Vol 12 Issue 21 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward KrierMay 25, 2019 ~ Pope Saint Gregory VII, opn!
1. Mary, Our Mother
2. Fifth Sunday after Easter
3. Saint Philip Neri
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
This month there has been talk of several issues that speak of morality—all of them surround the definition of a family. In the several states there have been laws passed that both have expanded abortion or restricted abortion—none that have completely banned abortion but several that have the capacity to be interpreted as allowing infanticide—the killing of a child that is born. Every Catholic should know that the baby in a mother’s womb, from the moment of conception, is a person whom God wills to live—though subject to various laws of nature that act upon the child and can take that life away. It is accepted because the Church teaches both the mystery of the Incarnation: the Word made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation and that Mary, herself, is the Immaculate Conception, that is, that she was full of grace from the first moment of conception—meaning she was a person, for persons have grace (God’s Love), not material bodies. Besides, in the Visitation Elizabeth exclaims that the child in her womb leapt for joy—and a person can have joy, not a body—and so is witnessed the sanctification of John the Baptist.
To, in any way, support intentional abortion is a direct interference in God’s act of bringing a person into this world and therefore causing the person’s death.
God willed that a man and a woman cooperate with Him in bringing this child into the world. He instituted the parameters within which that child should be brought into the world: marriage between a man and a woman. Their union was to pro-create with God new humans who would fill the earth and continue, through their own acts, the development of His creation. Out of wedlock (extra-marital) affairs were naturally exposed by the child giving testimony of the crime. To prevent the evidence from giving testimony, abortion and child sacrifice was resorted to from the earliest times. The state sanctioning of child sacrifice was to exponentiate the crime now seen as a virtue to be emulated.
As it was in the past, so now, the woman is no longer revered but stripped of dignity (not just de-flowered, but defoliated)—she has become like the barren fig tree Christ cursed (cf. Matt. 21:19f; Mark 11:13f). Modern society, with the movement for equality, has not brought equality, but confusion—confusion of the sexes: Woman attracted to man wants to be the man; man, attracted to the woman, wants to be the woman. As there cannot in today’s politically correct society, which is an irrational and inhumane twist of reality, be held a distinction between a man and a woman the concept of the family has been radically neutered to mean nothing and is therefore valueless. To legitimize the perversion, the secular culture replaces Truth, Goodness and Beauty with relativism, sensitivity and self-expression. Absolutes cannot be held, morals cannot be followed and beauty is found in its destruction. So a conceived child is considered now to be an unscheduled tumor that invades the woman’s body and must be excised—not a choice that bestows dignity upon the bearer of new life who has in her nature that she must be willing to sacrifice her own life rather than that the future life cease. The woman hates her being because she is not what she was meant to be and, instead of embracing what she ought to be chooses the antithesis: not to be a woman; and if not a woman, therefore a man. Self-hate is the result of the confusion that is being taught today in society, in secular schools, in visual media. Tragically parents have relegated their authority to the social engineers who are creating these Frankensteins. Compromised by their own rejection of the life God gave them or wished to give them through the use of contraceptives or abortifacients or being the instruments in the deaths of their own children, they have despaired and the devil knows. The decisions of the Alabama and Georgia people show today’s society cannot be accepted without culpability of the blood being shed, or without submitting to tyranny. Catholics must retake their position of being the salt of the earth and giving the example of what is a family and therefore what is a man, a woman, a husband, a wife, a father and a mother. Clarity is a sign of purity and clear distinctions define reality. The lie of one calling something what it is not is even a greater lie when one does it knowingly—it is tyranny when one forces another to agree to the lie. Catholics who are not married in the Church are not married. Catholics who have divorced after marrying in the Church and remarry are living in adultery. Such marriages cannot be tolerated—that is, called a marriage, the ceremony attended as if a marriage took place, permitting them to live in one’s home as though married—because it is open fornication or adultery that is being allowed (in front of the young adults) and must be acknowledged as the truth, not lie about it. If marriage was held as sacred between one man and one woman the PBS Arthur series could not have been made possible for children would recognize the absurdity and condemn it. But confusion in the child’s mind is results in the rejection of marriage altogether as between a man and a woman because saying that marriage is between a man and a woman can’t be true because their father is now with another woman or women and their mother is now with another man or men and they are told it is alright because it is marriage and so why not a man with a man and a woman with a woman when marriage is now defined as only being with who you would like to be with at the moment? [Just sex partners] Hopefully everyone has already voiced disapproval on one of the various family oriented organizations which sent out requests through emails against PBS.
