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INSTRUCTION ON THE SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

In the Introit the Church 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 21, 2017   No Comments

Pope Benedict Warns Church is in Collapse

July 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Benedict XVI sent a sobering message at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner today, saying he was moved at the dubia cardinal’s ability to “live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”
The Church “stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination,” Pope Benedict said in a message read by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary and head of the papal household. Because of this “pressing need,” Meisner “found it difficult to leave his post.”
“What moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing,” the pope emeritus concluded.

AMDG

July 17, 2017   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

The Introit of this day’s Mass is the prayer of a soul that trusts in God’s powerful and merciful protection:

INTROIT The Lord is the strength of his people, the protector of the salvation of his Anointed: save, O Lord, thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, and rule them for ever. Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord: O my God, be not Thou silent to me; lest if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. (Ps. XXVII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God of hosts, to whom belongeth all that is perfect: implant in our hearts the love of Thy name, and grant within us an increase of religion, that Thou mayest nourish in us what is good, and by the fervor of our devotion may preserve in us what Thou hast nourished. Through etc.

EPISTLE (Rom. VI. 3-11.) Brethren, All we who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death. For we are buried together with him by baptism unto death: that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ. Knowing that Christ, rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have, dominion aver him. For in that he died to sin, he died once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. So do you also reckon that you are dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

EXPLANATION The apostle here teaches that in consequence of our baptism we are made members of Christ’s body, and must, therefore, die to sin; as Christ by His death died to physical life, but has risen again, so must we bury sin, by constant renewal of baptismal vows, and by self?mortification rise to a Christian life. As members of Christ’s body we should in a spiritual manner imitate Him. As He permitted His body to be nailed to the cross to atone for our sins, so should we crucify our corrupt nature by self-denial, and as He after His Resurrection lives always, because having risen He dieth no more, so we, risen from the death of sin, should lead a pious life conformable to that of Christ.

ASPIRATION I trust, O Lord Jesus, that by the merits of Thy passion I have risen from the death of sin: grant me Thy grace, that as Thou diest no more, so may I die no more by sin, but live for God, according to Thy law.

GOSPEL (Mark. VIII. 1-9.) At that time, When there was a great multitude with Jesus, and had nothing to eat, calling hisdisciples together, he saith to them: I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat; and if I shall send them away, fasting, to their ,home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off. And his disciples answered him: From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness? And he asked them: How many loaves have ye? Who said: Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, he broke, and gave to his disciples to set before them: and they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes, and he blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat, and were filled, and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets: and, they that had eaten
were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

Why did Christ say: I have compassion on the multitude?

Because of His mercy and goodness to man, as well as to prove that which He taught on another occasion, (Matt. VI. 33.) that to those who seek first the kingdom of God and His justice all other things will be added, without asking; for none of the multitude asked Christ for food, and yet He provided for all.

REMARK. The instruction after the gospel for the fourth Sunday in Lent, where a similar miracle is mentioned, may be read to-day.

INSTRUCTION ON BLESSING

And He blessed them. (Mark VIII. 7.)

Seduced by Satan, the first man violated the holy is command of God, and by his sin brought upon himself and his habitation the curse of divine wrath. (Gen. III. 17.) Man was made by God, and therefore subject: to Him, but was himself master of all created things. .After the sin of disobedience, however, all creation revolted against him: the animals fled from him, the fields yielded only thorns and thistles, the herbs became poisonous to him, or refused him their former wholesome power. Innumerable evils followed, all men and even the whole earth suffered from them; the devil drew both into his sphere and made them his servants, and this evil spirit now made use of created ,things to divert man altogether from God and to cause his eternal ruin. But God decreed that man and earth should not remain in this condition: Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth, redeemed it from the bonds of Satan, and gave all men the power to become once more God’s children. The devil was conquered by the cross, but not slain; man and the, earth were indeed taken from his dominion, but not from his influence; for he even now, as the apostle Writes, goes about like a roaring lion, seeking ,whom he may devour, (I Peter V. 8.); and as he used the forbidden fruit in paradise to seduce man, he now uses the created things of the earth to tempt man, and, make him his servant. Man and all creation had to be drawn from this pernicious influence, to be liberated from the bondage of corruption and be brought to the freedom of the children of God. (Rom. VIII. 19.) This is done in the Church, to which Christ entrusted the power of binding and loosing, and gave the work of sanctifying through the Holy Ghost, by means of blessing and consecrating. By virtue of the merits of Christ, and with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, the Church, or the priest in her name, therefore blesses and consecrates persons as well as other created things which they are to use, or which she is to apply to the service of God. In this the Church follows the example of Christ and the Apostles. Jesus embraced children and laid His hands upon them, blessing them; (Mark X. 16.) He blessed bread and fishes, the food of thousands; blessed breed and wine at the last supper; (Matt. XXVI. 26.) was recognized by the disciples in the blessing of bread; (Luke XXIV. 30.) blessing the disciples He ascended into heaven; (Luke XXIV. 51.) by His command the apostles wished peace to every house into which they stepped; (Matt. X. 12, 13.) and St. Paul expressly says, that every living thing is sanctified by prayer and the word of God. (I Tim. IV. 5.) Following the example and command of Christ the Church also introduced blessings and benedictions which were prefigured in the Old Law. God commanded the priests to sanctify and to consecrate whatever was to belong to His service, (Levit. VIII.) and the Old Law is full of blessings and consecrations which had to be used by the priests; (Exod. XXIX. 36.; XXX. 25.; XI. 9.) and if persons and things used for God’s service were to be blessed, how much more so in the. New Law which in place of the type, contains the reality and truth The testimony of Scripture is confirmed by all the holy Fathers, and by the constant practice of the Church which has received from Christ, the power to bless and to consecrate.

