Saturday, November 15, 2014

23rd Sunday after Pentecost, 16th November 2014

23rd Sunday After Pentecost

16 November 2014


“Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.”  Mt. 9:22

Today’s readings remind us of the power of  Jesus Christ who, as a divine person, can do all things.  Because Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we owe Him all of our gratitude and thanks which we show when we worship and adore Him.  Who else in this world can help us in our desperate situations.  We see this in today’s Gospel (Mt. (9:18-26)  where Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, comes to Jesus because his twelve-year old daughter is dead.  We also see this in the woman who has had a hemorrhage for twelve years and has not been able to have it cured though she has exhausted her fortune with doctors.  Both of these people come to Jesus because He is their only hope. St. Paul tells the Philippians in today’s  Epistle (Phil. 3:17-21, 4: 1-3) that Jesus is Saviour who “is able also  to subject all things to himself.” Phil 3:21   On another spiritual level, today’s readings remind us of the approach of  Jesus at Christmas and His final coming at the end of the world.   Dom Prosper Gueranger in his  book The Liturgical Life, Vol. 11 comments on the former Epistle from this Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost which was from the prophet Jeremias: “‘Behold! The days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a King shall reign, and shall be wise: and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In those days, shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call Him: The Lord the Just One. Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, they shall say no more: The Lord liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt! But: The Lord liveth, who hath brought out, and brought hither, the seed of the house of Israel, from the land of the north, and out of all the lands, to which I had cast them forth!  And they shall dwell in their own land.’ Jer. 23:5-8…As is evident, this passage is equally applicable to the conversion of the Jews and the restoration of Israel, which are to take place at the end of the world.”  Gueranger, p. 469.


Dom Gueranger quotes the Abbot Rupert on the conversion of the  Jews at the end of the world and how it is seen in today’s liturgy:  “‘Holy Church is so intent on paying her debt of supplication, and prayer, and thanksgiving, for all men, as the apostle demands (cf. I Tim.2:1) that we find her giving thanks also for the salvation of the children of Israel, who, she knows,  are one day to be united to her. And their remnants are to be saved at the end of the world, so on this last Sunday of the year, she delights in them, as though they were already her members.  In the Introit, calling to mind the prophecies concerning them, she thus sings every year: ‘My thoughts are thoughts of peace, and not affliction.’ Verily, His thoughts are those of peace, for He promises to admit to the banquet of His grace the Jews, who are His brethren according to the flesh, thus recalling what had been prefigured in the history of the patriarch Joseph. The brethren of Joseph, having sold him, came to him when they were tormented by hunger; for then he ruled over the whole of Egypt. He recognized them; he received them; and made together with them a great feast. So, too, our Lord, who is now reigning over the whole earth, and is giving the bread of life, in abundance, to the Egyptians (that is, the Gentiles), will see coming to Him the remnants of the children of Israel. He, whom they had denied and put to death, will admit them to His favour, will give them a place at His table, and the true Joseph will feast delightedly with His brethren…  Thus delivered from the spiritual bondage which still holds them, they will sing with all their heart the words of thanksgiving as we have them in the Gradual: ‘Thou hast saved me, O Lord, from them that afflict me!’…. ‘From the depths (Offertory) I have cried to thee, O Lord,’ clearly allude to the same events for, on that day, His brethren will say to the great and true Joseph: ‘We beseech thee to forget the wickedness of thy brethren!’ Gen. 1:17  The Communion: ‘Amen, I say to you, all things whatsoever ye ask, when ye pray, ‘ etc., is the answer made by the same Joseph as it was by the first (Gen. 19:21): ‘Ye thought evil against me: but God turned it into good, that He might exalt me, as at present ye see, and might save many people. Fear not, therefore, I will feed you, and your children.’ (Rupert, De Div. Off. 12:23) Gueranger. p. 470-1


 “Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.”  Mt. 9:22

 In today’s gospel, Jesus shows the importance of faith for all those who follow him.  This woman has had a hemorrhage for twelve years and no one can help her.  She believes in the power of Jesus and that all she needs to do is touch the tassel of his cloak and she will be cured: “If I touched but  the tassel of his cloak  I shall be saved.” Mt. 9:21.  Jesus knows her intentions and commends her great faith:    When she does this,  Jesus says to her:  “Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.”  Mt. 9:22   Jesus shows his divine power by knowing her thoughts and curing her of her sickness. St. John Chrysostom tells us that Jesus could not let the woman go unobserved: “First, He relieves the woman’s fear, that she should not be pricked in her conscience though she had stolen this boon; secondly, He corrects her error in supposing she could be hid from Him; thirdly, He displays her faith for all for their imitation; and fourthly, He did a miracle, in that He showed He knew all things, no less than in drying the fountain of her blood.



