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Advent; The First Sunday of Advent

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

INSTRUCTIONS ON ADVENT

What is the meaning of Advent, and what do we understand by the term?

The word Advent signifies coming, and by it is understood the visible coming of the Son of God into this world, at two different times.

It was when the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the immaculate Virgin Mary, was born, according to the flesh, in the fullness of time, and sanctified the world by His coming, for which the patriarchs and prophets had so longed (Gen. 49:10; Is. G4:1; Lk. 10:24).

Since Christ had not yet come, how could the Just of the Old Law be saved?

Immediately after their sin, God revealed to our first parents that His only-begotten Son would become man and redeem the world (Gen. 3:15). In the hope of this Redeemer and through His merits, all in the old covenant who participated in His merits by innocence or by penance, and who died in the grace of God, were saved, although they were excluded from heaven until the Ascension of Christ.

When will the second coming of Christ take place?

At the end of the world when Christ will come, with great power and majesty, to judge both the living and the dead.

What is Advent, and why has the Church instituted it?

Advent is that solemn time, immediately preceding Christmas, instituted by the Church in order that we should, in the first place, meditate on the Incarnation of Christ, the love, patience and humility which He has shown us, and prove our gratitude to Him, because He came from the bosom of His heavenly Father into this valley of tears, to redeem us; secondly, that we may prepare ourselves by sincere repentance, fasting, prayer, alms-deeds, and other works pleasing to God, for the coming of Christ and His birth in our hearts, and thus participate in the graces which He has obtained for us; finally, that He may be merciful to us, when He shall come again as judge of the world. “Watch ye, for ye know not at what hour your Lord will come” (Mt. 5:42). “Wherefore be you also ready; because at what hour you know not, the Son of man will come” (Mt. 24:44).

How was Advent formerly observed?

Very differently from now. It then commenced with the Feast of St. Martin, and was observed by the faithful like the Forty Days’ Fast, with strict penance and devotional exercises, as even now most of the religious communities do to the present day. The Church has forbidden all turbulent amusements, weddings, dancing and concerts, during Advent. Pope Sylverius ordered that those who seldom receive Holy Communion should, at least, do so on every Sunday in Advent.

How should this solemn time be spent by Christians?

They should recall, during these four weeks, the four thousand years in which the just under the Old Law expected and desired the promised Redeemer, think of those days of darkness in which nearly all nations were blinded by saran and drawn into the most horrible crimes, then consider their own sins and evil deeds and purify their souls from them by a worthy reception of the Sacraments, so that our Lord may come with His grace to dwell in their hearts and be merciful to them in life and in death. Further, to awaken in the faithful the feelings of repentance so necessary for the reception of the Savior in their hearts, the Church orders that besides the observance of certain fast days, the altar shall be draped in violet, that Mass shall be celebrated in violet vestments, that the organ shall be silent and no Gloria sung. Unjust to themselves, disobedient to the Church and ungrateful, indeed, to God are those Christians who spend this solemn time of grace in sinful amusements without performing any good works, with no longing for Christ’s Advent into their hearts.

What are Rorate High Masses, and why are they celebrated?

They are the solemn high Masses celebrated in some countries in commemoration of the tidings brought to the Blessed Virgin by the Archangel Gabriel, announcing to her that she was to become the Mother of God; they derive their name from the words of the Introit in the Votive Mass, Rorate coeli desuper. They are celebrated very early in the morning because the Blessed Virgin preceded our Lord, as the aurora precedes the rising sun.
PRAYER IN ADVENT O God, who by Thy gracious Advent hast brought joy into this world, grant us, we beseech Thee, Thy grace to prepare ourselves by sincere penance for its celebration and for the Last Judgment. Amen.

FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT

The first Sunday in Advent is the first day of the Church Year, and the beginning of the holy season of Advent. The Church commences on this day to contemplate the coming of the Redeemer, and with the
prophets to long for Him; during the entire season of Advent she unites her prayers with their sighs, in order to awaken in her children also the desire for the grace of the Redeemer; above all to move them to true penance for their sins, because these are the greatest obstacles in the path of that gracious Advent; therefore she prays at the Introit of the day’s Mass:

INTROIT To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show me, O Lord, Thy ways, and teach me Thy paths (Ps. 24). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Raise up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power, and come; that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE (Rom. 13:11‑14). Brethren, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and strife; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does St. Paul teach us in this epistle?

After fully explaining the duties of a Christian life to the Romans who were converted mainly by St. Peter, he exhorts them to hesitate no longer to fulfil these duties, and he seeks to move their hearts by this time of grace, presented them by the Christian dispensation, and by the shortness of the time of grace.

What is here meant by sleep?

The stupidity and blindness of the soul that, forgetting her God, is sunk in a lukewarm, effeminate, slothful and lustful life, which, when it is gone, leaves nothing more than a dream.

Why does St. Paul say, “salvation is nearer”?

He wishes to impress upon the Romans that they now have far greater hope of salvation than when they first became Christians, and that they should secure it by a pious life, because death, and the moment on which depended their salvation, or eternal reward, was drawing near. “What is our life,” says St. Chrysostom, “other than a course, a dangerous course to death, through death to immortality?”

What is the signification of day and night?

The night signifies the time before Christ, a night of darkness, of infidelity and of injustice; the day represents the present time, in which by the gospel Christ enlightens the whole world with the teachings of the true faith.

What are “the works of darkness”?

All sins, and especially those which are committed in the dark, to shun the eye of God and man.

What is the “armor of light”?

That faith, virtue and grace, the spiritual armor, with which we battle against our three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and in which armor we should walk honestly before all men. A Christian who in baptism has renounced the devil and all his pomps, must not live in vice, but must put on Christ Jesus, that is, must by the imitation of Christ’s virtues adorn his soul, as it were, with a beautiful garment. This text (verse 13) moved St. Augustine to fly from all works of uncleanness in which he had been involved, and to lead a pure life which he had before thought difficult.

ASPIRATION Grant, O Lord, that we may rise by penance from the sleep of our sins, may walk in the light of Thy grace by the performance of good works, may put on Thee and adorn our souls with the imitation of Thy virtues. Amen.

GOSPEL (Lk. 21:25‑33). At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars: and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves, men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And he spoke to them a similitude: See the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Why does the Church cause the gospel of the Last Judgment to be read on this day?

To move us to penance, and to induce us to prepare our souls for the coming of Christ, by placing the Last Judgment before our minds. Should not the thought of this terrible judgment, when all good and all evil will be revealed, and accordingly be rewarded or punished in the presence of the whole world‑should not this thought strengthen us in virtue!

What signs will precede the Last Judgment?

The sun will be obscured, the stars will lose their light and disappear in the firmament (Is. 13:10), lightning and flames will surround the earth, and wither up every thing; the powers of heaven will be moved, the elements brought to confusion; the roaring of the sea with the howling of the winds and the beating of the storms will fill man with terror and dread. Such evil and distress will come upon the world, that man will wither away for fear, not knowing whither to turn. Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, the holy cross, the terror of the sinners who have scorned it, the consolation of the just who have loved it (Mt. 24:30).

Why will all this come to pass?

Because as the people love the creatures of God so inordinately, more than the Creator, and use them only to His dishonor, He will destroy them in this terrible manner, arming all creatures for vengeance against His enemies (Wis. 5:8‑24, and showing by the manner of their destruction the evils which will fall upon all sinners. The darkness of the sun will indicate the darkness of hell; the blood-red moon, the anger and wrath of God; the disappearance and falling of the stars, will represent the fall of sinners into the abyss of hell and their disappearance from earth; and the madness of the elements, will exhibit the rage of the beasts of hell. Sinners will then vainly, and too late, repent that they have attached their hearts to things which will end so horribly, and that only increase their torments.

