14 Day Lenten Series: Part I – Temptations: Why We Have Them

28 March 2017

Temptations Bishop Ehrler 01
“Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written: The Lord thy God thou shalt adore, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil left him.” (Matth. 4: 10, 11)

Temptations
by Bishop Ehrler, 1891

For love of us, our Saviour became man, partly, to redeem us from the yoke of sin, and partly, to show us, by His example, the right path to heaven. Temptations interpose the greatest obstacles to our salvation. Therefore, our Redeemer suffered himself to be tempted, that we might learn from him how to overcome the tempter. He is the skilful General who has taught his soldiers by word and example the grand science of spiritual combat. My beloved brethren, allow me, today, to make known to you the laws which govern this science. There are chiefly three points wherein Satan seeks to ensnare us.

I. The lusts of the flesh;
II. The frowardness of the understanding; and
III. The pride of life.

How should a man meet these temptations? Let him only compare divine joys with the base gratifications afforded by these three sources of temptation, and he will find it impossible to yield to the latter.

I. Consider:

1. That the world promises carnal pleasures to its votaries; but
2. That joy in God is far sweeter and more lasting.

1. How empty and transitory are those pleasures which are always followed by pain! Manifold are the vexations and miseries which forbidden enjoyments cause the children of this world! Men often risk their honor and good name,–yea, even put their lives in danger for some vile amusement of an idle hour. What torment can be compared with that of a man who loves and sees that he is not loved in return; who spends his money and lavishes his gifts in vain; who cannot gratify his guilty passions; or, who lives in continual dread lest his evil deeds should come to light?

Jealousy, fear, love itself, torment him, and he needs no other scourge than the sharp stings of his own passionate heart. Can this be called pleasure?

2. On the contrary, divine love gives to man a true and lasting happiness. God can find no greater satisfaction than in himself, and where can we seek for greater happiness than in God? This happiness is as eternal as its Object. Death itself cannot terminate it, but, on the contrary, only gives to it a fresh beginning. Even in this life, the love of God sweetens all trials and labors; for the true lover fears no labor; all difficulties and obstacles are cheerfully overcome for the sake of the beloved. In short, a soul that has tasted of the heavenly manna of interior satisfaction in God, will certainly have a disgust for the flesh-pots of Egypt. ” O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet.” (Ps. 33:9)

Remember II.
That if the world proposes to you doubts and objections to faith,

1. God is the eternal truth;
2. He cannot error or make a mistake.

1. Man frequently prefers to pry into divine mysteries rather than believe in them. Some must know the why and the wherefore of everything. “Why do the wicked prosper?” they question. “And wherefore are the good oppressed?” They would fain weigh the dogmas of faith in the scales of their own finite reason. They would decide points of doctrine according to their own fancy, rather than by the revelation of God and the decrees of His holy Church. There are ignorant people who will argue upon Predestination, and the possibility of Transubstantiation. What pleasure can they find in such discussions? They belong to “the unlearned and unstable ” of whom the apostle complains that they wrest the Word of God to their own destruction. As a just punishment, they fall from one doubt into another. They bewilder themselves and others–they become perverts.

2. How complete would be the satisfaction of these unhappy men, if, turning from all disputed questions, they would fix their eyes upon the truth and infallibility of God! The divine mysteries are unfathomable. “Thy judgments, O Lord, are a great deep,” (Ps. 35:7) which human reason may admire, but can never fathom! Many natural causes of material things must ever remain hidden from our comprehension,–how much less, then, are we able to understand the sublime and secret mysteries of God! Shall we be foolish enough to declare that because we cannot comprehend a thing, therefore, it is impossible! That because we do not know why this or that happens, therefore it is not well that it should happen!

III. Remember again:

1. That if the world promises you great honors and exalted dignities,
2. That the kingdom of God is greater and nobler than all these.

1. Worthless, indeed, are all the dignities of this world! In a short time, they “shall come to nothing, and vanish like smoke.” (Ps. 36: 20.) No sooner has a man attained the pinnacle of fame, than he is carried off by death. “Thou seest a man in an elevated position; thou esteemest him as noble and exalted,” says St. Ambrose, “soon thou learnest that another has succeeded him, and thou askest: Where is the former incumbent who was so noble and distinguished? Thou art simply told: He has disappeared.” It is not necessary now, my beloved, to enlarge upon the inconstancy of fortune, the envy of inferiors, the misrepresentations of enemies, and the fear of losing the grace of God. To all of these even the highest positions are liable.

2. Let a man compare this so-called happiness with the genuine satisfaction of the Christian who enjoys the grace and love of God. A brief comparison between the finite and the Infinite will plainly show the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The kingdom of God is greater, its grades are nobler, its dignities are eternal. And to what a height of honor are not those raised to whom our Saviour said: “You also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matth. 19:28.) “Thus shall he be honored, whom the king hath a mind to honor.” (Esth. 6: 9.)

You now know, beloved brethren, the laws of the spiritual combat. There is nothing more to do but to encourage you in the warfare. Keep yourselves in constant practice, and if the tempter assails you, say to him: “Begone, Satan! Why do you flatter me? That which engages my love is far sweeter than anything that you can offer me! ” O my dear Christians, you have enlisted under the banner of Christ; then, I beseech you, with St. Paul: “In all things, taking the shield of faith, and taking unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, (which is the word of God),” (Ephes. 6: 16,) ” put ye on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the snares of the devil.” (Ibid. 11 verse.)

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The Purpose of Temptations

“Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil.” (Matt. 4: 1.)

The mysterious temptation of our Lord in the desert, while it can only be explained and understood in connection with his dignity as the Messias, is nevertheless a great source of consolation for Christian souls. As the devil approached our first parents, Adam and Eve, in order to seduce them from obedience to God, so he approaches every member of the human family, for the same nefarious end. “Be sober and watch,” says the Prince of the Apostles, “because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalleth your brethren who are in the world ” (1 Pet. 5: 8, 9,); and St. Paul adds: “Put ye on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the snares 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 the high places.” (Ephes. 6: 11, 12.)

From within and without, through our friends and through our enemies, through the world, the flesh and the devil, the toils of temptation are continually cast around our souls. No place is so holy or secluded that Satan cannot find entrance; no man is so secure in virtue and perfection that he cannot seize and afflict him. Day and night, openly and concealed, he aims his poisonous arrows at us. Every one according to his condition and particular circumstances of life, has particular temptations. These temptations are as manifold as life is many-sided, out of everything on earth, the devil knows to make a snare for the ruin of souls. Before the door of our hearts, sin ever lurks, seeking an entrance into the secret sanctuary of the soul.

Why does our good God permit all these varied temptations? Does He will our destruction? Is it really His intention to plunge us into sin? Impossible; for God being Eternal Holiness cannot will evil, and being Mercy itself, he desires all men to be saved. “Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted of God: for God is not the tempter of evils: and he tempteth no man. But every man is tempted, being drawn away by his own concupiscence, and allured.” (James 1:13, 14.) To fathom God’s holy intentions, as well as to consider how we are to conduct ourselves when temptations assail us, is the purpose of this morning’s instruction. I propose, then, to answer the following questions:

I. Why does the Lord permit us to be attacked by so many temptations? and
II. Being attacked, how can we resist these numerous temptations?

I. Temptations are the touchstone of our fidelity to God. Our life upon earth is merely a probation for our eternal life in heaven. Temptations are the plummet wherewith God sounds every side of our hearts in order to measure the depths of our love for him. Can we, then, wonder that the Lord permits us to be tempted in various and almost innumerable ways? We must be tested for eternal life and for the heaven that awaits us. Through the efforts of our own free will, must we be made worthy of the bliss of the Hereafter. God could, indeed, create us without our aid, but He cannot save us without our co-operation. Heaven and its felicity are not merely the free gift of divine love and mercy; they are the reward of merit after the battle of life. Even those perfect spirits, the Angels of heaven, to whom the Lord granted the contemplation of the Beatific Vision from the moment of their creation, had to be proved and tried before they could be confirmed in glory,–so that that which had been given them as a free gift might become to them the merited reward of their free will. The obedience of Adam and Eve was tested in the Garden of Eden at the foot of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord leads every human being to this same tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not only once, but time and again, until the great novitiate for eternal life is finished.

1. God has given us various powers and faculties, of body and soul, that all being tried and tested by temptation may be employed for his service. Our eyes must be tried in order to ascertain whether, being led astray by the deceitful phantoms of sin, they are directed to evil, rather than to the true and unchangeable goods of heaven. Our ears must be tested in order to know whether they are open to evil and eagerly listen to it, or, on the contrary, open to God and his holy word, and closed to sinful words and discourses. Our tongue, our hands and feet, and all the members and senses of our body must be tested, in order to find out whether they serve the world, rather than God. For the same purpose, God searches the various powers and faculties of the soul, in order to test their fidelity to Him, and their real love for Him. He tries our understanding, to see if in the holy obedience of faith it bows to the teachings of revelation or rather relies upon its own narrow conceits. He searches our heart and our memory, the imagination and the will, and all the depths of our souls in order to discover whether we love him or adore another before Him. He tries the king upon his throne, and the lowest beggar among his subjects; he tries the father and the mother, the son and daughter, the master and the servant, the rich and the peer–everyone according to his calling and position in life, in order to test and to reward each man according to the depth of his love and the strength of his fidelity.

2. Temptations have a still wider range and purpose. The worth and greatness of our virtue lie in them. Without temptation, there is no virtue. A person may be innocent, but innocence is no virtue. Man becomes virtuous only by resisting temptations. There is as great a difference between innocence and virtue, as there is between life and strength,–a baby has life but no strength. There is no victory without battle. That only deserves the name of virtue which has been tried in the warfare against evil, and against the passions of the heart.

3. Every virtue is opposed by its contrary vice. Unbelief sends its doubts and objections into the soul of man in order to destroy or, at least, diminish the strength and zeal of faith. The spirit of impurity presents its sinful images before the chaste soul, and endeavors to cast the fires of sinful lust into its pure depths. Benevolence is opposed by avarice, humility and meekness are assailed by pride and hatred. As every being in nature has its enemy, every animal its adversary, every tree its worm, every flower and plant its dangerous and poisonous insect, so every virtue has a vice for its enemy, and the power of virtue must be tested by the conflict with its enemy. Only in heaven there is no conflict, no temptation.

4. When a nation enjoys a long-continued peace, and its army remains inactive for many years, the bravery of its soldiers and the skill of its generals cannot be known or appreciated. But when the enemy approaches, and the troops are threatened on every side: when on the field of battle, bombs, bullets, and shots are flying right and left, when they fight man to man, the courage and bravery of the soldiers are tried, and the talent of their leaders manifested. If there were no temptation, there would be no true and perfect virtue. How beautifully this truth is exemplified in Abraham. That heroic servant of God was devoted in strong and living faith to the Lord who chose him to be the progenitor of a new race. But never in his life did his strong confidence in God’s word and the sublime grandeur of his faith shine forth more brightly than when he stood upon Mount Moriah, knife in hand, ready, at the divine command, to offer up his only son in sacrifice. Then the Lord said to him: “By my own self have I sworn, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake: I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea-shore.” (Gen. 22: 16,17.) Joseph of Egypt practiced the virtue of chastity in his father’s house, but his purity shines forth more resplendently before our eyes, when we see him fleeing from the wicked temptress, and cast into prison on account of his virtue. Should we have ever heard of the chastity of Susanna, if temptation had not revealed it to us?