The blessing or benediction of the Church is nothing more than a, prayer of intercession which the priest makes in the name of the Church, that for the sake of Christ (therefore the sign of the cross) and the prayers of the saints, God may give His blessings to a person or thing, and sanctify it. Through consecration, in which besides prayer and the sign of the cross, the anointing with holy oil is used, things required for divine service are separated from all other things and especially sanctified. Thus persons, fruits, bread, wine, houses, ships and fields, are blessed; churches, altars, bells, &c., are consecrated.

What virtue have these blessings?

The chief effects of the blessing of persons are: Preservation or liberation from the influence of Satan; preservation of the soul from his temptations and evil suggestions; reservation of the body and of the property from his ;pernicious malice; forgiveness of venial sins, and strength to suppress concupiscence; curing of sickness and physical evils, whether natural or supernatural; a blessing upon the person and his surroundings; the imparting of the grace of conversion; the advantage of the prayer of the Church and further grace for the remission of temporal and eternal punishment. ? The blessing of things withdraws them from the influence of the devil, so that he can no longer use them as a means of bringing us into sin, but that they rather serve us as a protection against the evil spirits and as a means for our salvation.

Whence do the blessings derive their force?

From the merits of Christ who by His death on the cross vanquished Satan. The Church asks God that He will through these merits and through the intercession of the saints bless a person or thing, and make that which is blessed profitable to us fox both body and soul. Whether or not the effects manifest themselves in the person who receives the blessing, or makes use of the object blessed, depends on his faith and moral condition, as also on the usefulness or profit of the blessing to him. We should not, then, place obstacles in its way by diffidence in God and the prayers of the Church or by a sinful life, but should always be convinced. that these benedictions will serve for our benefit, if according to God’s will they are used as the Church intends, as a means to overcome evil, to sanctify ourselves, and to honor God.

Why are salt and water blessed?

This is plainly shown in the prayer the priest says in blessing them; for he asks, in the name of the Church, that God may pour the virtue of His blessing over the water that it may conquer devils, prevent sickness, and that everything which is sprinkled with it, may be preserved from every injury, and that He may bless the salt, so that it may be salutary for the body and soul of all who use it. The salt which Eliseus sprinkled into the unwholesome waters of Jericho healed them, (IV King. II. 20. 21.) and is a type of blessed salt.

Why are the people sprinkled with holy water on Sundays?

To remind the people of the interior purity with which they should come to divine service, and fulfil the duties of their calling; and to exhort them to purify themselves from the stains of sin by tears of sorrow, and repentance. Hence the priest in sprinkling the faithful recites the words of the fiftieth psalm: Asperges me hyssopo, etc. Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed; to remind them to preserve the purity and innocence procured by the blood of the Lamb of God, and communicated to them in baptism. Finally, the people are sprinkled that the temptations of the devil may depart from them, enabling them to attend with great fervor and with more recollection to the holy service.

What else is to be remembered concerning the use of blessed things?

That they are to be used with faithful confidence for the purpose for which the Church blessed them, and are to be treated with great reverence, because they are blessed by the Church in the name of Jesus, a custom almost as old as Christianity itself. The Christian must not believe that blessed things which he possesses, carries, or uses, will make him holy, for he should always remember that things blessed are only a means of sanctification, and are only effectual when the faithful have the earnest will to die rather than sin, to fight with all fervor against the enemies of their salvation, to follow Christ, and be thereby received into the freedom of the children of God, and into heaven.

July 15, 2017   No Comments

On the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum: We thank in particular…

IN PRIMIS… Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Castro Mayer: long may their memories live!

 

The beautiful words of that great French hero of the Traditional Mass, Jean Madiran (1920-2013: Rest in peace!), who lived to see the miracle, remembering the names of some who died in the battlefield:

“For thirty seven years, a whole generation of militant Catholics, religious or lay members of the Militant Church (a generation reaching from 7 to 97 years of age) suffered, without giving in, openly defying the arbitrary interdict on the Traditional Mass. We think of our dead: Cardinal Ottaviani, Father Calmel, Father Raymond Dulac, Monsignor Renato Pozzi, Monsignor Lefebvre, Father Guérard. And, among the laymen: Cristina Campo, Luce Quenette, Louis Salleron, Eric de Saventhem. The pontifical goodwill is for them as a light breeze, which sweetly brings peace to their tombs. Wherever they are now, they do not need it anymore. But it is their memory amongst us which is appeased and elevated.”

