, 2019   No Comments

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Image result for traditional latin mass

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year (available from Angelus Press)

At the Introit of the Mass the Church prays for the peace which God has promised by His prophets:

INTROIT Give peace, O Lord, to them that patiently wait for thee, that thy prophets may be found faithful: hear the prayers of thy servant, and of thy people Israel. (Ecclus. XXXVI. 18.) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. (Ps. CXXI. 1.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O Lord, inasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, let Thy merciful pity rule and direct our hearts, we beseech Thee. Thro’.

EPISTLE (I Cor. I. 4-8.) Brethren, I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus, that in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance and in all knowledge: as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ who also will confirm you into the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

EXPLANATION St. Paul shows in this epistle that he possesses true love for his neighbor, because he rejoices and thanks God that he enriched the Corinthians with different graces and gifts, thus confirming the testimony of Christ in them, so that they could without fear expect His arrival for judgment. – Do thou also rejoice, with St. Paul, for the graces given to thy neighbor, for this is a mark of true charity.

GOSPEL (Matt. IX. 1-8.) At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water, and came into his own city. And behold, they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son; thy sins are forgiven thee. And behold, some of the Scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? whether it is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then said he to the man sick of the palsy): Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it feared, and glorified God who had given such power to men.

EXPLANATIONS

I. Those who brought this sick man to Christ, give us a touching example of how we should take care of the sick and help them according to our ability. Christ was so well pleased with their faith and charity, that He cured the man sick of the palsy, and forgave him his sins. Hence we learn how we might assist many who are diseased in their soul, if we would lead them to God by confiding prayer, by urgent admonitions, or by good example.

II. Christ did not heal the man sick of the palsy until He had forgiven him his sins, by this He wished to teach us, that sins are often the cause of sicknesses and other evils, by which we are visited, and which God would remove from us if we were truly repentant. This doctrine Jesus confirmed, when He said to the man, who had been sick for thirty-eight years: Sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee. (John V. 14.) Would that this were considered by those who so often impetuously demand of God to be freed from their evils, but do not intend to free themselves from their sins, which are the cause of these evils, by a sincere repentance.

III. “He blasphemeth.” Thus thought the Jews, in their perverted hearts, of Christ, because they believed that He in remitting the sins of the sick man, usurped the rights of God and thus did Him a great injury; for it is blasphemy to think, say, or do any thing insulting to God or His saints. But these Jews did not consider that they by their rash judgment calumniated God, since they blasphemed Christ who by healing the sick man, and by numerous other works had clearly proved His God-head. If Christ so severely reprimanded the Jews, who would not recognize Him as God, for a blasphemous thought against Him, what will He do with those Christians who, though they wish to be adorers of God and His Son, nevertheless, utter blasphemies, curses, and profanations of the holy Sacraments?

IV. When Jesus saw their thoughts, He said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? This may be taken to heart by those who think that thoughts are free from scrutiny, and who never think to confess their evil and shameful thoughts. God; the most Holy and most just, will, nevertheless, not leave a voluntary unchaste, proud, angry, revengeful, envious thought unpunished, any more than an idle word. (Matt, XII. 36.) The best remedy against evil thoughts would be the recollection that God who searches the heart sees them, and will punish them.

PRAYER How great, O Jesus! is Thy love and mercy towards poor sinners, since Thou not only forgavest the sins of the man sick of palsy, but calling him son, didst console and heal him! This Thy love encourages me to beg of Thee the grace, that we may rise from our bed of sins by true penance, amend our life, and through the ways of Thy commandments enter the house of eternal happiness.

INSTRUCTION ON INDULGENCES

Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee. (Matt. IX. 2.)

The same that Christ says to the man sick of the palsy, the priest says to every contrite sinner in the confessional, and thus remits the crime or the guilt of his sins, and the eternal punishment, by virtue of the authority given him by God. But since sins not only bring with them guilt and eternal punishment, but also temporal1 and indeed spiritual or supernatural punishment, such as, painful conditions of the soul, as well in this world as in purgatory, and natural ones, as: poverty, disease, all sorts of adversities and accidents, we should endeavor to liberate ourselves from them by means of indulgences.

What is an indulgence?

It is a total or partial remission of the temporal punishment which man would have to suffer either in this or the next life, after the sins have been remitted.

How do we know that after the remission of the sins there still remains temporal punishment?

