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INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF PENTECOST

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

What festival is this?

It is the day on which the Holy Ghost descended in the form of fiery tongues, upon the apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, were assembled in prayer in a house at Jerusalem. (Acts II.)

Why is this day called Pentecost?

The word “Pentecost” is taken from the Greek, and signifies fifty. As St. Jerome explains it, this was the last of the fifty days, commencing with Easter, which the early Christians celebrated as days of rejoicing at the resurrection of the Lord.

Why is this day observed so solemnly?

Because on this day the Holy Ghost, having descended upon the apostles, the law of grace, of purification from sin, and the sanctification of mankind, was for the first time announced to the world; because on this day the apostles, being filled with the Holy Ghost, commenced the work of purifying and sanctifying mankind, by baptizing three thousand persons who were converted by the sermon of St. Peter; and because on this day the Church of Jesus became visible as a community to the world, and publicly professed her faith in her crucified Saviour.

Why did the Holy Ghost descend on the Jewish Pentecost?

Because on their Pentecost the Jews celebrated the anniversary of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, and God would show by sending the Holy Ghost on this days that the Old Law had ceased and the New Law commenced. God also chose this time, that the Jews who on this day came together from all countries to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pentecost, might be witnesses of the miracle, and hear the New Law announced by the apostles.

Why is the baptismal font blessed an the vigil of Pentecost, as on Holy Saturday?

Because the Holy Ghost is the Author of all sanctity and the Fountain of baptismal grace, and because in the Acts (i. 5.) the descent of the Holy Ghost itself is called a baptism.

In the Introit of the Mass the Church rejoices at the descent of the Holy Ghost and sings:

INTROIT The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole earth, allel.; and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, Allel., allel., allel. (Wisd. I.7.) Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered: and let them that hate him, fly before his face. (Ps. 67.) Glory etc.

COLLECT God, who on this day didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit: grant us in the same spirit to relish what is right, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Thro’. — in the unity of the same, etc.

LESSON (Acts II. I-II.) When the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them:. and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were. dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue: and they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Why did the Holy Ghost come upon the apostles in the form of fiery tongues?

The appearance of fiery tongues indicated the gift of language imparted to the apostles by the Holy Ghost, and inflamed their hearts and the hearts of the faithful with the love of God and their neighbor.

Why did a mighty wind accompany the descent?

To direct the attention of the people to the descent of the Holy Ghost, and to assemble them to hear the sermon of the Apostle Peter.

What special effects did the Holy Ghost produce in the apostles?

He freed them from all doubt and fear; gave them His light for the perfect knowledge of truth; inflamed their hearts with the most ardent love, and incited in them the fiery zeal for the propagation of the kingdom of God, strengthened them to bear all sufferings and persecutions, (Acts V. 41.) and gave them the gift of speaking in various languages, and of discerning spirits.

Festival of PentecostGOSPEL (John XIV. 23-31,) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words: and the word which you have heard is not mine, but the Father’s, who sent me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you: but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have ;told you before it came to pass, that when it shall come to pass you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not anything. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath givers me commandment, so do I.

Why is the Holy Ghost expressly called “Holy,” since this attribute is due to each of the divine persons?

Because He is the Author of inward sanctity and of all supernatural gifts and graces, and therefore to Him is especially ascribed the work of man’s sanctification.

What does the Holy Ghost effect in man?

He enlightens him that he may know the truths of religion and salvation, and the beauty of virtue; He moves him to desire, to aim after and to love these things; He renews his heart by cleansing it from sin, and imparts to him the supernatural gifts and graces by which he can become sanctified, and He brings forth in him wonderful fruits of holiness.

What are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?

According to the Prophet Isaias they are seven: 1.The gift of wisdom, which enables us to know God, to esteem spiritual more than temporal advantages, and to delight only in divine things. 2. The gift of understanding, by which we know and understand that which our faith proposes to our belief; children and adults should pray fervently for this gift, especially before sermons and instructions in the catechism. 3.The gift of counsel, which gives us the knowledge necessary to direct ourselves and others when in doubt, a gift particularly necessary for superiors, for those about choosing their state of life, and for married people who live unhappily, and do not know how to help themselves. 4. The gift of fortitude, which strengthens us to endure and courageously overcome all adversities and persecutions for virtue’s sake. 5. The gift of knowledge, by which we know ourselves, our duties, and how to discharge them in a manner pleasing to God. 6. The gift of piety, which induces us to have God in view in all our actions, and infuses love in our hearts for His service. 7. The gift of the fear of the Lord, by which we not only fear the just punishment, but even His displeasure at every sin, more than all other things in the world.

Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost?

As St. Paul (Gal. V.. 22-23.) enumerates them, they are twelve: 1. Charity. 2. Joy. 3. Peace. 4. Patience. 5. Benignity. 6. Goodness. 7. Longanimity. 8. Mildness. 9. Faith. 10. Modesty. 11. Continency. 12. Chastity. To obtain these fruits as well as the gifts of the Holy Ghost, we should daily say the prayer: “Come, O Holy Ghost, etc.”

Why does Christ say: The Father is greater than I?

Christ as God is in all things equal to His Father, but as Christ was at the same time Man, the Father was certainly greater than the Man-Christ.

Why does Christ say: I will not now speak many things with you?

Christ spoke these words a short time before His passion, and by them He wished to say that the time was near at hand when Satan, by his instruments, the wicked Jews, would put Him to death, not because Satan had this power over Him, but because He Himself wished to die in obedience to the will of His Father.

May 28, 2020   No Comments

Sunday Within the Octave of the Ascension

Rembrandts 'The Ascension of Christ'...the SECOND MESSIAH of GOD - HELEN ELENA SVE HELENA PROKHOROVA.. husband- Mikhail Prokhorov, Forbes ,politik Russia,party "Civic Platform".....p /s FIRST MESSIAH of GOD-JESUS CHRIST in the 1st century BC...........Вторая Мессия Бога - Элен Елена SVE Helena Прохорова... . муж- Михаил Прохоров, Forbes ,политик России, .партия "Гражданская Платформа"...p /s Первый Мессия Бога-Иисус Христос в 1 веке до н.э.

Introit: Ps. xxvi: 7, 8, 9

Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee. My heart has said to Thee, I have sought Thy face. Thy face, O Lord, I will seek; turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. [Ps.] The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Glory be…. Hear, O Lord….

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, grant us both ever to have a will devoted to Thee, and to serve Thy majesty with a sincere heart.

Commemoration of the Octave

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may ourselves dwell in spirit among heavenly things.

Epistle 1 Peter iv: 7-11

A reading from the epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle:

Dearly beloved: Be prudent and watchful in prayer. But above all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable toward one another without murmuring. According to the gift that each has received, minister to one another as good stewards of the manifold gifts of God. If anyone speaks let it be with the words of God. If anyone ministers, let it be as from the strength that God furnishes; that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord hath reigned over all the nations, God sitteth on His holy throne. Alleluia! I will not leave you orphans; I go, and I come to you, and your heart shall rejoice. Alleluia!

Gospel: John xv: 26-27; xvi: 1-4

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to John:

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “When the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me. And you also will bear witness because from the beginning you are with Me. These things I have spoken that you may not be scandalized. They will expel you from the synagogues. Yes, the hour is coming for anyone who kills you to think that he is offering worship to God. And these things they will do because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have spoken to you, that when the time for them comes you may remember that I told you.

Credo.

Offertory: Ps. xlvi

God is ascended with jubilation; and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.

Secret:

May this spotless sacrifice purify us, O Lord; and infuse into our minds the vigor of heavenly grace.

Commemoration of the Octave

Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer Thee in memory of the glorious ascension of Thy Son, and graciously grant that, being delivered from present dangers, we may attain eternal life.

Preface and Communicantes of the Ascension

Communion: John xvii: 12-13, 15

Father, while I was with them, I kept them whom Thou gavest Me, alleluia! But now I come to Thee: I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from evil, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that being replenished with holy gifts, we may ever prolong our thanksgiving for them.

Commemoration of the Octave

Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful God, that what we have received in visible mysteries may profit us by its invisible effect.

 

May 22, 2020   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD

The Ascension of Jesus Christ by Gustave Doré Gustave Dore, Religious Pictures, Jesus Pictures, Catholic Art, Religious Art, Image Jesus, Saint Esprit, Jesus Christus, Les Religions

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

At the Introit the Church sings the words which were spoken by the angels to the apostles and disciples, after the Ascension of our Lord:

INTROIT Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? allel.: He shall so come as you have seen him going up into heaven. Allel., allel., allel. (Acts I. 11.), Oh, clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy. (Ps. XLVI. 2.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that we who believe Thy only‑begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into the heavens, may ourselves also in, mind dwell amid heavenly things. Through the same etc.

LESSON (Acts I. 1-11.) The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach , until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles ,whom he had chosen, he was taken up: to whom also he showed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the prom­ise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth: for John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence. They, therefore, who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? But he said to diem: It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in his own power; but you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold, two men stood by them in white garments, who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand yon looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven.

EXPLANATION This gospel of St. Luke addressed to Theophilus, a Christian of note in Antioch, contains an account of the life, sufferings, and death of Jesus up to the time of His ascension into heaven. The Evangelist con­tinues his account in the Acts of the apostles, in which he describes in simple words that which Jesus did during the forty days following His Resurrection, and the manner in which He ascended into heaven in the presence of His apostles. Rejoice that Christ today has entered into the glory gained by His sufferings and death, and pray: I rejoice, O King of heaven and earth, in the glory Thou bast this day attained in heaven. Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: sing ye to God, who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the east. Give ye glory to God for Israel, his magnificence and his power is in the clouds. God is wonderful in his saints, the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people, blessed be God. (Ps.LXVII. 33‑36.)