5. The more violent and protracted the temptation, the greater a person’s virtue. Therefore, the Lord said to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22: 31.) He permitted the Apostles to fall into divers temptations and troubles that their virtue might shine forth more brilliantly to all succeeding generations. Thus, God leads us, my brethren, into conflict with temptation, that our virtue may come forth victorious. He tests the strength of our faith through skepticism and interior doubts, and through the examples of infidelity that surround us in the world. He tries the purity of our hearts by the impure and sinful desires which arise within us. He seeks to reveal in their full splendor our love for God and our neighbor through temptations to tepidity and idleness of heart, and through unkind thoughts against our brethren. Every temptation affords the Christian a fresh opportunity for the perfect practice of some beautiful virtue.

If the life of man according to the will of God, is a never-ending trial, an enduring temptation, his reward will be so much the greater, the more his fidelity and love are tried by the fiery ordeal. Innumerable are the consoling promises which God has made to those who resist temptations. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1: 12.) “My brethren, count it all joy, when you shall fall into divers temptations: knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. And patience hath a perfect work, that you maybe perfect and entire, deficient in nothing.” (James 1: 2-4.) “My dearest, think not strange the burning heat that is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you: but rejoice, being partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Pet. 4: 12, 13.) ” Now, no chastisement for the present seemeth to bring with it joy but sorrow; but afterwards, it will yield to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice.” (Hebr. 12:11.) The kingdom of heaven must be won by hard fighting, for it suffers violence. The heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God, will not descend from heaven to earth, in order to catch us up painlessly into its bright recesses, but with labor and toil and sweat we must ascend to it, and force an entrance into its pearly walls. “To him that overcometh,” says Christ, “I will give the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth but he that receiveth it.” (Apoc. 2: 17.)

II. I have said that only those who successfully stand the test of the great trial of life shall receive the crown of glory, hence, I ask myself that other question, How shall we come forth victorious over temptation?

1. We must walk at all times in humility and in the fear of God. ” Let him that thinketh himself to stand, take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10: 12.) The weakness, frailty, and corruption of our nature are greater than we are aware of, and though we have overcome a temptation once, twice, yea, a hundred times, we must not presume on our success, for the tempter will repeat and renew his attack. Three times did he tempt Jesus in the desert, and each time he proposed to him a different temptation. He is a crafty and cunning adversary. He spies out our inclinations and wishes, and adroitly makes use of our habits and needs. He holds riches before the eyes of the poor man, and pictures to him the happiness to be found in their possession, so that, before long, the hand is stretched out to take the property of its neighbor. If he does not go that far, he, at least, looks discontentedly and enviously at his neighbor’s goods, and murmurs at, or curses, his own lot. In the heart of the rich man, he awakens insatiable desires, he tries to lead him to pride and avarice, and to a sinful use of his wealth. In the heart of him who is inclined to sensuality, he excites impure thoughts, imaginations, and desires. For the irritable man he prepares the temptation to impatience, and stirs up anew the fire of hate in his heart. Others are tempted by the devil in a different manner, but he invariably seizes upon the weak side. Often he does not at once suggest any thing very wicked and sinful. He has obtained his object if the Christian relaxes some of his strictness, and gives in, ever so little, to his suggestions. He disguises himself as an angel of light, and represents evil under the appearance of good. Or, he places on the tongues of those who are sinfully inclined, excuses for evil. He calls out to them: “Once is no time.” “It is not even a sin.” “Others also do it.” “The temptation is too vehement!” “What does it matter if you have sinned!” “You can confess your sins, and you will be all right!” and by such reasoning, he seeks to deceive the heart of man. He even quotes Scripture, (as he did to our Saviour), when it suits his purpose to make the evil and forbidden thing appear good and laudable.

Should we not, then, walk in the continual fear of God? ” Watch ye and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26: 41.) Should not our repeated relapses into past sins make us more cautious and fearful? Some of the greatest saints have fallen through the cunning of the wicked enemy of our souls. The cedars of Lebanon were cast down, and torn up by the roots in battle with the demon. All human virtue stands upon an unsteady foundation, and only the fear of God is able to preserve grace in our hearts; for the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

2. The pious Christian, although fearful in temptation, must not, however, lose courage. He will remember the words of the Lord: “In the world you shall have distress, but have confidence; I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33.) Through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the throne of the Prince of darkness has been shaken and overthrown; and Satan can no longer injure us. A residue of power is left to him, it is true, but no more than is necessary to test our fidelity and virtue. He dare not overstep the boundaries which have been marked out for him. God will not permit us to be tempted above our strength. Even the strongest and most lasting temptation is appointed by Him for the salvation of our souls.

Rain and sunshine, storms and gentle breezes, winter and summer are necessary for the life of nature, and the prosperity of all created beings; and only by these alternations, a strong and healthy life is developed upon the face of the earth. In like manner, temptations are necessary in the spiritual life; and the Lord sends as many trials and temptations to each one, as is useful and salutary for his soul. But although we must live in the continual fear of God, yet we have no reason to despond or be disheartened. The divine wisdom and love have fixed the measure of temptations for us, in order that through peace and war, through rain and sunshine, through joys and sorrows, He may lead us to the heavenly felicity.

Remember, too, that our good God has given us all the necessary weapons whereby we may overcome our temptations. A general refuses to lead his soldiers to battle, if they are not well armed and equipped, and enabled to fight with success. Jesus Christ Who went forth in the armor of his holy humanity to fight and conquer the Evil One, has left us His weapons, so that we, in our turn, may not be overcome in the warfare. His all-powerful grace by which we can do all things, supports us in the strife; He Himself takes part in the battle; He is with us when the enemy attacks us, and He fights with and for us. If we should be tempted above our strength, we shall conquer in His might.

With the shepherd boy David, then, we must go forth in the name of the Lord, and the wicked enemy with all his temptations will fall powerless before us. What we cannot do of ourselves, we can do in Him Who strengthens us. Supported by Him, we can overcome every temptation; and every victory we gain over the devil, will add a new brightness to our crown of heavenly glory.

3. But although through the gracious assistance of God, we are strengthened and enabled to come forth victorious from every temptation. we are strictly bound, nevertheless, to avoid the dangerous occasions of sin. “Seek the Lord in simplicity of heart: for He is found by them …. tempt him not, and he showeth Himself to them that have faith in Him;. (Wisd. 1: 2.) “He that loveth danger shall perish in it.” (Eccl. 3: 27.) Our Saviour Himself admonishes us to pray to His heavenly Father: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt. 6: 13.) We may, indeed, expect with firm confidence that the Almighty will be a helper and deliverer to us in every temptation, but shall we dare to implore His help, if we willfully place ourselves in the danger of sin? Will the Lord grant us His assistance in such a case? Would you cast yourself into the fire, in the hope that God might rescue you? If you do not avoid dangerous companionship, if you deliberately return to a place in which you have repeatedly fallen into sin, you must not be astonished, if the grace of God forsakes you and the temptation overcomes you. God helps only those who strive to co-operate with, and make themselves worthy of His grace. He who knowing the weakness of his heart, yet rushes anew into fresh dangers, is not worthy of the help of God.

4. Moreover, he who wishes to overcome temptations must carefully avoid the beginning, or the first step in sin. A Christian hardly ever falls at once into the depth of vice, or by one misstep sinks into the abyss of wickedness and iniquity; the descent into sin is generally gradual. The sinful thought arises gently and almost imperceptibly in the soul. Like a spark of fire, it seeks for fuel; and if it be not extinguished at once, it grows ere long into a lively imagination. The imagination begets the desire, and the desire becomes stronger and more vehement each moment; and then, from a vehement desire to an evil action is a very short step. When the first step is once taken, the second and the third follow in quick succession; and finally, the sinner descends, step by step, into the deepest abyss of vice.

5. The flight from dangerous occasions, and the guarding against the beginning of sin, are especially necessary in temptations against holy purity. In common warfare he who flees before the enemy is accounted a coward; but in temptations of the flesh, Christian heroism is shown not by meeting and fighting with, but by running away from the foe. He who is not ready to practise this heroism will be overcome by the tempter.

6. Finally, I would add one more remedy to the foregoing ones, which will strengthen us in our warfare with temptations. If you wish to come forth victorious, you must make use of the means of grace which God has placed within your reach, and which are at your disposal. These means are Prayer and the Holy Sacraments. Through prayer and the reception of the holy Sacraments, the Christian really becomes invincible. Prayer obtains for us the help of God, and supported by His almighty grace, we are, so to say, almighty, and can do what we please according to these words of St Paul: ” I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4: 13.)

The strength and support which are granted to us through prayer, will be increased and confirmed by the reception of the holy Sacraments of Penance and the Blessed Eucharist. The Sacrament of Penance breaks down the power of Satan in our hearts, and cleanses us from all sin. The Sacrament of the Altar makes us invincible. ” If God be for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8: 31.) The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the strong and mighty God who first overcame the temptations of the old serpent, will fight in us and through us; for He will effect and perform in us that which we cannot accomplish by our own strength. If in every temptation, we cry to heaven in fervent prayer, and frequently receive the God of grace and of strength, the victory shall assuredly be ours.

As Jesus after being baptized by John in the river Jordan was led by the spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil, so from our coming into the world until our going out of it, we shall be tempted and sorely tried by the same evil spirit, who, not content with being miserable himself, desires to make all others miserable as well. But we have a Saviour God, Jesus Christ, to Him we must lift up our eyes and hearts in every temptation. With courage, then, let us struggle and fight, as He has done, that when our great trial, our novitiate for heaven, is finished, the Angels of God may come to meet us in order to conduct us, crowned, into the mansions of eternal bliss. Amen.

