Vol 14 Issue 29 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
July 17, 2021 ~ Our Lady on Saturday
1. The Incarnation of the Word of God—Eberhard Heller
2. Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
3. Saint Camillus de Lellis
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
Here in the western part of the continental United States of America we are not only feeling, but hearing of the record heat wave and the fires that are burning large portions of the forests. The Federal Government is saying nothing about the fires as it ignores what it cannot appear to control; but the heat wave is used—as every summer—to demand implementation of climate control by inhibiting the use of the natural resources within the nation and exploit other nations’ natural resources at a greater risk of harming the natural environment. God gave man the earth to use:
And God blessed them [Adam and Eve], saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat: And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done. (Gen. 1:28-30) And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it. (Gen. 2:15)
As Catholics, we understand that man has the right to fulfill his needs, but must avoid avarice and covetousness. In providing manna for the Israelites in the desert, one reads:
This is the word, that the Lord hath commanded: Let every one gather of it as much as is enough to eat: a gomor for every man, according to the number of your souls that dwell in a tent, so shall you take of it. And the children of Israel did so: and they gathered, one more, another less. And they measured by the measure of a gomor: neither had he more that had gathered more: nor did he find less that had provided less: but every one had gathered, according to what they were able to eat. And Moses said to them: Let no man leave thereof till the morning. And they hearkened not to him, but some of them left until the morning, and it began to be full of worms, and it putrified, and Moses was angry with them. (Exod. 16:16ff)
Therefore, as Catholics, we know that we are not to exploit, not to harm, not to damage, not to waste—but having the right to the use of what God has provided for our needs. But we are denied and instead of wood from the US building homes, it comes from Canada. Instead of fuel coming from the US it comes from the OPEC Nations. The forests burn from overgrowth and increase carbon dioxide, the gasses leak into the atmosphere and increase sulphur dioxide. The US buys its solar panels from China that has no concern for the environment or its people and its wind blades from India. It seems the United States of America, a land blessed with resources, has become cursed with natural disasters for its exploitation and refusal to use what God has provided.
As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor
The Incarnate Word
The Errors of Vatican II and their defeat by Recognizing Christ as Son of God
by Eberhard Heller; translation: Elisabeth Meurer
Even 50 years after the opening of Vatican II its meaning for the development of the Church is vehemently disputed. Concerning the judgment of the Second Vatican Council, views are very divergent. Some praise it as a ‘new pentecost’, others see it as a singular disaster. On the one hand, some people jubilate that it is the “opening of the Church towards the world, on the other hand, others judge it to be a terrible betrayal against the Church just for this reason – this is how the picture of the character of this meeting of bishops oscillates in the history of the last decades.” (Wolfgang Schüler: „Pfarrer Hans Milch – eine große Stimme des katholischen Glaubens – mit einer Kritik am Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil“, vol. 1, Actio Spes Unica 2005, p. 469)
It cannot be overlooked that we belong to that group which by conviction refuses the decrees of Vatican II. Their translation into action introduced an era of a systematically executed revolution from the top with the aim of a religious enforcement into conformity. It is the realization of the Freemasonic ideal according to which all religions are equally valid, which is the realization of Lessing’s idea of Christianity, Judaism and Islam being equal in his “The Parable of the Three Rings” (cf. “Nathan the Wise”) become reality. After the end of the Council we pricked up our ears by the so-called reforms, specially those in the liturgy, until we found by our theological examinations that these are blatant deviations from the previous faith.
The reformers would object that the Council only wants to make pastoral and not doctrinal decisions. However, against that claim is the fact that all decisions and decrees are treated by the reformers like dogmas, a deviation from which would the membership in the Church would be endangered. In this context I merely refer to the new negotiations between Econe and the Vatican which have failed because Econe was not conceded even a modified interpretation of Vatican II.
The following examples may serve as an opener of the description and the judgment of a situation which started after the Council. During the debate about the relicensing of the ‘old’ Mass (in the version of John XXIII, which was approved by Ratzinger/Benedict XVI), Zollitsch as president of the German episcopal conference, which was opposed to Ratzinger’s plan, stated that the two Masses stood for two different Churches. Thus he unintentionally intimates that there must have been a rupture – and no continuum – in the way the Church sees itself.
