Catholic Tradition News Letter B19: Holy Eucharist, Fourth Sunday after Easter, St Antoninus

Saint Antoninus (1459) - Catholicism.org

Vol 13 Issue 19 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
May 9, 2020 ~ Saint Gregory Nazianzen, opn!

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Fourth Sunday after Easter
3.      Saint Antoninus
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices
Dear Reader:

Someone brought up that in the Canon of the Mass again there are the words:

Hold acceptable and bless + these gifts, these + offerings, these + holy and unspotted oblations which, in the first place, we offer Thee for Thy Holy Catholic Church.

And that these words must refer to the bread and wine that the priest is making the Sign of the Cross over. One should be commended for observing and reading the words the priest says. It was not until the last century that missals allowing the faithful to follow the Mass were universally available in the common language. It was providential because when the Modernists changed the Mass, the laity were able to point to the discrepancies and resist being Protestantized.  At the same time, what the priest is saying during Holy Mass must be understood in its proper Catholic sense. As Sacred Scripture is to be understood in the Catholic sense or one is open to an infinity of misunderstandings, so too must the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—which is the heart of the Catholic Faith. As a treasure we possess as Catholics, we should guard it not simply for its value, but for its beauty—a beauty revealed only to those who know and understand it and for the graces received from it. Therefore Catholics should know why the Church uses these words in the Te igitur of the Canon of the Mass.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, published by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (1940), instructs:

1. For convenience’ sake we shall refer to each part of the Canon as a “prayer.” However, it must be kept in mind that each of these parts is only a division of the one great prayer.

2. Another noteworthy feature of the Canon is the tracing of the outline of the cross over the elements, which is done repeatedly both before and after the Consecration. Count the number of times the cross is thus made in the Canon. Saint Thomas says that the priest in celebrating Mass uses the sign of the cross to express the Passion of Christ, which terminated on the cross. The Angelic Doctor says also that the crosses traced over the Sacred Elements after the Consecration are not for the purpose of blessing or consecrating, but only to commemorate the virtue of the cross and the manner of Christ’s Passion.

3. A third, and outstanding, characteristic of the Canon is the deep silence which prevails immediately after the introductory Preface. The Silence of the Host now rules our hearts. Many reasons are given for the silent recitation of this part of the Mass: (a) From the earliest days it has been the custom to conduct the Consecration and the opening and closing prayers of the Canon in silence. The Church, scrupulous in her guardianship of this most venerable prayer, has therefore· preserved the custom. (b) The silence indicates that the Consecration and sacrificial act is a priestly function, which only the consecrated priest, and not the people, can accomplish. In the other portions of the Mass, the priest and the people commune, but now the priest has entered into the Holy of Holies, where he converses with God alone. (c) The silence is in harmony with the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Our senses do not reveal to us the accomplishment of the mystery; our mind does not understand it. There are miracles in the Host as numerous as stars, but we see not one external trace of them. This silence recalls to us the hidden nature and the sublime depth of the Mysteries of the Altar, which we accept by faith alone. (d) The silence prompts us to honor, adore and offer the Sublime Sacrifice with the priest. Silence in this case is like a clear voice urging us to enter into our own hearts, there to adore and meditate. “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him” (Habacuc 2:20). (e) In the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, some of Our Lord’s prayers were audible and some silent. So it is proper that both secret and audible prayers be used at the altar, where the priest, the visible representative of Christ, is renewing Christ’s sacrifice. (f) This solemn silence has liturgical precedent. On the Day of Atonement, while the Jewish highpriest offered incense to God on the golden altar, a deep silence hung over the entire temple, and all the people said their prayers in secret.

One sees that one’s mind is always focused on the sacrifice of Christ’s Body and Blood, and even though the words of consecration have not yet been pronounced, that which is in front of the priest is considered to be the Body and Blood of Christ which is about to be Sacrificed in an unbloody manner just as Christ offered His Body and Blood to be sacrificed at the Last Supper. Adrian Fortescue sets it as follows:

The first half (to “sacrificia illibata”) asks God to accept and bless the offering; the second abruptly begins the Intercession. The terms “haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia illibata” suppose the Consecration; but this might well be merely another dramatic anticipation, as “immaculata hostia” at the offertory, or rather evidence that the whole consecration-prayer is one thing and should be considered ideally as one act, one moment. The signs of the cross, naturally following the words, are in MSS. (Manuscripts) of the Gelasian book.  (Fortescue, 329)

Nicholas Gihr also provides this commentary:

Prayer forms the liturgical accompaniment of the sacrifice. The Canon contains those prayers which most closely relate to the Eucharistic sacrifice. They are oblation prayers, which refer to the Consecration; for they contain in part petitions for the blessing and consecration of the sacrificial elements, in part an offering of the sacrificial body and blood of Christ, and in part supplications to obtain and to apply the fruits of the sacrifice. As to their contents, they harmonize with the foregoing prayers of the Offertory, and we behold in them a copy of the prayers of our divine Saviour. During His life and at His death He prayed continually. The longest and most solemn, fervent, and touching prayer of the Lord is the one which He uttered when He was about to accomplish His sacrifice on the cross; His prayer as high priest. [At the Last Supper] In it He makes known to whom, for whom, and for what purpose He would offer His sacrificial death; He supplicates for His disciples and for all who would believe in Him: for the entire Church militant. He besought the Father to fill all the faithful in time and in eternity with His saving gifts: to preserve them here below in unity, keep them in truth, and sanctify them by grace, that hereafter they might be transformed in beatitude and behold His glory. Does not this prayer of the high priest resound throughout the Canon of the Mass, wherein the Church expresses what gifts of grace she would draw for herself and for all her children from the Holy Sacrifice? How powerful and effective do these petitions and intercessions of the Church become, as they ascend to the throne of mercy in union with the voice of the blood of Christ, which more loudly and more strongly cries to heaven than did the blood of Abel!

The Canon ushers in the holiest and most sacred moments of the sacrificial celebration; this part of the Mass, still more than any of the other portions, claims attention, devotion, and reverence. The heart should be occupied only with the divine function and be to all extraneous thoughts and cares as “a garden enclosed” and “a fountain sealed up” (Cant. 4: 12). Above all, the passion and death of Christ should be devoutly meditated upon. We are exhorted to this by the image of the Crucified, which is placed before the Canon in order that the painful and bloody death of Christ may be presented to our view in a striking manner. (Gihr, 625-627)

Today, more than ever an understanding of what is taking place in Holy Mass must be sought because we all saw Vatican II change Mass into a Protestant service in which the Bible receives the same or more reverence than the “bread” which is handed out indiscriminately, dropped and stepped on and swept up to be thrown in the garbage or stuck in the pocket—but only because the people are told that the priest is offering bread and wine in the Novus Ordo service as indicated by the words they say and the hymns they sing.

As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor

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WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST

By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

PART II

Institution

The Institution of the Holy Eucharist

Therefore, two events that tied together were happening: the paschal lamb and the unleavened bread. On Holy Thursday, the Israelites, as mentioned when speaking of the bread previously, would make sure no leavened bread was in their house or quarter. The next day the lamb would be sacrificed. As no leavened bread was allowed under pain of penalty:

The first month, the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the same month in the evening. Seven days there shall not be found any leaven in your houses: he that shall eat leavened bread, his soul shall perish out of the assembly of Israel, whether he be a stranger or born in the land. (Exod. 12:18-19)

Christ would only have unleavened bread from which to use but associated with the paschal lamb. The combination of the two sacrifices may be seen also when it is understood that because Christ kept the Pasch on Thursday night, the lamb for the pasch was sacrificed on the same day as the first day of the Azymes. Therefore, the Synoptic Gospels state:

Matthew

And on the first day of the Azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: the master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the pasch. (Matt. 26:17-19)

Mark

Now on the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the pasch, the disciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go, and prepare for thee to eat the pasch? And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city; and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, follow him; And whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house, The master saith, Where is my refectory, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? And he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and there prepare ye for us. And his disciples went their way, and came into the city; and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the pasch. And when evening was come, he cometh with the twelve. (Mark 14:12-17)

Luke

And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat. But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in. And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? And he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. (Luke 22:8-14)

Whereas John, seeing the replacement of the passover sacrifice with the sacrifice of the Cross, departs from the other Evangelists and retains the proper observance dates, placing the Pasch on the day after the Ayzmes—the Lamb of God sacrificed instead of the lamb for the Passover meal; and, because he does not give the account of the Institution, John sets the Last Supper as the preparation of the Lamb for His sacrifice. Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And when supper was done . . . (John 13:1, 2)

John introduces the preparation for the priesthood in the washing of the feet. The bishop is to be the servant and the Apostles introduce themselves as Servants: Paul, for example, in Romans 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1, and James 1:1. Fittingly, John opens his apocalyptic book with: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John . . . (Apoc.1:1.)

Turning to Meagher for an explanation of the Last Supper, one reads:

The crucified lamb was then placed in the oven resting on his cross, the flesh not being allowed to touch the oven, to foretell how Christ completely hung from the cross. Thus the lamb was roasted that its body might be penetrated by the fire, as the fire of the Shekina, the Holy Spirit, filled Christ with the love of mankind, moving him to die for our salvation. When cooked, the lamb was placed on the table, still resting on his cross, and was a striking prophetic portrait of the body of the dead Christ on the cross, his skin all torn off in the flagellation, the yellow serum oozing out and dried, made him look as though he had been roasted.

