Catholic Tradition Newsletter A40: Holy Eucharist, Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Saint Bruno

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Vol 12 Issue 40 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
October 5, 2019~ Saint Placidus & Companions, opn!

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
3.      Saint Bruno, Archangel
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

Some may ask why the crime of abortion is so horrendous that even after anti-Christ governments pass laws permitting it, the populace cannot accept such laws and protest and attempt to stop such laws and such murderous acts. It is because the blood of these innocents cries out to God for vengeance. Their lives are sacrificed to demons. They are deliberately deprived of the eternal vision of God—that for which they were created for and now will never attain. The whole earth revolts at such an atrocity, made to support man for his salvation. On the other hand, as Catholics and all those of good will peaceably protest and pray and vote to stop this crime, it is evident that the children of the devil are motivated in their hatred to implement the sacrifice of children witnessed as they riot, burn, destroy and curse and attack those defending innocent life. The words of Our Lord,

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. (John 8:44)

succinctly summarizes the spirit of the world, the zeitgeist found when one is forced to listen to those opposed to Christian principles. If some sense of charity or wisdom (even truth) could be found in their words or actions one might claim there is some humanity within them. This is not found. Instead they cannot tolerate the least virtue, a thread of manliness (or womanliness), chastity or filial piety. They disfigure themselves with ghastly tattoos and inject themselves with drugs to make them either unmanly or unwomanly. They could be excused if nature disfigured them—but it is not nature, it is their inhuman and diabolically inspired psyche. Mexico is being attacked by these crazed disciples of evil because normal people cannot accept such a crime on their conscience (even national conscience)—they cannot wish they were murdered and therefore cannot desire the murder of another. Those defending the unborn are to be commended.

Exactly 500 years earlier, 1519, Hernan Cortes entered Mexico City and was horrified at the human sacrifices being offered—leading later a mixed army of natives Mexicans and Spanish who supported him in the stopping of the carnage. Our Lady rewarded the people of Mexico in stopping the killings by appearing in 1531 as Our Lady of Guadalupe to offer them the faith. Apparently, like the murderers in the United States and elsewhere—rejecting the faith of their fathers—, many in Mexico—rejecting also the faith their fathers accepted from Our Lady—wish to return to its horrific past.

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



By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

Vatican II:   

With the advent of Vatican II, it became all the more apparent that an understanding of Church teaching and why the Church should condemn certain errors is necessary today to see the heterodoxy introduced among the clergy and faithful as a seemingly official stance of what the Catholic Church. For, in reality, Vatican II was presenting errors the Church had clearly and absolutely condemned. In studying the documents that came from the Vatican II Council and its subsequent commissions, the first point in the statements of the document that is apparent is the stress that (a) the document is not changing anything; then the second point is brought out that (b) it is changing some things; this is followed by the third point, that (c) everything is open to change. After saying everything is open to change, it starts again to say no one has the authority to change, to (a) only the Church (Pope) has the authority to change some things, to (b) the bishops alone can make changes in their diocese or territory as they see fit, to (c) competent experts can experiment with changes, to (d) everyone can change if the local “bishop” approves.  This is evident in the following from the Document On the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, December 4, 1963—stress is the author’s).

38. Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved; and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites and devising rubrics.

39. Within the limits set by the typical editions of the liturgical books, it shall be for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this Constitution.

40. In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties. Wherefore:

1) The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, must, in this matter, carefully and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and culture of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship. Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary should then be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be introduced.

2) To ensure that adaptations may be made with all the circumspection which they demand, the Apostolic See will grant power to this same territorial ecclesiastical authority to permit and to direct, as the case requires, the necessary preliminary experiments over a determined period of time among certain groups suited for the purpose.

3) Because liturgical laws often involve special difficulties with respect to adaptation, particularly in mission lands, men who are experts in these matters must be employed to formulate them.

