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Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


He is a wonderful teacher—my Divine Friend. Whatever the lesson that puzzles my ignorance, I need only listen to His teaching and all doubts will be solved, for all things are clear to Him. He is infinitely wise.

And His method of teaching, how perfect it is! He speaks words of wisdom, indeed, words crystal-clear, words of heavenly doctrine, but He does not stop with words. No, each lesson that falls from His sacred lips finds more potent expression in His actions. He teaches by word, but more by example.

He asks me to flee the world’s foolish vanity, to make a companion of poverty, to deem suffering a blessing. Though the great King of heaven, He was born in a stable, His bed was a manger: from the crib to the cross His life was a martyrdom.

He asks me to be kind and gentle and merciful. He walks before me, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead to life; He constantly speaks words of comfort to the sorrowing, of pardon to sinners, of hope and encouragement.

He tells me that love is shown more in deeds than in words. For love of me He came to earth, clothed Himself in human flesh, bore poverty, pain, and sorrow, even took upon Himself the guilt of my sins, saved me from punishment by offering His body to a frightful scourging, bore insult and injury, and at last died a terrible death on a gibbet of infamy.

What a wonderful Teacher, indeed, is my Divine Friend! Strange, is it not, that with so incomparable a Master my progress in heavenly wisdom should be so utterly meager!

Dear Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us. 

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE:  III Kings 3:16-28

The famous judgment of Solomon. The wisdom of this king, admired by the whole world, is a figure of the wisdom of the true Solomon, our Lord Jesus Christ, Whose doctrine comes to regenerate the world.

In those days there came two women that were harlots, to king Solomon, and stood before him, and one of them said: I beseech thee, my lord: I and this woman dwelt in one house, and I was delivered of a child with her in the chamber. And the third day after that I was delivered, she also was delivered: and we were together, and no other person with us in the house, only we two. And this woman’s child died in the night: for in her sleep she overlaid him. And rising in the dead time of the night, she took my child from my side, while I thy handmaid was asleep, and laid it in her bosom: and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold it was dead: but considering him more diligently when it was clear day, I found it was not mine which I bore. And the other woman answered: It is not so as thou sayest, but thy child is dead and mine is alive. On the contrary she said: Thou liest: for my child liveth and thy child is dead. And in this manner they strove before the king. Then said the king: The one saith, My child is alive, and thy child is dead. And the other answereth: Nay, but thy child is dead, and mine liveth. The king therefore said: Bring me a sword. And when they had brought a sword before the king: Divide, said he, the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. But the woman whose child was alive said to the king (for her heart was moved for her child): I beseech thee, my lord, give her the child alive, and do not kill it. But the other said: Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. The king answered and said: Give the living child to this woman, and let it not be killed: for she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king, seeing that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment.

GOSPEL:  Jn. 2:13-25

Jesus drives out the sellers from the Temple. He foretells His Resurrection.

At that time the Pasch of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem: and He found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when He had made as it were a scourge of little cords, He drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers He poured out, and the tables He overthrew. And to them that sold doves He said: Take these things hence, and make not the house of My Father a house of traffic. And His disciples remembered that it was written: The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up. The Jews therefore answered and said to Him: What sign dost Thou show unto us, seeing Thou dost these things? Jesus answered and said to them: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews then said: Six and forty years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou raise it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His body. When therefore He was risen again from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had said. Now when He was at Jerusalem at the Pasch upon the festival day, many believed in His name, seeing His signs which He did. But Jesus did not trust Himself unto them, for that He knew all men, and because He needed not that any should give testimony of man: for He knew what was in man.

March 13, 2018   No Comments

New Priests and the Old Mass

From the site Liturgy Guy. Posted by

Fr Barone First Mass
(Photo courtesy of the Catholic News Herald)

A very interesting thing happened in the Archdiocese of New York last year. Despite having well over 400 parishes, Father Patric D’Arcy was the only man ordained to the priesthood in 2012. What is even more interesting, however, is that Father D’Arcy chose to offer his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

In June of this year, the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina ordained to the priesthood Father Renaurd West. For his first Mass Father West chose to offer it in the Extraordinary Form.

That same month Father Jason Christian was ordained in my home Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina. Father Christian also chose to offer his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Last year there were a total of three men ordained to the priesthood in the Charlotte Diocese. One of those three, Father Jason Barone (pictured above), offered his first Mass, a Solemn High Mass , in the Extraordinary Form as well.