The flesh could be eaten only in the house, no part could be carried out, [Exod, xii. 46.] for Communion is received only in the Catholic Church, and not in sects which have not holy orders—an ordained priesthood. Not less than ten, or more than twenty members, formed a “band” to eat the lamb, to image the congregation assembled for the celebration of the Eucharist. The tenth day of Nisan, [Exod. xii. 3.]  when the Hebrews celebrated their first Passover, they sacrificed the lamb on the Sabbath to foretell that on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath, the real Lamb of God would be sacrificed in our churches.

The waters of the Nile were turned into blood; in the ceremonial of tabernacle and Temple, the victims’ blood was poured out on the altar; they were forbidden to eat meat with the blood. Even in our days, Jews complain that the “kosher” meat, completely drained of blood, tastes insipid. What did these rites of the Jewish religion mean? They were to bring before their minds the value of human life. They forgot all these that fatal Friday, when the whole nation cried out, “Crucify him!” “His blood be on us and our children!” [Luke xxiii. 21; Matt. xxvii. 25.]

The blood of the paschal lamb was sprinkled on the door-posts of their houses, as a type, a prophecy, of the blood of Christ sprinkled on his cross. The first-born of the families living in the houses marked with the blood were saved that night. And Moses with the lamb’s blood sprinkled Aaron, his sons, and all the utensils of the tabernacle. ” What did you say, Moses? Can the blood of a lamb deliver a man? It is true, he said, not because it is blood, but because it was an example of the Lord’s blood.” [St. Chrystom, Hom. 48, in Joan. C. 19.] Beautifully, in his eloquent words, the Archbishop of Constantinople explains the great mystery of the blood.

The Hebrews were forbidden to eat any raw part of the Lamb, for the fire of the Holy Ghost completely filled the whole body of Christ. If they broke a bone in the lamb in the preparation, they were punished at the time of Christ with thirty-nine stripes on bare back and shoulders. This was to foretell that the soldiers would not break Christ’s limbs when they came to remove the bodies of the crucified that day within the Passover. [John xix. 31.]  Only circumcised Hebrews could eat the paschal lamb, as only baptized Christians should receive communion. Only in Jerusalem was the lamb sacrificed, so in the Church is the Lamb of God sacrificed and eaten. The lamb was eaten with unleaven bread, like the altar breads used to show forth the sinless Christ, on whom was no sin, prefigured by fermenting yeast. It was eaten with wild lettuce dipped in vinegar, to remind us of the bitterness of sin, and with what sorrow for our sins we should approach the table of the Lord.

The whole lamb was eaten, with its head, feet, entrails, etc., to tell us that under the appearance of bread and wine we partake in the whole Christ, receiving both his Divinity and human nature. What remained after the feast must not be taken out of the house, but was to be burned that night, [Exod. xii. 8, 9, 10.] to foretell how the Lord’s body was removed that afternoon he died.

The lamb was eaten by the Jews with loins bound up, shoes on their feet, staffs in their hands, clothed as for a journey, for as priests we partake of Communion clothed in vestments on a journey to our home, not in Palestine, like Jews, but in heaven, the Christian’s real home.

. . . . In the history of Abraham and his “Seed,” the “Seed of the woman who was to crush the serpent’s head,” God bound up in prophetic history the future of the nations. Nature, history, blessings, symbols, ceremonies and graces combine to give a special meaning to the feast. The New Testament is filled with allusions to the going out from Egypt, the feast appearing under the names of pascha, phase, the paschal lamb, the bread and wine, the Last Supper, the Eucharistic Sacrifice. (137-139)

The Passover Sacrifice of the Old Law is completed and now Christ introduces the Sacrifice of the New Law, setting aside and purifying the priests for the Sacrifice:

He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself. After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. (John 13:4-7)

Meagher provides this about the washing of feet:

[At an invitation to a dinner] Laying their shoes, or sandals, at the door, the guests went barefoot in the house. Before they reclined at the table, servants or the master of the house washed their feet. The custom came down from the patriarchs.

Abraham washed the feet of the three angels who visited him in his tent. [Gen. xviii. 4.] Laban prepared water to wash Eleazar’s feet, when he came into Mesopotamia seeking a wife for Isaac.[Gen. xxiv. 32.] Joseph’s steward brought water to wash the feet of Jacob’s eleven sons, when they came back to his house after finding the money in their sacks. [Gen. xliii. 24.] Abigail asked of David only the privilege of washing his servants’ feet. [I. Kings xxv. 41.] David told Urias to go into his house and wash his feet as a preparation for supper and bed. [II. Kings xi. 8.] When Tobias went to wash his feet, a fish came to devour him. [Tobias vi. 2.] Job washed his feet with butter. [Job xxix. 6.] The Spouse, speaking to the Church, says of the night of the Last Supper. “I have put off my garment. How shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?” [Cant. of Cant. v. 3.]

In rich families servants performed this service, among the middle classes sons and daughters did it, but if he wished to show special honors to his visitors, the father washed their feet. Being a servant’s work, we understand how Christ took a towel, girded himself with it, and went from one to another washing the disciples’ feet with water in a basin. Peter could not understand why the Master would do a servant’s work, protested and was told to obey, or his refusal would lose for him his call to the apostolate. All had taken a bath, as was the custom before celebrating the Passover, their feet were soiled walking over the floor, and Christ said: “He that is washed needeth but to wash his feet but is clean wholly.”

Cleanness of body signified the soul washed from sin. All were innocent but Judas, Caiphas’ nephew, who had all along acted as a spy for Temple priests, secretly received money from them for his promise of betrayal, and Jesus said: “And you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who he was that would betray him, therefore he said: “You are not all clean.” [John 13:11] Before sitting at the table, they washed their hands, for they dipped them into the dishes to grasp the morsels of food. (203-205)

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The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal

THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY

John xvi. 5-14

At that time: Jesus said to his Disciples: I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgement. Of sin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see me no longer. And of judgement: because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall show you. He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA

V. 10. And of justice because I go to the Father.

Since unbelievers are wont to cry out: How can we believe what we cannot see? the justness of those who do believe needed to be made clearly manifest, Because I go to the Father: and you shall see me no longer. For blessed are they who do not see and yet believe. And of those who saw Christ their faith also was praised; but not for this that they believed what they saw, namely, the Son of man. Accordingly, when this form of a servant was withdrawn from before their eyes it was then that the saying was wholly fulfilled: The just man liveth by faith (Rom. i. 17).

It shall then be by your own justness that the world shall be convinced: since you shall believe in Me Whom you will not see. And when you do see Me, as I shall then be, you will not see Me as you see Me now here among you. That is, you will not see Him as mortal, but as eternal. For by saying, You shall see me no longer, He Who is Truth Itself foretold as it were that they would never again see (this) Christ.

AUGUSTINE, Sermon 144, 3: Or again, they did not believe He was going to the Father. The sin therefore was theirs; the justness was His. That He came to us from the Father was mercy; that whereby He goes to the Father is His justness, according to the words of the Apostle: For which cause God hath exalted him (Phil. ii. 9). But if He alone shall go to the Father what profit is this to us? Is it not rather that He is alone in this sense, that Christ is one with all His Members, as the head is with the body? So the world therefore is convinced of sin through those persons who will not believe in Christ, and of justice by those who shall rise again as members of Christ’s Body. Then follows:

V. 11. And of judgement, because the prince of this world . . .

That is, the devil, the prince of evil doers, whose heart is only in this world that they love. Sermon 143: By the fact that he was cast out he is already judged; and of this judgement the world is convicted; for it is useless for one who will not believe in Christ to look instead to the devil, whom not alone have men defeated, but even women and the boys and maidens who were martyred, condemned as he is, that is, outcast, though permitted to attack us outwardly, so that we may be tested.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 95, 4: Or, he is judged, since he is committed irrevocably to the chastisement of everlasting fire. And by this judgement the world is convicted, since it is already judged together with its prince, whom, proud and blasphemous as he is, it imitates. So therefore let mankind believe in Christ so that they may not be condemned through his sin of unbelief; by means of which they are held fast in all other sins. Let them pass over to the number of the believing, lest they be condemned by the justness of those whom, as just, they have not imitated. Let them beware of the judgement to come, lest they be condemned together with the prince of this world whom, though he was condemned, they have imitated.

[This is the meaning of to convince the world: To show the world that those things are true which it did not wish to believe were so. For it did not wish to believe that the Saviour came from God. But the Saviour, after He had restored justice, did not delay in returning to Him Who had sent Him. And by so returning there He proved that it was from there He had come; because no man hath ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. John iii. 13, from (Augustine) Quaest. ex N. & V. Tests, n. 89. See note 1.]

CHRYSOSTOM: Or again: he will convince the world of sin, that is, He will cut off all their excuses and will show them they have sinned, in not believing in Me, when they shall see the ineffable graces of the Holy Spirit given at the invocation of My Name.

AUGUSTINE, Questions of the Old and New Testaments, 89: In this way also shall the Holy Spirit convince the world of sin, in that He will work wonders in the name of the Saviour Who was condemned by the world. But the Saviour, justice now restored, does not delay in returning to Him Who had sent Him, and by returning He proved from where it was He had come; because of this there follows: And of justice: because I go to the Father. CHRYSOSTOM: That is, because My going to the Father will be a proof of the blameless justice of My life, that they may no longer be able to say: This man is a sinner, and not of God (Jn. ix. 24, 23). Again, since I have overcome My enemy, (and had He been a sinner He could not have overthrown him), they cannot say that I have a devil, and that I am a seducer. And since through Me he was condemned, they shall come to learn that afterwards they will trample on him; and they will come to see clearly the fact of My Resurrection: for he was powerless to hold Me.