GOSPEL (Mark. XVI. 14-20.) At that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. (And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned: And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing,  it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick; and they shall recover.) And the Lord Jesus after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere, the Lord work­ing withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

The part of this gospel which is within the marks of parenthesis, is the gospel for the feast of St: Francis Xavier.

Why did Christ say to His apostles: Go ye into the whale world and preach the gospel to all creatures?

To show that no one is to assume the office of preach­ing, but must look for his mission from the lawful pastors of the Church. And when Christ sends His apostles into the whole worlds to all nations without exception, He shows His willingness to save all men. If the designs of God are not fulfilled, the blame is not to be attributed to God, but to man, who either does not accept the doctrine of the gospel, or accepting, does not live in accordance with it, or else renders himself by his obduracy in vice, unworthy of the gospel.

Is faith without good works sufficient for salvation?

No, faith that is not active in love, not fruitful in good works, and therefore not meritorious, (Gal. V. 6.) is not suf­ficient for salvation. “Such faith,” says St. Anselm, “is not the faith of a Christian, but the faith of the devil.” Only he who truly believes in Christ and His doctrine, and lives in accordance with it, will be saved.

Is ours then the true faith since all the faithful do not work miracles; as Christ has predicted?

St. Gregory very beautifully replies to this question: “Because the Redeemer said that true faith would be ac­companied by miracles, you must not think that you have not the faith, because these signs do not follow; these miracles had to be wrought in the beginning of the Church, because faith in her had to be increased by these visible signs of divine power.” And even now when such signs are necessary for the propagation of the faith, and victory over unbelief, God gives His faithful power to work them.

Are miracles wrought now in the Catholic Church?

Yes, for there have been at all times saints in the Church, who, as seen from their lives, have wrought miracles, on account of their faith, which even the heretics cannot deny; for instance St. Francis Xavier, who in the sight of the heathens, raised several dead persons to life. In a spiritual manner all pious Catholics still work such miracles; for, as St. Chrysostom says, “they expel devils when they banish sin, which is worse than the devil; they speak new tongues when they converse no longer on vain and sinful things, but on those which are spiritual and heavenly.” “They take up serpents,” says St. Gregory, “when by zealous exhortations they lift others from the shame of vice, without being themselves poisoned; they drink deadly things without being hurt by them, when they hear improper conversation without being corrupted or led to evil; they lay their hands upon the sick and heal them, when they teach the ignorant, strengthen by their good example those who are wavering in virtue, keep the sinner from evil, and similar things.” Strive to do this upon all occasions, O Christian, for God willingly gives you His grace and you will thus be of more use to yourself and others, and honor God more than by working the greatest miracles.

Where and how did Christ ascend into heaven?

From Mount Olivet where His sufferings began, by which we learn, that where our crosses and afflictions begin which we endure with patience and resignation, there begins our reward. Christ ascended into heaven by His own power, because He is God, and now in His glorified humanity He sits at the right hand of His Father, as our continual Mediator.

In whose presence did Christ ascend into heaven?

In the presence of His apostles, and many of His dis­ciples, whom He had previously blessed, (Luke XXIV. 51.) and who, as St. Leo says, derived consoling joy from His ascension. Rejoice, also, O Christian foul, for Christ has today opened heaven for you, and you may enter it, if you believe in Christ, and live in accordance with that faith. St. Augustine says: “Let us ascend in spirit with Christ, that when His day comes, we may follow with our body.

Yet you must know, beloved brethren, that not pride, nor avarice, nor impurity, nor any other vice ascends with Christ; for with the teacher of humility pride ascends not, nor with the author of goodness, malice, nor with the Son of the Virgin, impurity. Let us then ascend with Him by trampling upon our vices and evil inclinations, thus build­ing a ladder by which we can ascend; for we make a ladder of our sins to heaven when we tread them down in combating them:”

ASPIRATION O King of glory! O powerful Lord! who hast this day ascended victoriously, above all heaven, leave us not as poor orphans; but send us, from the Father, the Spirit of truth whom Thou hast promised. Alleluia.

Why is the paschal candle extinguished after the gospel on this day?

To signify that Christ, of whom the candle is a figure, has gone from His disciples.

 

INSTRUCTION ON MIRACLES

And these signs shall follow them that believe.(Mark XVI. 17.)

What is a miracle?

A miracle, as defined by St. Thomas of Aquin, is any­thing beyond the ordinary, fixed state of things that is done through God. Thus when the sun stands still in his course, when thousands are fed with five loaves and two small fishes, when by a word or simple touch the dead are raised to life, the blind see, and the deaf hear, these are things contrary to nature, and are miracles which can only be performed by God or those persons to whom God has given the power.

That God can work miracles, cannot be denied. God has made the laws of nature, and at any time it pleases Him, He can suddenly suspend them, and that God has at times done so, we have more solid and undeniable proofs, than we have for the most renowned and best authenticated facts of history, far more witnesses testify to miracles, the whole world has believed them, and been converted by them; more than eleven millions of martyrs have died to confirm and maintain their truth; no one gives up his life for lies and deceptions; the Jews and pagans have admitted them, but ascribed them to witchcraft and the power of demons rather than to God; by this they proved and acknowledged the truth of miracles, because in order to deny them, they were driven to false and absurd explanation of them.

Can men work miracles?

No; only God works miracles through man to whom He gives the power. The history of the Christian Church in all ages bears testimony, that men have wrought miracles in the name of Jesus, as, for example, the apostles and the saints.

Can miracles be worked by the relics of saints, pictures, &e.?

The Church, in the Council of Trent, solemnly declares, that we are never to believe that there is in any picture or relic any hidden power by which a miracle can, be worked, and that we are not to honor or ask any such thing of them. Therefore no miracle can ever be worked by them, but God can perform miracles through them, and He has done so, as the holy Scriptures and the history of the Church of Christ both prove. But when through certain pictures (usually called miraculous pictures) miracles do take place, that no deception may occur, the Church commands that such a picture shall not be exposed for the veneration of the faithful, until the truth of the miracles performed is by a rigorous examination established beyond doubt; she then causes such pictures to be respectfully preserved as monu­ments of the goodness and omnipotence of God.

Why are there not so many miracles in our ties as there were in the first days of the Church?

Because the Church is no longer in need of such extra­ordinary testimony to the truth of her teachings. Thus St. Augustine writes: “He who in the face of the conversion of the world to Christianity demands miracles, and strives to doubt those which have been wrought in favor of this most wonderful change, is himself an astonishing miracle of irrationality and stupidity;” and St. Chrysostom says: “The question is sometimes asked: How happens it there are not so many miracles now‑a‑days? The answer is, because the knowledge of Christ is propagated all over the earth, and the Church is like a tree which, having once taken deep root and grown to a certain height, no longer needs to be carefully watered and supported.”

May 21, 2020   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

Knights of Malta members suspect Latin Mass banned to 'cleanse ...

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

In thanks for the redemption the Church sings at the Introit:

INTROIT Declare the voice of joy, and let it be heard, allel.: declare it even to the ends of the earth: the Lord hath delivered his people. (Isai. XLVII. 20.) Allel. allel. Shout with joy to God, all the earth: sing ye a psalm to his name, give glory to his praise. (Fs. LXV.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, from whom all good things proceed: grant to Thy suppliants, that by Thy inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by Thy guidance may perform the same. Through etc.

EPISTLE (James I. 22‑27.) Dearly Beloved, Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he shall be compared to a than beholding his own countenance in a glass: for he beheld himself and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was. But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty, and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless, and widows in their tribulation, and to keep one’s self unspotted from the world.

EXPLANATION True piety, as St. James here says, consists not only in knowing and recognizing the word of God, but in living according to its precepts and teachings; in subduing the tongue, the most dangerous and injurious of all our members; in being charitable to the poor and destitute, and in contemning the world, its false principles, foolish customs and scandalous example, against which we should guard, that we may not become infected and polluted by them. Test thyself, whether thy life be of this kind.

ASPIRATION O Jesus! Director of the soul! Give me the grace of true piety as defined by St. James.

GOSPEL (John XVI. 23-30.) At this time, Jesus saith to his disciples: Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father,anything in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto, you have not asked anything in my name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father. In that day, you shall ask in my name: and I say not to you that I will ask the Father for you, for the Father himself loveth you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples say to him: Behold, now thou speakest plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now we know that thou knowest all things, and thou needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou comest forth from God.

Why does God wish us to ask of Him?

That we may know and confess that all good comes from Him; that we may acknowledge our poverty and weakness which in all things need the help of God; that we may thus glorify Him and render ourselves less unworthy of the gifts which He has promised us.

What is meant by asking to the name of Jesus?

By this is meant praying with confidence in the merits of Jesus, “who,” as St. Cyril says, “being God with the Father, gives us all good, and as mediator carries our petitions to His Father.” The Church, therefore concludes all her prayers with the words: “Through our Lord, Jesus Christ.” It means also that we should ask that which is in accordance with the will of Christ, namely, all things necessary for the salvation of our soul; to pray for temporal things merely in order to live happily in this world, is not pleasing to Christ and avails us nothing. “He who prays for what hinders salvation,” says St. Augustine, “does not pray in the name of Jesus.” Thus Jesus said to His disciples: Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name, “because,” as St. Gregory says, “they did not ask for that which conduces to eternal salvation.”

Why is it that God sometimes does not grant our petitions?

Because we often pray for things that are injurious, and like a good father, God denies them to us, in order to give us something better; because He wishes to prove our patience and perseverance in prayer; because we generally do not pray as we ought; to be pleasing to God, prayer should be made when in a state of grace and with confidence in Christ’s merits, for the prayer of a just man availeth much; (James V. 16.) we must pray with humility and submission to the will of God, with attention, fervor, sincerity, and with perseverance.