Sadly, the State of Nevada has jumped on the Band Wagon of Herodian minions who want to go to Bethlehem and massacre the holy innocents. There is no room for these infants and Herod; Herod reigns and the thought that these infants may one day replace his kingdom with the kingdom of God determines their doom. The decree: Anyone may now kill an unborn child without fear of any penalty in this state. The parents of a child need not be informed of the abortion provided to their minor child—saying basically that parents no longer have rights over their own children. This is thanks to the recent influx of Californians who don’t want the burden of living in California but want the benefits of a lifeless life they voted for there and now want here along with the coming of age of products of the public schools. It must be noted that in rural Nevada family life is still held as desirable—but Las Vegas stacks the deck of cards (with Reno).
Being the month of May, being the Month of Mary, being the month of reflecting upon mothers and therefore motherhood (matrimony), broadcasting these truths seems most important in opposing the trend of the zeitgeist.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
3. In the Litany of Loretto the title Mother bestowed on Mary refers to her Divine Maternity and her prerogatives that she possesses due to Divine Maternity. Mother of the Church is due to neither and ambiguous.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Divine Grace, Mother Most Pure, Mother Most Chaste, Mother Inviolate, Mother Undefiled, Mother Amiable, Mother Admirable, Mother of Good Counsel, Mother of the Creator, Mother of the Saviour.
Even the granting of the title, Mother of the faithful, is due to her Divine Maternity. Mother of the Church is bestowed by the Conciliar Church due to her faith—conceding to the Protestants that it is faith alone that saves.
4. The title, Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae) detracts from that of the title, Holy Mother Church (Mater Ecclesia)—two completely distinct concepts.
Again, this is the problem of a new concept of ecclesiology that conceives of the Church as only a community of believers and not a Divine Institution that possesses priestly, kingly and prophetical offices to teach (teaching magisterium), to govern (hierarchy) and to sanctify (Sacraments and Sacrifice). If Holy Mother Church has this role to nurture us, As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation (1 Peter 2:2), what does the Mother of the Church do? In the Constitution of the Church she has no role. Only in that of the Mystical Body does one see a relationship, where the Head and the members are one body—but that is between the Head and the members—albeit the members work with one another to complete the work of the body, but under the direction of the Head. Besides, to set Mary as Mother of the Church would place her outside the Church. Though one may consider the faithful the Church, the faithful are assisted by the pastors who are also part of the Church yet they are distinct from that portion of the Church, that is, the laity, they are helping and why the faithful were not addressed as the Church but the bishop (cf. Apoc. 1:20).
5. Mary as type of the Church does not make her Mother of the Church.
As one reads in the Oratory Catechism:
In her holiness, purity and humility, Mary corresponds to the Church. For this reason, she is the image of the Church. The significance of the Church for the faithful is the same as the significance of Mary for the faithful. Since the Church is Mother of the faithful, Mary is also their mother. In contrast, the doctrine of Mary as Mother of the Church removes this equivalent status and places Mary above the Church.