AUGUSTINE, Questions etc. 89: The demons seeing souls ascend from hell [i.e., limbo] to heaven knew that the prince of this world had been judged; that in the contest with the Saviour he had lost all right to what he had held till then. This they saw as the Saviour ascended, but with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles these things were clearly and openly revealed.

V. 12. I have yet many things to say to you; but you cannot etc.

THEOPHYLACTUS: Since the Lord had said a little before this (v. 7), it is expedient for you that I go, He now enlarges this by saying: I have yet many things to say to you; but you cannot bear them now.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 97 in John: For all heretics try to justify the effrontery of their own vapourings, when the common sense of mankind scorns them, by taking advantage of this sentence of the Gospel; as if these were the things which the disciples could not bear, and that the Holy Spirit had taught things which even the unclean spirit was ashamed to teach and proclaim. But (Tract 96, 5) the evil teachings that no human modesty could permit are one thing; the truths which the limited human mind can grasp are another. The one are to be found in those whose bodies are unchaste, the others are far removed from all bodies. (Tract 96, 1) Which of us will presume to say that he can grasp what they could not? And because of this neither is it to be expected that they can be expounded by me.

But, someone will say, many could bear what Peter could not, just as many could bear to be crowned with martyrdom, which Peter then could not; especially as the Holy Spirit has now been sent, Who had not then been sent. But do we know what these things were which He wished to tell them? It seems to me a very foolish thing to say that the Disciples could not bear to hear the sublime things which we find in the Apostolic Epistles, which were written later, and which the Lord is not recorded as having told them. But men of perverted belief cannot bear what is found in the sacred Scriptures concerning the Catholic faith, just as we cannot endure their own sacrilegious absurdities: for what does cannot bear them mean but that the mind cannot bear to consider them in patience? For what believer, or what catechumen, who even before he receives the Holy Spirit in Baptism will not patiently read and accept, even if he does not understand them, what was written after the Ascension of Our Lord?

But someone will say (Tract 97, 1): Have spiritual men nothing in their teaching on which they are silent to those who are carnal minded, but speak openly of only to those that are spiritual?3 There is no need for some secrets of our teaching to be concealed from the young in faith, and to be spoken of to the older ones apart. For men who are spiritual ought not wholly to pass over in silence things spiritual; because the Catholic Faith is to be preached to all men. Yet neither should they so explain them that, striving to reduce them to the understanding of those who are incapable of taking them in, they may more likely awaken in them a dislike for their discourse upon some truth, than to bring them to perceive the truth of the discourse.

Let us not therefore (Tract 97, 1) believe that these words of Our Lord refer to I know not what secrets, which, though the teacher could utter them, the disciple would not be able to bear them; but to those very truths which in the teaching of religion we speak of to all men whatsoever. If Christ were to speak to us as He speaks to His angels what men could bear it, even though they were spiritually minded, such as the Apostles were not? For whatever can be known of creation is less than nothing compared with what can be known of the Creator Himself; and who is silent concerning Him?

Who is there (Tract 96, 4) while living in this body can know all truth, for the Apostle says: We know in part? But since, through the Holy Spirit, it happens that we come also to that fulness (of knowledge) of which the same Apostle speaks.

Tract 96, 5: Who is there that dwells in this body which corrupts and oppresses the soul (Wisd. ix. 15) can know all truth; as the Apostle says: We know in part? (I Cor. xiii). But because we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit it comes to pass that we are brought also to that fulness of which the same Apostle says: Then we shall see face to face. Our Lord did not refer only to what is known in this life when He said: But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth, or, he will lead you to all truth; by this phrase we should understand that the fulness of truth is reserved for us to the life that is to come. Tract 97, 1: The Holy Spirit now teaches the faithful as much as each one can grasp of spiritual things, and at the same time enkindles in their hearts a yet greater desire for them.

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10: ST ANTONINUS, ARCHBISHOP OF FLORENCE (A.D. 1459)

OF all the prelates who through many centuries have ruled the diocese of Florence, no one has gained so great and lasting a hold upon the loving veneration of the Florentines as St Antoninus. His father, a citizen of good family, who was notary to the republic, was called Nicholas Pierozzi, and he himself received in baptism the name of Antony. The diminutive Antonino, which clung to him all his life, was given him in childhood because of his small stature and gentle disposition. A serious boy, much addicted to prayer, he loved to listen to the sermons of Bd John Dominici, then prior of Santa Maria Novella, and when he was fifteen he asked the friar to admit him to the Dominican Order. The saintly John, judging him too weakly for the life, tried to put him off by bidding him study for a time and learn the Decretum Gratiam; but when, within a year, the lad returned, having committed the whole of the treatise to memory, he was received without further hesitation. He was the first postulant to take the habit in the new priory at Fiesole, which Bd John Dominici had built. For the novitiate Antonino was sent to Cortona, where he had as novice master Bd Laurence of Ripafratta and as companions Bd Peter Capucci and the future great artist Fra Angelico da Fiesole. Antoninus early gave evidence of exceptional gifts as a scholar and as a leader. He was chosen when very young to govern the great convent of the Minerva in Rome; and afterwards he was successively prior at Naples, Gaeta, Cortona, Siena, Fiesole and Florence. As superior of the reformed Tuscan and Neapolitan congregations, and also as prior provincial of the whole Roman province, he zealously enforced the measures initiated by Bd John Dominici with a view to restoring the primitive rule. At Florence in 1436 he founded the famous convent of San Marco in buildings taken over from the Silvestrines, but practically rebuilt by him after designs by Michelozzi and decorated with the frescoes of Fra Angelico.

The adjacent late thirteenth-century church was rebuilt with great magnificence by Cosima de’ Medici to serve the new Dominican house. In addition to his official duties, St Antoninus preached often and wrote works which made him famous among his contemporaries. He was consulted from Rome and from all quarters, especially in intricate cases of canon law. Pope Eugenius IV summoned him to attend the general Council of Florence, and he assisted at all its sessions. He was occupied with reforming houses in the province of Naples when he learnt to his dismay that the pope had nominated him to be archbishop of Florence. In vain did he plead incapacity, ill-health and advancing years; Eugenius was inflexible and left him no freedom of choice. He was consecrated in March 1446 amid the rejoicings of the citizens.

In his new capacity St Antoninus continued to practise all the observances of his rule, as far as his duties would permit. The most rigid simplicity reigned where he resided: his household consisted of six persons only; he had no plate or horses; even the one mule which served the needs of the whole establishment was often sold to assist the poor, but as often bought back by some well-to-do citizen and restored to its charitable owner. He gave audience daily to all comers, whilst declaring himself especially the protector of the poor, at whose disposal he kept his purse and granaries. When these were exhausted he gave away his furniture and his clothes. To assist the needy who were ashamed to beg, he had established a sort of “S.V.P.”, under the patronage of St Martin, which has been the means of supporting thousands of families in reduced circumstances.

Although naturally gentle, the saint was firm and courageous when circumstances demanded it. He put down gambling in his diocese, was the determined foe of both usury and magic, and reformed abuses of all kinds. In addition to preaching nearly every Sunday and festival, he visited his whole diocese once a year, always on foot. His reputation for wisdom and integrity was such that he was unceasingly consulted by those in authority, laymen as well as ecclesiastics; and his decisions were so judicious that they won for him the title of “the Counsellor”. When Pope Eugenius IV was dying he summoned Antoninus to Rome, received from him the last sacraments and died in his arms. Nicholas V sought his advice on matters of church and state, forbade any appeal to be made to Rome from the archbishop’s judgements, and declared that Antonino in his lifetime was as worthy of canonization as the dead Bernardino (da Siena), whom he was about to raise to the altars. Pius II nominated him to a commission charged with reforming the Roman court. In no less esteem was he held by the Florentine government, who charged him with important embassies on behalf of the republic and would have sent him as their representative to the emperor if illness had not prevented him from leaving Florence.

During a severe epidemic of plague which lasted over a year, the saintly archbishop laboured untiringly to assist the sufferers, inspiring by his example the clergy to do the same. Very many of the friars of Santa Maria Novella, Fiesole and San Marco were carried off, and as usual famine followed upon the heels of the epidemic. The saint stripped himself of almost everything and obtained substantial relief for the victims from Pope Nicholas V, who never refused him any request. For two or three years from 1453 Florence was shaken by frequent earthquakes and a violent storm wrought havoc in one quarter of the city. St Antoninus maintained the most distressed of the victims, rebuilt their houses and gave them a fresh start. He also cured a number of sick persons, for all knew that he possessed the gift of miracles. Cosima de’ Medici publicly asserted that the preservation of the republic from the dangers which threatened it was largely due to the merits and prayers of the holy archbishop. St Antoninus was canonized in 1523.

(Butler’s Lives of the Saints)

_____________________

Good Morning,

Boys and Girls!

            REV. THOMAS J. HOSTY, M.A., S.T.B.

(1952)

THE LITTLE RED WAGON

GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!

I heard a very interesting story a few days ago, which I’m sure you would like to hear. A priest friend of mine told it to me, and he assured me that it actually happened. I know you’re glad to hear that, because all of us get tired of fairy tales and “make-believe” stories, if we have to listen to them all the time.