It’s clear that both Ecclesia Dei (1988) and Summorum Pontificum (2007) are producing much good fruit, and vocations, for the Church.

Concurrent with this is the ever increasing offering of weekly Traditional Latin Masses in the United States. Even just since 2007, when Pope Benedict issued his motu proprio, the total number of weekly masses in the Extraordinary Form have nearly doubled from roughly 225 to over 400 currently.

So what exactly is it about the Traditional Latin Mass, or the Extraordinary Form, that so many seminarians and young priests find appealing?

In May 2010 the excellent online site New Liturgical Movement posed this question to newly ordained Father Patrick Beneteau of the Diocese of London, Ontario. Father Beneteau’s beautiful explanation is worth quoting at length (emphasis mine):

The entire experience of preparing to celebrate the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite has been an enriching one. In my second year of seminary I read Cardinal Ratzinger’s, “Spirit of the Liturgy” and some of Louis Bouyer’s works on liturgy.

I realized that, in many respects, the Liturgical Movement was still in need of being actually implemented and taught. Thus began my keen interest in the traditional celebrations of the Church’s liturgy in both forms of the Roman rite.

In celebrating this past Sunday’s Solemn High Mass, I was struck with how Christ-centered the entire Mass was. Every gesture, chant, rubric and prayer offered by either myself, the deacon, or subdeacon, focused my attention constantly on the fact that this sacrifice was being offered to the Father, through Christ’s sacred action, not my own – and this was very liberating. The ad orientem direction of liturgical prayer emphasizes this fact so clearly.

An Increase in Vocations

As Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) recently confirmed, this current years total for post graduate level seminarians (3,694) represents a 10 per cent increase from 2005. While the improvement is modest, the trend is clear.

Following the release of Summorum Pontificum, priestly formation for many of these young men now includes learning how to offer the Mass in both forms of the rite. As we have seen from so many of the recently ordained, it is their liturgical and theological formation that has moved them to offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Father Jason Barone of the Diocese of Charlotte explained his decision to offer his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Father Barone told the Catholic News Herald that he wanted to “give God thanks for this great gift of a vocation, and to do so in the most solemn and beautiful way that I can … in a way that He has led me.”

Having spent a year of studies at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska (operated by the FSSP), Father Barone was drawn to the Extraordinary Form because it places “a stronger emphasis on sacrifice … there’s something there that really appeals to the heart, to offer God’s sacrifice.”

It has been over six years since our Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, moved by the Holy Spirit, issued his motu proprio; and yet, far to many dioceses have still not made the Extraordinary Form easily available to the faithful.

As you can see by viewing Father Barone’s First Mass Highlight Video, there is much fruit being borne from the continuing reform of our sacred liturgy. As availability to the Traditional Latin Mass further increases in the coming years, we will continue to be blessed with vocations to the priesthood, such as those of Father D’Arcy, Father West, Father Christian, Father Beneteau and Father Barone.

March 11, 2018   No Comments

Laetare Sunday: Daily Lenten Meditations


“Come apart and rest a little.” It was a kindly invitation of the loving Master; and the Apostles, weary with the strain of their earliest missionary endeavors, must have profited greatly by it.

“Come apart and rest a little.” To us also, as to the tired Apostles, Jesus often whispers a like invitation, and we should heed and answer it. Indeed, for the health of our souls worn with the neverending struggle with Satan and sin, we should spend some time in retreat at the feet of our Blessed Lord.

For our own good, with generous frequency, we ought to turn our steps aside from the milling multitudes that throng the highways of life and, far from the maddening noise of business and pleasure, take ourselves to a quiet, prayerful retreat alone with Jesus.

In the silence it would do us good, here and hereafter, to pause and ponder the great eternal truths, the purpose of our life here below, time’s fleeting brevity, the vastness of the unending life beyond the grave. Earth’s empty vanities will lose a deal of their dangerous attraction, and the tinsel toys that worldlings treasure will appear at their true worth, when viewed in the light of eternity.

Yes, life may have its sorrows, its ways may at times be furrowed deep with toil and pain, but never will the journey be too taxing, nor the strain of godly living unduly great if only from time to time we heed the voice of Jesus and “come apart and rest a little” at His sacred feet.

O Divine Light, be my Light!

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Epistle and Gospel are the same as those of Laetare Sunday, below.

