Vol 12 Issue 6 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
February 9, 2019 ~ Saint Cyril of Alexandria
1. What is the Sacrament of Confirmation
2. Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
3. Saint Scholastica
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
When one looks at the political debates in the United States that then spread throughout the Anglo-Saxon and European world and then into the rest of the world through financial colonialism (excluding therefore Russia and China) it is evident that it is a step by step removal of Christian principles that coincide with natural laws and common sense. The Progressives, even in the beginning of 20th century, knew the Catholic Church was an obstacle to forming a Gnostic society based on academic theorism or scientism that would control the minds and hearts of Americans. In 1922, the voters of Oregon passed an initiative amending Oregon Law Section 5259, called the Compulsory Education Act, outlawing Catholic schools. The Supreme Court overturned the law in Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925). Public Schools were less than a hundred years in founding—no founding American Father went to a public school. But this Law was only in the steps of the Blaine Amendments Congress rejected in 1874, but which Ulysses S. Grant supported in 1875 mandating free public schools and prohibiting sectarian schools (speaking of the Catholic education) to receive any public funds stating that “patriotism and intelligence on one side and superstition, ambition and greed on the other” would happen. (Cf. William B. Hesseltine, Ulysses S. Grant, Politician, New York, 1935, pp. 377-378). The Blaine Amendment was adopted by most states to make it impossible for Catholic Schools to exist, but through the sacrifices and dedication of Catholics, almost every parish had a school—though the enemies of Catholicism want to claim the schools were run by enslaved nuns. With Vatican II (1962-65), the concept of Catholic Schools in the Conciliar Church lost its purpose and most have closed. Those still open no longer teach Catholicism, but some still have Catholic principles as witnessed in the students of the Covington Catholic High School who were threatened for maintaining their dignity in the face of harassment for being Catholic, defending the unborn and being patriotic.
The Progressives have: enshrined their doctrine of evolution in schools,
took the mention of God out of the schools,
made contraception the norm,
obtained public support of abortions of unborn children,
allowed euthanasia, the killing of the elderly and disabled,
are in the process of legalizing killing infants,
now trying to force all children to attend their indoctrination classes
Why? Because Catholics are opposed to all of the above and the Progressives still look at Catholicism as “superstition, ambition and greed” or as an obstacle. A recent article seems to show the next step: ending all private schools.
To critics, many of these Christian schools venture too often into indoctrination, with teachings that can misrepresent science and history and potentially breed intolerance toward people with different outlooks.
“These schools are front and center in the politicization of knowledge and that’s problematic,” said Julie Ingersoll, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Florida.
The polarized views have been highlighted in recent days after the appearance of an #ExposeChristianSchools hashtag on Twitter. It was introduced by Chris Stroop, an Indianapolis-based writer and activist, on Jan. 18, shortly after news broke that Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, would be teaching at a Christian school in northern Virginia that lists “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” as among the disqualifying criteria for prospective employees.
Stroop, 38, calls himself an “ex-evangelical.” He says he attended Christian schools in Indiana and Colorado almost continuously from first grade through high school and recalls pervasive messaging that demeaned LGBT people and discouraged the empowerment of women.
As other private school leaders were then quoted justifying the need for their schools to exist, the following is from the interview with a Conciliar Church director:
John Gehring, Catholic program director at a Washington-based clergy network called Faith in Public Life, graduated from an all-male Catholic prep school near Baltimore. He has suggested in recent articles that such schools — while admirable in many ways — could do a better job of teaching their students about the church’s historical role in exploitation and oppression.
John Gehring does not justify the need for Catholic schools, he rather justifies the intent of the article that Catholic Schools should be closed—expect such legislation soon.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
WHAT IS THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION?
by Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
The New Conciliar Rite in comparison with the Tridentine Rite
In considering the New Rite of Confirmation, the question of the validity of Holy Orders in the Conciliar Church would make the attempt to administer Confirmation ipso facto invalid as there is no proper minister, just as it is when applied to Anglican and Lutheran Bishops. Therefore, all who have been confirmed by a bishop of the Conciliar Church who was ordained in the New Rite would need to be absolutely confirmed. Those who were confirmed by a bishop properly ordained a priest prior to the New Rite but made a bishop in the New Rite subsequently would want to be confirmed sub conditione. Those who were confirmed by a bishop who was consecrated according the Pontificale prior to the New Rite would be validly confirmed or one would deny the form used by the Eastern Church is valid—though its use in the Western Church (Latin Rite) has never been accepted.