My daughter has just now died; but come and lay thy hands upon her, and she will return to life.” Mt. 9:18

St. Matthew tells us that the ruler of the synagogue believed that Jesus could restore life to his daughter.  When he sees Jesus, he worships him.  St. Mark and St. Luke in their account of the miracle tell us that his name is Jairus and he prostrated himself  before Jesus.  Both St. Mark and St. Luke also tell us that Jairus’ daughter was dying when he first approached Jesus.  This, at first may seem like a discrepancy with the accounts by St. Mark and St. Luke who said that his servants had told him that it was not necessary for Jesus to come: “Thy daughter is dead.  Why dost thou trouble the master further?” Mk. 5:35.  Either way, Jairus believes Jesus can raise her from the dead as he accompanies Jesus, as St. Mark tells us,  when Jesus said: “Do not be afraid, only have faith.” Mk.5:36  When Jesus arrives at the house, the mourners and flute players are already there and laughed him to scorn, when He said, “Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth.” Mt. 9: 24.  Then, when the crowd had been put out, he took the child by the hand and said:  “’Talitha cumi,’ which is interpreted, ‘Girl, I say to thee arise.’” Mk. 5:41  St. Mark tells us that the people were “utterly amazed.” Mk. 5:42   St. Luke tells us her parents “were amazed.” Lk. 8: 56  By this miracle, Jesus proves that He is God as He is the author of life and death.  He also shows that death is a state similar to sleep; as we awake after sleep, so Jesus teaches us that we will awake after death.


The Final Conversion of the  Jews


Dom Gueranger shows how today’s gospel uses the spiritual sense of allegory with the conversion of the Gentiles and Jews by Jesus who came to save all nations.   “St. Jerome tells us, in the homily selected for the day, that the hemorrhoissa, healed by our Lord, is a type of the Gentile world; whilst the Jewish people is represented by the daughter of the ruler of the Synagogue.  This latter is not to be restored to life until the former has been cured; and this is precisely the mystery we are so continually commemorating during these closing weeks of the liturgical year, viz, the fullness of the Gentiles recognizing and welcoming the divine Physician, and the blindness of Israel at last giving way to light (cf. Rom. 11:26). …Israel, therefore, was not made to wait.  One of the Psalms  he sang ran thus: ‘Ethiopia shall be the first to stretch out her hands to God.’  Ps. 67:32  It is now the turn for Israel to recover, by the pangs of a long abandonment, the humility which had won the divine promises for his fathers, the humility which alone could merit his seeing those promises fulfilled. 

“By this time however, the word of salvation has made itself heard throughout all the nations, healing and saving all who desired the blessing. Jesus, who has been delayed on the road, comes at last to the house towards which He first purposed to direct His sacred steps;  He reaches, at last, the house of Juda, where the daughter of Sion is in a very deep sleep. His almighty compassion drive away from the poor abandoned one the crowd of false teachers and lying prophets, who had sent her into that mortal sleep, by all the noise of their vain babbling: He casts forth for ever from  her house  those insulters of Himself, who are quite resolved to keep the dead one dead.  Taking the poor daughter of Sion by the hand, He restores her to life, and to all the charm of her first youth; proving thus, that her apparent death had been but a sleep, and that the long delay of dreary ages could never belie the word of God, which had been given to Abraham, His servant. (cf. Lk.1:54-55)

“Now therefore, let this world hold itself in readiness for its final transformation; for the tidings of the restoration of the daughter of Sion puts the last seal to the accomplishment of the prophecies. It remains now but for the graves to give back their dead (cf. Dan. 12:1-2)  The valley of Josaphat is preparing for the great meeting of the nations (cf. Joel 3:2);  Mount Olivet is once more to have Jesus standing upon it (cf. Acts 1:11), but this time as Lord and Judge.”  Gueranger, p. 478-80


“But our citizenship is in heaven from which also we eagerly await a Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ,” Phil. 3:21

St. Paul reminds us to live for eternal life and not to be corrupted by this world’s pleasures.  He tells the Philippians that many are enemies of the cross of Christ:  For many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is ruin, their god is their belly, their glory is in their shame, they mind the things of earth.” Phil. 3: 18-19 Here St. Paul is reminding his followers that they will forfeit the joys of heaven if they do not carry their crosses. 21   Fr. Gabriel in his book of meditations on the liturgy, Divine Intimacy, comments on the absolute need to carry our crosses to gain eternal life: “Every time that we shun a sacrifice, that we protest against suffering, that we seek selfish pleasures, we behave, in practice, like enemies of the Cross of Christ.  Thus our lives become too earthly, too much attached to creatures, too heavily burdened to rise toward heaven. We must be converted, we must practice detachment,  and remember that “our citizenship is in heaven.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 1056.  Only those who follow Christ will have the joys of being transformed into glory after death:  “But our citizenship is in heaven from which also we eagerly await a Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will refashion the body of our lowliness, conforming it to the body of his glory by exerting the power  by which he is able also to subject all things to himself.” Phil. 3:20-21  


Transformed into Christ

Spiritual writers often speak of souls transformed into Christ.  How does this happen?  We can see from today’s miracles how the souls for whom Jesus performed these miracles will never be the same again. Jesus changed their lives forever.   Certainly, we can expect that Jairus and his daughter will become believers in Christ and be transformed into Christ. The woman who was cured of her hemorrhage and was praised for her faith will also be transformed into Christ.  Eusebius tells us that her name was  Veronica and that  she is the same Veronica who wiped the face of Jesus on His Way of the Cross and had Jesus’ image impressed on the cloth. St. Paul reminds us of the transforming power of  Christ in heaven: “who will refashion the body of our lowliness, conforming it to the body of his glory by exerting the power  by which he is able also to subject all things to himself.” Phil. 3:21.  Let us live for heaven and, as St. Pio tells us “...Let us always think of heaven.”