At what special times should we pray?

We should pray every morning and evening, before and after meals, in time of temptation, when commencing any important undertaking, and particularly in the hour of death. God is mindful of us every moment, and gives us His grace. It is, therefore, but just that we think often of Him during the day, and thank Him for His blessings.

How can we, in accordance with Christ’s teachings, (Luke XVIII. 1.) pray at all times?

By making the good intention when commencing our work, to do all for the love of God, and according to His most holy will; by raising our hearts to God at different times during the day; frequently making acts of faith, hope, love, and humility, and by repeating short ejaculations, such as: O Jesus! grant me grace to love Thee! Thee only do I desire to love! O be merciful to me! Lord hasten to help me.

What is the signification of the different ceremonies that Catholics use at their prayers?

The general signification is that God must be served, honored and adored, not only with the soul but with the body; when we pray aloud we praise God, not only with the mind, but also with our lips; when we pray with bowed and uncovered head, with folded, uplifted, or outstretched hands, on bended knees, with bowed and prostrated body, we show our reverence and subjection to the majesty of God, before whom we, who are but dust and ashes, cannot humble ourselves enough. These different ceremonies during prayer are frequently mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments, and Christ and His apostles have made use of them, as for instance, the bending of the knees, falling on the face, &c.

Which is the best of all prayers?

The Lord’s Prayer which Christ Himself taught us, and commands us to repeat. When said with devotion, it is the most powerful of all prayers. (Matt. VI, 9-13; Luke XI. 2‑4.)

SHORT EXPLANATION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER

Of what does the Lord’s Prayer consist?

It consists of an address, as an introduction to the prayer, and of seven petitions which contain all that we should ask for the honor of God, and for our own salvation. The address is thus: Our Father who art in heaven:

What does the word “Our” signify?

In the communion of saints we should pray for and with all the children of God; we should be humble and preserve brotherly love towards all men.

Who is it that is here called our “Father”?

Our Father is God who has made us His children and heirs of His kingdom through His Son.

Why do we say “Who art in heaven”, since God is everywhere?

To remind us that our true home is heaven, for which we, should ardently long, because our Father is there, and there He has prepared our inheritance.

For what do we ask to the first petition: “Hallowed be Thy name?”

That we and all men may truly know, love, and serve God.

For what do we pray to the second petition: “Thy kingdom come?”

That the Church of God; the kingdom of Christ, may extend over the whole earth, and the kingdom of sin and the devil be destroyed; that Christ may reign in our hearts and in the hearts of all; and that God will deign to receive us into the kingdom of heaven when our earthly pilgrimage is ended.

For what do we ask to the third petition: “Thy will be done on earth as it is to heaven ?”

We beg that God would enable us, by His grace, to do His will in all things, as the blessed do it in heaven. In these three petitions we seek, as taught by Christ, first the kingdom of God, that all the rest may be added unto us. (Luke XII. 31.)

For what do we ask in the fourth petition: “Give us this day our dally bread?”

We beg for all necessaries for body and soul

Why does it say, “this day?”

The words “this day” signify that we should not be over anxious for the future, but place all our confidence in God who will provide the necessaries of life.

What do we ask for in the fifth petition: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us?”

We beg that God will forgive us our sins, as we forgive others their offenses against us. Those who make this petition, and still bear enmity towards their neighbor, lie in the face of God, and will not receive forgiveness. (Mark XI. 25, 26.)

What is risked for in the sixth petition: Lead us not into temptation?”

We ask God to avert all temptations or at least not to abandon us when we are tempted. We cannot, indeed be entirely free from them in this world, they are even necessary and useful for our salvation: for without temptation there is no combat, without combat no victory and without victory no crown.

What do we ask for in the seventh petition: Deliver us from evil?”

We beg that God would free us from all evil of soul and body.

INSTRUCTION CONCERNING THE PROCESSIONS ON ROGATION DAYS

What are processions?

Processions are solemn religious assemblages of persons marching together, and are instituted by the Catholic Church partly to encourage the piety of the faithful, partly in remembrance of graces received, and in thanksgiving for them. Processions are approved of by the Fathers of the Church from the earliest ages. Those who take part in them in a true spirit will reap wholesome fruit of Christian piety.

Are processions something new?

No, they were the custom in the very earliest centuries of the Church, as testified by the acts of the martyrs, of Saints Cyprian, Lucius, Boniface, and the Fathers of the Church, Saints Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Gregory, and others. They are also founded on Scripture. Thus King David caused the ark of the covenant to be carried in solemn procession to Jerusalem, (II Kings VI.) and Solomon, his son, had it carried in solemn procession into the new temple. (III Kings VIII. 1-6.)

What do processions signify?

Processions are a figure of our pilgrimage on earth; we are strangers and wanderers here below, our journey reaches from this valley of tears to the heavenly Sion, the procession therefore returns into the house of God; our journey leads over the thorny ways of life, the procession therefore takes place in the open air, where the pilgrim is exposed to all kinds of weather; they are a powerful incentive to fervor in prayer for the faithful; when hundreds, even thousands of faithful praise God aloud, or cry to Him for help and mercy, must not even the coldest heart be roused to vivid, fervent devotion, since Christ has promised to be present even where two or three are assembled in His name? Processions are an open acknowledgment that praise, thanks and adoration are due to God alone, while they are a public profession of our faith in Christ, the Crucified; they are a solemn thanksgiving for being permitted to profess Christ, our Lord, before the whole world, as also for all the graces obtained through Him; they are a public testimonial of our faith in the one, holy, Catholic Church, whose members are united by the same bond of faith, and who form under their head, Christ, one family in God. Finally, they are a sign of the triumph of Christian faith over the darkness of heathenism. If processions are solemnized with such intentions, with order and dignity, with fervent devotion, in the light of faith, they are indeed a pleasing sight for angels and men

Why are banners and the cross carried in procession?

The cross signifies that we are assembled as Christians, in the name of Jesus, in whose name we begin and end our prayers, through whose merits we expect all things from the Heavenly Father, and whom we must follow: on our journey to heaven; the red and white banners indicate that we must walk in all innocence under the banner of Christ, and fight unto death against sin, against the world and the devil, and be as ready as were the martyrs to give our life for our faith; the blue banners indicate that we must walk the road of self-denial and mortification, with really humble and penitent feelings for our gins. The banners are also emblematic of Christ’s victory over death and hell, and of the triumph of His religion over the pagans and Jews.

Why do we go around the fields in processions?

To beg God to bless the fields with His fatherly hand, to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, and. as He fills the animals with blessings, and gives them food at the proper time, so may He give to as also our necessary food.

What is the origin of the procession on St. Mark’s day and on Rogation Days?

The procession on St. Mark’s day was instituted even before the time of Pope Gregory the Great (607) who, however, brought it into fervent practice, “in order,” as he says, ‘to obtain, in a measurer forgiveness of our sins.” The same pontiff introduced another, called the Sevenfold Procession, because the faithful of Rome took part in it in seven divisions, from seven different Churches, meeting in the Church of the Blessed Virgin. It was also named the Pest Procession, because it was ordered by St. Gregory to obtain the cessation of a fearful pestilence which was at that time raging in Rome, and throughout all Italy. This pestilence so poisoned the atmosphere that one opening his mouth to sneeze or gape would suddenly fall dead; (hence the custom of saying God bless you,” to one sneezing, and of making the sign of the cross on the mouth of one who gapes). The same holy pope ordered the picture of the Blessed Virgin, which is said to have been painted by St. Luke, to be carried in this procession, and that the intercession of this powerful mother be these supplications and the pestilence asked. God heard ceased. It is said that the processions in Rogation Week owe their origin to St. Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne in France; in the neighborhood of which city there were, in the year 469, terrible earthquakes which caused great destruction, the fruits perished and various plagues afflicted the people. The saintly bishop assembled the faithful, recommended them to seek refuge in the merciful God, and led them in procession around the fields. Such processions spread over France, and gradually throughout the Christian world; they are held in order to obtain from God the averting of universal evils, such as war, famine, and pestilence, and are, at the same time, a preparation for the Ascension of Christ who is our most powerful mediator with His Father, and whom we should invoke especially during these days.

With what intentions should we take part in a procession?

With the intention of glorifying God, of thanking Him for all. His graces, and of obtaining aid and comfort from Him in all our corporal and spiritual needs; with the view of professing our faith openly before the whole world, and with the sincere resolution of always following Christ, the Crucified, in the path of penance and mortification. He who entertains other intentions and takes part, perhaps, for temporal advantages, or for sinful pleasures, or to avoid labor, &c., sins against God and the Church who weeps over and condemns such abuses.

May 16, 2020   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

Ten Things You Miss by Going to the Traditional Latin Mass ...

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

The Introit of this day’s Mass is a canticle of praise and thanks:

INTROIT Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle alleluia; because the Lord hath done wonderful things, alleluia; he hath revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. His right hand hath wrought for him salvation; and his arm is holy. (Ps. XCII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will: grant unto Thy people to love what Thou commandest, and to desire what thou dost promise; that amidst the various changes of the world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys abide. Through etc.

EPISTLE (James I. 17‑21.) Dearly beloved, Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger: for the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore, casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

INSTRUCTION Of all the gifts that come from God, the most excellent is the gospel and regeneration in baptism, by which He has made us His children and heirs of heaven. How great is this honor, and how earnestly we should endeavor to preserve it! To hear the word of God, when preached to us in sermons, will aid our endeavors. The admonition of the apostle to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, contains true wisdom, for: In the multitude of words there shall not want sin; but he that refraineth his lips is most wise. (Prov. X. 19.)