And also: Father Gamber, Michael Davies, Tito Casini, and so many, many others (priests, laymen and laywomen- God knows their names!), each of whom placed his own brick, large or small, in the great dam built for decades against the tumultuous tides of the late twentieth century. Thank you, thank you, thank you dearly! The heat of the battle has caused so much personal attrition, exaggerations, and misunderstandings… Yet, justice cannot be denied: gratitude is owed to those who did not live to see, on this earth, the glorious date of July 7, 2007.

July 13, 2017   No Comments

The Assault on Catholic Language and the Rebellion of the Poets

of the New Liturgical Movement

Let us attempt an Orwellian thought experiment. A new government has taken the reins of power and wishes to alter permanently the character of the people and even the range of their thoughts, the range of what is conceivable or desirable, the parameters of reality. What would be their most effective weapon? They would take a dictionary of the people’s language, cross out half of the words, and forbid anyone to use or teach those words. Initially, many would slip and fall, still inadvertently mouthing the forbidden vocables. Over time, however, with enough ruthless enforcement, the language would be successfully purged. After a few decades, what would have happened to public discourse? To poetry? To the entire culture? All would have been profoundly damaged, with the damage compounding for each subsequent generation.

This is no mere thought experiment when it comes to the Catholic Church on earth, for it is exactly what happened with the Church’s public discourse, her supreme lyrical and epic poem, her divine cultus: the sacred liturgy. An abridged, expurgated dictionary of worship was strenuously enforced. The whole field of discourse contracted and shriveled up, as clergy attempted to celebrate public rituals with an emaciated vocabulary. The range of our theological ideas and religious sentiments shrank in proportion to the paucity of means with which to express them. We went from Dante and Shakespeare to The Beatles and worse.

Man becomes rational through language. For the same reason, he loses the full range of rationality through the loss of language. In the 1960s and beyond, the Church was experiencing not the energetic advancement of childhood, as displayed in her acquisition of liturgical riches over the ages, but the retrogression of “second childhood,” characterized by an accelerating loss of memory and a weakening ability to communicate.

It is no wonder that those who have rediscovered the rich, arcane, archaic poetry, the luminous and varied sentiments of the Church’s traditional modes of prayer, become enraptured over what they find. These rebellious poets have gotten hold of the original dictionary, impressive in its heft, exotic in its nuances, dangerous in its implications. The explorers — for such they are, in spite of not having left a harbor for distant lands — discover that there are twice as many colors, sounds, and tastes than they had ever known before. One could say that they emerge from a black and white world into a colored world; they step from two dimensions into three.

The Novus Ordo Missae has horizontal and vertical dimensions, but what it lacks is precisely depth. The depth has to be brought to it from the outside — from the interior spirit of the celebrant, from the accidents of place and time, from the luck of options well-chosen and well-executed.[1] As it stands, the modern liturgy does not supply that depth in and of itself. It is utterly at the mercy of the ars celebrandi, the community, the authorities, the prevailing mores of society. Even as contemporary society is living off of the fumes of traditional morality, so too the contemporary liturgy, to the extent that it is sanctifying of men and glorifying of God, is living off of the fumes of traditional liturgy.

It is true, of course, that one must bring the right disposition to any liturgy, Eastern or Western, ancient or modern. However, the traditional liturgies of East and West are demanding “schools of prayer” that offer a complete ascetical-mystical formation to those who enroll in them and submit with docility to their curricula. One could derive the entire content of the Faith, in its dogmatic, moral, spiritual, and political doctrine, from the old Roman Missal and Pontifical. It is highly doubtful that one could do the same with the Novus Ordo books. One might, perhaps, extrapolate a shallow and inconsistent dogma, morality, spirituality, and politics, a message garbled and mingled with foreign elements. In any case, one would be reminded of a teacher who tells her pupils what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

True and lasting renewal in the Church begins with an unequivocal commitment to the great Catholic tradition of liturgy, devotions, theology, and catechetics, in all its colorfulness, depth, and complexity — not with the status quo, which lies shattered in a thousand plastic pieces. Thus, while it is not a bad thing to patch up a sinking vessel and keep it in operation, it is far better to invest time and energy in the strong and fast sailing of a nobler vessel that is more beautiful and deserves to carry more people to their goal.

Think of a comparison: you can pour money into an ugly, run-down tenement building complex from the 1960s/70s, or you can invest in the restoration and inhabitation of beautiful historic buildings that are more orderly, more stately, and more worthy of human persons. Which is the better use of limited capital? Eventually, the tenement will have to come down anyway, since it was poorly built to begin with, and looked ugly due to the Bauhaus functionalist philosophy of its designers. In contrast, the old building, if slightly dilapidated, remains beautiful and admirable in every age, from the time of its creation to the present. Most people recognize this sort of thing to be true in the realm of architecture, but is not the very same contrast found in the realm of liturgy, when we compare premodern liturgy to the Bauhaus constructs of the 1960s?

It is sobering to run through the “-isms” condemned in Leo XIII’s Libertas Praestantissimum and Testem Benevolentiae and in Pius X’s Pascendi Dominici Gregis. These “-isms” have their analogues in the modern liturgy, in contrast with a traditional liturgy that opposes them on every side. If the crisis in the Church is largely a crisis of her liturgy, as Joseph Ratzinger maintains (most recently in the Foreword he wrote for the Russian edition of his volume of writings on the liturgy), then the longed-for renewal of the Church will come primarily from a renewal of her liturgy. Concretely, this will mean the recovery of the beautiful and reverent liturgy that developed organically over the span of nearly 2,000 years, not the desperate maintenance of rites constructed by liberal and rationalistic clergy in the middle of the 20th century.

