Vol 13 Issue 27 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
July 4, 2020 ~ Our Lady on Saturday
1. What is the Holy Eucharist
2. Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
3. Saint Anthony Mary Zaccharia
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
As today the United States of America celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I want to remind Catholics why we also celebrate this day by taking an excerpt from a paper I wrote several decades earlier:
When we address the issue of relationships between the French Catholics in Canada and the Revolutionary forces of the United States, it is necessary to keep the above treatment [one of persecution explained previously, and no religious freedom in the Thirteen American Colonies ] of Catholics in view. What one does see is the cooperation of English Catholics and German Catholics in participating with the Revolutionary Forces. Still, not without a struggle for their own liberty. This we can sense in the events surrounding this period of history.
As the Continental Congress first convened, one of its first Resolutions was against the granting of Religious Freedom to Catholics in Canada:
September 17, 1774:
That the late act of parliament for establishing the Roman Catholic religion and the French Laws in that extensive country, now called Canada, is dangerous in an extreme degree to the Protestant religion and to the civil rights and liberties of all America; and, therefore, as men and Protestant Christians, we are indispensably obliged to take all proper measures for our security. (Ellis, 1956).
John Jay spear-headed tirades against Catholics in New York. Catholics were labeled as Tories and many were driven out. But this did not prevent Catholics from swelling the ranks of the Continental Army and obtaining support of the Catholic Canadians. In a direct reversal of the Resolution of September 17, 1774, the Continental Congress wrote on May 29, 1775, to the Canadians:
Since the conclusion of the of the late war [French-Indian], we have been happy in considering you as fellow-subjects, and from the commencement of the present plan for subjugating the continent, we have viewed you as fellow-sufferers with us. As we were both entitled by the bounty of an indulgent creator to freedom, and being both devoted by the cruel edicts of a despotic administration, to common ruin, we perceived the fate of the protestant and catholic colonies to be strongly linked together, and therefore invited you to join with us in resolving to be free, and in rejecting, with distain, the fetters of slavery, however artfully polished. (Ford, 1905).
This went on with a promise of religious freedom for all. Such was the support and influx of Catholics and the realization by George Washington of the needed support of Catholics that he forbade the Guy Fawkes Day, in which an effigy of the pope was burned. It was a turn in American history:
Head Quarters, Cambridge, November 5, 1775.
As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope—He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada. (Ellis, 1956)
By February 17, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved to send the Catholic priest, John Carroll, to the Canadians to deliver their assurances. On March 20, 1776, it issued the following instructions:
You are, with all convenient despatch, to repair to Canada, and make known to all the people of that country, the wishes and intentions of the Congress with respect to them…
…[T]hat the people of Canada may set up such a form of government, as will most likely, in their judgment, to produce their happiness…
…[T]hat we hold sacred the rights of conscience, and may promise the whole people , solemnly in our name, the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion; and, to the clergy, the full, perfect, and peaceable possession and enjoyment of all their estates; that the government of everything relating to their religion and clergy, shall be left entirely in the hands of the good people of that province, and such legislature they shall constitute; Provided, however, that all other denominations of Christians be equally entitled to hold offices, and enjoy civil privileges, and the free exerrcise of their religion, and be totally exempt from the payment of any tythes or taxes for the support of any religion. (Ford, 1906)
At this turn in history several States changed their laws regarding religion. On September 28, 1776, Pennsylvania adopted a Declaration of Rights which included, That all men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding . . . .” (Ellis, 1956). Maryland followed suit on November 11, 1776. New York changed its constitution to include free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession. Massachusetts amended its constitution in 1780. The result was in the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted September 17, 1787, we read: [Article VI.] No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office of public Trust under the United States. Finally, in the Bill of Rights (Amendments):  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
For Catholics, the Declaration of Independence was a declaration that finally, here in the United States, we would be able to live our faith without the government—state and federal—persecuting us or stopping us from attending holy Mass and receiving the sacraments. Further, that Catholics could still be Catholics and hold public office—though one notices Catholics are still given a religious test!
As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor
WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST
By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
The Real Presence
The Holy Eucharist is a Sacrament and a Sacrifice. The Sacrament is the Body and Blood of Christ. The Sacrifice is Christ offering His Body and Blood to the eternal Father. In order to be present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, Christ must be present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Sacrament. In order to continue to offer His Body and Blood as a Sacrifice, He must be capable of offering His Body and Blood as a sacrifice. This is made possible by His action at the Last Supper: Making His true Presence a reality, not by a natural appearance, but a supernatural appearance: under the appearance of bread and wine.