Why does Christ nevertheless command: “Lift up your heads, for your redemption is at hand”?

These words are spoken to the just who as long as they live on earth are like prisoners and exiles, but who at the Last Judgment will be taken body and soul into their long desired fatherland, the kingdom of heaven: into the freedom of the children of God. These will have reason to raise their heads, now bowed in mourning, and to rejoice.

How will the Last Judgment commence?

By the command of God the angels will sound the trumpets, summoning all men from the four parts of the earth to come to judgment (I Thess. 4:15). Then the bodies of the dead will unite with their souls, and be brought to the valley of Josaphat, and there placed, the just on the right, the wicked on the left (Mt. 25:33). Then the devils as well as the angels will appear; Christ Himself will be seen coming in a cloud, in such power and majesty that the sinners will be filled with terror. They will not dare to look at Him, and will cry to the mountains to fall upon them, and to the hills to cover them (Lk. 23:30).

How will the judgment be held?

The book of conscience, upon which all men are to be judged, and which closed with this life, will be opened. All good and evil thoughts, words, deeds and motives, even the most secret, known only to God, will then be as plainly revealed to the whole world as if they were written on each one’s forehead; by these each one will be judged, and be eternally rewarded, or eternally punished.

O God! If we must then give an account of every idle word (Mt. 12:36), how can we stand in the face of so many sinful words and actions!

Why will God hold a universal public Judgment?

Although immediately after death, a special private judgment of each soul takes place, God has ordained a public and universal judgment for the following reasons: First, that it may be clearly shown to all how just has been His private judgment, and also that the body which has been the instrument of sin or of virtue may share in the soul’s punishment or reward; secondly, that the justice which they could by no means obtain in this life, may be rendered before the whole world to the oppressed poor, and to persecuted innocence, and that the wicked who have abused the righteous, and yet have been considered honest and good, may be put to shame before all; thirdly, that the graces and means of salvation bestowed upon each, may be made known; fourthly, that the blessed providence of God which often permitted the righteous to suffer evil while the wicked prospered, may be vindicated, and it be shown on that day that His acts are acts of the greatest wisdom; fifthly, that the wicked may learn the goodness of God, not for their comfort or benefit, but for their greater sorrow, that they may see how He rewards even the slightest work performed for His love and honor; finally, that Christ may be exalted before the wicked on earth as before the good in heaven, and that the truth of His words may solemnly be made manifest.

ASPIRATION Just art Thou O God, and just are Thy judgments. Ah, penetrate my soul with holy fear of them, that I may be kept always in awe, and avoid sin. Would that I could say with the penitent St. Jerome: “Whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, I seem to hear the awful sound of the trumpet in my ears: `Arise ye dead, and come to judgment.”‘

November 29, 2019   No Comments

Solemn Requiem with Music by Morales

From New Liturgical Movement, by Gregory DiPippo

November 23, 2019   No Comments

Mass of the Americas in the Extraordinary Form

November 23, 2019   No Comments

Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

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

REMARK The Mass of this Sunday is always the last, even if there are more than twenty-four Sundays after Pentecost; in that case  the Sundays remaining after Epiphany, which are noticed in the calendar,   are inserted between the twenty-third  and the Mass of the twenty-fourth Sunday.

The Introit of the Mass is the same as that said on the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.

COLLECT Quicken, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, the wills of Thy faithful: that they, more earnestly seeking after the fruit of divine grace, may more abundantly receive the healing gifts of Thy mercy. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Col. I. 9—14.) Brethren, We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory, in all patience and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins.

EXPLANATION In this epistle St. Paul teaches us to pray for our neighbor, and to thank God especially for the light of the true, only saving faith. Let us endeavor to imitate St. Paul in his love and zeal for the salvation of souls, then we shall also one day partake of his glorious reward in heaven.