This story took place a few years ago, in a big city, on the East Coast of our country. One of the priests there was out making a visit to his church, on Christmas afternoon, when he saw something that really amazed him. A little boy, about five years old, came down the side aisle of the church and went over to kneel before the crib. After kneeling there for about a minute or so, the youngster stood up, on the tips of his toes, and reached in and took out a very small statue of our Blessed Mother that was placed next to the manger. The priest decided not to say anything at first, but thought that he would watch and see what happened. Then came the real shock! The boy took the statue in his arms, walked quickly down the aisle, and out of the church!

You can imagine how astonished the priest was—you can imagine how surprised you would be—to think that a little child would have the nerve, in broad daylight, to steal a statue right out of the church. The priest hurried out through a side door, as soon as he recovered from the shock. He reached the front of the church just in time to see the boy pulling the statue away, in a bright little red wagon. Of course, the priest stopped him, but that didn’t seem to bother the little boy at all. So the priest said to him, “What’s the big idea of stealing that statue out of the church?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, the youngster answered, “Why, I didn’t steal the statue!”

This was too much for the priest to understand, and so he got rather angry, as he said sharply, “How can you say such a thing? I saw you, with my own two eyes, reach into the crib and take that statue out of the church!”

Then the little boy replied, “But I didn’t steal it! For two months I prayed every day to Jesus’ Mother, and I asked her to help me get this red wagon. And I promised her that if I got it, she would be the first to ride in it!”

Boys and girls, isn’t that a wonderful story? (Of course, I wouldn’t advise any of you to try it, because your pastor might have a heart attack, before he had a chance to question you.)

There is a point in that story I want all of you to understand—the lesson I want you to learn is the lesson of gratitude. (By gratitude I mean being thankful for things that you receive from anyone, and especially for the things that you receive from our Lord and from your parents.) We may laugh at the simple, direct way the little boy with the red wagon showed his gratitude and thanks to our Blessed Mother—but we’ve got to admire him, too. He certainly didn’t lose any time until he showed his gratitude for what he had received. I wonder how many of you ever show gratitude to God for all that He has done for you. For example, do you show our Lord your gratitude for the holy Sacrifice of the Mass? By that I mean, do you go to Mass out of love for God, or only because your Mother and Dad or the Sisters make you go?

Do you show your gratitude to our blessed Lord for the great gift of Holy Communion—for the priceless opportunity you have of taking Him into your heart? How can you tell if you’re grateful? The answer is simple—do you go to Holy Communion only when you have to, or because the whole school is going? Do you ever get out of bed on Saturday or a school holiday or during the summer vacation, so that you can receive our Lord in Holy Communion?

Perhaps you boys and girls do show some gratitude to our Lord by going to Mass and to Holy Communion frequently—but what about the gratitude that you show to your parents? Do you ever try to do nice things for them, to let them know that you do appreciate all the wonderful and difficult things they have done for you? Some boys and girls expect their Mothers and Fathers to do everything for them, but they never do a single thing in return. Of course, I don’t mean that you have to make a pest out of yourself, by thanking your parents so much that you get on their nerves. Let me tell you a perfect way, though, to show your Mom and your Dad that you really do value all the fine things they do for you.

Can any of you guess what that way is? Yes sir! Be obedient to them at all times! If you never, never disobey your parents, they’ll know, without your ever having to say a single word, how much you appreciate all they do and have done for you. As a matter of fact (and I know you’ll be glad to hear this), in doing this you’ll be imitating the Christ Child Himself, because the Bible, in describing His entire childhood, summed it all up by saying that He went down to Nazareth with Mary, His Mother, and Joseph, His foster father, and “He was subject to them”!

THE “BIG HOUSE”

GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!

During the past week, I took a ride down to the city of Joliet, where the pastor of St. Raymond’s Cathedral was celebrating his twenty-fifth anniversary as a priest. Just before I entered the city itself, I passed a big group of buildings. There was something mighty strange looking about those buildings—all of them were surrounded by very high walls, and there were men with guns stationed on the top of the walls. All of a sudden, as I got a look at the name of the place, it dawned upon me that I was passing Stateville, the state penitentiary of Illinois. Maybe you don’t know what a penitentiary is, but I’m sure you’ll all know what I mean when I say that penitentiary is just a big word for “jail.” The men who are in the jail itself refer to it as the “Big House.”

 I suppose a good number of you know what a jail is like, on the inside—not because you were ever “jailbirds” (that’s the slang name used for the men kept in prison), but because of the pictures you’ve seen in the movies and on television. Each man has a little room, called a cell, with bars on the window, and long iron bars on the front walls and door, so that he can easily be seen and watched from the outside. Ordinarily, he has to share this cage with at least one other man. He can’t get in or out of his cell, unless a guard opens the door for him. He has to go to bed and get up at a certain time, every day; he is given some kind of hard work which he must labor at, every day; he has to do what he is told at all times. He is continually watched by armed guards, who will shoot him if he does not obey the prison rules or if he attempts to escape.

Prison life is a terrible thing. You don’t realize what a wonderful thing your freedom is, until you lose it. Of course, all the men are not kept in jail the same length of time. Some men are kept there for one year; some are there for ten years, some are there for the remainder of their lives. The length of the prison term is measured by the seriousness of the crime a person commits. For example, a man who kills another man is either put to death or placed in jail for life. Sometimes a man is not required to serve all of his sentence—for instance, a man who obeys the prison laws perfectly, and is a very good prisoner, usually has his time shortened by the authorities. That is what is known as a pardon or a parole.

Do you know why I am telling you all this? Because I hope that you’ll be so afraid of going to jail that you’ll never break any city or state laws, which might put you there. But that isn’t my only reason for describing a prison to you—in fact, it isn’t even my most important reason.

Who thinks he can guess my real reason for telling you about jails? Well, to be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t think you’d figure out the correct reason, so I’ll tell you.

Listen closely, now. Here’s the reason. I don’t want any of you ever to have to go to God’s jail! Judging from the look on your faces, I’ll bet some of you didn’t even know that God has a jail. Well, He certainly has! I know that some of you can even tell me the name of His jail.

That’s right. It’s called hell. Believe me, there is no jail or prison or penitentiary in the whole world that is one trillionth as hard as God’s jail! No matter what crimes you committed or how long you have to spend in a jail on earth, when you die your prison term is over. But in hell, your jail sentence will never, never end, because your soul is going to live forever. No one will ever have his time in hell shortened, for good behavior; no one will ever leave God’s jail through a pardon or a parole; no one will ever escape from hell. Everyone in God’s jail will be there for all eternity!

The suffering in any prison on earth is nothing compared to the terrible suffering in hell. Not only do the prisoner’s in God’s jail have their bodies burning, but their souls are crying out for God, and He will not come to them. If you’ve ever been away from home for any length of time, you know how much you missed your Mother and Dad. We call that being homesick. Well, a soul in hell feels billions of times worse when he is separated from God, his Father. He is really homesick for heaven.

 People in hell have far worse companions than the prisoners on earth do. After all, some “jailbirds” are not such bad fellows. It’s true, they broke the law, but many of them did it in a moment of anger or weakness. But it’s different in hell. Not only does everyone in hell hate God, but there are persons there who are worse than you can possibly imagine. You know who they are—the devils!

Boys and girls, do you know why I am telling you about hell? Do you think that I’m only trying to scare you? Oh, no I want you to make up your mind that you are never going to go there. That’s why our blessed Lord kept telling the people about the fires and punishment of hell—He didn’t want any of them to go there.

Remember this, no one will ever go there, unless it is his own fault. You can’t go there by accident! If you go to Confession and Holy Communion frequently, and say your prayers faithfully every day, especially your prayers to our Blessed Mother, you will never go to hell.

And just one final thought—never forget that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, on this earth that is worth going to hell for. Don’t take my word for it; take the word of our Lord Himself. That’s what He meant, when He said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and then suffers the loss of his own soul?”

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Father Krier will be in Pahrump May 14 and Eureka on May 21.

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[Message clipped]  View entire message

Ginger SnapsFri, May 8, 1:43 PM (2 days ago)
Catholic Tradition Newsletter Do you know why I am telling you all this? Because I hope that you’ll be so afraid of going to jail that you’ll never break any ci
JOSEPH SARACENOSat, May 9, 9:27 PM (8 hours ago)
to me

O.K. Good read on the Mass.

On Friday, May 8, 2020, 10:43:27 AM PDT, Ginger Snaps <heavenshocking@gmail.com> wrote:

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Fr Courtney E Krier <tcatholicn@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, May 8, 2020 at 9:25 AM
Subject: Catholic Tradition News Letter B19: Holy Eucharist, Fourth Sunday after Easter, St Antoninus, Family
To: Fr Courtney Edward Krier <in_his_service@att.net>

Catholic Tradition Newsletter

A weeklypresentation of News, Information, Readings and Commentary for traditional RomanCatholics and Catholic Families remaining faithful to the teaching Magisteriumas held by all faithful Catholics through the centuries.

Vol 13Issue 19                                               Editor: Rev.Fr. Courtney Edward Krier

May 9, 2020

SaintGregory Nazianzen, opn!

1.     What is the HolyEucharist

2.     Fourth Sunday afterEaster

3.     Saint Antoninus

4.     Family and Marriage

5.     Articles and notices

DearReader:

Someone brought up that in the Canon of the Mass againthere are the words:

Hold acceptable and bless + these gifts, these+ offerings, these + holy and unspotted oblations which, in thefirst place, we offer Thee for Thy Holy Catholic Church.

