Catholic Tradition Newsletter A36: Holy Eucharist, Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Nativity of Mary

Vol 12 Issue 36 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
September 7, 2019 ~ Saint Cloud, opn!

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
3.      Nativity of the B. V. M.
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

Remember our childhood and our confidence that the devil could do nothing to harm us because we had our Guardian Angel with us always at our side? Not to be too simplistic, let us remember September is dedicated to the Holy Angels. On September 29, Michaelmas (or the Mass for Saint Michael) is celebrated. The Guardian Angels are celebrated on October 2 and Saint Raphael on October 24. It is an appropriate time for us to remember the Angels. These pure Spirits are with us all the time in order to assist us in this life to be with them in the next. They were put to the test and passed, they enjoy the vision of God and want us to participate in the happiness of dwelling with God. They know that we are being tested and, to the extent that God allows, are doing what they can to make sure we are safe and know what God wants us to do. If we are saying our prayer to our Guardian Angel each morning, if we are trying to listen to his inspirations, we probably sense the influence our Angel has in our lives as we are less fearful, more attentive to the good to be done around us and finding that we feel obliged to avoid the evil around us. If we neglect our prayer, fill our mind with worldly noise and sights, and react according to human impulses, we probably recognize that we are fearful and jumpy, never feel there is anything good for us to do—that is, we are bored—, and find our minds filled with evil thoughts. There is a certain fear—only conquered by confidence that our Angel will watch over us—when we are with bad people that is perceived because we know or sense that their minds are filled with evil (especially if our mind is too). May we take this opportunity of beginning the month of September as a reminder of our Guardian Angel’s presence. We do not want to simply make the angel a wall decoration, a saving philanthropist or, even worse, a permitted image of sensual beauty—all which insult the superior nature of our Angel.

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



By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

Evolution and Modernism

One system that quickly developed, called Modernism, became widely accepted in Catholic academic circles. Modernism does not come from Catholic philosophy, nor Catholics. It comes from erroneous philosophical systems of Protestants and Jews in which Catholic intellectuals attempt to transform the Catholic faith according to these flawed systems. Somehow led astray, these Catholic academics would not see that they are not congruent with Catholic faith and must be rejected not reconciled. Modernism is a continuation of the idealism that took a leap with G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) with the idea of everything is becoming, nothing static. Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) took Hegel’s concept of appearances (phenomenon) and becoming (change) and the intentionality of Franz Brentano (1838-1917) to come up with a philosophical-psychological system in which appearances of objects and events is all man consciously perceives. These appearances are interpreted according to one’s experiences and have no universal validity outside of one’s consciousness of the phenomenon, making one the sole judge of one’s existence and world. It means no one can impose on another one’s own experience, but when several persons arrive at a congruent experience it becomes a “truth”, but a “truth” only for them. As Vermeerch describes:

. . . For them [the Modernists] external intuition furnishes man with but phenomenal contingent, sensible knowledge. He sees, he feels, he hears, he tastes, he touches this something, this phenomenon that comes and goes without telling him aught of the existence of a suprasensible, absolute and unchanging reality outside all environing space and time. But deep within himself man feels the need of a higher hope. He aspires to perfection in a being on whom he feels his destiny depends. And so he has an instinctive, an affective yearning for God. This necessary impulse is at first obscure and hidden in the subconsciousness. Once consciously understood, it reveals to the soul the intimate presence of God. This manifestation, in which God and man collaborate, is nothing else than revelation. Under the influence of its yearning, that is of its religious feelings, the soul tries to reach God, to adopt towards Him an attitude that will satisfy its yearning. It gropes, it searches. These gropings form the soul’s religious experience. They are more easy, successful and far-reaching, or less so, according as it is now one, now another individual soul that sets out in quest of God. Anon there are privileged ones who reach extraordinary results. They communicate their discoveries to their fellow men, and forthwith become founders of a new religion, which is more or less true in the proportion in which it gives peace to the religious feelings.

