Catholic Tradition Newsletter

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 12 Issue 24                    Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier


June 15, 2019

Ember Saturday in Pentecost Week


  1. What is the Holy Eucharist
  2. Trinity Sunday
  3. Saint Francis Regis
  4. Family and Marriage
  5. Articles and notices

 

Dear Reader:

The Catholic Faith is rich in her devotional treasures and I want to draw from it as I continue writing on the Sacred Heart. Guided by the Holy Ghost, the Church has always aroused her children to live the life the heavenly Father calls them to exemplify. Pius XI points to this when he wrote in Miserentissimus Redemptor, on May 8, 1928:

Among the many proofs of the boundless benignity of our Redeemer, there is one that stands out conspicuously, to wit the fact that when the charity of Christian people was growing cold, the Divine Charity itself was set forth to be honored by a special worship, and the riches of its bounty was made widely manifest by that form of devotion wherein worship is given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Coloss. ii, 3).

He explains:

[W]hen the Jansenist heresy, the most crafty of them all, hostile to love and piety towards God, was creeping in and preaching that God was not to be loved as a father but rather to be feared as an implacable judge; then the most benign Jesus showed his own most Sacred Heart to the nations lifted up as a standard of peace and charity portending no doubtful victory in the combat.

. . . hence pious confraternities to promote the worship of the Divine Heart are everywhere erected, hence too the custom of receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month at the desire of Christ Jesus, a custom which now prevails everywhere.

As the bride of Christ, the Church has always pointed to the Evangelical law of love. The word love (loved, loveth) is to be found at least 173 times in the New Testament. There is the verse in John, frequently quoted: For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John 3:16) There is the great commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. (Matt. 22:37) This is followed by the second: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22:39)

Christ, Himself, showed that the Sermon on the Mount was not just a beautiful idea, but lived it perfectly, even the words: Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you. (Matt. 5:44) John, the disciple who also leaned on his breast at supper (John 21:20; cf. 13:25) writes: He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is charity.

(1 John 4:8) In other words, in contemplating the Scriptures, one cannot but see a loving God Who seeks to convince His human creatures that He loves them and wants nothing more than the best for them—even though they reject that love: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that slayest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not! (Matt. 23:37) The hurt to His love is seen when, with the coming of the Paschal festival He sees the Temple turned into a money-making business:

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves. (Matt. 21:12-13)

At the Last Supper, just before He is going to give His life for the salvation of mankind, He instructs His Apostles: A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34) While in agony in the Garden of Gethsemani, He revealed the pain of His heart: And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch. And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him. (Mark 14:34-35; cf. Matt. 26:38) On the Cross Christ exclaimed: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt. 27:46; cf. Mark 15:34) As Christ could neither deceive nor be deceived, these words were not a simple fulfillment of prophesy (cf. Psalm 21), but a revelation of the divine love Christ had for man to be willing to suffer the most excruciating pain that it felt even God could not comprehend—yet He, God the Son, was experiencing.

The image of the Crucified Christ is present before the faithful at least at every Holy Mass. The Five Sacred Wounds are marked by the nails and the spear that pierced the Heart of Christ: But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. (John 19:34) Not only those who were present when Christ died, but the faithful throughout the ages and today look on him whom they pierced. (John 19:37; cf. Zach. 12:10) Such reflections, then, led the faithful to ask first how to console Our Lord: In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. (Psalms 68:21) Coupled with Ecclesiasticus, They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none. (51:10), the words evoked compassion in the hearts of the faithful; and the scene of the Agony in the Garden, where one reads, he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? (Matt. 26:40) motivated the religious to rise in the night in prayer and the faithful too make holy hours of reparation.

Where does one attribute the desires, the longings, the fears, the endurance, the giving of oneself to another? To the heart! For the heart beats according to the emotions. The heart rate increases in the presence of excited emotions, but is decreased when comforted. The heart rate increases in anger and decreases in tranquility. The heart rate increases in the presence of one desired but decreases in the presence of one united. The palpitations of expectation of the young man on his knee before the young lady in front of him as he asks the question, Will you marry me? could not be much different, then, when Christ asks, Will you follow me? And, if so, would not God, then, feel these emotions through His human heart which is united to the Divine Person? Associating the human desire to be consoled, expressed by the Divine Desire in the words quoted above, it was only natural that devotion to the Sacred Heart should have a concrete expression in the particular devotion to the Love of Jesus Christ, love symbolized by the heart and therefore directed to His Heart.

