Vol 13 Issue 25 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
June 20, 2020 ~ Our Lady on Saturday
1. What is the Holy Eucharist
2. Third Sunday after Pentecost
3. Saint Aloysius
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
What have I heard these past several weeks? That Church leaders should willingly close their churches because they are a hindrance rather than an essential help to people in time of need, but a hindrance. That Church leaders should bring the community together by admitting Christian teaching causes division and that they should no longer preach Christianity. That Church leaders should preach all men are children of God but yet the state says God did not create man. That Church leaders should tell their members to pray to God but yet the state says that only science and the government can fix the problems of life. That Church leaders should tell the people their carbon footprint is killing people while murderers are excused as justified because others have forced them to respond this way. That Church leaders should ask that the police be disbanded because they are the bad people not the criminals—apparently there would be no criminals if there were no police. That Church leaders can have large gatherings to protest but not to pray.
Society is so twisted that it can announce that it now has the best schools even though children do not even go to school because of the Covid-19 and are graduated without any testing; that shoppers are not allowed in stores but looters are; that you can get paid more if you don’t work than if you choose to work; that you have freedom of speech only as long as you repeat the demagoguery of the left and you have liberty as long as you do what the liberal progressives decide; that if a man says he is a woman everyone has to participate in his fantasy and treat him like a woman—and the same if a woman says she is a man all have to participate in her fantasy and treat her like a man and that to refuse to hire someone who lives in such a perverted fantasy world is a crime. Did anyone hear something different these past few weeks?
The cultural war that is being waged right now, therefore, is not one of racial discrimination or sexual discrimination, it is one of: What authority decides right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust? That choice is either God with a set moral code or the blind mob led by ideas fed them by tyrants who want to decide for everyone else—for which they have no basis but arbitrary whims. This is not to say what is wrong is not wrong, but rather to reject the idea that what is wrong is allowed to be right and what is bad as being good, and injustice to be just.
The manipulation of the Covid-19 to close Churches has made Church optional. The present cultural war will make going to Church criminal unless it adopts the state manifesto of non-discrimination being pushed. It is true that Catholic means for all people, all nations, all times; but it also is preceded by “one” and “holy” because it acknowledges only one Truth and follows only one morality—that taught by Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and it can only teach what Christ commanded.
As was said last week, let us continue to make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for our sins, the sins of our communities and nations so that hearts and minds may turn back to God’s path for mankind.
As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor
WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST
By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
The Institution of the Holy Eucharist
It was the blood of Abel that cried for vengeance, that is, that the Eternal Father regard this blood as just and worthy to be accepted as a sacrifice worthy to merit salvation, that it be not unto death, but life: the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth. (Gen. 4:10) Further, that the shedding of one’s blood had merit before God is seen in these verses from Psalm 78: Help us, O God, our saviour: and for the glory of thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for thy name’s sake: Lest they should say among the Gentiles: Where is their God? And let him be made known among the nations before our eyes, by the revenging the blood of thy servants, which hath been shed. (Ps. 78:9-10) This is highlighted by Christ in addressing the Jews in these words: That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. (Matt. 23:35; cf. Luke 11:51) Now it would be the Blood of Christ that crieth from the earth and in heaven for forgivness. The Jews, being then the people of God, would the next day therefore speak in prophecy as Matthew records: And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children. (Matt. 27:25) That His Blood is poured out for them expressed in the words of Christ: For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matt. 23:39) and, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34) As Paul continues later in Hebrews: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. . . the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel. (Heb. 12:2, 24; cf. Apoc. 19:13) And John speaks of this accomplished forgiveness: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (Apoc. 16:6) To this Thomas of Aquin agrees:
The blood of Christ’s Passion has its efficacy not merely in the elect among the Jews, to whom the blood of the Old Testament was exhibited, but also in the Gentiles; nor only in priests who consecrate this sacrament, and in those others who partake of it; but likewise in those for whom it is offered. And therefore He says expressly, “for you,” the Jews, “and for many,” namely the Gentiles; or “for you” who eat of it, and “for many,” for whom it is offered. (ST III, q78, a3)
Of course His Blood will be shed for many unto the remission of sins. Saint Alphonsus Liguori in his Treatise on the Holy Eucharist states:
The words pro vobis et pro multis (for you and for many) are used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of the Savior is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious blood is (in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually (efficienter) it does not save all—it saves only those who co-operate with grace. This is the explanation of St. Thomas (Aquinas), as quoted by Benedict XIV. (The Holy Eucharist, 44)
John the Apostle points to the cooperation necessary in his First Epistle: But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) He reiterates it in the Apocalypse: Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. (Apoc. 22:14).
The Old Testament is now to be fulfilled as Christ begins the act of Redemption through His Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father. And a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet. (Matt. 26:29-30; Mark 14:25-26) He offered His Body and Blood in an unbloody manner at the Last Supper, now He will offer His Body and Blood in a Bloody sacrifice.