We can borrow a line from Psalm 19: Ipsi obligati sunt, et ceciderunt; nos autem surreximus, et erecti sumus. “They are entangled and brought low, but we rise up and stand erect.” They are entangled in this modern claptrap and brought low, but we rise up in the strength of tradition and stand erect.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of being a traditional Catholic today is that we feel ourselves to be constantly at war, beleagured on all sides — wishing to be brothers with our coreligionists, who insist on being our sworn enemies. It may not be a consolation but it can at least preserve our sanity to know that serious disagreement is possible, even among saints: the Acts of the Apostles shows us a falling-out between St. Paul and St. Barnabas, and we learn in Galatians about a confrontation between St. Paul and St. Peter over a matter of no small importance. We should not be surprised that there are deep differences of opinion in the Church. We should not allow this fact to paralyze, confuse, or embitter us.

There have always been and will always be laymen, religious, and clerics who appear to be ignorant of the Catholic faith, who do not practice it consistently or care to transmit it, who even openly reject elements of it in formal heresy. This is all the more reason for us who do want to serve Our Lord with our whole mind, heart, soul, and strength to dedicate ourselves to knowing and living the great mysteries of our faith, to seek total consistency in our practice, and to pass on to others, in its full integrity, the gift we have received — the unabridged dictionary of Catholic life, thought, and culture.

NOTE

[1] A sign of the truth of this claim was the great need for, and runaway success of, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott’s pair of books from Ignatius Press, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite and Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, which actually create a somewhat coherent rubrical and ceremonial framework for the Modern Rite, based, of course, on older liturgical books.

Painting at the head of the article by Ephraim Rubenstein.

July 13, 2017   No Comments

SHORT HIATUS

Mr. Torchia will be in Rome through July 10, after which postings will continue.

July 3, 2017   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

INTROIT The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. (Ps. XXVI. 1-3.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that both the course of the world may be peaceably ordered for us by Thy governance, and that Thy Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion. Through etc.

EPISTLE (Rom. VIII. 18-23). Brethren, The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared
to the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly; but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope: because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain, even till now. Arid not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body: in Jesus Christ our Lord.

INSTRUCTION There is no greater consolation under crosses and afflictions, no more powerful support in the adversities of a pious and virtuous life, than the thought that all sufferings are as nothing when compared with the coming glory of heaven, and that by a slight and momentary suffering in this life is obtained a superabundant happiness in the next. (II Cor, IV. 17.) Thus St. Augustine says: “Were we daily to suffer all torments, even for a short time the pains of hell, in order to see Christ and be numbered among His saints, would it not be worth all this misery to obtain so great a good, so great a glory?”

ASPIRATION Ah Lord, when shall we be delivered from the miserable bondage of this life, and participate in that indescribable glory which Thou hast prepared for Thy children, where free from the misery and many temptations of this life, they enjoy eternal bliss. Enable us to see more and more into the misery of this life that we may thus be urged to strive for freedom and glory in Thy kingdom. Amen.

GOSPEL (Luke V. 1-11.) At that time, When the multitude pressed upon Jesus, to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth. And he saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one of the ships that was Simon’s, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon, answering, said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing, but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken; and so were also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s Partners. And Jesus with to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.

What are we to learn from the people who came to Christ to hear the word of God?

We should listen with great zeal to the word of God, because from it man receives the life of the soul, (Matt. IV. 4.) and eternal happiness. (Luke XI. 28.)

Why did Christ teach from Peter’s ship?

By this He showed that the true doctrine is preached only from that Church of which Peter is the head, (John. XXI. 15.) which is here represented by his ship. Amid storms of persecution Jesus has preserved arid will preserve this ship, His Church, until the end of time. (Matt. XVI. 18). Peter still guides the bark in the unbroken line of his successors, and Jesus still teaches from this ship the same doctrine through the bishops and priests, as His cooperators, with whom He has promised to remain to the end of the world. (Matt. XXVII. 20).

Why was it that Peter and his assistants took in such a draught of fishes after they had labored all night in vain?

Because at first they trusted in themselves, and did not throw out their nets in the name of the Lord, relying on His blessing and assistance. “This example,” says St. Ambrose, “proves how vain and fruitless is presumptuous confidence, and how powerful, on the contrary, is humility, since those who had previously labored without success, filled their nets at the word of the Redeemer.” Let us learn from this our inability, that we begin our work only with God, that is, with confidence in His help, and with the intention of working only for love of Him, and for His honor. If we do this, the blessing of the Lord will not be wanting.

What is represented by the nets and the draught of fishes?

“The word of truth which, so to speaks forms the net?work of gospel preaching,” says St. Ambrose, “with which the successors of the apostles, the bishops and priests, draw souls from the darkness of error to the light of truth, and from the depths of the abyss to raise them to heaven.”

What is meant by the apostles’ calling, to their partners for help?

We are instructed by this that we should assist the preachers of the gospel, the priests, in the conversion of sinners, by prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, and other good works, especially by good example, for this is a most meritorious work. (James V. 20.)