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Prayer for the Tempted and Afflicted

O God, Who justifiest the ungodly that repent, and wouldst not the death of a sinner; we humbly entreat Thy Majesty to protect Thy servants with Thy heavenly assistance, who trust in Thy mercy, and preserve them by Thy continual protection; that they may constantly serve Thee, and by no temptation be separated from Thee; through, Our Lord etc. Amen

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


4th Sunday of #Lent: Missa ‘Laetare’ – #LaetareSunday – Link to EF Mass

26 March 2017

Laetare Sunday

26 March 2017 Anno Domini

Image Credit: OFS ofmcap NEWS

Image Credit: OFS ofmcap NEWS

Laetare Sunday Fourth Sunday of Lent
Dominica IV in Quadragesima
Missa ‘Laetare’
1st Class
Rose or Violet
[Creed; Preface of Lent; 2nd Vespers of 4th Sunday o

[Station at Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem]

Note: The Mass for today takes it’s name from the first word of the Introit: (Isa. 66:10-11), “Lætáre, Ierúsalem: et convéntum fácite, omnes qui dilígitis eam: gaudéte cum lætítia, qui in tristítia fuístis: ut exsultétis, et satiémini ab ubéribus consolatiónis vestræ. [“Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together, all you who love her: rejoice with joy, you who have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation.”]
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The Propers follow the link below for the Extraordinary Form Mass
offered LIVE online by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

Link to the Fourth Sunday in Lent Mass at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Sarasota, Florida: Please click HERE

Replay on “Sunday Mass” link

“The LIVE Mass that streams to LIveMass.net is actively taking place in Sarasota, Florida. At all times the screen will remain blank until ten minutes before the scheduled Mass. Mass times are Sunday (Low Mass) at 8:30 a.m. EST. The High Mass is at 10:30 a.m. EST. All other times the screen will remain blank. The Daily Mass schedule is Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. EST and Tuesday and Friday evening an additional daily Mass at 6:30 p.m. EST. The Recollection of the Confraternity of Saint Peter takes place also on the 2nd Friday of the month at 6:30 P.M. EST.” from the website of livemass.net

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INTROIT ¤ Ps. 24:15,16,1,2Is. 66:10,11; Ps. 121:1

Laetare, Jerúsalem: et convéntum fácite, omnes qui dilígitis eam: gaudéte cum lætítia, qui in tristítia fuístis: ut exsultétis, et satiémini ab ubéribus consolatiónis vestræ. (Psalm)Lætátus sum in his, quæ dicta sunt mihi: in domum Dómini íbimus. Gloria Patri. Laetare, Jerúsalem…

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. (Psalm) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be to the Father. Rejoice…

The Gloria in Excelsis is not said.


COLLECT

Concéde, quæsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut qui ex mérito nostræ actiónis afflígimur, tuæ grátiæ consolatióne respirémus. Per Dominum nostrum.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds justly deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE ¤ Gal 4:22-31

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Galatians.

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Galatsios.

Fratres: Scriptum est: Quóniam Abraham duos fílios hábuit: unum de ancílla, et unum de líbera. Sed qui de ancílla, secúndum carnem natus est: qui autem de líbera, per repromissiónem: quæ sunt per allegoríam dicta. Hæc enim sunt duo testaménta. Unum quidem in monte Sina, in servitútem génerans: quæ est Agar: Sina enim mons est in Arábia, qui conjúnctus est ei, quæ nunc est Jerúsalem, et servit cum fíliis suis. Illa autem, quæ sursum est Jerúsalem, líbera est, quæ est mater nostra. Scriptum est enim: Lætáre, stérilis, quæ non paris: erúmpe, et clama, quæ non párturis: quia multi fílii desértæ, magis quam ejus, quæ habet virum. Nos autem, fratres, secúndum Isaac promissiónis fílii sumus. Sed quómodo tunc is, qui secúndum carnem natus fúerat, persequebátur eum, qui secúndum spíritum: ita et nunc. Sed quid dicit Scriptúra? Ejice ancíllam et fílium ejus: non enim hæres erit fílius ancíllæ cum fílio líberæ. Itaque, fratres, non sumus ancíllæ fílii, sed líberæ: qua libertáte Christus nos liberávit.

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 Scriptures? : 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.

GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 121:1,7

Lætátus sum in his, quæ dicta sunt mihi: in domum Dómini íbimus. Fiat pax in virtúte tua: et abundántia in túrribus tuis.

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Let peace be in Thy strength, and abundance in Thy towers.


TRACT ¤ Ps. 124:1-2

Qui confídunt in Dómino, sicut mons Sion: non commovébitur in ætérnum, qui hábitat in Jerúsalem. Montes in circúitu ejus: et Dóminus in circúitu pópuli sui, ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.

They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion: he shall not be moved forever that dwelleth in Jerusalem. Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth now and for ever.

GOSPEL ¤ Jn. 6:1-15.

† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
† Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Johannes.

In illo tempore: Erat Jesus ejiciens daemonium, et illud erat mutum. Et cum ejecisset daemonium, locutus est mutus et admiraitae sunt turbae. Quidiam autem ex eis diserunt : “In Beelzebub principe daemoniorum ejicit daemonia.” Et alli tentantes, signum de caelo quaerebant ab eo. Ipse autem ut vidit cogitations eorum, dixit eis :”Omne regnum in siepsum divisum desolabitur et domus supra domum cadet. Si autem et satanas in siepsum divisus est, quomodo stabit regnum ejus ? qui dicitis in Beelzebub me ejicere daemonia. Si autem ego in Beelezub ejicio daemonia, filii vestri in quo ejiciunt? Ideo ipsi judices vestri erunt. Porro si in digito Dei ejicio daemonia : profecto pervenit in vos regnum Dei. Cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum, in pace sunt ea, quae possidet. Si autem fortior eo superveniens vicerit eum, universa arma ejus auferet, in qibus confidebat, et spolia ejus distribute. Qui non est mecum, contra me est : et qui non colligit meccumk dispersit. Cum immundus spiritus exierit de homine, ambulat per loca inaquosa, quaerens requiem : et non inveniens, dicit : Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et cum venerit, invenit eam scopes mundatam, et ornatam. Tunc vadit, et assumit septem allios spiritus secum nequiores se, et ingressi habitant ibi. Et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus.” Factum est autem, cum haec diceret: “ex tollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit illi : Beatus venter, qui te portavit, et ubera, quae suxisti.” At ille dixit : “Quinimo beati, qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.”

In illo témpore: Abiit Jesus trans mare Galilææ, quod est Tiberíadis: et sequebátur eum multitúdo magna, quia vidébant signa, quæ faciébat super his, qui infirmabántur. Súbiit ergo in montem Jesus: et ibi sedébat cum discípulis suis. Erat autem próximum Pascha dies festus Judæórum. Cum sublevásset ergo óculos Jesus, et vidísset quia multitúdo máxima venit ad eum, dixit ad Philíppum: “Unde emémus panes, ut mandúcent hi?” Hoc autem dicébat tentans eum: ipse enim sciébat quid esset factúrus. Respóndit ei Philíppus: Ducentórum denariórum panes non suffíciunt eis, ut unusquísque módicum quid accípiat. Dicit ei unus ex discípulis ejus, Andréas frater Simónis Petri: Est puer unus hic, qui habet quinque panes hordeáceos, et duos pisces: sed hæc quid sunt inter tantos? Dixit ergo Jesus: “Fácite hómines discúmbere.” Erat autem fœnum multum in loco. Discubuérunt ergo viri, número quasi quinque míllia. Accépit ergo Jesus panes: et cum grátias egísset, distríbuit discumbéntibus: simíliter et ex píscibus quantum volébant. Ut autem impléti sunt, dixit discípulis suis: “Collígite quæ superavérunt fragménta, ne péreant.” Collegérunt ergo, et implevérunt duódecim cóphinos fragmentórum ex quinque pánibus hordeáceis, quæ superfuérunt his, qui manducáverant. Illi ergo hómines cum vidíssent quod Jesus fécerat signum, dicébant: Quia hic est vere Prophéta, qui ventúrus est in mundum. Jesus ergo cum cognovísset, quia ventúri essent ut ráperent eum, et fácerent eum regem, fugit íterum in montem ipse solus.


OFFERTORY ¤ Ps. 18:9,11,12

Justiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda, et judicia ejus dulciora super mel et favum : nam et servus tuus custodit ea.

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honey-comb; for Thy servant keepeth them.

SECRET ¤ Ps. 134:3,6

Sacrifíciis præséntibus, Dómine, quæsumus, inténde placátus: ut et devotióni nostræ profíciant et salúti. Per Dominum nostrum

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the gift of this sacrifice which we offer, may ever purify and preserve our frailty from all evil. Through our Lord


PREFACE
Preface for Lent

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Qui corporali ieiunio vitia comprimis, mentem elevas, virtutem largiris et praemia: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti iubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes:

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION ¤ Ps. 83:4,5

Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum, ubi reponat pullos suos : altaria tua, Domine virtutum, Rex meus, et Deus meus: beati qui habitant in domo tua, in saeculum saeculi laudabunt te.

The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest, where she may lay her young ones : Thy altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, and My God : blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they shall praise Thee for ever and ever.


POSTCOMMUNION ¤ Ps. 121:3,4

Jerúsalem, quæ ædificátur ut cívitas, cujus participátio ejus in idípsum; illuc enim ascendérunt tribus, tribus Dómini, ad confiténdum nómini tuo, Dómine.

Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together: for thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to praise Thy name, O Lord.

 

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Thank you to Deo Volente for his hard work at his blog, Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland.


All About #LaetareSunday – REJOICE!

26 March 2017

Laetare Sunday

rose vestmentThe fourth Sunday of Lent is rather unique; like the third Sunday of Advent (“Gaudete Sunday”), the fourth Sunday of Lent is a break in an otherwise penitential season. The vestments for this day will be rose, as they are on Gaudete Sunday in Advent, and flowers may adorn the Altar. This day is called “Laetare Sunday” (also “Rose Sunday” ), and takes its name from the opening words of the Mass, the Introit’s “Laetare, Jerusalem”:

Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. (Psalm) Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus. Gloria Patri.

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. (Psalm) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be to the Father.

The Gospel reading will be John 6:1-15, on the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes — symbols of the Eucharist to come in 18 days (on Maundy Thursday of Holy Week). Note the language used in St. Matthew’s account — and in the consecration of the Mass:

Matthew 15:36
And taking the seven loaves and the fishes, and giving thanks, he brake, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the people.

And from the Mass:

Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His Holy and venerable hands, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, to Thee, God, His Almighty Father, giving thanks to Thee, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and eat ye all of this.

And after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, this is what happens, according to John’s Gospel:

John 6:12-13
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.

“Gather up the fragments lest they be lost,” He said to them. And the Twelve did, symbolizing their future ordinations, their being given to power to feed His sheep with His Body and Blood as foreshadowed in the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

 

Customs

Laetare Sunday is also known as “Mothering Sunday” because of the Epistle reading that speaks of how not the Jews, but those who come to Christ, regardless of their ancestry, are the inheritors of Abraham’s promise:

Galatians 4:22-31
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman, 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 bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

RosesSymbolThe old practice of visiting the cathedral, or “mother church” of the diocese on this day is another reason for the name. In England, natural mothers are honored today, too, in a manner rather like the American “Mother’s Day.” Spring bulb flowers (daffodils, for ex.) are given to mothers, and simnel cake is made to celebrate the occasion (this cake has also become an Easter Cake of late, however). The word “simnel” comes from the Latin “simila,” a high grade flour:

Simnel Cake

1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1 1/3 cups golden raisins
1 cup dried currants
2/3 cup candied cherries, rinsed, dried and quartered
1/4 cup candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 pound almond paste
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan. Line the bottom and sides of pan with greased parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour. Stir in the golden raisins, currants, candied cherries, mixed fruit, lemon zest and mixed spice. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan.

Divide almond paste into 3 equal portions. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste to an 8 inch circle. Place the circle of almond paste on the cake batter in pan. Cover with remaining cake batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until evenly brown and firm to the touch. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil after an hour of baking. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Set oven to broil. When the cake has cooled, brush the top with warmed apricot jam. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste into an 8 inch circle and place on top of cake.

Divide the remaining 1/3 of almond paste into 11 pieces and roll into balls. These represent the 12 Apostles minus Judas. Brush the almond paste on top of cake with beaten egg. Arrange the 11 balls around the outside edge on the top of cake. Brush the balls lightly with egg. Place cake under the broiler for 8 to 10 minutes, or until almond paste is golden brown.