The words, which shall be shed (ἐκχυννόμενον, effundetur: is being poured out) is a present participle in the Greek that is retained in all three synoptic Gospels, and which indicates an action happening in the present. The Latin translates effundetur (shall be shed, poured out).
The present form of the participle ἐκχυννόμενον in conjunction with the present ἐστιν establishes the first point. For it is a grammatical rule of New Testament Greek, that, when the double present is used (that is, in both the participle and the finite verb, as is the case here), the time denoted is not the distant or near future, but strictly the present (see Fr. Blass, “Grammatik des N.T. Griechisch”, p. 193, Gottingen, 1896). This rule does not apply to other constructions of the present tense, as when Christ says earlier (John 14:12): I go (πορεύομαι) to the father”. Alleged exceptions to the rule are not such in reality, as, for instance, Matthew 6:30: “And if the grass of the field, which is today and tomorrow is cast into the oven (βαλλόμενον) God doth so clothe (ἀμφιέννυσιν): how much more you, O ye of little faith?” For in this passage it is a question not of something in the future but of something occurring every day. When the Vulgate translates the Greek participles by the future (effundetur, fundetur), it is not at variance with facts, considering that the mystical shedding of blood in the chalice, if it were not brought into intimate relation with the physical shedding of blood on the cross, would be impossible and meaningless; for the one is the essential presupposition and foundation of the other. Still, from the standpoint of philology, effunditur(funditur) ought to be translated into the strictly present, as is really done in many ancient codices. The accuracy of this exegesis is finally attested in a striking way by the Greek wording in St. Luke: τὸ ποτήριον. . . ἐκχυννόμενον. Here the shedding of blood appears as taking place directly in the chalice, and therefore in the present. Overzealous critics, it is true, have assumed that there is here a grammatical mistake, in that St. Luke erroneously connects the “shedding” with the chalice (ποτήριον), instead of with “blood” (τῷ αἵματί) which is in the dative. Rather than correct this highly cultivated Greek, as though he were a school boy, we prefer to assume that he intended to use synecdoche, a figure of speech known to everybody, and therefore put the vessel to indicate its contents. (Pohle, Sacrifice of the Mass, CE)
Do this for a commemoration of me. (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24, cf. v. 25):
The Mass is thus a commemorative celebration: if we place the institution of this rite in its true setting—on the eve of his passion (Latin liturgy), the night on which he was betrayed (Eastern liturgies)—it is obvious that Christ was referring to the commemoration of his death. St Paul rightly declared: “So it is the Lord’s death that you are heralding, whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, until he comes” (I Cor. 11. 26): the holy Eucharist, the Apostle is saying, is the commemoration of the death of Christ. Just as the annual immolation of the paschal lamb commemorated the deliverance from Egypt, so also the eucharistic rite is the commemoration of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice.
Christ’s words, however, were more than a command: they also conferred upon the Apostles that priestly power without which Christ’s command would have been valueless.
Thus in a single utterance Christ instituted the priesthood and initiated the holy sacrifice of the Mass: priesthood and sacrifice are indissolubly bound to one another. Christ ordained his first priests so that they might offer the holy sacrifice. The Council of Trent stresses the unity between priesthood and sacrifice once again in its declaration that” Sacrifice and priesthood are, by God’s ordinance, united . . . wherefore as under the New Testament the Catholic Church has received the holy and visible sacrifice of the Eucharist by the Lord’s institution, it must also be declared that there is in her a new and external priesthood into which the old has been changed.”3 (Croegaert, 226)
Our Savior, therefore, when about to depart from this world to the Father, instituted this sacrament in which He poured forth, as it were, the riches of His divine love for men, “making a remembrance of his wonderful works” [Ps. 110:4], and He commanded us in the consuming of it to cherish His “memory” [1 Cor. 11:24], and “to show forth his death until He come” to judge the world [1 Cor. 11:23]. But He wished that this sacrament be received as the spiritual food of souls [Matt. 26:26], by which they may be nourished and strengthened [can. 5], living by the life of Him who said: “He who eateth me, the same also shall live by me” [John 6:58], and as an antidote, whereby we may be freed from daily faults and be preserved from mortal sins. He wished, furthermore, that this be a pledge of our future glory and of everlasting happiness, and thus be a symbol of that one “body” of which He Himself is the “head” [1 Cor. 11:23; Eph. 5:23], and to which He wished us to be united, as members, by the closest bond of faith, hope, and charity, that we might “all speak the same thing and there might be no schisms among us” [cf. 1 Cor. 1:10]. (Council of Trent, Sess. XIII, c. 2; cf. DB 875)
Then when he says, Do this, he enjoins the use of this sacrament, saying: Do this as often as you take it in remembrance of me, namely, in the mystery of my passion. Hence the prophet says in Lam (3:20): “My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me,” and in Is (63:7): “I will recall the mercies of the Lord.” . . .
