All men are vain in whom there is not the knowledge of God; and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand Him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman. (Wisdom 13:1)
March 3, 2018 ~ Saint Cunegunda, opn!
1. Mary as Co-Redemptrix
2. Third Sunday in Lent
3. Saint Casimir
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
In order to reflect upon the topic of Mary as Co-Redemptrix during the next few weeks and thereby using it as a meditation upon the Redemption and the Passion of Christ and the Sorrows of His Mother, the Treatise on Confirmation is being set aside for an Essay on Mary as Co-Redemptrix. Once the Essay on Mary is completed the Treatise on Confirmation will continue.
There is another topic that has been brought up: Billy Graham. His death has, for the moment, raised him to the American altar of veneration. Everyone of any connection to Protestantism seems to be obliged to give some offering, including the Protestantized American Catholic Church. Some of us may remember before Vatican II that the polarization between Catholics and Protestants was such that Catholics could not even enter into a Protestant conclave and the Catholic Church was on the list of enemies the Clan was to fight against. But the Conciliar Church told Catholics that the Church no longer believed Protestants would go to Hell (now calling them “Christians” and “separated brethren”) and that they actually had the same faith as Catholics (which might now be for Conciliar Catholics, but not true Catholics) and that Catholics should attend Protestant services to deepen their faith in Christ (especially Taize). The Conciliar Church would even, at least in California, invite Billy Graham to preach to them in a stadium. The Conciliar Church also helped support Billy Graham to go to Russia to convert the Orthodox to Protestantism. But we know the true Catholic Church has not changed and the division between true Roman Catholics and the Protestants remains the same: they reject the Catholic Faith, separating themselves from the Church (even if they were validly baptized) and cannot obtain salvation in this condition. To say otherwise would be to deceive them and deny Catholic teaching. This is true for Billy Graham, who, sincere in his Protestant Faith as he was, was sincerely wrong in rejecting the Catholic Faith of the Church Christ founded. If we pray, it can only be that those in the Protestant religion have the grace to repent of the errors of the Protestant religion before they die. We cannot extol Billy Graham in his errors or even, in the least, claim he was a man of God—lest if that be true, the logical conclusion would be that we should join Billy Graham in his Protestant religion. In charity I chose previously to remain silent this last week, thinking that such silence would express that Billy Graham has no impact on Roman Catholics. Apparently the silence caused scandal to the faithful, so these words are presented to confirm to the faithful that Catholics cannot honor Billy Graham as an evangelist, but leave him to God’s mercy. To the Catholic Clergy, his zeal for error should awaken in us a zeal for Truth for which we seem so lethargic to defend.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
Mary as Co-Redemptrix
By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
On March 25, 1858, the Virgin Mary told Bernadette Soubirous, in answer to the request of the parish priest demanded of the young Bernadette to ask the Apparition for her name: I am the Immaculate Conception. She heard the Lady say it in the regional Gascon Occitan, Qué soï era immaculado councepcioũ. When Bernadette gave the response of the Lady of Lourdes, the question immediately arose: How can Mary call herself The Immaculate Conception? Two reasons are provided by those discussing the issue: (1) She is the Immaculate Conception that Pope Pius IX proclaimed four years earlier on December 8th, 1854, being singularly privileged and the only one who can say she was immaculately conceived:
We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful. (Cf. DB 1641)
2) She is the fulfillment of the promise found throughout the Old Testament, starting with Genesis 3:15: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
The same Pope, Pius IX, gives the Biblical foundation in the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus:
This sublime and singular privilege of the Blessed Virgin, together with her most excellent innocence, purity, holiness and freedom from every stain of sin, as well as the unspeakable abundance and greatness of all heavenly graces, virtues and privileges — these the Fathers beheld in that ark of Noah, which was built by divine command and escaped entirely safe and sound from the common shipwreck of the whole world;[Cf. Gn. 6:9.] in the ladder which Jacob saw reaching from the earth to heaven, by whose rungs the angels of God ascended and descended, and on whose top the Lord himself leaned’ [Cf. Gn 28:12.] in that bush which Moses saw in the holy place burning on all sides, which was not consumed or injured in any way but grew green and blossomed beautifully;[Cf. Ex 3:2.] in that impregnable tower before the enemy, from which hung a thousand bucklers and all the armor of the strong;[Cf. Sg 4:4.] in that garden enclosed on all sides, which cannot be violated or corrupted by any deceitful plots;[Cf. Sg 4:12] as in that resplendent city of God, which has its foundations on the holy mountains;[Cf. Ps 87:1.] in that most august temple of God, which, radiant with divine splendors, is full of the glory of God;[Cf. Is 6:1-4.] and in very many other biblical types of this kind. In such allusions the Fathers taught that the exalted dignity of the Mother of God, her spotless innocence and her sanctity unstained by any fault, had been prophesied in a wonderful manner.
