A weekly presentation of News, Information, Readings and Commentary for traditional Roman Catholics and Catholic Families remaining faithful to the teaching Magisterium as held by all faithful Catholics through the centuries.
Vol 11 Issue 23 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
June 9, 2018 ~ Our Lady on Saturday
- What is the Sacrament of Confirmation
- Third Sunday after Pentecost
- Saint Margaret of Scotland
- Family and Marriage
- Articles and notices
June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and yesterday the Church celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart. As May is dedicated to Mary and we celebrate Mother’s Day during this month, it is proper that one celebrates Father’s Day during the month of June—for one looks at the love of a husband for his bride, the love of a father for his children, the love of a man for his fellow men. Though sentimentality of the devotion found in Saint Margaret Mary’s writings (and other women saints) may dissuade many men from taking this devotion seriously as something feminine, the devotion should be more about the logical reality of what is expected of a man, a husband, a father. Saint John the beloved Apostle saw in Christ the Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace (cf. Isa. 9:6) and, as an accepting child, was leaning on Jesus’ bosom (cf. John 13:23 and 21:20) knowing what the love of God for man was and desiring to feel the sensible palpitation of God’s love incarnate and that experience would be for him a grace to understand far better the love Christ had for mankind.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is touched by our lives of joy and suffering, pain and happiness and seeks us out as the Good Shepherd one by one as seen in thisSunday‘s Gospel. He is at the door of our heart constantly knocking to let Him in. He is sweeping the floor of our minds so we can find what we have lost to the cares of this world. He is weeping as He sees us dead in sin. He is asking the Father to forgive us as we crucify Him for loving us so much. The Sacred Heart of Jesus shed every drop of blood that flowed through His aorta that we, through His death, might have life. Will we not let Him carry us to his fold, open the door, pick up our lives, repent of our sins and accept His saving grace by letting that Precious Blood redeem us through our asking for forgiveness and observing His commandments?
This experience of our attempting to realize the love Christ has for each one of us individually is a means that Christ revealed to Saint Gertrude and Saint Margaret Mary, among other holy persons, to draw us to Him when His enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil, are seducing us to find our happiness in sin. The Crucifix in the house is there to remind us that He died for us; the picture of the Sacred Heart should be in the house (with the Immaculate Heart of Mary) to remind us that He loves us with an infinite love and to ask Him to give us that small grace (experience) that will turn us from this world’s pleasures to loving the life He wants to give us.
That love, though, is not to be sought sensually, but in that sense of Christ burning in zeal to obtain the grace and mercy we need from His Father. It is in that of His unceasing desire that we obtain the end for which we were created. It is in offering His life for us so that we do not perish. It is in such a comprehension of His love that we again think of our fathers who also, in their love for us are zealous in obtaining the spiritual graces that their family needs in order to obtain their salvation. That the children do not perish because of the father’s unceasing devotion to make sure his children are protected from the dangers of this world knowing his life only has value in the sacrifice he makes because of his love for his family. Only in this do children know the love of their father and honor him.
Another comparison for the love we discover in the Sacred Heart, and it may seem foolish, is that of the man who goes willingly to the front lines of battle knowing he may die but doing so to prove to his beloved how much he loves her. (Remember we wear the Brown Scapular just as the knights wore the color of their beloved while going into battle).
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 Nicene Fathers Continue Pentecost
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (+ 386) gives his twenty-first catechetical lecture on Chrism, taking the words of 1 John 2:20-28: But you have an unction from the Holy One, etc.. . . . that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. He says:
- Having been baptized into Christ, and put on Christ (Galatians3:27), you have been made conformable to the Son of God; for God having foreordained us unto adoption as sons (Ephesians 1:5), made us to be conformed to the body of Christ’s glory. (Philippians3:21) Having therefore become partakers of Christ (Hebrews 3:14), you are properly called Christs, and of you God said, Touch not My Christs, or anointed. Now you have been made Christs, by receiving the antitype of the Holy Ghost; and all things have been wrought in you by imitation, because you are images of Christ. He washed in the river Jordan, and having imparted of the fragrance of His Godhead to the waters, He came up from them; and the Holy Ghost in the fullness of His being lighted on Him, like resting upon like. And to you in like manner, after you had come up from the pool of the sacred streams, there was given an Unction, the anti-type of that wherewith Christ was anointed; and this is the Holy Ghost; of whom also the blessed Esaias, in his prophecy respecting Him, said in the person of the Lord, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me: He has sent Me to preach glad tidings to the poor Isaiah 61:1.