From holy Scripture; for our first parents after the forgiveness of their sin, were still afflicted with temporal punishment. (Gen. III.) God likewise forgave the sins of the children of Israel, who murmured so often against Him in the desert, but not their punishment, for He excluded them from the Promised Land, and caused them to die in the desert. (Num. XIV.) Moses and Aaron experienced the same, on account of a slight want of confidence in God. (Num. XX. 12., Deut. XXXII. 51. 52.) David, indeed, received pardon from God through the Prophet Nathan for adultery and murder, (II Kings XII.) still he had to endure heavy temporal punishment. Finally, faith teaches us, that we are tortured in purgatory for our sins, until we have paid the last farthing. (Matt. V. 26.)

Did the Church always agree with this doctrine of Scripture?

Yes; for she always taught, that by the Sacrament of Penance the guilt and eternal punishment, due to sin, are indeed forgiven for the sake of the infinite merits of Jesus, but that temporal punishment still remains, for which the sinner must do penance. Even in the earliest ages she imposed great penances upon sinners for their sins which were already forgiven. For instance, murder or adultery was punished by a penance of twenty years; perjury, eleven; fornication, denial of faith or fortune-telling, by seven years of severe penance with fasting, etc. During this time it was not allowed to travel, except on foot, to be present at the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or to receive the holy Eucharist. If the penitents showed a great zeal for penance and sincere amendment, or if distinguished members of the Church, particularly martyrs, interceded for them, the bishops granted them an indulgence, that is, they remitted the remaining punishment either totally or partially. In our days, on account of the weakness of the faithful, the Church is lenient. Besides the ecclesiastical, the spiritual punishments which would have to be suffered either here or in purgatory for the taking away of sins, are shortened and mitigated by indulgences through he treasure of the communion of saints.

Has the Church the power to remit temporal punishments, or to grant indulgences?

The Council of Trent expressly states, that the Church has power to grant indulgences, (Sess. 25.) and this statement it supports by the words of Christ. For as Christ protests: Amen, I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; so He also promised, that whatever the Church looses upon earth, is ratified and loosed in heaven. Whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. (Matt. XVIII. 18.) Even an apostle granted an indulgence. In the person and by the power of Christ, that his spirit might be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, (II Cor. II. 10.; I Cor. V. 4. 5.) St. Paul forgave the incestuous Corinthian, upon whom he had imposed a heavy punishment.

What is meant by saying, indulgences are granted out of the treasury of the saints or of the Church?

By this is meant that God, by the Church, remits the temporal punishment due to sin for the sake of the merits of Christ and the saints, and supplies, as it were, by these merits what is still wanting in our satisfaction.

What kinds of indulgences are there?

Two; plenary and partial indulgences. A plenary indulgence, if rightly gained, remits all ecclesiastical and temporal punishment, which we would otherwise have to expiate by penance. A partial indulgence, however, remits only so many days or years of the temporal punishment, as, according to the penitential code of the primitive ages of the Church; the sinner would have been obliged to spend in severe penance. Hence the name forty day’s indulgence, etc.

What is a Jubilee?

It is a plenary indulgence, which the pope grants to the faithful of the entire world, whereby all the temporal punishments of sin, even in cases reserved to the pope or the bishops, are remitted, and forgiven in the name of God, if the sinner confesses contritely and receives the holy Eucharist and has a firm purpose of doing penance.

What is required to gain an indulgence?

First, that we should be in the state of grace, and have already obtained, by true repentance, forgiveness of those sins, the temporal punishment of which is to be remitted by the indulgence; and secondly, that we should exactly perform the good works prescribed for the gaining of the indulgence.

Do indulgences free us from performing works of penance?

By no means: for there are few in the proper state to receive a plenary indulgence in its fulness, since not only purity of soul is necessary but also the inclination to sin must be rooted out, it therefore cannot be the intention of the Church to free us from all works of penance by granting us indulgences. She cannot act contrary to the word of Jesus: Unless you do penance, you shall all likewise perish. Luke XIII. 3.) She rather wishes to assist our weakness, to supply our inability to do the required penance, and to contribute what is wanting in our penance, by applying the satisfaction of Christ and the saints to us by indulgences. If we, therefore, do not wish to do penance for our own sins, we shall have no part in the merits of others by indulgences.

Can indulgences be gained for the souls of the faithful departed?

Yes, by way of suffrage, so far as we comply with the required conditions, and thus beg of God, for the merits of His Son and the saints, to release the souls in purgatory. Whether God receive this petition or not, remains with Him, He will act only according to the condition of the deceased. We must, therefore, not depend upon the indulgences and good works which may be performed for us after death, but rather endeavor, during our life-time, to secure our salvation by leading a pious life; by our own good works and by the gaining of indulgences.