And that these words must refer to the bread and winethat the priest is making the Sign of the Cross over. One should be commendedfor observing and reading the words the priest says. It was not until the lastcentury that missals allowing the faithful to follow the Mass were universallyavailable in the common language. It was providential because when theModernists changed the Mass, the laity were able to point to the discrepanciesand resist being Protestantized.  At thesame time, what the priest is saying during Holy Mass must be understood in itsproper Catholic sense. As Sacred Scripture is to be understood in the Catholicsense or one is open to an infinity of misunderstandings, so too must the HolySacrifice of the Mass—which is the heart of the Catholic Faith. As a treasurewe possess as Catholics, we should guard it not simply for its value, but forits beauty—a beauty revealed only to those who know and understand it and forthe graces received from it. Therefore Catholics should know why the Churchuses these words in the Te igitur ofthe Canon of the Mass.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, published by the Confraternityof Christian Doctrine (1940), instructs:

1. For convenience’ sake we shall refer to eachpart of the Canon as a “prayer.” However, it must be kept in mindthat each of these parts is only a division of the one great prayer.

2. Another noteworthy feature of the Canon is thetracing of the outline of the cross over the elements, which is done repeatedlyboth before and after the Consecration. Count the number of times the cross isthus made in the Canon. Saint Thomas says that the priest in celebrating Massuses the sign of the cross to express the Passion of Christ, whichterminated on the cross. The Angelic Doctor says also that the crossestraced over the Sacred Elements after the Consecration are not for the purposeof blessing or consecrating, but only to commemorate the virtue of the crossand the manner of Christ’s Passion.

3. A third, and outstanding, characteristic of theCanon is the deep silence which prevails immediately after the introductoryPreface. The Silence of the Host now rules our hearts. Many reasons are givenfor the silent recitation of this part of the Mass: (a) From the earliest daysit has been the custom to conduct the Consecration and the opening and closingprayers of the Canon in silence. The Church, scrupulous in her guardianship ofthis most venerable prayer, has therefore· preserved the custom. (b) Thesilence indicates that the Consecration and sacrificial act is a priestlyfunction, which only the consecrated priest, and not the people, canaccomplish. In the other portions of the Mass, the priest and the people commune,but now the priest has entered into the Holy of Holies, where he converses withGod alone. (c) The silence is in harmony with the mystery of the EucharisticSacrifice. Our senses do not reveal to us the accomplishment of the mystery;our mind does not understand it. There are miracles in the Host as numerous asstars, but we see not one external trace of them. This silence recalls to usthe hidden nature and the sublime depth of the Mysteries of the Altar, which weaccept by faith alone. (d) The silence prompts us to honor, adore and offer theSublime Sacrifice with the priest. Silence in this case is like a clear voiceurging us to enter into our own hearts, there to adore and meditate. “TheLord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him”(Habacuc 2:20). (e) In the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, some of OurLord’s prayers were audible and some silent. So it is proper that both secretand audible prayers be used at the altar, where the priest, the visiblerepresentative of Christ, is renewing Christ’s sacrifice. (f) This solemnsilence has liturgical precedent. On the Day of Atonement, while the Jewishhighpriest offered incense to God on the golden altar, a deep silence hung overthe entire temple, and all the people said their prayers in secret.

One sees that one’s mind is always focused on thesacrifice of Christ’s Body and Blood, and even though the words of consecrationhave not yet been pronounced, that which is in front of the priest isconsidered to be the Body and Blood of Christ which is about to be Sacrificedin an unbloody manner just as Christ offered His Body and Blood to besacrificed at the Last Supper. Adrian Fortescue sets it as follows:

The first half (to “sacrificia illibata”)asks God to accept and bless the offering; the second abruptly begins theIntercession. The terms “haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificiaillibata” suppose the Consecration; but this might well be merelyanother dramatic anticipation, as “immaculata hostia” at theoffertory, or rather evidence that the whole consecration-prayer is one thingand should be considered ideally as one act, one moment. The signs of thecross, naturally following the words, are in MSS. (Manuscripts) of the Gelasianbook.  (Fortescue, 329)

Nicholas Gihr also provides this commentary:

Prayer forms the liturgical accompaniment of thesacrifice. The Canon contains those prayers which most closely relate to theEucharistic sacrifice. They are oblation prayers, which refer to theConsecration; for they contain in part petitions for the blessing andconsecration of the sacrificial elements, in part an offering of thesacrificial body and blood of Christ, and in part supplications to obtain andto apply the fruits of the sacrifice. As to their contents, they harmonize withthe foregoing prayers of the Offertory, and we behold in them a copy of theprayers of our divine Saviour. During His life and at His death He prayedcontinually. The longest and most solemn, fervent, and touching prayer of theLord is the one which He uttered when He was about to accomplish His sacrificeon the cross; His prayer as high priest. [At the LastSupper] In it He makes known to whom, for whom, and for what purpose Hewould offer His sacrificial death; He supplicates for His disciples and for allwho would believe in Him: for the entire Church militant. He besought theFather to fill all the faithful in time and in eternity with His saving gifts:to preserve them here below in unity, keep them in truth, and sanctify them bygrace, that hereafter they might be transformed in beatitude and behold Hisglory. Does not this prayer of the high priest resound throughout the Canon ofthe Mass, wherein the Church expresses what gifts of grace she would draw forherself and for all her children from the Holy Sacrifice? How powerful andeffective do these petitions and intercessions of the Church become, as theyascend to the throne of mercy in union with the voice of the blood of Christ,which more loudly and more strongly cries to heaven than did the blood of Abel!

The Canon ushers in the holiest and most sacredmoments of the sacrificial celebration; this part of the Mass, still more thanany of the other portions, claims attention, devotion, and reverence. The heartshould be occupied only with the divine function and be to all extraneousthoughts and cares as “a garden enclosed” and “a fountain sealedup” (Cant. 4: 12). Above all, the passion and death of Christ should bedevoutly meditated upon. We are exhorted to this by the image of the Crucified,which is placed before the Canon in order that the painful and bloody death ofChrist may be presented to our view in a striking manner. (Gihr, 625-627)

Today, more than ever an understanding of what istaking place in Holy Mass must be sought because we all saw Vatican II changeMass into a Protestant service in which the Bible receives the same or morereverence than the “bread” which is handed out indiscriminately, dropped and steppedon and swept up to be thrown in the garbage or stuck in the pocket—but onlybecause the people are told that the priest is offering bread and wine in theNovus Ordo service as indicated by the words they say and the hymns they sing.

As always, enjoythe readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor

________________

WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST

By Rev. Courtney EdwardKrier

PART II

Institution

TheInstitution of the Holy Eucharist

Therefore, twoevents that tied together were happening: the paschal lamb and the unleavenedbread. On Holy Thursday, the Israelites, as mentioned when speaking of thebread previously, would make sure no leavened bread was in their house orquarter. The next day the lamb would be sacrificed. As no leavened bread wasallowed under pain of penalty:

The firstmonth, the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, you shall eat unleavenedbread, until the one and twentieth day of the same month in the evening. Sevendays there shall not be found any leaven in your houses: he that shall eatleavened bread, his soul shall perish out of the assembly of Israel, whether hebe a stranger or born in the land. (Exod. 12:18-19)

Christ would onlyhave unleavened bread from which to use but associated with the paschal lamb.The combination of the two sacrifices may be seen also when it is understoodthat because Christ kept the Pasch on Thursday night, the lamb for the paschwas sacrificed on the same day as the first day of the Azymes. Therefore, theSynoptic Gospels state:

Matthew

And on thefirst day of the Azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thouthat we prepare for thee to eat the pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the cityto a certain man, and say to him: the master saith, My time is near at hand,with thee I make the pasch with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesusappointed to them, and they prepared the pasch. (Matt. 26:17-19)

Mark

Now on thefirst day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the pasch, thedisciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go, and prepare for thee to eatthe pasch? And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye intothe city; and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, followhim; And whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house, Themaster saith, Where is my refectory, where I may eat the pasch with mydisciples? And he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and thereprepare ye for us. And his disciples went their way, and came into the city;and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the pasch. And whenevening was come, he cometh with the twelve. (Mark 14:12-17)

Luke

And the day ofthe unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch shouldbe killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us thepasch, that we may eat. But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? And hesaid to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a mancarrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in.And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Whereis the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? And he willshew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. And they going,found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch. And when the hour wascome, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. (Luke 22:8-14)

Whereas John,seeing the replacement of the passover sacrifice with the sacrifice of theCross, departs from the other Evangelists and retains the proper observancedates, placing the Pasch on the day after the Ayzmes—the Lamb of God sacrificedinstead of the lamb for the Passover meal; and, because he does not give theaccount of the Institution, John sets the Last Supper as the preparation of theLamb for His sacrifice. Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowingthat his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father:having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Andwhen supper was done . . . (John 13:1, 2)

John introducesthe preparation for the priesthood in the washing of the feet. The bishop is tobe the servant and the Apostles introduce themselves as Servants: Paul, forexample, in Romans 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1, and James 1:1. Fittingly, Johnopens his apocalyptic book with: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which Godgave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which mustshortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servantJohn . . . (Apoc.1:1.)

Turning toMeagher for an explanation of the Last Supper, one reads:

The crucifiedlamb was then placed in the oven resting on his cross, the flesh not beingallowed to touch the oven, to foretell how Christ completely hung from thecross. Thus the lamb was roasted that its body might be penetrated by the fire,as the fire of the Shekina, the Holy Spirit, filled Christ with the love ofmankind, moving him to die for our salvation. When cooked, the lamb was placedon the table, still resting on his cross, and was a striking prophetic portraitof the body of the dead Christ on the cross, his skin all torn off in theflagellation, the yellow serum oozing out and dried, made him look as though hehad been roasted.