- For Christ was not anointed by men with oil or material ointment, but the Father having before appointed Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, anointed Him with the Holy Ghost, as Peter says, Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Ghost. Acts10:38David also the Prophet cried, saying, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your kingdom; You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God even Your God has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows. And as Christ was in reality crucified, and buried, and raised, and you are in Baptism accounted worthy of being crucified, buried, and raised together with Him in a likeness, so is it with the unction also. As He was anointed with an ideal oil of gladness, that is, with the Holy Ghost, called oil of gladness, because He is the author of spiritual gladness, so you were anointed with ointment, having been made partakers and fellows of Christ.
- But beware of supposing this to be plain ointment. For as the Bread of the Eucharist, after the invocation of the Holy Ghost, is mere bread no longer, but the Body of Christ, so also this holy ointment is no more simple ointment, nor (so to say) common, after invocation, but it is Christ’s gift of grace, and, by the advent of the Holy Ghost, is made fit to impart His Divine Nature. Which ointment is symbolically applied to your forehead and your other senses; and while your body is anointed with the visible ointment, your soul is sanctified by the Holy and life-giving Spirit.
- And you were first anointed on the forehead, that you might be delivered from the shame, which the first man who transgressed bore about with him everywhere; and that with unveiled face ye might reflect as a mirror the glory of the Lord. 2 Corinthians3:18Then on your ears; that you might receive the ears which are quick to hear the Divine Mysteries, of which Esaias said, The Lord gave me also an ear to hear Isaiah 50:4; and the Lord Jesus in the Gospel, He that has ears to hear let him hear. Matthew 11:15 Then on the nostrils; that receiving the sacred ointment ye may say, We are to God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved. 2 Corinthians 2:15 Afterwards on your breast; that having put on the breast-plate of righteousness, you may stand against the wiles of the devil. For as Christ after His Baptism, and the visitation of the Holy Ghost, went forth and vanquished the adversary, so likewise ye, after Holy Baptism and the Mystical Chrism, having put on the whole armour of the Holy Ghost, are to stand against the power of the adversary, and vanquish it, saying, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me Philippians 4:13 .
- Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, you are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, you had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.
- Moreover, you should know that in the old Scripture there lies the symbol of this Chrism. For what time Moses imparted to his brother the command of God, and made him High-priest, after bathing in water, he anointed him; and Aaron was called Christ or Anointed, evidently from the typical Chrism. So also the High-priest, in advancing Solomon to the kingdom, anointed him after he had bathed in Gihon. 1 Kings1:39To them however these things happened in a figure, but to you not in a figure, but in truth; because you were truly anointed by the Holy Ghost. Christ is the beginning of your salvation; for He is truly the First-fruit, and you the mass Romans 11:16; but if the First-fruit be holy, it is manifest that Its holiness will pass to the mass also.
- Keep This unspotted: for it shall teach you all things, if it abide in you, as you have just heard declared by the blessed John, discoursing much concerning this Unction. For this holy thing is a spiritual safeguard of the body, and salvation of the soul. Of this the blessed Esaias prophesying of old time said, And on this mountain,— (now he calls the Church a mountain elsewhere also, as when he says, In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be manifest Isa. 2:2;)— on this mountain shall the Lord make unto all nations a feast; they shall drink wine, they shall drink gladness, they shall anoint themselves with ointment. And that he may make you sure, hear what he says of this ointment as being mystical; Deliver all these things to the nations, for the counsel of the Lord is unto all nations. Having been anointed, therefore, with this holy ointment, keep it unspotted and unblemished in you, pressing forward by good works, and being made well-pleasing to the Captain of your salvation, Christ Jesus, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.(Cat. Myst,III, cap. 3; P. G., XXXIII, 1090)
The Council of Constantinople (381) made the return of heretics dependent upon the following: We receive the Arians, and Macedonians . . . upon their giving in written statements and anathematizing every heresy . . . . Having first sealed them with the holy ointment upon the forehead, and eyes, and nostrils, and mouth, and ears, and sealing them we say, ‘The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost’ (can. vii, Labbe, II, col. 952). Here is found also the words of the form of the Sacrament used in the Eastern Liturgy in administering Confirmation even now.