On the other hand, I would like to hint at a semantic alteration which has happened to the term of marriage during the past 50 years. We live in a small Upper-Bavarian village where Catholic traditions are still cultivated. One goes to Church on Sundays, mostly in the regional costume, one says the Rosary if someone has died. However, when difficulties in the marriage arise, then it is no problem if the partners look for new partners and live with them, although they promised at the altar to be faithful “until death separates them” – as if everything were o. k. like that. The idea of the marriage as an undissolvable sacrament has been replaced by the (Lutheran) idea, that marriage is a human thing.
To tell the truth one must acknowledge that no decree of the Council denied that marriage is a sacrament. But once the wall is pulled down, no stone will remain on the other. Who does not always talk about admitting the remarried divorced to the sacraments? How can it be that the functionaries of the Reformed Church who were enthrusted with the conveying of doctrinal contents could allow that a marriage resulting in two children was annulled without so much as by-your-leave?
It is not the problem that questions are asked, but how these are answered . . . according to which criteria and if they can remain in the context with the previous dogmatic decrees or if they are deviations, that is, falsifications like in the case of Luther. This is to be examined here.
Even if it is clear what the answer will finally be, namely a refusal – we will not pretend something for 45 years in order to then reject it or pretend the opposite – the access to our critical position is still to be as understandable and comprehensible for everyone as possible.
If one asks for the reason for this crisis, the following reasons are frequently given: that the decisions of the Council have been misunderstood or that it is the fault of ecumenism, religious liberty, the changed understanding of the Church, the new liturgy.
Indeed the radical change in meaning of the term Church is the process where all other critical points can be fixed. The doctrine of subsistit-in as it is fixed in “Lumen gentium”, art. 8, according to which the Catholic Church is no longer the Church of Jesus Christ but only participates in it has opened the way for all other errors about the Church itself and its task concerning its relationship to the world, to other religions, to morality, to liturgy (cf. as well Schüler, ibid., vol. 1, p. 509 ff.)
I had already described the Church giving up its claim to absolute rightness 10 years ago:
“The relativation of the claim to absolute right of the Church was already preformed in the modernism condemned in the encyclical „Pascendi dominici gregis“ by St. Pius X. Giving up the claim to absolute right of the Church is manifestated as a decisive moment in the documents of Vatican II. From them the view comes through that the Church is not the only true institution of salvation. So it says for example: ‘The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men’ (“Nostra Aetate”, art. 3). Further: “But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.” (Lumen gentium, chapter 16). This leading idea may not have always been expressly formulated but it runs like a thread through the whole post-Conciliar development. (…) This relativating the religion continued with progressive syncretism and came to its first peak in the meeting in Assisi of October 27th, 1986 (which was followed by the further so-called interreligious meetings until the meeting in Aachen in September this year ), where under the leadership of these reformers all the religious leaders (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc.) are invited with emphasis on their faith to collaborate in the process of peace and the development of the “culture of love” (John Paul II) and in the destiny of mankind. Just think about what enormous importance is in the meantime given to Buddhism and its representative, the Dalai Lama, who may not be missing at any of these interreligious meetings any more! (Notabene: what this “culture of love” looks like in concreto can be seen by the incredibly strained relationship between the Islamic world and the pretendedly Christian West.) John Paul II ‘rewards’ the murders of Christians by Islamic fanatics by kissing the Koran where the killing of Christians is recommended – a gesture which every Muslim can only understand as a submission under the claim of supremacy and right of the Koran. One can hardly imagine a bigger scandal! In the meantime even the opening Surah of the Koran has been adopted into the official modernist Schott missal: On the Thursday of the 12th week of the “Jahreskreis” (annual circle) it says there: “In the name of Allah, the gracious, the merciful. Praise to Allah, the lord of the worlds, the gracious, the merciful, the lord on the Day of Judgment.“ (quoted from UVK, 33rd year, Volume 3, May/June 2003, p. 186) (. . .) The conception of giving up the claim to absolute right is also more than clearly expressed in the following confession of a French reformer. Father Claude Geffre, O.P., professor at the Institut catholique de Paris, dean of the theological faculty of Saulchoir, director of the Ecole biblique of Jerusalem, writes in “Le Monde” of January 25th, 2000: “At the 2nd Vatican Council the Catholic Church discovered and accepted that it does not have the monopoly on truth, that it must open its ears for the world, that it does not only let itself be taught by other religious traditions but also by a new reading of the fundamental rights of the human concience. All religions have to open themselves to this universal consent. All are called by the consciousness of the rights and the liberty of man. Those (religions) which oppose these legitimate claims are condemned to reform themselves or to vanish. To reform themselves means in this context to admit that the opening towards the requirements of the modern human conscience is not in opposition to the fidelity to the contents of its revelation”. (EINSICHT no. 7 of September 2003)
The heresies contained in the Conciliar documents “Lumen gentium” (Constitution on the Church), “Gaudium et spes” (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World), “Nostra aetate” (Relationship towards the non-Christian Religions), the decree about ecumenism “Unitatis redintegratio”, the declaration about religious liberty “Dignitatis humanae” and the constitution about the liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium” have been shown again and again in EINSICHT. However, I want to make visible the tendency in those errors by quoting some of them.