Then when he says, As often as, he explains the Lord’s words, which said: “Do this in memory of me,” saying: For as often as you eat this bread. He says bread on account of the appearances that remain. He says this on account of the numerically same body signified and contained. And drink the cup, you will proclaim the Lord’s death, namely, by representing it through this sacrament. And this, until he comes, i.e., until His final coming. This gives us to understand that this rite of the Church will not cease until the end of the world: “I am with you always to the end of the world” (Matt 27:20); “This generation,” namely, of the Church, “will not pass away, till all has taken place” (Lk 21:32). (Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on First Corinthians, 683, 686)
Here two points must be made. First, the Passover Sacrifice each year was to be offered in remembrance of being delivered from Egyptian servitude, eaten and joined with a sacrifice of praise (thanksgiving): And this day shall be for a memorial to you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance. (Exod. 12:14) Secondly, in the sacrifices of the Old Law there were three components: the bloody and unbloody sacrifice, the sacrificial meal following (eating of sacrifice to express participation), accompanied by an offering of praise (thanksgiving). This explanation of sacrifice is found in Leviticus, chapter 7:1-15:
This also is the law of the sacrifice for a trespass, it is most holy: Therefore where the holocaust is immolated, the victim also for a trespass shall be slain: the blood thereof shall be poured round about the altar. They shall offer thereof the rump and the fat that covereth the entrails: The two little kidneys, and the fat which is by the flanks, and the caul of the liver with the little kidneys. And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the burnt sacrifice of the Lord for a trespass. Every male of the priestly race, shall eat this flesh in a holy place, because it is most holy. As the sacrifice for sin is offered, so is also that for a trespass: the same shall be the law of both these sacrifices: it shall belong to the priest that offereth it. The priest that offereth the victim of holocaust, shall have the skin thereof. And every sacrifice of flour that is baked in the oven, and whatsoever is dressed on the gridiron, or in the frying-pan, shall be the priest’s that offereth it: Whether they be tempered with oil, or dry, all the sons of Aaron shall have one as much as another. This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that is offered to the Lord. If the oblation be for thanksgiving, they shall offer loaves without leaven tempered with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and fine flour fried, and cakes tempered and mingled with oil: Moreover loaves of leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanks, which is offered for peace offerings: Of which one shall be offered to the Lord for firstfruits, and shall be the priest’s that shall pour out the blood of the victim. And the flesh of it shall be eaten the same day, neither shall any of it remain until the morning.
One can see this even in the Passover Sacrifice and one finds it in that of the offering of Christ Jesus in the institution of the Holy Eucharist: gave thanks (praise), offers His Body and Blood to be Sacrificed, and gives His Body and Blood to be eaten by those participating in the offering. One may see this also in Holy Mass.
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
LUKE xv. 1-10
At that time: The publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spoke to them this parable, saying: What man of you hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing: and coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just that need not penance.
Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver piece which I had lost. So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.
EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA
V. 1. The publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear him . . . .
AMBROSE, in Luke: From what was said in the preceding verses you learned that you must not be held fast by earthly things; that you are not to place fleeting things before those that last for ever. But since human frailty cannot maintain a firm footing in this so uncertain world, the Good Physician shows you a remedy even against error. The Merciful Judge does not deny us the hope of pardon; so we have, they drew near to hear Jesus.
THEOPHYLACTUS: It was for this He had taken flesh, to receive sinners as a physician receives the sick. But the real sinners, the Pharisees, repaid His kindness by murmuring against Him. Hence:
V. 2. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured against him, saying . . .
GREGORY, Hom. 34 on the Gospel: From which we may gather that true justice feels compassion, the false only scorn; though the just are also wont to feel angry with sinners, and rightly so. But what is done through zeal for the divine law is one thing, what is done through the swelling of pride another. For the just, outwardly, heap up reproaches against sinners, but out of devotion to the divine law, while inwardly they retain the bond of charity. In their own minds they place those they correct above themselves. They correct those subject to them, because of discipline, but through humility they keep a watch on themselves.
They however who pride themselves on a righteousness that is hollow despise everyone else, and are without any compassion for the weak. And the more they believe they are not sinners, the worse sinners they become. The Pharisees were undoubtedly of these; murmuring against the Lord because He received sinners, and from their own dried-up hearts rebuking the Fount of compassion. But because they were sick, and so sick that they did not know they were sick, the Heavenly Physician treats them as with soothing foments; saying to them:
V. 3. And he spoke to them this parable, saying:
He gave them a similitude which a man could understand from within himself, but which however referred to the Author of all men. For as the hundred is a perfect number He Himself possessed a hundred sheep; since He possessed the natures of both angels and of men.