What follows from the doctrine of the Church concerning indulgences?

That an indulgence is no grant or license to commit sin, as the enemies of the Church falsely assert; that an indulgence grants no forgiveness of sins past or future, much less is permission given to commit sin; that no Catholic can believe that by gaming indulgences he is released from penance, or other good works, free from the fight with his evil inclinations, passions and habits, from compensating for injuries, repairing scandals, from retrieving neglected good, and glorifying God by works and sufferings; but that indulgences give nothing else than partial or total remission of temporal punishment; that they remind us of our weakness and lukewarmness which is great when compared with the zeal and fervor of the early Christians; that they impel us to satisfy the justice of God according to our ability. Finally, they remind us to thank God continually that He gave the Church a means in the inexhaustible treasure of the merits of Christ and His saints, to help our weakness and to supply what is wanting in our penance.

1. See Instruction on Satisfaction on the fourth Sunday in Advent.

2. The word jubilee signifies deliverance, remittance. With the Jews every fiftieth year was so called, and all the prisoners and slaves were to be set free in this year, according to the command of God, the inheritances which had been sold, restored to their masters, the debts cancelled, and the earth left untilled. This was a year of grace and rest for the Jews. This Jubilee of the Jews is a figure of the Catholic jubilee, in which the captives of sin and Satan are liberated, the debt of sin remitted, and the inheritance of heaven, which the sinner had sold to Satan, is restored to him.

October 11, 2019   No Comments

Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Image result for traditional latin mass

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

At the Introit of the Mass the justice and mercy of God are praised:

INTROIT Thou art just, O Lord, and thy judgment is right; deal with thy servant according to thy mercy. Blessed are the undefiled in the way; who walk in the law of the Lord. (Ps. CXVIII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Grant to Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to avoid the defilements of the devil, and with a pure mind to follow Thee, the only God. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Ephes. IV. 1- 6.) Brethren, I, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called. With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity, careful to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. Who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

ADMONITION Implore God continually for grace to accomplish and make certain your vocation by practicing these virtues, recommended by St. Paul.

INSTRUCTION ON THE ONE ONLY SAVING FAITH

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. (Ephes. IV. 5. 6.)

These words of the great Apostle of the Gentiles show clearly, that it is not a matter of indifference, what faith or religion we profess. Yet in our times so poor in faith, we often hear the assertion from so-called enlightened men: “It is all the same to what religion we belong, we can be saved in any, if we only believe in God and live uprightly.” This assertion is impious! Consider, ..my dear Christian, there is but one God, and this one God has sent only one Redeemer; and this one Redeemer has preached but one doctrine, and has established but one Church. Had God wished that there should be more than one Church, then Christ would have founded them, nay, He would not have preached a new doctrine, established a new, Christian Church; for the Jews also believed in one God. But Jesus cast aside Paganism and Judaism, promulgated a new religion, and founded a new Church. Nowhere does He speak of Churches, but always of one Church. He says that we must hear this Church, and does not add, that if we will not hear this Church, we may hear some other. He speaks of only one shepherd, one flock, and one fold, into which all men are to be brought. In the same manner He speaks always of one kingdom upon earth, just as there is only one kingdom in heaven; of only one master of the house and one family, of one field and one vineyard, whereby He referred to His Church; of one rock, upon which He would build His Church. On the day before His death, He prayed fervently to His Heavenly Father, that all who believe in Him, might be and remain one, as He and the Father are one, and He gave His disciples the express command to preach His gospel to all nations, and to teach them all things, whatsoever He had commanded them. This command the apostles carried out exactly. Everywhere they preached one and the same doctrine, establishing in all places Christian communities, which were all united by the bond of the same faith. Their principal care was to prevent schisms in faith, they warned the faithful against heresy, commanded all originators of such to be avoided, and anathematized those who preached a gospel different from theirs. As the apostles, so did their successors. All the holy Fathers speak with burning love of the necessary unity of faith, and deny those all claim to salvation who remain knowingly in schism and separation from the true Church of Christ.