March 11, 2018   No Comments


Image result for traditional latin mass

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

The Introit of this day’s Mass, which begins with the word Laetare, is as follows:

INTROIT Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Isai: LXVI. 10. 11.) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. (Ps. CXXI. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who justly suffer for our deeds may be relieved by the conso lation of Thy grace. Through etc.

EPISTLE (Gat. IV. 22-31.) Brethren, it is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was born according to the flesh; but he of the free-woman was by promise: which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also it is now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son: for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So, then, brethren, we are not the children of the bond-woman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free.

EXPLANATION It was the common custom, in the days of the patriarchs, for a man to have more than one wife. This was permitted by God, partly because they and their descendants would hardly have been satisfied with one marriage, (Matt. XIX. 8.) partly because bigamy was a means of promoting the increase of the people of Israel, typical of the future increase of the children of God. Thus Abraham had two wives, who had each a son; of these Ismael was born to Abraham from his bond-woman Agar, in the natural way; the other, Isaac, the son of the free wife Sara, was born in a supernatural manner according to the promise, (Gen. XVIII. 11. 14. ) that she by the grace of God, although aged, would give birth to a son. These two women with their sons were types, as St. Paul says, of the two Testaments: Agar the bond-woman typified the Old, Sara, the free-woman, the New Testament; the son of Agar, the Jews, the son of Sara, the Christians; for the Jews, like Ismael, are descendants of Abraham by natural descent, but the Christians, like Isaac, by grace. The Old Testament gave birth only to servants; for the Jews obeyed the commandments of God through fear of punishment, and in hope of temporal reward; the New Testament, the Jerusalem from above. that is, the Christian Church, gives birth to children who willingly and through love obey the commandments of God. Although the Christian Church, the New Jerusalem, chosen from heathenism, was in the beginning barren, as was Sara, she gives birth, by the grace of God and through His apostles, to more children than the Jewish Church, which was so long the Church of God, that is, more were converted to Christianity from the Gentiles than from the Jews. The latter even hated and persecuted the Christians, as did Ismael his brother Isaac. For their hardness of heart they were cast out by God, like Agar and her son; that is, after the destruction of Jerusalem the Jews were dispersed to all parts of the world. Let us, therefore, give thanks to God, that through Jesus we have become the free children of our heavenly Father, who through love fulfil His holy will by which we shall be saved.

ASPIRATION Give me the grace, O Jesus, that by prayer and fasting, and patience in all adversities and persecutions, I may be made less unworthy of Thy passion; that I may not, one day, be cast out by Thee, but become worthy of Thy divine promise and Thy eternal consolation in the heavenly Jerusalem.

GOSPEL (John VI. 1-15.) At that time, Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias; and a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many? Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down: in like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up, therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world. Jesus therefore when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.

Why did Christ try St. Philip?

To test his faith and confidence; to instruct us that before seeking supernatural means, we should first look for natural ways of providing; that the miracle of the multiplying of the loaves should be more marvellous to the people from having seen there was no provision; and that we may learn to trust in God, who is a helper in due time in tribulation. (Ps. IX. 10.)

What signs did Christ make use of in this miracle, and why?

According to St. Matthew (XIV. 19.) He lifted up His eyes to heaven, by which He showed that all good gifts come from above; He gave thanks, thus teaching us to give thanks to God for all His blessings. “The table,” says St. Chrysostom, “that is approached and is left with prayer will never know want, but the more richly yield its gifts.” He blessed the bread showing us that the divine blessing increases all things.

Why did Christ require them to gather up the fragments that were left?

That they should not be wasted or destroyed; that the greatness of the miracle should be made evident by the quantity of the fragments; and that we might learn to honor the gifts of God, even the most insignificant, and if we do not ourselves need them, give them to the poor.

Why did Christ, after this miracle, flee from the people?

Because after this miracle the people recognized in him the Messiah, and would have made Him king. He wished to teach us to flee from praise and honor, and in all our actions seek not our own, but God’s glory.


This gospel gives the account of Christ providing for those who followed and listened to Him, which is indeed consoling for the poor. God from the beginning of the world has always cared for His own. For the aid and comfort of His chosen people in time of famine God sent Joseph, the son of the Patriarch Jacob, in advance into Egypt: (Gen. XLV. 5.) for forty years He fed the children of Israel in the desert with bread from heaven; (Deut. VIII. 2. 3.) He fed the Prophet Elias by a raven; (III Kings VII. 6.) and thought of Daniel in the lions’ den. (Dan. XIV. 37.) In the New Testament God shows His merciful care for His own, because in great need He fed them marvelously through angels, men, and even animals, as we frequently see in the lives of the saints. Truly has David said: God forsakes not the just, I have been young, and am now old: and I have not seen the just forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread, (PS. XXXVI. 25.) that is, one who sincerely serves Him, and seeks before all the kingdom o f God a n d His justice, as Christ commands. (Luke XII. 31.) Strive to be a faithful child, and you will have God for your father, and with King David you can cast your care upon the Lord, and He will sustain you. You must not think it is enough to pray and trust in God, He demands that you should use your strength to receive help, for if any man will not work, neither let him eat. (II Thess. III. 10.)