First, what does the Catholic Faith teach regarding the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist? This is defined by the Council of Trent, Session XIII, on October 11, 1551. The first chapter opens with the following:
First of all the holy Synod teaches and openly and simply professes that in the nourishing sacrament of the Holy Eucharist after the consecration of the bread and wine our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially [can. I] contained under the species of those sensible things. For these things are not mutually contradictory, that our Savior Himself is always seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven according to the natural mode of existing, and yet that in many other places sacramentally He is present to us in His own substance by that manner of existence which, although we can scarcely express it in words, yet we can, however, by our understanding illuminated by faith, conceive to be possible to God, and which we ought most steadfastly to believe. For thus all our forefathers, as many as were in the true Church of Christ, who have discussed this most holy sacrament, have most openly professed that our Redeemer instituted this so wonderful a sacrament at the Last Supper, when after the blessing of the bread and wine He testified in clear and definite words that He gave them His own body and His own blood; and those words which are recorded [Matt. 26:26ff.; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19 ff.] by the holy Evangelists, and afterwards repeated by St. Paul [1 Cor. 11:23 ff.], since they contain within themselves that proper and very clear meaning in which they were understood by the Fathers, it is a most disgraceful thing for some contentious and wicked men to distort into fictitious and imaginary figures of speech, by which the real nature of the flesh and blood of Christ is denied, contrary to the universal sense of the Church, which, recognizing with an ever grateful and recollecting mind this most excellent benefit of Christ, as the pillar and ground of truth [1 Tim. 3:15], has detested these falsehoods, devised by impious men, as satanical. (Cf. DB 874)
The Fathers of the Council then set forth the following Canon:
Canon 1. If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist there are truly, really, and substantially contained the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, but shall say that He is in it as by a sign or figure, or force, let him be anathema. (cf. DB 883).
The Council of Trent had to confront the denial of the Real Presence once more as the Church did when Berengarius first rejected the substantial Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The VI Roman Council, called by Pope Saint Gregory VII in 1079, demanded Berengarius to make the following profession of faith in the Holy Eucharist:
I, Berengarius, in my heart believe and with my lips confess that through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of our Redeemer the bread and wine which are placed on the altar are substantially changed into the true and proper and living flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and that after consecration it is the true body of Christ which was born of the Virgin and which, offered for the salvation of the world, was suspended on the Cross, and which sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and the true blood of Christ, which was poured out from His side not only through the sign and power of the sacrament, but in its property of nature and in truth of substance, as here briefly in a few words is contained and I have read and you understand. Thus I believe, nor will I teach contrary to this belief. So help me God and these holy Gospels of God. (Cf. DB 355)
John Wycliffe and Jan Hus had taken the denial of the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist by Berengarius as though the Church had never accepted the belief in the Real Presence until the 11th century. John Wycliffe preached
- In the sacrament of the altar the material substance of bread and likewise the material substance of wine remain. (Cf. DB 581)
- In the same sacrament the accidents of the bread do not remain without a subject. (Cf. DB 582)
- In the same sacrament Christ is not identically and really with His own bodily presence. (Cf. DB 583)
Each of the three errors were condemned at the Council of Constance (1415-1418) during the VIII Session (May 4, 1415) and reconfirmed by the Bulls, Inter Cunctas and In eminentis of February 22, 1418 by Pope Martin V (1417-1431). Jan Hus, at the time, was only condemned for demanding the reception of Holy Communion through both the Chalice and the Host during the same Council in the XIII Session (June 15, 1415), but his followers were required to profess they held these beliefs made compulsory by the decree, Inter Cunctas (February 22, 1418):
- Likewise, whether he believes, that after the consecration by the priest in the sacrament of the altar under the semblance of bread and wine, it is not material bread and material wine, but the same Christ through all, who suffered on the Cross and sitteth at the right (hand) of the Father. (Cf. DB 666)
- Likewise, whether he believes and maintains that after the consecration by the priest, under the sole species of bread only, and aside from the species of wine, it is the true body of Christ and the blood and the soul and the divinity and the whole Christ, and the same body absolutely and under each one of these species separately. (Cf. DB 667)
The Innovators of the Protestant Movement not only took up the same arguments of Berengarius, John Wyciffe and John Hus—ignoring these men were alone in denying the Catholic Faith, but added various interpretations of what Jesus Christ meant when He pronounced the words of Institution at the Last Supper. The Fathers of the Council of Trent wanted to end all doubt as to what the Church has held as her doctrine regarding the Holy Eucharist [and what the Council has taught is infallible].