St. Ambrose, after speaking of the ceremony of baptism, continues:
And then remember that you received the seal of the Spirit; the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and godliness, and the spirit of holy fear, (Isa. 11:2) and preserved what you received. God the Father sealed you, Christ the Lord strengthened you, and gave the earnest of the Spirit in your heart, (2 Cor. 5:5) as you have learned in the lesson from the Apostle (De myst. 7,42: P. L. 16, 402-403.)
Theodoret (+457), Bishop of Cyrus and Greek theologian, commenting on Heb. vi. 2, writes in the year 420: ” Those who believe, come to divine baptism, and by the sacerdotal hand receive the grace of the Spirit.” (Tom. iii. p. 418.)
(To be continued)
Dr. Pius Parsch
The Church’s Year of Grace (1959)
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
SUNDAY AFTER THE FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART
The Sacred Heart in ancient Christian piety
During this week the Church employs two parables to show God’s love for sinners, that of the lost sheep and of the lost coin (Gosp.). The touching picture of the Good Shepherd with a lamb upon His shoulders should continue in our minds throughout the week; do not miss its beautiful bearing on the Sacred Heart feast, for how could the love of Jesus be better portrayed than by the picture of the Good Shepherd with the found sheep in His arms I The Epistle brings home the moral in the story—we must be obedient and alert. Man can give his allegiance to either of two leaders, the Good Shepherd (Gosp.) or the howling lion, the devil (Epist.).
- Holy Mass (Respice).Seeking aid we approach the Good Shepherd: “Look upon me and have mercy upon me, O Lord” (Intr.). The altar to which we come is Christ. The principal trait of the Good Shepherd is mercy, and the word will occur often during today’s Mass. “So forsaken and poor am I! See my abjection and my labor and forgive me all my sins.” Psalm 24, a prayer full of trust and humility, expresses well our spiritual condition.
The Collect covers an unusually large number of truths; a good meditation could be made upon it. First, it pinpoints our true citadel of strength, namely, God the Protector (let us call Him the Good Shepherd) of those who trust in Him. Willingly we admit that without God we have no virtue, no security, no sanctity. Such acknowledgment of our own helplessness is the best disposition for the reception of grace. Our petition rests upon the Good Shepherd’s peculiar trait, mercy; we ask that through the guidance and rule of God, or better, of Christ the Good Shepherd, we may so pass through temporal blessings as not to lose eternal beatitude.
The two Readings will receive special consideration later. Even though the devil goes about like a roaring lion, cast your cares upon the Lord; He will sustain you (Grad.). The Alleluia verse asks: Will God be a strict, angry Judge? The Gospel answers in the negative with two parables: No, as Good Shepherd He will carry the sheep upon His shoulders into the heavenly meadows. Gladdened by the Gospel, the Offertory radiates confidence; God does not abandon those who search for Him, since He Himself seeks out the lost. The Secret: Look, Lord, upon the gifts of Your Suppliant Church, and may the faithful who receive them be sanctified by them. A terse and concisely worded Postcommunionpleads for the two fruits of sacrifice; negative, purification from sin (which implies God’s mercy); positive, an increase in divine life. Sancta was an ancient word for the holy Eucharist.
- Text Analysis. Today’s formulary is a good example of spiritual ascent from conflict and suffering to victory and joy. In this ascent every prayer, chant, and reading contributes. It is a holy drama, and the Good Shepherd takes the leading role. The Mass-action opens as we, straying sheep, cry out to our divine Shepherd and acknowledge our utter helplessness. We continue our plea in the Collect, beseeching God’s protection, mercy, and guidance. There is a “bad shepherd” too, the “roaring lion” heard in the Epistle. The Gradual, true to its nature, echoes the message of the Reading it follows (which is not too often the case). The question asked in fear and awe in the Alleluia verse receives a kindly response in the Gospel; for God is not only a Judge, He is a merciful Shepherd, too. Which brings us to a climax—the lost has been found.