The fleshcould be eaten only in the house, no part could be carried out, [Exod, xii.46.] for Communion is received only in the Catholic Church, and not in sectswhich have not holy orders—an ordained priesthood. Not less than ten, or morethan twenty members, formed a “band” to eat the lamb, to image thecongregation assembled for the celebration of the Eucharist. The tenth day ofNisan, [Exod. xii. 3.]  when the Hebrewscelebrated their first Passover, they sacrificed the lamb on the Sabbath toforetell that on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath, the real Lamb of God would besacrificed in our churches.

The waters ofthe Nile were turned into blood; in the ceremonial of tabernacle and Temple,the victims’ blood was poured out on the altar; they were forbidden to eat meatwith the blood. Even in our days, Jews complain that the “kosher”meat, completely drained of blood, tastes insipid. What did these rites of theJewish religion mean? They were to bring before their minds the value of humanlife. They forgot all these that fatal Friday, when the whole nation cried out,”Crucify him!” “His blood be on us and our children!” [Lukexxiii. 21; Matt. xxvii. 25.]

The blood ofthe paschal lamb was sprinkled on the door-posts of their houses, as a type, aprophecy, of the blood of Christ sprinkled on his cross. The first-born of thefamilies living in the houses marked with the blood were saved that night. AndMoses with the lamb’s blood sprinkled Aaron, his sons, and all the utensils ofthe tabernacle. ” What did you say, Moses? Can the blood of a lamb delivera man? It is true, he said, not because it is blood, but because it was anexample of the Lord’s blood.” [St. Chrystom, Hom. 48, in Joan. C. 19.]Beautifully, in his eloquent words, the Archbishop of Constantinople explainsthe great mystery of the blood.

The Hebrewswere forbidden to eat any raw part of the Lamb, for the fire of the Holy Ghostcompletely filled the whole body of Christ. If they broke a bone in the lamb inthe preparation, they were punished at the time of Christ with thirty-ninestripes on bare back and shoulders. This was to foretell that the soldierswould not break Christ’s limbs when they came to remove the bodies of thecrucified that day within the Passover. [John xix. 31.]  Only circumcised Hebrews could eat thepaschal lamb, as only baptized Christians should receive communion. Only inJerusalem was the lamb sacrificed, so in the Church is the Lamb of God sacrificedand eaten. The lamb was eaten with unleaven bread, like the altar breads usedto show forth the sinless Christ, on whom was no sin, prefigured by fermentingyeast. It was eaten with wild lettuce dipped in vinegar, to remind us of thebitterness of sin, and with what sorrow for our sins we should approach thetable of the Lord.

The whole lambwas eaten, with its head, feet, entrails, etc., to tell us that under theappearance of bread and wine we partake in the whole Christ, receiving both hisDivinity and human nature. What remained after the feast must not be taken outof the house, but was to be burned that night, [Exod. xii. 8, 9, 10.] toforetell how the Lord’s body was removed that afternoon he died.

The lamb waseaten by the Jews with loins bound up, shoes on their feet, staffs in theirhands, clothed as for a journey, for as priests we partake of Communion clothedin vestments on a journey to our home, not in Palestine, like Jews, but inheaven, the Christian’s real home.

. . . . In thehistory of Abraham and his “Seed,” the “Seed of the woman whowas to crush the serpent’s head,” God bound up in prophetic history thefuture of the nations. Nature, history, blessings, symbols, ceremonies andgraces combine to give a special meaning to the feast. The New Testament isfilled with allusions to the going out from Egypt, the feast appearing underthe names of pascha, phase, the paschal lamb, the bread and wine, the LastSupper, the Eucharistic Sacrifice. (137-139)

The PassoverSacrifice of the Old Law is completed and now Christ introduces the Sacrificeof the New Law, setting aside and purifying the priests for the Sacrifice:

He riseth fromsupper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girdedhimself. After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feetof the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Hecometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou washmy feet? Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; butthou shalt know hereafter. (John 13:4-7)

Meagher provides this about the washing of feet:

[At an invitationto a dinner] Laying their shoes, or sandals, at the door, the guests wentbarefoot in the house. Before they reclined at the table, servants or themaster of the house washed their feet. The custom came down from thepatriarchs.

Abraham washedthe feet of the three angels who visited him in his tent. [Gen. xviii. 4.]Laban prepared water to wash Eleazar’s feet, when he came into Mesopotamiaseeking a wife for Isaac.[Gen. xxiv. 32.] Joseph’s steward brought water towash the feet of Jacob’s eleven sons, when they came back to his house after findingthe money in their sacks. [Gen. xliii. 24.] Abigail asked of David only theprivilege of washing his servants’ feet. [I. Kings xxv. 41.] David told Uriasto go into his house and wash his feet as a preparation for supper and bed.[II. Kings xi. 8.] When Tobias went to wash his feet, a fish came to devourhim. [Tobias vi. 2.] Job washed his feet with butter. [Job xxix. 6.] TheSpouse, speaking to the Church, says of the night of the Last Supper. “Ihave put off my garment. How shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, howshall I defile them?” [Cant. of Cant. v. 3.]

In richfamilies servants performed this service, among the middle classes sons anddaughters did it, but if he wished to show special honors to his visitors, thefather washed their feet. Being a servant’s work, we understand how Christ tooka towel, girded himself with it, and went from one to another washing thedisciples’ feet with water in a basin. Peter could not understand why theMaster would do a servant’s work, protested and was told to obey, or hisrefusal would lose for him his call to the apostolate. All had taken a bath, aswas the custom before celebrating the Passover, their feet were soiled walkingover the floor, and Christ said: “He that is washed needeth but to washhis feet but is clean wholly.”

Cleanness of body signified the soul washed from sin.All were innocent but Judas, Caiphas’ nephew, who had all along acted as a spyfor Temple priests, secretly received money from them for his promise ofbetrayal, and Jesus said: “And you are clean, but not all.” For heknew who he was that would betray him, therefore he said: “You are not allclean.” [John 13:11] Before sitting at the table, they washed their hands,for they dipped them into the dishes to grasp the morsels of food. (203-205)

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The SundaySermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal

THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY

John xvi. 5-14

At that time:Jesus said to his Disciples: I go to him that sent me, and none of you askethme: Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrowhath filled your heart.

But I tell youthe truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paracletewill not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

And when he iscome, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgement. Ofsin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to theFather; and you shall see me no longer. And of judgement: because the prince ofthis world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you: but youcannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will teachyou all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever heshall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall show you.He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it toyou.

EXPOSITIONFROM THE CATENA AUREA

V. 10. And ofjustice because I go to the Father.

Since unbelieversare wont to cry out: How can we believe what we cannot see? the justness ofthose who do believe needed to be made clearly manifest, Because I go to theFather: and you shall see me no longer. For blessed are they who do not see andyet believe. And of those who saw Christ their faith also was praised; but notfor this that they believed what they saw, namely, the Son of man. Accordingly,when this form of a servant waswithdrawn from before their eyes it was then that the saying was whollyfulfilled: The just man liveth by faith(Rom. i. 17).

It shall then beby your own justness that the world shall be convinced: since you shall believein Me Whom you will not see. And when you do see Me, as I shall then be, youwill not see Me as you see Me now here among you. That is, you will not see Himas mortal, but as eternal. For by saying, You shall see me no longer, He Who isTruth Itself foretold as it were that they would never again see (this) Christ.

AUGUSTINE, Sermon 144, 3: Or again, they did notbelieve He was going to the Father. The sin therefore was theirs; the justnesswas His. That He came to us from the Father was mercy; that whereby He goes tothe Father is His justness, according to the words of the Apostle: For which cause God hath exalted him(Phil. ii. 9). But if He alone shall go to the Father what profit is this tous? Is it not rather that He is alone in this sense, that Christ is one withall His Members, as the head is with the body? So the world therefore isconvinced of sin through those persons who will not believe in Christ, and ofjustice by those who shall rise again as members of Christ’s Body. Thenfollows:

V. 11. And of judgement, because the prince of thisworld . . .

That is, thedevil, the prince of evil doers, whose heart is only in this world that theylove. Sermon 143: By the fact that he was cast out he is already judged;and of this judgement the world is convicted; for it is useless for one whowill not believe in Christ to look instead to the devil, whom not alone havemen defeated, but even women and the boys and maidens who were martyred,condemned as he is, that is, outcast, though permitted to attack us outwardly,so that we may be tested.

AUGUSTINE, Tr.95, 4: Or, he is judged, since he is committed irrevocably to thechastisement of everlasting fire. And by this judgement the world is convicted,since it is already judged together with its prince, whom, proud andblasphemous as he is, it imitates. So therefore let mankind believe in Christso that they may not be condemned through his sin of unbelief; by means ofwhich they are held fast in all other sins. Let them pass over to the number ofthe believing, lest they be condemned by the justness of those whom, as just,they have not imitated. Let them beware of the judgement to come, lest they becondemned together with the prince of this world whom, though he was condemned,they have imitated.

[This is themeaning of to convince the world: To show the world that those thingsare true which it did not wish to believe were so. For it did not wish tobelieve that the Saviour came from God. But the Saviour, after He had restoredjustice, did not delay in returning to Him Who had sent Him. And by so returningthere He proved that it was from there He had come; because no man hathascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who isin heaven. John iii. 13, from (Augustine) Quaest. ex N. & V. Tests,n. 89. See note 1.]