In using the words—truly, really, and substantially—the Fathers affirmed that there is no interpretation, but the literal meaning, that is, when Christ said, This is My Body, It was at that very moment His Body; when Christ said, This is My Blood, etc., It was at that very moment His Blood. The foundation of belief in the Real Presence is the belief that Christ is true God and true Man. If, as the Manichaeans and Docetists claim, Christ has only an apparent body, there can be no acceptance that now the Eucharist is the true Body of Christ. St. Ignatius of Antioch (+cir. 108) therefore addressed the early Christians concerning them: From Eucharist and prayer they hold aloof, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father in His loving-kindness raised from the dead. (Smyrn. 7, 1.)
This testimony of Saint Ignatius and that of Paul to the Corinthians,
For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:26-29)
provide clear evidence that they believed in the real and substantial presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. It sufficed the early Christians and Christians thereafter to accept the reality this bread (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27) was the Body of Christ, and the Chalice of the Lord (ibid.) held the Blood of Christ.
If, as the Arians claimed, God could not beget a Son (which Mohammed repeats in the Koran, 112: Allah neither begets, nor is He begotten), Jesus Christ would therefore be a creature of God created from nothing but creating all things, and, doing the will of God, is morally united with God. According to Pohle, Arian’s belief in of the Eucharist expresses the same moral union with Christ:
The Arians argued that, as there is but a moral union between the Eucharistic Christ and the devout communicant, so the union between the Three Persons of the Trinity, which is the prototype of the former, [Cfr. John VI, 57; XVII, 21 sqq.] must also be a purely moral one. St. Hilary refuted this erroneous contention by demonstrating the consubstantiality of Christ with His Father from the real union that exists between the Eucharistic Body and its recipient in Holy Communion. [Cf. Hilary, De Trinitate, VIII, 13] (Sacraments II, p 70)
Accordingly therefore, the acceptance of Who Jesus Christ is, so ones’ understanding of what the words of Christ at the Institution of the Eucharist mean. Accepting the truth that Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word made flesh and, as a reality of the truth, God and man, and at Whose word, Let there be light (cf. Genesis 1:2.) caused the universe to be created from nothing and, Who at the Wedding Feast of Cana changed the substance of water into the substance of wine, one can then accept that He can change bread and wine into His Body and Blood. This Institution fulfils the promise of Christ to give His Body to eat and His Blood to drink, which was demonstrated in the section covering chapter six of John’s Gospel. It is now summarized below.
After the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, some of the followers wanted to make Christ king. He departs but later walks on the water of the Lake of Galilee to the opposite shore. Learning He is there, those who still insisted making Him king travelled to Capharnaum. Here, in the synagogue of Capharnaum Christ gave the following discourse:
I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever. (John 6:48-59)
That it was to be taken literally is because it was taken literally and Our Lord did not reject it being taken literally:
Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him. (Vv. 61-65)
Though it may be difficult to grasp His reply, knowing their thoughts—as interpreted by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church—He is informing them that it would not be dead meat He is offering but Himself, He Who would ascend with His Body into Heaven. He knows, too, that partaking of blood is forbidden according to the Levitical precepts and which, with the mentioning of Blood—that can only signify sacrifice—should bring them to asking for an explanation rather than the rejection that follows: And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him. (Vv. 66-67) Even though none ask for an explanation, the demand for complete faith in His words as literal is related in the final verses: Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God. (Vv. 68-70)
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
MATTHEW V. 20-4
At that time: Jesus said to His Disciples: Unless your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill: And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgement. And whosoever shall say to his Brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee; leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother; and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.
EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA
V. 21. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill.
CHRYSOSTOM, Op. Imp. Hom. 11: Christ willing to make known, that He is the God Who of old spoke in the Law, and Who now announces the dispensation of Grace, also places in the beginning of His own commandments that commandment which in the Old Law is placed before all the rest; that is, forbidding whatever is injurious to our neighbour.
AUGUSTINE, City of God, I, 19, 20 We do not think it a sin to kill a twig, because we have heard it declared that, Thou shalt not kill, as the Manichean folly imagines; nor do we understand that it was said of irrational animals. For by the most just law of the Creator their life and death is made subject to us. Accordingly, the commandment, Thou shalt not kill, is to be understood only with reference to men. Not another man other than yourself. For he who kills himself, kills none other than a man.