ASPIRATION Aid me, O Lord, to preserve the dignity received in baptism, grant me a great love for Thy divine word, and strengthen me to subdue my tongue and to use it only for Thy glory.

GOSPEL (John XVI. 5‑14.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: I go to him that sent me: and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believed not in me: and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall see me no longer: and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the, Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak, and the things that are to come he shall show you. He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

INSTRUCTION As the disciples, in their grief at Christ’s going to His passion and death, after the accomplishment of which He was to return to His Father, never once asked Him: “Whither goest Thou?” many Christians, because of their attachment to this world and its pleasures, never ask themselves: Whither am I going, whither leads my way? By my sinful life I am perhaps going towards hell, or will my little fervor for the right, my lukewarm prayers take me to heaven? Ark yourself in all earnestness, dear Christian, whither leads the way you are going? Is it the right path? if not, retrace your steps, and follow Jesus who by suffering and death entered heaven.

Why could the Paraclete not come before the Ascension of Christ?

Because the work of Redemption had first to be completed, Christ had to die, reconcile man to God, and enter into His glory, before the Spirit of truth and filial adoption could abide in man in the fulness of grace. From this we may learn that we must purify our hearts, and be reconciled to God, if we wish to receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

How will the Holy Ghost convince the world of sin, of justice and of judgment?

He will convince the world, that is, the Jews and Gentiles, of sin, by showing them through the preaching, the sanctity and the miracles of the apostles, as well as by gradual inward enlightenment, the grievous sins which they have committed by their infidelity and their vices; of justice, by unveiling their error, and showing them that Christ whom they unjustly rejected, is the fountain of justice; of judgment, by showing them their condemnation in their prince and head, the devil, whom they served. This prince is now driven from idols and from the bodies of men, and his kingdom is destroyed in the name of Jesus by the apostles.

Why did not Christ tell His apostles all He had to tell them?

Because they could not yet comprehend, and keep it in their memory; because they were still too weak, and too much attached to Jewish customs, and also because they were depressed; He. therefore promised them the Holy Ghost, who would fit them for it by His enlightenment, and would teach them all truth.

How does the Holy Ghost teach all truth?

By guiding the Church, that is, its infallible administration, by His light to the knowledge of the truth necessary for the salvation of souls, preserving it from error; and by advancing those members of the Church who seek His light and place no obstacle in its way, in the necessary knowledge of truth.

What is meant by: He shall not speak of himself, but what things soevey he shall hear, he shall speak?

That the Holy Ghost will teach us only that which He has heard from all eternity from the Father and Son; His teaching will, therefore, perfectly agree with Christ’s teachings, for the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and Son and is equal God to them, and that which He teaches is also their doctrine, which is expressed in the words: He shall receive of mine.

ASPIRATION Ah, my Lord and my God! direct my feet in the way of Thy commandments and preserve my heart pure from sin, that Thy Holy Spirit may find nothing in me deserving of reproach, that He . may teach me all truth, and lead me to Thee, the eternal Truth, in heaven. Amen.

May 9, 2020   No Comments

What Bugnini Was Thinking When He Destroyed the Catholic Mass

by Dr. Peter

In G.K. Chesterton’s story “The Queer Feet,” Father Brown says:

A crime is like any other work of art. Don’t look surprised; crimes are by no means the only works of art that come from an infernal workshop. But every work of art, divine or diabolic, has one indispensable mark — I mean, that the centre of it is simple, however much the fulfilment may be complicated. Thus, in Hamlet, let us say, the grotesqueness of the grave-digger, the flowers of the mad girl, the fantastic finery of Osric, the pallor of the ghost and the grin of the skull are all oddities in a sort of tangled wreath round one plain tragic figure of a man in black. [i]

This passage came to my mind when reading the newly translated recent biography Annibale Bugnini: Reformer of the Liturgy (Angelico Press, 2018) by the prolific and well respected French historian Yves Chiron. The wide-ranging liturgical reform that took place in the Catholic Church predominantly between the years 1950 and 1975 was, indeed, like Hamlet, a complicated business, involving hundreds of bishops and experts, several popes, an ecumenical council, and countless publications, but at the center of it stood “one plain tragic figure of a man in black” — or perhaps we might say black with red piping: Msgr. (later Archbishop) Annibale Bugnini, a Vincentian priest who was one of the few men who had a hand in this quarter-century reform from its beginning nearly to its end.

Those who have heard of Annibale Bugnini (1912–1982) tend to think of him either as an evil schemer bent on the destruction of the Catholic Faith or as a talented bureaucrat who smoothly guided a complex liturgical reform to its happy conclusion. This book, which is well researched yet mercifully compact for a modern biography, portrays a more complex and human figure. That he was totally convinced of and consistently acted upon various rationalist and pastoral theories about how liturgy “ought to be” is indisputable, and this book provides copious documentation of it, but not all of his ideas were welcomed by those in authority, and he did eventually run afoul of the pope to whose itching ear and promulgating pen he had enjoyed such uninhibited access.

Through Chiron’s book we become acquainted with the life of a man who was singularly influential in marshaling the forces necessary for an unprecedented revision of Roman Catholic worship. One sees how it came about, step by step, pope by pope, committee by committee, book by book. It is truly one of the most astonishing stories in the history of Catholicism, and one about which Henry Sire rightly quips: “The story of how the liturgical revolution was put through is one that hampers the historian by its very enormity; he would wish, for his own sake, to have a less unbelievable tale to tell.”[ii] With Chiron patiently taking the reader through the phases of Bugnini’s life and activity, the tale becomes a little less unbelievable, albeit no less an enormity, as each daring maneuver leads to a new opening, a new opportunity, and new changes [iii].

Was Bugnini a mastermind, one of those rare Faustian individuals who singlehandedly change the course of history, or was he a small-minded ideologue and opportunist? The evidence presented in this biography tends to support the latter. Additional evidence not discussed by Chiron lends support to the same interpretation. In a memorable address in Montreal, Canada in 1982, Archbishop Lefebvre shared the story of a meeting he attended with other superiors general in Rome in the mid-1960s:

I had the occasion to see for myself what influence Fr. Bugnini had. One wonders how such a thing as this could have happened at Rome. At that time immediately after the Council, I was Superior General of the Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Ghost and we had a meeting of the Superiors General at Rome. We had asked Fr. Bugnini to explain to us what his New Mass was, for this was not at all a small event. Immediately after the Council talk was heard of the ‘Normative Mass’, the ‘New Mass’, the ‘Novus Ordo’. What did all this mean? …

Fr. Bugnini, with much confidence, explained what the Normative Mass would be; this will be changed, that will be changed and we will put in place another Offertory. We will be able to reduce the communion prayers. We will be able to have several different formats for the beginning of Mass. We will be able to say the Mass in the vernacular tongue. …

Personally I was myself so stunned that I remained mute, although I generally speak freely when it is a question of opposing those with whom I am not in agreement. I could not utter a word. How could it be possible for this man before me to be entrusted with the entire reform of the Catholic Liturgy, the entire reform of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of the sacraments, of the Breviary, and of all our prayers? Where are we going? Where is the Church going?

Two Superiors General had the courage to speak out. One of them asked Fr. Bugnini: “Is this an active participation, that is a bodily participation, that is to say with vocal prayers, or is it a spiritual participation? In any case you have spoken so much of the participation of the faithful that it seems you can no longer justify Mass celebrated without the faithful. Your entire Mass has been fabricated around the participation of the faithful. We Benedictines celebrate our Masses without the assistance of the faithful. Does this mean that we must discontinue our private Masses, since we do not have faithful to participate in them?”

I repeat to you exactly that which Fr. Bugnini said. I have it still in my ears, so much did it strike me: “To speak truthfully, we didn’t think of that,” he said!

Afterwards another arose and said: “Reverend Father, you have said that we will suppress this and we will suppress that, that we will replace this thing by that and always by shorter prayers. I have the impression that your new Mass could be said in ten or twelve minutes or at the most a quarter of an hour. This is not reasonable. This is not respectful towards such an act of the Church.” Well, this is what he replied: “We can always add something.” Is this for real? I heard it myself. If somebody had told me the story I would perhaps have doubted it, but I heard it myself. [iv]

When we read an account like this, we are tempted to think it an exaggeration. Chiron’s careful, almost surgical examination of original documents proves that it is nothing of the kind. While studiously avoiding romanticization or caricature, Chiron paints a portrait of his protagonist that harmonizes with such accounts as Lefebvre’s, or that of Bouyer in his Memoirs. Bugnini was indeed an adroit manager, manipulator, massager, and messenger. He knew how to gather an “all-star” team that would work in the direction he thought best. He knew how to win over the pope to his ideas. He knew when to speak up and when to keep silent. To take one example, he urged the preconciliar preparatory commission on liturgy not to put forth too many radical ideas lest their entire project of reform be shot down; it was enough, Bugnini said, to offer general innocuous-sounding indications and to fill out the details later in committee work.

The term “Machiavellian” might have to be excluded only because there is no smoking-gun evidence of malice. Rather, Bugnini is that oddest of odd figures: the seemingly well intentioned Machiavellian who stifles his opponents because they are obviously wrong and he is obviously right.

In his delightful novella Rasselas, Samuel Johnson places on the lips of one of his characters advice that could have been custom-made for Bugnini: “Do not therefore, in thy administration of the year, indulge thy pride by innovation; do not please thyself with thinking that thou canst make thyself renowned to all future ages by disordering the seasons. The memory of mischief is no desirable fame.”

