Vol 14 Issue 2 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward KrierJanuary 9, 2021 ~ Our Lady on Saturday
1. What is the Holy Eucharist
2. Holy Family
3. Saint Marcian
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
This Sunday the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. Recently introduced by Pope Benedict XV, the Church does not fail in recognizing her responsibility to preserve the structure of the family as instituted in the beginning: Male and female he created them and . . . Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh . . . . and God said increase and multiply and fill the earth . . . for this cause a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife. (Gen. 1:26, Matt. 19:6, Gen. 1:28, 2:24) The family is so sacred an institution that God placed two commandments to safeguard the integrity of the family: Thou shalt not commit adultery . . . Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife (Deut. 5:19, 21). Jesus Christ, knowing the Will of His Father, declares that one who shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt. 5:28)—the penalty for adultery being death—death of the soul. It is tragic that this covetousness of sensual pleasure is looked upon as a right by the world—knowing it is the downfall of society, the seed of sodomy, the de-humanization of mankind. Only marriage can safeguard the union of man and woman.
The result of the desecration of so sacred an institution is that children brought into this world without true love, which means they are raised in hate. This God foresaw and why He abhors such extra marital relationships. No one is capable of claiming that such unholy relationships can bring down God’s blessing; rather the opposite of His blessing is brought down, a curse. To these men and women can be addressed the words Christ first said to the Pharisees: You shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter. One may retort: All children are a blessing from God. True, in as much as He is the Creator and wills their being—but it was His will for them to come in a union of the man and woman that He bound together and outside this His Will is frustrated. It is no different than if I use a consecrated chalice as regular cup to drink from. The cup still holds what is poured in, but it was not the purpose of the chalice; the liquid is still good—but the act of the use of a consecrated chalice also makes the act of drinking abominable.
Extra-marital children are brought into this world without love. Why? Because the relationship cannot give what it lacks: love, moral character and good example—all which are needed by the child. The religious education is neglected because the mother has despaired of salvation, the father has cast himself into eternal perdition while alive, and neither the father nor mother see their child as a child of God but as the consequence of their sin. It need not be, but the embrace of the unclean spirit holds tight onto the heart of all in a hellish determination to see their perdition.
Therefore, it is requisite that we keep these two commandments, not coveting by not allowing the desire of wanting what is forbidden found in pornography rampant because the civil legalization of this criminal business brings in money—the god of the state. One who watches or looks at pornography receives the condemnation above quoted (Matt. 5:28). Reading material that is descriptive of the obscene and music that employs obscenities cannot be tolerated as all these instruments of the devil’s minions bring to mind the thought that leads to the desire, the desire to the act.
As we reflect, then, on the Holy Family, let us earnestly attempt to make our family a pattern modeled upon the Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor
WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST
By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
Reception of the Holy Eucharist: Holy Communion
The Reception of the Body and Blood of Christ
Receiving Holy Communion as a Sacrament
2. Second effect: An increase of sanctifying grace.
It has already been discussed that sanctifying grace is a pre-requisite for this Sacrament. Therefore, there is not a giving of sanctifying grace, but an increase, that is, the love of God is increased within the soul in that giving that is expressed in a closer union with Christ. The Decree for the Armenians, which has been frequently referred to, teaches:
And since through grace man is incorporated with Christ and is united with His members, it follows that through this sacrament grace is increased among those who receive it worthily; and every effect that material food and drink accomplish as they carry on corporal life, by sustaining, increasing, restoring, and delighting, this the sacrament does as it carries on spiritual life, in which, as Pope Urban says, we renew the happy memory of our Savior, are withdrawn from evil, are greatly strengthened in good, and proceed to an increase of the virtues and the graces. (Cf. DB 698)
As mentioned in this Decree, there is a delighting of the soul (delectation spiritualis). Saint Thomas placed it in the responses for the Feast of Corpus Christi and it is said at Benediction and when Communion is distributed outside of Holy Mass: Thou hast given them bread from heaven having within it all sweetness.