V. 4. What man of you hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one . . .
CYRIL, Catena PG: From this we learn the extent of our Saviour’s kingdom. For He says that there are a hundred sheep; bringing to a perfect number the sum of the rational creatures subject to him. For the hundred is a perfect number, being made of ten decades. But one from this number went astray, namely, the race of men who inhabited the earth. AMBROSE: A Rich Shepherd, of whom all we are but the hundredth part of what is His.
GREGORY, as above: One was lost when man through sin forsook the pastures of true life. But ninety-nine remained in the desert; for the number of the rational creatures, that is, of Angels and of men, who were created to know God, was lessened by the fall of man. Hence there follows: Doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert? For the angelic choirs remained in heaven. For then did man abandon heaven, when he sinned. And so that the perfect sum of the sheep might once more be made full in heaven fallen man was sought for on earth. Hence follows: And go after that which was lost till he find it.
CYRIL: Was He then displeased with the rest, but moved with compassion towards but one? Far from it. For they are safe; the Right Hand of the Most High encompasses them. But He needs must have compassion on the one perishing, that the remaining number might not be imperfect (incomplete). For this one brought back to safety the hundred will once more have its due perfection.
AUGUSTINE, Questions on the Gospels, II, 32: Or, He spoke of the ninety-nine whom He left in the desert as signifying the proud, having solitude as it were in their souls; in that they wish to be regarded as singular: to these unity is lacking for perfection. For when anyone withdraws from unity he withdraws through pride: desiring to be his own master, he does not follow that Master Who is God. With Him God numbers all who are reconciled through repentance, which in tum is gained through humility.
GREGORY NYSSA: But when the Shepherd found the sheep He did not punish it, He did not bring it back to the flock by driving it before Him, but, placing it on His own shoulders, and bearing it with gentleness, He restored it to the flock. Hence:
V. 5. And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing.
GREGORY: He laid the sheep upon His shoulders in that taking upon Him our nature He bore the burthen of our sins. Finding the sheep He returns home; for our Shepherd, man now redeemed, has returned to His heavenly kingdom. Hence follows:
V. 6. And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours . . .
He calls the choirs of heaven His friends and neighbours, and they are His friends, because in their steadfastness they unceasingly uphold His will. They are His neighbours also, since being forever in His Presence He gives them the perfect enjoyment of the vision of His glory.
THEOPHYLACTUS: The heavenly powers are spoken of as sheep, in that every created nature in comparison with God Himself is as the beasts. In that they are rational they are called His friends and neighbours. GREGORY: And we must note that He did not say: Rejoice with the sheep that has been found, but, Rejoice with me; for our life is in truth His joy, and when we are restored to heaven we shall complete the feast of His rejoicing.
AMBROSE: Now the angels since they are rational do fittingly rejoice in the redemption of man. So there follows:
V. 7. I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven . . .
Let this incite us to a just and upright life, that each man believes that his own conversion to God is pleasing to the angelic choirs; whose protection he should seek, and whose good will he should fear to lose.
GREGORY: The Lord confesses that there is more rejoicing in heaven over converted sinners than over those who remained faithful. For these oftentimes knowing themselves free of the burthen of grave sin stand indeed in the way of divine justice, yet they do not long for and sigh for the heavenly kingdom; and not infrequently they are reluctant to give themselves to the practice of the higher virtues, content in the knowledge that they do not commit any of the more grievous sins.
On the other hand it will often happen that those who are mindful of having committed certain grave sins, being moved to sorrow by this remembrance, the love of God is then kindled in their heart. And because they recognize that they had strayed from God, they make good the losses that went before with the gains that now follow. Greater therefore is the rejoicing in heaven. A leader in battle will have a warmer regard for the soldier who had first yielded and run away, and then had fought bravely back, than over the soldier who had never yielded, yet had never thrust bravely forward. So does the farmer love more the fields that now cleaned of weeds bear a fruitful crop, than the land which had never grown thorns, yet neither had it ever yielded a bountiful crop.
But with this we should also know, that there are many just in whose life there is joy so great that the repentance of no sinner whatever can awaken a greater joy. From this we may gather how pleasing to God is the humbled and afflicted heart of the just, if there is such rejoicing in heaven when the unjust through repentance rejects the evil he has done.
V. 8. Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one . . .
CYRIL: By the preceding parable, in which the human race is spoken of as a wandering sheep, we are taught that we are creatures of the Most High God, who made us, and not we ourselves, and we are the sheep of his pasture (Ps. ix. 7). Here another parable is added in which the human race is compared to a piece of silver that was lost. By this He makes known to us that we have been made in the image and likeness of God. For the piece of silver (drachma) is a coin upon which the royal image is stamped. Hence we have: Or what woman etc.
GREGORY: He who is signified by the shepherd is also signified by the woman. For it is God Himself; Himself together with the Wisdom of God. The Lord created the nature of both angels and men, to the end that they might know Him, and He created it in His own likeness. The woman then had ten pieces of silver; for nine are the orders of the angels. But to make perfect the number of the elect man the tenth was created.