Nineth Sunday After PentecostGOSPEL (Matt. XXIV. 15—35.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: When you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth, let him understand: then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: and he that is on the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: and he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck, in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the Sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be: and unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the   sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened. Then, if any  man  shall  say  to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there: do not believe him: for there shall arise false Christs  and  false  prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.   Behold, I have told it to you before hand: if therefore they shall say to you:  Behold, he is in the desert, go ye not out; Behold, he is  in the  closets, believe it not.    For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.    Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the  eagles   also  be gathered  together.   And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven,   and  the powers of the heavens shall be moved: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes   of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power  and  majesty:   and he shall  send his an­gels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together  his   elect  from   the four winds, from the farthest   parts   of   the   heavens   to   the   utmost bounds of them.   And from the fig-tree learn a parable: when the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh.    So   you also, when   you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors.  Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. Heaven and  earth   shall  pass, but my words shall not pass.

EXPLANATION When you shall see the abomination of desolation. The abomination of desolation of which Daniel (IX. 27.) and Christ here speak, is the desecration of the temple and the city of Jerusalem by the rebellious Jews by perpetrating the most abominable vices, injustices and robberies, &c., but principally by the pagan Romans by putting up their idols. This destruction which was accomplished in the most fearful manner about forty years after the death of Christ, was foretold by Him according to the testimony of St. Luke. (XXI. 20.) At the same time He speaks of the end of the world and of His coming to judgment, of which the desolation of Jerusalem was a figure.

Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath. Because, as St. Jerome says, the severe cold which reigns in the deserts and mountains would pre­vent the people from going thither to seek security, and because it was forbidden by the law for the Jews to travel on the Sabbath.

There shall rise false Christs and false prophets. According to the testimony of the Jewish historian Josephus, who was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem, Eleazar, John, Simon, &c., were such false prophets who under the pretence of helping the Jews, brought them into still greater misfortunes; before the end of the world it will be Antichrist with his followers, whom St. Paul calls the man of sin and the son of perdition, (II Thess. II. 3.) on account of his diabolical malice and cruelty. He will rise up, sit in the temple, proclaim himself God, and kill all who will not recognize him as such. His splendor, his promises and his false miracles will be such that even the holy and just will be in danger of being seduced, but for their sake God will shorten these days of persecution.

Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. That is, where the wicked are, who have aimed at spiritual corruption, there punishment will overtake and destroy them.

This generation shall not pass till all these things be done. By these words Christ defines the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and says that many of His hearers would live to see it, which also happened. But when the end of the world will come, He says, not even the angels in heaven know. (Matt. XXIV. 36.) Let us endeavor to be always ready by leading a holy life, for the coming of the divine Judge, and meditate often on the words of our di­vine Lord: Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

(See the account of the Destruction of Jerusalem on the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.)

PRAYER Remove from us, O Lord, all that is calculated to rob us of Thy love. Break the bonds with which we are tied to the world, that we may not be lost with it. Give us the wings of eagles that we may soar above all worldly things by the contemplation of Thy sufferings, life and death, that we may hasten towards Thee now, and gather about Thee, that we may not become a prey to the rapacious enemy on the day of judgment. Amen.

INSTRUCTION CONCERNING PERJURY
Amen, I say to you.(Matt. XXIV. 34.)