As Pohle writes: the true nature of the delectatio spiritualis produced by the Holy Eucharist is manifested in a certain cheerful and perhaps even fervent willingness in all that regards Christ and His Church, and in the conscientious fulfilment of the duties of one’s state of life. (227)
When one considers the effects of Holy Communion on the souls one may compare it to the effects of food on the body. Even though the effects of eating may not be visible at the moment, the change is evident after time when, after a space of time the person is taller, heavier, stronger, more healthy. None of this is even perceived by the individual person at the moment, who is unaware of the physical processes within the body as one breathes, pumps blood throughout the body, metabolizes, etc. In taking the Bread of Heaven, the spiritual effects are proportioned to the dispositions of the soul, and, though the spiritual manifestation may not seem evident at the moment, in time one notices the desire to receive increase, the gratitude expressed more fervent, love of God becoming inflamed and thereby the faults of one’s life decreasing as the world and the flesh lose more and more a hold on one’s life as God’s Life, sanctifying grace, is augmented in the soul. Pohle writes:
Just as food and drink delight and refresh the heart of man, so does this “Heavenly Bread,” which “contains within itself all sweetness,” refresh and delight the soul of the worthy recipient. This simile has been embodied in the Decretum pro Armenis. The delight produced in the soul of the devout communicant must not, however, be confounded with emotional joy or sensible sweetness. Although both may occur as the result of special grace, the true nature of the delectatio spiritualis produced by the Holy Eucharist is manifested in a certain cheerful and perhaps even fervent willingness in all that regards Christ and His Church, and in the conscientious fulfilment of the duties of one’s state of life. Interior desolation and spiritual dryness are by no means a sign of inadequate preparation, and much less of an unworthy Communion. On the contrary, they are quite often trials by which God tests the souls of those whom He loves. [Cfr. Thomas a Kempis, Imit. Christi, IV, 12, 15.] If the communicant has fulfilled all the required conditions, he may rest assured that the Sacrament will work its effects in the manner explained by St. Thomas in the Third Part of the Summa (3a, qu. 79, art 1 ad 2: “through this Sacrament, as far as its power is concerned, not only is the habit of grace and virtue bestowed, but man is furthermore aroused to act, according to 2 Cor. V, 14: ‘The charity of Christ presseth us.’ Hence it is that the soul is spiritually nourished through the power of this Sacrament, by being spiritually gladdened, and as it were inebriated with the sweetness of the divine goodness.” (228)
3. Third effect: Preservation from mortal sin and the remission of venial sin
The Council of Trent called the Holy Eucharist an antidote, whereby we may be freed from daily faults and be preserved from mortal sins. (Session XIII, ch. 2; cfr DB 875)
a. Remission of venial sins:
The Catechism of the Council of Trent instructs the pastors of their parish to teach:
That the Holy Eucharist remits lighter offences, or, as they are commonly called, venial sins, cannot be matter of doubt. Whatever losses the soul sustains by falling into some slight offences, through the violence of passion, these the Eucharist, which cancels lesser sins, repairs in the same manner, not to depart from the illustration already adduced, that natural food, as we know from experience, gradually repairs the daily waste caused by the vital heat of the system. Of this heavenly Sacrament justly, therefore, has St. Ambrose said: “This daily bread is taken as a remedy for daily infirmity.” [Lib. 4. de Sacram. c. 6] This, however, is to be understood of venial imperfections only. (Par. II, 4)
b. Preservation from mortal sin:
The same Catechism, regarding preservation from mortal sin, provides this instruction:
The Holy Eucharist is also an antidote against the contagion of sin, and a shield against the violent assaults of temptation. [Aug. tract. 26. in Joan.] It is, as it were, a heavenly medicine, which secures the soul against the contagion against the easy approach of virulent and deadly infection. S. Cyprian records that when, in the early ages of the Church, Christians were hurried in multitudes by tyrants, to torments and death, because they professed the name of Christ, they received from the hand of the bishop, the Sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord, lest, perhaps overcome by excess of torments, they should yield in the saving conflict. [Lib. l. Epist. 2. ad Cornel.] It also represses the licentious desires of the flesh, and keeps them in subjection to the spirit: in proportion as it inflames the soul with the fire of charity, in the same proportion does it necessarily extinguish the fire of concupiscence. (Ibid.)
