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INSTRUCTION ON THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Image result for traditional latin mass

 

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

The Church’s Year

At the Introit pray with the priest for brotherly love and for protection against our enemies within and without:

INTROIT God in his holy place; God, who maketh men of one mind to dwell in a house: he shall give power and strength to his people. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; and let them that hate him flee from before His face. (Ps. LXVII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Almighty, everlasting God, who, in the abundance of Thy loving kindness, dost exceed both the merits and desires of Thy suppliants; pour down upon us Thy mercy, that thou mayest forgive those things of which our conscience is afraid, and grant us those things which our prayer ventures not to ask. Through…

EPISTLE (i Cor. XV. 1-10.) Brethren, I make known unto you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand: by which also you are saved: if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen by Cephas, and after that by the eleven. Then was he seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep. After that he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God; but by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace in me hath not been void.

INSTRUCTION I. St. Paul warns the Corinthians against those who denied the Resurrection of Christ and exhorts them to persevere in the faith which they have received, and to live in accordance with the same. Learn from this to persevere firmly in the one, only saving Catholic faith, which is the same that Paul preached.

II. In this epistle to the Corinthians St. Paul gives us a beautiful example of humility. Because of the sins he had committed before his conversion, he calls himself one born out of due time, the least of the apostles, and not worthy of being called an apostle, although he had labored much in the service of Christ. He ascribes it to God’s grace that he was what he was. Thus speaks the truly humble man: he sees in himself nothing but weakness, sin, and evil, and therefore despises himself and is therefore willing to be despised by others. The good which he professes or practices, he ascribes to God, to whom he refers all the honor. Endeavor, too, O Christian soul, to attain such humility. You have far more reason to do so than had St. Paul, because of the sins which you have committed since your baptism, the graces which you have abused, and the inactive, useless life you have led.

ASPIRATION Banish from me, O most loving Saviour, the spirit of pride, and grant me the necessary grace of humility. Let me realize that of myself I can do nothing, and that all my power to effect any good, comes from Thee alone who alone workest in us to will and to accomplish.

GOSPEL (Mark vii. 3I-37.) At that time, Jesus going out of the coast of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coast of Decapolis. And they bring to him one deaf and dumb, and they besought him that he would lay his hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, he put his fingers into his ears, and spitting, he touched his tongue: and looking up to heaven, he groaned, and said to him, Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened: and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. And he charged them that they should tell no man; but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it, and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well: he hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Whom may we understand by the deaf and dumb man?

Those who desire neither to hear nor to speak of things concerning salvation.

Why did Christ take the deaf and dumb man aside?

To teach us that he who wishes to live piously and be comforted, must avoid the noisy world and dangerous society, and love solitude, for there God speaks to the heart. (Osee ii. i4.)

Why did Christ forbid them to mention this miracle?

That we might learn to fly from the praise of vain and fickle men.

What do we learn from those who brought the deaf and dumb man to Jesus, and notwithstanding the prohibition, made known the miracle?

That in want and sicknesswe should kindly assist our neighbor, and not neglect to announce and praise the works of God, for God works His miracles that His goodness and omnipotence may be known and honored.

SUPPLICATION O Lord Jesus, who during Thy life on earth, didst cure the sick and the infirm, open my ears that they may listen to Thy will, and loosen my tongue that I may honor and announce Thy works. Take away from me, O most bountiful Jesus, the desire for human praise, that I may not be led to reveal my good works, and thus lose the reward of my Heavenly Father. (Matt. vi. I.) .


ON RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES

What are ceremonies?

Religious ceremonies are certain forms and usages, prescribed for divine service, for the increase of devotion, and the edification of our fellow-men; they represent externally and visibly the interior feelings of man.

Why do we make use of ceremonies in our service?

That we may serve God not only inwardly with the soul, but outwardly with the body by external devotion; that we may keep our attention fixed, increase our devotion, and edify others; that by these external things we may be raised to the contemplation of divine, inward things. (Trid. .Sess. 22.)

Are ceremonies founded on Scripture?

They are; for besides those which Christ used, as related in this day’s gospel, in regard to the deaf and dumb man, He has also made use of other and different ceremonies: as, when He blessed bread and fishes; (Matt. xv. 36.) when He spread clay upon the eyes of a blind man; (John ix. 6.) when He prayed on bended knees; (Luke xxii. q.i.) when He fell upon His face to pray; (Matt. xxvi, 39.) when He breathed upon His disciples, imparting to them the Holy Ghost; (John xx. 22.) and finally, when He blessed them with uplifted hands before ascending into heaven. (Luke xxiv. 30.) Likewise in the Old Law various ceremonies were prescribed for the Jews, of which indeed in the New Law the greater number have been abolished; others, however, have been retained, and new ones added. If, therefore, the enemies of the Church contend that ceremonies are superfluous, since Christ Himself reproached the Jews for their ceremonial observances, and said: God must be adored in spirit and in truth, we may, without mentioning that Christ Himself made use of certain ceremonies, answer, that He did not find fault with their use, but only with the intention of the Jews. They observed every ceremony most scrupulously, without at the same time entertaining pious sentiments in the heart, and whilst they dared not under any circumstances omit even the least ceremony, they scrupled not to oppress and defraud their neighbor. Therefore Christ says: God must be adored in spirit and in truth, that is, in the innermost heart, and not in external appearances only. -Do not, therefore, let the objections, nor the scoffs and sneers of the enemies of our Church confound you, but seek to know the spirit and meaning of each ceremony, and impress them on your heart, and then make use of them to inflame your piety, to glorify God, and to edify your neighbor.


INSTRUCTION CONCERNING THE ABUSE OF THE TONGUE

There is no member of the body more dangerous and pernicious than the tongue. The tongue, says the Apostle St. James, is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell. (James iii. 5. 6.) The tongue no man can tame: an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison. By it we bless God and the Father; and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. (ibid. iii. 8-10.) There is no country, no city, scarcely a house, in which evil tongues do not cause quarrel and strife, discord and enmity, jealousy and slander, seduction and debauchery. An impious tongue reviles God and His saints, corrupts the divine word, causes heresy and schism, makes one intemperate, unchaste, envious, and malevolent; in a word, it is according to the apostle a fire, a world of  iniquity. The tongue of the serpent seduced our first parents, and brought misery and death into the world. (Gen. iii.) The tongue of Judas betrayed Jesus. (Matt. xxvi. 49.) And what is the chief cause of war among princes, revolts among nations, if it is not the tongue of ambitious, restless men, who seek their fortune in war and revolution? How many, in fine, have plunged themselves into the greatest misery by means of their unguarded tongue? How can we secure ourselves against this dangerous, domestic enemy? Only by being slow to speak according to the advice of St. James, (i. 19.) to speak very few, sensible, and well-considered words. In this way we will not offend, but will become perfect. (James iii. 2.:) As this cannot happen without a special grace of God, we must according to the advice of St. Augustine beg divine assistance, in the following or similar words:

ASPIRATION O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, and a door round about my lips, that I may not fall and my tongue destroy me. (Ps. cxl. 3.)

August 22, 2019   No Comments

Doctor of the priesthood

Marcel Lefebvre, an associate pastor, missionary bishop, papal delegate, and superior general of a missionary congregation, was a man of action. His intellect, without being very speculative, was nevertheless imbued with doctrine. In forming priests, he taught the profound nature of the Catholic priesthood and spread its spirit and virtues.

Testimony of Fr. Victor-Alain Berto, the private theologian of Archbishop Lefebvre at the Second Vatican Council:

I say this in the presence of God: I had the very great and undeserved honor of being his theologian. Sworn confidentiality prevents me from speaking about the work that I did under him, but I betray no secret by telling you that Archbishop Lefebvre is a theologian, and by far superior to his own theologian, and God grant that all the [Council] Fathers might be theologians to the same degree as he is! He has a perfectly sure and refined theological habitus, to which his very great devotion to the Holy See adds that connaturality that allows him, even before discursive thinking intervenes, to discern intuitively what is and what is not compatible with the prerogatives of the Rock of the Church.