With the above clarification, it would still be proper to review the New Rite of Confirmation.
Already, at the Second Vatican Council, the Constitution on the Liturgy contains this:
The rite of confirmation is to be revised and the intimate connection which this sacrament has with the whole of Christian initiation is to be more clearly set forth; for this reason it is fitting for candidates to renew their baptismal promises just before they are confirmed.
Confirmation may be given within the Mass when convenient; when it is given outside the Mass, the rite that is used should be introduced by a formula to be drawn up for this purpose. (Sacrosanctam Councilium, December 4, 1963, P. 71)
Open to interpretation, it opened the door to depart from at least 1500 years of a rite that encapsulated the teaching of what Confirmation is according to the Sacramental Theology in the Latin Rite Church and thereby introduce something foreign. The result would be to relate to Latin Rite Catholics that for years their Liturgy surrounding the administration of the Sacraments, the Roman Ritual, was inadequate and that the Greek form was better. Giovanni Battista Montini (Divinae Consortium Naturae, August 15, 1971) expressed it as follows:
As regards the words which are pronounced in Confirmation, we have indeed examined with due consideration the dignity of the venerable formula in use in the Latin Church; but we judge preferable the very ancient formula belonging to the Byzantine Rite, whereby the Gift of the Holy Spirit himself is expressed and the outpouring of the Spirit which took place on the day of Pentecost is recalled (cfr. Acts 2, 1-4, 38). We therefore adopt this formula, rendering it almost word for word.
Therefore, in order that the revision of the rite of Confirmation may fittingly embrace also the essence of the sacramental rite, by Our Supreme Apostolic Authority, We decree and lay down that in the Latin Church the following should be observed for the future:
The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the hand, and through the words: “Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti.” (Taken from the English Edition of: L’Osservatore Romano, September 23, 1971)
This rejection of the Latin Rite for administering the Sacrament contradicts the Council of Florence (1438-45) under Pope Eugenius IV who issued the Bull, Exultate Deo (November 22, 1439):
The second sacrament is confirmation; its matter is the chrism prepared from the oil, which signifies the excellence of conscience, and from the balsam, which signifies the fragrance of a good reputation, and is blessed by a bishop. The form is: I sign thee with the sign of the cross and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Cf. DB 697)
The brevity of words in the New Rite for Confirmation detracts for the Latin Rite Catholic the sense of the essence of the Sacrament which has been explained above chapters. Just as in the Conciliar Church their bread is placed in the hands of the recipient with the words, Body of Christ, which can signify that in addressing the person, he or she is part of the Body of Christ in the Novus Ordo concept that the people are the Body of Christ in the full sense; or it can mean that the bread signifies the Body of Christ because there is no acknowledgement of transubstantiation and why it is not placed on the tongue kneeling but in the hands like normal bread; or it can be meaningless since it expresses nothing clearly. In distinction, the Latin Rite has the priest saying: May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Since the priest cannot give life everlasting, it refers back to Christ to whom the recipient obtains life everlasting because Christ said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. (John 6:51-52) So, here, the words, Receive the seal of the Holy Ghost, can mean that it completes baptism in that of the emphasis of Confirmation being part of the Rite of Initiation and needed to be fully incorporated into the Body of Christ as Giovanni Montini teaches inDivinae Consortium Naturae with the following words: Finally, Confirmation is so closely linked with the Holy Eucharist that the faithful, after being signed by Holy Baptism and Confirmation, are incorporated fully into the Body of Christ by participation in the Eucharist (Cfr. Second Vatican Council, Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5, AAS 58 (1966), p. 997-98).