In the new rite for consecrating a bishop they pretend to use sacramental and theological elements of the eastern Church in order to obtain an ecumenical extension. In the so-called N.O.M. the tendency to accord the Mass to the Protestant meal is decisive. So there is an assimilation to Protestant positions which can also be found in the new rite for the ordination of priests where they pass from the priest who celebrates the sacrifice on to a (mere) pastor, a shepherd who leads his parishioners. And even in the common declaration about justification which was signed on October 31st, 1999, (the Day of Reformation) by Card. Cassidy and the president of LWB, Krause, in the Protestant-Lutheran St.-Anne’s Church in Augsburg, one can find a compositum mixtum of Catholic and Lutheran doctrines.
A very dangerous element of giving up the Catholic, i. e. the true position, can be found in the already quoted new doctrine about the Church which is no longer the Church of Christ but only takes part in it (subsistit in) – even if one means “substantially”.
By this “subsistit in” the identity of the Church as the foundation of Christ is given up together with its founder. So Ratzinger speaks of “polyphony” when he wants to sum up the diverging doctrinal opinions of the different Christian confessions in one collection.
If you take the tendencies together, you will get the result that the reformed Church has removed from its very theological fixation which was granted by the Mission of the Church (until Vatican II) and moved towards conceptions which had been directly condemned as heresies by the Magisterium. (The statements of the so-called Card. Lehmann who called Luther a “Doctor of the Church” and the benevolent statements about this very reformer are also quite suitable here.)
However, by doing so, not only false positions are adopted but by adopting them the claim of truth connected to the doctrine of the Church is given up. The truth, i. e. the absolute claim the Church has made to its doctrine since its foundation, is given up.
Ratzinger would not deny directly that Christ is the Son of God, but indirectly by defining Christ as the one who perfectly adapts to the will of the Father, i. e. he is becoming god by adapting the divine will, to whom others could also follow by perfectly executing God’s will. That is, other sons of God could also arise besides Christ. But in this way the doctrine of the Trinity is destroyed.
(To be continued)
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers
M. F. Toal
THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY
LUKE xvi. 1-9
At that time: Jesus spoke to his disciples the following parable. There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be a steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed.
I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore, calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: take thy bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the Lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are more prudent in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting blessings.
I. ST BASIL, BISHOP AND DOCTOR
I Will Pull Down My Barns
Trials are of two kinds. Either affliction will test our souls as gold is tried in a furnace, and make trial of us through patience, or the very prosperity of our lives will oftentimes, for many, be itself an occasion of trial and temptation. For it is equally difficult to keep the soul upright and undefeated in the midst of afflictions, as to keep oneself from insolence and pride in prosperity. We have an example of the first kind of trial in the blessed Job, that great and undefeated champion, who with unshaken courage and immovable purpose breasted every assault of the devil, as they came against him with the force of a torrent; and the more each attempt of the enemy appeared irresistible, the higher his patience rose superior to every trial. Of the second kind we have many examples besides this rich man of whom we have just read, who had much wealth, and hoped to have much more. And the most kind God did not in the beginning condemn him for his thankless soul; rather, each day He added new riches to what he already had, to see if, when his soul had at length attained satiety, it might then awaken to liberality and to kindness.
For He said: The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits. And he thought within himself, saying: What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said: This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and I will build greater (Lk. xii. 16-18). Why then was the land of this man so rich; he who would do nothing of good with the abundance that was coming to him? That we might see more clearly the forbearance of God, Whose goodness extends itself even to such persons, since He maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust (Mt. v. 45). But such goodness of God brings greater chastisement upon the wicked. He pours out His rains upon the fields cultivated by various hands. He gives us the sun that warms the seed and multiplies it into an abundance of fruit. And it is from God such blessings are received; fertile lands, a fitting climate, seeds that are fruitful, the work of the oxen, and all things else by which the tilled earth becomes fruitful.
