Catholic Tradition Newsletter A24: Holy Eucharist, Trinity Sunday, St John Francis Regis, Family

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Vol 12 Issue 24 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
June 15, 2019 ~ Ember Saturday in Pentecost Week

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Trinity Sunday
3.      Saint Francis Regis
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

The Catholic Faith is rich in her devotional treasures and I want to draw from it as I continue writing on the Sacred Heart. Guided by the Holy Ghost, the Church has always aroused her children to live the life the heavenly Father calls them to exemplify. Pius XI points to this when he wrote in Miserentissimus Redemptor, on May 8, 1928:

Among the many proofs of the boundless benignity of our Redeemer, there is one that stands out conspicuously, to wit the fact that when the charity of Christian people was growing cold, the Divine Charity itself was set forth to be honored by a special worship, and the riches of its bounty was made widely manifest by that form of devotion wherein worship is given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Coloss. ii, 3).

He explains:

[W]hen the Jansenist heresy, the most crafty of them all, hostile to love and piety towards God, was creeping in and preaching that God was not to be loved as a father but rather to be feared as an implacable judge; then the most benign Jesus showed his own most Sacred Heart to the nations lifted up as a standard of peace and charity portending no doubtful victory in the combat.

. . . hence pious confraternities to promote the worship of the Divine Heart are everywhere erected, hence too the custom of receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month at the desire of Christ Jesus, a custom which now prevails everywhere.

As the bride of Christ, the Church has always pointed to the Evangelical law of love. The word love (loved, loveth) is to be found at least 173 times in the New Testament. There is the verse in John, frequently quoted: For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John 3:16) There is the great commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. (Matt. 22:37) This is followed by the second: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22:39)

Christ, Himself, showed that the Sermon on the Mount was not just a beautiful idea, but lived it perfectly, even the words: Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you. (Matt. 5:44) John, the disciple who also leaned on his breast at supper (John 21:20; cf. 13:25) writes: He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is charity.

(1 John 4:8) In other words, in contemplating the Scriptures, one cannot but see a loving God Who seeks to convince His human creatures that He loves them and wants nothing more than the best for them—even though they reject that love: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that slayest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not! (Matt. 23:37) The hurt to His love is seen when, with the coming of the Paschal festival He sees the Temple turned into a money-making business:

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves. (Matt. 21:12-13)

At the Last Supper, just before He is going to give His life for the salvation of mankind, He instructs His Apostles: A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34) While in agony in the Garden of Gethsemani, He revealed the pain of His heart: And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch. And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him. (Mark 14:34-35; cf. Matt. 26:38) On the Cross Christ exclaimed: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?(Matt. 27:46; cf. Mark 15:34) As Christ could neither deceive nor be deceived, these words were not a simple fulfillment of prophesy (cf. Psalm 21), but a revelation of the divine love Christ had for man to be willing to suffer the most excruciating pain that it felt even God could not comprehend—yet He, God the Son, was experiencing.

The image of the Crucified Christ is present before the faithful at least at every Holy Mass. The Five Sacred Wounds are marked by the nails and the spear that pierced the Heart of Christ: But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. (John 19:34) Not only those who were present when Christ died, but the faithful throughout the ages and today look on him whom they pierced. (John 19:37; cf. Zach. 12:10) Such reflections, then, led the faithful to ask first how to console Our Lord: In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. (Psalms 68:21) Coupled with Ecclesiasticus, They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none. (51:10), the words evoked compassion in the hearts of the faithful; and the scene of the Agony in the Garden, where one reads, he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? (Matt. 26:40) motivated the religious to rise in the night in prayer and the faithful too make holy hours of reparation.

Where does one attribute the desires, the longings, the fears, the endurance, the giving of oneself to another? To the heart! For the heart beats according to the emotions. The heart rate increases in the presence of excited emotions, but is decreased when comforted. The heart rate increases in anger and decreases in tranquility. The heart rate increases in the presence of one desired but decreases in the presence of one united. The palpitations of expectation of the young man on his knee before the young lady in front of him as he asks the question, Will you marry me? could not be much different, then, when Christ asks, Will you follow me? And, if so, would not God, then, feel these emotions through His human heart which is united to the Divine Person? Associating the human desire to be consoled, expressed by the Divine Desire in the words quoted above, it was only natural that devotion to the Sacred Heart should have a concrete expression in the particular devotion to the Love of Jesus Christ, love symbolized by the heart and therefore directed to His Heart.