Saint Bonaventure (+1273), following in the footsteps of Saint Francis who gave the visible representation of the Christmas scene, writes the following which the Church places for the reading on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (Divine Office, III nocturn):


A Homily by St. Bonaventure the Bishop (Book of the Tree of Life, num. 30):

In order that the Church might be taken out of the side of Christ, in his deep sleep on the Cross, and that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced: it was divinely ordained that one of the soldiers should pierce his sacred side with a spear, and open it. Then forthwith there came flowing out blood and water, which was the price of our salvation, pouring forth from its mountain-source, in sooth, from the secret places of his Heart, to give power to the Sacraments of the Church, to bestow the life of grace, and to be as a saving drink of living waters, flowing up to life eternal for those who were already quickened in Christ. Arise, then, O soul beloved of Christ. Cease not thy vigilance, place there thy lips, and drink the waters from the fount of salvation.

Because we are now come to the sweet Heart of Jesus, and because it is good for us to be here, let us not too soon turn away therefrom. O how good and joyful a thing it is to dwell in this Heart. What a good treasure, what a precious pearl, is thy Heart, O most excellent Jesu, which we have found hidden in the pit which hath been dug in this field, namely, in thy body. Who would cast away such a pearl? Nay, rather, for this same I would give all my pearls. I will sell all my thoughts and affections, and buy the same for myself, turning all my thoughts to the Heart of the good Jesus, and without fail it will support me. Therefore, o most sweet Jesu, finding this Heart that is thine and mine, I will pray to thee, my God: admit my prayers into the shrine of hearkening: and draw me even more altogether into thy Heart.

For to this end was thy side pierced, that an entry might be open unto us. To this end was thy Heart wounded, that in it we might be able to dwell secure from alarms from without. And it was wounded none the less on this account that, because of the visible wound, we may perceive the wound of love which is invisible. How could this fire of love better shine forth than for him to permit that not only his body, but that even his Heart, should be wounded with the spear? Who would not love that Heart so wounded? Who would not, in return, love one who is so loving? Who would not embrace one so chaste? Wherefore let us who are in the flesh love in return, as much as we can, him who so loveth, embrace our wounded one, whose hands and feet, side and Heart, have been pierced by wicked husbandmen; and let us pray that he may deign to bind our hearts, still hard and impenitent, with the chain of his love, and wound them with the dart thereof.

As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor

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WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST

By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier



When Pope Urban IV (1261-64) published the Bull Transiturus on 8 September, 1264, instituting the Feast of Corpus Christi, he had Saint Thomas compose the Mass and Office. The raising of the Host and Chalice at Mass, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and processions of the Blessed Sacrament, finalizing in the Feast of Corpus Christi resulted out of a profession of faith in the true presence of Christ, devotion to His presence, and honoring His presence.



Reception of Chalice: Denial of Christ’s Real Presence and Church Authority




At the Last Supper Christ gave His Apostles His Body under the appearance of bread and His Blood, under the appearance of wine:


Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. (Matt. 26:26-28)


Saint Paul writes to the Corinthians concerning the abuse at the Sacrifice of the Mass by over-indulgence in the Agape, a meal shared by the community before Mass that was intended to show charity and replicate  Christ who ate a meal (Passover) with His Apostles at the Last Supper before offering the first Mass. In describing the Mass, he expresses that everyone received both the Body of Christ and the Chalice of His Blood:


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. (1 Cor. 11:26-27)


The Church, seemingly from Apostolic times, did not always allow everyone to drink from the Chalice. This was to reverence the Blood of Christ as Saint Paul indicates, or for not being able to have sufficient wine to consecrate so everyone could partake, and in the taking of the Body of Christ (the host) alone to those who were not able to be present at Mass, as also when sickness was present. As the congregations grew, it became even more difficult to allow all the congregants to receive from the Chalice, the chances of sufficiency and the Chalice being spilled increasing. Eventually it became optional until it became the exception and not the norm, especially when during times of the plague no one but the celebrant received the Chalice. There was no note of opposition in not offering the Chalice to the laity.