Why did Jesus choose poor and illiterate fishermen to be His apostles?

To show that the founding and propagating of the holy Catholic Church is not the work of man, but of God; for how could it be possible, without the evident assistance of God, that poor, illiterate fishermen could overthrow proud paganism, and bring nations to receive the doctrine of the crucified God-Man Jesus, who to the Jews was an abomination, to the Gentiles a folly!

INSTRUCTION ON A GOOD INTENTION

Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing, but at thy word I will let down the net. (Luke V. 5.)

There are many people who by a special, but loving decree of God, seem to be born only for a miserable life, and who, with all this, can have no hope of a reward in the next world, because they, do not avail themselves (by a good intention) of the miseries which God gives them as a ladder to heaven.

In what does a good intention consist?

In performing all our works, even the smallest, and in offering all our thoughts and words in the name of God, that is, for His honor and in accordance with His most holy will; that we receive all sufferings and afflictions cheerfully from His hand, and offer them in union with the passion of Jesus.

How should we make a good intention?

In the morning we should offer to the Lord all our thoughts, words, and deeds, all our crosses and afflictions, and all our steps during the day:

as a sacrifice of homage, to pay to Him the service, honor and adoration due Him;

a sacrifice of thanksgiving for graces received;

a sacrifice of propitiation to render some satisfaction to divine justice for our own sins and the sins of others;

a sacrifice of impetration to obtain, through the merits of Christ, new graces and gifts for ourselves and others.

We must not forget, however, in making a good intention, to unite all our works with the merits of Jesus, by which alone they acquire worth and merit before God, and we must guard against impatience or sinful deeds by which we lose the merit of the good intention made in the morning, for a good intention cannot exist with. sin. It is also very useful to place all our actions into the wounds of Jesus, offering them to Him by the hands of His Blessed Mother, and it is advisable frequently to renew our good intention during t the day, by making use of these or similar words: “For the love of Thee, O Lord! For Thy sake! All in honor of God! With the intention I made this morning!” Endeavor to instruct the ignorant, how to make a good intention, and thus share in their good works.

What benefit is derived from a good intention?

St. Anselm says: “It renders all works, even the smallest golden and divine;” and St. Gregory: “It makes all thoughts, words and deeds meritorious, and causes us to expect in the hour of death, like the wise virgins, the heavenly bridegroom, Jesus, and be richly rewarded by Him.”

ASPIRATION Incline my heart, O God, to Thy holy commandments. Guard me, that I work not in the night of sin, and thus gain nothing by my works. Assist all pastors that by Thy divine will, they may win souls for Thy kingdom, and bring them to Thee.

July 1, 2017   No Comments

First Friday and First Saturday TLM’s for July, 2017; NEW VENUE FOR JULY and TIME CHANGE FOR THIS SATURDAY

Due to continued ongoing renovation of the Rectory Chapel at St. Albert the Great, the Traditional Latin Mass will be offered on Saturday, July 1st and Friday, July 7th at:

Church of the Immaculate Conception 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
602 West Avenue
Jenkintown, PA 19046

(215) 884-4022

Immaculate Conception is 4.4 miles (approximately 12 minutes) from St. Albert the Great.  Parking is available in the church parking lot and on the street.

Please see below for a map and directions.

First Saturday, July 1st:
Priest: Rev. Thomas D. O’Donald (Parochial Vicar, St. Bede The Venerable Parish)
Location:   Church of the Immaculate Conception (address above, directions below)

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

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, offered in Reparation to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.  (Red Vestments)
First Friday, July 7th:
Priest: Rev. Harold B. Mc Kale (Parish Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church)
Location:  Church of the Immaculate Conception (address above, directions below)

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

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass of The Sacred Heart of Jesus with a Commemoration of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Bishops, Confessors, offered in Reparation to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.  (White Vestments)
Map from St. Albert the Great Parish
to the 
Church of the Immaculate Conception 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Directions from St. Albert the Great Parish to Church of the Immaculate Conception:
•Turn left out of the parking lot at St. Albert the Great onto Welsh Road (0.7 miles)
•Turn left onto Huntingdon Pike, PA-Rt. 232 South and drive for 1.1 miles
•Turn right onto Meetinghouse Road; drive for 2 miles.
•Turn right onto Jenkintown Road and drive for .14 miles
•Jenkintown Road becomes Greenwood Avenue.  Continue for .19 miles
•Turn left onto Washington Lane.  Continue for .14 miles
•Turn left on West Avenue; drive for .08 miles.

The church is .08 miles from the corner of Washington Lane and West Avenue, and will be on your left.

 

June 29, 2017   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

At the Introit of the Mass the Church calls upon all to invoke our Lord:

INTROIT Look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins, O my God. (Ps. XXIV.) To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, the protector of them that hope in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: multiply Thy mercy upon us, that, guided and directed by Thee, we may so pass amid temporal goods as not to lose the eternal. Through etc.