 

The rose vestments on Laetare Sunday is a custom originating in the fact that, as a symbol of joy and hope in the middle of this somber Season, popes used to carry a golden rose in their right hand when returning from the celebration of Mass on this day (way back in 1051, Pope Leo IX called this custom an “ancient institution.”)

Originally it was natural rose, then a single golden rose of natural size, but since the fifteenth century it has consisted of a cluster or branch of roses Rose given by Pope to Shrine at Knock, Ireland wrought of pure gold in brilliant workmanship by famous artists. The popes bless one every year, and often confer it upon churches, shrines, cities, or distinguished persons as a token of esteem and paternal affection. In case of such a bestowal, a new rose is made during the subsequent year. (The Golden Rose at right was given to the Shrine at Knock, Ireland)

The golden rose represents Christ in the shining splendor of His majesty, the “flower sprung from the root of Jesse,” and it is blessed with these words:

O God! by Whose word and power all things have been created, by Whose will all things are directed, we humbly beseech Thy Majesty, Who art the joy and gladness of all the faithful, that Thou wouldst deign in Thy fatherly love to bless and sanctify this rose, most delightful in odor and appearance, which we this day carry in sign of spiritual joy, in order that the people consecrated by Thee and delivered from the yoke of Babylonian slavery through the favor of Thine only-begotten Son, Who is the glory and exultation of the people of Israel and of that Jerusalem which is our Heavenly mother, may with sincere hearts show forth their joy. Wherefore, O Lord, on this day, when the Church exults in Thy name and manifests her joy by this sign, confer upon us through her true and perfect joy and accepting her devotion of today; do Thou remit sin, strengthen faith, increase piety, protect her in Thy mercy, drive away all things adverse to her and make her ways safe and prosperous, so that Thy Church, as the fruit of good works, may unite in giving forth the perfume of the ointment of that flower sprung from the root of Jesse and which is the mystical flower of the field and lily of the valleys, and remain happy without end in eternal glory together with all the saints.

Note: you can remember to differentiate between Advent’s Gaudete Sunday and Lent’s Laetare Sunday — the two “rose vestment” Sundays — by remembering that Laetare Sunday comes in Lent, both of which begin with the letter “L.”

Source: Fisheaters.com


The Fourth Sunday in Lent – Laetare Sunday – Sermon by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger S.J. (1805-1888)

26 March 2017

4th_Sun_of_Lent_Pic

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed to them.”–John 6.

In today’s Gospel all are admonished to strengthen, particularly, that disposition of the heart which exercises, in a special manner, a beneficial influence over our life in the service of God, namely, our trust in His providence. There are so many trials in this world for both body and soul! So many evils, so many maladies and dangers threatening the health and life of man! How great, how urgent, frequently, are the cares for our daily existence! And if this is true of the body, what shall we say of the dangers to which the soul is exposed on the way of salvation?

Hence, how important it is for us to strengthen our trust in the providence of the Almighty. We shall consider, today, one by one, the motives for doing this.

O Mary, thou who art next to God, our most consoling refuge and trust, strengthen in our hearts this confidence in God, that we may be aided by Him in every need! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

That confidence in the providence of God is a most important disposition of the mind, is evident from what I have said in the introduction about the many needs of both body and soul.

Accordingly, Christ reminds us often and emphatic ally of this confidence, and exhorts us to cultivate it. The same is done by the Apostles. St. Peter, especially, admonishes us earnestly to place ourselves, like children, in God’s fatherly arms, and cast all our care upon Him. How readily would we obey this admonition of Christ and His Apostles, were we to consider Who God is, what He has done for us and for the world, were we to reflect on the lofty destiny for which He has created us, and the protection He has promised, if we place our trust in Him!

To strengthen, then, your trust in the providence of God, ponder first: Who God is. We place our confidence in another in proportion as we feel convinced that he understands what we need, and that he has it in his power to do for us whatever our safety requires. Again, this confidence we grant cheerfully and unreservedly if we know that our protector has the will to assist us, that he loves us, and that his relations towards us are such that we have a right to expect from him this aid; particularly, if he has promised to help us, and has already given us proofs of his readiness to keep his word.

Who does not see at a glance, after what has been said, how just and well-founded is our trust in God, and His providence, and how firm our hope should be in the help of God under every hardship of life? God knows what we need; He is omniscient; everything, says St. Paul, lies unfolded before Him like an open book. He knows the needs of our body and soul much better than we do ourselves. Let us trust in Him.

He is almighty; He can help us. It is He who, as Creator, called heaven and earth into existence, and who governs and preserves them. Has He the will to help us? Who can doubt it? Is He not infinite goodness, and at the same time our Creator and Father.

What splendid, what numerous proofs of the providence of God as Creator and Ruler of the world, surround us! What harmony, order and consistency we perceive in the entire visible creation, if we let our eyes wander from this earth to the far off starry hosts! For thousands of years the sun has risen and gone down never a second too early or too late. Child of man! does not the first ray of the sun say to you: There is a Providence? here am I again! Confide, trust!

But as the ancient philosopher Plato has said, the care of Providence appears to us more astounding in the smallest plant and animal which God’s omnipotence has called into existence, than in the magnificent heavenly bodies and their wonderful movements. Does not Christ Himself point to this when He emphatically says: “Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them? Are not you of much more value than they?” “And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith!” (Matt. 6, 26, 30).

How earnest should be our endeavor to strengthen our trust in God, when we think of the being He gave us; a being that reflects His likeness and surpasses in perfection all visible creatures! And for what end has He created us? Answer: For Himself, that we may one day become “like unto Him,” for His and our own glorification.

But what must our feelings be, when we think of the price He paid for us, when through sin, we were threatened with destruction? Did He not clothe Himself with our nature, live for our sake a life of infinite merit, and consummate the work of Redemption in excruciating sufferings and a bitter death?

Therefore, child of man, likeness of God, redeemed soul, have confidence! God will save you; He will help you.

Our trust in God will be still more strengthened, if we reflect upon the manner in which He bestowed upon us His infinite merits. He could not have granted them with greater liberality, did He come into the world to save each one of us alone. For us especially, the children of His holy Church, He has opened wide all the fountains of divine grace, and left abundant means unto salvation.

Each one knows how often Providence has protected him personally in many dangers of body and soul. Who can think of all this, and not throw himself, with all the trust of Christian hope, into the fatherly arms of God? This is not only a just, but at the same time a noble and meritorious act.

I say noble, for this trust marks the difference between the children of God and the children of the world. The latter are filled with care only to secure by industry their own and their children’s temporal welfare; and when misfortunes assail them, they think not of God, but seek help from man, as if man could aid them without the will of the Almighty. And if men help us, from whom do they receive the power to do so but from God?

It is unfortunate that men, even Christians, think of this so seldom, but ever run for aid to human be ings, sometimes even doing, or allowing others to do, for their alleviation, things which offend God. Thus act, especially, those Catholics who, merely to gain assistance in time of need, scruple not to join secret societies, which, for important reasons, are condemned by the Church.

What an admonition, a warning to us, especially in these times, and this country, to beware of being drawn into the nets of secret societies, and of being thus excluded from the spiritual consolations of holy Communion, not only during life, but also at the hour of death!

Confidence in God is also a particularly holy and meritorious act, because it includes so many other acts of virtue, namely, the recognition of the sovereignity of God over all His creatures and the entire world, His omnipotence, power, goodness, truth, fidelity and love. It is, therefore, an act which especially honors and pleases God, and to which He has promised His special protection: “Because he hoped in Me, I will deliver him, I will protect him,” is the promise made by God in the Psalms. It is an act which fully expresses the confession and longing of the pious soul: All for the greater glory of God, even my trials and my sorrows.

We have seen in the lives of many of the saints how successfully this disposition of mind will aid us to do great deeds in the service of God. Although poor, unknown, persecuted, how many great deeds they undertook and completed for the glory of God and the salvation of souls! Why? Knowing well their own capacity, they were humble and acknowledged themselves worthless, incompetent servants, but their trust was in God; hence their grand plans and their perfection, and hence their strength and perseverance. Trust in God, was their support.

Finally, how consoling, how sweet an act to place ourselves like children in the arms of our Father, and look confidingly up to Him in the storms of life. It is a foretaste of the peace, the eternal rest that the blessed enjoy in the contemplation of God! Amen!

“And a great multitude followed Him.”–John 6.

The people followed Jesus into the wilderness, because they were desirous of hearing Him. Their bodies hungered, but their souls were so refreshed, so delighted with the word He spoke, that they forgot their corporal needs, and Christ, to recompense their zeal, wrought a miracle.

What an example for us, to hear attentively the Word of God. and draw from it fruit for the benefit of our souls! Unfortunately, the wondrous fruits of the spoken word of God are not to be found in the great majority of Christian people. And why? The words of today’s Gospel, if carefully considered, will answer this question.

Were the dispositions of the children of the Church like those of the five thousand people who followed Christ into the wilderness, the Word of God would bring forth abundant fruit for the salvation of all.

Mary, thou who didst gain from the words of thy divine Son such wondrous benefits, pray for us that we also may henceforth draw abundant fruit therefrom for our soul’s salvation! O speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

Five thousand men followed Christ into the wilderness to hear Him speak. How great must their desire have been to understand His doctrine! It caused them to disregard the necessaries of life; they did not even think of providing food. What a salutary lesson for those Christians, who frivolously neglect to hear the word of God from those of whom Christ has said: “Those; who hear you, hear me! The desire to hear the Word of God is fearfully wanting in many Christians. Are there only a few who the whole year long listen not to a single sermon? who think they are doing wonders if they assist at Mass every Sunday? Is it surprising that they lead an indifferent life, or even follow the ways of evil without concern? How can it be otherwise? During the entire year they hear not a word of advice or instruction regarding those duties, which, as children of the Church, they must fulfill, if they would lead a good and holy life.

They live from year to year unconcernedly in the occasions of sin. And why? Because no one reproves them or shows to them the dangers which threaten their souls. They live in sin, because no one pictures to them frequently and touchingly the wickedness, the misfortune, the guilt of sin. It does not enter their thoughts to walk in the path of righteousness, or to live a holy life, because no one reminds them of their obligations, and because they have before their eyes only the example of other in different Christians. How different would the case be, if they heard the Word of God every Sunday with a well disposed heart! But this assistance they fail to secure.

The radical fault lies in the slight esteem they have for the Word of God. Hence, even if they do hear a sermon, they devote their attention to the style and delivery of the speaker, and listen to him more as a man and lecturer, than as a priest and preacher. St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, gives thanks to God that they had received his word “not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the Word of God, Who worketh in you that have believed.” Will God work in those who listen to the divine Word as the word of men?

The priest speaks in the name of God. It is the Lord who addresses us, when by His commission the preacher expounds the teachings and precepts of the Church. St. Teresa one day saw our Lord Himself standing at the side of a priest in the pulpit softly whispering into his ear what he was preaching to the people. How attentively must not the saint have listened to every word which came from the lips of that priest! How carefully would you not listen to this sermon, were you to see beside me Christ suggesting to me all that I am saying! And yet, whenever a priest of the Church preaches the Gospel and expounds it according to the interpretation of the Fathers and of holy Mother Church, it is really Christ that speaks to us. Has he not declared emphatically: “He that hears you hears Me?”