In Baptism, according to Catholic teaching, one receives the Holy Ghost—which is God’s Life, or Sanctifying Grace—and is, as a consequence of the removal of original sin, a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Now, either one is a member through baptism, or one is not a member—not partially. The same neo-Modernist expression is found when they speak of full communion. Either one is in Communion with the Church (the Communion of Saints) or one is not. The teaching of Giovanni Montini, therefore, agrees with the Protestants that one receives the Holy Spirit with Confirmation and not in Baptism, making Confirmation a completion of Baptism and without Confirmation apparently one does not have the Holy Spirit. This argument is set forth by Leeming in discussing the Protestant position:
. . . Mason held that without ‘the seal of the Spirit’, without ‘Baptism of the Spirit’, the ceremony of immersion in water is merely a preparation, an inchoate thing, demanding the gift of the Spirit as its natural and destined completion. The indwelling of the Spirit is given only in Confirmation, and Mason did not hesitate to draw the conclusion that without Confirmation not only is there no right membership in the Church but that ‘unless a man has been first confirmed no Ordination conferred upon him is valid’. [Cf. pp. 15, 20, and, on Ordination, p. 463.] Mason attributed to the influence of the False Decretals what he called the ‘Western’ view that Confirmation gives merely an increased grace of the Holy Spirit, and no really distinctive grace, a view which ‘robbed Confirmation of its glory by attributing to the initial part of Baptism that which Holy Scripture and the Fathers attribute to the second’. [Cf. pp. 414-26, and p. 427.]
‘The view thus ably advocated by Father Puller and Dr Mason and Bishop Kingdon’, wrote Darwell Stone in 1897, ‘has, we understand, met with wide and increasing acceptance in the Church of England. It has been the cause, too, of a good deal of perplexity and uncertainty, while by some it has been strongly condemned.’ [‘The Relation of Confirmation to Baptism’, C.Q.R. XLV (October, 1897, to January, 1898), p. 362.]
The controversy simmered down until in 1936 the late Dom Gregory Dix, of the Anglican Abbey of Nashdom, renewed it in a paper entitled Confirmation or the Laying on of Hands, [Published as Occasional Paper n. 5, by the periodical Theology, London.] in which, basing himself largely upon his studies on the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, he concluded that the Christian counterpart to the Jewish seal of circumcision is the seal of Confirmation. In 1946 he delivered a lecture at Oxford, published in London under the title The Theology of Confirmation in relation to Baptism, and held that according to Scripture it is ‘the Baptism of the Spirit which “seals” a man to eternity and for which Baptism in water is only a preliminary’. Dix developed Mason’s charge that the pernicious influence of the Forged Decretals in the West perverted the true doctrine of Confirmation; and gave as an instance the introduction of the term ‘confirmation’ in place of the older word ‘seal’, which, he judged, indicated a distinct change in doctrine: ‘A document which needs “sealing” is not valid until the seal has been affixed. The “confirmation” of a document, though it may add to its authority, implies that it was already operative before it was “confirmed”.’ [P. 21.] According to his theory, Confirmation ought to be administered before admission to Holy Communion.
Dix was supported, at least along general lines, by several writers in the periodical Theology, and by Dr L. S. Thornton in a booklet entitled Confirmation Today, in which he adduced the book of Mason against what he regarded as the depreciation of Confirmation expressed in the Report of the Joint Committees of the Convocations of Canterbury and York, of 1944. [P. 9.]
The view advocated by Puller, Mason, Dix, and Dr Thornton—though with differing emphasis and detail—and their supporters, did not pass unchallenged. The attack centred upon the contention that Baptism does not give the indwelling of the Holy Ghost; an attack elaborated with considerable scriptural and patristic evidence by A. T. Wirgman in 1897, [The Doctrine of Confirmation considered in Relation to Holy Baptism, London, 1897.] and in substance supported by William Bright, for long Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford, by Darwell Stone and others. [Cf. the article already cited of Darwell Stone, who quotes several writers against Mason, and his Outlines of Christian Dogma, London, 1897, pp. 166-73; no one is more moderate, or more convincing, on the whole subject than Darwell Stone.] In more recent times, Dix’s view was attacked by Dr A. E. J. Rawlinson, Bishop of Derby. [Christian Initiation, London, 1947; and by several writers in Theology whose articles will be found listed in the bibliography. 13 P. 322.] and most notably by Professor G. W. H. Lampe in The Seal of the Spirit, London, 1951. Professor Lampe maintained that the ‘seal’ is given exclusively in water-baptism (which may include some ceremonies merely explanatory of the baptism), and consequently those baptized but unconfirmed are full and perfect Christians. Confirmation is not ‘a sacrament of the Gospel’, but may be accounted a rite symbolizing a commission to an apostolate, and a confirmation of the baptismal gifts. [P. 322.] It follows that, in discussions between the Church of England and the Free Churches, Dr Rawlinson, Professor Lampe, and those who share their view would hold that ‘it would be a mistake not only in tactics but in theology to insist upon the acceptance of Confirmation as an indispensable prerequisite to reunion’. [Lampe, op. cit. p. 322, quoting Dr Rawlinson, op. cit. p. 27.] (Leeming, The Principles of Sacramental Theology, 185-187)
It should not be surprising that one must go to Protestant sources to understand the roots of the Second Vatican Council theology. It also demonstrates that Giovanni Montini and the neo-Modernists did not want to clarify Catholic doctrine, but change it along the lines of Protestant theology, making it clear that they rejected the Council of Trent and its dogmatic teachings.