AUGUSTINE, as above: Or, by the nine pieces of silver, as also by the ninety-nine sheep, He means those who trusting in themselves place themselves above sinners who are turning to salvation. For One thing is wanting to the nine to make it ten, and to the ninety-nine that they may be a hundred. To That One He assigns all who are reconciled through penance.
GREGORY: And since there is an image stamped upon the silver piece, the woman lost the piece of silver when man who had been made to the image of God lost by sin the likeness of His Maker. And this is what is added: If she lose one, doth not light a lamp. The woman lit a lamp; for the Wisdom of God appeared in human form. A lamp is a light in an earthen vessel: the divinity in human flesh is truly a light in an earthen vessel.
And the lamp being lit there follows: And turns the house upside down, for as soon as His Divinity shines forth in our flesh the conscience of every man is shaken up. And the word, turned upside down (evertit) is not different in meaning from the word we read in other versions, namely, cleaned (emundat); for an evil soul is not made clean from its habits of sin unless it is first turned upside down through fear.
The house turned upside down the piece of silver is found. For there follows: And seek diligently until she find it; for when the conscience of man is greatly disturbed the likeness of His Maker is recovered within him.
GREGORY NAZIANZEN, Or. 42: The silver piece found, the heavenly Powers whom He had employed as ministers in the plan of man’s Redemption are now made sharers of His joy. And so follows:
V. 9. And when she hath found it, call together her friends . . .
GREGORY: For the heavenly powers, the closer they approach Him through the grace of His unceasing Vision, the closer they are to His Divine Wisdom. THEOPHYLACTUS: Either they are His friends, as upholding His Will, and His neighbours, as spiritual beings, or, they are His friends, since such are all the heavenly powers, and His neighbours, as being nearest Him, such as are the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim.
GREGORY OF NYSSA, On Virginity 12: Or again: This I think is what the Lord is proposing to us in the searching for the lost piece of silver: that we gain nothing through the possession of the other virtues which He calls pieces of silver: for though all the others are present to it the soul is widowed if that one alone is wanting through which the splendour of the divine likeness is acquired. So He bids us light a lamp, that is, His Divine Word, which makes manifest things hidden, or even the torch of repentance.
But it is in his own house, that is, within himself, and within his own conscience, that he must seek for the lost piece of silver, that is, for the royal image; which however is not wholly lost, but hidden in the dust: meaning the infections that derive from the flesh. These wiped carefully away, that is, removed by the vigilance of our life, that which we are searching for will shine out.
And let him who finds it rejoice, and call together his neighbours to share his joy; that is, the companion powers of the soul, namely, that of reason, that of desiring, and that innate disposition towards anger, and whatever other powers are observed about the soul, which it teaches to rejoice in the Lord. Then concluding the parable He adds:
V. 10. So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God . . .
GREGORY: For to repent means both to lament the sins we have committed, and not to commit again what we lament. For he who grieves over some sins, while he continues to commit others, either does not yet know how to repent, or but pretends to repent. He must especially have this in mind: that he is to make satisfaction to his Creator; that he who has done forbidden things should now forbid himself in what is lawful to him; and he who knows he has sinned in great things, let him restrain himself now from the least offences.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Confessor
1. Born on March 9, 1568, near Mantua, of the noble Gonzaga family, Aloysius was regarded by his mother as a special gift from God; she reared this first-born with care, desiring to see him consecrated to the service of the Church. His father, however, took him to camp at the age of six to make a soldier out of him. Having been once in evident danger of death and escaping, happily, Aloysius gave up the military life. He always regretted that he had repeated bad words he picked up from the common talk of soldiers.
He was sent to school in Florence at the age of eight, and here made the vow of chastity. From that time he was free of temptation, and so remained pure as an angel. He was zealous in prayer, mortification, and the practice of humility. At twelve years of age he was advised by St. Charles Borromeo to receive Holy Communion frequently. In 1581 Aloysius was taken by his father to the Spanish Court. At the end of three years he begged permission to join the Jesuits, but was refused that year and the following year as well; only in 1585 did he obtain his father’s permission to enter the Society’s college in Rome; then he breathed his satisfaction in the words: “Here is the place of my rest; here I want to dwell.” Two years later he pronounced his vows and began the study of theology. His generous service to the stricken in a Roman epidemic brought about his death on June 21, 1591. “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” were his last words.