ASPIRATION In Thy omnipotence and goodness, O my God, I put my trust, firmly believing that if I fear Thee, serve Thee faithfully, and avoid evil, I shall not be abandoned in poverty, but receive many good things. Amen.


Now the Pasch the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. (John VI. 4.)

If we would sing a joyful Alleluia with the Church on the festival of Easter, we must fulfill her desire, and prepare ourselves to celebrate it worthily. Therefore, we should shun improper, clamorous meetings, and retire often to pray in solitude, especially to meditate on the bitter sufferings of our Saviour, for when man is alone, God speaks to his heart. (Osee. II. 14.) We should carefully examine our conscience, and consider how we stand before God, for upon this day shall be the expiation for you, and the cleansing from all your sins: you shall be cleansed before the Lord; for it is a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls, that is, by fasting, watching, and praying. (Lev. XVI. 30-31.) From this Sunday until Easter we should fast more strictly, give more alms to the poor if we are able, or if poor ourselves, bear our poverty more patiently, offering it to Christ in union with His poverty, His hunger, thirst, &c. ; we should make a sincere and contrite confession, and purify our heart from the old leaven of iniquity, that we may keep the Easter meal with Christ in the unleavened bread of purity and truth. (I Cor. V. 7. 8.) For this end we should incite ourselves to holy desires, rise from sin, which is the death of the soul

March 11, 2018   No Comments

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


The Master saw him there at the money table. He was a customs gatherer, this Matthew, a Publican, one despised by the people. But Jesus saw in him a future Apostle. He stood before him. His eyes searched his very soul. His speech was brief—only two words were spoken. He made no promises, He offered no inducements. He simply said “Follow Me.” It was sufficient. In an instant Matthew had left his money table, had forgotten his greed for gold, and was ready to follow Jesus wherever He might lead.

“Follow Me!” Over and over again as I walk the journey of life the same gentle Master, My Divine Friend, whispers into my ear the same kindly invitation: “Follow Me.”

“Follow Me!” I see His blessed form before me. He points to higher paths than I have had the courage to tread, to paths that climb steeply at times and lead away quite abruptly from the ordinary ways of mediocre goodness, to paths on which, at times, I see bright crimson stains, paths that lead painfully on toward a hill, skull-shaped, outside the walls, crowned with a gibbet that stands out sharply against the horizon, bearing a blood-dripping Victim.

“Follow Me,” the pleading voice keeps calling, calling. Can I longer refuse to follow where my Divine Friend leads?

“Follow Me!” Sweet and clear it comes through the din of the tempest.

“Follow Me!” I will be your salvation. “Follow Me!” I will make you a saint. What response shall I make to my Friend’s invitation?E

Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us.

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL:  Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE:  Dan. 13: 1-9, 15-17, 9-30, 33-62

Parable of the chaste Susanna.