Therefore, in fulfilling these prophesies, Mary can, in truth, say: I am the Immaculate Conception. Today, no one questions her use of that term since it is now properly understood and the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception is already defined. When it comes to that of the appellation of Co-Redemptrix, the concept is clear, but the formulation of the title is, as some might say, ambiguous. Yet, the development of the concept is theologically tenable and has been found and used in the Church by Popes and theologians. To reject it totally as erroneous would to reject the basis upon which the understanding of Mary in her role in the Redemptive act was, at least by Divine Will, necessary. One to declare it heretical would be to set himself above the Church which has used the term and allowed her members to adopt it, albeit, with qualification.
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877-1964) was one of the leading Theologians defending Catholic Dogma and opposing the errors of the neo-Modernists. He was considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Catholic theologian of the twentieth Century prior to Vatican II. Of course, the Conciliar Church holds up Karl Rahner (1904-1984) as the greatest theologian—but for their neo-Modernist theology. Garrigou-Lagrange wrote the work, La Mère du Sauveur et notre vie intérieure (Mother of the Saviour and our Interior Life). Using both the translation by Bernard Kelly into English (1949) and the translation by Jose Lopez Navio into Spanish-Castellana La Madre del Salvador y Nuestra Vida Interior (1950). This work will reference Garrigou-Lagrange’s book along with Saint Alphonsus Ligouri’s Glories of Mary edited by Eugene Grimm (1931) and Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort’s treatise, True Devotion to Mary. This thesis is to show the concept of Mary as having a direct role in the Redemptive Act of her Divine Son, that role that is now commonly titled Co-Redemptrix.
Please note, the author has no desire that this title become a part of the deposit of faith, first, because it is not a title bestowed on Mary since the early Church, but recently attached to Mary in her role as Mother of the Redeemer; secondly, the title is unable to stand alone without qualification. At the same time, the bestowal of the title attempts to draw out the reality that Mary was not a passive participant in the act of Redemption. What the author would desire is a title that could be adopted that clearly expresses this without a touch of ambiguity. May those who are devoted to Mary, our Mother of Sorrows, continue in expanding their knowledge of her participation, and find a natural word expresses a supernatural act. The term, Transubstantiation, to express the change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass was not introduced until after the first half of the eleventh century. But now, with this term, everyone knows this is what happens when the priest, during Mass, says the words of consecration.
The Typology of Mary as Co-Redemptrix as found in the Old Testament
When God created the first man and women, he united them in a bond that would be so intimate that Adam could truly say: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. (Gen. 2:23) And the sacred writer continues: They shall be two in one flesh. (Ib. v. 24) When Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, she offered it to Adam, who also than ate because of the woman’s act: The woman, whom thou gavest me to be my companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat. (Ib. 3:12). The fall, therefore, of Adam was caused by Eve. This is taken into consideration in the promise of a Redeemer in verse 15: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. It is known that translating the Hebrew עָקֵֽב as αὐτοῦ πτέρναν in the Septuagint or ipse instead of ipsa in Latin has the new Conciliar Bibles translating it no longer her heel but his heel. The Church has long kept the Vulgate version with ipsa as official and it has influenced the interpretation of this passage through the course of centuries to correspond with Mary’s role in the redemptive act. Yet, even if ipse (his) is correct, there is no denying that the woman is in a direct battle with the serpent.
The next indication of the role of the woman is found in Sara, through whom alone God brings into the world the promise of a son to Abraham: But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sara shall bring forth to thee at this time in the next year (Gen. 17:21). That is in reading this chapter, Abraham cannot bring into the world the promised child without Sara. It expresses God’s will to make the accomplishment of salvation dependent on the woman. There is also the suffering typified of Mary in Abraham, who is also asked to sacrifice his only son according to the command of God.
[B]ecause thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake: I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore: thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Ibid. 22:16-18)
In the person of the woman Rebecca, it was required of her to give consent: And they said: Let us call the maid, and ask her will. And they called her, and when she was come, they asked: Wilt thou go with this man? She said: I will go. (Gen. 24:57-58) Rebecca also obtained the inheritance for her son, Jacob. Saint Louis Marie de Montfort outlines this wonderfully in his work, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, pages 126ff. Without Rebecca’s intervention Jacob would not have obtained the blessing reserved for his brother Esau. Rebecca was a type of Mary who assists her son to prepare him to be acceptable to his Father. Just as Rebecca, Mary’s child-birth would only bring her sorrow, as Simeon would foretell.