2. “Thou has placed him only a little below the angels, crowning him with glory and honor” (Introit). An “angel in the flesh,” Aloysius receives the praise of the Church today as “the angelic youth.” His life was so pure that he might have been thought of as living in a glorified state. As the Gospel says: “When the dead rise again, there is no marrying and giving in marriage; they are as the angels in heaven are.” In one so perfectly settled in chastity, all thoughts are directed to the Good; the body is on the earth, but the spirit wings to the heights of heaven, unimpeded by the weight of sensuality that fallen man inherits. There is, then, no battle between reason and passion. All the powers of the soul are easily directed toward the one thing necessary. A heavenly foretaste of peace and quiet prevails, and the heart swells with joys more deeply satisfying than those of the flesh, being the joys of the angels. For us, this state of soul can be kept only at the cost of rigid watchfulness over the senses, and of far reaching mortification of the human tendencies toward comfort and unrestrained passions. There must be serious prayer, Scripture study, meditation on the last things and on God’s redemptive gifts. “Blessed is the man who lives unreproved, who has no greed for gold, puts no trust in his store of riches. Show us such a man, and we will be loud in his praise: here is a life to wonder at” (Lesson). Such a man was St. Aloysius. “Master, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus answered: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind” (Gospel). These liturgy words expose the roots of St. Aloysius’ purity: his love of God, of Christ. Love penetrates to the heart of God and holds fast His goodness and beauty, so far as life on earth permits. Love means satisfaction with God, joyful familiarity with the things of God. By taking delight in God, we appropriate, spiritually and by desire, what belongs to God. This, in the words of St. Francis de Sales, is “the sweet and noble robbery of love, which bedecks itself in the colors of the Beloved without robbing Him of His colorful magnificence, which clothes itself in His garment without depriving Him of it.” Love unites the soul with God; it seizes our minds and keeps them always in some degree concentrated on Him; it engrosses the will, keeping it subject to the will of God in all things; it captivates the heart so that it no longer knows any attraction or wish save that of loving God; it controls our faculties, bending them to the service of God and His kingdom on earth.
Love transforms the beloved. One who loves God as St. Aloysius did goes out of himself in order to receive the stamp of the spirit and the perfections of God on his own soul. Love gives a lover the power to understand God more profoundly, to taste His sweetness, to share His blessedness. Love confers new powers: he who loves easily overcomes difficulties which to the loveless one seem insuperable; he makes the greatest sacrifices as if they were child’s play; he performs acts of virtue that amaze others. “Not death itself is so strong as love” (Song of Songs 8:6). The secret of St. Aloysius was his heart’s captivity from childhood onward by the love of God. He nourished this love by frequent prayer and hours of fasting, and worthy feasting on the Holy Eucharist: “Man ate the food of angels” (Communion). 3. A passage from St. Cyril of Jerusalem is in place here: “Let us, with the grace of God, walk the way of chastity boys and girls, old and young. Let us not fail to appreciate the dignity of chastity, for this is a crown that belongs to angels; it is superhuman perfection” (Catech. 12, 34).
Collect: God, who apportionest the gifts of heaven, and who in the angelical youth Aloysius didst unite wonderful innocence of character with no less marvelous penance; by his merits and prayers grant that we who have not followed him in innocence may imitate his penance. Amen.
Boys and Girls!
REV. THOMAS J. HOSTY, M.A., S.T.B.
A REAL BOGEYMAN
GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!
Do you believe in a bogeyman? When I was just a little boy, I used to be afraid of the dark, because I thought that there was a terrible person, called the bogeyman, who might grab me. Now that I have grown up, I know that there is no such animal as a bogeyman! He was just a character that older people made up, to keep small children in check. He didn’t really exist anymore than Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, or Popeye the Sailor Man. But let me tell you something else. Do you know that there is actually someone who is ten thousand times worse than any bogeyman could possibly be? I’ll give you his name, and I don’t want you ever to forget it. His name is the Devil.
Once upon a time, way back before our first parents were even born, this person whom we call the Devil was a very brilliant spirit. (A spirit is a person who doesn’t have any body.) God made a great number of these spirits. Exactly how many He made, we don’t know, because He never told us. Even though He made these spirits far wiser and far more powerful than He made us, He did not let them into heaven right away. He gave them some sort of test, first. But because these spirits were so smart, He only gave them one test. What that test was, we’re not sure, because He didn’t tell us much about it. The spirits who passed the test were admitted into heaven immediately. Who can tell me what name we give to those lucky persons? That’s right—they are the angels. The spirits who flunked the test were put into a terrible place, which God made especially for them. The name of that place is hell.
Right now, you’re hoping that I will ask you what name we give to those spirits, because you’re sure you know the answer. Well, I’m going to disappoint you, and not ask you because I think that even the eighth graders could give the right answer. Those spirits are the devils.
But among all those evil spirits, there was one who had been far more brilliant than any of the others. He was so terrific that he was known as Lucifer, which in Latin means “a bearer of light.” His personality was so dazzling that he was compared to the sun itself. Poor Lucifer, though! He was so smart and so proud that he thought he didn’t even have to obey Almighty God Himself. He was the leader of all the wicked spirits who revolted against God, and he has been the leader of the devils in hell, ever since. In fact, when we speak of the Devil (and not devils), we are talking about Lucifer, the head of the devils. He also has a couple of other names which we read in the Bible, names like Satan and Beelzebub.