When Berengarius (+1088) began to question the true presence in the Sacrament of the Altar, he resorted to Scripture and interpretations of the Fathers that seemingly proved his point. Even though the Church, through her bishops and popes, showed him his error, Berengarius rejected the authority of the Church to decide. The Church spontaneously began to stress the Real Presence of Christ in opposition to those who adopted the errors of Berengarius denying the Presence of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—the very same Mary held when He was born. Now Christians began to genuflect as they entered the Church to show their faith in Christ’s true presence. Here may be introduced the story of Saint Anthony who was berated by a man who refused to genuflect before the blessed Sacrament, denying the Real Presence. Saint Anthony (+1231) took the quote from Scripture, The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood (Isaias 1:3) to prove Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Here is an account by Fr Thomas Ward:


Among the errors professed by the Albigenses was the denial of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the blessed Eucharist. One day St. Anthony carried on a long discussion on this article of Catholic faith with an obstinate and influential heretic of the city. Being pressed by the solid and luminous reasons of the apostle, the heretic seemed to waver, even to the point of giving homage to faith. He stopped short, however, even as the Jews of old, and asked for miracles. "Prove to me by a public miracle," he said, "that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, as you are striving to establish, and I swear to you that I shall at once renounce my doctrines, and humbly submit myself to what you preach." The challenge was a solemn one; another would have hesitated to accept it. But Anthony, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tranquilly replied he would accept it. Then the heretic said: "I shall shut my mule in his stable for three days, and deprive him of all food. When this time shall have passed, I will lead him into the public street and before all the assembled people I will offer him food to eat. But you, on your part, will bring the consecrated Host, and will present it to my mule. If, in spite of his hunger he turns away from the food, and prostrates himself on both knees before your sacrament, I shall be convinced, and declare myself a Catholic." Anthony consented to this proposition and departed. He prepared himself by prayer to avenge Jesus for the outrages inflicted on Him by the impiety of the Manicheans. He asked of God to draw from the slavery of error so many simple souls, over whom the torrent of opinion triumphed, and led far from His Church. At length the day of trial came, and the heretic came to the appointed place, followed by a large number who hoped to enjoy the confusion of the Franciscan apostle. The heretic led his mule by the bridle, and also carried the food which he knew would be so welcome. During this time Anthony celebrated Mass with even greater fervor than ordinary. When he had finished he turned towards the scene where the power of Heaven was soon to be manifested. The saint held in his hands the golden ostensorium, in the centre of which reposed the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Behind him walked many of the faithful, reciting prayers and hymns, impatient to see what would happen. When Anthony was in the presence of his adversary, he stopped and recollected himself for an instant; then he imposed silence on the multitude, and turning to the mule thus spoke to him: "In the name of thy Creator, whom I truly carry in my hands, in spite of my unworthiness, I say to thee, animal deprived of reason, and I command thee, to come at once with humility and do Him the reverence which you owe Him." At the same moment the owner of the mule presented him with food to eat. But, prodigy! the beast turned away from his food, and, obedient to the voice of the wonder-worker, fell to the earth on both knees and remained in this position immovable. The people, breathless with wonder, could not contain their enthusiasm; and cries of joy escaped from every one. The heretics were cast on the ground where they stood, while the one who had provoked the miracle fell on his knees and adored in a loud voice the august Mystery, which a moment before he had called a superstition. He afterwards became an apostle, brought back to the truth his whole family, and constructed, at his own expense, a church which he dedicated to St. Peter. His descendants, to add to his gratitude, and to perpetuate the memory of the miracle, built a chapel on the very spot where the miracle had been wrought. (Ward, 35-38)


It would be the Albigensians who would also claim Mass was for the community, not a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Fr Martin Cochem gives the following:


At the commencement of the twelfth century the impious Albigenses appeared in France; amongst other disgraceful tenets they held marriage to be an unlawful state, and encouraged profligacy: They did, it is true, take no exception to the celebration of solemn High Mass in the presence of a large assembly of people, but they would not tolerate Low Mass, at which but few persons assisted. In fact, they prohibited them, under pain of fines and imprisonment. In connection with these heretics Cesar of Heisterbach, who lived about the same time, relates the following incident:

Although the Albigenses had forbidden priests, under heavy penalties, from saying Low Mass, a certain pious priest would not allow himself to be deterred by so unjust a prohibition from saying Mass privately. When this became known, he was arrested and brought before the council, who said to him: "Information has reached us that, in defiance of our prohibition, you have said a Low Mass, and committed a grave offence; we have therefore caused you to be brought before us, to answer for yourself whether it is so." The priest instantly replied without any sign of fear: " I will answer in the words of the holy apostles, who said, when it was inquired of them before the Jewish Council whether they had violated the law by preaching in the name of Christ, 'We ought to obey God rather than man.' (Acts v. 29.) For this reason, therefore, in spite of your unjust prohibition, I said Mass to the honor of God and of His blessed Mother." The judges, greatly infuriated by this bold reply, condemned the pious priest to have his tongue torn out in the presence of all the people. The priest suffered this cruel sentence with the utmost patience; he went straight to the church, his mouth yet bleeding, and, kneeling humbly before the altar at which he had said Mass, poured out his complaint to the Mother of God. Being unable any longer to speak with his tongue, he raised his heart to her with all the more fervor, entreating her that his tongue might be restored to him. So urgent was his supplication that the blessed Mother of God appeared to him, and with her own hand replaced his tongue in his mouth, saying that it was given back to him for the sake of the honor he had paid to God the Lord and to her by saying Mass, and exhorting him diligently to make use of it in that manner for the future. After returning heartfelt thanks to his benefactress the priest returned to the assembled people, and showed them that his tongue had been given back to him, thus putting to confusion the obstinate heretics, and all who had displayed hostility to the holy Mass. (Cochem, 19-21)


It became clearly understood that when one received the Host, one received Christ wholly—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—and therefore one was also partaking of the Blood of Christ when one consumed the Host. A sign of the rejection of Transubstantiation and the real Presence of Christ by those following Berengarius’ was that they demanded to receive the Chalice as their authority became not the Church, but Scripture alone. It was confusing to the laity, because the Berengarians and Albigensians would repeat the words: This is my Body . . . This is my Blood, but they claimed it was only a figure; then they would say Christ said, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood (cf. John 6:54), was to be taken literally that one had to eat the host and also drink from the chalice—though not believing it was the true Body and Blood of Christ. This error was adopted by the Protestants and now by the Conciliar Church, where those only accepting a signification can only accept doing as Christ commands by eating the host and drinking from the chalice, not believing in the Transubstantiation and the Real Presence. This is why women in the Conciliar Church can touch the host with their bare hands (cf. John 20:17) like the Protestants—though never found done in the early church. This is why, once again, there is a loss of adoration by genuflecting and giving a sign of faith in Christ present on the altar in the tabernacle.

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The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

F. Toal


THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY

MATTHEW

xxviii. 18-20


At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.


EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA


18. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given.


BEDE: After the blessed Matthew had stated that an angel had announced the Lord's Resurrection, he then relates the vision of the Lord seen by the Disciples, telling us that the eleven Disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountains where Jesus had appointed them. For when going towards His Passion the Lord had said to His Disciples, But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee (xxvi. 23). This the angels also told the holy women. And so the Disciples obey the command of the Master. But only eleven go to adore Him. For one had perished: he who had betrayed his Lord and Master.


JEROME: And so after His Resurrection Jesus is seen on the mountain in Galilee, and there adored; and though some were doubting, their doubt but increases our faith: And seeing him they adored: but some doubted.


REMIGIUS: The Evangelist Luke relates this more fully. For he tells us how when the Lord, rising from the dead, appeared to His Disciples, they were terrified and believed they were seeing a ghost.