They however who by God’s authority wage war do not act contrary to this precept; and neither do they who in the fulfilment of public office punish criminals with death, in strict accord with reason and justice. And not alone was Abraham not charged with the crime of cruelty, he was praised in the name of piety, because he was ready through obedience to God to sacrifice his son. These then are examples of those whom God commands to kill, either by a law He has given, or by an express command to some person. For he does not commit murder who renders obedience to the one commanding him, as the hilt to the one using a sword. Otherwise Samson could not be excused, for pulling down the house upon himself and his enemies, had he not been secretly commanded by the Spirit, Which had wrought wonders through him.
CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 16 in Matt: In saying, Of old it was said, He points out that it is a long time since they received this commandment. This He says in order to rouse His dulled hearers to the more sublime commandments; as a teacher might say to a dull boy, to urge him on, ‘you have wasted sufficient time in learning to spell’. And accordingly He continues:
V. 22. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother.
See in this sentence the power of the Law-Giver. For none of the ancients spoke in this way. They said instead: Thus saith the Lord. For it was as servants that they proclaimed the commands of their Lord. Here He proclaims as Son the things that are His Father’s, and which are also His. They proclaimed His words to their fellow servants; but He here gives the Law to His servants.
AUGUSTINE, City of God, IX, 5, 5: There are two opinions among the philosophers with regard to the passions of the soul. For to the Stoics it is not acceptable that such emotions afflict a wise man. The Peripatetics however say they do happen to a wise man, but to a moderate degree, and subject to the mind’s control; as when mercy is shown, yet in such a way that justice is upheld. But in the Christian belief we do not ask whether a worthy soul is angered or saddened, but why is he?
CHRYSOSTOM, Op. Imp: For he who is angry without cause must answer for it. He who is so with cause has not to answer for it. For if this were not so teaching would be without profit, and crime could not be controlled. So he who with due cause is not roused to anger sins by this: for patience with things that are against reason breeds evil, fosters neglect, and becomes an invitation to wrong doing, not alone to the wicked, but also to the good.
JEROME: In certain copies (of the Scriptures) the words, without cause, are added. However in authentic copies the meaning is definite, and anger wholly forbidden: for if we are told to pray for those that persecute us, every excuse for anger is taken away. We must then erase, without cause; for the anger of man worketh not the justice of God (Jas. i. 20).
CHRYSOSTOM, as above: But that anger which has cause is not anger, but a criticism. For anger strictly means a commotion of feeling. He who with cause becomes angry, his anger does not derive from emotion; and so he is said to condemn rather than to be angry.
AUGUSTINE, Book of Retractions, XIV, 9: We affirm that this also is to be considered: What does it mean to be angry with his brother, since a man is not made angry by his brother, but by the offence of his brother. He therefore who is angry, not with the offence, but with his brother, is angry without cause.
AUGUSTINE, City of God, Bk. XIV, 9: No person of sane mind will fault being angry with a brother in order to correct him: for this impulse arises from the love of good. Such an emotion, coming from holy charity, since it is in accord with reason, is not to be called evil.
CHRYSOSTOM, as above: I believe however that Christ is speaking, not of the anger of the body, but of the anger of the soul: for the body cannot so obey as not to feel emotion. So when a man is angered, but will not do what his body urges, his flesh is angered, but his soul is not.
V. 22. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother . . .
AUGUSTINE, Sermon on the Mount, i. 9, 24: In this first sentence, therefore, there is but one thing spoken of, that is, anger only. In the second there are two: anger, and the voice of anger. Hence there follows: Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. Some wished to base the interpretation of this word on a Greek word meaning ragged (ράκος, a rag). More likely it is not a word with any particular meaning, but a mere sound expressive of resentment of mind: such as grammarians call an interjection, as when someone exclaims, Alas!
JEROME: He did not say: If you have anything against your brother; but: If thy brother hath anything against thee; that He may place on you the more disagreeable necessity of reconciliation.
AUGUSTINE, Sermon on the Mount, i. 10, 27: For he has something against us, if we have wounded him in anything; and we against him, when he has wronged us: where there is no obligation on us to seek to be reconciled. For you do not ask pardon of one who has wronged you. You forgive him, as you desire that the Lord may forgive you what you have committed against Him.