The Son of God here, and elsewhere in the gospel, con­firms His word by an oath, as it were, for swearing is nothing else than to call upon God, His divine veracity, His justice, or upon His creatures in the name of God, as witness of the truth of our words. — Is swearing, then, lawful, and when? — It is lawful when justice or necessity or an important advantage requires it, and the cause is true and equitable. (Jer. IV. 2.) Those sin grievously, there­fore, who swear to that which is false and unjust, because they call upon God as witness of falsehood and injustice, by which His eternal truthfulness and justice is desecrated; those sin who swear in a truthful cause without necessity and sufficient reason, because it is disrespectful to call upon God as witness for every trivial thing. In like manner, those sin grievously and constantly who are so accustomed to swearing as to break out into oaths, without knowing or considering whether the thing is true or false, whether they will keep their promise or not, or even if they will be able to keep it; such expose themselves to the danger of swearing falsely. “There is no one,” says St. Chrysostom, “who swears often, who does not sometimes swear falsely, just as he who speaks much, sometimes says unbecoming and false things.” Therefore Christ tells those who seek perfection, not to swear at all, (Matt. V. 34.) that they might not fall into the habit of swearing and from that into perjury. He who has the habit of swearing should, therefore, take the greatest pains to eradicate it; to accomplish which it will be very useful to reflect that if we have to render an account for every idle word we speak, (Matt. XII. 36.) how much more strictly will we be judged for unnecessary false oaths! God’s curse accompanies him who commits perjury, in all his ways, as proved by daily experience. He who commits perjury in court, robs himself of the merits of Christ’s death and will be consumed in the fire of hell, which is represented by the crucifix and burning tapers, in presence of which the oath (in some places) is taken. If you have had the misfortune to be guilty of perjury, at once be truly sorry, weep for this terrible sin which you have committed, frankly confess it, repair the injury you may have caused by it, and chastise yourself for it by rigorous penance.

November 23, 2019   No Comments

Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

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

The Introit of the Mass consoles and incites us to confidence in God who is so benevolent towards us, and will not let us pine away in tribulation. The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction: you shall call upon me, and I will hear you: and I will bring back your captivity from all places. (Fer. XXIX. 11. 12. 14.) Lord, thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. (Ps. LXXXIV.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Absolve, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, Thy people from their offences: that through Thy bountiful goodness we may be freed from the bonds of those sins which through our frailty we have contracted. Thro’,

EPISTLE (Philipp. III 17-21.: IV, 1-3.) Brethren, Be followers of me, and observe them who walk so as you have our model. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren, and most desired, my joy and my crown: so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beg of Evodia, and I beseech Syntyche, to be of one mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have labored with me in the gospel with Clement and the rest of my fellow-laborers, whose names are in the book of life.

EXPLANATION There are unhappily many Christians, who, as St. Paul complains, are, declared enemies of Christ’s cross, who do not wish to mortify their senses, who only think of gratifying their lusts, and, as it were, find their only pleasure, even seek their honor, in despising the followers of Jesus and His saints on the narrow path of the cross, of mortification and humiliation. What will be the end of these people? Eternal perdition! For he who does not crucify the flesh, does not belong to Christ. (Gal. V. 24.) He who does not bear the-marks of the mortification of Jesus in his body, in him the life of Christ shall not be manifested. (II Cor. IV. 10.) He who does not walk in heaven during his, life-time, that is, who does not direct his thoughts and desires heavenward, and despise the world and its vanities, will not find admission there after his death.

ASPIRATION Would to God , I could say with St. Paul: The world is crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. VI. 14.)

GOSPEL (Matt. IX. 18-26.) At that time, As Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, behold, a certain ruler came up, and adored him, saying: Lord, my daughter is even now dead: but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus, rising up, followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman, who was troubled with an ‘issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed. But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter: thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the. minstrels and the multitude making a tumult, he said: Give place: for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.

INSTRUCTIONS I. Filial was the faith, unbounded the confidence, profound the humility of this woman, and therefore, she received health also. Learn from this, how pleasing to the Lord is faith, confidence and humility; let your prayer always be penetrated by these three virtues, and you will receive whatever you ask.

II. The devout Louis de Ponte compares the conduct of this woman to our conduct at holy Communion, and says: Christ wished to remain with us in the most holy Eucharist, clothed with the garment of the sacramental species of bread, that he who receives His sacred flesh and blood, may be freed from evil concupiscence. If you wish to obtain the health of your soul, as did this woman the health of the body, imitate her. Receive the flesh and blood of Jesus with the most profound humility, with the firmest confidence in His power and goodness, and like this woman you too will be made whole.