. . . Since the Church is already the Mother of the faithful, there is no reason why this Mother should need another mother. If she were to have the title “Mother of the Church”, Mary would stand outside the Church, even set above her, whereas Mary is actually incorporated into the Church, albeit superior in status to all her members. The only One above the Church is Christ, her Head, and He has equipped His Church here on earth with a hierarchy, in which Mary does not share. Finally, an institution like the Church does not need a mother, whereas people made of flesh and blood and the faithful do. Nor has Mary borne the Church as an institution with a hierarchy and Sacraments, but rather, in Jesus, every single one of the faithful.
The consequence of the false doctrine of Mary as Mother of the Church is to separate the Church from Mary’s holiness and purity, so that the Church is no longer the Bride of Christ without blemish (Ep 5:27), but rather sinful, in need of cleansing, showing herself publicly as the pilgrim People of God consisting of sinners. In contrast, the Church as the “Body of Christ” and the spotless “Bride of Christ” is an institution which unifies, purifies and perfects the faithful and—with the help of her Sacraments—leads them to heaven. . . . (303, 304)
Pentecost Week and Mary, Mother of the Church
A Non-Catholic Novelty
All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1:14)
There are two feasts that contain an Octave that are associated with the Old Testament: Pascha (Easter) and Pentecost. These two feasts were to be celebrated for an octave (8 days). It begins with the vigil (Saturday) and ends on the Saturday following.
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. . . . The connection between the Jewish Passover and the Christian feast of Easter is real and ideal. Real, since Christ died on the first Jewish Easter Day; ideal, like the relation between type and reality, because Christ’s death and Resurrection had its figures and types in the Old Law, particularly in the paschal lamb, which was eaten towards evening of the 14th of Nisan. In fact, the Jewish feast was taken over into the Christian Easter celebration. . . (Holweck, Easter)
As with Easter, so also with Pentecost. A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the “feast of weeks” or Pentecost. (Holweck, Pentecost) The Baptisms taking place on Saturday, the neophytes removed their white robes eight days later. On Easter, the first fruits of Christ’s Redemption; on Pentecost, because of the descent of the Holy Ghost on Christ at His Baptism and now the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the members of the Church. In The Liturgical Year one reads:
The Christian Pentecost, prefigured by the ancient one of the Jews, is of the number of the feasts that were instituted by the apostles. As we have already remarked, it formerly shared with Easter the honour of the solemn administration of Baptism. Its octave, like that of Easter, and for the same reason, ended with the Saturday following the feast. The catechumens received Baptism on the night between Saturday and Sunday. So that the Pentecost solemnity began on the vigil, for the neophytes at once put on their white garments: on the eighth day, the Saturday, they laid them aside. (Gueranger, 293-94)
And Dom Prosper writes earlier:
The Jewish Pentecost pales at each word of the new Moses; the Christian Pentecost manifests itself with clearer light. The reign of the Holy Ghost is inaugurated in Jerusalem, and under the very shadow of that temple which is doomed to destruction. Peter continued his instructions; but the sacred Volume has left us only these few words, wherewith, probably, the apostle made his final appeal to his hearers: ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation!’ (Acts 2:40) These children of Israel had to make this sacrifice, or they never could have shared in the graces of the new Pentecost: they had to cut themselves off from their own people; they had to leave the Synagogue for the Church. There was a struggle in many a heart at that moment; but the Holy Spirit triumphed; three thousand declared themselves disciples of Christ, and received the mark of adoption in holy Baptism. Church of the living God! how lovely art thou in thy first reception of the divine Spirit! how admirable is thy early progress! Thy first abode was in the Immaculate Mary, the Virgin full of grace, the Mother of God; thy second victory gave thee the hundred and twenty disciples of the cenacle; and now, three thousand elect proclaim thee as their mother, and, leaving the unhappy Jerusalem, will carry thy name and kingdom to their own countries. (Gueranger, 290-91)
The Israelites were obliged to keep the Passover and the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost) along with the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles is no longer observed as Christ has redeemed His followers and dwells within the Church. But the other two feasts are kept because they celebrate the reality that the True Lamb of God has been Sacrificed and the True Israelites have obtained Salvation (Passover, Pascha, Easter) and the Law of the Gospel has been delivered to the True Israelites by God’s Spirit, of which those baptized are the First Fruits. Thou shalt keep the feast of weeks with the first-fruits of the corn of thy wheat harvest, and the feast when the time of the year returneth that all things are laid in. (Exodus 34:22) And thou shalt celebrate the festival of weeks to the Lord thy God, a voluntary oblation of thy hand, which thou shalt offer according to the blessing of the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 16:10). These feasts keep the connection between the Old Testament type and the New Testament fulfilment. They have been kept since apostolic times—the Passover date controversy giving testimony.