The attitude Christ adopted, reaching up to God as to a father and then returning to men as to brothers — such is the meaning of the precept, “Love God and thy neighbour” — brings full rest to the soul. It makes the religion of Christ the religion par excellence, the true and definitive religion. The act by which the soul adopts this attitude and abandons itself to God as a father and then to men as to brothers, constitutes the Christian Faith. Plainly such an act is an act of the will rather than of the intellect. But religious sentiment tries to express itself in intellectual concepts, which in their turn serve to preserve this sentiment. Hence the origin of those formulae concerning God and Divine things, of those theoretical propositions that are the outcome of the successive religious experiences of souls gifted with the same faith. These formulae become dogmas, when religious authority approves of them for the life of the community. For community life is a spontaneous growth among persons of the same faith, and with it comes authority. Dogmas promulgated in this way teach us nothing of the unknowable, but only symbolize it. They contain no truth. Their usefulness in preserving the faith is their only raison d’être. They survive as long as they exert their influence. Being the work of man in time, and adapted to his varying needs, they are at best but contingent and transient. Religious authority too, naturally conservative, may lag behind the times. It may mistake the best methods of meeting needs of the community, and try to keep up worn-out formulae. Through respect for the community, the individual Christian who sees the mistake continues in an attitude of outward submission. But he does not feel himself inwardly bound by the decisions of higher powers; rather he makes praiseworthy efforts to bring his Church into harmony with the times. He may confine himself, too, if he cares, to the older and simpler religious forms; he may live his life in conformity with the dogmas accepted from the beginning. (Modernism, CE)

Once its presence was revealed, to prevent its spread and to root it out of Catholic schools and seminaries, Pope Saint Pius X sanctioned the Decree of the Holy Office, Lamentabili, of July 3, 1907. In the same year the Pope published the Encyclical, Pascendi Dominici gregis on September 8, 1907. Pius X described the philosophy just as though reading from a text on Phenomenology:

However, this Agnosticism is only the negative part of the system of the Modernist: the positive side of it consists in what they call vital immanence. This is how they advance from one to the other. Religion, whether natural or supernatural, must, like every other fact, admit of some explanation. But when Natural theology has been destroyed, the road to revelation closed through the rejection of the arguments of credibility, and all external revelation absolutely denied, it is clear that this explanation will be sought in vain outside man himself. It must, therefore, be looked for in man; and since religion is a form of life, the explanation must certainly be found in the life of man. Hence the principle of religious immanence is formulated. Moreover, the first actuation, so to say, of every vital phenomenon, and religion, as has been said, belongs to this category, is due to a certain necessity or impulsion; but it has its origin, speaking more particularly of life, in a movement of the heart, which movement is called a sentiment. Therefore, since God is the object of religion, we must conclude that faith, which is the basis and the foundation of all religion, consists in a sentiment which originates from a need of the divine. This need of the divine, which is experienced only in special and favourable circumstances, cannot, of itself, appertain to the domain of consciousness; it is at first latent within the consciousness, or, to borrow a term from modern philosophy, in the subconsciousness, where also its roots lies hidden and undetected.

Should anyone ask how it is that this need of the divine which man experiences within himself grows up into a religion, the Modernists reply thus: Science and history, they say, are confined within two limits, the one external, namely, the visible world, the other internal, which is consciousness. When one or other of these boundaries has been reached, there can be no further progress, for beyond is the unknowable. In presence of this unknowable, whether it is outside man and beyond the visible world of nature, or lies hidden within in the subconsciousness, the need of the divine, according to the principles of Fideism, excites in a soul with a propensity towards religion a certain special sentiment, without any previous advertence of the mind: and this sentiment possesses, implied within itself both as its own object and as its intrinsic cause, the reality of the divine, and in a way unites man with God. It is this sentiment to which Modernists give the name of faith, and this it is which they consider the beginning of religion.

But we have not yet come to the end of their philosophy, or, to speak more accurately, their folly. For Modernism finds in this sentiment not faith only, but with and in faith, as they understand it, revelation, they say, abides. For what more can one require for revelation? Is not that religious sentiment which is perceptible in the consciousness revelation, or at least the beginning of revelation? Nay, is not God Himself, as He manifests Himself to the soul, indistinctly it is true, in this same religious sense, revelation? And they add: Since God is both the object and the cause of faith, this revelation is at the same time of God and from God; that is, God is both the revealer and the revealed.