When the Council of Trent (1545-1563) addressed the issue of the Mass, the Protestants denied both the Real Presence of Christ (transubstantiation) and the Sacrificial aspect of Mass. They formulated Communion Services that claimed to be simply a memorial of the Last Supper or Lord’s Supper.

Since the liturgy was not uniform and the laity did not know what the priest was actually doing since he had choices, including the so-called Missa sicca (Mass without consecration, just a communion service—which is retained in the Good Friday Liturgy even today), the Hussite and Lutheran services would not have been so disturbing to witness as also the Anglican service. On the other hand, some localities had added so many prayers and additions that the Mass lost its place as being centered on the Canon and became cumbersome to the laity.  The Council of Trent set up a commission to present a missal that would be codified and used by all Roman Catholics to assure that Mass was said as it had always been and should have been. Because of the “liturgical abuses” of the time, the Council Fathers knew that the Mass had to be, what you might say, set in stone. The Council of Trent declared, about the Canon of the Mass:

[T]he Catholic Church , to the end that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received [the Holy Eucharist], instituted many centuries ago the holy canon, which is so free from error that it contains nothing that does not in the highest degree savor of a certain holiness and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer. (Sess. XXII, chap. iv.)

And anathematized,

If anyone says that the canon of the mass contains errors and is therefore to be abrogated . . . (Can. 6)

Pope St. Pius V can state, therefore, that whoever is celebrating this Mass is celebrating a valid Mass. Again, he is not introducing a “new” Mass, but presenting the Mass as always said without any novelties. This is completely in contrast with the Novus Ordo Missae, or New Mass, which by definition is a new Mass, never before said and subject completely to novelties.

Adrian Fortesque writes:

The Protestant Reformers naturally played havoc with the old liturgy. It was throughout the expression of the very ideas (the Real Presence, Eucharistic Sacrifice and so on) they rejected. So they substituted for it new Communion services that expressed their principle but, of course, broke away utterly from all historic liturgical evolution. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) in opposition to the anarchy of these new services wished the Roman Mass to be celebrated uniformly everywhere. The mediaeval local uses had lasted long enough. They had become very florid and exuberant; and their variety caused confusion. It would be better for all Roman Catholics to go back to an older and simpler form of the Roman rite. In its eighteenth session (16 Febr. 1562) the Council appointed a commission to examine the missal, to revise it and restore its earlier form. At the close of the council (4 Dec. 1563) the commission had not yet finished its work, so further proceedings were left to the Pope (Pius IV, 1559-1565). The commission consisted of Cardinal Bernadine Scotti, Thomas Goldwell, the last Catholic Bishop of St. Asaph (both Theatines) and others, including Cardinal William Sirlet and Giulio Poggi. They accomplished their task very well. It was not to make a new missal, but to restore the existing one “according to the custom and rite of the holy Fathers,” using for that purpose the best manuscripts and other documents. Pius IV died before the work was finished; it was ended under Pius V (1566-1572). On July 14, 1570, the Pope published the reformed missal by the Bull Quo primum, still printed at its beginning. Its title was: Missale Romanum ex decreto ss. Concilii Tridentini restitutum. The Bull commands that this missal alone be used wherever the Roman rite is followed. No one, of whatever rank he be, shall use any other. “All rites from other missals, however old, hitherto observed, being in future left out and entirely abandoned, Mass shall be sung or said according to the rite, manner and standard which is given in this missal; nor in celebrating Mass shall anyone dare to add or recite other ceremonies or prayers than those that are contained herein.” That made an end of the mediaeval derived rites. But the Pope made one important exception. The Bull allowed any rite to be kept that could show a prescription of at least two centuries. This rule saved some modified uses. A few dioceses, as Lyons, kept and still keep their local forms; so also some religious orders, notably the Dominicans, Carmelites and Carthusians. What is much more important is that the exception saved what was left of really independent rites at Milan and Toledo. (205-207)