4. Fourth effect: The lessening of our inclinations to sin and the help to practice good works.
As mentioned above, because the Holy Eucharist engenders a spiritual joy, it effects in the recipient an impulse to a joyful love of Christ, and a joyful acceptance of the duties and sacrifices of the Christian life. The Catechism of Trent continues: It also represses the licentious desires of the flesh, and keeps them in subjection to the spirit: in proportion as it inflames the soul with the fire of charity, in the same proportion does it necessarily extinguish the fire of concupiscence. (Ibid.)
5. Fifth effect: Attainment of eternal life.
The Council of Trent, in showing that union with Christ is a sign of eternal salvation, points out that the Holy Eucharist expresses that union par excellence and one’s attainment of eternal life:
He wished, furthermore, that this be a pledge of our future glory and of everlasting happiness, and thus be a symbol of that one “body” of which He Himself is the “head” [1 Cor. 11:23; Eph. 5:23], and to which He wished us to be united, as members, by the closest bond of faith, hope, and charity, that we might “all speak the same thing and there might be no schisms among us” [cf. 1 Cor. 1:10]. (Sess. XIII, Ch. 2; cf. DB 875)
Therefore, the Catechism of the Council has the pastor teach:
Finally, to narrow within the compass of a few words all the advantages and blessings which emanate from this Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist facilitates to an extraordinary degree, the attainment of eternal life: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,” says the Redeemer, “hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” [John vi.55] The grace which it imparts, brings peace and tranquillity to the soul; and when the hour shall have arrived in which he is to take his departure from this mortal life, like another Elias, who in the strength of his miraculous repast, walked to Horeb the mount of God, [3 Kings xix. 8] the Christian, invigorated by the strengthening influence of this heavenly food, shall wing his way to the mansions of everlasting glory and never-ending bliss. (Rom. Cat. II, 4)
St. Ignatius of Antioch already reminds the Ephesians in a summary of the words of Christ and Saint Paul that the Holy Eucharist is to have eternal life:
I will do so especially if the Lord should reveal to me that you—the entire community of you!—are in the habit, through grace derived from the Name, of meeting in common, animated by one faith and in union with Jesus Christ—who in the flesh was of the line of David, the Son of Man and the Son of God—of meeting, I say, to show obedience with undivided mind to the bishop and the presbytery, and to break the same Bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, and everlasting life in Jesus Christ. (Epistle to the Ephesians, 20)
And Saint Irenaeus writes against the Gnostics:
Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity. (Adv. haer. IV, 18,5).
These effects are achieved ex opere operato (the Sacrament itself) and bestowed upon the recipient alone; but it is the accepted understanding of the Church that in ex opere operantis (the dispositions of the one receiving the Sacrament), the effects may be given to others by way of intercession—living and dead—by reason of the Communion of Saints.
(To be continued)
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
LUKE ii. 42-52
And when Jesus was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and His parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers. And seeing Him, they wondered. And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.
I. ORIGEN, PRIEST AND CONFESSOR
The Child Jesus in the Temple
When He was twelve years old He remained in Jerusalem. His parents not knowing where He was seek earnestly everywhere for Him, but do not find Him. They seek Him among their friends, they seek Him in the company travelling, they seek Him among the people they know, and among all these they do not find Him. Jesus is therefore sought for by His parents, by the father who is his guardian, and was the companion of His flight into Egypt; and yet when He is looked for He is not found. Jesus is not found among His kindred and blood relations; not among those who have bodily ties with Him. In the company of the throng my Jesus cannot be found. Learn where those who seek Him will find Him; that you, seeking with Mary and Joseph may find Him.