(To be continued)
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
MATTHEW xiii. 24-30
At that time: Jesus proposed to the multitude this parable, saying: The Kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way.
And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle: And the servants of the good man of the house coming said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then hath it cockle?
And he said to them: an enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.
EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA
MATTHEW xiii. 24-30
24. Another parable he proposed to them, saying: the kingdom of heaven . . .
CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 47 in Matt.: In the preceding parable the Lord speaks of those who do not receive the word of God; here He speaks of those who receive corrupted teaching; for it is characteristic of the cunning of the devil always to intermingle his falsehoods with the truth. Hence: And another parable He proposed to them, etc.
JEROME: He puts forward another parable, as a rich man feasting his guests with many dishes, so that each according to his taste may partake of the varied foods of his table. He did not say the other parable, but another. For if He had said the other, we could not have expected a third. He said another since several follow. Which parable it is He shows when He adds: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man. REMIGIUS: He calls the Son of God /328/ the kingdom of heaven; since the kingdom is said to be like to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25. But while men were asleep, his enemy came, etc
CHRYSOSTOM: Then He makes known to them the method of the devil’s guile: while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went their way. He here shows us that error appears after truth, as events proved. For after the Prophets there were pseudo-prophets; and after the Apostles pseudo-Apostles; and after Christ anti-Christ. For unless the devil has seen what to imitate, or against whom to plot, he does not try to tempt. Because however he sees that one has brought forth fruit a hundredfold, that other sixtyfold, and another thirty-fold, and that as he cannot carry off or choke the seed that has taken root, he plots against it by means of another deception, commingling his own evil seed with the good seed, tinting it with a number of resemblances, so that he easily deceives those who are susceptible to deception. For this reason the Lord says that he sowed not any other seed except tares which in some ways outwardly resemble wheat. The malice of the devil also reveals itself in this, that he sowed his seed when the whole work of the sowing was completed, so as the more thoroughly to undo the work of the husbandman.
AUGUSTINE, Liber Unus Quaest. XVII in Matt. 11: He says: While men sleep; for when the pastors of the Church are negligent, or when the Apostles succumbed to the sleep of death, the devil came and oversowed those whom the Lord later interprets as signifying the children of the wicked one. But it may be asked if these are the heretics, or those Catholics who live wickedly? But since He says they were sown among the wheat they appear to be here meant who are all of one communion. Yet since the Lord Himself interpreted the field as meaning, not the Church, but the world, they are more correctly interpreted as signifying the heretics who in this world are mingled with the good, so that the wicked who also dwell in the bosom of the Church are rather more like straw than tares; because the straw has the same root and stalk as wheat.
Schismatics however seem more like the spoiled wheat, withered, or split in the ear and discarded from the yield. But it does not follow that every heretic or schismatic is corporally separated from the Church: since the Church contains many of them, for as they do not so defend the falseness of their teaching as to make the people watchful; for if they did they would be cast forth. When therefore the devil has scattered about his wicked errors and false teaching he has in this way oversown tares, that is, he has oversown heresy upon the implanted name of Christ; and the more he conceals his own hand the more secretly has he done this. For this is what He means by, and went his way, although in this parable, as He implies in his later explanation, the Lord is understood to have meant that by tares are signified, not some, but all scandals (verse 41), and all who work iniquity.1