In this swift-moving biography, which is rich with details but never gets bogged down in minutiae, Chiron shows us what made Bugnini “tick”: a one-track obsession with “active participation,” understood as rational comprehension of verbal data, and, as a corollary, the need for a radical simplification of liturgical forms to meet the straightforward, efficient modern Western man. To this goal, everything else was to be subordinated: all ecclesiastical traditions were so much flotsam and jetsam compared to the pastoral urgency of immediate conveyance of Vatican II-flavored content. This explains why Latin had to give way to vernacular, why complex language had to be broken down into bite-sized chunks, why elaborate prayers and ceremonies had to be abbreviated or abolished, why the priest should interact familiarly with the people rather than fulfilling a distinct hieratic role, why Gregorian chant had to be sidelined in favor of popular songs, and so forth.

In a way, it all “makes sense,” just as Cartesianism “makes sense” to one who rejects the possibility of knowing any reality other than the mind, or as Freudianism “makes sense” to one who is already disposed to evaluating situations for their sexual exploitability, or as deconstructionism “makes sense” to one who rejects the possibility of meaning.

How very different, indeed contrary, to the postconciliar project of building the first liturgy of moderns, by moderns, for moderns, is the attitude we meet in the memoirs of Cardinal Ratzinger, speaking of his youthful discovery of the riches of the liturgy:

It was a riveting adventure to move by degrees into the mysterious world of the liturgy, which was being enacted before us and for us there on the altar. It was becoming more and more clear to me that here I was encountering a reality that no one had simply thought up, a reality that no official authority or great individual had created. This mysterious fabric of texts and actions had grown from the faith of the Church over the centuries. It bore the whole weight of history within itself, and yet, at the same time, it was much more than the product of human history. Every century had left its mark upon it. … Not everything was logical. Things sometimes got complicated, and it was not always easy to find one’s way. But precisely this is what made the whole edifice wonderful, like one’s own home. [v]

* * *

I would like to comment here on the conspiracy theory that will forever cling to Bugnini — namely, that he was a Freemason, and that the liturgical reform was a Masonic plot to undermine the Church from within. With the patient precision of the historian, Chiron looks at every piece of available evidence and reaches the conclusion that it is impossible to say with certainty whether Bugnini was or was not a Freemason; evidence adequate to a conviction is wanting. He mentions that the accusation arose from someone “highly placed” in the Church’s hierarchy; he quotes Bugnini’s indignant testimonies that he never had, nor dreamt of having, anything to do with a secret society, and there it stands, a classic case of contrary assertions with no way (yet) of proving one side or the other right [vi]. Some readers will, perhaps, be disappointed, as they might have expected research to return a definite verdict. But there are two things to be said about this matter.

First, in the intriguing foreword, we learn of a 1996 interview in which Dom Alcuin Reid asked Cardinal Stickler if he believed that Bugnini was a Freemason and if this was the reason Paul VI dismissed him. “No,” the cardinal replied, “it was something far worse.” But His Eminence declined to reveal what the “far worse” was — and, frankly, the concept of something “far worse” than a Freemason opens frightening vistas of imagination.

Second, let us assume for the sake of argument that Bugnini was just who he said he was, and just as he appears from the historical record — a “lover and cultivator of the liturgy,” as it seemed to him. In some ways, this is the most depressing of all scenarios. One might almost have more respect for Bugnini if he had operated by some grand plan to demolish the liturgy of the ages and replace it with a mechanism brilliantly contrived to undermine Catholicism, if he had been an apostate infiltrator whose only goal was wreaking havoc on the central nervous system of the Church. We are looking for a Professor Moriarty who orchestrates the underworld. But if it turns out that he was an earnest, hardworking, small-minded man, won over by the rhetoric of the Liturgical Movement, incapable of self-doubt in the wee hours of the night, utterly blind to the world-shifting implications of what he was doing, a diligent functionary with half-baked ideas and the stubbornness to push them along at every opportunity, then we enter into the soulless gray world of Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” [vii]. We are looking at the equivalent of the SS officer who killed Jews in concentration camps because it seemed like the conscientious fulfillment of his duty to the State, under lawful commands from above.

Perhaps, in the end, the irrepressible urge to make Bugnini a Freemason, with or without sufficient evidence (“surely he must have been…”), is a defense mechanism against having to face up to the possibility that he was sincerely service-oriented as he went about dismantling twenty centuries of organically developed liturgy. That is not to say he always used pure means; he was adroit and clever at getting his way and willing to bend the truth. But he always felt he was in the right, that such a great and difficult end justified whatever means it took to reach it, and that someday everyone would come around to his point of view.

Few managers in the history of bureaucracies have ever been so mistaken. Baptized Catholics today fall into three groups: the majority, who are fallen away and attend no liturgy, or who would lightly skip a Mass to attend sonny’s soccer game; practicing Catholics, who, aware of no alternative, dutifully attend the Bugnini Mass, taking the scraps that fall from the table of plenty; and a sizeable minority who, despite differences among themselves, adhere energetically to the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy. This is not the future Bugnini dreamt of — if, indeed, he permitted himself the luxury of dreaming, in the midst of journals, conferences, meetings, audiences, and correspondence.

A clever poet has written:

In Rome they should have known him by his name:
the enemy descending with his brutes.
But to our guardians’ eternal shame,
the harried faithful know him by his fruits. [viii]

When I finished Chiron’s Bugnini, I leaned back in my chair and thought wistfully about the momentous period its pages brought before my eyes — how outdated, how stale, how empty it all seems today, when it lives on in a legacy that stimulates about the same level of enthusiasm as Victorian sentimental kitsch. Bugnini’s life had been spent in a sleepless effort to bring the Church “up to date,” to make her an equal partner with modernity at last, in a bid to conquer the culture — and now look at the smoking remains, the boarded up churches, the indifferent and ignorant laity, the infant-slaying Cuomos and Pelosis, the liturgy that bores to tears, the pope afflicted with heretical logorrhea. It is not the Church that engaged modernity, but modernity that colonized the Church, reducing her to a state of vassalage. Without explicitly intending to do so in this book, Chiron helps us to see why Catholic traditionalism (or traditional Catholicism, if you prefer) is, in fact, the only way forward out of this pit of despair.

What the modern liturgists who fawn on Bugnini don’t get — and really need to have spelled out for them like little children — is this:

We do not welcome the postconciliar liturgical reforms, and we will never sing their praises. You cannot force us to like them; you cannot even force us to celebrate them. We think they were the project of an insane arrogance, acting on faulty principles and yielding shameful results. We distrust the people who ran the Consilium, especially Bugnini, and no matter how many purple-faced prelates stand up and haughtily proclaim: “It was the will of the Holy Spirit” or “It was the dictate of the Second Vatican Council” or “It was promulgated by Paul VI,” we will always hold to the great liturgical tradition that developed organically from St. Peter, St. Damasus, St. Gregory the Great to the twentieth century, and our numbers will continue to grow, even as dioceses consolidate parishes, sell off churches, and bleed out legal damages. The enthusiastic liturgists of the ’60s and ’70s are the aging nostalgics of today, as the Church increasingly splits into those who take established dogma, tradition, and liturgy seriously and those who would modernize them to the point of dissipation.

Readers are in Chiron’s debt — and readers of English, in John Pepino’s debt — for such a polished and professional biography of a key figure in the corporate remodeling of the Church of Today. This biography does not temper our instinctive revulsion, but rather feeds and focuses it.

To Bugnini, we say again, Bugni-no.


[i] G. K. Chesterton, “The Queer Feet,” in The Complete Father Brown (New York: Penguin, 1981), 51.

[ii] H. J. A. Sire, Phoenix from the Ashes (Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2015), 251. I have said it before and I will say it again: the chapter “The Destruction of the Mass” in this book, pp. 226–86, is simply the best concise account I have seen anywhere of what was done to the Mass in the liturgical reform, why, and how.

[iii] In my opinion, the one who comes off as the worst villain in the story is Paul VI. Chiron has written a biography of Paul VI, too, which is currently being translated into English.

[iv] From a conference given by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1982. The full text may be found at https://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/The-Infiltration-of-Modernism-in-the-Church.htm.

[v] Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977, trans. Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998), 19–20.

[vi] Chiron notes that there are some private journals and papers that are still jealously guarded by Bugnini’s literary executors. One wonders if such texts will ever come to light.

[vii] Arendt says this about Eichmann: “Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a ‘monster,’ but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the entire enterprise [of his trial], and was also rather hard to sustain in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused to millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed and almost never reported” (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil [New York: Penguin Classics, 2006], 54).

[viii] Mark Amorose, City under Siege: Sonnets and Other Verse (Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2017), 34. This little book of lovely and witty poems deserves to be better known.

Peter Kwasniewski

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and The Catholic University of America. He has taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria; the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austria Program; and Wyoming Catholic College, which he helped establish in 2006. Today he is a full-time writer and speaker on traditional Catholicism, writing regularly for OnePeterFive, New Liturgical Movement, LifeSiteNews, and other websites and print publications. He has published eight books, the most recent being John Henry Newman on Worship, Reverence, and Ritual (Os Justi Press, 2019). Visit his website at www.peterkwasniewski.com.

May 4, 2020   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

Image result for traditional latin mass

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year, (This book is currently available through Angelus Press).

The Church continues to rejoice and praise God for the Resurrection of Christ and sings accordingly at the Introit of this day’s Mass:

INTROIT Shout with joy to God all the earth, alleluia: Sing ye a psalm to his name, alleluia. Give glory to his praise, alleluia, allel. allel. (Ps. LXV.) Say unto God: How terrible are thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of thy strength thy enemies shall lie to thee. Glory & c.

COLLECT O God, who showest the light of Thy truth to such as go astray, that they may return to the way of righteousness, grant that all, who profess the Christian name, may forsake what­ever is contrary to that profession, and closely pursue what is agreeable to it. Through etc.