RHABANUS MAURUS (or BEDE): The Lord appeared to them upon the mountain to signify that the Body which in His birth He had taken from the common earth of the human race, He had now in His Resurrection exalted above all earthly things. And that He might teach the faithful that if they desired to see the supreme glory of the Resurrection they must be earnest in passing from earthly delights to heavenly ones. And. Jesus goes before His Disciples into Galilee, because Christ is now risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep (I Cor. xv. 20). And they who are Christ's follow Him and in their order pass over from death to life; to behold the Divinity in visible form. And that Galilee is interpreted to mean, revelation, fittingly agrees with this.

AUGUSTINE, Harmony of the Four Gospels 3, 25, 81: Let us consider in what manner the Lord was seen bodily in Galilee. For it is evident that He was not seen on the day of His resurrection. For on that day He was seen in Jerusalem at nightfall, as Luke and John plainly agree. Neither was it during the eight

following days, after which, John tells us, the Lord appeared to His Disciples when Thomas, who had not seen Him on the day of the Resurrection, saw Him for the first time.

Unless it be said that these were not the eleven (who were now spoken of as the Apostles) but eleven out of the great number of His Disciples. But (par. 82) there is another difficulty against this. For when John had related that the Lord was seen, not by the eleven on the mountain, but by seven of them who were fishing by the lake of Tiberias, he adds: This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead (xxi. 14). We must here understand him as referring to the number of days, not to the number of manifestations. If however we take it that the Lord was seen by the eleven within those eight days before Thomas had seen Him, this manifestation by the lake of Galilee will be the fourth, not the third. Because of this we are forced to believe that He was seen last by the eleven on the mountain in Galilee.

We find therefore (par. 82) in the four Evangelists, that there were ten separate manifestations of the Lord after His Resurrection.


  1. To the women by the sepulchre.
  2. To the same women as they are returning from the sepulchre.
  3. To Peter.
  4. To the two Disciples going to the village.
  5. To many in Jerusalem when Thomas was not there.
  6. When Thomas saw Him.
  7. By the lake of Tiberias.
  8. On the mountain of Galilee of which Matthew speaks.
  9. To the eleven as they were at table, as told by Mark; as they were not again to eat with Him on earth.
  10. On the same day, no longer upon the earth, but lifted up in a cloud as He was taken up to heaven, which Mark and Luke relate (par. 84). But as John confesses all were not written down (xxi. 25). For He had frequent conversations with them throughout the forty days which preceded His Ascension into heaven (Acts i. 3).


REMIGIUS: The Disciples seeing Him knew it was the Lord, and casting themselves with their faces to the ground they adored Him. And for this their kind and tender Master, to take all doubt from their hearts, draws near and confirms them in their belief. Hence there follows: And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to the in heaven and in earth.


JEROME: Power is given to Him Who a little while before was crucified and buried in the sepulchre; Who afterwards rose again. RHABANUS (or BEDE): He does not say this of His Divinity Co-eternal with the Father, but of the humanity He assumed, in which he was made a little lower than the angels (Heb. ii. 9).


CHRYSOLOGUS, Semi. So: The Son of God brought to the son of the Virgin, God brought to man, Divinity to flesh, that which He possessed forever with the Father. JEROME: Power is given in heaven and on earth, so that He Who before reigned in heaven might now reign on earth through the faith of those who believed in Him.


REMIGIUS: That which the psalmist says of the Lord rising again from the dead: Thou hast set him over all the works of thy hands (viii. 7), this the Lord now says of Himself: All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. And here we should note, that even before His Resurrection the angels knew they were the subjects of the Man Christ. Willing therefore that it should be known to all men, that He was given all power in heaven and on earth, He sent preachers who would make known the Word of Life to all nations. Hence follows:


19. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the . . .


BEDE: He Who before His Passion had said: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles (Mt. x. 5), now risen from the dead, says: Go teach all nations. By this the Jews are confounded, who say that the Christ is to come for their salvation only. And let the Donatists blush for shame who, wishing to limit Christ to one locality, assert that He is only in Africa, and not in any other places.


JEROME: Therefore, they first teach all nations, and when they are taught they are baptized in water. For it may not happen that the body receives baptism before the soul has received the truth of faith. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; so that one shall be Their gift Whose Divinity is one; and the name of the Trinity is One God.