Souls in Purgatory:  November in the month in which we remember the poor souls in Purgatory who cannot help themselves.   They rely on us to shorten their time of purification.


All-Souls Lists:  Please put the names of those who have died on the All-Souls list, and we will include them in our Masses during the month of November .  









Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Feast of the Dedication of Basilica St. John Lateran (St. Saviour) Rome 9th November 2014

The Feast of the Dedication of Basilica St. John Lateran (St. Saviour) Rome
9 November 2014

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone destroys the temple of God, him will God destroy; for holy is the temple of God, and this temple is you.” I Cor. 3:16-7

Today, we celebrate the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rom. It is the Mother Church of all Christendom and from it all other churches have generated. This is why it is still the Church of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. In the fourth century, the Catholic historian Eusebius spoke of this glorious triumph of the Church over Roman persecutions in the opening of the tenth and last book of his History: “Glory to the Almighty! Glory to the Redeemer of our souls!” The Roman Emperor Constantine had placed the imperial treasury at the disposal of the bishop and new churches were built throughout Christendom. Constantine built St. John Lateran in Rome because in Rome he had conquered by means of the cross and Rome was the capital of the now Christian world. This is significant for it marks an end to the persecution of the Church by the Roman emperors and the Church’s acceptance by the Emperor of Rome. The inscription at its entrance reads: “Mother and Head of all Churches in the Holy City and throughout the world.” Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Live Vo. 14 quotes Eusebius on this on this glorious time for the Church: “(Eusebius) Himself a witness to the triumph, he describes the admirable spectacle everywhere displayed by the dedication of the new sanctuaries. In city after city the bishops assembled, and crowds flocked together. From nation to nation the goodwill of mutual charity, of common faith, and of recollected joy, so harmonized all hearts that the unity of Christ’s Body was clearly manifested in those multitudes animated by the same inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It the fulfilment of the ancient prophecies: the living city of the living God, where all whatever their age or sex, praise together the Author of all good things. How solemn were the rites of therein displayed by the pontiffs, the enthusiasm of the psalmody, the inspired readings, the celebrations of the ineffable mysteries, formed a divine pageantry.” Eusebius, History, eccl. X, 1-4

Mysteries of Faith
The Holy Father, the Pope, celebrates in this basilica the Vigil of Easter Sunday with the greatest of all mysteries when we are reborn in the saving waters of Holy Baptism. In this way, by the Sacrament of Baptism, we become “the living stones” of the Church built on the foundation of the Apostles. This is the meaning of Jesus’ words to Zacheus and to all of us in today’s gospel (Lk. 19:1-10): “Today salvation has come to this house.” Lk. 19:9 The house, of course, is not only the building but especially the house of the soul, “the temple of God.” I Cor. 3:16

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” Rev. 21:1
Not only is the soul the temple of God, but it is also the bride of Christ. This is the meaning of today’s Epistle from the Book of Revelation (Rev. 21:2-5): “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” Rev. 21:2 What we see operating here are two levels of meaning: first, there is the union of Jesus Christ with His bride, the Church, and then there is the union of each individual soul in sanctifying grace with Jesus Christ. Salvation comes to the Church in the person of Christ who brings the sacraments, especially Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, as signified by the blood and water which came from the side of Christ when the lance pierced His side after He had died. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross which takes place in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in every Catholic Church. Jesus also comes to each individual soul as His bride, like He comes to Zacheus’ house, in today’s gospel with sanctifying grace in baptism. Every soul is the temple of God and every soul is “A bride adorned for her husband.” Rev. 20:2 St. Paul tells us this in his Epistle to the Ephesians 5:32: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and delivered himself up for her.” This double analogy of the love of Christ for the Church and husbands for their wives emphasize the spousal of love each, Christ for the Church and all its members and husbands for their spouses in marriage.

“This day salvation has come to this house.” Lk. 19:9
Jesus brings salvation to the house of Zacheus just as He brings salvation to every soul on the altar in the holy mysteries of the Eucharist with transformation of the bread and wine into His body and blood during every Holy Mass. The transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ shows the divine power of grace in the transformation of Zacheus with the grace of God; this rich tax collector is now willing to give half his fortune to the poor and to return fourfold the money with which he might have defrauded anyone. Salvation in the person of Jesus Christ has come to Zacheus in his house when Jesus comes to be with him: “Zacheus, make haste and come down: for this day I must abide in thy house.” Lk. 19:5