In those days there was a man that dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim: and he took a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helcias, a very beautiful woman, and one that feared God: for her parents being just, had instructed their daugh-ter according to the law of Moses. Now Joakim was very rich, and had an orchard near his house: and the Jews resorted to him, because he was the most honorable of them all. And there were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year: of whom the Lord said: Iniquity came out from Babylon from the ancient judges that seemed to govern the people. These men frequented the house of Joakim, and all that had any matters of judgment came to them. And when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went in and walked in her husband’s orchard. And the old men saw her going in every day, and walking: and they were inflamed with lust towards her: and they perverted their own mind, and turned away their eyes that they might not look unto heaven, nor remember just judgments. And it fell out, as they watched a fit day, she went in on a time, as yesterday and the day before, with two maids only, and was desirous to wash herself in the orchard; for it was hot weather, and there was nobody there, but the two old men that had hid themselves and were beholding her. So she said to her maids: Bring me oil and washing balls, and shut the doors of the orchard, that I may wash me. Now when the maids were gone forth, the two elders arose and ran to her, and said: Behold the doors of the orchard are shut, and nobody seeth us, and we are in love with thee: wherefore consent to us and lie with us. But if thou wilt not, we will bear witness against thee, that a young man was with thee, and therefore thou didst send away thy maids from thee. Su-sanna sighed, and said: I am straitened on every side: for if I do this thing, it is death to me: and if I do not, I shall not escape your hands. But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord. With that Susanna cried out with a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her. And one of them ran to the door of the orchard and opened it. So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door to see what was the matter. But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed: for never had there been any such word said of Susanna. And on the next day, when the people were come to Joakim her husband, the two elders also came full of wicked device against Susanna, to put her to death. And they said before the people: Send to Susanna, daughter of Helcias, the wife of Joakim. And presently they sent. And she came with her parents and children and all her kindred. Therefore her friends and all her acquaintance wept. But the two elders rising up in the midst of the people laid their hands upon her head. And she weeping looked up to heaven: for her heart had confidence in the Lord. And the elders said: As we walked in the orchard alone, this woman came in with two maids: and shut the doors of the orchard, and sent away the maids from her. Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her. But we, that were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, ran up to them, and we saw them lie together. And him indeed we could not take, because he was stronger than we, and opening the doors he leaped out: but having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us: of this thing we are witnesses. The multitude believed them as being the elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said: O eternal God, Who knowest all things before they come to pass, Thou knowest that they have borne false witness against me: and behold I must die, whereas I have done none of these things which these men have maliciously forged against me. And the Lord heard her voice. And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel. And he cried out with a loud voice: I am clear from the blood of this woman. Then all the people, turning themselves towards him, said: What meaneth this word that thou hast spoken? But he standing in the midst of them, said: Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? Return to judgment, for they have borne false witness against her. So all the people turned again in haste. And Daniel said to them: Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them. So when they were put asunder one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him: O thou art grown old in evil days, now are thy sins come out, which thou hast committed before: in judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and letting the guilty to go free, whereas the Lord saith: The in-nocent and the just thou shalt not kill. Now then, if thou sawest her, tell me under what tree thou sawest them conversing together. He said: Under a mastic tree. And Daniel said: Well hast thou lied against thine own head. For behold the Angel of God, having received the sentence of Him, shall cut thee in two. And having put him aside, he commanded that the other should come, and he said to him: O thou seed of Chanaan and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart: thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness. Now therefore tell me, under what tree didst thou take them conversing together? And he answered: under a holm tree. And Daniel said to him: Well hast thou also lied against thine own head: for the Angel of the Lord waiteth with a sword to cut thee in two, and to destroy you. With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God, Who saveth them that trust in Him. And they rose up against the two elders (for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth) and they did to them as they had maliciously dealt against their neighbor: and they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved in that day.

GOSPEL:  Jn. 8: 1-11

The guilty woman. The clemency of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At that time Jesus went to Mount Olivet: and early in the morning He came again into the temple and all the people came to Him, and sitting down He taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees bring unto Him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, and said to Him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest Thou? And this they said tempting Him, that they might accuse Him. But Jesus bowing Himself down, wrote with His finger on the ground. When therefore they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again stooping down, He wrote on the ground. But, they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest; and Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. Then Jesus lifting up Himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee; go, and now sin no more.


March 10, 2018   No Comments

Friday of the Third Week of Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


Lazarus, His friend, had died. Jesus stood by the silent grave. There was anguish written on His sacred face. His great, manly Heart was broken with grief, human grief at the loss of one He loved—“and Jesus wept.” Tears filled His eyes, great scalding tears that overflowed upon His cheeks and fell like dew upon the earth—the human tears of the gentle Christ.

“And Jesus wept.” How much that tells me of my Divine Friend! It tells me in terms of infinite tenderness of a Heart acquainted with human woe, of a Heart that feels as my heart feels, of a Heart that responds to the human need of human affection, of a Heart that can bleed when stabbed by the knife of cruel separation from human loves.

“And Jesus wept.” How close it brings Jesus to me! For it makes Him so like myself. As I see His tears I know that He understands my tears. I know that He understands when my soul is harrowed with pain, when sorrow has made my heart its home. I know that the cry that escapes my lips as I stand by the tomb of one I have loved, or by the grave of my buried hopes—I know that my cry has a meaning for Him fuller and deeper than words can tell.