He in no way resembles those [Council] Fathers who, as one of them had the gall to boast publicly, used to take from the hands of a peritus [expert], in the car that was bringing them to St. Peter’s, the ‘ready-made’ text of their intervention in aula [in the Council Hall]. Not once did I submit to him a memorandum, a note, or an outline, without him reviewing, recasting, rethinking and sometimes rewriting them from start to finish, by his own personal, diligent work. I did not ‘collaborate’ with him; if the word were English I would say that I really ‘sublaborated’ with him [i.e., worked under his supervision], in keeping with my status as a private theologian and his honor and dignity as a Father of an Ecumenical Council, a Judge and Doctor of the Faith together with the Roman Pontiff.” (January 3, 1964)

 

August 21, 2019   No Comments

The Society of St. Pius X, a Work of the Church at the Service of the Truth

We mustn’t be surprised that we are unable to get along with Rome. It will be impossible so long as Rome does not return to the Faith in the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so long as she gives the impression that all religions are good. We disagree on a point of the Catholic Faith, as Cardinal Bea and Cardinal Ottaviani disagreed, and as all the Popes disagreed with liberalism.

Archbishop Lefebvre, Conference in Sierre (Switzerland) on November 27, 1988, quoted in L’Eglise infiltrée par le modernisme, Fideliter, 1993, p. 70-71.

“The problem will remain so long as the Society of St. Pius X does not adhere to the doctrinal declaration approved by Pope Francis and presented by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”[1] After quoting these words by Archbishop Pozzo[2], we remarked in our article that “the problem, therefore, is indeed, first and foremost, a doctrinal problem,” and that “in Rome’s own eyes, the canonical recognition depends on the resolution of this problem.”

Coming from Rome, this is nothing new. Archbishop Pozzo had already clearly voiced the same opinion in the beginning of the year 2017. “The reconciliation,” he said, “will occur when Monsignor Fellay formally adheres to the doctrinal declaration that the Holy See presented to him. This is also the necessary condition to then proceed to the institutional regularization with the creation of a personal prelature.”[3] These declarations, authorized on the whole, provide an opportunity to show exactly where the fundamental problem between the Holy See and the bishops and priests of the Society of St. Pius X lies. The explanation is simple: it is the Rome of today’s divergence from the Rome of all times and this divergence has to do with the way of understanding and presenting the doctrine revealed by God. That is why this problem can in no way be explained by the attitude adopted so far by Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X towards the Rome of today. Let us be clear, at the risk of provoking astonishment and incomprehension from more than a few in the Holy Church of God: the problem is not the Society of St. Pius X, it is the Rome of today, the Rome “of neo-Protestant and neo-Modernist tendencies”, as His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre liked to say, in somewhat convoluted terms. The problem today is the Rome of today, because in Rome the current members of the hierarchy, the Pope and the bishops, have adopted this new Protestant and Modernist tendency, and in so doing have broken away from eternal Rome. And this happened with Vatican Council II.

In the eyes of many who, despite their numbers, are not among the most clearsighted, the problem would at first sight seem to be that the Society of St. Pius X does not have a regular situation in the Church. To quote the exact words used by Archbishop Pozzo, the problem is supposedly that the priests and bishops of the Society of St. Pius X exercise their ministry “illicitly and illegitimately”. Consequently, the problem would come from the Society and its members, the Society first and not the Rome of today. But in reality, by the secretary of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission’s own admission, this supposed illegitimacy is but a consequence, and the fundamental problem lies in the doctrinal divergence that opposes the Society to the current representatives of the hierarchy, precisely because the latter claim to adhere to Vatican Council II. This divergence is therefore the cause, and the supposed illegitimacy but one of its possible effects. And as far as this divergence is concerned, the problem comes from the Rome of today. The Society’s situation is but the consequent effect. If the Society can potentially and apparently present a problem canonically or ecclesiastically speaking, this is first of all because the Rome of today presents a problem doctrinally speaking. For the effect proceeds from its cause. The Church being a supernatural society, the unity of Faith is necessarily at the principle and foundation of the unity of government[4] and that is why any divergence on the former level causes a divergence on the latter level. The supposed canonical irregularity is the effect that follows from the doctrinal divergence.

As for all effects, this one is to be judged in the light of its cause. This is an absolutely necessary principle that allows for no exception in any domain, for it is a metaphysical principle. If we wish to understand why, in the eyes of the Rome of today, the Society of St. Pius X remains in what they call an “illegitimate” situation, we have to start by understanding why this Rome of today is herself in rupture with the Rome of all times. This rupture is doctrinal. And the fundamental problem, of which the supposed illegitimacy of the Society is but a consequence on the canonical or ecclesial level, is the Rome of today’s acceptance on the doctrinal level of the reforms undertaken by Vatican Council II. The problem is not that the Society refuses the Council, for to remain Catholic and in the Church, one has no choice but to refuse such a Council. The problem is that the Rome of today accepts it, with no heed for her bimillenary Tradition. If we had to resort (with all the necessary precautions) to the eloquent and picturesque terms of a metaphor, we would say that the Society is in good health, and the Rome of today is sick. And when a sick man is in denial about his own illness, he almost inevitably accuses those in good health of being sick. But let’s move on.

The problem, therefore, is not, on the Society of St. Pius X’s side, what we might today call a problem of “ecclesiality”. The Society is and remains a work of the Church, a society that is fully part of the Church, so fully and so completely that it even represents one of the healthiest parts in the Church. Indeed, the Society is defined by goal and this goal is (Statutes, II, 1) “the priesthood” and therefore (Statutes III, 1) the works of priestly formation, which “will carefully avoid the modern errors, especially liberalism and all its substitutes.” The Society’s attitude towards the Rome of today follows immediately from this principle: to protect the Catholic priesthood from the modern errors and to protect also the Faith of the Church that it is the priesthood’s mission to preach for the sanctification of souls. This attitude – or this role – of the Society is absolutely vital since in the Holy Church the priesthood represents not only an indispensable principle, but a first principle. The priesthood is the very principle of the Church, for without it, the Church would cease to be what she is. The corruption of the first principle is the worst thing possible, and the defense of it is the most necessary and most urgent need. Insofar as the Rome of today is infected with these modern errors that corrupt the priesthood and the Church, it is the Society’s duty to act with regards to this present-day Rome in such a way as to neutralize these errors. This should be the profound explanation of the entire combat of the Faith waged by the Society so far. And the entire attitude of the Rome of today (ever since the Council) that considers the Society’s action illegitimate is but the other side of this combat being fought by the Society, the side of the men of the Church who currently hold the power in Rome. If the light disperses the shadows, the shadows try to smother the light, but never succeed. This defense of the Catholic priesthood that is the first principle and the common good of the entire Church, is a properly ecclesial goal, which makes the Society a work of the Church. The ecclesiality of the Society comes from this: it comes from the finis operis, the proper and specific object of the society founded by Archbishop Lefebvre and duly recognized as such by Bishop Charrière in 1970. No dent has since been made in this ecclesiality by the conciliar authorities, for no dent could be made. It is rather the ecclesiality of the members of the hierarchy that has become increasingly problematic since Vatican II and modernism that are destroying the current authorities.

The Society should therefore not set up as its absolutely first goal, that is, its principle of action, to seek to obtain canonical legitimacy that would supposedly remedy a lack of ecclesiality.[5] The question of the Society’s ecclesiality does not exist in reality. It only exists in the minds of some, who are not members or faithful of the Society in the Church, and who believe in good faith that the Society is “against the Pope” or “schismatic” or “not in full communion” or “not in a legitimate situation”. To express these things in the technical language of scholastic logic, we would say that the question does not arise of itself but accidentally. Some people make the mistake of believing that this question arises in reality and of itself; other make the diametrically opposite mistake of believing that it does not arise at all, not even in the minds of some and accidentally. The solution is to say that the question arises not in reality or of itself but in the minds of some and accidentally. This means that the Society does not need to have a guilt complex, or to suffer or make excuses for not being in the Church, (besides, “he who excuses himself, accuses himself”, as the French saying goes); it should rather maintain and assert that it is right and at the same time denounce the wrongs of the modernists; and it should do so in a pastoral and prudent way, taking into account the weakness of the ignorant, according the precept of the Apostle: “We that are stronger, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Rom. 15:1).