Hence, Venerable Brethren, springs that ridiculous proposition of the Modernists, that every religion, according to the different aspect under which it is viewed, must be considered as both natural and supernatural. Hence it is that they make consciousness and revelation synonymous. Hence the law, according to which religious consciousness is given as the universal rule, to be put on an equal footing with revelation, and to which all must submit, even the supreme authority of the Church, whether in its teaching capacity, or in that of legislator in the province of sacred liturgy or discipline. (Pascendi Dominici gregis, § 7, 8)

Of course it is subtle, because one can say God reveals Himself. Here, though, the Pope is not speaking of a true supernatural event when he is condemning the modernist, but calling a natural sentiment arising from within a person as revelation a supernatural event. Accepting that this sentiment is the source of faith, atheists have searched for that natural sentiment in a chemical reaction of the human body to the end that finally in 2004 the Washington Times could report that the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda claims to have found the “god gene”: The higher their score, the greater the person’s ability to believe in a greater spiritual force and, Mr. Hamer found, the more likely they were to share the gene VMAT2.

(; also, Hamer, Dean (2005). The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired Into Our Genes. Anchor Books.)

Max Scheler (1874-1928) adopted the Phenomenology of Husserl and extended its reach into ethics and theology. Max Scheler joined the Catholic Church, but did not change his philosophy—there was no need as many of his students were Catholics and were also changing their faith to agree with Phenomenology. A student of his was Edith Stein (1891-1942), who studied philosophy also under Husserl and converted from Judaism to Catholicism. Many Catholic students were also attending the lectures of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) in Freiburg am Brisgau (Germany). He was another Catholic who turned to the Husserlian Phenomenology to change the faith into a subjective experience. Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005), known by many as John Paul II, would write a thesis in 1953, titled Reevaluation of the possibility of founding a Catholic ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler for obtaining professorship in the Jagiellonian University—as Catholic intellectuals were turning from Thomistic (Scholastic) philosophy to Phenomenology. Scheler wrote that Phenomenology was an attitude of spiritual seeing. . .something which otherwise remains hidden . . . . (Phenomenology and the Theory of Cognition, 137) and those devoted to it found a love-determined movement of the inmost personal self of a finite being toward participation in the essential reality of all possible. (On the Eternal in Man, 74)

Just as when Pope Leo XIII wrote against Americanism in his encyclical, Testem benevolentiae, January 22, 1899 and Gibbons replied that the French were over reacting, that such ideas were not present in the United States (though these ideas were being taught and the progressives had to momentarily retreat to give an appearance of orthodoxy), so it was with the Modernists.

As World War I and World War II along with the spread of Atheistic Communism stole away much of the attention of the Papacy, Modernism spread throughout the Catholic clergy and its intellectual base—not in the light of day, but in the group meetings the initiated held to discuss their “Nouvelle Théologie“.


The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal


LUKE xvii. 11-19

At that time: As Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off and lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. Whom when he saw, he said: Go, shew yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks. And this was a Samaritan. And Jesus, answering, said: Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger. And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.


AMBROSE: After the parable that preceded, He then rebukes the ungrateful. For we are told that:

V.11. And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem . . .

TITUS OF BOSTRA: That He might show that the Samaritans were people of good will, but the Jews ungrateful for the benefits He spoke of. For there was discord between the Jews and Samaritans, and as it were to reconcile them, He passes through the midst, to make both into one new man.

CYRIL: Then the Saviour manifests His glory, drawing Israel to faith. Hence follows:

V.12. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers.

Men driven from towns and cities, as unclean, under the Mosaic law.

TITUS: Because their common affliction had made them of one mind, they were wont to live together; and they waited about for Jesus’ passing, restless till they saw Christ approaching. Then follows: who stood afar off; because Judaic law held leprosy unclean; but the law of the Gospel holds that it is not outward leprosy, but inward that is unclean. THEOPHYLACTUS: They stood afar off, as though ashamed of the uncleanness imputed to them. For they thought that like others Christ also would be repelled by them. So they stood afar off from Him in place, but they were brought close to Him by their prayer. For, the Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him; to all that call upon him in truth (Ps. cxliv. 18). Hence follows:

V.13. And lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

TITUS: They plead in the name of Jesus, and gain the reality it stands for: for Jesus means Saviour. They say: Have mercy on us; knowing through experience of His power. They asked neither silver nor gold, but that they might receive a body that could be seen to be sound.