We are living stones
There is a great mystery in today’s special feast for the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. We should be so grateful for the great churches of Christendom, like St. John Lateran, but we must also be grateful for what they represent to us. They are the temples of God on earth just like we are the temple of God. Salvation comes to us in these temples through the sacred mysteries. Today’s Postcommunion prayer reminds us that we are the “living and chosen stones” which St. Peter described in his First Epistle: “Be yourselves as living stones built thereon into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” I Pt. 2:5 We need to be holy as we are a spiritual house, the temple of God. We need to be holy because we offer with the ministerial priest our spiritual sacrifices. We need to be holy because we are the brides of Christ who will present us to Himself at the end of our lives as His bride without spots or wrinkles. Christ loved us, His Church, “and delivered himself for her that he might sanctify her, cleansing her in the bath of water (baptism) by means of his word; in order that that he might present to himself the Church in all her glory, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5:25-28 Dom Gueranger, OSB in his book, The Liturgical Life sums up the meaning of today’s feast when he says: “...Christ is the Corner-stone on which other living stones, all predestined, are built up by the apostolic architects into the holy temple of the Lord. Thus the Church is the bride, and by and with Christ she is the house of God. She is already in this world, where in labour and suffering the elect stones are chiselled, and are laid successively in the places assigned them by the divine plan. She is such in the happiness of heaven, where the eternal temple is being constructed of every soul that ascends from earth; until, when completed by the acquisition of our immortal bodies, it will be consecrated by the great High-Priest on the day of the incomparable dedication, the close of time. Then will the world, redeemed and sanctified, be solemnly restored to the Father who gave it His Only-begotten Son, and God will be all in all. Then it will appear that the Church was truly the archetype shown beforehand on the mount (cf. Exodus 26:30), where of every other sanctuary, built by the hands of men, could be but the figure and the shadow. Then will be realized the vision of St. John: ‘I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: ‘Behold the tabernacle of God.’” Apoc. 21:2-3....” Gueranger 212-3

Glorious Triumph of the Church

Today’s feast reminds us of the glorious triumph of the Church under Emperor Constantine in the fourth century. The building of the Basilica of St. John Lateran (St. Saviour) and so many other Churches in the Roman Empire at this time reminds us that the great age of persecution under the Romans was all part of God’s plan to bring a glorious triumph for His Church, His bride and spouse. This earthly triumph foreshadows the final triumph of the Church in the heavenly Jerusalem where all the “living stones” of God’s elect will reign gloriously with their Spouse Jesus Christ for all eternity in heaven. How blessed we are that “salvation has come” to us in this world through Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.

Souls in Purgatory: November in the month in which we remember the poor souls in Purgatory who cannot help themselves. They rely on us to shorten their time of purification.

All-Souls Lists: Please put the names of those who have died on the All-Souls list, and we will include them in our Masses during the month of November .

Remembrance Sunday

Let us remember all those who given their lives for during the Two World Wars by recalling the words of this lovely poem.

“In Flanders Fields”
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Feast of All Saints 1 and 2 November 2014

The Feast of All Saints
1and 2 November 2014

“After this I saw a great multitude which no man could number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and with palms in their hands.” Rev.7:9

Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 15, tells us of the Feast of All Saints which commemorates all those souls in heaven who have not been officially recognized by the Church as Saints: “Time is no more; it is the human race eternally saved that is thus presented in vision to the prophet of Patmos (St. John author of the Book of Revelation). Our life of struggle and suffering on earth is, then, to have an end. Our long-lost race is to fill up the angelic ranks thinned by Satan’s revolt; and, uniting in the gratitude of the redeemed of the Lamb, the faithful spirits will sing with us: ‘Thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever.’” Rev. 7:12 Gueranger, p. 57. These elect souls have lived good lives by loving God and their neighbours and obeying God’s Commandments, and they are now enjoying the delights of heaven. Have you ever really considered what heaven is really like? Today, many people only think of this life and forget that God has prepared a place of great happiness for all those who love him. St. Paul tells us, “Eye has not seen, or ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man what things God has prepared for those who love him.” I Cor. 2:9

The Beatific Vision
The primary joy of heaven is seeing God face to face. This is such a great joy that it is the basis for all the other joys. Without the Beatific Vision heaven would not be heaven. We can only imagine what God’s beauty must be like. He who created this world so beautiful what must He be like as He is the creator of this world’s beauty. St. Paul tells us: “For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made...” Rom 1:20 Thus the Beatific vision, which is the essential reward of the blessed, is seeing One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit with all His power, majesty and beauty. Then in the light of God’s glory is the beauty first of all of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God who has prayed and given the saints and ourselves all the graces necessary to gain heaven. She is the Queen of Angles and Saints. Then there are the multitude of angelic hosts and the many canonized saints to whom we have prayed for many favours. Then there will be all of our loved ones and our relatives of many generations and friends whom we have known on earth and who have been awaiting our entrance into heaven these many years. It will be the most wonderful reunion possible for all peoples from all times.

A Place of Light and Space
Heaven will be a vast place of light and space where the souls of the just with their glorified bodies will go after the Last Judgment. It will be the heavenly Jerusalem built as a city which will be brighter than the sun with all manner of precious stones and gold: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ...Behold I make all things new.” Rev. 21:4 As nothing on earth is more pleasing than light, heaven will be brighter than anything we have seen on earth. It will also be vast and filled with peace: “O Israel, how great is the House of God and how vast is the place of his possession.” Baruch 3:24 The same lovely things of earth: flowers, trees, fruits, etc will be in the gardens of heaven.