EPISTLE (I Peter II. 11-19.) Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims to refrain yourselves from carnal desires, which war against the soul, having your conversation good among the Gen­tiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by the good works which they shall, behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation. Be, ye subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of the good: for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: Love the brotherhood: Fear God: Honor the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thanks‑worthy, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

EXPLANATION St. Peter here urges the Christians to regard themselves as strangers and pilgrims upon this earth, looking upon temporal goods only as borrowed things, to which they should not attach their hearts, for death will soon deprive them of all. He then admonishes them as Christians to live in a Christian manner, to edify and lead to truth the Gentiles who hated and calumniated them. This should especially be taken to heart by those Catholics who live among people of a different religion; for they can edify them by the faithful and diligent practice of their holy religion, and by a pure, moral life lead them to the truth; while by lukewarmness and an immoral life, they will only strengthen them in their error, and thus inure the Church. St. Peter also requires the Christians to obey the lawful authority, and therefore, to pay all duties and. taxes faithfully, because it is the will of God who has in: stituted lawful authority. Christ paid the customary tribute for Himself and Peter, (Matt. XVII. 26.) and St. Paul expressly commands that toll and taxes should be paid to whomsoever they are due. (Rom. XIII, 7.) St. Peter finally advises servants to obey their masters whether these are good or bad, and by so doing be agreeable to God who will one day reward them.

ASPIRATION Grant me the grace, O Jesus! to con­sider myself a pilgrim as long as I live and as such to use the temporal goods. Give me patience in adversities, and so strengthen me, that I may willingly obey the lawful authority, though its laws and regulations should come hard and its tribute press upon me.

GOSPEL (John XVI. 16‑22.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that he saith, A little while? We know not what he speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him, and he said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while and you shall see me. Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.

What is the meaning of Christ’s words: A little while and you shall not see me; and again a little while and you shall see me?

St. Chrysostom applies these words, which Christ spoke to His apostles a few hours before His passion, to the time between the death of Jesus and His Resurrection; but St. Augustine, to the time between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and then to the Last judgment at the end of the world, and he adds: “This little while seems long to us living, but ended, we feel how short it is.” In affliction we should console ourselves by reflecting, how soon it will terminate, and that it cannot be compared with the future glory, that is awaiting eternally in heaven him who patiently endures.

Why did our Saviour tell His disciples of their future joys and sufferings?

That they might the more easily bear the sufferings that were to come, because we can be prepared for suf­ferings which we know are pending; because He knew that their sufferings would be only slight and momentary in comparison with the everlasting joy which awaited them, like the pains of a woman in giving birth to a child which are great indeed, but short, and soon forgotten by the mother in joy at the birth of the child. “Tell me” says St. Chysostom, “if you were elected king but were obliged to spend the night preceding your entrance into your capital city where you were to be crowned, if you were compelled to pass that night in much discomfort in a stable, would you not joyfully endure it in the expectation of your kingdom? And why should not we, in this valley of tears, willingly live through adversities, in expectation of one day obtaining the kingdom of heaven?”

PETITION Enlighten me, O Holy Spirit! that I may realize that this present life and all its hardships are but slight and momentary, and strengthen me that I may endure patiently the adversities of life in the hope of future heavenly joys.

CONSOLATION IN TRIALS AND ADVERSITIES

You shall lament and weep. (John XVI. 20.)

That Christian is, most foolish who fancies that the happiness of this world consists in honors, wealth, and pleasures, while Christ, the eternal Truth, teaches the contrary, promising eternal happiness to the poor and oppressed, and announcing eternal affliction and lamentation to those rich ones who have their comfort in this world. How much, then, are those to be pitied who as Christians believe, and yet live as if these truths were not for them, and who think only how they can spend their days in luxury, hoping at the same time to go to heaven where all the saints, even Christ the Son of God Himself, has entered only by crosses and sufferings.

PRAYER IN TRIBULATION O good Jesus! who hast revealed, that we can enter heaven only by many tribulations, (Acts XIV. 21 .) hast called them blessed who in this world are sad, oppressed, and persecuted, but patiently suffer, and who hast also taught us, that without the will of Thy Heavenly Father, not one hair of our head can perish: (Luke XXI. 18.) I therefore submit entirely to Thy divine will, and beg Thy grace to endure all adversities for Thy sake, that after this life of misery I may enjoy eternal happiness with Thee in heaven.

May 1, 2020   No Comments

Why the “Reform of the Reform” Is Doomed

The question may reasonably be asked: why, after fifty years in which the Novus Ordo has been given ample opportunity to “prove its worth” and has singularly failed to do so — years in which a minority of strong-willed priests, attempting to turn the tide against banality and irreverence, have for their pains been sent to the boondocks, if not the shrink’s couch — why are there still liturgically minded people defending the Novus Ordo or promoting its “redemption” through Ratzingerian improvements?

One can understand a pessimistic pragmatist who believes there’s no other show on the road (even if he would be mistaken in this post-Summorum world, where thinking outside the box has become legal — not that it could ever fail to be legal by natural and divine justice), but it is harder to understand the optimistic idealist who believes that this particular song-and-dance routine deserves to run another fifty years, with careful tweaks to the casting and the pit orchestra.

Perhaps we are dealing here with the final fumes of the conservative attitude or mentality, which I would characterize as follows: “Whatever the Church gives us must be the best for us — or, at very least, adequate for us, and what we need at this time in history.”

But this is quite incorrect.

  1. What the Church gives us is, and can only be, her tradition. Violence done by churchmen working overtime to suppress or blenderize Catholic tradition is another story. What churchmen have given us in the liturgical reform is clearly not the best for us — neither in how it was produced nor in what it contains and presents, nor in how it was rolled out and implemented. There was massive rupture in all of these ways. There is almost no one left at this point who would defend the view, redolent of Woodstock, that, thanks to Paul VI, we have entered or will enter a liturgical Age of Aquarius.
  2. Is the Novus Ordo “adequate” or “good enough”? That is never the way the Church has thought about divine worship. God deserves all that we can give, the best, the holiest, the purest, the noblest — but even more than that, He has a right to receive back from us that which He Himself has inspired among us over many centuries of liturgical prayer. The liturgy developed in depth and amplitude over many centuries under His beneficent divine causality, by His providential care for the Mystical Body. We therefore owe it to Him in justice to make use of the gifts He has given us. To strip away much of the content of our liturgy that nourished countless Christians and then offer Him a weird combination of reinterpreted bits of antiquity combined with rootless novelties is at best a surprising way to beseech His continued blessings and, at worst, an insult to His generosity and kindness.
  3. Are the reformed rites “what we need at this time in history”? Sociology, psychology, anthropology, theology, stand in formidable array to voice their negative answer.

Beyond these points, we should consider the ways in which the “Reform of the Reform” (ROTR) at this juncture in the Church’s history, and to the extent that it has survived the resignation of its principal patron, is harmful to the cause of liturgical renewal.

First and foremost, it harms the cause by reinforcing one of the basic errors of the Novus Ordo: that instead of the content and manner of worship being predetermined by a tradition to which all are equally subject, it requires repeated, deliberate, and somewhat arbitrary determinations on the part of the celebrant. A “beautiful, reverent” Novus Ordo is as much a product of the choices of its celebrant as is a bongo-drum clown Mass or a suburban talk show with a bevy of EMHCs.

The only way around this problem would be if the celebrant made a private vow “always to do the better thing” — that is, to choose always and only what is either traditional or closer to tradition — e.g., always saying “the Lord be with you” and “Kyrie eleison,” always using the Roman Canon, always standing ad orientem, always giving Communion on the tongue, and so forth. However, this would create a world of difficulties for his conscience: what is the better thing in this or that case? Discernments and decisions would still have to be made, sometimes on the spur of the moment, that are foreign to the spirit of the liturgy, which implies receipt of a gift and adherence to a rule. Attempting to act upon such a vow would, sooner or later, trigger some of the parishioners, inaugurating a series of unwelcome phone calls or letters from the local chancery.

A seminarian correspondent put it as succinctly as I’ve ever seen it put:

While we’re out there actively trying to conform the Novus Ordo to tradition, these guys [FSSP, ICRSS, etc.] are simply letting the tradition form them. Seen that way, the NO restorationist, no matter how closely he adheres to traditional beliefs and practices, is still engaged in a self-contradictory project: to be truly traditional, one has to become smaller and smaller; to conform the Novus Ordo to tradition, one has to become bigger and bigger.

Moreover, the ROTR prolongs the agony of the Church and of the people of God. Just as one does not give more alcohol to someone already drunk, or more of a drug to someone whose only hope of survival is quitting the drug, so one must not continue to use, even with the best of intentions, the very rite that marked a rupture with Catholic tradition and perpetuates that rupture. Even if, after many decades, something more like the Tridentine rite could be reassembled within the context of the Novus Ordo, would it not have been simpler, safer, and better for the faithful and for the priest to have taken up the gold standard from the start and left aside a rite so defective? Why pursue the ROTR if each step brings us closer to the authentic liturgy we already had and still have? I am reminded of a painfully true metaphor I saw online:

reform of the reform meme

Thus, for example, one hears of priests celebrating the Novus Ordo who recite Psalm 42 during the procession from the sacristy, recite the “Aufer a nobis” on the way to kissing the altar, quietly mutter some of the old Offertory prayers during a silent preparation of the gifts, choose the Roman Canon and say it in a somewhat lower voice, hold thumb and forefinger together until the ablutions, and so forth. I used to be totally sympathetic to this kind of “enrichment” — until I saw that it reinserts, by an act of private volition, elements that were deliberately removed by papal absolutism. It fights one abuse by another of the same sort, as if they will cancel out algebraically.