26. And when the blade was sprung up, and had, etc.
CHRYSOSTOM, as above: In what follows He accurately describes the character of heretics: And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit then appeared also the cockle. At first heretics conceal themselves. When however they have acquired a certain security, should anyone enter into conversation with them, they then begin to pour out their poison. AUGUSTINE, as above: Or again: when a man begins to be spiritual, looking carefully into all things, then errors begin to reveal themselves to him. For he recognises in what he hears or reads, that which is opposed to the rule of faith; and until he has become strengthened in these same spiritual things error will have power over him. It is for this reason that so many of the falsities of the heretics come out from under the Christian name. Hence follows:
27. And the servants of the good man of the house coining said to him:Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle?
Whether these servants are the same as those whom He afterwards calls reapers, or whether, because in the exposition of the parable He says that the reapers are angels, let no one venture to say that the angels did not know who it was that had oversown the tares. And we ought rather understand here that by the name of servants is signified believing men. Nor is it to be wondered at if they are also called good seed, for many figures of speech may be used of the same thing: just as He speaks of Himself as a Door, and also as a Shepherd.
28. And he said to them: An enemy hath done this.
REMIGIUS: Coming said to him. Not in the body, but in their hearts, in the desires of their mind do they come to God: and by His teaching they perceive that this has been done by the evil craft of the devil: an enemy hath done this. JEROME: An evilly disposed person is called a devil, because God has abandoned him. And in the twentieth verse of the ninth psalm we read: Arise, O Lord, let not man be strengthened. For which reason let he that is a bishop of the Church not sleep, lest through his neglect some man who is an enemy oversow tares, that is, the doctrines of the heretics.
CHRYSOSTOM: He is called an enemy because of the injuries he inflicts on men: for the ill will of the devil is directed against us. The beginnings of that will however arise not from his enmity towards us, but from his enmity against God.
AUGUSTINE, as above, XII: When the servants of God learn that the devil has contrived this fraud, that he might cloak his errors by this Name (of Christ) since he knew he could himself do nothing against the authority of so great a name, they may feel the impulse to remove such men from human affairs, if the opportunity presents itself; but whether they should do so let them take counsel of the divine justice, as to whether He commands this, or permits it, or if it be the duty of men? Hence the servants say: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?
29. And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle . . .
CHRYSOSTOM: Here we must note the zeal and affection of the servants, for they are eager to root out /330/ the tares, showing their anxiety for the good seed. They are concerned only with this, not that someone be punished, but that the seed which was sown may not perish. Then follows the answer of the Lord: and He said: No. JEROME: For time is allowed for repentance; and here we are warned lest, before due time, we cut off a brother. For it may happen that he who today is infected by some poisonous teaching, may tomorrow come to his right mind, and begin to defend the truth. Hence is added: lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it.
AUGUSTINE: as above, XII: In this way he restored them to complete tranquillity and patience. For here it is made clear that even the good, since they too are still weak, have need in some things of mixing with sinners, either that through them they may be tested, or that by the contrast of their own way of life they may be a help to them, and attract them to the better things. Or lest perhaps the wheat be uprooted, while they try to remove the tares. Because many in the beginning are tares, and afterwards they become wheat, who, unless patiently endured while they are sinners, do not arrive at this meritorious transformation. And so, if they had been uprooted, then at the same time the wheat would have been uprooted which they would have become had they been spared.
St. Scholastica, Virgin
1. Scholastica, the sister of the holy founder St. Benedict, was dedicated to God from her youth. She first lived in a convent in the vicinity of Subiaco near her brother, and later in one near Monte Cassino.
St. Gregory the Great informs us that it was her custom to visit her brother once a year, and this she did for the last time a few days before her glorious journey homeward; She came from her cloister to the foot of Monte Cassino and conversed with Benedict about the joys of eternal life. But when Benedict at length began to be anxiously concerned about returning home to his cloister, Scholastica obtained from God a miracle to detain him. Suddenly there arose such a terrible thunderstorm that Benedict was forced to spend the night with his sister. “I begged you and you did not listen to me; then I asked the Lord and He heard me.” A few days later, St. Benedict saw the soul of Scholastica ascend to heaven under the appearance of a dove. He had her body brought to Monte Cassino for burial. Some weeks afterwards Benedict followed his sister in death, and they were placed side by side in the same tomb. “As they were united in spirit, so should their bodies not be separated in the tomb.”