The Society is perfectly legitimate and regular, for it is in the Church and of the Church, and that is absolutely certain and beyond doubt. Coming from the Rome of today, a canonical legitimation would add nothing, from this viewpoint, to the intrinsic goodness of the Society. It could only add a certain extrinsic goodness, to the extent that in the minds of many, it would put an end to a false and unjust opinion that is being encouraged to the detriment of the Society. The full importance of this should not be forgotten, but it is a different question, a secondary question in the eyes of the Society of St. Pius X’s founder. “What interests us first of all,” he used to say, “is to keep the Catholic Faith. That is our fight. So the canonical question that is purely exterior and public in the Church is secondary. What is important is that we remain in the Church… in the Church, that is to say, in the Catholic Faith of all times and in the true priesthood, and in the true Mass, and in the true sacraments, in the catechism of all times, with the Bible of all times. That is what interests us. That is what the Church is. Being recognized publicly is secondary. So we must not seek after what is secondary while losing that which is primary, that which is the first object of our fight.”[6] The full importance of this question, we repeat, must not be forgotten, and “secondary” does not mean “insignificant”; but to be answered fittingly, this significant question must remain in its proper place, that is, dependent upon the essential goal. And what we wish to do here is to show what the absolutely first goal of the Society is: the preservation of the Catholic priesthood, with as its necessary consequence the neutralization of all the harmful errors that are today causing its generalized corruption. Generalized corruption, for it is the corruption of the first principle of the Church, her hierarchical priesthood. These errors are serious in themselves, as are all errors, because they are a denial of divine truth; but they are even more harmful for the unprecedented reason that they are being spread to the entire Church by the hierarchy that has been won over to these errors and corrupted by them. Introduced with Vatican Council II into the ordinary preaching of the men of the Church, these errors have given birth to a new way of thinking and living that has progressively spread to all the members of the Church. The expression “conciliar Church” is meant to express this new situation as in a metaphorical ellipsis.[7]

We now speak of a “conciliar Church” as we have hitherto spoken of the “Rome of today”, and we could very well speak of a “conciliar Rome”. For, for the time being, we can no longer speak of the Church and Rome without distinctions.[8] The Church as God willed her is a supernatural society, that is to say, the ordered congregation of the baptized faithful who profess the same Faith and practice the same cult under the direction of the same hierarchy. The particular and complex situation in which we are living is that within this ordered congregation there is now another disordered congregation that is endangering the Catholic Faith and cult and using the bad influence of the members of the hierarchy to do so. If we spoke simply of the Church and Rome, we would be saying too little; if we spoke of two Churches or two Romes, we would be saying too much. The Church is one and there is one Rome, but at present there is a generalized cancer in Rome and in the Church. We speak of the conciliar Church and the Rome of today, distinguishing them from the Catholic Church and the Rome of all times, as a way of expressing this unprecedented situation in which the men of the Church are working from within to destroy the Church, working against her own living forces. Such is the mystery that appears for now as that of an “occupied Church” and consequently also of an “operation survival of Tradition”, the necessity and legitimacy of the latter coming from the reality of the former.

Let us return, then, to Archbishop Pozzo’s initial declaration: “The problem will remain so long as the Society of St. Pius X does not adhere to the doctrinal declaration approved by Pope Francis and presented by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The secretary of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission gives in this phrase the profound reason for which the problem is ongoing: it will remain precisely as long as the Rome of today seeks to oblige the Society to adhere to Vatican Council II, and therefore it is the Rome of today that is the cause of the problem. For initially, the problem was not the refusal but rather the obligation to adhere: the obligation to adhere to errors that go against the truths revealed by God and already condemned by the Rome of all times.

Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize


[1] “Il problemi rimangono fintanto que la Fraternita San Pio X non adherera a la dichiarazione dottrinale approvata dal papa Francesco et presentata dalla Congregazione per la dottrina de la fede.”

[2] Cf. the article “Neither Schismatic nor Excommunicated”, in the July-August 2018 issue of Courrier de Rome.

[3] Cf. the article “For a Doctrinal Agreement” in the May 2017 issue of Courrier de Rome.

[4] Cf. the article “Unity or Legality?” in the May 2017 issue of Courrier de Rome.

[5] Cf. the article “For a Doctrinal Agreement” in the May 2017 issue of Courrier de Rome.

[6] Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Conference in Econe, December 21, 1984. See the article “40 Years Earlier” in the December 2014 issue of Courrier de Rome.

[7] See the articles “Can We Speak of a Conciliar Church?” in the February 2013 issue of Courrier de Rome and “Unity and Unicity of the Church” in the September 2013 issue of Courrier de Rome.

[8] See the article “An Official Church?” in the May 2017 issue of Courrier de Rome.

August 21, 2019   No Comments

Dominican Nuns in Tuscany vs. the Vatican, with Help from the Locals

by Hilary White

a village on the edge of Tuscany that yet another religious house with the wrong sort of mindset was facing the now dreaded prospect of a Vatican “visitator.” The contemplative Dominican monastery of Marradi, the spiritual heart of the little mountain town for over four centuries, is threatened with forced closure by the Vatican, ostensibly because their numbers recently dropped below the Vatican’s prescribed minimum for “alive and vital autonomy.”

Local people, however, believe that this is a pretext, and the real reason is that the community has long withstood the general “liberal” trends that so dominate religious life in Italy and are now being aggressively imposed from Rome. A report from the ground says the superior elected by the community, Sister Maria Domenica, has already been removed from office by the Vatican’s visitators, who are currently trying to find a way to “take charge of the assets and business of the convent” and have demanded the handing over of documents detailing the monastery’s real estate assets.

The Dominican Monastery of the Holy Annunciation — occupying prime Tuscan real estate in the quaint medieval town — was built at local expense and has never been reliant either on the diocese or the Dominican Order for its maintenance.

Barbara Betti, a classical musician, friend of the nuns, and longtime resident of the town, wrote in an open letter addressed to the Vatican that Marradi was not going to sit still for the summary closure of its beloved monastery. Her letter appeared in the local Marradi newspaper and was picked up by the Italian traditional Mass website, Messa in Latino. She wrote: “Yesterday the ‘coadjutors’ arrived to take charge of the assets of the convent: and to forcibly remove the old nuns from their home and throw them in a nursing home — is this Christian?”

Betti described the Dominican Monastery of the Holy Annunciation as “the last bastion left in defense of our historical identity, of our Christian roots and of our morals.” The monastery was built at the expense of local people, she wrote, “for the perpetual spiritual protection of this community.”

Referring to the mass suppression of monastic life by Freemasonic governments through the whole of the 19th century, Betti warns that what these “failed to accomplish is now being done through recent Vatican decrees.”

Prior attempts to affiliate with a sympathetic community in another town have been nixed by Rome, and now “everything is moving with extreme speed to reach the closure of this convent.” But the Roman congregation — and their lawyers — may have bitten off a bigger mouthful than they can chew this time, with local residents making ready to fight Rome for their nuns.

Of great concern is the possible fate of two of the five nuns who are elderly and would have no choice but to be sent to a nursing home to be cared for by strangers, after a lifetime of religious devotion. “To take away the house, in the name of a vow of obedience to which the church itself no longer bears respect, is it moral? In a world where old means useless, are we still or are we no longer the defenders of the sacredness of the family?”

Betti writes, “Our silent sisters reside legally [1] in the municipality of Marradi; this is their residence and will be until the day they are recalled to the Father’s house. The commitment [establishing the monastery as a legal entity in the town] signed in 1898 states that only when the last of the sisters are gone will the building move to another owner.” In order to be able legally to seize the property, therefore, the Vatican officials must force the nuns to leave.

“Those who decided that this real estate should no longer belong to them took it for granted that nobody here, in Marradi, cared about them,” Betti adds.

She points out that the attempt by the Francis Vatican to evict the nuns from their legal home can succeed only if the nuns themselves cooperate with it. The dicastery pursuing such actions so far has expected — and in many cases has been getting — docile, nunny compliance in the destruction of their own religious life. But Betti writes that resistance, in this case, is not futile: “They cannot take them away against their will, which would be kidnapping, but they can scare them with the weight of failing in the obligation of obedience.”

She asks why the Romans are in “such a hurry.” Perhaps, she says, it is because the community has recently received two requests from Australia from potential candidates, meaning the pretext of the community being too small or not “viable” will soon not be applicable.

“Our monastery is not an empty shell spreading over the remains of a tradition and a historical identity this society wants to destroy. It is a living and active body.”

The Marradi convent is financially self-supporting with revenue from rents of properties acquired over the centuries as gifts and donations. Betti states, therefore, that the people of Marradi have a right to know what will happen to their monastery and “why the planimetric maps of this monastery have been requested and for what purpose.”

In 2015, the community celebrated its 440th anniversary with the public presentation to “a large crowd” of a book chronicling its history. Far from displaying a moribund resignation to their imminent extinction, the nuns recently launched a new website to appeal for vocations. Built at the expense of a local noble family, the monastery was started in 1575 by two Dominican nuns who came from Pratovecchio, Arezzo, a grassroots initiative that would be impossible today under the Vatican’s new rules.