The changes that were noticeable pertained mainly to the Propers, not the Ordinary. The Ordinary was set after a removal of the numerous varied additions to the Kyrie and Preface  that were added in the middle ages. The Propers were changed to be only the Psalm verses (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Tract, Offertory and Communion) without the additions added that were varied, the numerous sequences were limited to five (Victimæ paschali at Easter, Veni Sancte Spiritus at Pentecost, Lauda Sion for Corpus Christi, Stabat Mater for the Seven Dolours and Dies iræ at Requiems). The changes, if one were to summarize, were removing the embellished parts that were sung usually by the choir; the only exception was the Preface, which was sung only by the celebrant, but was also embellished.

Again, Adrian Fortesque:

In the middle ages the Introit (as almost every sung part of the Mass) was often “farced ” with strange texts added as “Tropi”. The Tropus was an additional clause, introduced to fill up the long neums; it expanded and applied the original text. Pius V’s reform happily banished all tropi except some sequences. (222-223)

. . . The exceedingly definite rule by which we now conduct the incensing, illustrated by a picture in the missal, the exact determination of where and how often to swing the thurible is part of the final crystallization of rubrics in the reformed Missal (Pius V and Clement VIII). . . . (230)

If one were to look at the so-called later revisions, they were not changes, but corrections that crept in through the carelessness of printers.

I will quote Adrian Fortesque:

Three times again since Pius V the missal has been revised; we are now at the eve of a fourth revision. By the time of Clement VIII (1592-1605) printers had corrupted the text in several ways. Pius V had left the biblical chants in the form of the Itala. In many editions these texts had been modified to agree with the Vulgate of l592, and other corruptions had crept in. Clement VIII therefore appointed a commission to revise the missal once more. It consisted of Cardinals Baronius and Bellarmine, of Gavanti and four others. Their work was only to correct these corruptions. They did not in any way modify the Mass. The Pope published this second revised missal by the Bull Cum Sanctissimum of July 7, 1604. Urban VIII (1623-1644) again appointed a commission, whose chief work was to simplify and make clearer the rubrics. On Sept. 2, 1634 he published his revised missal by the Bull Si quid est. Benedict XIV (1740-1758), who did so much for the reform of the liturgy, did not revise the missal. Leo XIII (1878-1903) found it necessary to make a new revision. The great number of new Saints’ days and the multiplication of Masses had produced the result that many were never said at all, being always supplanted by others. The Congregation of Rites then reduced some feasts and did something towards simplifying the Calendar. At the same time the rubrics were corrected to accord with various decisions made since Urban VIII. This new edition (the last as far as the text is concerned) was published in 1884. The book we use is therefore: Missale Romanum ex decreto ss. concilii Tridentini restitutum, S. Pii V Pont. Max. iussu editum, Clementis VIII, Urbani VIII et Leonis XIII auctoritate recognitum.

But already Pius X has made a further revision, not of the text, but of the music. The Vatican Gradual of 1906 contains new, or rather restored, forms of the chants sung by the celebrant, therefore to be printed in the missal. Since then the authentic editions of the book are those that contain these chants conformed to the Vatican Gradual. (208-210)

It is important to stress this, since those who claim the Missal has been and can be revised will point out that the Missale Romanum had been revised since Pius V. What they fail to mention is that these revisions never touched the Ordinary in its form, that is, no words were ever changed. That the Divine Office, or the Breviary, has been reformed and reformed continuously and copiously, and knowing that it is a Liturgical Prayer, still it must be separated from the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, distinguished from Holy Mass. Certain Sisters pray in Choir the Divine office as an obligation, but surely one knows that no Nun offers the Eucharist, that is, offers Holy Mass.


The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal


xxii. 34-46

At that time: The Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked him, tempting him: Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ? Whose son is he? They say to him: David’s. He then saith to them. How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word; neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.