Do not therefore say: “I am not interested in what the preacher says; I know it already, and perhaps just as well as he.” You forget that divine grace accompanies the word of the priest as minister of the Lord, which is not the case when he who addresses you is not a priest, or not possessed of divine mission.

Hence the frequent astonishing conversions of repentant sinners, who have assisted at a sermon which convinced or moved them, although the sermon, perhaps told them nothing new, nothing that they had not heard before.

Divine grace, which accompanied the words of the priest, accomplished the deed. Therefore I say, if we do not profit by sermons, it is because we lack that hunger and thirst for the Word of God, which a proper esteem for it is calculated to produce.

There are many, however, who though they feel the need and good of a sermon, yet always fail to hear one, and always find numberless excuses to justify their conduct. They say: I have not the time, my business prevents me. I live properly, and know what the duties of a Christian are. I answered these excuses when I spoke on the nature, worth, and divine influence of the Word of God. I will now merely say, in regard to time, that he who wills can do much, often can do whatsoever he wills. Moreover we should remember that we can expect no blessing even in this world, if, neglecting to speak to God in prayer, and to listen to His sacred Word, we desecrate the Lord s day by servile work, business transactions, or frivolous intercourse with others.

Our Lord says: “Seek ye, therefore, first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Those, however, who live frivolously and who care not to hear the Word of God, heed not this admonition.

The Church possesses no attraction for such people, and they only visit it to fulfill, outwardly, their duties as Christians. Even if they sometimes do hear a sermon they take it not to heart, and find in it no food for the soul. And yet the Word of God is the Manna which, as the Holy Ghost says, contains all sweetness, and which, if we properly meditate upon it, will allay the hunger of our soul.

A man who desires ardently his salvation ought naturally to hunger and thirst after a more complete knowledge of the science which will secure it for him. Listen to sermons! They will teach you this science. The word of God will enlighten you.

He who seeks in truth his salvation, desires strength to live in accordance with the recognized will of God. Listen to sermons! The Word of God will animate and strengthen you, by untold motives, to fulfill your duties and lead a holy life.

The heart of man hungers and thirsts after good advice, and guidance to escape the evils or to cure the diseases of his soul. Listen to sermons! The Word of God offers you these means; make use of them, and your soul will be benefited.

Man here upon earth, longs for consolation in sorrow and suffering; hear the Word of God! It will comfort, it will refresh you. A heart sighing after holiness, desires to receive the graces necessary to this end. Listen to the Word of God coming from on high! Meditate in union with the people of today’s Gospel, that is: with grateful love for Jesus, reflect on the Word of God, and the Lord will satisfy the hunger of your soul, bestow upon you light, comfort, and strength in His service! Amen!

“And this He said to try him; for He Himself knew what He would do.”–John 6.

“Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?” Christ asked Philip. He questioned him thus to try him. He–Jesus–knew that by a miracle He would feed those who, in order to hear His Word, had so zealously followed Him.

That which Christ did in today s Gospel is repeated by divine Providence unceasingly in the life of man. Men so often know not what they do, and so little accustom themselves to yield submissively to the decrees of Providence! Were it otherwise, how willingly would God do great and wonderful things in us!

I say: Only too often you know not what you are doing, no matter how clever you deem yourself; but God always knows what He does. Hence yield yourself to His guidance.

Mary, thou who didst stand silent beneath the cross, obtain for us that we may submit as perfectly as thou didst to the divine, though trying, decrees of Providence! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

“Father, they know not what they do!” Indeed, most men know not what they do. They neither understand nor reflect on the ways of God, nor allow themselves to be guided by His fatherly hand. They wish the Lord to follow whither they lead, and to do as they wish, because they imagine it will promote their happiness, while only too often it proves to be the cause of their misfortune and ruin.

This is the case, first, with all those who are foolish enough to seek the gratification of their wishes where it can not be found, but where, on the contrary, they meet the reverse. Man, who is created for happiness, seeks to satisfy the inclinations of his nature. He desires worldly goods, honors and pleasures, and these for the longest possible period. God, however, has not created him for these, but for Himself, for His glory; and this, for all eternity, but under the one condition that we serve Him.

The sinner seeks the gratification of his natural inclinations for riches, honors and pleasures; but where and how does he seek it? In creatures, and by the transgression of God’s laws. Oh, fatal delusion; for what are all earthly possessions? Dust! What is all earthly honor? Vapor! What is all worldly pleasure? Delusion! What is the longest age? Scarcely a moment, if compared with eternity.

Besides, how true and undeniable is the assurance of Holy Writ, that each one will be punished in that wherein he offended! The proud suffer humiliation; the avaricious, imaginary need; the passionate, wrongs; the envious, losses; the impure, great bodily torments; the intemperate, thirst; the indolent, hardships.

And, notwithstanding this, such men think that they act wisely, and consider the ways of the virtuous foolish, because these do not allow themselves every enjoyment, but turn their eyes from time to eternity, and bestow all their care upon the latter.

“Father, they know not what they do!” But Jesus knoweth what He does when He afflicts these worldly, sinful children of His Church with misfortune, when He throws obstacles in their evil path, and thus calls, admonishes and urges them to repentance.

When the Lord in this manner designs to seek men they ought to be most grateful; for then there is hope that they will return to the path of salvation. No more terrible judgment can befall the sinner than when God allows him to walk unpunished the road to destruction, and recompenses the good moral qualities, which he may still possess, with temporal goods, for then nothing awaits him in the other world save the endless punishment of sin.

But not only to sinners, but also to those who, though they fear God, and keep His commandments, still lead in the world the life of lukewarm and tepid Christians, are the words of God addressed: “They know not what they do,” nor what they desire. God, however, knows why He sends this or that calamity, if Christians do not, who, in their ignorance, endeavor to resist or avoid the dispensations of Providence.

The evil sometimes goes still further. Even among good Christians there are unfortunately many who, finding the ways of God incomprehensible, dare even to criticise them in their own mind, or in the presence of their intimate friends, and who, refusing to put themselves entirely in God’s hands, never draw, for the sanctification of their souls, the full benefit from the sacred dispensations of divine Providence.

Why are these miserable and deluded persons so obstinate, so unyielding? I answer: Because they judge the ways of God as they appear to them; they are not sufficiently penetrated with the light of holy faith, and do yield to their self-conceit.

It is not without reason that Jesus exhorts us “not to judge according to the appearance.” It may happen, and, in fact, not seldom does happen, that pious and zealous souls make plans, and are confused and embarrassed when, on the point of carrying them out, they find that these plans have been thwarted and rendered futile. God allows this; but men do not know it, and can not comprehend why He permits it. Why? Because they do not really know men as they are; but God knows them.

They do not know themselves, or how they stand in the sight of God. Not so, however, Jesus. He knows how weak they are, and that, if they began the work, they would leave it unfinished, and abandon it, which would be worse than not to have begun it at all.

They can not read the heart of men. Not so, however, Jesus. He knows what He does. He knows that those very persons who now seem favorably disposed towards them, would afterwards oppose their work, and destroy it. They do not know that a good deed done now may prevent the execution of a better work later.

Finally, they do not consider that God has no need of us to lead souls to their destination, and that frequently He only bestows upon us the merit of our good intentions. “Lord, Thou hast no need of my works,” says the Psalmist. Oh, how beneficial to every soul would it be if she made a similar confession! Then the arm of God would not be shortened; for, seeing us perfectly willing to let Him act for us, and to leave to Him the results of all our labors, whatever their importance, He would be most ready to multiply the loaves of bread that is, to increase His graces and blessings, because we would then be working only for His honor and glory, and not for our own self-love and vanity.

If we are thus disposed, if we act in this manner, then will those, who are Christians only in name, be induced to say, when they consider our life: We can not understand how people can live thus; how they can care so little for worldly goods, so little for amusement, honor, and the approbation of men; and, withal, be so lavish in providing for the needy, in seeking, at so much trouble and division, for the well-being of others. How can they despise the world, and seem to find heaven upon earth in union with Jesus, especially in the Most Holy Sacrament? They do not understand this; they do not know it. But those who live thus know why, and they can say, with David: “I believe, therefore do I speak thus.”

I believe, I trust in Jesus, therefore I live thus, and in joy and sorrow exclaim: Jesus, in life and in death, I am thine! Amen!

Source: http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/


Countdown to #Christmas – The #Annunciation Heralds the Beginning

25 March 2017

FraAngelico

Feast of the Annunciation

Sermon by Fr. Francis X. Weninger, S.J. (1805-1888)

And the angel Gabriel was sent by God into a city of Galilee called Nazareth,
and the name of the virgin was Mary.”–Luke 1.

Athwart the somber season of Lent, the deepening shadows of which grow darker still until the bright dawn of the resurrection morn dispels their gloom, there flashes the glory of a divine fact which gives to this festival of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary a rank equal to that of the greatest feast of the Church. This divine fact may well inspire our hearts with the most tender, the most exquisite, the most joyful, affections of thanksgiving, for to its existence we are indebted for the inestimable grace of Redemption.

It was upon this day, beloved in Christ, that the angel Gabriel–to whom God had given in charge the precious soul of her whom He had from all eternity chosen to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate–bore to the tender Virgin, whose purity had never been tarnished by the slighest breath of evil, the joyful tidings that she was, while preserving the pearl of virginity, to become the Mother of God.

It was upon this day, then, that the Son of God assumed our human nature for the redemption and salvation of fallen man; and yet there is, in general, but too little attention devoted to the consideration of the mystery we commemorate thereon; for, by the greater number of Christians, it is regarded and celebrated simply as a feast in honor of Mary. But, in fact, it is the very corner-stone upon which rest all the other feasts,–commemorating, as it does, an event which can not fail to fill the human heart with adoration, gratitude, and the most intense consolation.

Every thing depended upon the decree of God whether, in His infinite mercy, He would be pleased to stretch forth His arm and rescue the human race from the abyss of a wretchedness too profound almost to be conceived. But, since “the angel of the Lord declared unto Mary” the message of salvation, and the Son of God assumed on that very day her flesh, everything was changed; and from the Feast of the Annunciation came forth Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and the eternal triumph of the Church.

Let us consider today the message of the angel to Mary in its divine sublimity, as well as in the importance with which it is invested for the children of men. O Mary, who was already full of grace when the angel saluted thee, and elected thee not only to become the Mother of God, but also Mother of all the children of God, accept us today as thy children! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater honor and glory of God!

If, my beloved Christians, the words of the holy gospels–whenever we open the pages of the inspired volume, but especially when we hear them from the lips of the priest on the occasion of the celebration of the feasts of the Church–tend ever to inspire us with joy, and to elevate our hearts to God, this is especially true of the gospel which is set apart for this joyous day.