The community has a history of considerable staying-power. Astonishingly, though the nuns were forced for a time to return to their families during the French invasions of Italy in the Revolutionary period, the community weathered the Napoleonic suppressions and those of his ideological successors in the Kingdom of Italy. After the monastic suppressions of 1866, the anti-Catholic, Freemasonic government of Italy seized part of their monastery, forcing the nuns to live in small quarters. The community avoided suppression – that was at first applied only to “useless” contemplatives — by teaching in the elementary school the government forcibly built on their property. The nuns endured and the community survived world wars, earthquakes, and other setbacks through the first half of the 20th century.

There are few left on any side of our Catholic debates who would maintain that the structures of the Church as we have known them are not under direct assault in the current pontificate. But while many are rightly worried about the coming attack on the priesthood at the Amazon Synod, little attention has been paid to the ongoing assault on female contemplative religious life.

These started immediately after the election of Pope Francis with the attack on the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and have culminated in the duo of documents by the pope and the Congregation for Religious [2]Vultus dei quaerere (July 2016) and its legislative sidekick Cor orans (April 2018). The situation in Marradi is another demonstration of the power granted to the Roman Curia by these two documents to either force compliance with the Bergoglian “New Paradigm” or dissolve any community that resists.

Aimed specifically at contemplative nuns, the two documents represent a significant rewriting of the basic premises behind the contemplative life, particularly in the areas of autonomy and self-governance, control of their own finances and assets, formation of novices and enclosure. It allows summary deposing of superiors, forcible imposition of new external governance who can forbid a community under its power to receive new candidates.

As Vultus dei quaerere itself puts it, those houses of contemplative nuns that survived the devastation of the post-Vatican II period, are to follow “the intense and fruitful path taken by the Church in the last decades, in the light of the teachings of [Vatican II] and considering the changed socio-cultural conditions.” And Cor orans is the muscle that will force the stragglers to do it.

At the end of July, a traditionalist Italian Catholic, “C” (whose name cannot, for the moment, be shared), who promotes traditional religious life, contacted the Marradi nuns about their situation. The sisters, C said, having seen what is going on, are not ready to lie down and accept the demise of their community and are open to receiving assistance from traditionalist friends and supporters.

C spoke to one local Marradesi who said there was openness in the monastery to the traditional rites of the Mass and Divine Office and that the bishop would likely not place any obstacles. “La Signora made very clear that the people of Marradi want the monastery to continue for centuries more as a place of prayer and nothing else.” Thus, despite the imminent threat from Rome, women — those with a little fighting courage — interested in contemplative religious life, including those attached to the “extraordinary form” of the liturgy, are indeed still encouraged to contact the sisters [3].

The publicity of Barbara Betti’s letter, C says, has “stirred up hornet’s nest of ecclesiatics,” but the community’s friends are “very ready to wage war to keep them not only off their own monastery but all the monasteries because they are destroying the Church.”

“La Signora” confirmed to C that the axe has fallen on the Marradi Dominicans not randomly, but comes directly from the upper leadership of the Dominican Order who delated the community to the Vatican, knowing the results. Like that of the French community of sisters recently dissolved by Rome, it confirms that Cor orans, as critics have predicted, is being used as a weapon by ecclesiastics in power machinations and to gain control of monastic assets.

In the case of the Little Sisters of Marie, Mother of the Redeemer, based in Toulouse, the bishop started the assault as retaliation when the sisters resisted his efforts to gain control over their nursing homes. Using the pretext of an “authoritarian” superior and the sisters’ restoration of a more “classical” form of habit, the bishop contacted the Congregation for Religious in Rome.

The un-habited religious imposed by Rome on the Little Sisters as superior — an academic and author of the book “Migrants, Francis, and us” — accused the sisters of “praying too much” and generally being too attached to previous forms of religious life. After two years of struggle, 34 of the order’s 39 sisters requested exclaustration — to be released from their vows and return to lay life.

In Marradi, having watched the assaults by Rome on the Franciscans of the Immaculate; the Little Sisters of Marie, Mother of the Redeemer; and a number of others, the local people are ready to fight. C writes, “The nuns are being well defended by the community. They have a lawyer and two good, hefty priests that have no qualms, it seems, about giving a dusting up to meanly intentioned persons.”

C particularly wanted the story of the community’s “defense committee” to be told to the world outside Italy. “It would be a very great service to all Christendom to add to this story how a community is defending their nuns! Catholic communities around the world need to know that they can and must help the poor religious that are getting dragged off by jackals and hyenas.”

The fight for the Marradi monastery might soon go international. C relates that, though no further details can be made public at the moment, we can report that a solution may be coming from “a contemplative order, based solely on the Latin Mass, (no Novus Ordo), which is presently in a neighboring E.U. nation but which seeks to have a base in Italy.”

“The nuns and their faithful defenders of Marradi would have no problem at all accommodating the Latin Mass. It has been re-iterated to me multiple times now that they (nuns and faithful) want one thing only: that their monastery remain a place full of holy praying,” C concluded.


[1] “Residenza” is an Italian legal concept that doesn’t really exist in the Anglo nations, but once established, it means that a person has an uncontestable legal right of abode in a particular municipality.

[2] Full name: Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

[3] N.B.: The sisters do not at this time have any upper age limit.


Image: Zebra48bo via Wikimedia Commons.

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Hilary White

After two dream-like years living in Norcia, the cradle of Western Monasticism, Hilary moved unexpectedly with her three cats to the area near Perugia, where she gardens a great deal and tries not to worry too much.

 

August 21, 2019   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

The Church’s Year (available from Angelus Press, q.v.)

At the Introit of the Mass pray with the Church for God’s help to guard us against our enemies:

INTROIT When I cried to the Lord, he heard my voice, from them that draw near to me, and he humbled them, who is before all ages, and remains forever. Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. (Ps. LIV.) Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me, and hear me. Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, who dost manifest Thine almighty. power above all in showing pardon and pity: multiply upon us Thy mercy, that we running forward to the attainment of Thy promises, may be made partakers of Thy heavenly treasures. Through etc.

EPISTLE (I Cor. XII. 2-11 .) Brethren, You know that when you were heathens; you went to dumb idols according as, you were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith. Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say: the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit; and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To one, indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another, faith in one Spirit: to another, the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning, of spirits: to another, divers kinds of tongues: to another, of speeches. But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.

EXPLANATION The apostle here reminds the Corinthians of the great grace they received from God in their conversion, and urges them to be grateful for it; for while heathens, they cursed Jesus, but being now brought to the knowledge of the Spirit of God, they possess Christ as their Lord and Redeemer who can be known and professed only by the enlightenment of the Holy , Ghost. The holy Spirit works in different ways, conferring His graces on whom He wills; to one He gives wisdom to understand the great truths of Christianity; to another the gift of healing the sick; to another the gift of miracles and of prophecy; to another the gift of discerning spirits, to know if one is governed by the Spirit of God, or of the world, Satan and the flesh; to another the gift of tongues. The extraordinary gifts, namely, those of working miracles, and of prophesying &c. became rarer as the faith spread, whereas the gifts which sanctify man will always remain the same.,

[See Instruction on the gifts of the Holy Ghost, Pentecost.]

GOSPEL (Luke XDII. 9-14.) At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despisedothers. Two men went up into the Temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this Publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you: this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Why did Christ make use of’ this parable of the Pharisee and the Publican?

To teach us never proudly to condemn or despise a man, even though he should appear impious, for we may be deceived like the Pharisee who despised the Publican, whom he considered a great sinner, while, in reality, the man was justified before God on account of his repentant spirit.

What should we do before entering a Church?

We should reflect that we are going into the house of God, should therefore think what we are about to say to Him, and what we wish to ask of Him. That we may make ourselves less unworthy to be heard, we should humble ourselves as did Abraham, (Gen. XVIII. 27.) remembering that we are dust and ashes, and on account of our sins unworthy o appear before the eyes of God, much less to address Him , for He listens to the prayers of the humble only, (Ps. CI, 18.) and gives them His grace, while He resists the proud. (James IV. 6.)

Was the Pharisee’s prayer acceptable to God?

No, for it was no prayer, but boasting and ostentation; he praised himself, and enumerated his apparent good works. But in despising others and judging them rashly he sinned grievously instead of meriting God’s grace.

Was the Publican’s prayer acceptable to God?