“And Jesus wept.” Yes, Jesus wept, but without bitterness, wept and His sorrow was holy, His tears were sacred. Is it always so with me? I too weep. But is my sorrow always holy? Are my tears always sacred? Is there not, at times, bitterness in my grief, rebellion in my suffering? Let me pause and reflect.

Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us.

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE:  Num: 20: 1-3, 6-13

During the forty years passed in the desert, Moses and Aaron asked God to bring forth from the rock (a figure of Jesus Christ) a spring of living water, so that all the people could quench their thirst.

In those days the children of Israel came together against Moses and Aaron: and making a sedition, they said: Give us water that we may drink. And Moses and Aaron leaving the multitude, went into the tabernacle of the covenant, and fell flat upon the ground, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord God, hear the cry of this people, and open to them Thy treasure, a fountain of living water, that being satisfied, they may cease to murmur. And the glory of the Lord appeared over them. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the rod, and assemble the people together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak to the rock before them, and it shall yield waters. And when thou hast brought forth water out of the rock, all the multitude and their cattle shall drink. Moses therefore took the rod, which was before the Lord, as He had commanded him, and having gathered together the multitude before the rock, he said to them: Hear, ye rebellious and incredulous: Can we bring you forth water out of this rock? And when Moses had lifted up his hand, and struck the rock twice with the rod, there came forth water in great abundance, so that the people and their cattle drank. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: Because you have not believed Me, to sanctify Me before the children of Israel, you shall not bring these people into the land, which I will give them. This is the water of contradiction, where the children of Israel strove with words against the Lord, and He was sanctified in them.

GOSPEL:  Jn. 4:5-42

During these forty days of Lent the Church entreats our Lord Jesus Christ to give us the living water about which He spoke to the woman of Samaria near Jacob’s well, the water which quenches the thirst of our souls forever.

At that time Jesus came to a city of Samaria which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give Me to drink. (For His disciples were gone into the city to buy meats.) Then the Samaritan woman saith to Him: How dost Thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God, and Who He is that saith to thee: Give Me to drink: thou perhaps wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith to Him: Sir, Thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof, himself and his children and his cattle? Jesus answered and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever: but the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. The woman saith to Him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw. Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy hus-band: this thou hast said truly. The woman saith to Him: Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain, and You say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe Me that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem adore the Father. You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore Him. God is a spirit: and they that adore Him must adore Him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith to Him: I know that the Messias cometh (Who is called Christ). Therefore when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith to her: I am He, Who am speaking with thee. And immediately His disciples came: and they wondered that He talked with the woman. Yet no man said: What seekest Thou? or, Why talkest Thou with her? The woman therefore left her waterpot and went her way into the city, and saith to the men there: Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done: is not He the Christ? They went therefore out of the city, and came unto Him. In the meantime, the disciples prayed Him, saying: Rabbi, eat. But He said to them: I have meat to eat which you know not. The disciples therefore said one to another: Hath any man brought Him to eat? Jesus saith to them: My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, that I may perfect His work. Do not you say: There are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh? Behold I say to you: Lift up your eyes, and behold that the fields are already white for the harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together. For in this is the saying true: that it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth. I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labor: others have labored, and you have entered into their labors. Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done. So when the Samaritans were come to Him, they desired that He would tarry there. And He abode there two days. And many more believed in Him because of His own word. And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard Him, and know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.

March 10, 2018   No Comments

Thursday in the Third Week of Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


He had just finished the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. They had seen the foolish five standing disconsolate outside the closed doors of the banquet hall with the voice of the bridegroom calling out into the night: “I know you not.” Poor, foolish things, they had not been ready when the bridegroom came and now it was too late. Helpless, hopeless regret for their folly was all that remained to them. Then came the application to His dear ones, personal, direct, the kindly warning of a keenly interested Friend: “Watch, therefore, and pray, for you know not the day nor the hour.”

To me also my Divine Friend speaks the same sobering words: “Watch and pray, for you know not the day nor the hour.” What day and hour? When the Bridegroom shall come. When the Master shall call me to say that life’s work is done, and I must give an account of my stewardship. What day and hour? The day and hour when I shall die; when I shall leave this mortal life to enter upon a changeless eternity.

A sobering thought indeed—that death is certain to come, but to come like a thief in the night when least expected. A friend’s warning that, to be sure—to watch and pray, to keep my lamp filled with oil, to be ready to die when God so wills.

Am I ready today? If the summons should come before sundown today, would I have anything to regret? Would I long for delay? Am I ready to die without more time to prepare?