The Church, therefore, has always set aside the week of Pentecost, forbidding any other celebration of Mary or the Saints as this would place them above the importance due to God. She has done the same for the week of Easter. The insertion of a feast of Mary during Pentecost would both exalt Mary above God as also destroy an Apostolic Tradition and the relation Pentecost has with the Old Testament. Yes, it has already been done by changing the Feast of the Circumcision to merely a Solemnity of Mary on January 1 and it was done by the removal of Ascension Thursday to be merely a Solemnity on the Sunday following. One cannot expect much more from a religion that has fallen into error and no longer has the Spirit of Truth.
The February 11th, 2018 document from the Conciliar Church that was released on March 3 may not be as shocking as Bergoglio’s rejection of Catholic teaching concerning marriage in Amoris Laetitiae, but it is still a rejection of Apostolic Tradition and Catholic teaching:
Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis [sic] has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year. (Decree on the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church in the General Roman Calendar)
In addition, the loss of seven consecutive days voids the Church’s Mass Sequence of which the Seven-fold Gifts of the Holy Ghost are presented for the meditation of her members.
As this novel feast of the Conciliar Church is doctrinally and liturgically contrary to the Catholic Faith, Roman Catholics who are faithful will understandably recognize why it is not celebrated in their Churches.
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
John xvi. 23-30
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in my name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be made full.
These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh, when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will shew you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in my name; and I say not to you that I will ask the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and I go to the Father.
His disciples say to him: Behold, now thou speakest plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now we know that thou knowest all things, and thou needest not that any man should ask thee. By this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA
V. 23: Amen, Amen, I say to thee.
CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 79 in John: He makes clear to them the power of His Name; for though He is neither seen nor besought, should His Name be invoked before the Father, it produces wonders. Do not think then that because I shall not be dwelling in your midst that I have forsaken you; for my Name will give you even greater protection. Then follows:
V. 24. Hitherto you have not asked anything in my name . . .
THEOPHYLACTUS: For when your prayers rising upwards are heard, then will your gladness be made full. CHRYSOSTOM, as above: Because the things He said to them remained obscure, He adds:
V. 25: These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour . . .
That is, there shall come a time when you shall know all things clearly. (He was speaking of the time after His Resurrection.) But will show you plainly of the Father. For throughout forty days He conversed with them all together; speaking of the kingdom of God. Now, He says to them, being in fear you pay no heed to what is said to you. Then however, seeing Me risen from the dead you will be able to take it all in clearly.
THEOPHYLACTUS: Even now He gives them confidence, assuring them that in their trials they shall receive help from above, saying:
V. 26. In that day you shall ask in my name . . .
And I declare to you, that so favourably is the Father disposed towards you, that you will no longer need my intercession. So He adds: And I say not to you, that I will ask the Father for you.
V. 27. For the Father himself loveth you . . .
Yet that they might not turn from the Lord, as no longer being in need of Him, He adds: Because you have loved me; as though saying: It is for this the Father is well disposed towards you: because you have loved Me. Therefore should you ever fall away from the love of Me, then shall you fall from the Father’s love.