Learn hence, dear Christian, that there can be but one true Church; if there is but one true Church, it naturally follows that in her alone salvation can be obtained, and the assertion that we can be saved by professing any creed, is false and impious. Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life , speaks of but one Church , which we must hear, if we wish to be saved. He who does not hear the Church, He says, should be considered as a heathen and publican. He speaks furthermore of one fold, and He promises eternal life only to those sheep who belong to this fold, obey the voice of the shepherd and feed in His pasture. The apostles were also convinced that only the one, true Church could guide us to salvation. Without faith it is impossible to please God, writes St. Paul to the Hebrews, (XI. 6.) and this faith is only one, he teaches the Ephesians. (IV. 5.) If the apostles had believed that we could be saved in any religion, they would certainly not have contended so strenuously for unity, they would not have declared so solemnly, that we should not belong to any other than to Christ alone, and that we must receive and obey His doctrine. As the apostles taught so did their successors and all the Fathers agree that there is no salvation outside of the true Church. St. Cyprian writes: “If any one outside Noah’s ark could find safety, then also will one outside the Church find salvation.” (De unit. eccl. c. 7.) From all this it follows, that there is only one true Church which insures salvation, out of which no one can be saved.

But which is this Church? The Roman Catholic, Apostolic Church, for she alone was founded, by Christ, she alone was watered with the blood of the apostles and of thousands of holy martyrs, she alone has the marks of the true Church of Christ, [see the Instruction for the first Sunday after Easter] against which He has promised that the powers of hell shall not prevail. Those who fell away from the Church three hundred years ago do, indeed contend that the Church fell into error and no longer possessed the true, pure gospel of Jesus. Were they right, Jesus might be blamed, for He established this Church, promising to remain with her and guide her through the Holy Ghost until the end of the world. He would, therefore, have broken His word, or He was not powerful enough to keep it. But who dare say this? On the contrary, she has existed for eighteen hundred years, whilst the greatest and most powerful kingdoms have been overthrown, and the firmest thrones crumbled away. If she were not the only true and saving Church, founded by Christ, how could she have existed so long, since Jesus Himself said: Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. (Matt. XV. 13.) If she were not the Church of Christ, she would have been destroyed long ago, but she still stands today, whilst her enemies’ who battled against her have disappeared, and will continue to disappear; for the gates of hell shall not prevail against her, says our Lord. He has kept His promise and will keep it, notwithstanding all the oppositions and calumnies of her implacable enemies.

You see, therefore, my dear Christian, that the Catholic Church is the only true, the only saving Church; be not deceived by those who are neither cold nor warm, and who say: “We can be saved in any religion, if we only believe in God and live uprightly,” and who wish to rob you of your holy faith, and precipitate you into the sea of doubt, error, and falsehood. Outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation; hold this firmly, for it is the teaching of Jesus, His apostles, and all the Fathers; for this doctrine the apostles and a countless host .of ‘the faithful have shed their blood. Obey the teaching of this Church, follow her laws, make use of her help and assistance, and often raise your hands and heart to heaven to thank God for the priceless grace of belonging to this one, true Church; forget not to pray for your erring brethren, who are still outside of the Church that the Lord may lead them into her, that His promise may be fulfilled: There will be one fold, and one shepherd.

GOSPEL (Matt XXII. 35-46.) At that time, The Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked him, tempting him: Master, which is the great commandment of the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shaft love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ; whose son is he? They say to him: David’s. He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call him Lord; saying: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word: neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

What is meant by loving God?

It means to find one’s pleasure, happiness and joy in God, because He is he highest and most perfect Good; to rejoice in His infinite majesty and glory; to direct one’s thoughts, words, and actions towards Him as our only end: to do His will in all things, an be prepared always rather to lose everything, even life itself, than His friendship.

What is meant by loving God with our whole heart, our whole soul, etc. ?

These different expressions all properly mean the same thing, namely, that we should cling to God with a true, sincere and heartfelt love, but by our heart our will may be understood, that power by which we wish God all glory, and desire nothing more than that He be known, loved, and honored by all men. The soul signifies the intellect by means of which we should endeavor to arrive at the knowledge and love of God, praise and glorify Him above all things. The mind may signify our memory, with Which we continually remember God and the innumerable benefits bestowed on us by Him, praise Him for them, thank Him, and always walk irreproachably before Him. Finally, we love God with all our strength, if we employ all the powers and faculties of our body in His service, and direct all our actions to Him as to our last end.

Is it true love, if we love God only because He is good to us?

This is grateful love, which is good and praiseworthy, but it is not perfect love, because the motive is self-love and self-interest.

What, therefore, is perfect love?