Rachel foreshadows Mary in saving the world through Joseph. Joseph was a prefigurement of Christ, in being despised and sold by his brethren, but saving them from death. F. Thaddeus writes in his work, Mary Foreshadowed (78-79):
Rachel had besides Joseph another son, Benjamin, whom she called the ‘son of her pain.’ We occupy Benjamin’s place; we are the children of Mary’s sorrow: she brought us forth under the Cross of Jesus, when a sword of anguish pierced her soul. The words: ‘Woman, behold thy Son,’ found an echo in her maternal heart; and we became the children of the Queen of Martyrs. Hear how the great St. Bernard speaks on this sublime subject: ‘Truly, O Blessed Mother, did the lance pierce thy soul, for it could not reach thy Son’s side but by first passing through thy heart. And when Jesus had given up the ghost, the cruel lance surely did not wound His soul, but thine indeed it pierced. His soul was no longer there, but thine could not be detached from the Victim of our Redemption. A sword of sorrow pierced thy heart, and not without reason do we call thee ‘more than Martyr,’ as Rachel the sentiments of thy loving compassion far exceeded all corporal sufferings. But, you will say, did she not know beforehand that He would die ? Undoubtedly. And did she not withstanding grieve over His Passion and Death? Yes, most bitterly. For should we wonder more at Mary’s sorrow than at the sufferings of her Son? Jesus died corporally: could not Mary die with Him spiritually? Jesus’ death was the effect of a charity greater than which no man hath: Mary’s sorrow was produced by a love unequalled among creatures.’ (Ex Serm. de Duodecimo Stellis)
It is Rachel, also, who takes away the idols and yet keeps peace between the father and Jacob. Again, a direct intervention that saved the elect from perdition. Abigail also intervenes when David seeks to destroy the household of Nabal: And she fell at his feet, and said: Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord: let thy handmaid speak, I beseech thee, in thy ears: and hear the words of thy servant. (1 Kings 25:24), repeating the words of Rebecca to Jacob: Upon me be this curse, my son: only hear thou my voice, and go, fetch me the things which I have said (Gen. 27:13). Bethsabee, the mother of Solomon, also takes up the role of intercessor with her son as found in 3 Kings 2:19f:
Then Bethsabee came to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonias: and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne: and a throne was set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right hand. And she said to him: I desire one small petition of thee, do not put me to confusion. And the king said to her: My mother, ask: for I must not turn away thy face.
Though one may point out that Solomon did not do as Bethsabee asked, the position he granted his mother cannot be denied. In the book of Judith one reads again through the intervention of a woman the enemy is brought to nought. After Judith cut off the head of Holofernes, the leader of the Assyrians, and thereby giving the Judeans the ability to destroy the Assyrian army one reads in Chapter 15:
And Joachim the high priest came from Jerusalem to Bethulia with all his ancients to see Judith. And when she was come out to him, they all blessed her with one voice, saying: Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people: For thou hast done manfully, and thy heart has been strengthened, because thou hast loved chastity, and after thy husband hast not known any other: therefore also the hand of the Lord hath strengthened thee, and therefore thou shalt be blessed for ever. (verses 9-11)
And Judith sings, in Chapter 16:
He bragged that he would set my borders on fire, and kill my young men with the sword, to make my infants a prey, and my virgins captives. But the almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him. For their mighty one did not fall by young men, neither did the sons of Titan strike him, nor tall giants oppose themselves to him, but Judith the daughter of Merari weakened him with the beauty of her face. For she put off her the garments of widowhood, and put on her the garments of joy, to give joy to the children of Israel. She anointed her face with ointment, and bound up her locks with a crown, she took a new robe to deceive him. Her sandals ravished his eyes, her beauty made his soul her captive, with a sword she cut off his head.
The verse points to Genesis 3:15: She shall crush thy head. In the Old Testament, besides Judith, there are four other instances of a woman “crushing” the head of the enemy: Jahal hammers a peg into the head of Sisara (Judges 4:21); a woman drops a portion of a mill stone on Abimelech (Judges 9:53f); the “wise woman” has the head of Seba cut off and thrown over the wall to save her people (2 Kings 20:16ff); and Queen Esther has the king, Assuerus, hang Aman, the enemy of her people (Esther 7:6ff). In the letters, Assuerus has written, “and of Esther the partner of our kingdom” (16:13)
One may conclude with the words of Psalm 115 (16): O Lord, for I am thy servant: I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid. Thou hast broken my bonds.