Qualities of the Glorified Body
Our glorified bodies will shine brightly according the amount of sanctifying grace in our soul. The quality of brightness will correspond to the amount of grace in the soul: “Those that teach others unto justice shall shine like the stars for all eternity.” Dan. 12:3 The glorified body will also have the gift of impassability by which it will not be capable of suffering nor will it ever be sick or tired or grow old or hungry or thirsty. The glorified body will have the quality of agility as it will be able to move any place with a mere thought and without any fatigue. The body will also have the gift of subtlety by which it will be able to move through any material. The body which has mortified itself of pleasure for the love of God on earth will be filled with pleasure for all the senses: the sense of sight will be given all the beauty and delights of heaven; the soul will hear the beautiful music of the heavenly choirs of angels for their ears; the sense of taste will be satisfied in ways which we cannot imagine: “Thou shalt make them drink of the torrents of thy pleasure” Ps. 35:9; the sense of smell will be pleased with the aromas of delight; and the sense of touch and feeling will experience comfort and enjoyment which, according to St. Anselm, will provide a wondrous sense of peace and contentment.

Bond of Charity
All the glorified souls in heaven will be united in a great bond of charity. They will be re-united with all their loved ones on earth, and as there will be no imperfections in heaven, everyone will love everyone else perfectly even if they did not do so on earth. How could heaven have any disagreements or hatreds? All these weaknesses would have been purged away in Purgatory before entrance into heaven “without spot or wrinkle” Eph. 5:27 Those in heaven will know and love everyone else as brothers and sisters know one another on earth. Each will read the other’s heart and see the mutual love. More especially, there will be great love for those who have been responsible for them to get to heaven. “O God, how unspeakable will be the blessed of heaven.”

Spiritual Joys of the Soul
The soul which is comprised of the memory, understanding and will shall have a perfect happiness. The memory will recall the events of life and exult in God’s care for it during its life. The understanding (intellect) will know all created things in the light of God; all natural and supernatural mysteries of our faith and the scriptures will be known. The will, the noblest of the soul’s faculties, will be confirmed in love for God and all the saints and angels. Now all the soul’s desires will be ordered to God and His glory: “We know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” I Jn. 3:2 As there is no greater happiness on earth than to love and be loved, so in heaven the love of God for the soul and soul for God and all other souls will be boundless.
Live for heaven
While we have time on earth, let us live for eternity. Let us work for the salvation of souls. Let us pray and sacrifice as Our Lady said at Fatima, “For many souls will go to hell for no prays and sacrifices for them.” If we pray and sacrifice now, many souls will be in heaven because of our efforts. Let us call to mind the words of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, “...Let us always think of heaven.”

Souls in Purgatory: November in the month in which we remember the poor souls in Purgatory who cannot help themselves. They rely on us to shorten their time of purification. This year, All Souls Day (Commemoration of the Faithful Departed) will be celebrated on Monday, 3 November 2014

All-Souls Lists: Please put the names of those who have died on the All-Souls list, and we will include them in our Masses during the month of November.

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix
First Saturday Day: 1 November 2014
9:30 AM Tea and coffee: St. Joseph’s Hall)
10:00 AM- First Conference: Marian Vow of Total Consecration
11:30 AM- Holy Mass in the chapel
12:30 PM- Lunch
1:30 PM- Quiet Time: Adoration, Confession, Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet
3:00 PM- Benediction
3:15 PM- Second Conference: “The Church in These Times”
4:00-4:30 PM- Tea and Departure

The Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (Our Lady) is to bring all souls to her Son, Jesus Christ, King of all creation. Our Lady will destroy all His enemies (Cf. Genesis 3:15) that is those who are opposed to Christ with laws against His Commandments On November 9, 1976 Karol Cardinal Wojtla, the future Pope John Paul II, spoke at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, Pa., USA: “We are now standing in face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that the wide circles of American society or the wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-gospel.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

26th October 2014, Feast of Christ the King

Last Sunday of October
26 October 2014
Feast of Christ the King

“The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and power and honour: to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.” Rev. 5:12 & 1:6

Firstborn of All Creatures
Jesus is the firstborn of all creatures. He gives the Father the greatest glory as Man because He is true God and loves the Father infinitely as God, the Son. This is why the Father is so pleased with His Son. Christ is the King for all eternity because He has given Himself for our ransom and has won for us our eternal salvation: “The Lord will reign forever and will give his people the gift of peace.” Ps. 28: 10-11 Jesus Christ is the “Son of Man” as He is both God and man. He is the first-born of all creatures and as such He gives the Father the greatest glory. This is why He is the “King of Kings” and the “Lord of Lords.” He is Christ the King of all nations and tribes: “He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For in him were created all things in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and invisible...” Col. 1: 13-16

He Has Redeemed Us
“(Jesus Christ) faithful witness, first-born of the dead and ruler of the Kings of the earth.” Rev. 1:5. Christ is the faithful witness who has given His life and “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Rev. 1:5 All creation looks to Him as He is the “Alpha and Omega,” (Rev. 1:8) the beginning and the end of all things. All things are measured by His great sacrifice for He has conquered death and redeemed us of our sins. “To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” Rev. 1:6

Jesus Christ is King, Priest and Victim
The Preface for the Feast of Christ the King (Ordinary Form) echoes the theme of Christ’s Kingship: “that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to Thee, holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: Who with the oil of gladness didst anoint Thine only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ as Priest for ever and King of all.” (Preface) Jesus is our eternal High Priest and King of Kings forever: “That offering Himself on the altar of the Cross a stainless Victim to appease Thee, He might accomplish the mysteries of man’s redemption...” (Preface) He is not only our King, but He is also our Priest who has sacrificed Himself for our sins. By His sacrifice, we are redeemed for His eternal kingdom in heaven: “and that subjecting all creatures to His sway, He might present to Thine infinite Majesty a universal and eternal Kingdom; a Kingdom of truth and life; a Kingdom of holiness and grace: a Kingdom of justice and peace.” (Preface) To obtain this Kingdom, St. Paul told us we must be “without spot or wrinkle.” (Eph. 5: 27)