AUGUSTINE, Tr. 102, 5 in John: Is it that He loves us because we love Him; or rather is it because He loves us that we love Him? This the Evangelist himself answers: Let us therefore love God, because God hath first loved us (I Jn. iv. 19 ). The Father then loves us because we love the Son; since it is from the Father and the Son that we love both the Father and the Son. He loves what He has made; but He would not make in us that which He would love had He not loved us before He wrought it.
HILARY, De Trin 6: 31: Perfect faith in the Son has no need of an intercessor with the Father; for since it has come from God it believes, and of itself: proclaiming as it does that He is born of God, and sent by Him, it straightaway merits to be both heard and loved. So there follows: And because you have believed that I came forth from God. Accordingly His Nativity and His Coming are signified when He adds:
V. 28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world . . .
The one event pertains to His Nature, the other to the Dispensation. To have come forth from the Father, and to have come forth from God, have not the same meaning; since it is one thing to come forth from God in the nature of His Substance, another to come forth from the Father into this world to fulfil the mystery of our salvation. Since then to come forth from God is to share through birth in the being of His nature; how can He be other than God?
CHRYSOSTOM: Because His words concerning the Resurrection comforted them not a little, and likewise hearing Him say He came forth from the Father, and now was returning to Him, He continues to speak of these things: Again I leave the world, and I go to the Father. For this was a proof to them they had believed rightly, and would be safe under His protection in the days to come.
AUGUSTINE, Tr. in John, 102, 6: He came forth from the Father, because He is of the substance of the Father. He came into this world, for He manifested His Body (which He took from the Virgin) to the world. He left the world by means of a bodily departure, yet not depriving the world of the support of His Presence: for coming forth from the Father He so came to the world that He at the same time departed not from His Father (101, 4). But we read that Our Lord Jesus Christ was both asked questions and prayed to. For about to ascend into heaven He was asked by His Disciples when He would restore the kingdom of Israel? In heaven He was besought by Stephen to receive his spirit (Acts vii. 58). And who will venture to say that while yet mortal He might be besought, but not when immortal? I believe therefore that what He just said: And in that day you shall not ask me anything (v. 23), does not refer to the time of His Resurrection, but to that time when we shall see him as he is (I John iii). This vision belongs, not to His temporal life, but to the eternal, wherein we shall ask for nothing (101, 6), seek for nothing; for there shall remain nothing to be desired, nothing hidden to be revealed.
ALCUIN: Therefore He says: In the world that is to come you shall not ask me anything, but now, while you linger in this pilgrimage of suffering, if you ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you. Accordingly, he continues and says: Amen, amen, I say to you; if you ask the Father anything in my name, He will give it to you.
AUGUSTINE, Tr. 102 in John 2: That He says anything is not to be understood as meaning anything whatsoever, but something which has to do with the obtaining of the life of the blessed; for what is asked for to the hindering of our salvation is not asked for in the Name of the Saviour. For when He says, In my name, we must understand, not the sound of the letters and syllables, but what is truly and correctly signified by the sound.
Accordingly, he who believes regarding Christ that which is not to be thought of concerning the Only Son of God, does not ask in His Name. But he who believes that which is to be held regarding Him, he truly asks in His Name, and shall receive what he is seeking; if he seeks what is not opposed to his own eternal welfare. And he shall receive it when it is fitting that He shall receive it. For there are things which while not denied are yet withheld: to be given in a fitting time.
Likewise we should correctly understand the words: He will give it to you, so that by them those favours are to be understood which relate expressly to those who ask. All the sanctified are beyond doubt heard, when they pray, not for anyone, but for themselves; for it was not said simply, that He will give, but that, He will give to you.
(102, 2). What follows: Hitherto you have not asked anything in my name, may be understood in two ways. Either that you have not asked in My name, because you have not known the Name as it is to be known, or because you have not asked anything; since in comparison with that which you ought to have asked for, that must be regarded as nothing for which you did ask. Therefore, that they may ask in His Name, not for what is nothing, but for the fulness of delight, He goes on: Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full. This saying: the fulness of joy: means spiritual not carnal joy; and it will be full when it is so great that nothing can be added to it.