Let me pause and reflect and prepare now.

Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us.

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE: Jer. 17:5-10

The Prophet speaks to us of two men, one of whom put his trust in himself and the other in God; the first dries up like the heather in the desert, and the second bears the abundant fruits of his good works.

Thus saith the Lord God: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert, in a salt land, and not inhabIted. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable: who can know it? I am the Lord Who search the heart, and prove the reins: Who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices: saith the Lord almighty.

GOSPEL:  Lk. 16:19-31

There were two men, says Jesus in the parable, one of whom enjoyed life instead of doing penance, and the other suffered. The first went to hell, whilst the second was carried by the Angels into Abraham’s bosom, i.e., limbo.

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the Angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died, and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, and he cried and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the Prophets: let them hear them. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe if one rise again from the dead.

March 9, 2018   No Comments

Wednesday of the Third Week in Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


They stood about Him the Twelve, eager, attentive. His theme was a serious one—the meaning of life, the value of the immortal soul. He knew well the strong appeal of riches and honors and pleasures to their still earthly hearts. He looked on them pityingly; His gaze reached out to embrace the whole world. Then He spoke: “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?”

The whole world for my soul! That gives tremendous meaning to the worth of my soul, does it not? The whole world with all its unmeasured treasures, its honors, its pleasures, all of them heaped together and given to me to have and to hold as my very own—yet worthy only of utter contempt if the exchange demanded is my soul! Yes, for earth’s riches and honors and pleasures will all soon fade and cease to be, but my soul shall go on eternally for weal or for woe.

The whole world for my soul! Ah! yes, that were a foolhardy exchange indeed. But I am not offered the whole world for my soul. No, just the vilest pittance the tempter offers when he comes to bargain with me.

A bit of gross pleasure that befouls whatever it touches, a mere handful of tinsel treasures, an hour of meaningless honor—just that and no more the tempter offers in exchange for my soul.

Can I allow myself to be lured into such a foolhardy bargain? I must pause and reflect and resolve.

Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us.

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE:  Esther 13:8-11, 15-17

Prayer of Mardochai in favor of the Jewish people, whom the impious Aman had determined to destroy. He implored the Lord God of Israel to turn their sadness into joy. The Christian people in the same way are mourning by Lenten penance and are looking forward to the holy joys of Easter.

In those days Mardochai prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord, Lord, almighty King, for all things are in Thy power, and there is none that can resist Thy will, if Thou determine to save Israel. Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist Thy Majesty. And now, O Lord, O King, O God of Abraham, have mercy on Thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us and extinguish Thine inheritance. Despise not Thy portion which Thou hast redeemed for Thyself out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to Thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise Thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to Thee, O Lord our God.

GOSPEL: Mt. 20: 17-28

Jesus foretells His Passion and Resurrection. He will make us participants in His Resurrection if we die to our sins.

At that time, as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples apart, and said to them: Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and cru-cified, and the third day He shall rise again. Then came to Him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of Him. Who said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom. And Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to Him: We can. He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink: but to sit on My right or My left hand is not Mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father. And the ten, hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them to Him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them: and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you: but whosoever shall be the greater among you, let him be your minister: and he that will be first among you shall be your servant. Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a redemption for many.


March 7, 2018   No Comments

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


Her case was a serious one; indeed, utterly desperate. She had been taken in a grievous fault, one for which death was the penalty. In the clutch of the hating Pharisees she knew that all hope was gone. She would be stoned—the terrible fate was inevitable.

Dragging her roughly along, they came to the temple court where the Master was teaching. They pushed their victim before Him and asked His opinion, tempting Him: Should she be stoned? The eyes of Jesus rested on the cringing creature before Him; they searched the black hearts of her captors. Then He bowed Himself down and silently wrote on the ground with His finger. One by one till all were gone the base accusers slunk away, and the Master was alone with the woman. Then He spoke, and His voice was full of tenderness. “Go,” He said, “and now sin no more.” That was all. No rebuke for the past, no threat, only a gentle admonition to be good for the future.

Such is my Divine Friend—everywhere and always the Friend of sinners. Others may be harsh and rigid in the name of justice; He, my Friend, is gentle and forgiving in the name of mercy. However black the record, however scarlet the guilt, His merciful Heart will be moved to compassion, His gentle lips will speak words of forgiveness, if only we will it.

What a hope-inspiring thought to souls conscious of their sinfulness! What an incentive to confidence! What a motive for trust! Always a chance to start over again, to rise from our meanness to great heights of holiness!