CHRYSOLOGUS: Therefore, the One and the Same Power who made them re-creates all nations unto salvation. DIDYMUS, on the Holy Spirit, 1, 2 (in Jerome): And though there may be someone of so perverted soul that he will attempt to baptize omitting one or other of these Names, and this in disobedience to Christ who laid down the law of baptism; nevertheless he will baptize without effect; or rather, he could not deliver from their sins those he thinks he has baptized.

From these words we may understand how undivided is the nature of the Trinity, that the Father is truly the Father of the Son, and the Son indeed the Son of the Father, and that the Holy Ghost is in truth the Spirit of both the Father and of the Son of God; and that He is also the Spirit of Wisdom and Truth, that is, of the Son of God. This then is the baptism of believers, and in this Trinity the divine plan of the Church's obedience is perfected.


HILARY: For what that relates to human salvation is not contained within this mystery? In it all things are complete and perfect as uttered by Him Who is complete and perfect. For the basis of Their relationship is in the name Father. But He is the sole Father; He has not as among men derived from yet another source that He is a Father: for He is Unbegotten, Eternal, possessing ever within Himself the source of His own Being; known only to the Son etc. The Son is the Offspring of the Un-begotten, One of the One, The True from the True, the Living from the Living, the Perfect from the Perfect, the Strength of Strength, Wisdom of Wisdom, Glory of Glory, the Image of the Invisible God, the Form of the Un-begotten Father.

Nor can we separate the Holy Spirit from our confession of the Father and the Son. And this Consolation of our expectation is nowhere wanting. In the fruits of His gifts is the pledge of our hope. He is the Light of our minds; the Brightness of our souls. And since the heretics cannot change things, they place their own interpretation on them; like Sabellius, who would have it that Father and Son are one, separate one from the other in name only, not in reality, and proposing the Father and the Son as one and the same Person. Like Ebion, who contending that He began with Mary, had dared to assert that He was not Man from God, but God made from man. Like the Arians, who would bring forth the wisdom and power and form of God from nothing, and in time. What wonder men hold such varying beliefs of the Holy Ghost, when they are thus the presumptuous authors of the Son, creating and altering Him Who bestows the Spirit?


JEROME: Consider the order there is here commanded. First He commands the Apostles to teach all nations; then to baptize them in the sacrament of faith, and after faith and baptism to teach them what they must do.


20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded . . .


RHABANUS (or BEDE): For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without good works is dead (I John ii. 26).


CHRYSOSTOM: And because He had imposed a great task upon them, to raise their spirits, He says: And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world; as though to say: Do not say that the task laid on you is difficult, for I Who can make all things light am with you. He did not say that He would be with these alone, but with all who believe after them; for the Apostles were not to live until the consummation of the world: but He is speaking to all who shall believe, as though to one body.


RHABANUS: From this we may understand that, until the end of the world, there shall not be wanting those who are worthy of being a divine abode and place of habitation.


CHRYSOSTOM: He places before them the end of the world, that He may draw them onwards, and lest they too should look only to the things of the present, and not rather towards the good things to come, which shall last without end. As though to say: The afflictions you will endure will pass with this present life, since the whole world will come to a consummation. But the good things which you shall enjoy will be without end.


BEDE: It may be asked: Why did He say those words: I am with you, since we read elsewhere that He said: I go to him that sent me (John xvi. 5)? But what is spoken of His humanity is one thing; what is spoken of His Divinity another. In His humanity he will go to the Father; He will abide with His Disciples in the form in which He is equal to the Father. When He said: Unto the consummation of the world, He makes use of the finite for the infinite. For He Who remains with His elect in this world, protecting them, the Same will continue with them after the end of the world, rewarding them.


JEROME: He therefore Who promises He will be with His Disciples unto the end of the world, reveals to them that He will live for ever, and likewise that He will never abandon those who believe in Him.


LEO THE GREAT, Sermon on the Passion: Ascending into heaven He does not abandon His adopted, but from above strengthens those to endure whom He is inviting upwards to glory; of which glory may He make us partakers Who is Christ the King of Glory, God Blessed for ever. Amen.

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June 16.—ST. JOHN FRANCIS REGIS.