Yes, for though short, it was humble and contrite. He stood afar off, as if to acknowledge himself unworthy of the presence of God and intercourse with men. He stood with downcast eyes, thus showing that he considered himself because of his sins unworthy to look towards heaven, even confessed himself a sinner, and struck his breast to punish, as St. Augustine says, the sins which he had committed in his heart: This is why we strike our breast at certain times during Mass, for by this we acknowledge ourselves miserable sinners, and that we are sorry for our sins.

ON PRIDE AND VAIN GLORY

We should learn from this gospel that God looks upon the humble and exalts them, but is far from the proud. (Ps. CXXXVII. 6.) The Pharisee went to the temple entirely wrapt up in himself, and the good works which he thought he had performed, but returned empty and hated by God; the Publican, on the contrary, appearing before God as a public but penitent sinner, returned justified. Truly,. an humble sinner is better in the sight of God than a proud just man!

He who glories in his own good works, or performs them to please men, or to win their praise, loses his merit in the eyes of the most High, for Christ says: Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. VI. 1.)

In order that we may learn to despise vain glory, these doctrines should be well borne in mind. We should consider that it will happen to those who seek after vain glory, as to the man who, made many toilsome journeys on land and sea in order to accumulate wealth, and had no sooner acquired it than he was shipwrecked, and lost all. Thus the ambitious man avariciously seeking glory and honor will find, when dying, that the merit which he might have had for his good works, is now lost to him, because he did not labor for the honor of God. To prevent such an evil, strive at the commencement of every good work which you undertake, to turn your heart to God by a good intention.

But that you may plainly recognize this vice, which generally keeps itself concealed, and that you may avoid it, know that pride is an inordinate love of ostentation, and an immoderate desire to surpass others in honor and praise. The proud man goes beyond himself, so to speak, makes far more of himself than he really is, and, like the Pharisee, despises others; the humble man, on the contrary, has a low estimate of himself, looks upon himself as nothing and, like the Publican, despises no one but himself, and thus is pleasing in the sight of God.

ASPIRATION O God, who hearest the prayers of the humble, but dost resist the proud, I earnestly beseech Thee to give me an humble heart, that I may imitate, the humility of Thy only?begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and thereby merit to be exalted with Him in heaven.

INSTRUCTION ON GRACE

In the epistle of this day the Apostle St. Paul speaks of the different gifts of the Holy Ghost which He distributes as He pleases. These extraordinary graces which the apostle mentions, are not necessary for salvation. But the Church teaches, that the grace of the Holy Ghost is
necessary for salvation, because without it we could neither properly believe, nor faithfully observe the commandments of God. For the holy religion of Jesus teaches, and experience confirms, that since the fall of our first parents we are weak and miserable, and of ourselves, and by our own strength, we cannot know or perform the good necessary for our salvation. We need a higher aid, a higher, assistance, and this assistance is called grace.

What, then, is grace?

Grace is an inward, supernatural gift which God through finite goodness, and in consideration of Christ’s merits, ants us to enable us to work out our salvation.

Grace is a gift, that is, a present, a favor, a benefit. t is an inward and supernatural gift; an inward gift, Because it is bestowed upon man’s soul to distinguish it tom external gifts and benefits of God, such as: food, clothing, health; grace is a supernatural gift, because it is above nature. In creating our souls God gives us a certain degree of light which enables us to think, reflect, judge, to acquire more or less knowledge: this is called natural light. In the same way He gives our souls the power in some measure to overcome sensual, vicious inclinations; this power is called natural power (virtue). To this natural light and power must be added a higher light and a higher power, if ‘man would be sanctified and saved. This higher light and higher power is grace. It is, therefore, called a supernatural gift, because it surpasses the natural power of man, and produces in his understanding and in his will wholesome effects, which he could not produce without it. For example, divine faith, divine love is a supernatural gift or grace of God, because man of his own power could never receive as certain God’s revelations and His incomprehensible mysteries with so great a joy and so firm a conviction, and could never love God above all things and for His own sake, unless God assisted him by His grace.

God grants us grace also through pure benevolence without our assistance, without our having any right to it; He grants it without cost, and to whom He pleases; but He gives it in consideration of the infinite merits of Christ Jesus, in consideration of Christ’s death on the cross, and of the infinite price of our redemption. Finally, grace is a gift of God, by which to work out our salvation, ,that is, it is only by the grace of God that we can perform meritorious works which aid us in reaching heaven. Without grace it is impossible for us to perform any good action, even to have a good thought by which to gain heaven.

From this it follows that with the grace of God we can accomplish all things necessary for our salvation, fulfil all the commandments of God, but without it we can do nothing meritorious. God gives His grace to all, and if the wicked perish, it is because they do not cooperate with its divine promptings.


How is grace divided?

Into two kinds, actual and sanctifying grace.

Actual grace is God’s assistance which we always need to accomplish a good work, to avoid sin which we are in danger of committing, or that grace which urges us on to good, and assists us in accomplishing it; for it is God, says the Apostle Paul, (Phil. II. 13.) who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish. If a good work is to be performed by us, God must enlighten our mind that we may properly know the good and distinguish it from evil; He must rouse our will and urge it on to do the known good and to avoid the evil; He must also uphold our will and increase our strength that what we wish to do, we may really accomplish.

This actual grace is, therefore, necessary for the just, that they may always remain in sanctifying grace, and accomplish good works; it is necessary for the shiner that he may reach the state of sanctifying grace.

What is sanctifying grace?

It is the great benefit which God bestows upon us, when He sanctifies and justifies us; in other words: sanctifying grace is the love of God, given to us by the Holy Ghost, which love dwells in us and whose temple we become, or it is the advent and abiding of God in our hearts, as promised in the words of Jesus: 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. (John XVI. 23.)

He who possesses sanctifying grace, possesses the greatest treasure that a man can have on earth. For what can be more precious than to be beautiful in the sight of God, acceptable to Him, and united with Him! He who possesses this grace, carries within himself the supernatural image of God, he is a child of God, and has a right to the inheritance of heaven.

How is this sanctifying grace lost?

It is lost by every mortal sin, and can only be regained by a complete return to God, by true repentance and amendment. The loss of sanctifying grace is a fax greater injury than the lass of all earthly possessions. How, terrible, then, is mortal sin which deprives us of this treasure!

 

 

August 17, 2019   No Comments

Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2019

Dear Friends of Sacred Music and Mater Ecclesiae,

This year on the Feast of the Assumption we will celebrate our 19th Annual Mass of Thanksgiving on Thursday, August 15, at 7 p.m. at The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Reverend Robert C. Pasley, KCHS, Rector of Mater Ecclesiae, will be the Celebrant.

The Solemn High Tridentine Mass will once again feature the Ars Laudis Festival Chorus and Orchestra. Dr. Timothy McDonnell, the conductor, says the centerpiece of the Mass of the Assumption 2019 will be Franz Joseph Haydn’s (1732-1809) so-called “Theresienmesse,” nicknamed for its unofficial dedicatee, the empress Maria Theresa of the Two Sicilies, the consort of the last Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II.  Maria Theresa herself was an accomplished soprano, singing the soprano solos in performances of both The Creation and The Seasons at the Viennese court in 1801.  How this Mass in B-flat came to bear her name is unknown, and the original title of the work is simply “Missa.”

Mater Ecclesiae celebrates this feast each year by the use of the great treasury of Sacred Music, especially the beautiful polyphonic Masses that are very infrequently prayed in their proper place: the Sacred Liturgy. We want to foster a greater love for the great works of our Catholic heritage.

In order to sponsor such grand music we cannot depend on our little parish of 500 families. We need the help of everyone in the Delaware Valley who wants to foster excellent sacred music as well as support professional musicians who have been blessed by God with a magnificent talent. I, therefore, appeal to you for financial assistance. We need to raise at least $12,500.00. Any money that is raised over the amount needed will be put directly in the Sacred Music Fund.

To donate, click here for the Patron Donation Form, or send a check to Mater Ecclesiae Roman Catholic Church, 261 Cross Keys Rd., Berlin, NJ 08009-9431. When we receive the donation, we will send a letter acknowledging receipt that can be used for tax purposes. We will also put your name before the statue of Saint Jude, and specifically remember all the donors at our Perpetual Novena to St. Jude on Wednesdays starting August 22nd.

Parking at the Cathedral is available in the adjoining parking lot and at the underground garage at the Sheraton Hotel on 17th Street. More information is available at the Cathedral’s website here.

Click here for the donation form. Click here for the advertising form.