What kind of person is this man? His nature is bitter; hating his own kind; of an unyielding greed. This was the return He was making His Benefactor for those blessings. He had no thought for those of his own nature; it did not enter his mind to give what remained over when his barns were full to those who were in need. He gave no heed to the words that commanded: Do not withhold from doing good who is able (Prov. iii. 27); and again: Let not mercy and truth leave thee (iii. 3); and also: Deal thy bread to the hungry (Is. lviii. 7). He paid no heed to all the prophets, to all the teachers, who cried out to him. His barns were near to bursting with the great quantities of corn he had stowed there; but his greedy heart was not yet filled. For he was ever adding new crops to the earlier ones; and the mass swelling upwards through yearly increase he found himself in this predicament of avarice, that he could not let go of the first yield, nor find room to store the last.
So his deliberations were without end, and his decisions kept changing. What shall I do? Who cannot feel compassion for a nature so obsessed? Wretched in his abundance, miserable in his good fortune, and yet more miserable for the blessings to come. For him the earth does not yield harvests, but sighs and groans; not fruits in plenty, but cares, grief, grave anxieties. He grieves like those who are destitute. Is not this what he cries who is in anguish through want: What shall I do? Where shall I get food? Where shall I find clothing? This is what the rich man is saying. Is not his heart tormented; devoured with anxiety? For what rejoices others brings pain to the avaricious. He does not rejoice at his barns stuffed full. The overflowing riches his barns cannot hold torment his soul, lest perhaps overflowing from his barns they bring some of their blessing to those in want.
2. To me his anguish of soul seems to resemble that of those who are given to the vice of gluttony, who would rather burst themselves eating than leave a crumb for the hungry. Recall to mind your Benefactor, O Man! Be mindful of yourself, who you are, of what things have been placed in your charge, from Whom you receive them, and why you were favoured above others. You have been made a servant of the good God; an administrator for your fellow servant. Do not imagine that all these fruits were prepared for your stomach. Regard what you hold within your own hands as though it belonged to others. For a little while these things will give you pleasure; then flowing away from you they disappear, and then you must with exactness render an account of them. But you seek with bolts and bars to keep them all hidden, and you shut them up under seals, and watch them anxiously, and you think within yourself, What shall I do?
What shall I do? Offhand I would say: ‘I shall fill the souls of the hungry. I shall open my barns, and I shall send for all who are in want. I shall be like Joseph (Gen. xlvii. 11) in proclaiming the love of my fellow man. I shall cry out with a mighty voice: “Come to me all of you who have need of bread; for of the abundance that divine love has given to me, let each of you take according to his need.” ‘
You do not do this. Rather you are so in dread lest other men should have a share in the fruits you possess, that you take thought within your unworthy soul, not as to how you will give the poor what they hunger for, but how you, taking everything, may deprive all others of the help of them. They stood near him who would demand his soul of him (Lk. xii. 20); and he took thought within himself of food! That very night he was snatched away; when he had begun to imagine to himself the delights and the enjoyment of his possessions! It was permitted him to take thought of everything, to make known openly what was in his mind, that he might receive a sentence worthy of his character.
3. Beware that the same does not happen to you! For to this end were these things written, that we avoid doing similar things. Imitate the earth, O Man, and let you also bear fruit, as it does, so that you may not be lower than the senseless creation. It nourishes its fruits, not for its own delight, but to serve you. And you, whatever fruits of beneficence you do yield, you gather up for yourself; for the grace of good works and their reward is returned to the giver. Have you given something to a person in need; what you have given becomes yours, and is returned to you with an increase. And as the wheat that falls to the earth brings increase to the one who has thrown it there, so the bread that you give to the hungry will later bring you a great gain. Therefore, let the end of your earthly tilling be the beginning of your heavenly sowing. Sow for yourselves in justice (Os. x. 12).
Why then are you anxious? Why do you torment yourself, striving to shut up riches behind bricks and mortar? A good name is better than many riches (Prov. xxii. 1). Should you desire riches because of the honour they bring you, consider how much more it honours you to be called the father of innumerable children than to have a purse filled with gold. And whether you will it or not you will leave the gold behind, while the glory that is born of good works you carry back to the Lord, where, standing before our common Judge all the people shall call you their nourisher and their benefactor, and give you those other names that signify kindness and humanity. Do you not see those at the theatre, at the public contests, at the fights with beasts, those who scatter their wealth for the sake of applause from the common people around them, of those whose very appearance is abhorrent? And you are mean and grasping in spending the little by which you may attain to such endless glory? The Lord Himself shall praise you. The angels shall praise yon with Him, and all who are gathered from the whole world shall call you blessed. Eternal glory, a crown of justice, the kingdom of heaven, these shall he receive who was a just dispenser of the things which perish.