EPISTLE (I Pet: V. 6-11.) Dearly beloved, Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation: casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you. Be sober and watch: because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you. To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

EXPLANATION In this lesson St. Peter teaches that if we would be exalted we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. This necessary humility shows itself in us by giving ourselves and all our cares up to the providence of God who, as St. Augustine says, provides for one as for all. We should not fail, however, to be sober and circumspect, and not think ourselves secure from the lusts of the world. The devil like a lion seeking prey, desires the ruin of our souls, tormenting us by temptations and afflictions. By confidence in God’s help we can and should resist him, especially when we consider that after the trials of this life the crown of glory will be our portion for all eternity.

ON DRUNKENNESS
Be sober and watch. (I Peter, V. 8.)

Sobriety is the mother of vigilance; intemperance is the mother of sloth and of numberless other vices which cast many souls into the jaws of the devil who, like a hungry lion, goes about day and night seeking for prey. Woe, therefore, to those who because of their drunkenness live, as it were, in constant night and in the perpetual sleep of sin! How will they feel when, suddenly awakened by death, they find themselves before the judgment?seat of God burdened with innumerable sins of which they were unconscious, or of which they wished not to know they were guilty! Who can number the sins committed in a state of intoxication, sins for which the drunkard cares nothing, for which he has no contrition, and has not confessed, because the light of reason is extinguished, his life is a senseless stupor, and he is therefore unconscious of his thoughts, words and actions.

But will the divine Judge find no sin in such persons? Will He permit the shameful deeds committed while intoxicated, the curses, blasphemies, sneers, detractions, outrages, and scandals to remain unpunished? He who demands an account of every idle word, will He demand no account of the time ‘so badly spent, of the money so uselessly squandered, families neglected, church service unattended, education of children omitted, and the other great sins committed? They will indeed excuse themselves, pleading that these sins were committed involuntarily, or as a joke, when they were intoxicated; that their intoxication was excusable, as they were not able to stand muck; but will God be content with such excuses? Will they not add to their damnation? That they took more than they could bear of the intoxicating drink, deprived themselves of the use of reason, and thus voluntarily caused all the sins they committed while in that state, is what will be punished.

What then can they expect? Nothing less than the fate of the rich man spoken of in the gospel, who on account of his debaucheries was buried in hell; where during all eternity his parched tongue was not cooled by one drop of water. (Luke XVI. 22.) Yes, this will be the place of those unconverted drunkards of whom St. Paul says that they will not possess the kingdom of God. (I Cor. VI. 10.) How rare and how difficult is the conversion of a drunkard, because with him as with the unchaste this habit becomes a second nature, and because he generally abuses the remedies: the holy Sacraments of Penance and the. Altar.

This should certainly deter any one from the vice of drunkenness; but those who are not thus withheld, may consider the indecency, the disgrace, and the injury of this vice, for it ruins the body as well as the soul.

Is it not disgraceful that man endowed with reason, and created for heaven, should drown that reason in excessive drink, degrading his mind, his intellectual spirit, the image of God, rendering it like the brute animals, and even lower than the beasts. “Are not the drunkards far worse than the animals?” says St. Chrysostom. Yes, not only on account of their drunkenness, but far more so because of the shameful position of their body, their manners, their speech, their behavior. How disgracefully naked lay Noah, although he was intoxicated not through his own fault, exposed in his tent to the ridicule of the impudent Chain! (Gen. IX. 21.) Even the heathen Spartans considered the vice of drunkenness so disgraceful that they were in the habit of intoxicating a slave, and bringing him before their children that they might be disgusted with such a state.

Finally, that which should deter everybody from this vice is its injuriousness. It ruins the body as well as the soul. By surfeiting many have perished, (Ecclus. XXXVII. 34.) and it has ruined the health of many more. Who hath woe? whose father hath woe? who hath contentions? who fall into pits, who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? Surely they that pass their time in wine, and study to drink off their cups? (Prov. XXIII. 29. 30.) Daily observation confirms this truth of Scripture, and the miserable old age, accompanied by innumerable weaknesses and frailties of one addicted to drink is a sufficient testimony of the injuriousness of this vice.

GOSPEL (Luke XV. 1-10.) At that time, The publicans and sinners drew nigh unto Jesus to hear him. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them And he spoke to. them this parable, saying: What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, Both he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost until he find it? Arid when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing: and coming home, call, together his friends and neighbors, saying to them:

Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety?nine just who need not penance. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she bath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat, which I had lost? So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.

What moved the sinners to approach Jesus?

The goodness and benevolence with which He met the penitent sinners. Do you also humbly and trustingly approach Him, and you may rest assured that, even if you are the greatest of sinners, you will receive grace and forgiveness.

What is Christ’s meaning in the parable of the lost sheep and groat?

He expresses by this His desire for the salvation of the sinner, His joy and that of all heaven when a sinner is converted. Moreover, He shows the Pharisees, who in vain self-righteousness avoided all intercourse with acknowledged sinners, and who murmured at the goodness of Jesus, that the sinner, being truly unhappy, deserves our compassion rather than our anger.

Why do the angels rejoice more over one sinner who does penance than over ninety-nine just?

Because the places of the fallen angels are thus refilled; because the angels see how the good God rejoices; because they find their prayers for the conversion of sinners granted, as St. Bernard says: “The tears of the penitents are wine for the angels;” because, as St. Gregory says, “the true penitents are usually more zealous than the innocent.”