2. “Would that thou wert my brother, nursed at my own mother’s breast! . . . To my mother’s house I will lead thee, my captive; there thou shalt teach me my lessons” (Song of Songs 8:1). In this manner the Lesson alludes to the visit of St. Scholastica with St. Benedict. How she longs to be led by him ever deeper into the mysteries of the supernatural life! “An oath, maidens of Jerusalem! Never wake from her sleep my heart’s love, till wake she will” (8:4). St. Benedict, faithful to the rule which calls him back to his cloister, wants to break off the holy conversation. But this would have torn his sister from the bliss of her heavenly thoughts, so God Himself intervened: “The Lord sent His thunder from Heaven, as the Most High let his voice be heard” in the thunderstorm that St. Scholastica obtained through her prayer (Offertory; Ps. 17:14). “As long as you live on in me, and my words live on in you, you will be able to make what request you will, and have it granted” (Communion; John 15:7). Scholastica’s prayer prevails over her brother’s will. Intimately one with God, she prays, and immediately He fulfills her desire. How He loves her!
“For love, a man will give up all that he has in the world, and think nothing of his loss” (Gradual; Song of Songs 8:7). Scholastica and Benedict! Benedict, who worked so many miracles, who even brought the dead back to life, is defeated by his sister. St. Gregory remarks concerning this event: “. . . but he [Benedict] found that a miracle did prevent his desire, which by the power of Almighty God a woman’s prayers had wrought. And it is not a thing to be marvelled at that a woman which of long time had not seen her brother, might do more at that time than he could, seeing according to the saying of St. John, ‘God is charity; and therefore of right she did more which loved more.” [1 Henry James Coleridge, The Dialogues Of St. Gregory The Great (London: W. Davy and Son, 1874), p. 110.] Did not St. Benedict also love? Who could doubt that? But at that moment the flame of love for God and longing for eternal life was so enkindled in the heart of Scholastica that she could not bear to be separated from Benedict and the holy conversation with him, even though her brother considered himself obliged to leave her and obey the prescription of his own Rule. Scholastica shines forth as the advocate of love; Benedict, as the champion of the rule and monastic discipline. Scholastica triumphed over Benedict: love is superior to law; it is the highest law. It is not as though love disregards law or rule, but rather, it fulfills the law in a higher and more perfect sense. “Love of our neighbor . . . fulfills all the demands of the law” (Rom. 13:10). There is nothing greater than love. “I may have utter faith, so that I can move mountains; yet if I lack charity, I count for nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2). After three days St. Benedict saw the soul of his sister as she took her flight to heaven under the appearance of a dove.
The midday and the blessed rest of the virgin Scholastica shines.
She enters in the nuptial room, wants the embrace of the spouse whom alone she loves.
With how many sighs of heart and ardor she desires the well-beloved.
She subdues the heavens and the copious rain through her tears and moves the heart of her brother.
O sweet dialogues whereby Benedict explains the joys of heaven!
How ardent are her desires and the sight of her virginal heart towards the spouse!
Come, well beloved bride, come, thou shalt be crowned.
Thou shalt sleep amidst the lilies, thou shalt savor heavenly joys and thou shalt be satiated.
O dove of virgins, who from the river-banks passes to the palace of glory,
Draw us to thy odors and feed us with the plentifulness of the immortal glory. Amen.
3. Scholastica is one of the wise virgins. Her whole life is a loving, longing expectation of the arrival of the Bridegroom. She has the oil of love in her lamp. Therefore, the door of the bridal chamber of the Lord is opened to her (cf. Gospel). Scholastica obtains by her prayers everything she asks for because she is united by intimate love with her Lord and God. She abides in Him and His words abide in her. What she is, she has become in the school of her brother. Toward him she wants to be “Scholastica,” that is, the humble, docile pupil. Thus also ought we become, like Scholastica, docile, understanding, obedient pupils in the school of the Lord.
Scholastica, model of love of God, and Benedict, model of strict obedience to law and rule, belong together. What Scholastica is, she is through Benedict. Faithfulness to our rule and love of God go hand in hand. Fidelity to rule, without love, is hypocrisy, death. Love promotes fidelity to rule; love exercises itself in obedience to rule; love finds its food in doing the will of a superior.