Have you no anxiety, despising the good things laid up for you in hope, because of your eagerness for the things of this present life? Come then. Give out of your riches. Become splendid and generous in bestowing your riches on the needy. Let it be said of you: He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor; his justice remaineth for ever and ever (Prov. xi. 26). Do not take advantage of those in want to sell dearly. Beware of waiting for a famine before you open up your barns. For, He that hideth up corn, shall be cursed among the people (Prov. xi. 26). Do not look to a famine to make money; nor to the common want for your private gain. Do not become a dealer in human misery. Do not try to make money out of the anger of God. Do not torment the wounds of the afflicted with your cruel whips. You with your eyes ever on money, do you never take a look at your fellow man? You know well the face of a coin, and you can tell a true from a false one, but you know not your brother in his time of need.
4. The bright glitter of gold delights you, but you never think of with what groans, what execrations, the poor pursue you. How can I bring their sufferings before your eyes? Consider one among them. He stands there looking about him in his miserable home. He sees no money in his purse, nor any hope of it. He looks at his clothes, his poor tools, at the other few articles that form the belongings of the poor; in all they are worth but a few coins. What will he do? His eyes then come to rest upon his own little ones, as if here he may, by taking them to the market and exposing them for sale, hold back that death that now hangs over all of them. Consider, I beg you, the anguished struggle within him, between the hunger that devours them and the father’s love. Hunger threatens them with a miserable death. But nature shudders; tells him rather to die with his children. Now resolved to act, now refusing. He at last gives way; forced by want, and an implacable hunger.
What thoughts now rise in the mind of the father? Whom will he first sell? Which of them will the cornseller look at? Must it be my eldest? But I must not put to shame his rights as the eldest. Shall I sacrifice my youngest? His tender age torments me; unable yet to understand this tragedy? He has the face of both his mother and his father; he is fit for study, for learning. O dread misery! On which of them must I inflict this terrible wrong? On which of them shall I impose the life of a beast? How can I forget my own nature? If I keep them all with me, one by one I shall see them die of hunger. If I sell one, how shall I face the eyes of those left; I who am now guilty in their eyes of treachery and betrayal? How shall I remain in my house, deprived by my own act of my own children? How shall I come to the table, furnished at their price?
At length with tears the father goes, to sell the dearest loved among his children. But you do not bend before the face of such agony; no thought of nature enters your mind. Hunger drives this suffering creature, but you hold out, and play him, and prolong his agony. He offers as the price of food his heart’s blood. Your hands that drag riches from the deeps of his pain not alone do not tremble in fear, but with them you haggle over the price. To gain more you offer less; by every trick you look to add to the unhappy man’s affliction. Tears do not move you to pity; nor his groans of anguish soften your heart. You are immovable and implacable. Money fills your mind. You dream of it; sleeping and waking you hunger for it. Just as the insane see no reality, only the vision that torments them, so your soul, obsessed by avarice, sees all things as gold, all things as silver. You look more readily at gold than at the sun. You would change everything into gold, and this you try to do with all your power.
St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor
1. Camillus was born in Italy in 1550 of noble family, his father being an officer in the army of Emperor Charles V. His mother died while he was still a child, and for lack of guidance he fell into evil ways, gambling and gadding until his father induced him to become a soldier in the service of Venice. While on their way there both fell ill at Ancona, and his father died. Camillus himself developed painful ulcers on his feet, which lamed him the rest of his life. As he struggled homeward he was received by the Franciscans at Fermo with such charity that he resolved to enter their Order. Once in his homeland he applied at the monastery at Aquila, but was refused because of his foot ailment.
The young Camillus then went to Rome to obtain medical care and served as a nurse in the hospital of St. James, the so- called “resort” of incurables. Here his wounds were healed, but new ones broke out and he reverted to his former careless state of mind. Dismissed from service in the hospital because he could not get along with his fellow nurses, Camillus entered the Venetian army in 1570 and fought against the Turks. After that he went to Tunis with the Spanish army, and was almost shipwrecked on his return from Africa. Back in Naples, he gambled away “everything he owned and then wandered aimlessly into the south of Italy. In Manfredonia he took a laborer’s job at the construction of the Capuchin monastery. Again he asked for admission and again was rejected on account of his ulcers. He even went a second time to St. James in Rome, tried monastic life, and had to give it up.