And seeking Him, says the Evangelist, they found Him in the Temple. Not anywhere, but in the temple. And not simply in the temple, but sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. Do you therefore seek Him in the temple of God: seek Him in the Church: seek Him among the teachers who are in the temple, and who depart not from it. If you so seek Him you will find Him. Further, if anyone calls himself a teacher, and has not Jesus with Him, he is a teacher only in name, and with such a one Jesus the Word of God, and His Wisdom, cannot be found.
They find Him, says the Evangelist, sitting in the midst of the doctors. As it was written in another place, regarding the prophets, so here understand with regard to sitting in the midst of the doctors. If says the Apostle, anything be revealed to another sitting, let the first hold his peace (l Cor. xiv. 30). They find Him sitting in the midst of the doctors, and not alone sitting there, but questioning them, and listening to their answers. Even now Jesus is in our midst; He questions us, and listens to our answers.
And all that heard Him were astonished. For what reason were they astonished? Not because of His questions, which also were admirable but at His answers. It is one thing to put questions, another to answer them. He questions the teachers, and because they could not reply, He Himself answers the questions which He had asked. That His replies were not merely an exchange of speech, but that they spoke of the wisdom contained in the sacred Scriptures, the divine law teaches thee. Moses spoke, and God answered him (Ex. xix. 19). That answer was upon those things which Moses knew not, and in which the Lord instructed him. Sometimes Jesus questions, sometimes He replies, as we said above: and truly astonishing are His questions, yet more wondrous are His replies.
That we may therefore hear His words, that He may put questions to us, which He Himself will answer, let us beseech Him, let us seek Him in much labouring, and with sorrow of spirit, and then we shall be able to find Him Whom we seek. For not idly was it written: Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. He who seeks Jesus, let him not seek carelessly, or casually, or for the passing moment; as many seek Him, and so cannot find Him. Let us however say to Him: We have sought thee sorrowing. And when we have said this, He will make answer to our labouring soul that has sought Him with anguish and He will say: Did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business?
Where are the insane and impious heretics who say that the Law and the Prophets of the Father do not belong also to Jesus Christ? Jesus was indeed in the Temple, which had been built by Solomon, and He confesses that this is the Temple of His Father, Whom He has revealed to us, Whose Son He declared Himself to be. Let them explain how the one God is just, the other good. Since therefore the Saviour is the Son of the Creator, we praise in One the Father and Son, of Whom is both the Law and the Temple. To Whom be glory and empire for ever and ever, Amen.
II. ORIGEN, PRIEST AND CONFESSOR
The Wisdom of the Child Jesus
Although there are men who appear to believe that the Sacred Scriptures, in order to safeguard the glory of the Omnipotent God, deny the divinity of the Saviour, to me it seems well founded that they are taught that the divinity has come to us in a human body: and not alone in a human body, but also in a human soul. Although if we look carefully to the content of the Sacred Writings we find that this soul had something more than the souls of other men. For the soul of every man until he reaches virtue is stained with many sins. But the soul of Jesus was never stained with the blemish of sin. For even before He had come to His twelfth year, the Holy Spirit writes of Him in the Gospel of Luke: The Child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom.
It is not in the nature of men to be full of wisdom before they have reached their twelfth year. It is one thing to partake of wisdom, another to be filled with wisdom. We have then no doubt that something divine appeared in the flesh of Jesus: not alone exceeding man, but every other rational creature also. The Child grew, he says. For He had humbled Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant; and by that same power whereby He humbled Himself He also grew. He had appeared as something imperfect, because He had assumed an imperfect body, and for this reason also He grew strong.
The Son of God had emptied Himself (Phil. ii. 7), and wherefore was He then filled with wisdom. And the grace of God was in Him. Not alone when He came to young manhood, and when He taught openly; but while He was yet a Child the grace of God was in Him: and as in Him all things were wonderful, so also was His Childhood wondrous, because He was full of the wisdom of God.
And so His parents went up according to custom for the solemnities of the Pasch: And when he was twelve years old. Carefully observe that before He was twelve years old He was filled with the wisdom of God and the other virtues which are written of concerning Him. When therefore, as we have said, He was twelve years old, and when the days of the Feast were completed according to the custom, and when His parents and the little Boy would likewise have returned, the Boy remained in Jerusalem and His parents were not aware of it.