A charming picture: the austere man of God on Monte Cassino descends, with several of his brethren, to the foot of the mountain to see his sister and to comply with her request. They meet for a farewell visit, which is to be a foretaste of the bliss of heaven. This high purpose is accomplished without fanfare; there is no sentimentality; there is perfect harmony of nature and grace, of human and divine, of earthly and heavenly. The scene is truly Benedictine!
St. Scholastica, teach us to love; teach us to pray!
Collect: O God, who to show the innocent life of blessed Scholastica, Thy Virgin, didst permit her soul to enter heaven under the appearance of a dove, grant unto us, that through her merits and prayers, we may live in such innocence as to be worthy of everlasting joys. Amen.
The Catholic Marriage Manual
Reverend George A. Kelly
Random House, New York 1958
“Until Death Do You Part”
The second assertion—that many marriages can be salvaged—is one which experienced marriage counselors now accept wholeheartedly. They have found, in fact, that many persons who initiate divorce actions do not actually want to end their marriages. Frequently a husband or wife threatens divorce to try to force a spouse to adopt another mode of conduct. When the spouse refuses to conform, the bluff is called. Then the mate who has threatened divorce feels that he or she must save face by filing suit. Sometimes immature husbands or wives become bored with the day-to-day routine of marriage and regard divorce as an adventure. These immature people fail to distinguish between the marriage and a condition of marriage which could usually be remedied easily. If they can be made to realize what divorce really means, they often decide that the annoyances of their marriage are trivial compared to the greater evil they have been considering.
That marriages can be saved has been proved beyond doubt. The experience of Judge Paul W. Alexander of the Domestic Relations Court of Toledo, Ohio, is typical. Judge Alexander has long advocated that every effort should be made to help a husband and wife solve their problems before giving up the /157/ marriage as lost. For about twenty years Toledo has had a family court with trained specialists who provide psychiatric or social advice to mates who no longer agree. He has reported that this type of help has been able to salvage between a third and a half of all the marriages that have reached his jurisdiction. In other clinics throughout the country, salvage rates reach as high as ninety per cent-nine out of every ten troubled marriages have been set straight.
Marriage counselors believe that a large percentage of cases which they cannot settle amicably and which finally reach the divorce courts could be solved if one or both of the partners had a truly conciliatory attitude. In such cases, the husband or wife, or both, are too stubborn to admit they have been even slightly at fault. In other cases, pride is involved; for example, a wife’s ego may be damaged so badly by the thought that her husband has sinned with another woman that she refuses to forgive him. But this is the important point: almost always the partner who is unwilling to be reconciled is motivated by the thought that he or she can enter another marriage after the divorce action is concluded.
No such prospect is possible in a Catholic marriage. Since both partners know that their contract is for life, they realize that they must make concessions to achieve a harmonious relationship. They must learn to live with each other’s faults, to work together, to sacrifice. And in doing so, they achieve a happiness that is denied those who constantly carry with them the thought that they can flee at the first sign of trouble.
Impediments to valid marriage: Occasionally a breakup occurs in a marriage in which one or both of the partners are Catholics. Some time later, a participant in this union is remarried—and in the church. Is this not a sign, non-Catholics ask, that the Church approves of divorce under certain circumstances?
The answer, of course, is that the Church never permits the termination of a consummated sacramental marriage except by death. A valid marriage for Catholics is one performed in the presence of a priest and in which other necessary conditions are present. If a Catholic appears before a justice of the peace, /158/ he may be married in the eyes of the State, but he is not married in the eyes of God. He is living in sin just as if he had never gone through the ceremony.
Even when a couple go through the marriage ceremony before a priest, certain conditions may exist that make the marriage invalid. In such a case, even if the man and woman are not aware that an impediment exists, they are not truly married in the eyes of God. Some impediments are:
Insufficient age. Church law states that a valid marriage cannot be entered into by a male who has not completed his sixteenth year, nor by a female who has not completed her fourteenth.