CHRYSOSTOM: Oragain: he will convince the world of sin, that is, He will cut off all theirexcuses and will show them they have sinned, in not believing in Me, when theyshall see the ineffable graces of the Holy Spirit given at the invocation of MyName.

AUGUSTINE, Questionsof the Old and New Testaments, 89: In this way also shall the Holy Spiritconvince the world of sin, in that He will work wonders in the name of theSaviour Who was condemned by the world. But the Saviour, justice now restored,does not delay in returning to Him Who had sent Him, and by returning He provedfrom where it was He had come; because of this there follows: And ofjustice: because I go to the Father. CHRYSOSTOM: That is, because My goingto the Father will be a proof of the blameless justice of My life, that theymay no longer be able to say: This man is a sinner, and not of God (Jn.ix. 24, 23). Again, since I have overcome My enemy, (and had He been a sinnerHe could not have overthrown him), they cannot say that I have a devil, andthat I am a seducer. And since through Me he was condemned, they shall come tolearn that afterwards they will trample on him; and they will come to seeclearly the fact of My Resurrection: for he was powerless to hold Me.

AUGUSTINE, Questionsetc. 89: The demons seeing souls ascend from hell [i.e., limbo] to heavenknew that the prince of this world had been judged; that in the contest withthe Saviour he had lost all right to what he had held till then. This they sawas the Saviour ascended, but with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon theApostles these things were clearly and openly revealed.

V. 12. I haveyet many things to say to you; but you cannot etc.

THEOPHYLACTUS:Since the Lord had said a little before this (v. 7), it is expedient for youthat I go, He now enlarges this by saying: I have yet many things to say toyou; but you cannot bear them now.

AUGUSTINE, Tr.97 in John: For all heretics try to justify the effrontery of their ownvapourings, when the common sense of mankind scorns them, by taking advantageof this sentence of the Gospel; as if these were the things which the disciplescould not bear, and that the Holy Spirit had taught things which even theunclean spirit was ashamed to teach and proclaim. But (Tract 96, 5) theevil teachings that no human modesty could permit are one thing; the truthswhich the limited human mind can grasp are another. The one are to be found inthose whose bodies are unchaste, the others are far removed from all bodies. (Tract96, 1) Which of us will presume to say that he can grasp what they couldnot? And because of this neither is it to be expected that they can beexpounded by me.

But, someone willsay, many could bear what Peter could not, just as many could bear to becrowned with martyrdom, which Peter then could not; especially as the HolySpirit has now been sent, Who had not then been sent. But do we know what thesethings were which He wished to tell them? It seems to me a very foolish thingto say that the Disciples could not bear to hear the sublime things which wefind in the Apostolic Epistles, which were written later, and which the Lord isnot recorded as having told them. But men of perverted belief cannot bear whatis found in the sacred Scriptures concerning the Catholic faith, just as wecannot endure their own sacrilegious absurdities: for what does cannot bearthem mean but that the mind cannot bear to consider them in patience? Forwhat believer, or what catechumen, who even before he receives the Holy Spiritin Baptism will not patiently read and accept, even if he does not understandthem, what was written after the Ascension of Our Lord?

But someone willsay (Tract 97, 1): Have spiritual men nothing in their teaching on whichthey are silent to those who are carnal minded, but speak openly of only tothose that are spiritual?3 There is no need for some secrets of ourteaching to be concealed from the young in faith, and to be spoken of to theolder ones apart. For men who are spiritual ought not wholly to pass over insilence things spiritual; because the Catholic Faith is to be preached to allmen. Yet neither should they so explain them that, striving to reduce them tothe understanding of those who are incapable of taking them in, they may morelikely awaken in them a dislike for their discourse upon some truth, than tobring them to perceive the truth of the discourse.

Let us nottherefore (Tract 97, 1) believe that these words of Our Lord refer to Iknow not what secrets, which, though the teacher could utter them, the disciplewould not be able to bear them; but to those very truths which in the teachingof religion we speak of to all men whatsoever. If Christ were to speak to us asHe speaks to His angels what men could bear it, even though they were spirituallyminded, such as the Apostles were not? For whatever can be known of creation isless than nothing compared with what can be known of the Creator Himself; andwho is silent concerning Him?

Who is there (Tract96, 4) while living in this body can know all truth, for the Apostle says:We know in part? But since, through the Holy Spirit, it happens that we comealso to that fulness (of knowledge) of which the same Apostle speaks.

Tract 96, 5: Who is there that dwells in this body which corruptsand oppresses the soul (Wisd. ix. 15) can know all truth; as the Apostle says:We know in part? (I Cor. xiii). But because we are sanctified by the HolySpirit it comes to pass that we are brought also to that fulness of which thesame Apostle says: Then we shall see face to face. Our Lord did not refer onlyto what is known in this life when He said: But when he, the Spirit of truth,is come, he will teach you all truth, or, he will lead you to all truth; bythis phrase we should understand that the fulness of truth is reserved for usto the life that is to come. Tract 97, 1: The Holy Spirit now teachesthe faithful as much as each one can grasp of spiritual things, and at the sametime enkindles in their hearts a yet greater desire for them.

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10: ST ANTONINUS, ARCHBISHOP OF FLORENCE (A.D. 1459)

OF all the prelates who throughmany centuries have ruled the diocese of Florence, no one has gained so greatand lasting a hold upon the loving veneration of the Florentines as StAntoninus. His father, a citizen of good family, who was notary to the republic,was called Nicholas Pierozzi, and he himself received in baptism the name ofAntony. The diminutive Antonino, which clung to him all his life, was given himin childhood because of his small stature and gentle disposition. A seriousboy, much addicted to prayer, he loved to listen to the sermons of Bd JohnDominici, then prior of Santa Maria Novella, and when he was fifteen he askedthe friar to admit him to the Dominican Order. The saintly John, judging himtoo weakly for the life, tried to put him off by bidding him study for a timeand learn the Decretum Gratiam; butwhen, within a year, the lad returned, having committed the whole of thetreatise to memory, he was received without further hesitation. He was thefirst postulant to take the habit in the new priory at Fiesole, which Bd JohnDominici had built. For the novitiate Antonino was sent to Cortona, where hehad as novice master Bd Laurence of Ripafratta and as companions Bd PeterCapucci and the future great artist Fra Angelico da Fiesole. Antoninus earlygave evidence of exceptional gifts as a scholar and as a leader. He was chosenwhen very young to govern the great convent of the Minerva in Rome; andafterwards he was successively prior at Naples, Gaeta, Cortona, Siena, Fiesoleand Florence. As superior of the reformed Tuscan and Neapolitan congregations,and also as prior provincial of the whole Roman province, he zealously enforcedthe measures initiated by Bd John Dominici with a view to restoring theprimitive rule. At Florence in 1436 he founded the famous convent of San Marcoin buildings taken over from the Silvestrines, but practically rebuilt by himafter designs by Michelozzi and decorated with the frescoes of Fra Angelico.

The adjacent latethirteenth-century church was rebuilt with great magnificence by Cosima de’Medici to serve the new Dominican house. In addition to his official duties, StAntoninus preached often and wrote works which made him famous among hiscontemporaries. He was consulted from Rome and from all quarters, especially inintricate cases of canon law. Pope Eugenius IV summoned him to attend thegeneral Council of Florence, and he assisted at all its sessions. He wasoccupied with reforming houses in the province of Naples when he learnt to hisdismay that the pope had nominated him to be archbishop of Florence. In vaindid he plead incapacity, ill-health and advancing years; Eugenius wasinflexible and left him no freedom of choice. He was consecrated in March 1446amid the rejoicings of the citizens.

In his new capacity St Antoninuscontinued to practise all the observances of his rule, as far as his dutieswould permit. The most rigid simplicity reigned where he resided: his householdconsisted of six persons only; he had no plate or horses; even the one mule whichserved the needs of the whole establishment was often sold to assist the poor,but as often bought back by some well-to-do citizen and restored to itscharitable owner. He gave audience daily to all comers, whilst declaringhimself especially the protector of the poor, at whose disposal he kept hispurse and granaries. When these were exhausted he gave away his furniture andhis clothes. To assist the needy who were ashamed to beg, he had established asort of “S.V.P.”, under the patronage of St Martin, which has been the means ofsupporting thousands of families in reduced circumstances.

Although naturally gentle, thesaint was firm and courageous when circumstances demanded it. He put downgambling in his diocese, was the determined foe of both usury and magic, andreformed abuses of all kinds. In addition to preaching nearly every Sunday andfestival, he visited his whole diocese once a year, always on foot. Hisreputation for wisdom and integrity was such that he was unceasingly consultedby those in authority, laymen as well as ecclesiastics; and his decisions wereso judicious that they won for him the title of “the Counsellor”.When Pope Eugenius IV was dying he summoned Antoninus to Rome, received fromhim the last sacraments and died in his arms. Nicholas V sought his advice onmatters of church and state, forbade any appeal to be made to Rome from thearchbishop’s judgements, and declared that Antonino in his lifetime was asworthy of canonization as the dead Bernardino (da Siena), whom he was about toraise to the altars. Pius II nominated him to a commission charged withreforming the Roman court. In no less esteem was he held by the Florentinegovernment, who charged him with important embassies on behalf of the republicand would have sent him as their representative to the emperor if illness hadnot prevented him from leaving Florence.