“At that time the angel Gabriel was sent to a town named Nazareth, to a Virgin called Mary.” Blessed words! for, as often as we hear them, the happy event which we commemorate today arises immediately before our eyes, clear and distinct, as if we had been present when the glory of the angel irradiated the humble little room at Nazareth. In spirit, we behold the Immaculate Virgin, united with her God in fervent prayer, oblivious of all but Him, when, lo! an angel of the Lord appeared before her. We can almost hear his voice, in the tones of which still linger the sweetness of that celestial music to which it were bliss to list.

We have every reason to learn and to ponder deeply upon the signification of this angelic message, which was a most holy, a most solemn, a most momentous, a most consoling, and joyful message, both for the Blessed Virgin and for her devoted children.

In every message the importance is increased or lessened according to the dignity of the sender. A message is brought to us by a relative, acquaintance, or inferior, and produces but little effect upon us; we may not even delay the messenger long enough to hear what he has to say.

But suppose a person of high rank has something to say to us,–a Prince, a King, an Emperor, the President, the Pope! With what consideration we treat the messenger! How very attentively we listen, that we may know precisely what he has to impart! Imagine, then, how important, and, at the same time, how holy, was the message of the angel! It came from the Most Holy Trinity–God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! It was the message of the Infinite Majesty, the most merciful sanctity of God to Mary, and, through her, to the entire human race!

It was a most solemn message. What invests a message with significance, is the form and manner in which it is transmitted. Here we behold an archangel–one of the seven princes of heaven–declaring the will of the Most High; and who can conceive what myriads of angels attended Gabriel when he presented himself before Mary, Queen of angels! Who can picture the profound respect with which he saluted her, in whom he already beheld the Mother of the Son of God made man! With what deep veneration he addressed her, the chosen one of all the daughters of Eve,–destined from all eternity to be exalted as mistress above the whole celestial choir!

It was a most momentous message, for the subject of a message is what constitutes its importance. It made known to the world, to the human race, that the possessions lost through Adam would be restored; it heralded a great victory gained over the enemy of souls; it announced that the foe, from whom death and destruction would surely come, was shorn of his terrible strength. Let us suppose that, being under sentence of death, we had been granted a reprieve, or rather that the sentence had been entirely revoked, and that we had come into the possession of a great fortune, by which our happiness is forever secured: would we not consider the message which brought us the news glad tidings of great joy?

Apply not one but all of these circumstances to the message conveyed to Mary by the angel, and we shall realize in some degree its stupendous character. Adam listened to the voice of the seducer, and his fall deprived his hapless posterity of their promised happiness,–that of being one day permitted to behold God face to face, in the possession and enjoyment of His beatitude and all the exquisite joys of heaven.

All this was lost. However, amid the gloom which, for four thousand years, hung over a world groveling in darkness and in sin, there glimmered one ray of light in the promise of a coming Redeemer; but the time set apart for the expected and desired event was yet unknown.

Then, when the fullness of time was accomplished, Gabriel appeared and announced unto Mary that she had been appointed or chosen to become the Mother of the Messiah,–of that child whose birth was heralded to the watching shepherds by strains of angelic music, as the celestial choir adored the Infant God. Humanly speaking, mankind had indeed reason to be alarmed; for, although the promise of a Redeemer had already been made in paradise to our first parents, yet the wickedness which prevailed over the whole earth was so terrible, that man might well tremble lest the Lord should declare it to be forfeited entirely. He might well apprehend that it was a conditional promise; the more so since four thousand years had already rolled down the stream of time, and the Redeemer did not appear, while man, through his own fault, sank deeper and deeper into the abyss of sin! The word of the angel to Mary relieved the faithful few from this harrowing anxiety.

“The Saviour cometh!” We are rescued from sin and hell! From this day the heart of the Redeemer will throb beneath the loving heart of the Virgin Mother, who will present His first petition for the salvation of mankind to the eternal Father.

Joyful message, which brought such happy tidings to us! To regain, through Christ, the precious gift of heavenly grace; to become again, through Him, children of God; to behold the gates of heaven open for us, and to have it in our power to enjoy the delights of that celestial paradise for an eternity which will never, never end,–Mary for our Mother, and the Lord for our portion forever!

It is true that our individual sins had opened still wider the infernal gates, and made deeper far the yawning pit of hell; but, through the merits of Christ, the hope of a blessed pardon was held out to all “men of good will.”

The terrestrial paradise was lost, it is true; but in its place the kingdom of God on earth–the Church– would henceforth become for man a garden of delights. The sorrow, the pain, the anguish of earthly trouble must still encompass us, no longer, however, as punishments for sin, but to serve as occasions of merit for the increase of our eternal joy and happiness. The concupiscence of the flesh, indeed, should still remain a constant cause of warfare; but, as a compensation, the measure of grace would be so multiplied as to enable the Christian to valiantly combat and bear away the victor’s crown, and exalt his glory in heaven.The penalty of death had been pronounced upon man; but, through that dread decree, he can attain to the possession of a glory and delight which would never have been his had not Adam sinned in paradise.

In a word, infinitely more was conferred upon man through Christ, the Son of Mary, the heavenly Adam, than he lost through Adam, our first parent. We not only became again children of God, and gained once more the right to call Him Father; but we were permitted to call His Incarnate Son our Brother. For, since the Son of God assumed our flesh and blood from Mary, He is, therefore, true Man, even as from all eternity, in His own divine Person, He was and is God. Oh, what an important, what a welcome and consoling message!

All that can bring to the human heart the sweetest joy and solace is comprised in this message of the angel to Mary, as we will see if we take to heart all that has been said,–not merely hearing and believing it with a dead or dying faith, but also considering, and applying it to ourselves. In this, unfortunately, we are often wanting. Too many Christians are prone to celebrate the mysteries commemorated by the festivals of the Church only in their general relation, and not by reflecting what influence those articles of faith and divine truths should individually effect for us.

Yes, beloved in Christ, be ye who ye may, the message of salvation directed by Gabriel to Mary bears an individual relation to every one of you, even as if there had been but the one soul on earth for whose salvation the Saviour came. You were sunk deep in the abyss of woe, not only through the disobedience of Adam, but through innumerable personal sins, which threatened you with destruction for time and eternity. But the Saviour was conceived in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary, and the lovely dawn of a blessed hope brightened the darkened world. This hope has a more secure foundation for you, since, without any merit of your own, you have been called to be members of the true Church.

Try, therefore, before you leave this holy place, to excite in your hearts all those affections which animated the heart of Mary on receiving the message of the angel. First, adore and thank God for having created you to His own image and likeness, and for having spared you when you were yet in a state of sin; but, above all, for having sent His only-begotten Son to redeem and save you. Renew your resolution to live as true children of God, as if Christ had been received into your hearts also as the pledge of a better life.

Thus you will become strong; and, although you may not have the happiness enjoyed by the Immaculate Virgin and Mother–of walking by the side of the Incarnate Son of God–you may, while living as her faithful children, enter one day into the communication of her glory and beatitude as children of God, also rescued through the incarnation of His eternal Son.–Amen!

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


The Silent Saint – A Tribute to Saint Joseph

19 March 2017

Editor’s Note: Originally published on March 19, 2010, the first day of publication of AlwaysCatholic.com. We are reprinting it for the  7th Anniversary of ACBlog. This is one of the most read pieces on the site and after you read it, you will know why.

Happy Saint Joseph’s Day from AlwaysCatholic

………………………………………………………………………..

The Silent Saint
by @AncientSoul

On March 19th, the anniversary of the debut of this blog, we remember St. Joseph. I think St. Joseph is one of the most forgotten of all Saints, yet … which of the other Saints were ever closer to our dear Lord? I have to stop and stand in awe of this faithful servant of God. Is he quoted in the Bible frequently? No. Does he have the fanfare and notoriety that many other Saints have? Not so much.

Let’s stop a moment and really consider his role in redemption. One can hardly focus on St. Joseph without first looking at our Blessed Mother. Here we find a young girl not barely ‘sweet sixteen’ who is told something quite unbelievable to the average person, namely that she would conceive the Son of God in a miraculous way and remain a virgin. We all know this, but I think often many take it for granted that the times in which she lived were precarious at best. An unmarried woman that found herself pregnant would soon feel the biting sting of stones tearing and bruising her flesh and breaking her bones. Still, she trusted and accepted according to the Perfect Will of God without hesitation!

Then we have to look towards Joseph. An older man .. a widower who was to marry this young girl, yet what to do when he learns that she is with child? He knew full well what would be her fate if he publicly declared this. His kind and protective nature decided to just divorce her quietly and not cause her undue pain and scandal. We all know that God sent the angel to him in a dream to explain the situation and Joseph, trusting God as Mary did, believed and took her for his wife.

I would imagine they were both a little nervous about it all … wondering how this could be .. what would happen next … how would it all turn out?? I can only imagine the prayerful lives of faith that they led allowing them to trust to that extent and rely on God for the very next step all along the way. We all know the stories from our childhood, but have we ever stopped to really think what it all must have been like? Fleeing into Egypt .. fleeing from Herod … losing Jesus as a young Boy and finding Him in the Temple amidst the elders, questioning and being questioned. St. Joseph taught the God-Man his carpentry trade. He and Mary played with Him, watched Him grow, comforted Him when He fell and taught Him how to pray!

So little is written of St. Joseph in Scripture .. neither Joseph or Mary together, have very many words recorded. But are there any more significant people in Scripture than the Mother and Foster-Father of the Christ Child? They don’t say much, but they sure lead by example! St. Joseph was a faithful servant while on earth, chosen by the Holy Trinity to be a wonderful Foster-Father to Jesus and a faithful and protective virginal husband to Mary.
As the head of the Holy Family, he is also the Patron of the Catholic Church. He is also the Patron Saint of families and workers as well. We need to call on him for his protection, guidance and support in all things.

One of St. Joseph’s most famous titles is Patron of a Happy Death. Why? How could death not be happy if one was to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary? We must never forget his suffering either. He truly is our Friend in Sufferings with all the fear, anxiety and panic he must have gone through in his diligent care of his beloved Family! Let us always turn to our foster father St. Joseph, asking him to present our petitions to our dear Lord and our Blessed Mother with the same tenderness and concern in which he protected them while on earth. Let our prayer be always to strive to embrace the perfect Will of God in all things with a joyful and trusting heart as St. Joseph shows us by his shining example.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph .. please pray for us!

Please click HERE for more Saint Joseph from Mary at BattleBeadsBlog!


O Glorious Saint Joseph…

19 March 2017

March 19th marks the Feast of the spouse of Our Lady, Saint Joseph so it is time to prepare for the Festa!

I am of Italian descent and needless to say, Saint Joseph is loved, no questions asked. The thing is, I do have a question. Why? Why did you do it St. Joseph? Why did you treat Our Lady so justly and accept God’s Will so faithfully?

It was if you already knew all of it. I suppose I have to really get to Heaven to find out. He will be the first one I seek out after I squeeze through those gates and after I meet My Lord and His Most Blessed Mother. I then will ask him why.

Here are some pics and some links to help you celebrate our holy Saint Joseph’s Day. By the way, make sure you get to the closest Italian bakery and get some Saint Joseph Zeppole!

O Glorious Saint Joseph

Whose power it is
to render possible
things which are impossible,
come to my aid in this present
difficulty and distress.