(To be continued)
Dr. Pius Parsch
The Church’s Year of Grace (1953)
Today’s leading themes are represented in the drawing. To the right is the kingdom of Satan (serpent, dragon, storm clouds). The catechumens arc led out of this kingdom of sin and darkness into God’s realm of light. The stational saint, Lawrence, is aiding a youth to free himself from the entanglement of thorns. Over the altar toward which the catechumens are joyously hastening, the stronger One, Christ, is enthroned as a sun; His rays light the lamps brought as offerings. Christ “extends the right hand of His majesty” in welcome and protection. The nest of doves reminds us of the Communion antiphon.
THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT
We now enter the second part of Lent.
Two weeks ago, after a few introductory days in which the Church explained to us the spirit of the Lenten exercises, we entered the training school of Christ on the first Sunday of Lent. We adopted defensive tactics, guarding ourselves against attacks by the prince of this world. With the weapon of mortification we battled our way to the Mountain of Transfiguration. The theme of suffering was constantly present during these two first weeks. In the first it was the figure of the forty day fast of Christ, Moses, and Elias, followed by transfiguration (a figure of Christ’s passion and resurrection); during the second week greater emphasis was accorded the same ideas.
Now another phase of Lent begins as Christ passes from defense to attack. A typical note is struck by the Gospel of the strong man who is overcome by one stronger than himself. From now on the liturgy devotes more time to the catechumens; the three most ancient Masses this week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) are concerned principally with the catechumens. Christ wrestles in them. The other Masses (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) are quite similar in construction and content to those of last week. If one sought to sketch the Christpicture of the coming week, it would represent the Physician and Savior of the soul standing before us—Monday (the Physician of Israel), Thursday (the holy doctors Cosmas and Damian), Friday and Saturday (Christ and sinners).
Main thoughts of the Masses this week. Sunday: the catechumens are the “enlightened”; Christ conquers the devil in them. Monday: the leprous pagan Naaman is a good model for Christian catechumens; by way of contrast the Jews seek to kill Jesus. Wednesday: the catechumens receive the law (the commandments). Friday: two figures of baptism—Moses strikes water from the rock, Christ promises the Samaritan woman living water. Tuesday: the Mass, built on the same lines as last Tuesday’s, presents Christ as teacher. Thursday: “Healers’ ” Mass in honor of the holy doctors Cosmas and Damian. Saturday: the innocent Susanna and the contrite adulteress serve as inspiration to the penitents.
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Station at St. Lawrence
The strong man is overcome by One stronger
This Sunday’s liturgy has a simple and easily recognizable structure. Christ makes us men of light, He overcomes the devil in us through baptism and the Eucharist. The Mass is more directly applicable to the catechumens, but the faithful too are included in all the texts.
1. In Ancient Times. Let us imagine ourselves in Rome: fifteen centuries ago. We see a procession winding through the holy city. First come the catechumens, then the penitents in their garments of hair, then the faithful, and lastly the clergy and Pope. They enter the famous basilica of St. Lawrence outside the city walls; this hero among martyrs will be our model in the defeat of the devil, the “strong man.”
With what longing they enter this church! All gather around the grave of St. Lawrence. With eyes directed toward the sanctuary (the altar is Christ), they feel safe from the “snares” of the enemy (Intr.). Mother Church supports the prayers of “those who humbly beseech” and prays for their defense (Coll.). Now she raises her voice to speak. Before her stand gray-headed men who have wrestled their way to the faith, tender maidens who have refused rich marriages for Christ’s sake, youths disinherited by their parents because they wanted to become Christians. They all have fought outward and inward battles, and victory is not yet wholly won. Today the decision must be confirmed, Christ must rule as “king and God.”
The Church begins by recalling the past. “What sort of ideals did you once have?” Oh, avarice, lust, craving for pleasure seemed to be the whole of life. You were in pitch black darkness. But now another ideal gleams above you, Christ, the divine Sun. A great change has taken place within you; you have passed from night to brightest day and now must walk as children of the divine light. You are stars, children of the Sun! You must be men of light, stars in the dark sky of night! Such is your profession.
The Church continues speaking through the deacon. The strong man, the Prince of this world, was your king until now. As long as you were subject to him he remained quiet. Now that you have pushed him from his throne, he thrashes about stirring up a storm; your relatives, your associates, your entire environment, and hell itself have turned upon you. Your new master, the stronger one, Christ, must ascend the throne. The victory of Christ in you must become an enduring fact.