The Offertory, accordingly, is a prayer of gratitude to the Good Shepherd: “Sing praise to the Lord . . . for He did not disregard the cry of those in trouble.” Even in the high heavens there is response to the mystery of mercy and love on earth, “joy among the angels of God when a single sinner does penance” (Comm.). A final statement of the theme occurs in the Postcommunion; the Eucharist means life and atonement. Thus the movement of the drama runs parallel to the Mass-action; the liturgy of the Word, excluding the Gospel, voices the spirit of fear and anxious petition; the Gospel and the Sacrifice proper come from hearts joyfully grateful.
- Divine Office.The Gospel affords Pope St. Gregory the Great an occasion to give one of his excellent homilies (34); it would serve as good spiritual reading:
“You have heard in the Gospel account, my brothers, how sinners and publicans approached our Redeemer; and they were welcomed not only to listen, but even to eat with Him. The pharisees, however, became indignant upon observing such familiarity. You may deduce from the Gospel story, then, that true holiness includes sympathy, while mock piety easily becomes indignant. Of course, the just man may rightly take a stand against sinners; but that which has its roots in pride is quite different from that which arises from zeal and discipline.
“The good man may become indignant in the presence of evil but will not act in an offensive manner; he may doubt about the conversion of the evildoer, hut will not despair; and it is through love that the just will withstand the unjust. For even when they devise multiple forms of external restraints against the wicked, interiorly they retain the spirit of kindness because of their virtue of love. For in spirit they often place those whom they are correcting before themselves and consider those whom they judge as better than themselves. Thus by discipline they preserve their subjects and by humility they safeguard themselves. On the other hand, those who act proudly through a sense of false piety despise everybody else; never do they condescend to show mercy to the weak, and to the degree they believe they are saints, to that degree have they become worse sinners. “To this latter group did the pharisees assuredly belong. They criticized the Lord because He treated sinners kindly, they were unwilling to allow the fountain of divine mercy to empty itself upon desolate hearts. It was because they were sick and did not realize it that the heavenly Physician sought to heal them with suitable medicine and to bring them to realize their sorry state. He gave them a lovely parable to digest and thereby endeavored to soften the hard, tumorous growth over their hearts.”
- Meditation upon the Sunday.A.The Lessons of the Mass. Today’s Gospel is taken from St. Luke’s collection of parables. In chapter 15 of the third Gospel we find three parables that evidently have the same purpose, three parables treating of the lost and the found, namely, the parables of the lost sheep, of the lost drachma, of the lost son. The first two are used as today’s Gospel. What did Christ wish to teach by these three parables? An exceptionally beautiful lesson, a truly joyous message on the mercy of God! After each parable our Savior therefore added: “I say to you, there shall be JOY before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.”
That the Church wishes to emphasize this truth we see from the Communion; for while the faithful are partaking of the Body of their Lord, the choir sings: “I say to you, there is joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.” Whenever the Church wishes to give special stress to a point in the Gospel, she takes the passage and repeats it in a chant, e.g., as the Alleluia verse or the Communion. If in the latter, there is usually another implication, viz., the Church wishes to imply that the passage in question is being fulfilled in the Eucharistic banquet. As “lost sheep” we came to Mass, but the Good Shepherd “found us” in the holy Sacrifice; He placed us on His shoulders and now at the Communion, with gleaming joy in His eyes, He carries us home.
Yes, the heavens, one might say, are opened before us and we see the angels exulting, rejoicing over our conversion. Of course, this conversion has already taken place long ago at baptism; then did the heavens actually open for us; then did the angels rejoice over heaven’s new citizen. But at present each Mass is a renewal and a perfecting of baptism, especially each Sunday Mass. And holy Communion is security and pledge to the fact that the Good Shepherd is carrying us home on His shoulders.