Saint Bonaventure (+1273), following in the footsteps of Saint Francis who gave the visible representation of the Christmas scene, writes the following which the Church places for the reading on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (Divine Office, III nocturn):

A Homily by St. Bonaventure the Bishop (Book of the Tree of Life, num. 30):

In order that the Church might be taken out of the side of Christ, in his deep sleep on the Cross, and that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced: it was divinely ordained that one of the soldiers should pierce his sacred side with a spear, and open it. Then forthwith there came flowing out blood and water, which was the price of our salvation, pouring forth from its mountain-source, in sooth, from the secret places of his Heart, to give power to the Sacraments of the Church, to bestow the life of grace, and to be as a saving drink of living waters, flowing up to life eternal for those who were already quickened in Christ. Arise, then, O soul beloved of Christ. Cease not thy vigilance, place there thy lips, and drink the waters from the fount of salvation.

Because we are now come to the sweet Heart of Jesus, and because it is good for us to be here, let us not too soon turn away therefrom. O how good and joyful a thing it is to dwell in this Heart. What a good treasure, what a precious pearl, is thy Heart, O most excellent Jesu, which we have found hidden in the pit which hath been dug in this field, namely, in thy body. Who would cast away such a pearl? Nay, rather, for this same I would give all my pearls. I will sell all my thoughts and affections, and buy the same for myself, turning all my thoughts to the Heart of the good Jesus, and without fail it will support me. Therefore, o most sweet Jesu, finding this Heart that is thine and mine, I will pray to thee, my God: admit my prayers into the shrine of hearkening: and draw me even more altogether into thy Heart.

For to this end was thy side pierced, that an entry might be open unto us. To this end was thy Heart wounded, that in it we might be able to dwell secure from alarms from without. And it was wounded none the less on this account that, because of the visible wound, we may perceive the wound of love which is invisible. How could this fire of love better shine forth than for him to permit that not only his body, but that even his Heart, should be wounded with the spear? Who would not love that Heart so wounded? Who would not, in return, love one who is so loving? Who would not embrace one so chaste? Wherefore let us who are in the flesh love in return, as much as we can, him who so loveth, embrace our wounded one, whose hands and feet, side and Heart, have been pierced by wicked husbandmen; and let us pray that he may deign to bind our hearts, still hard and impenitent, with the chain of his love, and wound them with the dart thereof.

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

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WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST

By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

When Pope Urban IV (1261-64) published the Bull Transiturus on 8 September, 1264, instituting the Feast of Corpus Christi, he had Saint Thomas compose the Mass and Office. The raising of the Host and Chalice at Mass, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and processions of the Blessed Sacrament, finalizing in the Feast of Corpus Christi resulted out of a profession of faith in the true presence of Christ, devotion to His presence, and honoring His presence.

Reception of Chalice: Denial of Christ’s Real Presence and Church Authority

At the Last Supper Christ gave His Apostles His Body under the appearance of bread and His Blood, under the appearance of wine:

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. (Matt. 26:26-28)

Saint Paul writes to the Corinthians concerning the abuse at the Sacrifice of the Mass by over-indulgence in the Agape, a meal shared by the community before Mass that was intended to show charity and replicate  Christ who ate a meal (Passover) with His Apostles at the Last Supper before offering the first Mass. In describing the Mass, he expresses that everyone received both the Body of Christ and the Chalice of His Blood:

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:26-27)

The Church, seemingly from Apostolic times, did not always allow everyone to drink from the Chalice. This was to reverence the Blood of Christ as Saint Paul indicates, or for not being able to have sufficient wine to consecrate so everyone could partake, and in the taking of the Body of Christ (the host) alone to those who were not able to be present at Mass, as also when sickness was present. As the congregations grew, it became even more difficult to allow all the congregants to receive from the Chalice, the chances of sufficiency and the Chalice being spilled increasing. Eventually it became optional until it became the exception and not the norm, especially when during times of the plague no one but the celebrant received the Chalice. There was no note of opposition in not offering the Chalice to the laity.

When Berengarius (+1088) began to question the true presence in the Sacrament of the Altar, he resorted to Scripture and interpretations of the Fathers that seemingly proved his point. Even though the Church, through her bishops and popes, showed him his error, Berengarius rejected the authority of the Church to decide. The Church spontaneously began to stress the Real Presence of Christ in opposition to those who adopted the errors of Berengarius denying the Presence of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—the very same Mary held when He was born. Now Christians began to genuflect as they entered the Church to show their faith in Christ’s true presence. Here may be introduced the story of Saint Anthony who was berated by a man who refused to genuflect before the blessed Sacrament, denying the Real Presence. Saint Anthony (+1231) took the quote from Scripture, The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood (Isaias 1:3) to prove Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Here is an account by Fr Thomas Ward:

Among the errors professed by the Albigenses was the denial of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the blessed Eucharist. One day St. Anthony carried on a long discussion on this article of Catholic faith with an obstinate and influential heretic of the city. Being pressed by the solid and luminous reasons of the apostle, the heretic seemed to waver, even to the point of giving homage to faith. He stopped short, however, even as the Jews of old, and asked for miracles. “Prove to me by a public miracle,” he said, “that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, as you are striving to establish, and I swear to you that I shall at once renounce my doctrines, and humbly submit myself to what you preach.” The challenge was a solemn one; another would have hesitated to accept it. But Anthony, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tranquilly replied he would accept it. Then the heretic said: “I shall shut my mule in his stable for three days, and deprive him of all food. When this time shall have passed, I will lead him into the public street and before all the assembled people I will offer him food to eat. But you, on your part, will bring the consecrated Host, and will present it to my mule. If, in spite of his hunger he turns away from the food, and prostrates himself on both knees before your sacrament, I shall be convinced, and declare myself a Catholic.” Anthony consented to this proposition and departed. He prepared himself by prayer to avenge Jesus for the outrages inflicted on Him by the impiety of the Manicheans. He asked of God to draw from the slavery of error so many simple souls, over whom the torrent of opinion triumphed, and led far from His Church. At length the day of trial came, and the heretic came to the appointed place, followed by a large number who hoped to enjoy the confusion of the Franciscan apostle. The heretic led his mule by the bridle, and also carried the food which he knew would be so welcome. During this time Anthony celebrated Mass with even greater fervor than ordinary. When he had finished he turned towards the scene where the power of Heaven was soon to be manifested. The saint held in his hands the golden ostensorium, in the centre of which reposed the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Behind him walked many of the faithful, reciting prayers and hymns, impatient to see what would happen. When Anthony was in the presence of his adversary, he stopped and recollected himself for an instant; then he imposed silence on the multitude, and turning to the mule thus spoke to him: “In the name of thy Creator, whom I truly carry in my hands, in spite of my unworthiness, I say to thee, animal deprived of reason, and I command thee, to come at once with humility and do Him the reverence which you owe Him.” At the same moment the owner of the mule presented him with food to eat. But, prodigy! the beast turned away from his food, and, obedient to the voice of the wonder-worker, fell to the earth on both knees and remained in this position immovable. The people, breathless with wonder, could not contain their enthusiasm; and cries of joy escaped from every one. The heretics were cast on the ground where they stood, while the one who had provoked the miracle fell on his knees and adored in a loud voice the august Mystery, which a moment before he had called a superstition. He afterwards became an apostle, brought back to the truth his whole family, and constructed, at his own expense, a church which he dedicated to St. Peter. His descendants, to add to his gratitude, and to perpetuate the memory of the miracle, built a chapel on the very spot where the miracle had been wrought. (Ward, 35-38)

It would be the Albigensians who would also claim Mass was for the community, not a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Fr Martin Cochem gives the following:

At the commencement of the twelfth century the impious Albigenses appeared in France; amongst other disgraceful tenets they held marriage to be an unlawful state, and encouraged profligacy: They did, it is true, take no exception to the celebration of solemn High Mass in the presence of a large assembly of people, but they would not tolerate Low Mass, at which but few persons assisted. In fact, they prohibited them, under pain of fines and imprisonment. In connection with these heretics Cesar of Heisterbach, who lived about the same time, relates the following incident:

Although the Albigenses had forbidden priests, under heavy penalties, from saying Low Mass, a certain pious priest would not allow himself to be deterred by so unjust a prohibition from saying Mass privately. When this became known, he was arrested and brought before the council, who said to him: “Information has reached us that, in defiance of our prohibition, you have said a Low Mass, and committed a grave offence; we have therefore caused you to be brought before us, to answer for yourself whether it is so.” The priest instantly replied without any sign of fear: ” I will answer in the words of the holy apostles, who said, when it was inquired of them before the Jewish Council whether they had violated the law by preaching in the name of Christ, ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ (Acts v. 29.) For this reason, therefore, in spite of your unjust prohibition, I said Mass to the honor of God and of His blessed Mother.” The judges, greatly infuriated by this bold reply, condemned the pious priest to have his tongue torn out in the presence of all the people. The priest suffered this cruel sentence with the utmost patience; he went straight to the church, his mouth yet bleeding, and, kneeling humbly before the altar at which he had said Mass, poured out his complaint to the Mother of God. Being unable any longer to speak with his tongue, he raised his heart to her with all the more fervor, entreating her that his tongue might be restored to him. So urgent was his supplication that the blessed Mother of God appeared to him, and with her own hand replaced his tongue in his mouth, saying that it was given back to him for the sake of the honor he had paid to God the Lord and to her by saying Mass, and exhorting him diligently to make use of it in that manner for the future. After returning heartfelt thanks to his benefactress the priest returned to the assembled people, and showed them that his tongue had been given back to him, thus putting to confusion the obstinate heretics, and all who had displayed hostility to the holy Mass. (Cochem, 19-21)