MARK xii. 28-31

And there came one of the Scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and, seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all. And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is: Hear, O Israel; the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

LUKE x. 25-28

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him; and saying: Master, what must I do to possess eternal life? But he said to him: What is written in the law? How readest thou? He answering said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with all thy strength and all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said to him: Thou has answered right. This do, and thou shalt live.


MATTHEW xxii. 34-46


JEROME: After the Pharisees had been refuted in the matter of the coin of the tribute, and after they had seen the faction of their opponents also defeated (the Sadducees), they should have learned caution, and not laid further snares, but malice and spite drove them on unashamed. So there follows:

V. 34. The Pharisees, hearing he had silenced the Sadducees, came together.

ORIGEN (Tr. 23 in Matthew): Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, showing us that the brightness of truth will impose silence on the voice of falsehood. As a just man will be silent when silence is called for, and will speak and not be silent when it is time to speak, so is it ever the way of all teachers of error to be silent concerning the truth, but not to cease from talking. JEROME: And therefore the Pharisees and the Sadducees, though opposed to one another, are of one mind in tempting Christ.

CHRYSOSTOM (Opus Imperfectum 42): Or, the Pharisees came together to defeat Him by numbers Whom they could not defeat by reason: arming themselves with numbers, they confess themselves naked of truth. They say among themselves: Let one speak for all, and all speak through this one. So if he triumphs, all shall appear to triumph; if he is defeated, then he alone shall appear confuted. So there follows:

V. 35. And one of them, a doctor of the law, asked him, tempting him.

ORIGEN, as above: We should therefore look on all who question any teacher to trap him, not to learn from him, as brothers of this Pharisee; according to the words: As long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. AUGUSTINE, Harmony of the Gospels, II, 73: Let us not be concerned here because Matthew says the man who questioned the Lord was tempting Him, while Mark says nothing of this, and also that he concludes his account saying, that the Lord Jesus said to the man who had answered Him wisely: Thou art not far from the kingdom of God (Mk. xii. 34). For it could be that although he had approached to tempt Him, the Lord’s answer may have changed him. Neither need we take this tempting in a bad sense, as though he were trying to trap an enemy, but rather as a careful approach to one unknown to him whom he wishes to test. Not without reason was it written: He that is hasty to give credit is light of heart (Ecclus. xix. 4). What he asks is then related:

V. 36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

ORIGEN: He calls Him Master, tempting Him: since he did not utter the word as a Disciple of Christ. If therefore anyone does not learn something from the Word, nor give himself to Him with his whole heart, yet calls Him Master, he is a brother to the Pharisee who tempted Christ. Therefore, when the Law was being read, before the Coming of the Saviour, it may be that they disputed among themselves as to which was the great commandment in it. For unless this question had long been disputed among themselves, and not solved, until Jesus coming taught this, this Pharisee would not have put the question.

CHRYSOSTOM, as above: He asks concerning the great commandment, who had not begun to observe the least. Only a man who has fulfilled the lesser justice, ought to ask about the greater. JEROME: Or he asks, not about the commandments, but which is the first and great commandment: so that, since all the commandments God commanded are great, whatever He answers the Pharisees may have a pretext to attack Him. CHRYSOSTOM, as above: But the Lord so answers him, that with His first words He at once pierces the false conscience behind the question. Hence follows:

V. 37. Jesus saith to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, etc.

Thou shalt love, He says, not; Thou shalt fear. For it is a greater thing to love than to fear. To fear is the character of slaves; to love, of children. Fear springs from coercion; love from liberty. He who serves God in fear will indeed escape punishment, but does not receive the reward of justice; because he did good, not freely, but because of fear. God therefore does not wish that men should fear Him, in a servile manner, as an owner, but love Him as a Father; since He gave men the Spirit of adoption.