The second parable is less well known. What is its meaning? The woman in search of a lost coin represents Mother Church, whose principal task upon earth is to search and seek after that which is lost, to find sinful men and to ready them for heaven. She goes out into wretched, dirty hovels (i.e., the earth with all its enticement to sin) and there kindles a light, Christ. Isn’t this a heartening comparison—the Church carrying in her hands the Light of the world, Christ, Christ in the holy Eucharist? And this Light she shines upon the darkness of earthly life and into the black recesses of the soul. There she finds the lost groat—the human soul fallen through sin. Another fine analogy, the soul a coin. As a coin bears a stamp which often is the image of the ruler, so also there is impressed upon your soul the image of your heavenly King. The soul the image of God! Yes, Christ should constantly become more clearly etched upon your soul. Let yourself “be found” by Mother Church and be put away as a precious gem in the heavenly treasury.
The Epistle is quite unlike the Gospel. The Gospel treats of the Good Shepherd, who, full of love, places the lost sheep upon His shoulders; but in the Epistle we hear the “roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour.” Man stands at the crossroads; he may choose between two leaders, either the Good Shepherd, Christ, or the roaring lion, Satan. The One wills to heal, the other to lacerate; the One wishes to direct His flock into heavenly fields, the other to strangle victims in his fiendish jaws. Surely it should not be difficult to make a choice. Have we not already renounced the devil and all his works and promptings at baptism? And yet time and time again do we permit ourselves to be deceived.
Now what is the practical lesson flowing from these two Readings? To your “Good Shepherd” you must be an obedient, docile lamb and place your entire trust in His guidance. And you must likewise be a spirited, energetic fighter against the roaring lion. As the shepherd boy David fell upon the lion which sought to rob him of his sheep, so must you resist the devil for your soul’s sake. Something strikes us in this Mass that is different—during Eastertide we heard no such things; there was no mention of the devil or of sin. Mother Church restricted herself to joyful messages, and there seemed to be no end to happy alleluias. We then were in the blessed time of childhood. At Easter we all were reborn. But Pentecost came and we were declared of age, we were given confirmation, the sacrament of manly courage. Now Mother Church is sending us into areas of battle, of work, of temptation. Today’s liturgy, wholly concerned with the present, readies us for the needs of life. The only disturber of peace, an enemy wholly disregarded during Eastertime, now makes its appearance, sin. Today’s Mass proves that such a kill-joy exists in God’s kingdom. Nevertheless, the Church does not wish to discourage us; she does, however, wish to prepare us. So she announces the glad tidings: “Cast your care upon the Lord, and He will sustain you” (Grad.). Sin for Him is no insurmountable obstacle to the work of sanctification; with persevering love He goes after each soul in sin. He Himself engaged the roaring lion in battle upon the Cross; to save the sheep He fell victim to the sting of death. Now He has given to us a Mother, the Church, who seeks and who finds us. Such is the message of today’s liturgy. So let us joyously continue in God’s service, aided by the conviction that we have over us the best Good Shepherd.
- The Good Shepherd. Modern piety spontaneously portrays Christ’s boundless love in terms of His Sacred Heart. Not so the ancient Church. In the early centuries it was Christ as the Good Shepherd. Upon the walls of the catacombs, in ancient basilicas, upon tombs, everywhere one may find this lovely picture. The liturgical texts, too, often treated of the Good Shepherd, and that frequently at the beginning of a new phase in the ecclesiastical year. Certainly the ancient Sacred Heart representation is as meaningful and as lovable as the present-day one. Let us consider the Good Shepherd approach of the early Christians.
1) What does the picture of a shepherd with a lamb upon his shoulders symbolize? Christ as the Redeemer. A lamb has strayed from the flocks of God, has lost itself, has fallen among thorns. That was mankind, which through sin lost paradise and grace. Christ was sent into the world to fetch that lamb home. He sought it, called it, yes, He placed Himself in the lion’s path to rescue it; He even was clawed to death. But now with great love He is carrying it upon His shoulders into the heavenly corrals. Thus the picture summarizes the work of Christ as the Redeemer of men.
2) The picture also expresses the spiritual odyssey of each Christian. St. Paul told us during the Lenten season: “You were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord.” After Easter St. Peter, the first vicar of the Good Shepherd, reminded us: “You were as sheep going astray, but you are now converted to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” That great event was holy baptism. In baptism the Good Shepherd found you and placed you upon His shoulders. Baptism also was the occasion of which the Redeemer speaks in today’s Gospel, the great moment when the angels of God rejoiced upon one sinner doing penance. So in the second place the picture reminds us of our baptism.