AUGUSTINE, De Trin. I, 2: This is the fulness of our joy, than which there is nothing greater: to enjoy God in the Trinity; in Whose likeness we are made.
AUGUSTINE, Tr. 102 in John 2: Whatsoever therefore that is asked for which relates to the attainment of this Joy must be asked for in the Name of Christ. The divine mercy shall never disappoint the just who persevere in the desire of that good. Whatsoever else is asked for, nothing is asked for; not that it is really nothing, but that in comparison with this so great joy it is as nothing. Then follows: These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh, when I will no more speak to you in proverbs. I would say (102, 3) that the hour of which He is here speaking must be understood of the world to come; when we shall behold Him clearly, face to face, as the Apostle says; and that the words: These things I have spoken to you in proverbs, relate to what was later said by the Apostle: We see now through a glass in a dark manner (I Cor. xiii. 12). I will show you plainly of the Father; for the Father shall be seen through the Son. Neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.
St. Philip Neri, Confessor
1. St. Philip was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. His father was a merchant and expected his son to follow him. However, after two years of apprenticeship Philip left home and took up the study of theology in Rome. Only eighteen, he was living a secluded, abstemious life, devoting night hours to visiting the “Seven Churches” and the tombs of saints, as well as to silent prayer. He felt an insatiable zeal for the glorification of God and the salvation of souls; but his plans were realistic enough to take into account the physical and spiritual poverty of .his fellow men and the absence of mercy toward the unfortunate in the hearts of many. In order to relieve need and suffering as far as possible, he founded his “Oratory,” a society whose task was to be, the assiduous preaching of the word of God, counseling the ignorant, and living a life of Christian charity. He was on fire with love for his neighbor. In the hope of helping others yet more he received Holy Orders in 1551. Now, he began achieving remarkable success as a confessor and an apostle of youth. He died on May 26, 1595, already famous as a wonder-worker.
2. “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by his Spirit dwelling in us” (Introit). These words express the secret of St. Philip’s personal power of attracting souls; the love of God was alive and active in him. In the first place, it moved him to renounce all worldly goods and ambitions to devote himself entirely to the service of God and men. “So my choice was made, and thereupon discernment was given me; the prayer once uttered, a spirit of wisdom came upon me. This I valued more than kingdom or throne; I thought nothing of all my riches in comparison. There was no jewel I could compare with it, all my treasures of gold were a handful of dust beside it . . . with her all blessings came to me” (Lesson). In the strength of his love of God St. Philip found the path of the commandments easy, for love opens the heart wide (cf. Offertory). So vehement was his love of God that he often cried out: “It is enough, Lord; I am only a mortal man and cannot bear such heavenly rapture. Why is my heart too small and too narrow for this love?” Indeed it was said that love enlarged his heart so much as to force his ribs out. It was the heavenly ardor of his love that made Philip thirst for souls and devote all his strength to the conversion of sinners and their salvation.
When Holy Viaticum was being brought to him, he exclaimed: “Behold, my Love! He, the only love of my heart, is coming to me. Hurry! Give me my Love!” How could a man of such purity of life, whose work for souls was blessed with so much fruit and who did good to all men, be the victim of slander and persecution? When his critics endeavored to ruin his good name among the people and found that he bore everything calmly, they accused him of pride and hypocrisy, of laboring in the ministry out of selfish, human motives. This antagonism even succeeded in causing Philip to be forbidden to hear confessions and preach. He remained silent, and before long authorities in Rome became convinced that all the accusations had been false. Then he was permitted to resume his work for sinners and youth. Eventually his persecutors and accusers came to be his most ardent admirers. Holy love had conquered.