III. Jesus called three dead persons to life, the twelve year old daughter of Jairus, ruler of the synagogue, of whom there is mention made in this gospel, the young man at Naim, (Luke VII. 14.) and Lazarus. (John. XI- 43.) By these three dead persons three classes of sinners may be understood: the maiden signifies those who sin in their youth through weakness and frailty, but touched by the grace of God, perceive their fall and easily rise again through penance; by the young man at Naim those are to be understood who sin repeatedly and in public, these require greater grace, more labor and severer penance; by Lazarus, the public and obdurate habitual sinners are to be understood who can be raised to spiritual life only by extraordinary graces and severe public penance.

IV. Christ did not raise the maiden, until the minstrels and noisy multitude were removed, by which He wished to teach us that the conversion of a soul cannot be accomplished in the midst of the noise and turmoil of temporal cares, idle pleasures and associations.

INSTRUCTION CONCERNING RIDICULE AND DERISION

And they laughed him to scorn. (Matt IX. 24.)

When Jesus told the minstrels and the crowd that the girl was not dead, but sleeping, they laughed at Him, because they understood not the meaning of His words. Sensual-minded men generally act in the same manner towards the priests and ministers of God, who by their word and example admonish them to despise honors, riches and pleasures, and to embrace the love of poverty, humility and mortification. This is, an unintelligible and hateful language to them which they ridicule and mock just as they do when they hear that death is a sleep, from which we shall one day awake and be obliged to appear before the judgment-seat of God. Woe to such scoffers by whose ridicule so many souls are led from the path “of virtue! What the devil formerly, accomplished by tyrants in estranging men from God and a lively faith in Him and His Church, he seems to wish to accomplish in our days by the mockery, scoffs, and blasphemies of wicked men; for at no period have piety and virtue, holy simplicity and childlike faith, adherence to the holy Roman Church and her laws, reverence for her head, her ministers and priests, been more mocked, derided and blasphemed. Unhappily many permit themselves to be induced by mockery to abandon piety, to omit the public practice of their faith, to conceal their Catholic conviction, and to lead a lukewarm, careless, indeed, sinful life. Woe to the scoffers! they are an abomination to the Lord (Prov. III. 32.) who will one day require from their hands all the souls perverted by them. Do not permit yourself to be led astray by those who ridicule your faith and zeal for virtue; remember the words of Jesus: He that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. (Matt. X. 33.) Let Jesus be your consolation, He was scoffed and blasphemed for your sake, and often say within yourself:

I know, my most amiable Jesus, that the servant cannot be more than his master. Since Thou wert so often sneered at, mocked and blasphemed, why should I wonder if I am derided for my faith in Thee and Thy Church, and for the practice of virtue!

November 16, 2019   No Comments

Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who are really hypocrites?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 8, 2019   No Comments

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

Life Site News, November 6, 2019, Joseph Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 8, 2019   No Comments

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

Life Site News,

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there anything you wish you add?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, let us allow St. Bridget to speak:

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

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

November 8, 2019   No Comments

Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who are understood by the king, and the servants?

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

What is meant by the ten thousand talents?

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

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

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

What is understood by the hundred pence?

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

What does Jesus intend to show by this parable?

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

Who are those who throttle their debtors?

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

Who are those who accuse these hardened men before God?

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

What is at to forgive from the heart?

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

INSTRUCTION ON THE VIRTUE OF PATIENCE

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

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

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

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

November 2, 2019   No Comments

Feast of All Souls

Cemetery, Church, Religion, Architecture

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

The Church’s Year

Instruction On The Feast

Of All Souls
[November 2]

What is All Souls’ Day?

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

What is purgatory?

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

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

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

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

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

How can -we aid the suffering souls in purgatory?

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

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

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

Can we aid the souls in purgatory by gaining indulgences?

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

For which souls should we pray?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the Offertory of the Mass the priest prays:

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

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

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

November 2, 2019   No Comments