Take this impossible
and difficult affair
which I recommend to you
under your special care
and protection that it may
have a happy issue.

O Glorious Saint Joseph,
let it not be said
that I have invoked
you in vain.
Since you are so powerful
with Jesus and Mary
show that your goodness
equals your power.

Amen

Memorare of St. Joseph

Remember,

O most pure spouse
of the Virgin Mary,
St. Joseph,
my beloved patron,
that never
has it been heard
that anyone
sought your aid
without being
comforted.

Inspired by this
confidence,
I come to you
and fervently
commend myself
to you.

Despise not
my petition,
dear foster father
of our Redeemer,
but graciously
accept it.

Amen

 

Celebrating St. Joseph’s Day

Recipes

Links

Feast of St. Joseph
From the Fish Eaters website. Information about the customs, prayers, as well as recipes for many traditional foods.
St. Joseph’s Night in New Orleans
A 1997 article about the celebration in New Orleans by John Sinclair.
St. Joseph’s Table
Information about St. Joseph’s Day Tables in Sicily and elsewhere. Several very nice pictures, including those sent in by readers.
St Joseph’s Day Altars
A great page with a thorough explanation about St. Joseph’s Day altars and their place in Louisiana culture. Includes history, symbolism and pictures of altars.

Source: Bulin.com


Third Sunday in Lent by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

19 March 2017

3rd sun of lent

“And He was casting out a devil and the same was dumb.”–Luke 11: 14.

As St. James remarks, and as we are taught by experience, Satan exercises a great power over the tongue of man. There is, in fact, nothing through which man sins more than through the tongue, beginning with sinful gossiping, breaking the commandment of charity towards our neighbor, and ending with blasphemy.

Cursing and blasphemy is the language of devils, and they stamp men here upon earth as children of the Evil One! But Satan knows also how to offend God, and lead man to ruin, by influencing the tongue in the opposite direction, namely, by inducing him to maintain a sinful silence.

Let us consider, today, in how many ways this may be done, and I wish I could deliver every soul here present, who is possessed of a dumb demon, whose number, I fear, is greater than we suppose.

O Mary, thou who didst raise thy voice so powerfully in the “Magnificat” to glorify God, and who, after saying: “Be it done to me according to Thy word,” didst become the mother of the Incarnate Word, pray for us, that we may obtain the grace to glorify God by every word which our tongue pronounces! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

I said that there is a silence which is sinful, and which, in the words of the Gospel, may be called a dumb devil. I shall, in today s sermon, particularize and explain this assertion.

The greater part of men every morning commit sin by silence, in not opening their lips to honor God by prayer. They rise from their bed like dumb animals. It is a sin of omission not to give thanks to God for the night that has passed, not to worship Him with our first thoughts as our Creator, our Father, our final end, and not to beseech Him to bestow upon us the grace to glorify Him by our conduct during the day.

The dawn of morning, the first rays of the rising sun, ought to remind man of this holy duty, as well as the joyful songs of the birds, especially of the lark, which, rising high in the sky early every morning, shows man that it is his duty to praise with his tongue the Lord, to give Him thanks, to pray to Him as soon as he awakens.

But in order to serve Him well we should, not only in the morning, but also during the day, raise our hearts piously to God, and animate ourselves by short, pious prayers and ejaculations. We must also make use of every opportunity to remind others, by word and action, to serve and glorify God; and we must, further, admonish sinners, and instruct those in their faith, that are erring. How many opportunities we have of doing this during the day, had we but the will!

Such remarks and exhortations, however short, fall like seed upon the soil of the heart, and in due time bear fruit. Let us remember the exhortation of St. Ignatius to St. Francis Xavier: “Friend, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul?” and his oft-repeated admonition: “Xavier, conquer thyself!” These short exhortations were for Xavier the seed from which the holiness of his entire life proceeded.

Why are we silent when we have reason, in our association with our neighbor, to call his attention to the salvation of his soul, the only real necessary labor of man’s life, to speak to him of the truth of our holy religion,–to warn him of the evil of sin, to point out to him the corrupt principles of the enemies of the Church in these days, and to converse with him on the dogmas of our holy faith? Why is it that we are silent and do not speak to him of these things when ever an opportunity presents itself?

The reason is that we ourselves are not zealous enough in the service of God, and too little instructed in our faith, and think that it is the duty of the priest to teach others, and lead them upon the path of virtue, and not of every zealous child of the Church. What a deception! We speak to others of so many useless things, why not, rather, on this most important subject! Fear of man is what mostly prevents us. We do not possess the courage to speak, and are silent, even when the honor of the Church and her servants are publicly attacked. This is all sinful silence.

We can, however, sin still in another manner, by culpable silence, while associating with others. This is the case when we hear others spoken ill of, and omit, by a word uttered at the right moment, to remind the speaker that he is doing wrong. St. Augustine had placed on the wall of his dining-room the words: “Let all remain away, who would speak evil of others.”

Further, we frequently omit to admonish others, simply through a contemptible fear of man. This silence becomes the more sinful when false rumors are spread and the good name of any one is defamed by false hoods. Who knows but the slandered person may thereby lose his position, his office, his fortune? and yet, we are silent from fear of man how heartless! We do speak in behalf of the injured party, with the excuse: It is not my affair. Yes, it is your affair, for it is said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

The same takes place when, knowing that some one exposes himself to a danger, which threatens either his person or his possessions, we remain silent and do not warn him in time. So also in regard to personal enmity. How few misunderstandings would arise, or would be quickly righted, how seldom would neighborly love be wounded, were a word of excuse or of explanation spoken at the right time!

This admonition, concerning sinful silence, regards, in particular, parents and superiors, who, by their station and office, are obliged to speak to others, to instruct, to warn, and to punish them. Unhappy those children who, in youth, have not been instructed by their parents, in the truths and principles of their holy faith, on the necessity of perseverance in prayer, and who have not been taught in such a manner that when they leave home they are in no great danger of losing their faith! Unhappy the children, whose parents, when asked if their children know how to pray or receive the holy Sacraments, answer: I can not tell; I do not know. Father, mother, why are you silent? why do you not question your child in regard to this matter? Woe to the children whose parents are too indulgent, who never reprove them, but pass over their sinful life in silence, without warning or punishing!

The silent devil causes the greatest evil there, where all other bad spirits are forced to flee, when man speaks the truth; namely, in the confessional. How many confess, but confess unworthily, and why? They are possessed by the silent devil, who keeps them by a false shame from confessing fully and candidly.

They confess, but they confess only a few, instead of all their great sins! They confess, but they do not confess their great sins according to their number and kind as they should they are prevented by false shame. They pass over, for instance, in silence, a sin against the sixth commandment, or the circumstance that the persons with whom they sinned were married or related to them. They confess their mortal sins, but do not mention their number as accurately as they might; they either say nothing of the number, or seek to lessen it.

They confess that they sinned in words, but not that they were guilty in thought and desire. They are silent and conceal, and do not answer frankly when questioned by the confessor. They confess what they have done themselves, but speak of none of the nine ways of being accessory to another’s sin, such as provocation, approval, bad advice or example.

They are willfully silent concerning all this, and thus confess unworthily and what is the result? All the evil spirits, that is, the sins by which the sinner was possessed, remain in the heart. If they are to be driven out by absolution, the dumb devil must be the first sent hence.

God grant that this may be the case with all those of my listeners, who are possessed by the dumb devil! May it be so! Amen!

“And the last state of that man becometh worse than the first.”–Luke 11.

If there were no relapses into sin, few children of the Church would lose their souls. For where is the Catholic, who, having had the misfortune of falling into mortal sin, has not, at least once, confessed with the intention and purpose of sinning no more? But Satan endeavors to destroy the good which the Lord works in the heart of the sinner by confession, and if he succeed again in forcing an entrance into that heart, it will be difficult indeed to dislodge him.

In that case, as Christ himself both assures aud warns us, the last state will be worse than the first. Why? Let us consider this question today. Mary, thou faithful Virgin, refuge of sinners, protect us by thy prayers, in order that reconciled to God, we may not relapse and thus sink the deeper into the abyss of hell! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

The evil spirit driven out of a house, which had opened its doors to him withdraws, as Christ says, into the wilderness; which means that when the sinner has returned to God, the tempter is careful not to approach him immediately. He has cause to fear that the newly converted man will, in his first zeal, withstand and repulse his temptations. He bides his time, and after the first fervor of penitential zeal has cooled, he tries again; and should he succeed, then the second state of the sinner is worse than the first. The reasons for this are obvious:

First, the sinner’s guilt is greater, because he committed the sin with a clearer knowledge of its malice, and with a greater abuse of divine grace. It is true there are some people who live wickedly from day to day, and who commit sin with so little concern, that the words of Christ: “Father, they know not what they do,” seem particularly applicable to them; but with these the sinner who once did penance and again relapsed, can not be classed. It is deliberate and forewarned opposition to God that makes a sin particularly odious and culpable. Hence, the rebellion of the angels was so grievous an offense in the eyes of God, that not one was offered time for repentance; for they opposed His will with full knowledge and consent. It is this same malice that, more or less, brands the relapse of a sinner.

If a person offends us once, but soon after shows signs of repentance, we easily condone the injury, even though it be great. But if the offense be again and again repeated, and if the transgressor manifest utter contempt for our feelings, we are far more sensible of the injury, and much less inclined to receive him again into our friendship, even though we do not hate him, we mistrust such an individual.

Secondly; These relapses open the door to levity, and the sinner becomes gradually insensible to the reproaches of his conscience and to the admonitions of that penitential spirit, by which, in the beginning, he was moved. Even the threats of divine judgment and the terrors of eternal punishment do not touch him. He endeavors to excuse himself.

What a dangerous state this is, especially when is joined with it the awful abuse of the Sacrament of Penance, and when a man, after changing this spiritual medicine into a deadly poison of the soul, quiets his conscience by saying: I have confessed that sin!

What is confession without true contrition and repentance? what is repentance without an earnest resolution of amendment? and of what avail, in the end, are good resolutions, if they are not put into execution? Confessions without true sorrow for sin or without firm purposes of amendment are, at best, delusions. St. Chrysostom calls them plays, in which actors pretend to be struck and fall down, but as soon as the curtain drops, get up and depart. St. Augustine calls them mock confessions.

The relapsing sinner, seeking to excuse himself, says: Men are weak, and God is good. This is certainly true, but not in the sense in which the sinner applies it to himself. Man is weak in regard to venial sins and slight defections; but with the aid of divine grace he is strong and invincible where mortal sins are concerned, especially those mortal sins, which easily become habitual, as, for instance: impurity, intemperance, enmity, and cursing.

The nullity of the excuse, that man is weak, becomes especially obvious from one fact which every relapsing sinner must admit to be decisive and convincing, namely: had he been persuaded that a relapse into his former sin would result, owing to his peculiar constitution, in complete blindness–had he been convinced, by the sad experience of others, that escape was impossible–had his physicians predicted the same inevitable fate if he disregarded nature’s laws–he would, whatever temptation might have assailed him, have avoided that sin.

Is this not sufficient evidence that man is strong enough to conquer every temptation to mortal sin, if his faith be really strong, and if he only has the will to co-operate with divine grace?