To love God with thy whole heart means the heart is not inclined to the love of any one thing more than it is to the love of God. To love God with thy whole soul means to keep the soul steadfast in truth, and to be firm in faith. For one is the love of the heart, another the soul’s love. The love of the heart is in a certain measure carnal; as we also love God with our bodily heart: which we cannot do unless we withdraw our hearts from the love of worldly things. The love of the heart therefore is felt in the heart. The love of the soul is not felt, but perceived; for it consists in a judgement of the soul. For he who believes that with God is all good, and that outside of Him there is nothing of good, he loves God with his whole heart. To love God with thy whole mind means that all the faculties are at the disposition of God: he whose understanding serves God, whose wisdom concerns God, whose thought dwells on the things of God, whose memory is mindful only of His blessings, loves God with his whole mind.

AUGUSTINE (Doctrine of Christ, I, 22):

Or again. You are commanded to love: God with thy whole heart, so that all your thoughts: with thy whole soul, so that your whole life: and with all thy mind, so that all your understanding may be devoted to Him from Whom you have that which you bestow. Thus He has left us no part of our lives that is not devoted to Him, nor wills that we should delight in any other thing. And whatever else has entered the soul, to be loved by it, let it be drawn into that channel in which the whole impetus of our love runs: for man is at his highest when, with his whole life, he goes forward towards the Unchangeable Good. GLOSS (interl.): Or with thy whole heart; namely, understanding; with thy whole soul, that is, will; with thy whole mind, that is, memory; so that you neither will, think or remember what is contrary to It.

ORIGEN: Or again: With thy whole heart, that is, in all thought, action and remembrance; with thy whole soul, that is, ready to lay it down in the service of God; and with thy whole mind, that is, bringing forth nothing but what is of God. And see if you cannot here take heart for intellect, by which we search into things intelligible to us, and mind for utterance; for it is by the mind we bring forth each single thing, and discourse and give utterance by means of each thing it makes known. If the Lord had not answered the Pharisee who came tempting Him, we would not be able to determine that one commandment was greater than another. But when the Lord, answering, says:

V. 38. This is the greatest and the first commandment.

We here learn His decision concerning the commandments: That this is the chief commandment, and that there are lesser ones down to the least. And the Lord replies that it is not only the greatest, but also the first: not in the Scriptural order, but in the order of the dignity of its virtue. They alone take upon them the greatness and primacy of this commandment, who not only love the Lord their God, but also take upon them these three conditions: namely, that they shall love Him with their whole heart, etc. And He taught not only that this is the chief and first commandment, but also that the second is like the first. Hence follows:

V. 39. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If he who loves iniquity, hates his own soul (Ps. x. 6), it is manifest he does not love his neighbour as himself; since neither does he love himself. AUGUSTINE (Doctrina Christiana, I, 30): It is clear that every man is to be regarded as our neighbour: because we must do evil to no man. And if everyone to whom we should show mercy, or who should show mercy to us, is rightly called our neighbour, it is manifest that in this commandment, in which we are bidden to love our neighbour, the holy angels are included; who bestow so many works of mercy on us, as we may easily learn from the Scriptures. And for the same reason our Lord also willed to be called our neighbour; for the Lord Jesus signifies to us that it is He Who helped the man lying half dead by the wayside.

AUGUSTINE, The Trinity, VIII. 6: He who loves men should love them either because they are just, or that they may become just. And so should man love himself; either as just, or that he may become just; for so he will without danger love his neighbour as himsel£ AUGUSTINE, Doct. Christ., I, 22: But if you should love yourself, not because of yourself, but because of Him Who is the most befitting end of all your love, let another not take it ill, that it is because of God you love him. Whoever therefore rightly loves his neighbour, should so act with him, that he too may love God with his whole heart.