August 13, 2019   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Image result for traditional latin mass

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

Implore God for help and protection against all temptations both visible and invisible, and say with the priest at the Introit:

INTROIT Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul: turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in thy truth, O Lord, my protector. (Ps. LIII.) Save me, O God, by thy name, and deliver me in thy strength. Glory etc.

COLLECT Let the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants: and that Thou mayest grant them their desires, make them to ask such things as please Thee. Through etc.

EPISTLE (I Cor. X. 6-13.) Brethren, Let us not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure, and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will make also with temptation issue that you may be able to bear it.

Can we sin by thought and desire?

Yes, if we desire evil and forbidden things, or voluntarily think of them with pleasure, for God prohibits not only evil deeds, but evil thoughts and desires inregard to our neighbor’s wife or goods. (Exod. XX. 17.) Christ says, (Matt. V. 28.) that he who looks upon a woman with evil desire, has already committed adultery. But wicked thoughts and imagination are sinful only when a person consents to, or entertains them deliberately. They become, however, an occasion of gaining merit, if we earnestly strive against them. For this reason God sometimes permits even the just to be tempted by them.

What is meant by tempting God?

Demanding presumptuously a mark or sign of divine omnipotence, goodness or justice. This sin is committed when without cause we desire that articles of faith should be demonstrated and confirmed by a new miracle; when we throw ourselves needlessly into danger of body or soul expecting God to deliver us; when in dangerous illness the ordinary and, natural remedies are rejected, and God’s immediate assistance expected.

Is it a great sin to murmur against God?

That it is such may be learned from the punishment which God inflicted on the murmuring Israelites; for besides Kore, Dathan, and Abiron whom the earth devoured, many thousands of them were consumed by fire; and yet these had not murmured against God directly, but only against Moses and Aaron whom God had placed over them as their leaders. From this it is seen that God looks upon murmuring against spiritual and civil authority, instituted by Him, as murmuring against Himself. Hence Moses said to the Israelites: Your. murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord. (Exod. XVI. 8.)

ASPIRATION Purify my heart, I beseech. Thee; O Lord, from all evil thoughts and desires. Let it never enter my mind to tempt Thee, or to be dissatisfied with Thy fatherly dispensations. Suffer me not to be tempted beyond my strength, but grant me so much fortitude, that I may overcome all temptations, and even derive benefit from them for my soul’s salvation.

GOSPEL (Luke XIX. 41-47.) At that time, when Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written, My house is the house of, prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. And he was teaching daily in the temple.

Why did our Saviour weep over the city of Jerusalem?

Because of the ingratitude and obduracy of its inhabitants who would not receive Him as their Redeemer, and who through impenitence were hastening to destruction.

When was the time of visitation?

The period in which God sent them one prophet after another who urged them to penance, and whom they persecuted, stoned, and killed. (Matt. XXIII. 34.) It was especially the time of Christ’s ministry, when He so often announced His salutary doctrine in the temple of Jersualem, confirmed it by miracles, proving Himself to be the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, but was despised and rejected by this hardened and impenitent city.

Who are prefigured by this hardened and impenitent city?

The hard-hearted, unrepenting sinners who will not recognize the time of God’s visitation, in which He urges them by the mouth of His preachers, confessors, and superiors, and by inward inspiration to reform their lives and seek the salvation of their soul, but who give no ear to these admonitions, and defer conversion to the end of their lives. Their end will be like to that of this impious city; then the enemy, that is, the evil spirit, will surround their soul, tempt, terrify, and drag it into the abyss of ruin. Oh, how foolish it is to squander so lightly, the time of grace, the days of salvation! Oh, how would the damned do penance, could they but return to earth! Oh, how industriously would they employ the time to save their soul! Use, then, my dear Christian, the time of grace which God designs for you, and which, when it is run out or carelessly thrown away, will not be lengthened for a moment.

Will God conceal from the wicked that which serves for their salvation?

No; but while they are running after the pleasures of this life, as St. Gregory says, they see not the misfortunes treading in their footsteps, and as consideration of the future makes them uncomfortable in the midst of their worldly pleasures, they remove the terrible thought far from them, and thus run with eyes blindfolded in the midst of their pleasure into eternal flames. Not God, but they themselves hide the knowledge of all that is for their peace, and thus they perish.

ASPIRATION. I beseech Thee, O Lord, who didst weep over the city of Jerusalem, because it knew not the time of its visitation, to enlighten my heart, that I may know and profit by the season of grace.

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY AND TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM

Has our divine Savior’s prophecy concerning, the city of Jerusalem been fulfilled?

Yes, and in the most terrible manner. The Jews, oppressed by the Romans their cruel masters, revolted, killed many of their enemies, and drove them out of Jerusalem. Knowing well that this would not be permitted to pass unavenged, the Jews armed themselves for a desperate resistance. The Emperor Nero sent a powerful army under the command of Vespasian against the city of Jerusalem, which first captured the smaller fortresses of Judea, and then laid siege to the city. The want and misery of the inhabitants had already reached the highest pitch; for within the city ambitious men had caused conflicts; factions had been formed, daily fighting each other, and reddening the streets with blood, while the angry Romans stormed outside. Then a short time of respite was granted to the unfortunate Jews. The Emperor Nero was murdered at Rome in the year of our Lord 68; his successor Galba soon died, and the soldiers placed their beloved commander Vespasian upon the imperial throne. He then left Jerusalem with his army, but in the year he sent his son Titus with a new army to Judea, with orders to capture the city at any price, and to punish its inhabitants.

It was the time of Easter, and a multitude of Jews had assembled from all provinces of the land, when Titus appeared with his army before the gates of Jerusalem, and surrounded the city. The supply of food was soon exhausted, famine and pestilence came upon the city and raged terribly. The leader of the savage revolutionists, John of Gischala, caused the houses to be searched, and the remaining food to be torn from the starving, or to be forced from them by terrible tortures: To save themselves from this outrageous tyrant, the Jews took the leader of a band of robbers, named Simon, with his whole gang into the city. John and Simon with their followers now sought to annihilate each other. John took possession of the temple. Simon besieged him; blood was streaming in the temple and in the streets. Only when the battle-din of the Romans was heard from without, did the hostile factions unite, go to meet the enemy, and resist his attack. As the famine increased, many Jews secretly left the city to seek for herbs. But Titus captured them with his cavalry, and crucified those who were armed. Nearly five hundred men, and sometimes more, were every day crucified in sight of the city, so that there could not be found enough of crosses and places of execution; but even this terrible sight did not move the Jews to submission. Incited by their leaders to frenzy, they obstinately resisted, and Titus finding it impossible to take the city by storm, concluded to surround it by walls in order to starve the inhabitants. In three days his soldiers built a wall of about ten miles in circumference, and thus the Saviour’s prediction was fulfilled: Thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side.

The famine in this unfortunate city now reached its most terrific height; the wretched inhabitants searched the very gutters for food, and ate the most disgusting things. A woman, ravenous from hunger, strangled her own child, roasted it, and ate half of it; the leaders smelling the horrible meal, forced a way into the house, and by terrible threats compelled the woman to show them what she had eaten; she handed them the remaining part of the roasted child, saying.: “Eat it, it is my child; I presume you are not more dainty than a woman, or more tender than a mother.” Stricken with horror they rushed from the house. Death now carried away thousands daily, the streets and the houses were full of corpses: From the fourteenth of April when the siege commenced. to the first of July, there were counted one hundred and fifty-eight thousand dead bodies; six hundred thousand others were thrown over the walls into the trenches to save the city from infection. All who could flee, fled; some reached the camp of the Romans in safety; Titus spared the helpless, but all who fell into his hands armed, were crucified. Flight offered no better security. The Roman soldiers had learned that many Jews had swallowed, gold to secure it from the avarice of the robbers, and therefore the stomachs of many were cut open. Two thousand such corpses were found one morning in the camp of the Romans. The attempts of Titus to prevent this cruelty were unavailing. Finally, when misery had reached its height, Titus succeeded in carrying the fort, Antonia, and with his army forced a passage as far as the temple which had been held by John of Gischala with his famous band. Desirous of saving the temple, Titus offered the revolutionists free passage from it, but his proposition was rejected, and the most violent contest then raged; the Romans trying to enter the temple, and being continually repulsed, at last, one of the soldiers seized a firebrand, and threw it into one of the rooms attached to the temple. The flames in an instant caught the whole of the inner temple, and totally consumed it, so that this prediction of our Lord was also fulfilled. The Romans butchered all the inhabitants whom they met, and Titus having razed the ruins of the temple and city, ploughed it over, to indicate that this city was never to be rebuilt. During the siege one million one hundred thousand Jews lost their lives; ninety-seven thousand were sold as slaves, and the rest of the people dispersed over the whole earth.