Tragic Choice of Modern Man
The nations of the world tragically reject the Kingship of Christ with their immoral opposition to God’s Divine laws. Many nations today have legalized practices which are opposed to the Ten Commandments: abortion, divorce, contraception, same sex marriages, and euthanasia. With these sins against God’s Commandments, the world has chosen Satan, the Prince of this World, as their leader (king). This choice can only lead to tragedy for all of us in this world. People no longer believe in truth and think that they can do what they want; they no longer believe in the eternal truths of heaven, hell and judgment; they deny the Church’s teachings on life and marriage and fail to procreate the children that God wishes to give the world. “Without a deep reverence for the sacredness of life, humanity places itself on the path of self-destruction.” (Bishop Sean O’Malley of Fall River, Ma. USA, In Vitro Fertilization)

Christ the King Must Reign in Our World and in Us All
When Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 with his decree, “Quas Primas,” he wanted to remind us that Jesus Christ must reign as King in our minds, our hearts, and in our wills if we want peace and happiness in this world. “He must reign in our minds which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desire and love God above all things, and cleave to Him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls.”(#21) Jesus has created us, He has redeemed us, He has sanctified us with His Flesh and Blood, He governs us with love and protection, and He has prepared a place for us in His heavenly Kingdom if we are faithful to His commandments. He will come to judge us in His glory and power. If we choose Him as our King today, we need not fear that He will refuse us His kingdom in Heaven for all eternity.

Feast of All Saints
Saturday, 1 November 2014
The Bishops of England have mandated that when a Holyday of Obligation falls on Saturday, it will be celebrated on Sunday.

The Feast of All Souls,
Monday 3 November 2014

Souls in Purgatory: November is the month in which we remember the poor souls in Purgatory who cannot help themselves. They rely on us to shorten their time of purification. Saturday, 2 November 2013 is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed or All Souls Day. Mass is at 7:30 AM as usual.

All-Souls Lists: Please put the names of those who have died on the All-Souls list, and we will include them in our Masses during the month of November .

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix
First Saturday: 1 November 2014

10:00 First Conference:
Marian Vow of Total Consecration

11:30 AM - Holy Mass for the Solemnity

12:30 PM- Lunch (Bring your own); Tea supplied

1:45 PM- Quiet Time: Adoration, Confession, Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet
3:10 PM- Benediction
3:30 PM- Second Conference on the Church in these times.
4:15-4:30 PM- Tea and Departure

The Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (Our Lady) is to bring all souls to her Son, Jesus Christ, King of all creation. Our Lady will destroy all His enemies (Cf. Genesis 3:15), that is, Mary will crush under her heel all who are opposed to Christ by making laws contrary to His Commandments. On November 9, 1976 Karol Cardinal Wojtla, the future Pope John Paul II, spoke at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, Pa., USA: “We are now standing in face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that the wide circles of American society or the wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-gospel.”

The Five First Saturdays
Saturday, 1 November is the First Saturday of November. Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost 12th October

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
12 October 2014

“... that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 1: 7

Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book on the liturgy, The Liturgical Life Vol. 11, tells us that today’s readings contain a most important truth of the Second Coming of Christ. This truth filled the early Church with both hopeful joy and fearful anxiety: “The last coming of the Son of Man is no longer far off! The approach of that final event, which is to put the Church in full possession of her divine Spouse, redoubles her hopes; but the last judgment, which is also to pronounce the eternal perdition of so great a number of her children, mingles fear with her desire; and these two sentiments of hers will henceforth be continually brought forward in the holy liturgy. It is evident that expectation has been, so to say, an essential characteristic of her existence... This explains how it is that the apostles, the interpreters of the Church’s aspirations, are continually recurring to the subject of the near approach of our Lord’s coming. St. Paul has just been telling us, and that twice over in the same breath, that the Christian is who waiteth for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the day of His coming... ‘The Lord delayeth not His promise, as some imagine; but dealeth patiently, for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance. But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence; and the elements shall be melted with heat; and the earth, and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up...’” Gueranger, p. 396-8 This is why St. Paul in today’s Epistle (I Cor. 1:4-7) wants us always to be ready: “... that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 1: 7 This is also why the Church includes in today’s Gospel (Mt. 9:1-8) Jesus’ miraculous cure of the paralytic whose bodily paralysis reveals the more important sickness of his soul: “Take courage, son, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Mt. 9:2 Only with the forgiveness of sins could the members of the early Church ever hope for eternal salvation at the Second Coming of Jesus.