One serious warning! Great sacrifices are demanded, you must surrender everything—the world, honor, possessions, enjoyment. Will you be able to endure it? Woe if you fall away again! “It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, who have both tasted the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and then have fallen away, to be renewed again to repentance” (Heb. 6:4-6).
The bishop finishes his sermon but his words echo and reecho in the souls of the enlightened. Now the catechumens are dismissed. The faithful remain and celebrate the Sacrifice. During the Canon today prayers are also offered for the catechumens’ sponsors. And the faithful? Are they not still struggling for the crown? Are there no dark spots in their souls? Is the strong man altogether dethroned? Does Christ rule in all the recesses of their hearts? Is the danger of lapse utterly removed? Suppose the executioner should knock at their doors? Now for all these battles there is One who brings victory, Christ within them, Christ in the holy Sacrifice, Christ who delivered Himself up for love of them.
At the Offertory, therefore, they lay upon the altar their determination to keep God’s commandments. In the Sacrifice Christ seals their offering, and they become children of light. He enters His kingdom again, He is supreme in their hearts, their “king and their Lord” (Comm.). Thus has this Mass guided and assisted us through the battle of Lent to Easter victory.
2. The Scrutinies. Today, at the pitch of the Lenten battle, the catechumens assemble in the church of St. Lawrence, the patron of catechumens, as on Septuagesima at the beginning of the Lenten season. In this church the exorcisms, or public expulsion of the evil spirit, were usually performed. The Mass. of the catechumens is filled with references to this action. St. Lawrence, who conquered the devil so heroically in his martyrdom, will be our patron and protector during the second part of Lent.
This Sunday brings the catechumens a step closer to the Church; the day was called “Scrutiny Sunday” and marked the beginning of a series of tests to which the catechumens were subjected. The faithful were invited to take part in these sessions, the number of which increased until there were seven. The scrutinies were usually held on Wednesdays and Saturdays; the most important one was that on Wednesday in the fourth week of Lent.
3. Scripture Reading. Today the Church introduces us to the patriarch Joseph, one of the most lovable characters in the Old Testament. A peculiar charm attaches itself to the story of this remarkable person. Dutiful and innocent, loved by an aged father, clothed in a multi-colored tunic, he appears before us as a young boy. But very soon he tastes bitterness and sorrow in the school of life. At the age of sixteen he is sold by his brothers. Hardly has the sun of fortune begun to rise again for him in the house of Phutiphar when he is once more encompassed by the “dungeon’s shadows,” a prisoner for preserving his purity. But finally he rises from the graveyard of prison to the highest honors the country can give. The slave is made a prince, a minister of Pharao, and the son believed dead becomes the savior of hostile brothers.
A full wreath of virtues adorns the youth: how gracious he is to his brothers, how unbowed by misfortune, how temperate in good fortune! How apparent in his life is the guiding hand of divine Providence which often works in wondrous ways, turning misfortune into the greatest blessing. That Joseph is a figure of the suffering Christ we saw already in the passion Mass last Friday.
In the Office St. Ambrose preaches a very stimulating discourse on the patriarch. We see at once how highly the forefathers of the Chosen People were esteemed by the ancient Church. He begins, “The lives of the saints present a pattern of life for other persons. We have, therefore, received a number of rather complete documents that we may be able to follow the path of holiness which was marked out for us by the virtues of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the other just men of old with whom we have become acquainted in these writings . . . . Today the life story of holy Joseph is presented to us. He practiced many different kinds of virtue, but chastity shone in him with a special radiance.”
We may see a different virtue in each of the patriarchs. From Abraham we may learn self-sacrificing faith, from Isaac purity of heart, from Jacob patience and endurance in suffering. “Holy Joseph is held up before us as a mirror of chastity. His behavior and conduct show his unassuming modesty, a gleaming virtue which had as a companion unusual personal charm.”
He was loved by his parents more than the others, a fact that aroused his brothers’ envy. Nevertheless, he exercised heroic love toward those who hated him, a virtue so much more admirable in one who lived before the Gospel was preached. Thus Ambrose. Today and during the coming week our hearts and minds should lovingly linger on the story of Joseph. In this the Church aids us by the responsories of Matins, thirteen reflections which cover the whole eventful life of the patriarch.
4. The Hours. Quotations from the Gospel occur in both the night and day Hours of the Breviary today. The Venerable Bede, Doctor of the Church, explains the Gospel in the lessons of the third nocturn. “Three miracles take place in the possessed man who was cured: the dumb man speaks, the blind man sees, the possessed is delivered from the devil. These three miracles are daily repeated at
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