During a severe epidemic of plaguewhich lasted over a year, the saintly archbishop laboured untiringly to assistthe sufferers, inspiring by his example the clergy to do the same. Very many ofthe friars of Santa Maria Novella, Fiesole and San Marco were carried off, andas usual famine followed upon the heels of the epidemic. The saint strippedhimself of almost everything and obtained substantial relief for the victimsfrom Pope Nicholas V, who never refused him any request. For two or three yearsfrom 1453 Florence was shaken by frequent earthquakes and a violent stormwrought havoc in one quarter of the city. St Antoninus maintained the mostdistressed of the victims, rebuilt their houses and gave them a fresh start. Healso cured a number of sick persons, for all knew that he possessed the gift ofmiracles. Cosima de’ Medici publicly asserted that the preservation of therepublic from the dangers which threatened it was largely due to the merits andprayers of the holy archbishop. St Antoninus was canonized in 1523.

(Butler’sLives of the Saints)

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Good Morning,

Boys and Girls!

            REV. THOMAS J. HOSTY, M.A., S.T.B.

(1952)

THE LITTLERED WAGON

GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!

I heard a very interesting story a few days ago, whichI’m sure you would like to hear. A priest friend of mine told it to me, and heassured me that it actually happened. I know you’re glad to hear that, becauseall of us get tired of fairy tales and “make-believe” stories, if we haveto listen to them all the time.

This story took place a few years ago, in a big city,on the East Coast of our country. One of the priests there was out making avisit to his church, on Christmas afternoon, when he saw something that reallyamazed him. A little boy, about five years old, came down the side aisle of thechurch and went over to kneel before the crib. After kneeling there for about aminute or so, the youngster stood up, on the tips of his toes, and reached inand took out a very small statue of our Blessed Mother that was placed next tothe manger. The priest decided not to say anything at first, but thought thathe would watch and see what happened. Then came the real shock! The boy tookthe statue in his arms, walked quickly down the aisle, and out of the church!

You can imagine how astonished the priest was—you canimagine how surprised you would be—to think that a little child would have thenerve, in broad daylight, to steal a statue right out of the church. The priesthurried out through a side door, as soon as he recovered from the shock. Hereached the front of the church just in time to see the boy pulling the statueaway, in a bright little red wagon. Of course, the priest stopped him, but thatdidn’t seem to bother the little boy at all. So the priest said to him,”What’s the big idea of stealing that statue out of the church?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, the youngster answered,”Why, I didn’t steal the statue!”

This was too much for the priest to understand, and sohe got rather angry, as he said sharply, “How can you say such a thing? Isaw you, with my own two eyes, reach into the crib and take that statue out ofthe church!”

Then the little boy replied, “But I didn’t stealit! For two months I prayed every day to Jesus’ Mother, and I asked her to helpme get this red wagon. And I promised her that if I got it, she would be thefirst to ride in it!”

Boys and girls, isn’t that a wonderful story? (Ofcourse, I wouldn’t advise any of you to try it, because your pastor might havea heart attack, before he had a chance to question you.)

There is a point in that story I want all of you tounderstand—the lesson I want you to learn is the lesson of gratitude. (Bygratitude I mean being thankful for things that you receive from anyone, andespecially for the things that you receive from our Lord and from yourparents.) We may laugh at the simple, direct way the little boy with the redwagon showed his gratitude and thanks to our Blessed Mother—but we’ve got toadmire him, too. He certainly didn’t lose any time until he showed hisgratitude for what he had received. I wonder how many of you ever showgratitude to God for all that He has done for you. For example, do you show ourLord your gratitude for the holy Sacrifice of the Mass? By that I mean, do yougo to Mass out of love for God, or only because your Mother and Dad or theSisters make you go?

Do you show your gratitude to our blessed Lord for thegreat gift of Holy Communion—for the priceless opportunity you have of takingHim into your heart? How can you tell if you’re grateful? The answer is simple—doyou go to Holy Communion only when you have to, or because the whole school isgoing? Do you ever get out of bed on Saturday or a school holiday or during thesummer vacation, so that you can receive our Lord in Holy Communion?

Perhaps you boys and girls do show some gratitude toour Lord by going to Mass and to Holy Communion frequently—but what about thegratitude that you show to your parents? Do you ever try to do nice things forthem, to let them know that you do appreciate all the wonderful and difficultthings they have done for you? Some boys and girls expect their Mothers andFathers to do everything for them, but they never do a single thing in return.Of course, I don’t mean that you have to make a pest out of yourself, bythanking your parents so much that you get on their nerves. Let me tell you aperfect way, though, to show your Mom and your Dad that you really do value allthe fine things they do for you.

Can any of you guess what that way is? Yes sir! Beobedient to them at all times! If you never, never disobey your parents,they’ll know, without your ever having to say a single word, how much youappreciate all they do and have done for you. As a matter of fact (and I knowyou’ll be glad to hear this), in doing this you’ll be imitating the ChristChild Himself, because the Bible, in describing His entire childhood, summed itall up by saying that He went down to Nazareth with Mary, His Mother, andJoseph, His foster father, and “He was subject to them”!

THE “BIG HOUSE”

GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!

During the past week, I took a ride down to the cityof Joliet, where the pastor of St. Raymond’s Cathedral was celebrating histwenty-fifth anniversary as a priest. Just before I entered the city itself, Ipassed a big group of buildings. There was something mighty strange lookingabout those buildings—all of them were surrounded by very high walls, and therewere men with guns stationed on the top of the walls. All of a sudden, as I gota look at the name of the place, it dawned upon me that I was passingStateville, the state penitentiary of Illinois. Maybe you don’t know what apenitentiary is, but I’m sure you’ll all know what I mean when I say thatpenitentiary is just a big word for “jail.” The men who are in thejail itself refer to it as the “Big House.”

 I suppose agood number of you know what a jail is like, on the inside—not because you wereever “jailbirds” (that’s the slang name used for the men kept in prison),but because of the pictures you’ve seen in the movies and on television. Eachman has a little room, called a cell, with bars on the window, and long ironbars on the front walls and door, so that he can easily be seen and watchedfrom the outside. Ordinarily, he has to share this cage with at least one otherman. He can’t get in or out of his cell, unless a guard opens the door for him.He has to go to bed and get up at a certain time, every day; he is given somekind of hard work which he must labor at, every day; he has to do what he istold at all times. He is continually watched by armed guards, who will shoothim if he does not obey the prison rules or if he attempts to escape.

Prison life is a terrible thing. You don’t realizewhat a wonderful thing your freedom is, until you lose it. Of course, all themen are not kept in jail the same length of time. Some men are kept there forone year; some are there for ten years, some are there for the remainder oftheir lives. The length of the prison term is measured by the seriousness ofthe crime a person commits. For example, a man who kills another man is eitherput to death or placed in jail for life. Sometimes a man is not required toserve all of his sentence—for instance, a man who obeys the prison lawsperfectly, and is a very good prisoner, usually has his time shortened by theauthorities. That is what is known as a pardon or a parole.

Do you know why I am telling you all this? Because Ihope that you’ll be so afraid of going to jail that you’ll never break any cityor state laws, which might put you there. But that isn’t my only reason fordescribing a prison to you—in fact, it isn’t even my most important reason.

Who thinks he can guess my real reason for telling youabout jails? Well, to be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t think you’d figureout the correct reason, so I’ll tell you.

Listen closely, now. Here’s the reason. I don’t wantany of you ever to have to go to God’s jail! Judging from the look on yourfaces, I’ll bet some of you didn’t even know that God has a jail. Well, Hecertainly has! I know that some of you can even tell me the name of His jail.

That’s right. It’s called hell. Believe me, there isno jail or prison or penitentiary in the whole world that is one trillionth ashard as God’s jail! No matter what crimes you committed or how long you have tospend in a jail on earth, when you die your prison term is over. But in hell,your jail sentence will never, never end, because your soul is going to liveforever. No one will ever have his time in hell shortened, for good behavior;no one will ever leave God’s jail through a pardon or a parole; no one willever escape from hell. Everyone in God’s jail will be there for all eternity!

The suffering in any prison on earth is nothingcompared to the terrible suffering in hell. Not only do the prisoner’s in God’sjail have their bodies burning, but their souls are crying out for God, and Hewill not come to them. If you’ve ever been away from home for any length oftime, you know how much you missed your Mother and Dad. We call that beinghomesick. Well, a soul in hell feels billions of times worse when he isseparated from God, his Father. He is really homesick for heaven.

 People in hellhave far worse companions than the prisoners on earth do. After all, some”jailbirds” are not such bad fellows. It’s true, they broke the law,but many of them did it in a moment of anger or weakness. But it’s different inhell. Not only does everyone in hell hate God, but there are persons there who areworse than you can possibly imagine. You know who they are—the devils!

Boys and girls, do you know why I am telling you abouthell? Do you think that I’m only trying to scare you? Oh, no I want you to makeup your mind that you are never going to go there. That’s why our blessed Lordkept telling the people about the fires and punishment of hell—He didn’t wantany of them to go there.

Remember this, no one will ever go there, unless it ishis own fault. You can’t go there by accident! If you go to Confession and HolyCommunion frequently, and say your prayers faithfully every day, especiallyyour prayers to our Blessed Mother, you will never go to hell.

And just one final thought—never forget that there isnothing, absolutely nothing, on this earth that is worth going to hell for.Don’t take my word for it; take the word of our Lord Himself. That’s what Hemeant, when He said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the wholeworld, and then suffers the loss of his own soul?”

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Father Krier will be in Pahrump May 14 and Eureka on May21.

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