CHRYSOSTOM, Op. Imp: Should he injure you, and you first seek to be reconciled, great will be your reward.
CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 16 in Matt: Should anyone be not disposed to be reconciled to his neighbour out of true charity, let this at least move him to be reconciled: lest his offering remain fruitless, and especially at that sacred place. Hence He says:
V. 24. Leave therefore thy offering before the altar . . .
GREGORY, Hom. 8 in Ezech.: See how He wills not to accept sacrifice from those who are in discord one with another. See then how great an evil is contention; because of which that is lost through which sin is forgiven.
CHRYSOSTOM, Op. Imp: Observe the mercy of God, how He cares for the profit of man above His own honour; He loves peace and goodwill among the faithful more than offerings. For as long as there is any discord among men who are of the faith, their gift is not received, their prayer is unheard. No one between two enemies can be the faithful friend of both. Nor does God wish to be a friend to such as are enemies to one another. We are not faithful to God if we love His enemies, and hate His friends. Such as was the offence, such should be the reconcilement. If you have offended in thought, in thought be reconciled. If you offended in words, be reconciled in words. If you offended in deeds, be reconciled in deeds. In the manner that any sin is committed, in that way let penance be done for it.
HILARY: He bids us, when human peace has been restored, to return to divine peace; that we are to pass from the love of men to the love of God. And so there follows: And then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.
AUGUSTINE, as above: If what is said here is taken literally, some one may think that this is to be done if your brother is present: for no long interval can be meant when we are bidden to leave our gift before the altar. For if he is not present, and is in fact, beyond the seas, and we then remember something, it is absurd to believe that we must leave our gift before the altar, and having crossed over sea or land then come and offer our gift to God. And so we are absolutely compelled to have recourse to a spiritual interpretation, so that what is said may be understood without absurdity.
And so we may interpret the altar spiritually, as being faith. For whatever gift we offer to God, whether teaching or prayer or whatever else it may be, it cannot be offered to God unless it rests on faith. If therefore we have injured our brother in anything, we must go and be reconciled to him, not on the feet of our body, but with the impulses of the soul, where you may cast yourself in humble regret before him, in His sight to Whom you are offering your gift. And just as if he were present you may with a sincere heart dispose him towards you by asking his forgiveness, and then, coming, that is, turning your mind back to that which you had begun to do, offer your gift.
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Confessor
1. Anthony was born in 1502, the only child of a patrician family of Cremona, Italy. Amidst the wealth and pomp of his upbringing, he distinguished himself by deep, serious piety, and a ready, good spirit of helpfulness derived from his very religious mother. As a boy he often gave his clothing to the first beggar he met. In order to help suffering mankind better, he studied medicine at Padua, receiving his degree in 1524. He established a practice in Cremona in order to attend patients during the day, while in the evening he would gather his friends around him in the Church of St. Vitalis to read passages of the New Testament and discuss them, especially the Epistles of St. Paul. He spent much time praying for guidance in the choice of a vocation. Finally he decided to study theology, and was ordained at the age of twenty-six. As the citizens of Cremona had formerly consulted the doctor, so now they came to hear the preacher, who kindled anew the fire of faith and zeal for Christian living. Anthony was also a tireless pastor and confessor. He renewed the face of the city in a few years by his wonder-working example of generous charity. In 1530 Anthony moved to Milan, to be joined by a law student and another young man who had formerly been very worldly. They enthusiastically helped him to found a congregation of priests who would model their whole lives on the ideals of the early Church. Pope Clement VII approved the “Clerks Regular of St. Paul” in 1533. Gradually they were joined by sons of the best families of Milan. About 1535 Anthony also founded the “Angelic Virgins of St. Paul” with the help of the countess of Guastalla, to be guardian angels for young girls exposed to dangers. Anthony suffered much from calumnies and persecutions in Milan. Yet he was called to Vicenza to work for the religious rehabilitation of the people there. Returning from this mission he fell ill, but went to Guastalla to reconcile its warring citizens. From this journey he returned only as far as Cremona, to die in the arms of his mother, on July 5, 1539. His body was taken to Milan and buried in his Order’s Church of St. Barnabas. Because of this his Congregation was called the Barnabites. It now has seven provinces and numbers about four hundred priests [pre-Vatican II].