CHRYSOSTOM, Opus Imperfectum: He who loves man is as he who loves God: for man is God’s image, in which God is loved, as a king is honoured in his image. And it is for this reason the second commandment is said to be like the first. HILARY: Or again: That the commandment which follows is like the first, means that the obligation and the merit in each is the same. For no love of God that excludes Christ, and no love of Christ that excludes God can be a help to salvation. Then follows:

V. 40. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.

AUGUSTINE, Gospel Questions, I, 33Dependeth, He said; that is, they are referred to them as to their end. RABANUS: The whole decalogue leads to these two commandments as to their end: The precepts of the first table to the love of God, the precepts of the second table to the love of our neighbour. ORIGEN: Or, because he who has fulfilled all that is written concerning the love of God and our neighbour, is worthy of receiving from God the great reward, of understanding all the law and the Prophets.

AUGUSTINE, The Trinity, VIII, 7: Since there are two precepts on which depend the whole law and the prophets: The love of God, and of our neighbour, not without reason does Scripture frequently put one in place of both. Either the love of God, as in the words: And we know that to them that love God all things work together unto good; or the love of our neighbour, as in the words: All the law is fulfilled in one word, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Rom. viii. 28; Gal. v. 14). And the reason is that if a man loves his neighbour, then he will also love God: for it is from one and the same love that we love God and our neighbour; God however, for His own sake; ourselves and our neighbour, for God’s sake.

AUGUSTINE, Doctrine of Christ, I. 30, 26: Since the divine nature is more perfect and above ours, the command to love God is separate from that to love our neighbour. And if by yourself you understand your whole being, that is, body and soul, and your neighbour in the same way, then in these two commandments there is nothing of all that we must love left out. For when the love of God precedes, the love of our neighbour follows; and the measure of this love is also laid down: That you love him as yourself. Nor, at the same time, is the love of yourself by yourself left out.



St. Bruno, Confessor

1. St. Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, was a spiritual son of the patriarch of Western monasticism, St. Benedict. His Order represents a happy combination of the cenobitical and eremitical ways of life. Born in Cologne in 1032, Bruno was endowed by nature with great spiritual gifts. After early training in Cologne he went to the world-famous school of Rheims, and was soon put in charge. Among his pupils was the future Pope Urban II. On account of disorders that later developed in the Church at Rheims, Bruno decided to withdraw from the world. With a few like-minded companions, he went to the bishop of Grenoble and asked for a secluded plot of land on which to start a monastery. The bishop offered him a barren tract in the Chartreuse Mountains, and Bruno there laid the foundation of the Carthusian Order in 1084. The monks lived in separate cells or huts, pursuing prayer and work in perpetual silence but coming together at stated times for common exercises. Pope Urban II called Bruno to Rome to serve as his helper and adviser. After much petitioning Bruno obtained permission to leave Rome and found another monastery, this time at La Torre in Calabria. Bruno died there on October 6, 1101. Five hundred years later his body was found to be incorrupt, and Gregory XV extended his feast to the entire Church.

2. “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” (Lesson). Such a man was Bruno, light of the Church, teacher of teachers, ornament of the clerical state, boast of Germany and France. People came from all directions to be educated by him. Meanwhile, Bruno was devising plans for leaving the world and its promised greatness, nobility, and beauty; he wanted to devote himself exclusively to God. Above all earthly wisdom and scholarliness in his eyes stood the wisdom of the saints, as expressed in the Bible: “If any man has a mind to come my way, let him renounce self, and take up his cross, and follow me. The man who tries to save his life shall lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake that will secure it. How is a man the better for it, if he gains the whole world at the cost of losing his own soul? For a man’s soul, what price can be high enough?” (Matt. 16:24-26.) St. Bruno accepted this doctrine. “Right reason is on the good man’s lips, well weighed are all his counsels: the law of God rules in his heart” (Introit). Do we act upon this wisdom?