THEOPHYLACTUS: Nor did they simply beg of Him, or ask of Him as a mortal man. For they call Him, Master, that is, lord; by which they seem almost to think He was God. But He commands them to go show themselves to the Priests. For they were to learn whether they were legally made clean of leprosy or not.

V.14. Whom when he saw, he said: Go, shew yourselves to the priests.

CYRIL: For the law commanded that those made clean from leprosy should offer a sacrifice because of being made clean. THEOPHYLACTUS: To command them to go to the Priests therefore meant nothing else but that they were about to be healed. So there follows: And it came pass, as they went, they were made clean.

CYRIL: From this the Chief Priests of the Jews, who were envious of His power, could see that they had been suddenly and miraculously healed; through Christ granting them health.

THEOPHYLACTUS: And though they were ten, nine who were Israelites were ungrateful; but the Samaritan stranger, going back, gave thanks. Hence we have:

V.15. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God.

TITUS: The purification he had received gave him confidence to draw near to Jesus. So there follows:

V.16. And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks . . .

His prostration and his prayer making plain his faith and gratitude. And there follows: and this was a Samaritan.

THEOPHYLACTUS: From this one may know that nothing prevents a man from pleasing God, even though he comes of a pagan people, so long as his intention is good. Nor should anyone born of holy people pride himself on this: for the nine who were Israelites, were ungrateful. Hence follows:

VV.17, 18. And Jesus, answering, said: Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger.

TITUS: By this we are shown that strangers were more ready for the faith: for Israel was slow to believe. Then follows:

V.19. And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.

AUGUSTINE, Questions on the Gospels, II, 40: They may, mystically, be understood as lepers who, having no knowledge of the True Faith, profess various false doctrines. For these do not hide their ignorance, but proclaim it as the highest learning, and pride themselves on their discourses. Leprosy is a blemish of colour. True and false doctrines therefore mingled without order in a man’s argument or discussion, and showing like colours on a human body, resemble leprosy which spots and blemishes human bodies with patches of true and false colour. The Church must shun such as these, so that they may, if possible, from afar off cry out with a loud voice to Christ. That they invoked Him as Master, does, I think, sufficiently indicate that false doctrine is a leprosy which a good teacher will wipe away.

We see that none of those upon whom the Lord bestowed corporal favours were sent to the Priests except lepers. For the Jewish Priesthood was a figure of the Priesthood of the Church. Other vices the Lord Himself heals and corrects, inwardly in the conscience; but teaching or the power to bestow the sacraments or to catechize by word, He gave to the Church.

Who, as they went, were made clean.  For the Gentiles, to whom Peter had come, and who had not yet received the sacrament of Baptism, by which we come spiritually to the Priests, are declared clean when the grace of the Spirit was poured out on them (Acts x. 44). Whosoever therefore in the society of the Church follows the true and perfect teaching, and by this shews himself free of the leprous patchwork of false doctrine, yet, still ungrateful, does not with devout humility, prostrate himself before God, Who made him clean, is like those of whom the Apostle says, that, when they knew God, they have not glorified Him as God, or given thanks (Rom. i. 21). And accordingly such as these will remain as imperfect; in the number of the nine. For nine need one that they may be joined together in a certain form of unity, and so become ten. He however who gave thanks is commended as a figure of the One Church. And because the others were Jews, they are declared to have lost through pride the kingdom of heaven, where unity is supremely guarded. But he who was a Samaritan, which is interpreted as guardian, attributing to Him from Whom he received it, what he had received, in accord with the words, I will guard my strength for thee (Ps. lviii, 10), guards with humble devotion the unity of the kingdom.

BEDE: He fell upon his face, because he was ashamed of the evils he remembers he had committed. He is bidden to rise, and go his way; because he who, knowing his own weakness, remains humble, is bidden through the consolation of the divine word, To put forth his hand to strong things (Prov. xxxi. 19). But if faith made him whole who had bowed down to give thanks; then want of faith ruined those who neglected to give glory to God for the favours they had received: for, as the previous parable shows, faith is increased through humility, so here the same is shown by these events