It was now evident to Camillus that he was not meant for the cloister, and he decided to devote his life entirely to the care of the sick. St. Philip Neri took pity on him and led him into better ways. The sight of so many sick people, neglected by nurses and doctors, furnished the final impetus to his vocation. With several companions he undertook to serve the sick out of genuine charity. It soon became clear to him, however, that he must become a priest if the project was to succeed; and so, at the age of thirty-two, he studied Latin in a class of boys. In 1574 he was ordained. He opened his own hospital, thus laying the foundation for the Order of Camillians approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1586. In the year 1604 Camillus resigned his office as superior in order to spend more time in the actual serving of the sick. He died on July 14, 1614, in Rome. In 1742 he was beatified; in 1746, canonized; in 1886 Pope Leo XIII named him patron of the sick; and in 1930, Pope Pius XI made him the patron of nurses. At the time of the Saint’s death his Order comprised five provinces with three hundred members. In the year 1600 it was changed into an Order for priests who would spend their time exclusively in corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Order began to flourish again in the nineteenth century.
2. “Remember that we have changed over from death to life, in loving the brethren as we do” (Epistle). When, after his years of undisciplined living, Camillus was so impressed by the charity of the Franciscans that he wanted to join them, a Guardian who happened to be his uncle advised: “Be discreet; let your sudden emotion blow over and your blood cool down. First, try to find a cure for your feet; then it may become evident whether you are called to religious life.” As events proved, the desire was merely a straw fire, for Camillus soon returned to his former way of life. When this nobly born youth found himself at length in Rome and in the deepest misery, God’s grace came to him in the form of heartfelt sympathy for the sick and dying. Heroic love reclaimed him from the deadly illness of passion and vice to a life of grace, so that he became a blessing not only for the sick but for the entire Church as well. God’s grace indeed worked wonders in the heart of this onetime derelict.
“Loving the brethren,” Camillus formed a society of male nurses. With the help of a benefactor he was able to open his own hospital The number of members increased chiefly because of its Founder’s holy example. During a Roman epidemic Camillus hurried from house to house with four of his brethren supplying medicine and nourishment, providing jobs for patients and watching over their business affairs. When Camillus heard that almost three thousand deaths had occurred in the hospital of San Sisto in Rome, he rushed there with eight brethren. Indescribable misery prevailed, and to make matters worse, he lost five of his companions within a short time. Helpers became fewer and Camillus had to redouble his exertions for the sick. When night came he did not rest, but made preparations for the next day’s labors: straw-sacks he filled for beds, and then mended bed-coverings and gathered up the laundry.
The great heart of this Saint had room for other charities, too. He visited and helped prisoners and poor people everywhere, always leading the way for his brethren, always the most zealous and tireless of all. During the pestilence in Nola, Camillus and his brethren exhibited marvelous devotion in their work. When famine followed, he was a rescuing angel. This spirit of love that gives everything, even life, for the salvation of fellow men, Camillus bequeathed to his Order. Many of his men died heroic deaths in the service of charity. During the pestilence of 1656, all but four of his sixty priests died, and of the lay brothers only one survived. That was the way St. Camillus understood how the word of the Lord was to be lived: “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. This is the greatest love a man can show, that he should lay down his life for his friends” (Gospel).
3. With Holy Church, we pray that, through the merits of St. Camillus, God may grant us this spirit of charity. “If a man is without love, he holds fast to death . . . . God has proved his love to us by laying down his life for our sakes; we too must be ready to lay down our lives for the sake of our brethren” (Epistle).
Collect: God, who didst adorn St. Camillus with an especial gift of charity to help the dying in their last agony, inspire us, we pray Thee, through his merits, with the love of Thee, so that in the hour of our death we may be found worthy to vanquish the enemy and obtain a heavenly crown. Amen.
(Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
LETTERS TO JACK
WRITTEN BY A PRIEST TO HIS NEPHEW
RIGHT REV. FRANCIS C. KELLEY, D.D., LL.D.
THE noisy boy is a delight. The noisy man is a nuisance.