Thus God punished the impenitent city and nation, over whose wretchedness the Saviour wept so bitterly, and thus was fulfilled the prediction made by Him long before.

What do we learn from this?

That as this prediction so also all other threats and promises of the Saviour will be fulfilled. The destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, the dispersion of the Jews, are historical facts which cannot be denied, and testify through all centuries to the truth of our Lord’s word: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matt. XXIV. 35.)

USEFUL LESSONS CONCERNING DEATH-BED REPENTANCE

Can a sinner rely upon his being converted at the end of his life?

By no means, for this would be a sin against the mercy of God which is much the same as the sin against the Holy Ghost. “God,” says St. Augustine, “generally so punishes such negligent sinners, that in the end they forget themselves, as in health they forgot Him.” He says: They have turned their back to me, and not their face: and in the time of their affliction they will say: Arise, and deliver us! Where are the gods whom thou hast made thee? Let them arise and deliver thee in the time of thy affliction. (Jer. II. 27-28.) And although we have a consoling example in the case of the penitent thief, yet this, as St. Augustine says, is only one, that the sinner may not despair: and it is only one, so that the sinner may have no excuse for his temerity in putting off his repentance unto the end.

What may we hope of those who are converted at the close of life?

Everything that is good if they be truly converted, but this is a very rare thing, as St. Augustine says: “It cannot be asserted with any security, that he who repents at the end has forgiveness;” and St. Jerome writes: “Scarcely one out of thousands whose life was impious, will truly repent at death and obtain forgiveness of sin;” and St. Vincent Ferrer says, “For a man who has lived an impious life to die a good death is a greater miracle than the raising of the dead to life.” We need not be surprised at this, for repentance at the end of life is extorted by the fear of death and the coming judgment. St. Augustine says, that it is not he who abandons sin, but sin abandons him, for he would not cease to offend God, if life were granted him. What can we expect from such a conversion?

When should we repent?

While we are in health, in possession of our senses and strength, for according to the words of St. Augustine, the repentance of the sick is a sickly repentance. As experience proves, man while ill is so tormented and bewildered by the pains of sickness and the fear of death, by remorse of conscience, and the temptations of the devil as well as by anxiety for those whom he leaves, that he can scarcely collect his thoughts, much less fit himself for true repentance. Since it is so hard for many to do penance while they are in health, and have nothing to prevent them from elevating their mind to God, how much more difficult will it be for them, when the body is weakened and tortured by the pains of sickness. It has been made known by many persons when convalescent, that they retained not the slightest recollection of anything which occurred during their illness, and although they confessed and received the last Sacraments, they did not remember it. If then you have committed a grievous sin, do not delay to be reconciled as soon as possible by contrition and a sacramental confession. Do not put off repentance from day to day, for thereby conversion becomes more difficult, so much so that without extraordinary grace from God, you cannot repent God does not give His grace to the presumptuous scoffer.

August 8, 2019   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

The Introit of the Mass reads:

INTROIT We have received thy mercy, O God, in the midst of thy temple: According to thy name, O God, so also is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in his mountain. (Ps. XLVII.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully grant us the spirit to think and do always the things that are right: that we, who can not subsist without Thee, may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will. Through etc.

EPISTLE (ROM. VIII. 12-17.) Brethren, We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the spirit you mortify the deed of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

Who live according to the flesh?

Those who follow the evil pleasures and the desires of corrupt nature, rather than the voice of faith and conscience. Such men are not guided by the Spirit of God, for He dwells not in the sensual man, (Gen. VI. 3.) they are no children of God, and will not inherit heaven, but eternal death. But he who is directed by the Spirit of God, and with Him and through Him crucifies his flesh and its concupiscence, is inspired with filial confidence in God. by the Holy Ghost, who dwells in him, and by whom he cries: Abba (Father.) Prove yourself well, Christian soul, that you may know whether you live according to the flesh, and strive by prayer and fasting to mortify all carnal and sensual desires that you may by such means become a child of God and heir of heaven.

ASPIRATION Strengthen me, O Lord, that I may not live according to the desires of the, flesh; but resist them firmly by the power of Thy Spirit, that I may not die the eternal death.

GOSPEL (Luke XVI. 1-9.) At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for now thou canst be steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me my stewardship? To dig, I am not able: to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty, Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the Lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generations than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

Who aye represented by the rich man and his steward?

The rich man represents God, the steward is man – to whom God has confided the various goods of soul and body, of grace and nature: faith, intellect, memory , free will; and five senses, health, stregth of body, beauty, skill power over others, time and opportunity for good, temporal riches, and other gifts. These various goods of soul and body God gives us not as our own, but as things to be used for His honor and the salvation of man. He will therefore demand the strictest account of us if we use them for sin, luxury, seduction, or oppression of others.

Why did Christ make use of this parable?

To teach us that God requires of every man a strict account of whatever has been given to him, and to urge us to works of charity, particularly alms-deeds.

What friends do we make by alms giving?

According to St. Ambrose they are the poor, the saints and angels, even Christ Himself: for that which we give to the poor, we give to Christ. (Matt. XXV. 40.) And: He that hath mercy on the poor, lendeth to the Lord, and he will repay him. (Prov. XIX. 17.) “The hands of the poor,” says Peter Chrysologus, “are the hands of Christ,” through whom we send our riches to heaven before us, and through whose intercession we obtain the grace of salvation.

Why did his lord commend the steward?

Because of his prudence and foresight, but not for his injustice; for he adds: The children of this world are wiser than the children of light: that is, the worldly-minded understand better hove to obtain temporal goods than do Christians to lay up treasures for themselves in heaven.

Why is wealth called unjust?

Because riches are often massed and retained unjustly, often lead man to injustice, and because they are often squandered, or badly used.

SUPPLICATON Grant me the grace, O my just God and Judge, that I may so use the goods of this earth confided to me by The e, that I mad make friends, who at my death will receive me into eternal joys.

ON THE SIN OF DETRACTION
And the same was accused unto him. (Luke XVI. 1.)

The steward in the gospel was justly accused on account of the goods he had wasted; but there are many who lose their good name and honor by false accusations, and malicious talk! Alas, what great wrongs do detracting tongues cause in this world! How mean a vice is detraction, how seldom attention is paid to its evil, how rarely the injury is repaired!

When is our neighbor slandered?

When he is accused of a vice of which he is not guilty; when a secret crime is made known with the intention of hurting him, or when our duty does not require us to mention it; when we attribute an evil intention to him or entirely misconstrue his actions and omissions; when his good qualities or commendable actions are denied or lessened, or his merits underrated; when we remain silent, or speak ambiguously in cases where praise is due him; when we lend a willing ear to detractions, and make no effort to stop them; and lastly, when joy is felt in the detraction.

Is detraction a great sin?

Yes, for it is directly opposed to the love of our neighbor, therefore to the love of God, hence it is, as St. Ambrose says, hateful to God and man. By it we rob our neighbor of a possession greater than riches, (Prov. XXII. 1.) and often he is plunged by it into want and misery, even into the greatest vices; St. Ambrose says: “Let us fly from the vice of detraction, for it is altogether a satanic abyss, full of deceit.” Finally, detraction is a great sin, because it can seldom be recalled, and the injury done by it is very great, and often irreparable.

What should we do when we have committed this sin?

We should retract the calumny as soon as possible and repair the injury done to our neighbor in regard to his name or temporal goods; we should detest this sin, regret it, and be cleansed from it by penance, we should daily pray for him whom we have injured, and in future guard against the like fault.

Are we ever allowed to reveal the wrongs of our neighbor?

To make public the faults of our neighbor only for the entertainment of idle people, or for the sake of news, and to satisfy the curiosity of others, is always sinful. But if after having reproached or advised our neighbor fraternally, without obtaining our end, we make known his faults to his parents or superiors for the sake of punishment and reformation, far from being a sin it is rather a duty, against which those err who are silent about the sins of their neighbor, when by speaking they could prevent the sin and save him much unhappiness.

Is it a sin to listen willingly to detraction?