ASPIRATION I have erred like a sheep that has lost its way; but I thank Thee, O Jesus, my good Shepherd, that Thou hast so carefully sought me by Thy inspirations, admonitions and warnings, and dost now bring me back to true penance, that I may be a joy to the angels. Amen.

June 23, 2017   No Comments

INSTRUCTION ON THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

INTROIT The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because he was well pleased with me. (Ps. XVII.) I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory &c.

COLLECT Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name; for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost establish in Thy steadfast love. Thro’.

EPISTLE (I ,John III. 13-18.) Dearly beloved, Wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death; whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because he bath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

EXPLANATION People who are really pious have always something to suffer from the wicked world, as, Jesus foretold, but they do not cease to love their persecutors as their best friends, and are ready, if necessary, to give their life for ,their enemies, as Christ did. Thus should all Christians act; for the love of our neighbor and even of our enemies is a universal command, a law that binds all; it is the life of the soul. Hatred deprives the soul of this life and makes man a murderer, because hatred is the beginning of murder, and often ends in homicide. By love we know the true Christians. (John. XIII. 35.) St. John even considers love the certain sign of being chosen for eternal life, when he says: We know, we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. Alas! how few will be chosen from among the Christians of to-day, because there is so little love among them! Empty compliments, assurances of friendships &c. love appears only in words, only on the tongue; and such idle, ephemeral, worthless love is found everywhere in this world; but that which is love in truth and reality, which shows charity to the suffering, how rare it is! and yet only to this love is promised eternal life, because it alone rests on the love of God.

Second Sunday After PentecostGOSPEL (Luke XIV. 16-24.) At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: A certain man made a great supper,and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of supper, to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out, and see it; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house being angry, said to his, servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house maybe filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper.

What as to be understood by this great supper?

The Church of Christ on earth, in which His doctrine and His most precious Flesh and Blood are given as food to those who belong to her; also the Church triumphant in heaven, in which God Himself, in the beatific vision, is the nourishment. This supper is called great, because God Himself has founded the Church; because the Church embraces heaven and earth, hence many belong and will belong to her; and because having ended the contest on earth, she will last forever in heaven. There the saints of God will enjoy the Highest Good for all eternity, and will have nothing to wish for, since all their desires will there be realized. O, what happiness it is that we are invited to His supper, and as guests are nourished by the teachings of Christ, and by His most sacred Flesh and Blood.

Who is it that prepares the super?

It is Christ, the God?Man, who for our benefit has not only instituted His Church to which He has entrusted doctrine and the Sacrament of His Flesh and Blood, but has gained eternal salvation for us by His passion and death, and who has invited us first by the prophets, who foretold Him and His divine kingdom, and afterwards by His apostles, and their successors to His great supper.

Who are they who excuse themselves?

They are principally the Jews who bound by pride and avarice to earthly possessions, and blinded by the pleasures of the world, did not recognize Jesus, and remained outside of His church. By him who said he had bought a farm are understood those who by constant anxieties about the possession of earthly goods, and the riches of this world, become indifferent to eternal salvation. By him who had bought five yoke of oxen, is to be understood that sort of busy men who are so burdened with worldly affairs that they find no time to work for heaven, for they even appropriate Sundays and festivals to their worldly affairs. By him who had. taken a wife, and could not come, are represented the carnal, impure men who have rendered themselves by their lusts incapable of spiritual and heavenly joys. Since these different classes of people do not wish to have part in the heavenly banquet, God has excluded them and called others.

Who are meant by the poor, the feeble, the blind and the lame?

The humble and submissive Jews, the publicans, also the Samaritans and the Gentiles, who did not reject Jesus and His doctrine as did the proud, high-minded, carnal Scribes and Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke this parable. The former faithfully received Him, entered His Church, and became participators in eternal happiness. This is daily repeated, because God excludes from the kingdom of heaven those proud, avaricious, and carnal Christians who are ever invited by His servants, the priests, to the enjoyment of holy Communion, but who reject the invitation. On the contrary God welcomes the poor, despised people, the penitent sinners, by separating them from the love of the world by the inspiration of His grace, and by the adversities which He sends them. Thus, in a measure, He forces them to take part in the spiritual joys of a sincerely pious life in His Church on earth, and in the heavenly bliss of His Church in heaven.

SUPPLICATON I thank Thee, O most merciful Jesus that Thou bast called me into Thy Church, permitting me sc often to share in the banquet of Thy love, and that by Thy sufferings and death Thou hast obtained the joys of heaven for me. Urge me as seems pleasing to Thee, compel me by temporal trials that by the use of these graces I may obtain the place which Thou bast prepared for me in heaven.

MORAL LESSON CONCERNING THE VICE OF IMPURITY

I have married a wife, and therefore I can not come. (Luke XIV. 29.)

From this foolish excuse it would seem as if married life were an obstacle to arriving at the heavenly banquet, whereas lawful, chaste, Christian marriage is, on the contrary, a means of eternal salvation for those to whom the gift of continency is not given. The excuse of this married man was not grounded on his station in life, but on his inordinate inclination for carnal pleasures which render the one who gives way to it, unfit for spiritual or heavenly things, for the sensual man perceiveth not the things that are of the Spirit of God. (I Cor. II. 14.)