Now if Satan (or the Devil, as I shall call him from now on) would only mind his own business, and stay in hell, it wouldn’t be so bad. We wouldn’t have to worry about him very much, unless we died with serious sin upon our soul. (If that terrible thing should happen, though, we’d have plenty to worry about, because we would have to spend our time with him, forever, in hell!) But here is where ‘the catch comes in! God allows the Devil to wander through the world, tempting people to commit sin.
Why does God do that? Why doesn’t He keep him in hell, where he can’t do any harm to people who are not as strong or as smart as he is? Of course, God could do that. But the point is, He has not done it. We know that He hasn’t, because St. Peter was inspired by God to warn us to be on our guard against the Devil, who is “wandering around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
So I repeat—why does God allow the Devil to tempt us? I don’t pretend to know all the reasons, but I can give you one very good one. God wants to test our love for Him, and what better means could He use than to let a real sharp operator, like the Devil, try to lead us into sin?
“Yes, but if the Devil is so smart, I’m probably just a pushover for him!” That’s certainly true, unless you have enough sense to tum to our blessed Lord every time you’re tempted, and ask His help. There is one fact which you should never forget—God will not allow the Devil to tempt you in such a way that you can’t beat him off, with His help. God gave us His solemn promise about that, through the spoken and written words of St. Paul, who assured us that we would never be tempted “beyond that which we “are able.”
No matter what you may be tempted to do, by the Devil no matter whether it may be to lie or to steal or to cheat or to be lazy or to be disobedient or to say bad things or to do bad things or to miss Mass on Sunday or to eat meat on Friday – you will never have to give in to that temptation, if you keep asking God for His help. That is why, in saying the Our Father, the prayer which our Lord Himself gave us, we say, “lead us not into temptation.” We ask God, in that prayer, not to allow the Devil to tempt us beyond our ‘strength. Believe me, our Lord will never let you down, as long as you turn to Him with even a little prayer, like “Jesus, help me!”
Our Lord isn’t the only one to whom you can tum for help to fight against the Devil, You can always ask our Blessed Mother’s aid, too. Boy, does the Devil hate her and does he fear her! Thousands of years ago, in the Garden of Paradise, God told the Devil that someday a woman was going to crush his head, and that until the time came when she was born, he would have to lie in wait for her heel. The Catholic Church teaches us that Mary, the Mother of Christ, is that woman. By giving birth to Jesus, the Son of God, and joining with Him in His sufferings and death on the cross, she gave the Devil a terrific beating. Any time you tum to her for help, you can be sure that she will whip him again.
Besides our blessed Lord and our Blessed Mother, you can also ask any of the saints to help you. They’ll be glad to give you a hand. There are three saints, in particular, whom I strongly recommend. One of them is your patron saint, the saint whose name you received in Baptism. The second one is your favorite saint, whoever he or she may be. (We all have favorites, you know, even among the saints!) The third saint is the one whom the Church commands us all to pray to, He was the leader of the spirits who threw the Devil into hell, before the world began. His name is Michael, and he is such a ”big shot” among the angels that he is called an archangel. Every Sunday, after your Mass is over, the priest leads you and the rest of the people in a special prayer for his help against the Devil. In fact, the priest says that prayer after every Low Mass he celebrates. You ought to learn that prayer by heart, and say it frequently.
Here’s how the prayer goes— “St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle! Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. Restrain him, O God, we humbly beseech Thee; and do Thou, O Prince of the heavenly Host, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan, and the other evil spirits, who roam about the world, seeking the ruin of souls.”
GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!
When I was coming over to church this morning, one of the altar boys stopped me, and said, “Pardon me, Father, but did you know that you have a big rip in the back of your suit?” Naturally, I got a little worried. Can you blame me? It certainly wouldn’t look very nice for a priest to be walking around with torn clothes. So I said to the boy, as I started to feel the back of my suit, “Well, where is the rip?” You can imagine my amazement when the boy, instead of answering immediately, started to laugh real hard. Then I’m afraid I got a little sore, and I questioned the boy rather angrily, ‘What’s so funny about my tearing my suit?” He stopped laughing just long enough to yell out, “April Fool!”
Can you beat that? To think that a sharp operator like me should fall for one of the oldest of all gags—April Fool’s Day! Of course, as soon as I remembered it was the first of April, I wasn’t sore at the altar boy any more. In fact, I laughed even harder than he did, to think that I had been such a sucker. What else could I do? I couldn’t help thinking of all the times I had pulled April Fool jokes when I was the age of that altar boy. Besides, on April 1, you’re supposed to be on your guard, so that other people don’t get away with any tricks or stunts on you. Once a year, a Fool’s Day is really a joke, but I would hate to have every day of the year an April Fool’s Day. After all who wants to be made a sucker every day in the year?