Yes, for we thus give the detractors occasion and encouragement. Therefore St. Bernard says: “Whether to detract is a greater sin than to listen to detraction, I will not decide. The devil sits on the tongue of the detractor as he does on the ear of the listener.” In such cases we must strive to interrupt, to prevent the detracting words, or else withdraw; or if we can do none of these, we must show in our countenance our displeasure, for the Holy Ghost says: The northwind driveth away rain, so doth a sad countenance a backbiting tongue. (Prov. XXV. 23.) The same demeanor is to be observed in regard to improper language.

What varieties of detraction are there?

There is a certain detestable kind of detraction which degrades and ridicules others by witty and sneering words. Still worse is that detraction which carries the faults of others from one place to another, thus exciting those who are on good terms to hard feeling, or making those who are living in enmity more opposed to each other. The whisperer and the double tongued, says the Holy Ghost, is accursed, for he bath troubled many that were at peace.

What should deter us from detraction?

The thought of the enormity of this sin; of the difficulty, even impossibility of repairing the injury caused; of the punishment it incurs, for St. Paul expressly says: Calumniators shall not possess the kingdom of God, (I Cor. VI. 10.). and Solomon writes: My son, fear the Lord, and the king: and have nothing to do with detractors; for their destruction shall rise suddenly. (Prov. XXIV 22.)

SUPPLICATON Guard me, O most loving Jesus, that I may not be so blinded, either by hatred or, envy, as to rob my neighbor of his good name, or make myself guilty of such a grievous sin.

CONSOLATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED FROM DETRACTION

If your good name has been taken away by evil tongues, you may be consoled by knowing that God permitted this to humble you, to exercise you in patience and free you from pride and vain self-complacency. Turn your eyes to the saints of the Old and the New Law, to the chaste Joseph who was cast into prison on a false charge of adultery, (Gen. XXXIX.) to the meek David publicly accused by Semei as a man of blood, (II Kings XVI. 7.) to the chaste Susanna who was also accused of adultery, tried and condemned to death. (Dan, XIII.) Jesus, the king of saints, was called a drunkard, accused and condemned as a blasphemer, a friend of the devil, an inciter of sedition among the people, and like the greatest criminal was nailed to the cross between two thieves. Remember besides that it does not injure you in the sight of God, if all possible evil is said of you, and that He, at all times, cares for those who trust in Him; for he who touches the honor of those who fear God, touches, as it were, the pupil of His eye, (Zach. II. 8.) and shall not go unpunished. St. Chrysostom says: “If you are guilty, be converted; if you are innocent, think of Christ.”

PRAYER O most innocent Jesus, who wert thus calumniated, I submit myself wholly to Thy divine will, and am, ready like Thee, to bear all slanders and detractions, as with perfect confidence I yield to land care my good name, convinced that Thou at Thy pleasure wilt defend and protect it, and save me from the hands of my enemies.

August 3, 2019   No Comments

First Friday & First Saturday TLM’s for August

Mass Schedule for August 2019

The Traditional Latin Mass will be offered on

Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd

at:

Church of the Immaculate Conception 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
602 West Avenue
Jenkintown, PA 19046
(215) 887-1501
Confession and Mass will be upstairs both Friday and Saturday.
First Friday, August 2nd
Priest: Rev. Scott W. Allen (Chaplain, The Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia)
Location:  Church of the Immaculate Conception, Main Church

Time: 7:00 p.m., preceded by Confessions upstairs at 6:30 p.m.

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a Commemoration of St. Alphonsus Liguori, offered in Reparation to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
First Saturday, August 3rd
Priest: Rev. Harold B. McKale (Parish Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church
Location:   Church of the Immaculate Conception, Main Church

Time: 9:00 a.m., preceded by Confessions upstairs at 8:30 a.m.

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a Commemoration of The Finding of the Body of St. Stephen, Martyr, offered in Reparation to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.

 

August 2, 2019   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

In the Introit the invites us to give praise to God in the following words:

INTROIT Oh, clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy. For the Lord is most high, he is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. (Ps. XLVI.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, whose providence is unerring in what it ordains, we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us all things which will profit us. Thro’.

EPISTLE (ROM. VI., 19-23.) Brethren, I speak a human thing, because of the infirmity of your, flesh: for as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity unto iniquity, so now yield your members to serve justice unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them, is death. But now, being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

EXPLANATION St. Paul here admonishes the Romans who had been converted to Christianity, but were still sensual and weak, that they ought to be much more zealous in serving God and mastering their passions. He demands of them that they should at least strive, now as hard to save their souls as they once did to destroy them. This certainly is but right, for many a man would become just and holy if he would do as much for heaven, as he does for sin and hell. But to know how wholesome it is to consecrate themselves to justice and sanctity, he wishes them to consider what advantage they derived from sin. Nothing is gained from it but shame, confusion, sorrow, and death, but by a pious life, God’s grace and eternal life. – Often consider this, Christian soul, and do not defile yourself by sins, which profit nothing, but?bring shame, grief, and the retributive wrath of God.

GOSPEL (Matt. VII. 15-21.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: by their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith to me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Who are the false Prophets?

Those seducers who under an appearance of virtue and honesty lure innocent, simple souls from the right path, and lead them to vice and shame; who by sweet words, such as: “God , is full of love, and will not be severe on sin, He does not require so very much of us, He knows we are weak, and if a person sins, he can be converted,” seek to steal from souls all modesty and fear, of God. Guard against such hypocrites, for they have the poison of vipers on their tongues. By the false prophets are also understood those who propagate error, who by superficial words fade the true faith, who speak always of love and liberty, and who under the pretence of making people free and happy bring many a soul to doubt and error, depriving it of true faith and peace of heart.

How can we know the false prophets?

By their works; for evil, corrupted men can produce only bad fruit. If we look into their life we will find that at heart they are immoral hypocrites who observe external propriety only that they may the more easily spread their poison. The false teachers and messengers of error may be known by their lives, but especially by their intentions, Which are to subvert all divine order, and to put the unrestrained lust of the flesh and tyranny in its place.

Who else are understood by the false prophets?

Those who under pretence of making men happy and rich, induce the credulous to make use of superstition, of wicked arts, deceit, and injustice; especially those who under he deceiving appearance of liberty and equality, independence and public good, incite them to open or secret revolt against civil and ecclesiastical authority.

Be not deceived by these so-called public benefactors who look always to their own advantage, but trust in God, support yourself honestly, live like a Christian, and you will find true liberty and happiness here and hereafter.

Why does Christ say: “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire?”

He warns us that faith without good works is not sufficient for salvation; and he therefore adds; Not every one that saith: Lord, Lord (who outwardly professes himself my servant, but is not really such) shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who, (by the fulfilment of the duties of his state of life and by the practice `of good works), does the will of my Father, merits heaven. Strive then, Christian soul, to fulfil God’s will in all things, perform your daily duties with a good intention, and you will certainly obtain the kingdom of heaven.

INSTRUCTION ON GOOD WORKS

What are good works?

All the actions of man which are performed according to the will of God, while in the state of grace, for the love of God.

Which are the principal good works?

Prayer, fasting, and alms deeds. These are especially inculcated in holy Scripture. (Tob. XIII. 8.) By prayer is here understood all religious services; by fasting all mortification of soul and body; by alms?deeds all works of charity.

How many kinds of charitable works are there?

Two kinds: spiritual and corporal.

Which are the spiratual works of mercy?

Those that are performed for the good of the soul: to admonish sinners; to teach the ignorant; to counsel the doubtful; to console the afflicted; to suffer injustice patiently; to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.

Which are the corporal works?

Those which are performed for the good of the body: to feed the hungry; to give drink to the thirsty; to clothe the naked; to visit and ransom the captives; to harbor the harborless; to visit the sick; and to bury the dead.

Can we be saved without good works?

No, for Christ expressly, says: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. The servant in the gospel who did not even waste the talent received, but only hid it in the ground, was therefore cast into outer darkness. How greatly do those err who hope to reach heaven, simply because they do no evil! Of this great mistake St. Chrysostom plainly says: “If you had a servant who was in truth no robber, no glutton or drunkard, but who sat at home idle, neglecting everything for which you had employed him, would you not pay him with the whip and send him off? Is it not bad enough to neglect that which duty demands?” Such a servant is the Christian who, doing neither good nor evil, makes himself thereby unfit for heaven which is the reward of work performed, and if no work has been done, no reward is to be expected.

SUPPLICATION O Lord, guard me from false prophets, heretics, and seducers, and grant me the grace, that according to St. Paul’s instructions I may become fruitful in all good works. Inflame my heart, that I may adorn my , faith with them, thus do the will of the Heavenly Father, and render myself worthy of heaven.

July 27, 2019   No Comments