3) And further—the Good Shepherd does not remove the sheep from His shoulders; His will is to remain intimately united with it. Now what is most important in the Christian religion? It is divine life, the grace of being a child of God. This most intimate union of Christ with the Church, with the individual Christian, is the greatest of all blessings. “Abide in My love” was the legacy of our departing Master. Our greatest ambition must be to retain this divine life, to cherish it, to bring it to maturity, ever to perfect this vital union with Christ. How marvelously, then, does the Good Shepherd picture portray our oneness with God.
4) What means must we employ to retain this divine union? The sufferings of Christ earned divine life for us; the memorial of His passion and death can preserve it, i.e., the Sacrifice of Mass, the holy Eucharist. For in no other way does the Lord show Himself the Good Shepherd more wondrously than in the Eucharist. In no other way can we obtain or maintain a more intimate union with Him. In baptism we received divine life, but the Eucharist preserves, develops it. Recall the Lord’s own words: “He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.”
5) Thus the Good Shepherd picture summarizes and reveals the fundamentals of Christianity concerning Christ the Redeemer—baptism, mystical union with God, the holy Eucharist. And lastly, it tells of our blessed return home to heaven. For the Good Shepherd carries the found sheep into the heavenly pastures. This is the real reason why the picture was repeated so often in the catacombs, the burial places of the first Christians. For it proclaimed to the faithful the glad tidings that after the afflictions of earthly life the Good Shepherd will carry the Christian soul into the great sheepfold of eternal beatitude. This hope was so strong among the early Christians that they considered the sufferings of life, even the bloody death of martyrdom as trifling; they lived not only in faith and in love toward Christ Jesus, but with a glowing hope in eternal glory. We modern Christians live all too much in the present and are too strongly attracted to things earthly. May the Good Shepherd picture help develop in us something of the spirit of His primitive flock.
10: ST MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, MATRON (A.D. 1093)
MARGARET was a daughter of Edward d’Outremer (“The Exile”), next of kin to Edward the Confessor, and sister to Edgar the Atheling, who took refuge from William the Conqueror at the court of King Malcolm Canmore in Scotland. There Margaret, as beautiful as she was good and accomplished, captivated Malcolm, and they were married at the castle of Dunfermline in the year 1070, she being then twenty-four years of age. This marriage was fraught with great blessings for Malcolm and for Scotland. He was rough and uncultured but his disposition was good, and Margaret, through the great influence she acquired over him, softened his temper, polished his manners, and rendered him one of the most virtuous kings who have ever occupied the Scottish throne. To maintain justice, to establish religion, and to make their subjects happy appeared to be their chief object in life. “She incited the king to works of justice, mercy, charity and other virtues”, writes an ancient author, “in all which by divine grace she induced him to carry out her pious wishes. For he, perceiving that Christ dwelt in the heart of his queen, was always ready to follow her advice.” Indeed, he not only left to her the whole management of his domestic affairs, but also consulted her in state matters.
What she did for her husband Margaret also did in a great measure for her adopted country, promoting the arts of civilization and encouraging education and religion. She found Scotland a prey to ignorance and to many grave abuses, both among priests and people. At her instigation synods were held which passed enactments to meet these evils. She herself was present at these meetings, taking part in the discussions. The due observance of Sundays, festivals and fasts was made obligatory, Easter communion was enjoined upon all, and many scandalous practices, such as simony, usury and incestuous marriages, were strictly prohibited. St Margaret made it her constant effort to obtain good priests and teachers for all parts of the country, and formed a kind of embroidery guild among the ladies of the court to provide vestments and church furniture. With her husband she founded several churches, notably that of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline.
God blessed the couple with a family of six sons and two daughters, and their mother brought them up with the utmost care, herself instructing them in the Christian faith and superintending their studies. The daughter Matilda afterwards married Henry I of England and was known as Good Queen Maud, whilst three of the sons, Edgar, Alexander and David, successively occupied the Scottish throne, the last named being revered as a saint. St Margaret’s care and attention was extended to her servants and household as well as to her own family; yet in spite of all the state affairs and domestic duties which devolved upon her, she kept her heart disengaged from the world and recol
[Message clipped] View entire message