Adding “smellz-n-bellz” is good and important, as far as it goes, even as toppings on a pizza make it more appetizing and probably more filling; but if there is something wrong with the dough, or if the sauce is missing or the cheese is low-quality, something more basic needs to be done. Heaping on more pepperoni is not the solution.

A sign that this is really how things are is that no one, at the end of the day, is really satisfied with the ROTR Novus Ordo. Those who are already well acquainted with traditional liturgy cannot help but find it inadequate compared to the “real McCoy”: it is just so lacking in its texts and ceremonies. Yet the same attempt at an ROTR Mass often sorely troubles and irritates laymen who are accustomed to the reformed liturgy. The unexpected “traditional elements” cut against strong and universal expectations about the “goods” that the Novus Ordo is supposed to deliver, especially the direct and easy comprehension of words and a certain modern sensibility. Joseph Shaw has called this problem “falling between two stools”: it’s not traditional enough for some, and way too traditional for others. The liturgy becomes, once again, a battlefield when it is supposed to be a haven of peace and unity. The TLM cannot be blamed for being what it must be; you take all of it or none of it, inflexibly, stably, and…peacefully.

A priest friend of mine who belongs to a religious order whose priests normatively celebrate the TLM but on rarest occasions will do the NO (if requested) once said to me: “Being accustomed as I am to the old Roman missal, I find it unbearable to use the Roman Canon when I say the new Mass. So much of the liturgy is different that it seems bizarre, even irreverent, to take up this great ancient prayer at the heart of the old missal, which perhaps more than anything else shouts Tridentine Mass.”

That may seem slightly perverse, but I understand perfectly why he is saying it. If the priest were to celebrate the new Mass “in continuity,” he would be fostering an illusion of continuity that largely does not exist, whether one views it euchologically, ceremonially, or phenomenologically; he would be artificially extending the lifespan of an entity that is better off dying. Yet if the same priest were to celebrate the new Mass “in discontinuity,” letting it “be itself,” he would thereby contribute to the breakdown of Catholicism’s internal identity and the custodianship of its inheritance. In short: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

* * *

One will sometimes hear a person say that the Novus Ordo is “traditional” because it has been around for 50 years. Someone recently wrote to me: “You should stop calling it ‘the new Mass’ because it’s not new anymore.” But age makes no difference in the theory of Enlightenment rationalism. The United States of America will soon be 250 years old, but its genesis in an 18th-century blend of social compact theory, Deism, Freemasonry, and Protestantism abstracts from and precludes incarnational culture and tradition-based rationality, so the USA might as well be yesterday’s lovechild or an embalmed Pharaoh.

Similarly, the Novus Ordo has neither a natural birth nor a natural lifespan, just as a machine has no birthday, infancy, childhood, youth, and maturity. It simply ages the way a rock or a piece of metal ages. Catholic tradition, in contrast, is something alive in the practice of the Faith and in the continuity of paradosis or handing down from generation to generation, therefore its venerable wisdom is directly proportional to its length of days. It has diachronic vigor rather than chronic lethargy.

When, later in life, John Henry Newman looked back on his youth as a highly principled and nobly minded Anglican, he had only these sobering words to say:

I looked at her [the Catholic Church]; — at her rites, her ceremonial, and her precepts; and I said, “This is a religion”; and then, when I looked back upon the poor Anglican Church, for which I had laboured so hard, and upon all that appertained to it, and thought of our various attempts to dress it up doctrinally and aesthetically, it seemed to me to be the veriest of nonentities. (Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Appendix)

How similar is the experience of so many Catholics — especially music directors, catechism teachers, and others who have a more direct involvement in typical parishes — when they shift from the NO to the TLM. “I looked at the classic Roman Mass, its rites, ceremonial, and precepts, and I said: ‘This is worship’; and then, when I looked back on the poor Novus Ordo, for which I had labored so hard, and though of our attempts to dress it up, it seemed to me to be the veriest of nonentities.”

When Newman was a young preacher at Oxford, the Anglican establishment had already existed for about 300 years (1534–1830s/40s). This is six times longer than the Novus Ordo has lasted — and in spite of that duration, which is pretty impressive by human standards, Newman describes the Anglican Church as “poor … the veriest of nonentities.” So it is, and so it shall remain, no matter how many more centuries it may endure. The same is true of the Roman Consilium Rite.

History never repeats itself — but it rhymes again and again.

As I was reading Roy Peachey’s 50 Books for Life: A Concise Guide to Catholic Literature — you know, one of those books about books that a person reads in order to feel a little less illiterate — I came across a passage on the poet Richard Crashaw (c. 1613–1649) that startlingly reminded me of the well intentioned but doomed spirit of the ROTR and the contemporaneous revival of the TLM:

A significant minority in the Church of England, including William Laud, who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, had become disillusioned with mainstream Protestantism and were searching for a way to restore “the beauty of holiness” to the Church without having to burn their bridges entirely by returning to Rome. After becoming a fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1635, Crashaw quickly emerged as an important figure in this High Church movement, restoring what were widely felt to be Catholic devotional objects to Little St Mary’s, the church next door to Peterhouse, when he became curate there. (58)

This might be rewritten by analogy: “A significant minority in the Catholic Church had become disillusioned with the Bugnini liturgy and were searching for a way to restore ‘the beauty of holiness’ to the Church without having to burn their bridges entirely by returning to the traditional Roman rite.” (A certain former Anglican blogger might even come to mind, bent on “restoring what were widely felt to be Catholic devotional objects.”)

But then the inevitable backlash came:

He didn’t get away with his actions for long. With the start of the Civil War raising tensions, Laudian Cambridge became a target. Parliamentary commissioners ransacked Little St Mary’s in 1643, tearing down crucifixes and other objects of devotion. Crashaw was forced out of Cambridge and shortly afterwards left the country, emerging in Paris three years later, by which time he had converted to Catholicism. Traveling to Italy, he became canon at the Santa Casa di Loreto, which enshrines the house where Our Lady was said to have been born and received the Annunciation. He died a few months later at the age of 36. (Ibid.)

The parliamentary commissioners who ransacked Crashaw’s Little St Mary’s are reminiscent of the papal commissioners tasked with suppressing traditional and even conservative religious communities, often the only sign of vibrant Catholicism in their dioceses or regions (the latest one here). Soon the Laudian curate fled to a truly Catholic country, embraced the faith of the ages, and died in communion with tradition.

It may seem that stepping from the Novus Ordo to the TLM is less momentous, less radical, than stepping from Anglicanism to Catholicism. In important ways, that is true. But those who have delved deeply into the liturgy know from intimate experience that the classic Roman rite and the modern Roman rite look, sound, and feel very much like expressions of two different religions. It is no exaggeration to say a conversion is necessary — a conversion from the novelty of rupture to the integrity of tradition. Even as Newman called liberalism a halfway house between Catholicism and atheism, we may say the same of the Reform of the Reform: it is a halfway house between full tradition and liturgical relativism.

Peter Kwasniewski

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and The Catholic University of America. He has taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria; the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austria Program; and Wyoming Catholic College, which he helped establish in 2006. Today he is a full-time writer and speaker on traditional Catholicism, writing regularly for OnePeterFive, New Liturgical Movement, LifeSiteNews, and other websites and print publications. He has published eight books, the most recent being John Henry Newman on Worship, Reverence, and Ritual (Os Justi Press, 2019). Visit his website at www.peterkwasniewski.com.

April 26, 2020   No Comments

GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY: INSTRUCTION ON THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

Image result for photos of the good shepherd

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

Because of the joyous Resurrection of Christ, and the graces flowing to us on account of it, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass:

INTROIT The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, alleluia; by the word of the Lord the heavens were established, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. (Ps. XXII.) Glory be to the Father, &c.

COLLECT O God, who in the humility of Thy Son hast raised up a fallen world; grant to Thy faithful a perpetual joyfulness; that whereas Thou bast rescued them from the perils of eternal death, Thou mayest bring them to the fruition of everlasting joy. Through &c.

EPISTLE (I Pet II. 21‑25.) Dearly beloved, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile; when he suffered, he threatened not; but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly; who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.

EXPLANATION St. Peter teaches the Christians patience in misery and afflictions, even in unjust persecution, and for this purpose places before them the example of Christ who, though most innocent, suffered most terribly and most patiently. Are we true sheep of the good Shepherd if at the smallest cross, at every word, we become angry and impatient?

ASPIRATION O Lord Jesus! grant me the grace to follow Thee, my good Shepherd, and not to complain and make threats whenever I am reprimanded, reviled or persecuted for justice sake.

GOSPEL (John X. 11-16.) At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth; and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he bath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

How has Christ proved Himself a good Shepherd?

By sacrificing His life even for His enemies, for those who did not yet love Him, (I John IV. 10; Rom. V. 8.) and could not reward Him. He has besides given Himself to us for our food.

How are we to know if we are among the sheep of Christ, that is, His chosen ones?

If we listen willingly to the voice of the Shepherd in sermons and instructions, in spiritual books and conversations; are obedient to it, and especially give ear and follow the rules of the Church through which the Good Shepherd speaks to us, (Luke X. 16.) “for he,” says St. Augustine, “who has not the Church for his mother, will not have God for his father;” if we gladly receive the food of the Good Shepherd, that is, His sacred Body and Blood in holy Communion; if we are patient and meek as a lamb, freely forgiving our enemies; if we love all men from our heart, do good to them, and seek to bring them to Jesus.

Who are the other sheep of Christ?

The Gentiles who were not of the fold of Israel, whom Christ sought to bring by His disciples, and now by their successors; into His fold. To these sheep we also belonged by our ancestors. O how grateful we should be to God, that He has brought us into the fold of His Church, and how diligently should we conduct ourselves as good sheep!