2. “In one thing . . . thou art still wanting. Go home and sell all that belongs to thee; give it to the poor, and so the treasure thou hast shall be in heaven; then come back and follow me” (Gospel). When the priests of Milan were pulling his preachers out of their pulpits, calling them the “plague of the city” and threatening to burn their home, St. Anthony tried to encourage his brethren by telling them, “We are fools for Christ.” The hatred against them came from both clergy and people. Why? Because they had chosen the foolishness of the Cross of Christ and were preaching Christ Crucified by word and example. Why had this popular physician given up worldly goods and position to live a life of renunciation and sincere imitation of our Lord? It did not make sense. And, to make it worse, a countess had associated herself with Anthony and chosen that foolishness also. Was not all this a slap in the face to the superficial world of Renaissance Milan? Many thought that Anthony was overplaying his role by preaching and doing penance in the streets. Even Pope Paul III did not know for a while just what to make of Anthony’s undertakings. He soon understood, however, and lent the weight of his protection to the movement, declaring: “It is just such men that the Church needs; she has plenty of scholars and diplomats.”
“My preaching, my message depended on no persuasive language devised by human wisdom, but rather on the proof I gave you of spiritual power” (I Cor. 2:4). The Introit puts these words of St. Paul on the lips of Anthony Zaccaria, because from his youth he had so thoroughly saturated his mind with the thoughts of St. Paul that his life and preaching were filled with the spirit of the Apostle. This is reflected in the name of his Congregation. As a priest he undertook the spiritual and moral reformation of the people with the ardor and force of St. Paul. In a few years, he and his brothers reformed all Upper Italy and thus prepared the ground for the later work of St. Charles Borromeo.
St. Anthony drew strength for this superhuman missionary activity from prayer, particularly from his devotion to the Eucharistic Christ. It was his love for the Blessed Sacrament that moved him to promote the so-called “Forty Hours Devotion.” The Offertory of the Mass alludes to this zeal: “Angels for my witnesses, I sing of thy praises: I bow down in worship toward thy sanctuary, giving praise to thy name” (Ps. 137:1) . Another source of strength for Anthony’s work among souls was his charity; he desired to be all things to all men, as did St. Paul: “God knows how I long for you all, with the tenderness of Jesus Christ himself. And this is my prayer for you: may your love grow richer and richer yet, in the fulness of its knowledge and the depth of its perception” (Gradual; Phil. 1: 8). In the power of this love Anthony consumed himself for the sake of those who slandered him. He had only one desire: to save all.
3. “Be content, brethren, to follow my example, and mark well those who live by the pattern we have given them” (Communion; Phil. 3:17). Anthony shines out as a model of renunciation, brotherly love, and zeal for the salvation of souls. We are fools for Christ. “So much wiser than men is God’s foolishness; so much stronger than men is God’s weakness. . . . God has chosen what the world holds base and contemptible, nay, has chosen what is nothing, so as to bring to nothing what is now in being” (I Cor. 1:25-28).
Collect: Lord God, enable us to grasp, in the spirit of Thy apostle Paul, that transcendent knowledge of Jesus Christ which in marvelous ways taught blessed Anthony Mary to gather together in Thy Church new religious families of men and women. Amen. (Benedict Baur)
Boys and Girls!
REV. THOMAS J. HOSTY, M.A., S.T.B.
GOOD MORNING, BOYS AND GIRLS!
Who can tell me what millions of American citizens are going to do next Tuesday? Well, I’m sure that the President of the United States would be glad to see so many young Americans who know the duty of every adult American who loves his country. Yes, next Tuesday, every citizen of the United States, who is of legal age (that means eighteen years of age or over), has the right and duty to vote. I’m very sorry to say that there will be many selfish people who will not vote, despite the fact that they have a real duty to help select the best men to fill our public offices. Such people are a big help (even though they don’t realize it) to the communists who are trying to undermine our government. A person who is not willing to make the little effort that is required to vote does not deserve the right to vote. American citizens should be very happy that they still have the opportunity to vote the way they think they should, for in many countries of the world free voting is strictly a joke. That is true, for example, in all of the countries imprisoned behind the iron curtain of Russia. The people there must vote exactly the way the dictators tell them to.
Let me ask you another question in connection with next Tuesday. We don’t ordinarily speak of next Tuesday as Voting Day. We have another name for it. Who can give me that name? Yes, it’s Election Day.
Now, because you’re doing so well in answering my questions this morning, let me ask you one more. I warn you that this is not an easy one! Why is the day on which we vote called Election Day? I thought you would give me that answer! Sure, I know that men are elected on that day, but what I want to know is, why is the word “elect” or “election” used?