Unfortunate indeed are they who suffer themselves to be carried away by their sensual lusts, who give away the priceless jewel of chastity and purity of heart which makes man equal to the angels, (Matt. XXII. 30.) who for a momentary enjoyment of sinful pleasure lose that white and precious garment in which chaste souls will shine for ever in heaven before the face of God! What benefit does the impure man derive from the gratification of vile lust? He gains the anger and contempt of God; intolerable disgust when the sin is consummated; the torment of a remorseful conscience, and unless he repent, the eternal torments of hell, for the apostle says: Do not err: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate shall possess the kingdom of God, (I Cor. VI. 9, 10.) It is seen from the examples of the Old Law, hove much God hates and abominates the sins of impurity. Why did God regret having created man? (Gen. VI. 6.) , Why did He destroy all except a very few, by a universal deluge? (Gen. VI. 17.) Why did He lay the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha in ashes by pouring upon them fire and brimstone? (Gen. XIX.) Why did He punish the two brothers Her and Onan, by a sudden death? (Gen. XXXVII. 7. 10.) Why did He permit the whole tribe of Benjamin to be extirpated? (Judges XX.) Because of their detestable sins of impurity. And is not this vice an object of the just wrath of God? By these sins an impure man disgraces his body which should be a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost; he disgraces his soul the image of God, purified and purchased by the precious blood of Christ, and lowers himself beneath the animal, which, void of intellect, follows its instinct; he weakens the power of his body and soul, and ruins his health; he loses the respect of the good, scandalizes his fellowmen, voluntarily separates himself from the communion of saints, deprives himself of the sanctifying grace of God and participation in the merits of Jesus and His saints, and, if he continues like an animal to wallow in this vice, he finally falls into such blindness and hardness of heart that eternal truths, death, judgment, hell, and eternity no longer make any impression upon him; the most abominable crimes of impurity he considers as trifles, as human weaknesses, no sin at all. He is therefore but seldom, if ever, converted, because the evil habit has become his second nature, which he can no longer overcome without an extraordinary grace from God. This God seldom gives, because the impure man generally despises ordinary means and graces, and therefore despairs and casts himself into the pool of eternal fire, where the worm dies not, and where with Satan and his angels the impure shall be for ever tormented.

Do not suffer yourself to be deceived, Christian soul, by the words “love and friendship”, which is sought to cover this vice and make it appear a weakness clinging to man. This impure love is a fire which has its origin in hell, and there it will eternally torment the bodies in which it has prevailed. That which God so much detests and so severely punishes, certainly cannot be a trifle, a human weakness! Impress deeply on your heart that all impure thoughts, desires and looks, to which you consent, all impure words, songs, exposures, touches, jokes, and ‘such things, are great sins which exclude you from the kingdom of heaven, into which nothing defiled can enter. Remember that he who looks at a woman with a lustful desire, has already, as Christ says, committed adultery in his heart. (Matt. V. 28.) We must, then, carefully guard against “such trifles”, as the wicked world calls them, if we do not wish to expose ourselves to the greatest danger of losing our souls. Although it is difficult for an impure person to be converted, yet he should not despair. God does not cast away even the greatest sinner; Jesus forgave the adulteress in the temple, and forgave and received Mary Magdalen. But he who wishes to repent must make use of the proper means to regain the grace of God, and prevent a relapse. Those who have not defiled themselves by the sin of impurity can make use of the following means:

  1. Constant prayer. Hence the admonition of the wise King; As I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought him. (Wisd. VIII. 21.)
  2. Mortification of the flesh by fasting and abstinence. Jesus says these impure spirits can in no other way be cast out but by prayer and fasting. (Matt. XVII. 20.)
  3. The frequent meditation on the four last things, and on the bitter sufferings of our Lord; for there is, says St. Augustine, no means more powerful and effective against the heat of lust than reflection on the ignominious death of the Redeemer.
  4. The quiet consideration of the temporal and eternal evils which follow from this vice, as already described.
  5. The love and veneration of the Blessed Virgin who is the mother of beautiful love, the refuge of all sinners, of whom St. Bernard says: “No one has ever invoked her in his necessity without being heard.”
  6. The careful mortification of the eyes. The pious Job made a covenant with his eyes, that. he would not so much as look upon a virgin. (Job XXXI. 1.)
  7. The avoidance of evil occasions, especially intercourse with persons of the other sex. “Remember,” says St. Jerome, “that a woman drove out the inhabitants of paradise, and that you are not holier than David, stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, who all fell by evil intercourse.”
  8. The avoidance of idleness: for idleness, says the proverb, is the beginning of all evil.
  9. The immediate banishing of all bad thoughts by often pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary, which, as St. Alphonsus Ligouri says, have the special power of driving away impure thoughts.
  10. The frequent use of the holy Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar. This last remedy in particular is a certain cure if we make known to our confessor our weaknesses, and use the remedies he prescribes. The Scripture says that frequent Communion is the seed from which virgins spring, and the table which God has prepared against all temptations that annoy us.

COLLECT Inflame, O Lord, our loins and hearts with the fire of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may serve Thee with pure bodies, and please Thee with clean hearts. Amen.

June 16, 2017   No Comments