What a Friend, indeed, is our Divine Friend!

Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us.

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE:  IV Kings 4:1-7

This Epistle shows us in the wondrous increase of a small quantity of oil at the word of Eliseus, by the sale of which a poor widow was enabled to pay an inhuman creditor, a figure of the mercy of our Lord, Whose infinite merits supply the ransom for our sins.

In those days a certain woman cried to the prophet Eliseus, saying: Thy servant my husband is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared God: and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him. And Eliseus said to her: What wilt thou have me to do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in thy house? And she answered: I thy handmaid have nothing in my house but a little oil, to anoint me. And he said to her: Go, borrow of all thy neighbors empty vessels not a few. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within and thy sons: and pour out thereof into all those vessels: and when they are full take them away. So the woman went, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons: they brought her the vessels, and she poured in. And when the vessels were full, she said to her son: Bring me yet a vessel. And he answered: I have no more. And the oil stood. And she came, and told the man of God. And he said: Go, sell the oil, and pay thy creditor: and thou and thy sons live of the rest.

GOSPEL:  Mt. 18: 15-22

The clemency or mercy of the Jews was content to forgive three times; Jesus says here in the Gospel that we are to forgive seventy times seven times, that is, always.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church: let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father Who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother of-fend against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee till seven times, but till seventy times seven times.

March 7, 2018   No Comments

Monday of the Third Week in Lent: Daily Lenten Meditations


He had just promised the multitude a gift of infinite worth. He had just promised them the gift of Himself—His flesh to eat and His blood to drink. But it was too much for them, and many turned away to walk with Him no more. Sadly He looked upon His chosen Twelve. His voice was full of pathos. “Will you also go away?” He said.

“Will you also go away?” To me, as to the Apostles, my Divine Friend whispers the same question over and over again. With generous love, rather with infinite bounty, He tells of gifts and treasures beyond all measuring that He has prepared for His creatures if only they will walk with Him. But many who, hearing His offer, turn away to walk with Him no more.

He tells of treasures of grace, more precious than gold or costly gems; He tells of heavenly wealth and God-given glory, of endless peace and boundless joy in His eternal kingdom; He tells of His love that He yearns to lavish upon all who will have it; He spreads wide His arms and opens His breast where His Heart is aglow with infinite ardors, and His appeal is all-embracing: Come to Me all—I will give you not only My gifts but My very Self.

And the response? Because of earth’s vain allurements, because of the glitter and glare of temporal vanities, because of the demands of the flesh and the cravings of passion, many there are who turn away to walk with Him no more, to walk with Him no more—eternally.

Sadly He turns to me and whispers the age-old query: Child of My Heart, will you also go away?

And what is my answer?

Jesus, Divine Friend, have mercy on us.

EPISTLE AND GOSPEL: Taken from the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

EPISTLE: IV Kings: 1-15

This Epistle speaks to us of Naaman, the general of the King of Syria’s army. He was cured by bathing in the Jordan, although he did not belong to the race of Israel. Naaman is a figure of the heathen or Gentile whom the Church by baptism cures of the leprosy of sin.

In those days Naaman, general of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man and rich, but a leper. Now there had gone out robbers from Syria, and had led away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited upon Naaman’s wife, and she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath. Then Naaman went in to his lord, and told him, saying: Thus and thus said the girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said to him: Go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment, and brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman my servant, that thou mayest heal him of his leprosy. And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me to heal a man of his leprosy? Mark, and see how he seeketh occasions against me. And when Eliseus the man of God had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments? Let him come to me, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: and Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health and thou shalt be clean. Naaman was angry and went away, saying: I thought he would have come out to me, and standing would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean? So as he turned, and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee to do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt be clean? Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean. And returning to the man of God with all his train, he came, and stood before him, and said: In truth I know, there is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel.

GOSPEL: Lk. 4: 23-30

Naaman, the general of the king of Syria, did not belong to the race of Israel, but he was cured by bathing in the Jordan. Let us renew ourselves in the spirit of our baptism by cleansing our hearts in the salutary bath of penitence. This will cure them of the impurity, the leprosy of the soul, called sin.

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: Doubtless you will say to Me this similitude: Physician, heal Thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in Thine own country. And He said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months when there was a great famine throughout all the earth: and to none of them was Elias sent but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the Prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue hearing these things were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they brought Him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.

March 6, 2018   No Comments