Well, I can hardly blame you for not knowing the answer to that one, because “elect” comes from a Latin word and it means “to choose”; an election, therefore, means a choice. When we vote, we elect a certain person for some particular job, like president of the United States or mayor of our town. That means that we choose him as the one best suited for that special job. If the person whom we choose gets more votes than anyone else, he is said to have won the election, and he receives the job.
Of course, I realize that all of you are much too young to vote next Tuesday. (I’m not sure how many of the Sisters are old enough to vote, and I’m not going to embarrass any of them by asking.) But I want you to promise me that when you are old enough to vote, you will always do your duty, as long as it is humanly possible. Remember, if you are a good Catholic, you must be a good citizen, and a good citizen always votes honestly and intelligently.
I just got through saying that you are too young to take part in the election next Tuesday, but there is one election in which you are not too young to take a part. Who can tell me what that election is? Let me give you a hint—it is not an election which takes place every year, but one which takes place every day. You don’t have to be eighteen years of age or over to be able to vote in this election; all you have to have is the use of your reason, and ordinarily you’re supposed to get that when you’re about seven years old. (Many boys and girls have the use of reason before that age; some few don’t get it for some time after.) Let me give you one final hint—no matter what country in the world you live in, you always have this opportunity to vote. In fact, you not only have the chance to vote, but you must take part in this election.
I knew if I gave you enough clues, you would be able to guess the election to which I was referring. Yes, it is the election or choice which we must make, every day of our lives, between God and sin. By sin, I mean any person, any place, any action, or anything, which is not in agreement with God’s law, For example, if you take money out of your mother’s purse, you are choosing or electing that money, instead of God, because God’s law says, “Thou shalt not steal!” If you deliberately miss Mass on Sunday, so that you can stay in bed and sleep, or so that you can go fishing, you are choosing the pleasure of sleeping or of fishing in preference to God Himself, because God said, “Remember, keep holy the Sabbath day”—and we keep the Lord’s day holy chiefly by going to Mass.
Any time that you deliberately do something sinful, you take part in an election, in which you choose a thing which God has made (we call it a creature) in preference to God Himself. That is precisely why sin is such a terrible thing, because we elect a creature, instead of God, its Creator! In the ordinary election which your town or city or state runs, you could make the wrong choice, through no fault of your own. Sometimes it might happen that the person who is elected is actually far better fitted for the job than the person for whom you voted. You find that out, perhaps, sometime after the election. That is never the case when it comes to the election between God and sin. There can never possibly be any comparison between a choice of God Himself and anything that He made.
The strange part of it all is this—God could have made us in such a way, that we wouldn’t have any choice at all. He could have made us like the sun and the moon and the stars and the flowers and the trees and the birds and the other animals with which we are familiar. They have no choice but to do the will of God. They do what God commands them to do, but they show no real love in obeying Him, because they cannot possibly do anything else. But God made human beings differently. He gave us a free will, by means of which we can deliberately obey Him and His laws, or refuse to obey Him. If we freely obey God’s law, if we elect or choose Him, we show our love for Him. Then we are truly His friends. If we freely refuse to elect God, then we fail to show any love for God, and we are His enemies.
Next Tuesday, at the end of the day, when all the votes have been cast, the election will be over. By late evening, the votes will be counted, and the names of the men who won the election will be announced over the radio and written up in the newspapers. When will God’s Election Day be over? Why, it will be over for you the very instant in which your soul leaves your body at death. If, at that moment, you are a friend of God, if you managed to make up for all the many times when you voted against Him during your lifetime, if the last great vote you made was an election or choice of God, then you will win the only election that really matters. For ever and ever, you will be happy with God in heaven, because you voted for Him on earth.
Whenever you hear or see anything about an election, from now on, say a little prayer to our Lord that you yourself may win the greatest of all elections. I don’t care how you vote the rest of your lives, as long as you always vote the straight Christian ticket—that means, as long as you always choose God, in preference to anything else!
Mr Eberhard Heller wrote several articles concerning the Incarnation and Jesus Christ being the Son of God with its implications—they were just translated from the German into English. I would recommend going to this site http://www.einsicht-aktuell.de/ to read the articles. We will soon publish them in this Newsletter for the benefit of our readers.
Father Krier will in Albuquerque July 4, Los Angeles July 7 and Pahrump on July 9.
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