And here we are to understand something that far surpassed mere human nature. For He did not simply remain behind, and His parents were merely ignorant of His whereabouts. It was rather as we read in the Gospel of John (Jn. viii. 59), where the Jews rose up against Him, but He passing through the midst of them went His way. So now I believe did He remain in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know He remained.
Neither should we wonder that they are called His parents, since one of them, in giving Him birth, and the other through obedience, merited the names of mother and father. And so there follows: Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. I do not think that they grieved through thinking that the Boy had lost His way or disappeared; for it could not happen, that Mary, who knew she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, and who had heard the angel announcing, and had seen the shepherds come in haste, and had heard Simeon speaking in prophecy, would fear that the Child be lost through wandering. Put away this notion, especially with regard to Joseph whom an angel had commanded to take the Child and fly into Egypt (Mt. ii. 13) and who had heard the words: Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her; is of the Holy Ghost. It would never happen he should be in fear that this Child Whom he knew was divine should be lost. Far other is the grief and anxiety of the parents than a simple reader might think.
It is as when you, if you are reading the Scriptures, seek to find the sense that is hidden there, and this with a certain pain and grief of mind; not that you believe the Scriptures have erred, but because you cannot yourself reach the true and mystic sense within. So do they seek, grieving lest He has gone from them, and leaving them has passed on to other things, or lest, and this I find myself disposed to think, He may have returned to heaven, whence He would return when it pleased Him.
Because He was a Child they find Him in the midst of teachers, sanctifying them, and instructing them. Because He was a Child He is found in their midst, not teaching them, but asking them questions; this was in accordance with what was becoming to His age: that He might teach us what is becoming to the young, even though they are intelligent and well instructed: that they should rather listen to their instructors than seek to teach others, and not lay themselves open to empty boasting.
He was questioning the teachers of the Law, not, I say, that He may learn something from them, but that asking He may instruct them. For from the one Fount of wisdom does it come to ask questions and to answer wisely; and to the same wisdom does it belong to know what to ask and what to answer. It was necessary to become a master of wise questioning that afterwards He might answer according to the word and the wisdom of God, to Whom be glory and honour for ever and ever. Amen
10: ST MARCIAN (A.D. 471)
MARCIAN was born, and spent his life, in Constantinople, of a Roman family related to the imperial house of Theodosius. From his childhood he served God, and he secretly gave away great sums to the poor. About the year 455 the Patriarch Anatolius, disregarding the saint’s protests of unworthiness, ordained him priest. In this new state Marcian saw himself under a stricter obligation than before of labouring to reach the summit of Christian perfection; and whilst he made the instruction of the poor his favourite employment, he redoubled his earnestness in providing for their bodily needs, and was careful to relax no part of his own austerities. The severity of his morals was made a handle, by those who resented the tacit censure of such an example, to fasten upon him a suspicion of Novatianism, but his meekness at length triumphed over the slander. This persecution served more and more to purify his soul. His virtue only shone forth with greater lustre than ever when the cloud was dispersed, and the Patriarch Gennadius, with the great applause of the whole body of the clergy and people, conferred on him the dignity of Oikonomos, which was the second in that church. St Marcian built or restored a number of churches in Constantinople, notably that known as the Anastasis, and was famous for miracles both before and after his death, which probably occurred in 471. He has been regarded by some as a writer of liturgical hymns. (Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
A MOTHER’S LETTERS
A Book for Young Women
FATHER ALEXANDER , O.F.M.
THE CHURCH A TRUE MOTHER
I AM afraid that my pen ran away with me last time-not into forbidden paths, but off the one I meant to follow. Let me retrace my steps and strive to show you how the Church, far from wishing her children to grope their way through life without understanding the questions which nowadays create such fuss, is, on the contrary, at pains to educate them in such a way as to save them from the self-consciousness at present associated with the study in other quarters.