DON’T be noisy enough to make people think you are not genuine; but don’t be quiet enough to make them think you are a nonentity, or afraid.
THE biggest noise is always made by the biggest failure.
My dear Jack:
This morning you started down from your bedroom on the third floor like a barrel of nails, and landed with a thud in front of the breakfast table. It is true that you had only a few minutes in which to bolt your breakfast, rush for a car, and get down to work at the office. Knowing that, I said nothing about the noise; and then I wanted to see how far it would go. Breakfast over, there was a rush to the door, a bang, a hurry down the steps, and peace descended upon me again. My Matins finished, I sat for a moment to think you out; and I made up my mind that you were too much like your uncle at the same age; so I resolved to write you a series of letters, and begin on Noise. But the letters that I am going to write are not entirely for you. I am in hopes that they will reach a multitude of Jacks, living all over this broad land of North America; every one of them the son of Catholic parents, every one of them beginning life as you are, every one of them full of hope and ambition; and, too, every one of them just a plain Catholic boy who makes a noise now to bother more ancient nerves than those possessed by youth; but who expect to make a noise later on in a different way that will better, not bother, the world. Inevitably I will have to make the general theme of my letters the old theme of success; though, frankly, I dislike the word. You see, success means a different thing to almost every individual. My idea of it may not be yours; but all of us know the idea by the same name. I won’t attempt to define what I mean by it, nor ask you what you mean. I am going to try to make these letters the definition.
The worst way to begin a day—any day—is as you did this morning. You were due at your office at eight-thirty. It is a forty minute walk from this house. I heard you get up, because you dropped one shoe at exactly seven-thirty. You were at breakfast twenty minutes later, which means that you dressed carelessly, splashed into your bath and out again, had no time to shave, rushed through your breakfast and then caught a car, though you are young and needed the walk. You arrived at your office with the beginnings of an indigestion in your system which will be in full control of your stomach at thirty. By walking you would have saved five cents, though, of course, you would have lost it by the wear and tear on shoe leather; that, however, would not have been entirely a loss, for you would, by walking, have made a beginning of a good habit, and laid the foundation for good health. A walk would have meant entrance to your place of work with a clear head, a bright eye and a cheerful disposition. You read a paper all the way downtown—at least you took a paper as you left the house. You, therefore, saw nothing. Had you walked, you would have noticed the sun and the fact that it is springtime. Had you let your thoughts run, you would have been storing up things good for you later on. People are far more interesting to read than morning papers. A certain friend of mine has a habit, he tells me, of reading the daily paper standing up, so that he wont lose time over it. It is a good habit, worth cultivating. As it is, you got to your office with the wrong sort of a tired feeling, the feeling that is born of insufficient sleep—you were up late the night before, you know; and I was not able then to drive you to bed. In addition, you had twenty minutes of the bad air of the street car; and you started your labor when you started that paper. You had already been working for yourself before you began to work for your employer; so you did not, therefore, give him what he was paying you for—the fine fresh hours of the day.
It was really only a symptom, that noise. You are not yet old enough to have gotten over the habit. A boy who makes a noise around the house is a healthy boy; but you are just on the verge of manhood. The noisy boy is a delight. The noisy man is a nuisance. Nobody wants to have a noisy man around, because he isn’t natural. There is something of the cheat about a noisy man. He is like a shouting mob that hasn’t anything really back of it but excitement. His good nature is too often assumed. He is afraid people will get to know him as he is, so he shouts to keep some one from asking questions which he cannot answer. At twenty it is wise already to have passed two years trying to eliminate a boyish disposition, so that, when you begin the life of business, you will have learned something of the gentle art that a certain statesman calls “pussyfooting”. I do not, however, quite counsel that. The Latins say “In medio stat virtus “, which, by enlargement, means that in moderation is good sense. It is a wise saying. I had a friend, a bachelor, who hired a Japanese servant. The servant stayed about one month and was then incontinently fired. Now the servant was a good cook and a good valet, so I asked my friend why he had let him go. He answered: “Because I became afraid of him. I never knew out of what dark corner he would glide at a most unexpected time. He had feet like a cat, and eyes that didn’t show in the dark. He got on my nerves. I wanted a little noise to relieve the monotony—so there you are.” The lesson from both extremes is: don’t be noisy enough to make people think you are not genuine; but don’t be quiet enough to make them think you are a nonentity or afraid. Don’t shout; but then don’t whisper. Don’t talk all the time; but then don’t be silent. Come down stairs as if the stairs were intended to be walked on, not pounded; but come down as if you were walking on stairs, not air. Don’t shout “good morning” from another room; but come in and say it as if you meant it. Give yourself time to dress, and learn the pleasure of walking and observing as you walk. Form the habit. It is worth while. I wish I had formed it when I was your age.