When will there be but one fold and one shepherd?

When, by the prayers of the Church and by her missionaries, all nations shall be converted to the only saving Church, constituting then one Church under one head. Let us pray that this may soon come to pass.

PRAYER O Lord Jesus! Thou Good Shepherd who on the cross didst give Thy life for Thy sheep, grant us, we beseech Thee, by Thy death, the grace to be faithful to Thy voice and teachings like obedient lambs that we may one day be numbered among Thy chosen ones in heaven.

INSTRUCTION ON HOPE
I lay down my life for my sheep. (John X. 15.)

What has Christ obtained for us by His death?

The remission of our sins, the grace to lead a life pleasing to God in this world, and eternal happiness in the next, for which we now firmly hope, with secure confidence may now expect, and most assuredly will obtain, if we do not fail on our part.

In what does eternal happiness consist?

In the beatific vision of God, which includes the most perfect love of Him, by which those who are saved become, as it were, one with Him, possessing in this union everything that they can possibly desire.

What are the necessary means of obtaining eternal happiness?

The grace of God, that is, His continual assistance; the practice of the three divine virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity; the keeping of God’s commandments; the frequent use of the holy Sacraments, and constant prayer. These means must be diligently employed, for “God who”, as St. Augustine says, created us without us, will not save us without us,” that is, without our cooperation.

What may especially enable us to hope for eternal happiness?

The infinite mercy and goodness of God, who from all eternity has loved us more than an earthly mother, and. because of this love did not even spare His only-begotten Son, but gave Him up, for our sake, to the most bitter death. Will He then deny us heaven, He who in giving us His Son, has given us more than heaven itself? The fidelity of God: He has so often promised us eternal happiness, and in so many texts of Scripture so clearly explained that He wishes us to be saved, that He must keep His promise, for He is eternal truth and cannot deceive. (Heb. VI. 18.) He says not yes today, and no tomorrow, there is no change in Him, nor shadow of alteration. (James I, 17.) The omnipotence of God, who can do all that He pleases, whom no one can oppose or prevent from doing what He will; if we have confidence in a rich and honest man who assures us he will assist us in need, how much more should we hope in the goodness, fidelity, and omnipotence of God!

When should we make an act of Hope?

As soon as we come to the use of reason and, are sufficiently instructed concerning this virtue and its motives; in time of trouble or of severe temptation against this virtue; when receiving the holy Sacraments; every morning and evening, and especially at the hour of death.

The same thing is to be observed in regard to acts of Faith and Love.

April 25, 2020   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER, CALLED DOMINICA IN ALBIS, as well as QUASIMODO SUNDAY and LOW SUNDAY

Image result for traditional latin massRORATE CÆLI: New Traditional Latin Mass in NYC: new home for the ...

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

Why is this Sunday called Dominica in Albis or White Sunday?

Because on this day the neophytes laid aside the white dress which, as emblem of their innocence, they received on Holy Saturday, and put on their necks an Agnus Dei, made of white wax, and blessed by the pope, to remind them always of the innocence for which they were given, and of the meekness of the Lamb Jesus. For which reason the Church sings at the Introit:

INTROIT As newborn babes, alleluia: desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (I Pet II. 2.) Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob. (Ps. LXXX.) Glory, &c.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who have completed the paschal solemnities may, through Thy merciful bounty, ever retain them in our life and conversation. Through.

EPISTLE (I John V. 4-100.) Dearly Beloved, Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that give testi­mony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself.

INSTRUCTION As in his gospel, so in his epistles, and especially in this, St. John proves the divinity of Christ which had been denied by some heretics. He says that Christ had come to purify all men from sin by water and blood, that is, by. His blood shed on the cross for our rec­onciliation, and by the water of baptism to which He has given the power, the divine effect of His blood, and has thus proved Himself the divine Redeemer. This His divine dignity is attested by the Holy Ghost who lived in Christ and worked through Him with His fulness, and when sent by Him after our Lord’s Ascension, produced most won­derful effect in the apostles and the faithful. As now on earth three, the Spirit, water, and blood, give testimony of Christ’s divinity and agree in it, so also in heaven three, the Father, who calls Him His beloved Son, (Matt, III. 17.) the Word, or the Son Himself, who wrought so many miracles, the Holy Ghost, when He descended upon Him at the baptism in the Jordan, (Luke III. 22.) give testimony of His divinity, and these also agree with one another in their testimony. If Christ is truly God, then we must believe in Him, and this faith must be a living one, that is, it must prove fertile in good works, and this faith conquers the world by teaching us to love God above all, to despise the world with its pleasures, and to overcome it by indif­ference. Let us strive to have such faith, and we shal overcome all temptations and gain the eternal crown.

ASPIRATION O Lord Jesus! strengthen me by a lively faith in Thy divinity, so that I may not suc­cumb in the spiritual combat against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and be eternally lost.

GOSPEL (John XX. 1931.) At that time, When it was late that same day, the first of the week and the doors were shut,where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when, they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he said to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.* Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in his name.

* What follows is omitted on the Feast of St. Thomas, 21st of December.

Why does Christ so often wish peace to the apostles?

To show that He only, by His death and resurrection, has made peace between God and man, and that His fol­lowers should be known by their harmony. (John XIII. 35.) There is a threefold peace: peace with God, by avoid­ing sin; peace with ourselves, that is, a good conscience; peace with our neighbor, by the exercise of charity. This threefold peace is necessary for our salvation.

Why did Jesus breathe upon the apostles when giving them the power to forgive sin?

To show that as bodily life was once given to Adam by the breath of God, so should the spiritual life be given henceforth by the apostles and their successors, through the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Penance, to the children of Adam who were spiritually dead.

Why did God permit Thomas to doubt the Resurrection of Christ?

That Thomas, as well as we, says St. Gregory, should be strengthened in humble belief in the Resurrection of Christ, and that all doubts should be removed.

Had Thomas true faith when with his own eyes he saw Christ?

Yes, for he saw Christ only in His humanity, and yet testified to His divinity by exclaiming: My Lord and my God!

Is it true, meritorious faith not to be ready to believe before seeing that which is to be believed?

By no means; for faith consists precisely in firmly hold­ing as true that which is not seen. Therefore Christ calls him blessed who has not seen and yet believes.

When is faith true and meritorious?

That is true faith which firmly believes all that God has revealed, whether written or unwritten, and when one lives in accordance with that faith; for faith in Jesus simply does not save us, when that which He has commanded is not performed. (Matt VII, 21.; James II. 20.) That faith is meritorious which without doubting and without hesitation willingly submits the understanding to revealed truths which it cannot comprehend, and this for the love of Gods who is eternal truth and cannot deceive.

Whence do we know for certain that God has revealed certain things?

From the Church of Christ which alone preserves the revealed word of God faithfully and uncorrupted, as it is contained in the Bible and in tradition; by the Holy Ghost all truth is given to the Church, and Christ remains with her until the end of the world. (Matt. XXVIII. 20.)

Has the Church of Christ any marks by which it may be known?

Christ’s Church has these four marks: it is One, it is Holy, it is Catholic, and it is Apostolic.

How is the, Church one?

The Church is one, because all its members agreein one faith, are all in one communion, and are all under one head. (Matt. XVI, 18.; Eph. IV. 37.)

How is the Church Holy?

The Church is Holy, in her Founder, Jesus Christ, and by teaching a holy doctrine, by inviting all to a holy life, and by the eminent holiness of so many thousands of her children.

How is the Church Catholic?

The Church is Catholic or Universal, because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, (Matt. XXVII. 19, 20.) and maintains all truth.

How is the Church Apostolic?

The Church is Apostolic, because she comes down by a perpetual succession from the apostles of Christ, and has her doctrines her orders, and her mission from them.

Which is this true Church?

The Roman Catholic Church, for she alone has these marks. She is One in her head, the Pope of Rome, in her doctrine, and in her Sacraments, which is evident since she excludes all those who do not accept all her dogmas. She is. Holy, for Christ her Founder is holy; and her doctrine and Sacraments lead to holiness, as shown by the multitude of her saints whose sanctity God arms by great miracles. No sect has saints. She is Catholic or Universal, for she has been in existence always from the times of the apostles, as is clearly shown by the fact that from the times of the apostles there have always been some who separated from her and founded sects. The Catholic Church has always existed, and cannot perish or be­come corrupt, since Christ has promised to remain with her to the end of the world; she is also spread over the whole world, is always being announced to all nations, and is fitted for all generations and for all people. She is Apostolic, for she accepts no doctrine which does not come from the apostles, and she can prove that the ministers of the Church, the bishops, have come down in unbroken succession from the apostles.

Can those who remain outside the Catholic Church be, saved?

The Council of Trent (Sess. V. in the Introduction) assigns the Catholic faith as the one without which it is impossible to please God, and the Roman Catechism teaches: (I part. art. 9.) “The Church is also called Catholic or Universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to, and embrace her, like those who entered the ark to escape perishing in the flood.” According to this doctrine of the Church, which the holy Fathers affirm, only those idolaters and obstinate heretics are excluded from salvation who knowingly deny the truth, and will not enter the Church. The Catholic Church does not condemn the unbelievers, she prays for them, leaves judgment to the Lord, who alone knows the heart, and knows whether the error is culpable or not, and she calls on all her, members to pray for their enlightenment.

Are we then already saved, if we belong to the true Church?

No, we must also live up to the faith which she teaches make good use of all means of salvation, regard and honor all her regulations and commands, for otherwise the words of Christ will be verified in us: And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom (the true Church) shall be cast out into exterior darkness. (Matt. VIII. 11.)

April 16, 2020   No Comments