“So my choice was made, and thereupon discernment was given me” (Lesson). The youthful Philip had come to realize what really mattered in the life of a Christian. On the road to worldly success, the light of God’s grace struck him. With St. Paul he could humbly proclaim: “And all this, which once stood to my credit, I now write down as loss, for the love of Christ. For that matter, there is nothing I do not write down as loss compared with the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord; for love of him I have lost everything, treat everything else as refuse, if I may have Christ to my credit” (Phil. 3: 7, 8). Philip gave up everything and gained everything—God, Christ, a full measure of grace and virtue. He was richly compensated for all his sacrifices and his life of prayer. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs” (Matt. 5:3). Upon the truly poor, the detached, heaven pours out an abundance of divine gifts.
3. Philip stands out as a likeable, cheerful, winning personality—a man who appeals and attracts. His dominant desire was to win souls; for that reason he himself must be a good man, a noble, kind, lovable priest. Only then could he expect to lead men to God.
Once a young man was telling St. Philip how happy he was to be able to study law. The Saint asked him: “When you have completed your studies, what then?” “I shall receive a doctorate.” “And then?” “Then I shall plead cases, obtain a highly respected position, and grow rich.” “And then?” “I shall enjoy a carefree life and happy old age.” “And then?” “Finally, I shall die.” “And then?” The young man caught the point, He soon discontinued his studies, became a monk, and died a saint. Some of St. Philip’s wise sayings bear repetition, for example, “Anyone who does not go down to hell in his lifetime runs a greater risk of going down when he dies.” Another, showing his profound humility: “I have still not loved thee, my Jesus, much as I desire to do so. Lord, forsake me not, lest I betray thee yet today, like Judas.”
Lord, grant that the Holy Spirit may warm our hearts with the same love with which He set fire to the heart of St. Philip!
Collect: God who hast enthroned Thy blessed confessor Philip in glory among the saints, grant us this boon: that we may profit by the example of his virtues in whose feast we are rejoicing, Amen.
AND OUR CHILDREN
Planning the Family Activities for Christian Feasts and Seasons
By Mary Reed Newland (1956)
ROGATION DAYS BEFORE ASCENSION
After the Litany (in our procession) we read the Blessing of the Sprouting Seed—or I should say, Grandma Reed reads it. She is the Grandma with the green thumbs.
Blessing of the Sprouting Seed
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Let us pray. To Thee, O Lord, we cry and pray: Bless this sprouting seed, strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it with the dew of heaven, and let it grow to full maturity for the good of body and soul. [From With the Blessing of the Church. National Catholic Rural Life Conference (Des Moines).]
How many times might not the damping off of seedlings be avoided by the Blessing of the Sprouting Seed! Man must look so funny, knee-deep in dusts, powder, sprays, and techniques to ward off pests and diseases, and all the while neglecting to ask God’s help first.
Strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it with the dew of heaven. This is like feeling His breath in your face, catching the drops of water that fall from His hand. For children it is a magnificent lesson in detachment. It hems all the world in springtime in the arms of the Father and makes every leaf and sprout a miracle,
We send our blessing from crop to crop. Over the potatoes, the corn, the beans, the peas Monica sprinkles holy water generously. Grandma reads the blessing again over a side garden where small children are hauled out of carrots and beets; and someone points out where one lad sowed lettuce in a fit of temper.
“As you sow, so shall you reap”—apropos here, where lettuce is coming up every which way, plainly scattered to the four winds by an angry fist. Gracious! This is telltale evidence of misdeeds, and humiliating too, now that he can no longer remember why he was angry. It will serve for a long time as a reminder that every angry word and thrust sent into the world makes a difference, increases its disorder. The rows that were planted with love are neat and straight. It is a good contrast between love and anger.
We progress to Grandma’s fruit trees and vines, some from Sister Juliana’s garden at Maryknoll. She reads with feeling the Blessing of Young Crops and Vineyards.
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Let us pray. We appeal to thy graciousness, O almighty God, that thou wouldst shower thy blessing upon these first-fruits of creation, which thou hast nurtured with favorable weather, and mayest bring them to a fine harvest. Grant also to thy people a sense of constant gratitude for thy gifts, so that the hungry may find rich nourishment in the fruits of the earth, and the needy and the poor may praise thy wondrous name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Sprinkle with holy water.)