But this noise question is bigger still. The average boy who is working for success, says that he is “going to make a noise in the world”. Now get it out of your mind, my dear Jack, that the man who makes a noise in the world is successful. He isn’t. The biggest noise is usually made by the biggest criminal. It is easy enough to make a noise, if you care only for the fact of it. The man who starts out with the idea that success consists of having people notice him, or having his picture in the paper, often gets it through most devious ways; and his noise is good neither for his fellows nor for himself. It ends sometimes by a choking sensation after dropping from a platform.
There is another kind of noise often coupled with the idea of success. It is the noise of simple failure. It is much like the noise you made this morning. You hear the rumble of it and then the thud that ends it. It isn’t good for anybody, but we all have to notice it. The thud is the failure; for, mark you, the biggest noise is often made by the biggest failure. There is no thud at the end of the pleasing noise that is made by a successful man. It begins small and it grows. Its volume increases, but it is musical and pleasant, even at its height. It doesn’t end even when the man dies. It merely begins to soften, and then melts away rather than ends. How long it takes thus to melt away, depends upon the measure of success that the individual who was responsible for it has had. That’s the kind of a noise to make in the world, and you can make it if you want to. Let me tell you how.
You begin at the simplest thing possible—opening your eyes in the morning at a fixed hour. When they are open they stay open. You waste no time in being alive. You master yourself by not closing them to take another nap. In other words, you begin your day with a victory, and thus you help to cultivate a will. You get out of your bed after an offering of the day to your Maker, and so He has the first moment to Himself. You dress like a gentleman, not because your clothes are tailor-made and of fine cloth, but because you see that they hang right and are clean. You hurry through nothing, even your morning plunge. You put ”snap” into your dressing. You take the measure of your own weaknesses, and therefore of yourself, by an act of humility. You get down on your knees to the One Who alone is Great. You have a cordial smile for every one you meet in the morning, particularly for those who wait on you; since you, like myself, like my superiors, and like their superiors, and then like their superiors, are servants. We must all of us serve; and service is honorable. Since you have a heart, every servant has a heart and kindness reaches it. I would rather, my dear Jack, be loved by those who serve me than by those whom I serve. There is a priest of my acquaintance who once said: “Mine has been a strange fate. Every one under me loves me; every one of my equals is suspicious of me; but my superiors all seem to dislike me.” I said to him: ”You are a successful man. If your superiors seem to dislike you, perhaps it is because you are too big for them. If your equals are suspicious of you, perhaps it is because they envy you. But if those who serve you love you, it proves that you are good.”
When you leave the house you will remember that God made the sun for you, and that the grass and trees bloom for you. Part of your inheritance is the glory of nature that is around you. If you do not enjoy that inheritance, you are losing one of the finest things in life. The people you meet are destined to educate you; you may read the lessons in their morning faces. You thank God for His care of you when you see how much better off you are, or think you are, than others. In the luxurious motor cars that glide past you, you have an incentive to work. You have good health offered as you inhale the fresh air and exercise your limbs. When you enter your office, your geniality will make others genial, others who may not have taken advantage of the things around them as you have. You will remember that you have only two commodities to sell—your brains and your hands. These your employer bought for the space of eight hours. He owns them. You made a contract with him as binding as a mortgage or a sale. It has not been registered in the public records, but it is registered in your conscience, and therefore before God. You give to your employer’s work exactly the same attention that he gives to superintending it; it makes no difference that he earns twenty-five thousand a year, and you earn only twenty-five dollars a week. He took you when you were not worth even that; and he came up, just as you will come up, by giving an honest measure of attention and time to little things. Your first noise will be made in that office, and it may not be much of a noise. But it will grow slowly and surely, until someone hears it; and then you will have taken the first step upward. That’s the noise that is worth while.
Now to sum up. Each day that you begin is like the life that you begin, at twenty. If you begin right, you will end right. If you plant good seeds, good things will grow. If you begin by being thoughtful, you will end by being thoughtful. If you begin with God, you will end with God.
(To be continued.)
Father Krier will be in Eureka, Nevada (Saint Joseph, Patron of Families), July 22.
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