  1. John Francis Regis was born in Languedoc, in 1597. From his tenderest years he showed evidences of uncommon sanctity by his innocence of life, modesty, and love of prayer. At the age of eighteen he entered the Society of Jesus. As soon as his studies were over, he gave himself entirely to the salvation of souls. The winter he spent in country missions, principally in mountainous districts; and in spite of the rigor of the weather and the ignorance and roughness of the inhabitants, he labored with such success that he gained innumerable souls to God both from heresy and from a bad life. The summer he gave to the towns. There his time was taken up in visiting hospitals and prisons, in preaching and instructing, and in assisting all who in any way stood in need of his services. In his works of mercy God often helped him by miracles. In November, 1637, the Saint set out for his second mission at Marthes. His road lay across valleys filled with snow and over mountains frozen and precipitous. In climbing one of the highest, a bush to which he was clinging gave way, and he broke his leg in the fall. By the help of his companion he accomplished the remaining six miles, and then, instead of seeing a surgeon, insisted on being taken straight to the confessional. There, after several hours, the curate of the parish found him still seated, and when his leg was examined the fracture was found to be miraculously healed. He was so inflamed with the love of God that he seemed to breathe, think, speak of that alone, and he offered up the Holy Sacrifice with such attention and fervor that those who assisted at it could not but feel something of the fire with which he burned. After twelve years of unceasing labor, he rendered his pure and innocent soul to his Creator, at the age of forty-four.


Reflection.

When St. John Francis was struck in the face by a sinner whom he was reproving, he replied, "If you only knew me, you would give me much more than that." His meekness converted the man, and it is in this spirit that he teaches us to win souls to God. How much might we do if we could forget our own wants in remembering those of others, and put our trust in God.

(Alban Butler)

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THE YEAR

AND OUR CHILDREN


Planning the Family Activities for Christian Feasts and Seasons


By Mary Reed Newland (1956)


15


THE FEAST OF PENTECOST


I WISH I had learned long ago about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We did learn the names of them, that is true, but we never went further than that; and because, all strung out in a row, they merely sounded like the virtues of nice people, we took it for granted that they came automatically with being "good." Like patience, for example. Anyone could consider the quality of patience and see that there was a great gap between patience and being patient; but most of the time we were convinced that those who were patient were born that way. We had no real conviction that you could get that way. It was all very vague. After a while even the names of them got mixed up with the names of other things. We couldn't remember if they were fruits, or gifts, or virtues, or what. It was safe to say that they were nouns.

Now we discover that the whole struggle between the flesh and the spirit could be changed if we understood about the fruits of the Holy Spirit—and acted on it. It is the most encouraging thing yet to realize that the fruits are the effects of using the gifts, not just something you grit your teeth and vow to acquire or bust.

It is hard to explain why we never put the same practical sense to work applying the Gospels as we did applying other things. Like seeing a sign that said "Turn right," and we turned right. Our Lord talked about the fruits enough, in the Gospels, but for some reason we never took Him literally, the way we did the traffic signs—for all we believed it was important to get to Heaven, and these were apparently the directions for getting there. Just as we never dreamed that what He said about abiding in us applied literally to His indwelling, so also what He said about the trees and vines bearing or failing to bear fruit, we also missed. We had ears to hear but we did not hear. We listened to His parables year after year from the altar and supposed He was saying over and over again that good Catholics go to Heaven and bad Catholics don't—never realizing that, instead, He was giving the directions for being a good Catholic.

It would take too long and more space than we have here to discover why—but that isn't necessary. What we can do at once is explain to our children that He means what He says literally, most of the time. (There are a few exceptions, like cutting off your hand, or plucking out your eye.) He means literally that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are fruits that grow in the soul that strives to use the gifts, and—joy of joys—that the gifts are that, gifts, freely given when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us at Baptism.

Living in Christ, reborn after Baptism, we could do great things with these gifts—if we would use them. Great things—like being saints. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit comes down upon us in an abundance of grace. Could we not beg Him, in our preparation for His feast, to enable us to understand and use the gifts, that we may bear fruits?