When we love God only because He is in Himself the highest Good, and most worthy of all love. In this manner we should endeavor to love Him; not through self-interest not through hope of reward, not through fear of punishment, but only because He, as the greatest Good, contains all goodness and, therefore, deserves to be loved only on account of Himself. Such love had St. Francis Xavier, which he very beautifully expressed in the following canticle, composed by himself:

O God, I give my love to Thee,
Not for the heaven Thou’st made for me,
Nor yet because who love not Thee
Will burn in hell eternally.
In dying throes on Calvary,
My Jesus, Thou didst think of me,
Didst bear the lance, the nails, the tree,
Rude scoffs, contempt and infamy,
And pangs untold, all lovingly, –
The scourge, the sweat the agony,
And death itself, -all, all for me,
A sinner and Thy enemy.
Why therefore, should not I love Thee,
O Jesus, dead for love of me?
Not that I may in heaven be,
Not that from hell I may be free;
Not urged by dread of endless pain,
Not lured by prize of endless gain,
But as Thou, Lord, didst first love me,
So do I love and will love Thee.
To Thee, my King, I give my heart,
For this alone t hat God Thou art.

Can fear exist with love?

Servile fear cannot, but filial fear may. Servile fear is rather a fear of punishment than a fear of offending God. Where such fear exists, love cannot dwell; for in love, writes St. Augustine, (in Joann. Tr. 9.) there is no fear, for perfect love casteth out fear. ( I John IV. 18.) Filial fear, on the contrary, is the fear of offending God. This fear leads to love and is also an effect of love; it is the beginning of wisdom. (Eccles. I. 16.) Let us cherish this fear, for it will drive away sin, as sentinels expel thieves; (Ecclus. I 16.) it will replenish us with joy, and gladness, and obtain for us in our last moments divine blessings and a holy death. (Ecclus.. I. 27.)

How may we obtain a perfect love of God?

By meditating on His infinite, divine perfections, such as His almighty power, His wisdom, His splendor, His beauty, etc.; by contemplating His boundless love for us, in the incarnation, sufferings, and death of His only-begotten Son; by frequently practicing this virtue; by fervent prayer; and by making acts of love, such as are found in good prayer-books.

When should we practice the virtue of love of Gods?

As soon as we have arrived at the age of reason; when the world, the devil and the flesh, endeavor to withdraw us from God, by their apparent goods and pleasures; when we have separated ourselves from God by mortal sin; when we receive the holy Sacraments, particularly holy Communion; when we receive a particular grace from God; when we use food and drink and other lawful enjoyments; when we contemplate God’s creatures; often during the day.; and especially in the hour of death.

[Concerning the love of our neighbor , see the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost].

Why is the commandment to’ love God and our neighbor’ called the greatest commandment?

Because in it are contained all the other commandments, for Christ says, in it consists the whole law. He who loves God with his whole heart, does not separate himself from God by infidelity, does not practice public or private superstition and idolatry; he does not murmur against God, does not desecrate the name of God by cursing and swearing; he does not profane the Sabbath, because he knows that all this is displeasing to God. On the contrary, he hopes in God, keeps Sundays and days of obligation holy, and observes all the commandments of the Church, because God wishes that we hear the Church; he honors his parents, inflicts no evil upon his neighbor; does not commit adultery, doe’s not steal, calumniates no one, does not bear false witness, does not judge rashly, is not envious, malicious or cruel, but rather practices the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; and all this, because he loves God and his neighbor.

What is the meaning of the question What think you of Christ?

Christ asked the Pharisees this question in order to convince them, from their own answer, that He was not only the Son of David, but that He as the only-begotten Son of God was the Lord of David and of all men from eternity. (Fs. II. 7.) , Unhappily, even today there are men who like the Pharisees deny the divinity of Christ, the Son of the living God, consider Him merely a very wise and virtuous man, and do not receive His doctrine, confirmed by so many miracles. Beware, my dear Christian, of these men who rob you of the peace of the soul, and the consoling hope of a future resurrection and eternal life, together with faith in Christ, the divine Redeemer. But if you believe Christ to be the Son of God and our Lord, Law­giver, Instructor, and Redeemer, follow His teaching, and do not contradict indeed what you profess with your lips.

PRAYER O most amiable Jesus! who hast admonished us so affectionately to love God an& our neighbor, pour the fire of Thy love into our hearts, that all our deeds and actions, x,11 our thoughts and words may begin and end with Thy love. Grant, that we may love Thee with all the powers of our body and. soul, ,and thereby be so united to Thee, that, like St. Paul, no temptation, no tribulation, no danger, not even death, may be able to separate us from Thee. Grant us also, that we may love our neighbors, friends, and enemies as ourselves for Thy sake, and thus be made worthy to possess Thee as our Redeemer and merciful judge.

October 5, 2019   No Comments