At each little group of fruit trees and grape vines, new berry bushes, transplants, she reads—and we are startled to hear the quiet passion as she improvises before the pear tree: “. . . we ask Thee in Thy fatherly love to pour down the rain of Thy blessing on this poor little pear tree which that wicked goat has tried . . . . so many times to eat . . . .
Ah—Helen. Indeed she has, and many’s the time Grandma has hinted we might better read the Prayer Against Harmful Animals over Helen each spring before it is too late for the Blessing of Young Crops. . . . What Helen strips off in five minutes of truancy it takes God a full year to grow back again. We sigh and recall that it is a fallen world, and that is why we need prayers about rain, please, and sun, please, and if You please, not so many cutworms this year?
We finish, and the boys drive the crosses in place at points of vantage, while Monica makes her palm brush into a cross and nails it on the big sugar maple that overlooks the garden.
There is a Blessing of Crosses to Be Placed in Fields and Vineyards to be given on May 3, the feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross.
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Let us pray. Almighty, everlasting God, Father of goodness and consolation, in virtue of the bitter suffering of thy Sole-Begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, endured for us sinners on the wood of the Cross, bless these crosses which thy faithful will erect in their vineyards, fields, and gardens. Protect the land where they are placed from hail, tornado, storm, and every assault of the enemy, so that their fruits ripened to the harvest may be gathered to thy honor by those who place their hope in the holy Cross of thy Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with thee eternally. Amen.
(Sprinkle crosses with holy water.)
If only we had known! This is the answer to the fence-jumping cows. And ought not the blessing be part of every year now that we have had our experiences with New England floods!
Processions are satisfying. There are days during the long summer out of school when there is nothing quite like a procession to suit the mood. Sometimes they celebrate the feast of a patron saint, and sometimes they are just manifestations of a restless spirit that wants to praise (I should say, a number of restless spirits).
The Canticle of the Three Youths is a pattern of praise found in the Book of Daniel. With a motley array of musical instruments, the children will swing along the pastures, around old trees, down by the brook shouting and banging on oatmeal boxes, pot lids, tissue paper on combs, blowing through the tubes from the paper towelling. Very good children get to use the triangle, the real cymbals, the harmonicas—if they can find them.
All ye puffballs, praise the Lord.
All ye tadpoles, praise the Lord.
All ye minnows and frogs, birds and bugs, praise the Lord.
All ye bushes and trees, flowers and weeds, praise the Lord . . . .
The echo praises the Lord, the children praise the Lord, the everlasting hills praise the Lord. It is easy to understand at times like these the “desire of the everlasting hills,” and the fields and the sky and the trees, and what St. Paul meant when he wrote that they groaned and travailed until the day when they too would be restored to harmony.
(To be continued)
Father Krier will be in Los Angeles June 4 and then in Touzim, Czech Republic, June 7-10. On June 13 he will be in Pahrump, Nevada.
For those who purchase through Amazon, please help support the work here at Saint Joseph’s by going through this link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2855162
The topics of Faith and Morals will correspond to the Roman Catholic Faith in Tradition and the Magisterium. The News will be of interest. The commentaries are for the reader to ponder and consider. The e-mail address will be for you to provide thought for consideration. The donations will be to support the continuation of this undertaking.
While the Newsletter is free of charge it is not free of cost. Please consider supporting St Joseph’s Catholic Church with a tax – deductible donation by clicking the secure link: Donate
Or if you prefer send a check to
Catholic Tradition Newsletter
c/o St Joseph’s Catholic Church
131 N. 9th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Visit us on the Worldwide Web: http://stjosephlv.org
e-mail news and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To unsubscribe, please type, “unsubscribe”‚ in subject line.
[Message clipped] View entire message