We prepare first in prayer, imitating Our Lady and the Apostles, who spent the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost in prayer. A family novena to the Holy Spirit invites Him to prepare our souls to receive best the great graces to come. Novenas to the Holy Spirit are available in booklet form, or the family may prefer to put together favorite prayers to the Holy Spirit, Psalms, hymns, and readings, and use these for the nine days.

Then there must be the story of Pentecost found in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. It is full of excitement and intriguing details that children love, and is both good reading and good telling. Acquaintance with it insures a thoughtful meditation each time the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary come around.

And then, after prayers and a retelling of the story, it is easy to direct conversation to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, so that we may consider in a practical way how they apply to our lives and our duties.*

Lastly, in order to extend this lesson through all the year, we prepare a gift for each member of the family and decorations for our feast day which will enable all of us to remember that we must use the gifts if we would bear the fruits.

First, the story. There were Jews from all over that part of the world in the city at that time because it was the Jewish feast of Pentecost and they had come to celebrate the harvest. Pentecost was a Greek word meaning fifty—the fiftieth day. On the seventh week following the Passover (and one of its ceremonies had been the waving of a sheaf of grain before the Lord as a communal offering), the Law said that male Jews were to reassemble in Jerusalem and present to the Lord at the Temple two loaves of bread made from the fine white flour of the newly harvested wheat. This feast was also to commemorate the promulgation of the Law.

As always, the time for the event that was about to take place in the Church seemed to have been chosen for the significance of the season, for it was to herald the coming of Love Himself to dwell, a living Law, within the new Church, and its outcome that very first day was to mark the beginning of the harvest of souls. Some spiritual writers have called it the birthday of the Church. Others, like Leo XIII, describe it as an Epiphany:


The Church, which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost.


And always, Our Lady was at the heart of it. If we are to prepare for and celebrate the feasts of our Redemption well, we must unite ourselves to her first, the chosen one of the Holy Spirit, His bride and His beloved. She was at the heart of all these comings forth, from the first one to the last. In her, the Word was uttered and became Flesh. She brought Him forth at Bethlehem. She held Him in her arms at the first Epiphany so that the Gentiles might see this Jewish God who would graft them to Himself. At her word, He proceeded at Cana to His first act in creating a Church that He would build by teaching and miracles for three years, then leave in the hands of men. To her He entrusted His Church from His travail on the cross: "Behold thy Mother." She alone understood His promise of birth in glory out of the tomb. And now there gathered about her the ones He had chosen to sanctify in the life-giving fire of the Holy Spirit, that they might go forth and preach to all men the need and the way to be born again.

There came the sound of a great wind, so loud that the Jews outside in the city were attracted to the scene; and the zeal kindled by the tongues of fire in the souls of those men was so great you might say they were exploded out of the Upper Room. The gift of tongues, the quality of their enthusiasm, was so far beyond the comprehension of the crowds that the scoffers assured themselves they were drunk.

But it was only nine o'clock in the morning! St. Peter said to them that men do not get drunk so early in the day. This was not drunkenness, but the fulfillment of a prophecy from the prophet Joel: ". . . and I will pour out my spirit in those days, upon my servants and handmaids, so they will prophesy."

He preached to the Jews about David, who prophesied that one of his sons would God set upon His throne, that he would not be left in death, but be resurrected, and his body would not see corruption. They were the witnesses themselves. They had seen that God raised this Jesus from the dead; and He had this day poured out His Holy Spirit, "as you can see and hear for yourselves."

Indeed they could, in their own tongues—Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those from Mesopotamia, Judaea, Cappadocia, Pontus or Asia, Phrygia or Pamphylia, Egypt or the parts of Libya around Cyrene, some from Rome, some Cretans, Arabians . . . . When they heard this, their consciences were stung; and they asked Peter and His fellow apostles: 'What must we do?'"

"Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, to have your sins forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

And there was a harvest that day of three thousand souls.

Three thousand to whom the Holy Spirit came—and with Him His gifts.

(To be continued)

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Please keep in your prayers the repose of the soul of Monsignor Raymond Ruscitto who passed on Tuesday, June 11.

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Father Krier will be in Pahrump, Nevada on June 13 and on June 20 Mass will be offered in Eureka, Nevada. On July 2 he will be in Los Angeles for Mass.

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