“...he made an evening sacrifice to the Lord.”
These words of today’s Offertory Antiphon show how the preceding Epistle corresponds to the Gospel (Mt. 9:1-8). The Scribes and Pharisees have become evil in their role as the teachers of the Mosaic Law and have not taught the people truthfully. Quoting the Abbot Rupert, Dom Gueranger comments on their false teachings: “Let him not imitate those men, who unworthily sat on the chair of Moses; but let him follow the example of Moses himself, who in the Offertory and its verses, presents the heads of the Church with such a model of perfection. Pastors of souls ought, on no account to be ignorant of the reason why they are placed higher than other men: it is not so much that they may govern others, as that they may serve them.’” (Rupert, Div. Off., xii. 18) Although they were his successors, the Scribes and Pharisees lack the true spirit of Moses. This is why they reject Jesus and refuse to see how His miraculous cure of the paralytic is a sign that He is God and can forgive sins.

“Thy sins are forgiven thee...” Mt. 9: 2
The Church placed today’s Gospel on the forgiveness of sins in the Sunday following the Ember Days of September because this was the time for the ordination of priests who are the ministers of reconciliation. Only the hard-hearted Pharisees could find fault with Jesus in the tender account of this miracle in which He cures a paralytic: “And behold, they brought to him a paralytic lying on a pallet. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Take courage, son; thy sins are forgiven thee.’ And behold, some of the Scribes said within themselves, ‘This man blasphemes.’ And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you harbour evil thoughts in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins’ Mt. 9:2-3 (In St. Luke’s Gospel (cf. Lk.5:18-26), the paralytic is let down from the rooftop by his four friends.) In his commentary on this passage, Dom Gueranger says: “From the very beginning of Christianity, heretics had risen up denying that the Church had the power, which her divine Head gave her, of remitting sin. Such false teachings would irretrievably condemn to spiritual death an immense number of Christians, who, unhappily, had fallen after their Baptism, but who, according to Catholic dogma, might be restored to grace by the sacrament of Penance. With what energy, then would our mother Church defend the remedy which gives life to her children! She uttered her anathemas upon, and drove from her communion, those Pharisees of the new law, who, like their Jewish predecessors, refused to acknowledge the infinite mercy and universality of the great mystery of the Redemption....The outward cure of the paralytic was both the image and the proof of the cure of his soul, which previously had been in a state of moral paralysis; but he himself represented another sufferer, viz., the human race, which for ages had been victim to the palsy of sin. Our Lord had already left the earth, when the faith of the apostles achieved this, their first prodigy, of bringing to the Church the world grown old in its infirmity. Finding that the human race was docile to the teaching of the divine messengers, and was already an imitator of their faith, the Church spoke as a mother, and said: ‘Be of good heart, son! Thy sins are forgiven thee!’ At once, to the astonishment of the philosophers and sceptics, and to the confusion of hell, the world rose up from its long and deep humiliation; and, to prove how thoroughly his strength had been restored to him, he was seen carrying on his shoulders, by the labour of penance and the mastery over his passions, the bed of his old exhaustion and feebleness, on which pride, lust, and covetousness had so long held him. From that time forward, complying with the word of Jesus, which was also said to him by the Church, he has been going on towards his house, which is heaven, where eternal joy awaits him! And the angels, beholding such a spectacle of conversion and holiness (cf. Lk. 5:26), are in amazement, and sing glory to God, who gave such power to men.” Gueranger, p. 404-5 How grateful we should be to God for forgiving our sins!

“...that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 4:7
Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, OCD in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, sums up the great blessings which come from Jesus Christ: “Yes, every grace, every gift comes to us from Jesus, and through them our person and our life are sanctified. By means of sanctifying grace, He sanctifies our soul; through the infused virtues, He sanctifies our faculties; and by actual grace, He sanctifies our activity, enabling us to act supernaturally. Yet even this does not satisfy his liberality: He is not content with setting us on the road to God, supernaturalized by grace and the virtues, but He wishes to substitute His divine way of acting for our human way; therefore, He enriches us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which make us capable of being moved by God Himself. All this is the gift of Jesus to us, the fruit of His Passion....It seems as if Jesus, the true Son of God, is not jealous of His divinity or His prerogatives, but seeks every possible means to make us share by grace what He possesses by nature. How true it is that the characteristic of love is to give oneself and to place those one loves on a plane of equality with oneself!” Fr. Gabriel, p. 944-5 How true are the words of St. Paul in today’s Epistle: “... that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 1: 7

“The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” Part III
by St. Leonard of Port Maurice
The Teaching of the Fathers of the Church
“It is not vain curiosity but salutary precaution to proclaim from the height of the pulpit certain truths which serve wonderfully to contain the indolence of libertines, who are always talking about the mercy of God and about how easy it is to convert, who live plunged in all sorts of sins and are soundly sleeping on the road to hell. To disillusion them and waken them from their torpor, today let us examine this great question: Is the number of Christians who are saved greater than the number of Christians who are damned?
“Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them. To resolve this doubt, let us put the Fathers of the Church, both Greek and Latin, on one side; on the other, the most learned theologians and erudite historians; and let us put the Bible in the middle for all to see. Now listen not to what I will say to you – for I have already told you that I do not want to speak for myself or decide on the matter – but listen to what these great minds have to tell you, they who are beacons in the Church of God to give light to others so that they will not miss the road to heaven. In this manner, guided by the triple light of faith, authority and reason, we will be able to resolve this grave matter with certainty.
“Note well that there is no question here of the human race taken as a whole, nor of all Catholics taken without distinction, but only of Catholic adults, who have free choice and are thus capable of cooperating in the great matter of their salvation. First let us consult the theologians recognized as examining things most carefully and as not exaggerating in their teaching: let us listen to two learned cardinals, Cajetan and Bellarmine. They teach that the greater number of Christian adults are damned, and if I had the time to point out the reasons upon which they base themselves, you would be convinced of it yourselves. But I will limit myself here to quoting Suarez. After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he wrote, "The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Christians, there are more damned souls than predestined souls."
“Add the authority of the Greek and Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, and Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, "Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom." Saint Anselm declares, "There are few who are saved." Saint Augustine states even more clearly, "Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned." The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: "Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence." (To be continued next week)