Thirdly: The condition of such a sinner is very dangerous, because his relapse makes him despondent, should he feel an inclination to repent. Satan desires to discourage him, and whispers into his ear that it is useless for him to think of conversion, for he has before now endeavored to cast off the yoke, but in vain.

In this case the sinner endeavors to persuade himself that it would be impossible to free himself entirely from this or that sin, and so delays his conversion from day to day, from week to week, from year to year, and finally falls into that depth of which the Holy Ghost says: “The wicked man when he is come into the depth of sins, contemneth.” Yes, he holds in contempt at last the means of salvation, communication with God, holy Mass, the Church, the Sacraments, even heaven, until his soul finally becomes a prey to despair. What awful condition!

And what means must we use in order to avoid this state? The last words of today’s Gospel answer this question: “Blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.” That is to say, we must meditate upon what the word of God says of this state, and be penetrated with a holy fear. It is not a priest, a confessor, a human being who has uttered these words, but it is Christ, the Lord Himself, who likewise warns us: “And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

If we be lastingly penetrated with the fear of such an evil, such a misfortune, we shall attend also to what this same word of God teaches us concerning the means of avoiding in future all those temptations which threaten us with a relapse. We shall especially heed the admonition of the Lord: “If thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out; if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off,” which means that, should anything whatever lead us into sin, though it be as dear to us as our eye or our hand, we must not hesitate to avoid it on all occasions.

But while doing this, you must watch and pray as Christ tells us. The tempter may seize other occasions, perhaps even more dangerous, to tempt you. Pray! pray! unite yourself to God by morning and evening prayers. Walk in His presence, receive frequently the blessed Sacrament, clothe yourself in the armor of God, as the Apostle exhorts you; put on the girdle of truth, the breastplate of justice; put on your feet the preparation of the Gospel; seize the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and repeat in your heart at the moment of temptation the most holy Name of Jesus. Do this, and you will be preserved from relapses into sin! Amen!

Source:
http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/


Third Sunday of #Lent: Missa ‘Oculi Mei’ Link to (10:30 AM EST) LIVE Mass

19 March 2017

Schnorr_von_Carolsfeld_Bibel_in_Bildern_1860_191

Third Sunday of Lent
Dominica III in Quadragesima
Missa ‘Oculi Mei’
1st Class
Violet
[Creed; Preface of Lent; 2nd Vespers of 3rd Sunday o

[Station at St Laurence-without-the-Walls,]

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The Propers follow the link below for the Extraordinary Form Mass offered LIVE online by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

LIVE Link to the Third Sunday in Lent Mass at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Sarasota, Florida: Please click HERE

“The LIVE Mass that streams to LIveMass.net is actively taking place in Sarasota, Florida. At all times the screen will remain blank until ten minutes before the scheduled Mass. Mass times are Sunday (Low Mass) at 8:30 a.m. EST. The High Mass is at 10:30 a.m. EST. All other times the screen will remain blank. The Daily Mass schedule is Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. EST and Tuesday and Friday evening an additional daily Mass at 6:30 p.m. EST. The Recollection of the Confraternity of Saint Peter takes place also on the 2nd Friday of the month at 6:30 P.M. EST.” from the website of livemass.net

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INTROIT ¤ Ps. 24:15,16,1,2

Oculi mei semper ad Dominum, quia ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos : respice in me, et Miserere mei, Quoniam unicus et pauper sum ego. (Psalm) Ad te, Domine, levavi animan, meam : Deus meus, in te confide, non erubescam. Gloria Patri. Oculi mei semper…

Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord : for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare : look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me : for I am alone and poor.(Psalm) To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul : in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Glory be to the Father. Mine eyes are…

The Gloria in Excelsis is not said.


COLLECT

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, vota humilium respice : atrque ad defensionem nostram, dexteram tuae majestatis extende. Per Dominum nostrum.

Humbling ourselves before Thee, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, favorably to regard the desires of our heart: and in our defense to stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE ¤ Eph 5:1-9

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians.

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Ephésios.

Fratres : Estote imitators Dei, sicut fili Carissimi : et ambulate in dilectione, sicut et Christus dilexit nos, et radidit semetipsum pro nobis oblationem, et hostiam Deo catio autem, et omnis immunditiam, aut avaritia, nec nominetur in vobis, sicut decet stultiloquim, aut scurrilitas, quae ad rem non pertinet sed magis gratiarum action. Hoc enim scitote intelligentes, quod omnis fornicator, aut est idolorum servitus, non habet hereditatem in regno Christi, et Dei. Nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis : propeter haec enim venit ira Dei ergo effici participles eorum. Eratis enim aliquando tenegrae : nunc autem lux in Domino. Ut fili lucis ambulate : fructus enim lucis est in omni bonitate et justitia et veritate.

Brethren : Be ye followers of God, as most dear children : and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose : but rather giving of thanks. For know you this, and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean or covetous person, which is a serving of idols, hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words : for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness: but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light : for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.

GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 9:20,4

Exsurge, Domine, non praevaleatr home: judicentur gentes in conspectu tuo In convertendo inimicum meum retorsum, infirmabuntur, et peribunt a facie tua.

Arise, O Lord, let no man be strengthened : let the nations be judged in Thy sight. When my enemy shall be turned back, they shall be weakened and perish before Thy face.


TRACT ¤ Ps. 122:1-3

Ad te leavi oculos meos, qui habitas in coelis. Ecce sicut oculi servorumnin minibus dominorum suorum. Et sicut oculi ancillae in minibus dominae suae : ita oculi nostri ad Dominum Deum nostrum, donec miseratur nostri : Miserere nobis, Domine, Miserere nobis.

To Thee have I lifted up my eyes, Who dwellest in Heaven. Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters. And as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress : so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

GOSPEL ¤ Lk. 11:14-28.

† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
† Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Luke.

In illo tempore: Erat Jesus ejiciens daemonium, et illud erat mutum. Et cum ejecisset daemonium, locutus est mutus et admiraitae sunt turbae. Quidiam autem ex eis diserunt : “In Beelzebub principe daemoniorum ejicit daemonia.” Et alli tentantes, signum de caelo quaerebant ab eo. Ipse autem ut vidit cogitations eorum, dixit eis :”Omne regnum in siepsum divisum desolabitur et domus supra domum cadet. Si autem et satanas in siepsum divisus est, quomodo stabit regnum ejus ? qui dicitis in Beelzebub me ejicere daemonia. Si autem ego in Beelezub ejicio daemonia, filii vestri in quo ejiciunt? Ideo ipsi judices vestri erunt. Porro si in digito Dei ejicio daemonia : profecto pervenit in vos regnum Dei. Cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum, in pace sunt ea, quae possidet. Si autem fortior eo superveniens vicerit eum, universa arma ejus auferet, in qibus confidebat, et spolia ejus distribute. Qui non est mecum, contra me est : et qui non colligit meccumk dispersit. Cum immundus spiritus exierit de homine, ambulat per loca inaquosa, quaerens requiem : et non inveniens, dicit : Revertar in domum meam, unde exivi. Et cum venerit, invenit eam scopes mundatam, et ornatam. Tunc vadit, et assumit septem allios spiritus secum nequiores se, et ingressi habitant ibi. Et fiunt novissima hominis illius pejora prioribus.” Factum est autem, cum haec diceret: “ex tollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit illi : Beatus venter, qui te portavit, et ubera, quae suxisti.” At ille dixit : “Quinimo beati, qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.”

At that time Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb. And when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitudes were in admiration at it. But some of them said : “He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.” And others, tempting, asked of Him a sign from Heaven. But He, seeing their thoughts, said to them :”Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall this kingdom stand? Because you say that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now If I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils : doubtless of the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him and overcome him, he will take away all his armor wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with Me is against Me : and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest : and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked then himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck.” But He said: “Yes, rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.”


OFFERTORY ¤ Ps. 18:9,11,12

Justiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda, et judicia ejus dulciora super mel et favum : nam et servus tuus custodit ea.

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honey-comb; for Thy servant keepeth them.

SECRET

Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et ad sacrificum celebrandum, subditorum tibi corpora, mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum nostrum

May this victim, we beseech Thee, O Lord, cleanse away our sins, sanctifying Thy servants in both soul and body for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through our Lord.


PREFACE
Preface for Lent

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Qui corporali ieiunio vitia comprimis, mentem elevas, virtutem largiris et praemia: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti iubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes:

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION ¤ Ps. 83:4,5

Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum, ubi reponat pullos suos : altaria tua, Domine virtutum, Rex meus, et Deus meus: beati qui habitant in domo tua, in saeculum saeculi laudabunt te.

The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest, where she may lay her young ones : Thy altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, and My God : blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they shall praise Thee for ever and ever.


POSTCOMMUNION

A cunctis nos, quaesumus, Domine, reatribus et periculis propitiatus absolve : quos tanti mysterii tribus esse participles. Per Dominum nostrum.

Mercifully absolve us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all guilt and deliver us from all danger whom Thou doest grant to partake of so great a mystery. Through our Lord.

 

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Thank you to Deo Volente for his hard work at his blog, Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland.


Happy St. Joseph’s Day to Benedict XVI: Your words STILL help us.

19 March 2017

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born Josef Ratzinger. Named after the holy Saint Joseph, we celebrate his “Name Day” with a post from years past. This post on fraternal correction is so needed in our world today. Thank you, “Father” Benedict, as you wish to be called. Your words Still help us.

Benedict XVI: “Christians should accept fraternal correction when they are wrong”

by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday, September 4, 2011 A.D.

There is a “mutual responsibility” of all believers “in the way of Christian life”, and all are called to correct the faults of others and at the same time to “welcome the fraternal correction.”The Pope said this during the Angelus.”Brotherly love involves a sense of mutual responsibility, so, if my brother sins against me, I must practice charity towards him and, above all, talk to him personally, pointing out that what he has said or has done is not good – the Pope said, commenting on today’s Gospel -. This approach is called fraternal correction: it is not a reaction to a suffered injury, but it is moved by love for his brother.”

“And if my brother does not listen to me?, – he continued – in today’s Gospel Jesus tells a progression: first go back to him to talk with two or three more persons, to help him to better realize what he has done, if, despite this, he still rejects the observation, then it must be communicated to the community; and if he will not even listen to the community, it is necessary to make him feel the distance that he has caused, separating himself from the communion of the Church. ” “All this – pontiff added – indicates that there is a shared responsibility in the way of Christian life: everyone, aware of his limitations and defects, is called to welcome the fraternal correction and help others with this particular service.”

At the end of the Angelus in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, addressing the Italian-speaking pilgrims Pope Benedict XVI greeted them” to the large group of ACLI (Christian Associations of Italian Workers) at the conclusion of their study-meeting on the theme of work- after 30 years of the Encyclical “Laborem Exercens” of Blessed John Paul II. ” “I appreciated, dear friends, your attention to this document, which remains as one of the cornerstones of the Church’s social doctrine,” the Pontiff said.

On video connection with the area of Fincantieri Ancona, where the opening Mass of the National Eucharistic Congress was celebrated, Benedict XVI addressed his “cordial greetings to all who participate in this event of grace that in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist worships and praises Christ, source of life and hope for every man and for the whole world.”

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