It became clearly understood that when one received the Host, one received Christ wholly—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—and therefore one was also partaking of the Blood of Christ when one consumed the Host. A sign of the rejection of Transubstantiation and the real Presence of Christ by those following Berengarius’ was that they demanded to receive the Chalice as their authority became not the Church, but Scripture alone. It was confusing to the laity, because the Berengarians and Albigensians would repeat the words: This is my Body . . . This is my Blood, but they claimed it was only a figure; then they would say Christ said, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood (cf. John 6:54), was to be taken literally that one had to eat the host and also drink from the chalice—though not believing it was the true Body and Blood of Christ. This error was adopted by the Protestants and now by the Conciliar Church, where those only accepting a signification can only accept doing as Christ commands by eating the host and drinking from the chalice, not believing in the Transubstantiation and the Real Presence. This is why women in the Conciliar Church can touch the host with their bare hands (cf. John 20:17) like the Protestants—though never found done in the early church. This is why, once again, there is a loss of adoration by genuflecting and giving a sign of faith in Christ present on the altar in the tabernacle.

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The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal

THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY

MATTHEW

xxviii. 18-20

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA

V. 18. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given.

BEDE: After the blessed Matthew had stated that an angel had announced the Lord’s Resurrection, he then relates the vision of the Lord seen by the Disciples, telling us that the eleven Disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountains where Jesus had appointed them. For when going towards His Passion the Lord had said to His Disciples, But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee (xxvi. 23). This the angels also told the holy women. And so the Disciples obey the command of the Master. But only eleven go to adore Him. For one had perished: he who had betrayed his Lord and Master.

JEROME: And so after His Resurrection Jesus is seen on the mountain in Galilee, and there adored; and though some were doubting, their doubt but increases our faith: And seeing him they adored: but some doubted.

REMIGIUS: The Evangelist Luke relates this more fully. For he tells us how when the Lord, rising from the dead, appeared to His Disciples, they were terrified and believed they were seeing a ghost.

RHABANUS MAURUS (or BEDE): The Lord appeared to them upon the mountain to signify that the Body which in His birth He had taken from the common earth of the human race, He had now in His Resurrection exalted above all earthly things. And that He might teach the faithful that if they desired to see the supreme glory of the Resurrection they must be earnest in passing from earthly delights to heavenly ones. And. Jesus goes before His Disciples into Galilee, because Christ is now risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep (I Cor. xv. 20). And they who are Christ’s follow Him and in their order pass over from death to life; to behold the Divinity in visible form. And that Galilee is interpreted to mean, revelation, fittingly agrees with this.

AUGUSTINE, Harmony of the Four Gospels 3, 25, 81: Let us consider in what manner the Lord was seen bodily in Galilee. For it is evident that He was not seen on the day of His resurrection. For on that day He was seen in Jerusalem at nightfall, as Luke and John plainly agree. Neither was it during the eight

following days, after which, John tells us, the Lord appeared to His Disciples when Thomas, who had not seen Him on the day of the Resurrection, saw Him for the first time.

Unless it be said that these were not the eleven (who were now spoken of as the Apostles) but eleven out of the great number of His Disciples. But (par. 82) there is another difficulty against this. For when John had related that the Lord was seen, not by the eleven on the mountain, but by seven of them who were fishing by the lake of Tiberias, he adds: This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead (xxi. 14). We must here understand him as referring to the number of days, not to the number of manifestations. If however we take it that the Lord was seen by the eleven within those eight days before Thomas had seen Him, this manifestation by the lake of Galilee will be the fourth, not the third. Because of this we are forced to believe that He was seen last by the eleven on the mountain in Galilee.

We find therefore (par. 82) in the four Evangelists, that there were ten separate manifestations of the Lord after His Resurrection.

1. To the women by the sepulchre.

2. To the same women as they are returning from the sepulchre.

3. To Peter.

4. To the two Disciples going to the village.

5. To many in Jerusalem when Thomas was not there.

6. When Thomas saw Him.

7. By the lake of Tiberias.

8. On the mountain of Galilee of which Matthew speaks.

9. To the eleven as they were at table, as told by Mark; as they were not again to eat with Him on earth.

10. On t…

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