That is why I’m going to talk to you today about a person who tries to make every day an April Fool’s Day for us. Believe me, he doesn’t do it just to get a laugh out of it. He does it because he hates us, and because he hopes that we’ll make such fools out of ourselves that someday we’ll go to hell; where he can laugh at us forever. I’m sure you can think of only one person who would hate us that much, but I’m going to ask you his name anyway, just to see how many of you have been paying attention to me.
Well, I’m happy to see that every one of you has been listening this morning. Yes—the character to whom I am referring is none other than our oldest enemy, the Devil. The Devil started making a fool out of us a long, long time ago. Who can tell me when the Devil tricked us for the first time?
That is absolutely correct! Way back at the beginning of the human race, back in the garden of Paradise, the Devil pulled a dirty trick on our first parents, which cost us a terrific price. God had given our first parents, Adam and Eve, everything which a person could possibly want. They didn’t have to study, for example; all they had to do was to look at a thing and they understood it. (Wouldn’t that be swell, if you could learn all your homework and lessons, simply by looking at them for a minute or two?) They didn’t have to work, except to enjoy themselves. They didn’t have any sickness or suffering at all. They weren’t even going to have to die. After a certain amount of time, God was going to take them directly into heaven. The only thing God asked them to do was not to eat the fruit of a certain tree in the garden of Paradise. (What that tree actually was, we really don’t know, although a great many people have guessed that it was an apple tree.) God couldn’t have made it much easier for our first parents, could He? And remember, if Adam and Eve had obeyed God, you and I would have been born with all the wonderful gifts which they had!
Then along came the villain, the Devil himself. Eve was standing near the tree from which she had been forbidden to eat, when a snake came up and began to speak to her. It was the Devil, of course, using the snake to speak through, the same way Edgar Bergen always uses Charley McCarthy, his stooge. The only difference was, Eve did not see the Devil; she only saw and heard the snake. So the snake said to her; “Why don’t you eat the Fruit from that tree?”
Eve quickly answered him, “Because the Lord commanded us not to!”
Then the Devil, through the snake, pulled the most terrible April Fool’s joke in history. He said to her, “Don’t be foolish! If you eat that fruit, you will become like God Himself!”
Can you imagine anyone falling for a line like that? But Eve did! The moment she bit into that fruit, she knew that she had been taken for a fool, but it was too late then. So she quickly went to Adam (in order that she might not have to face the anger and punishment of God alone), and offered him a bite. Adam bit into the fruit, too, and the result was the great sin which we know as original sin. Ever since that moment, all of the children of Adam and Eve have been punished for that sin, including you and me!
It certainly would have been bad enough, if the Devil had never again tried to fool us – but that was only the beginning! Ever since the Garden of Paradise, up until now, and, without any doubt, until the very end of the world, the Devil continues to try to fool us. And let me remind you again, he is not doing it just for laughs. He is doing it because he hates us, and because he hopes that if he can fool us often enough, we’ll go to hell, forever!
Don’t think for a single moment that he won’t try to fool you, because you’re so smart. He fooled Solomon, who was one of the wisest men who ever lived. Why, he even had nerve enough to try to fool our Lord! Three times he tried to fool Him, but the Devil was no match for our Lord. Jesus was much too smart for him. The only reason our Lord even let him try was so that all of us might realize that there is no one whom the Devil will not attempt to fool.
The Devil’s system is very simple. For instance, he will try to get you to steal from your Mother’s purse. He’ll suggest to you that your Mother won’t miss a few pennies, and besides no one will ever know about it. If you take the money, then he has fooled you, because God is watching you every minute. Or again, he’ll tempt you to lie. He’ll whisper to you (and the Devil is so clever you won’t even realize it is he who is putting the thought in your mind), that you’ll never get caught, and that you can get away with it very easily. But if you act on the Devil’s advice, and go ahead and lie, he has fooled you again—because God knows you are lying, and he certainly will punish you for it. Perhaps it may be a sin against purity with which the Devil tries to fool you. He tells you how wonderful it will be to do something bad, and you fall for his line. As soon as you do, you realize what a fool you were. First of all, the pleasure isn’t nearly as great as the Devil suggested it would be, and besides, it certainly wasn’t worth the risk of going to hell forever, for the sake of that few minutes of enjoyment.
Boys and girls, no matter what the Devil may try to lead you into, never forget that he is always trying to make a fool of you. Anyone could happen to be an April Fool, but what a terrible thing it would be to become a Devil’s fool—forever!
Mr Eberhard Heller wrote several articles concerning the Incarnation and Jesus Christ being the Son of God with its implications—they were just translated from the German into English. I would recommend going to this site http://www.einsicht-aktuell.de/ to read the articles. We will soon publish them in this Newsletter for the benefit of our readers.
Father Krier will in Albuquerque July 4, Los Angeles July 7 and Pahrump on July 9.
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