Impotence. A person who is impotent is not capable of performing the marital act. Since marriage without the marital act is impossible, it follows that when impotence exists, there can be no marriage. This impotence must have existed when the ceremony was performed and must be permanent. Impotence should not be confused with sterility, which is the inability to have children. If a person is capable of performing the marital act but is sterile, a valid marriage exists.
Consanguinity. Consanguinity is the bond which unites persons of the same blood. For instance, fathers cannot contract valid marriages with daughters, nor can brothers and sisters validly marry.
Spiritual relationship. This impediment arises from baptism. The baptizer and the baptized cannot validly marry, nor can godparents marry their godchildren.
Bigamy. A living husband or wife will always render a second marriage invalid.
There are also other impediments which exist only rarely in modern times.
The obstacle to true consent. Marriage is a contract, and like contracts encountered in daily life, it is not truly binding unless the persons making it know what they are doing and consent to it of their own free wills. The Church therefore recognizes certain “obstacles to true consent” which make a real contract impossible. Such obstacles are want of the use of reason, defective knowledge, mistaken identity, pretense, duress and fear, and intentions contrary to the essence of marriage.
“Want of the use of reason” exists when the man or woman is insane, intoxicated, drugged or hypnotized at the time of the ceremony. Although the use of reason is always strongly presumed, when its absence at the time of marriage is very clearly proved, the marriage will be declared null and void.
“Defective knowledge” exists when the man or woman does not know what marriage is. The bride and bridegroom must know that it is a permanent union between man and woman for the purpose of procreating children. Both must know that children are conceived in a bodily union of husband and wife. They are not required to know the details of the marital act. However, in practice it is almost impossible to prove defectiveness of the necessary knowledge.
“Mistaken identity” exists more frequently in fiction than in fact. For example, Mary goes to the altar to marry John. She believes John is standing by her side when actually the man is Joseph, John’s twin brother. Such a marriage would be void at the start. Sometimes a woman may agree to marry a man who says that he is rich and can give her a life of ease. After the ceremony, she discovers that he must count pennies before providing life’s bare necessities. Is such a marriage contract valid? Yes, because Church law states that a mistake made concerning a characteristic of the marriage partner does not necessarily make it void. On the other hand, the woman marrying a man previously married and divorced who kept his past secret would not be making a true contract; the law states that “a mistake concerning the person” may void the contract.
“Pretense” exists when one of the parties secretly has no intention of contracting marriage. This, also, is usually unprovable.
“Duress and fear” may void a marriage if it has certain characteristics. A man who marries a woman because her father has held a gun to him and threatened to kill him unless he did so, may be influenced by duress and fear. On the other hand, a woman who marries because she fears what friends might say if she broke her engagement at the last moment, is making a valid marriage, because her fear is caused by herself and is not of grave importance.
“Intention contrary to the essence of the marriage” exists when the man or woman, or both, intend to obtain a divorce if the marriage does not work out to expectations. Since marriage is, by its nature, for life, an agreement contrary to the essential characteristics—permanency, fidelity, children—makes the contract null and void.
(To be continued)
The following is an excerpt that quotes the Governor of Virginia approving the killing of newborn babies. Many will try to say it is not true, so I wanted to inform you that it is actually happening and the main media is not telling the public—but denying it as the Democratic politicians. They are going further than the Nazi Eugenics inspired by Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger. Apparently these want-to-be mass murderers must have to include “Jews” or “Mohammedans” before the media will wake up because they are starting to include everyone else in the genocide.—The Editor.
Abortion bill draws GOP outrage against Va. Gov. Northam, Democratic legislators
By Gregory S. Schneider and Laura Vozzella
January 30 at 8:13 PM
RICHMOND — President Trump, Republican lawmakers in Virginia and conservatives across the country attacked Gov. Ralph Northam and other state Democrats on Wednesday after they defended a failed bill that sought to reduce restrictions on late-term abortions.
The furor escalated quickly after Republicans circulated a video of Del. Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) acknowledging that her bill, like current law, would allow abortions up to the point of delivery in cases when the mother’s life or health was at serious risk. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, was asked about the issue in a radio interview and gave an answer that was later used by Republicans to suggest he favored killing live babies.
The procedures, Northam said in the WTOP interview, are “done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
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Father Krier will be in Pahrump, Nevada, February 14 and in Eureka, Nevada, February 19. He will be in Los Angeles March 5.
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