I do not say that, of set purpose, the Church has this in its mind, but, in the course of the Ecclesiastical year, in asking us to celebrate great Feasts, it presents endless opportunities for learning all that need be learned about the Creator’s providential designs with regard to His creatures—of their duty towards Himself, their obligations towards each other, and the views they should hold with regard to that instinct on which the propagation of the race depends.
Whereas the self-satisfied writers who agitate for a new code of morals by which men and women will be free to abandon themselves to “primitive emotions,” to rule their lives according to “primitive values,” to be responsible to “the call of the blood,” base their arguments on the supposed evolution of man’s animal nature, the Church takes its stand on the sure foundation of Revealed Truth and deals with man as he stands—a responsible being in the presence of His infinitely great Creator. She does not hark back to “apelike ancestors” for knowledge of man’s mission in the world, but learns his mission from the lips of God Himself.
The new moralists, waxing eloquent on “the parental instinct in the making,” fill volumes about “Insect Parenthood,” “Parenthood among Reptiles,” “Parenthood among Birds,” “Parenthood among the Higher Animals,” and discourse profoundly (?) about that early period in which man developed from his ape-like ancestors, and the probable conditions of the “primordial” human family. After wading, more or less confusedly, through pages and pages of high-flown suppositions, the awestricken reader is suddenly confronted with the fact that he is expected to swallow all that has gone before as history. Asked, at first, to suppose that “primordial” things were exactly as described by the facile: writer, he is now expected to believe that they were so!
Dearest, need you ask the results? You find it, in many forms, all around you. The thousands who swallow such poison are drugged into the belief that the promptings of the flesh should be gratified just as they are in the animal kingdom; that while some may choose to conform to “convention” or to the Church by marrying, they who do not wish to do so should be free to choose their “mate” or their “affinity” all the same; that the celibate life is an unnatural one and that “primordial instincts” are in us to be gratified; that the “unmarried mother” is not to be snubbed, and that the “love-child” is to be as honourably treated as the one who is born in honourable wedlock.
The writers profess to be horrified at the licence that exists and assail the “Churches” for their bigotry in insisting on Marriage Laws and on sexual repression, but they fail to see (or pretend not to see) that the flowing tide of immorality has set in largely because of the rejection of man’s createdness by the living God. If they insist on the brutishness of man’s origin (as they do}, deny or ignore the existence of an immortal soul, din into men and women’s ears that the longings of their animal nature must be gratified and that the “Churches” have no say in the matter, they cannot logically complain of the inundation of uncleanness that bids fair to sweep modem nations into the abyss that swallowed up the corrupt Empires of the past.
Now, dearest, our holy mother the Church never sleeps. She is an ever-wakeful, tender, watchful mother who keeps her hand on the pulse of the whole thinking world, and who knows intimately all that is going on in its every corner. Outsiders look on the Church as an old granny who has outlived her time, who dozes off for generations at a stretch, and then suddenly wakes up when her house seems to be on fire. They fondly believe that each new set of fireworks invented by “Scientists” is bound to succeed in finishing the job begun in the General Persecution. What a huge mistake! The Church takes stock of all that is done in the world of Science and gladly welcomes all that is proved, but it smiles broadly at the suppositions which many scientists use as a foundation for dogmatizing. The Church never dogmatizes on mere hypothesis, nor will she brook such dogmatism from others. She dogmatizes only on what she knows. Far from asking us to swallow nonsense like to that which is gulped down by the benighted followers of mere “scientists,” she contents herself with claiming loyal submission to what God has revealed.
The writers whom I have mentioned above surmise the beginning of things—the Church knows. Those men leave God out of the question altogether—the Church rightly makes God the corner-stone of His own creation. They strive to build up a “morality” without God on the plea that they wish to be all-embracing—the Church insists that unless the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it, and that His house can embrace only those who do His will by keeping His Commandments. To some it will be said: ” Come, ye blessed”; to others: ” Depart from Me, ye cursed.”
In one word: the Church begins with God’s infinite greatness and deduces therefrom man’s humble dependence. “Scientists” begin with man’s “apelike ancestors” and lose their heads in the contemplation of his present progress towards the “Superman.”