“The innocent man will flourish as the palm-tree flourishes; in the house of the Lord he will grow to greatness as the cedars grow on Lebanon” (Gradual). In his solitude at Chartreuse and at La Torre, St. Bruno was a grain of wheat that died in order to produce much fruit. This fruit is, first of all, the Order of Carthusians, whose members live an austere life of poverty, self-denial, penance, prayer, contemplation, hard work, silence, and solitude in their cells. “These monks,” says Cardinal Bona, “are a miracle to the world; they live in the flesh as though they had no flesh; they are angels on earth, a precious ornament for the Bride of Christ, the Church, comparable to eagles who fly up to heaven.” They do great work for the Church and for the salvation of souls; they live not for themselves but for God. Just as the dove that Noah released from the ark returned to the ark because it “could find no resting place to perch on” (Gen. 8:9), so these men leave the world and return to the ark of prayer, trying by the expiation and prayer of their holy lives to lead other souls to salvation. The Order has ever remained true to the spirit of its founder; it has never been found to need reform. What an inexhaustible source of blessing it has been for all of us in the Church!

3. “He who secures his own [temporal] life will lose it [for eternity]; it is the man who loses his life for my sake [by sharing My Cross] that will secure it (Matt. 10:39). “My faithfulness and mercy shall go with him; as my champion he shall rise to greatness” (Offertory).

Collect: May the prayers of Thy holy confessor Bruno come to our aid, we pray Thee, Lord; so that we who have grievously offended Thy majesty by our transgressions may obtain pardon through his merits and intercession. Amen.

(Benedict Baur)



Planning the Family Activities for Christian Feasts and Seasons

By Mary Reed Newland (1956)



The sick person is anointed with the oil on his eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, and feet, if possible, and the prayer adapted to each anointing is:

Through this holy anointing and through His tender mercy, may the Lord forgive thee whatever sins thou hast committed by the sense of sight (hearing, taste, etc.) . . . .

The oil is wiped away with the six balls of cotton provided on the sick-call table.

Now, in Latin, a truly marvelous plea for recovery taken in part from the Epistle of St. James the Apostle:

Let us pray. O Lord God, Who didst say through thine apostle, James: “Is any man sick among you? Let him call in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he be in sins they shall be forgiven him.” Cure, we beseech thee, O our Redeemer, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the ailment of this sick man (woman), heal his (her) wounds, and forgive his (her) sins. Deliver him (her) from all miseries of body and mind, and mercifully restore him (her) to perfect health inwardly and outwardly, that having recovered by an act of thy kindness, he (she) be able to take up anew his (her) former duties. Thou Who with the Father and the selfsame Holy Spirit livest and reignest, God, forevermore. Amen.

Let us pray. Look down with favor, O Lord, we beseech thee, upon thy servant (handmaid), N., failing from bodily weakness, and revive the soul which thou hast created, that reformed by thy chastisement, he (she) may acknowledge him (her) self saved by thy healing. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A third prayer, and still no mention of death. Actually the only reference to death occurs in a shorter prayer used in emergencies, and even then the word is not used.

The Church does not agree with those who don’t believe in hell because “you get your hell on earth.” She does agree that the pains of Purgatory can be hellish, and that suffering here on earth can seem to be hellish; so in her wisdom she begs Our Father to let us bear them here in reparation for the sins which, otherwise, we will be purged of by the pains of Purgatory. The saints have said that it is a far easier way to pay for sin than in Purgatory. Part of the training of a Christian must include instruction in the use of suffering: we may accept and use it in payment for our sins, and for the sins of others. Suffering is to be considered one of our most precious possessions.


With the Apostolic Blessing following Extreme Unction, one of the powers given to St. Peter is used in a final act of divine mercy. Before reading this prayer, and becoming involved with our children in a discussion of indulgences, we should open the Gospels and find the passages where this power is given by Our Lord Himself. It is unnecessary for Catholics to be embarrassed or apologetic about indulgences. The power to bind and loose is referred to in Scripture by Our Lord.

And I tell thee this in my turn, that thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 16: 18-19).

Here He has given St. Peter both the authority and the concept, to bind and to loose. Later He speaks to the disciples:

I promise you, all that you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and all that you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 18: 18).

Children will ask immediately about indulgences; so we must explain. I…

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