I need not ask what side the Catholic young woman should take in this vital struggle between Heaven and Hell.
In the course of the ecclesiastical year our holy mother the Church puts before her children the entire scheme of God’s relationship with His creatures. This cannot be done without explicit and implicit enlightenment on all that is needful for their spiritual (and even their true temporal) welfare—allowing for differences in age and mental capacity. Interwoven with the great Feasts of the Church are thoughts of life and death, marriage and giving in marriage, virginal integrity as well as connubial bliss, the limitations of the Old Law and the splendid fulness of the New, the law of Nature and the law of Grace, the necessary conflict that the Christian must wage with his lower self, the punishment for cowardice and the reward for bravery, the divine excellence of the Leader of the Christian army and the chaste beauty of His Mother, the noble band of warriors of both sexes whose heroic virtues urge to emulation, the weakness of the flesh and the willingness of the spirit, the carnal tendencies of the body and the upward longings of the soul, the fickleness of the world we live in and the stability of the Kingdom we seek, the snares of the devil and the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit, the insolent dogmatism of the “intellectual” world and the sweet persuasiveness of the Church, the inanity of “moral methods” that are human and the wisdom of those that are divine—these are but a few out of the many subjects that engage the minds of intelligent Catholics in the course of the year.
Consider, dearest, how vastly different must be the Catholic frame of mind from that of the man or woman bred on the stuff that I have alluded to! The Catholic is trained in the school of divinely revealed realities and learns humility, purity, docility; the other starts with surmises and ends with a chaotic state of morality. The Catholic, sure of his foundations, is for ever building up; the other finds his foundations shifting with every new generation of so-called “Thinkers.” The Catholic knows all that need be known about life and home, for he listens to the Author of life, through the teaching Church; the other probes in the dunghill to study insect parentage (with a view to learn the “beginnings of home-life”), and is content with joys that rank no higher than theirs. The Catholic is brought to God’s House for Baptism, frequents it for Sacramental graces and for union with Christ bis Saviour in the Holy Mass, comes to it for marriage, and is carried from it to the grave; the other may be presented with a flower (on entering the world), is wed in a Registry Office, or “mates” without being wed at all, lives without any hold on the supernatural, and, in dying, believes there’s an end to it.
Even this cursory glance at those momentous issues must convince you of the wisdom of the Church in discountenancing marriage with outsiders. To you, dearest, I am sure such an unholy thing is unthinkable, but do try to influence all your girl companions against the very idea of marriage with a non-Catholic, for, looking to the ever-increasing dangers of such (with regard to faith and morals), it is a sin almost crying to Heaven for vengeance.
Let me, in conclusion, ask you to become more and more interested in the Feasts of the Church and to enter devoutly and intelligently into its spirit in Advent and Lent. Let every Feast in honour of Our Blessed Lord make you more and more grateful for the precious gift of Faith. Oh, how we should love that holy Faith! And I am sure I need not ask you, who are a child of Mary, to let no day pass without assuring her of your filial devotion. And pray to her for me!
A non-Catholic political commentator, Chuck Muth, wrote, regarding a 9th Circuit Court decision on December 8 to allow a Protestant Church in Las Vegas to stay open—and happy to point out (in their view) Catholics are not “Christian”:
The people of Nevada don’t have their Attorney General to thank for reopening the state’s houses of worship and protecting their First Amendment and equal protection rights.
They have a Jewish lawyer representing a Christian church against a Catholic governor.
That’s no joke.
This follows a previous July verdict of the Supreme Court by the liberal judges 5-4 to flatly reject the 1st Amendment, while the conservative judges wrote in opposition:
“That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a dissent joined by Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.
“We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility,” Alito said. “The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine or to engage in any other game of chance.”
Kavanaugh also wrote his own dissent, as did Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said today’s world “with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges.”
“But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel,” Gorsuch wrote.
Father Krier will be in Pahrump January 14. He will be Eureka (Saint Joseph Chapel) January 21.
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