St. Teresa of Avila
Fifth the Centenary Celebrations
Exhibition of the Life & Works of St. Teresa
Cathedral of SS Mary & Boniface
Saturday, 4th October until Wednesday, 15th October
9:00 AM to 4 PM

19th Sunday After Pentecost 19 October 2014

19th Sunday After Pentecost
19 October 2014

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Mt. 22:14
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22:1-14), we see the continuation of Jesus’ parables in which He explains how the Kingdom of Heaven is made available to men, but they, for various reasons, do not accept the invitation of God. In today’s parable of the “Marriage Feast,” we see how the King gives a marriage feast for his son and invites guests to it. According to Bl. Dom Columba Marmion, OSB, this marriage feast by the king is actually the marriage feast of the Son of God who takes upon Himself a human nature. Pope St. Gregory the Great comments on the “Marriage Feast”: “...that the King made a marriage for His Son, in that, by the mystery of the Incarnation, He united the Church to Him. The womb of the Virgin was the nuptial-chamber of that Bridegroom, of whom the psalmist says (Ps. 18:6): ‘He hast set His tabernacle in the sun: and He, as a Bridegroom, cometh out of His bride-chamber.’” Gueranger, The Liturgical Life, Vol. 11, p. 419-20 In the Epistle to Ephesians, not in today’s Epistle (Eph.4:23-28), St. Paul writes about the Church being the bride of Christ: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and delivered himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, cleansing her in the bath of water by means of his word; in order that he might present to himself the Church in all her glory, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5:25-7. The Church, that is all the souls united to Jesus Christ in baptism, is the bride of Christ who will be brought to the heavenly “marriage feast....without spot or wrinkle” at the end of their lives.

The Holiness of union with love in God
In his commentary on today’s Epistle Dom Prosper Gueranger writes in The Liturgical Life Vol. 11 about the holiness in the Blessed Trinity: “Let us call to mind how the holiness, which is in God, is His very truth living and harmonious, which is no other than the admirable concert of the Three divine Persons, united in love. We have seen that holiness, as far as it exists in us men, is also union, by infinite love, with the eternal and living Truth. The Word took a Body unto Himself in order to manifest in the Flesh this sanctifying and perfect truth ( cf. Jn. 1:14), of which He is the substantial expression ((cf. Heb. 1:3). His Humanity, sanctified directly by the plenitude of the divine life and truth, which dwell within Him (cf. Col. 2: 3, 9, 10), became the model, as well as the means, the way, of holiness to every creature ((cf. Jn. 14:6)....In Jesus, as the complement of His Incarnation, Wisdom aspires at uniting with herself all the members, also, of that human race, of which He is the Head (cf. Eph. 1:10), and First-born (cf. Col. 1:15-20); by Him the Holy Ghost, whose sacred fount He is (cf. Jn. 4:14), pours Himself out upon man, whereby to adapt him to his sublime vocation, and to consummate, in infinite love (which is Himself), that union of every creature with the divine Word. Thus it is that we verily partake of that life of God, whose existence and holiness are the knowledge and love of His own Word; thus it is that we are sanctified in truth (cf. Jn. 17:17) by the participation of that very holiness wherewith God is holy by nature.” Gueranger, p. 412

“...and put on the new man which has been created according to God in justice, and holiness of truth.” Eph. 4:23
St. Paul, in urging his followers to put on the new man in truth, shows us that the unifying principle in Jesus Christ for all of His members is the Holy Spirit of truth and love. Dom Gueranger comments on this unifying principle: “’May they all be one, as Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee, said Jesus to His eternal Father, that they also may be one in us. I have given unto them the glory (that is to say, the holiness) which Thou hast given unto me, that they may be one as we also are one; I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be consummated (that is, be made perfect) in unity.’” (cf. 17:21-28) ...By that sublime prayer, He explained what He had previously been saying: ‘I sanctified Myself for them, that they, also may sanctified in truth.’” (cf. Jn. 17:19) Gueranger, p.413

“ of peace”
In the Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul writes about being faithful to one’s calling: “...with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit.” Eph. 4:2-4 This unity of the Spirit is, according to Dom Gueranger, the principle for all: “It is the crowning of the sublimest vocations in the order of grace as well as the foundation and reason of all God’s commandments; so truly so, indeed, that, if we are commanded to abstain from lying, and to speak the truth to them that live with us, the motive is that we are members one of another.” Gueranger, p. 413-4 This is why St. Paul in today’s Epistle tells us: “Wherefore, put away lying and speak truth each one with his neighbour, because we are members of one another. ‘Be angry and do not sin.’ (Ps. 4:5); do not let the sun go down upon your anger: do not give place to the devil. He who was wont to steal, let him steal no longer, but rather let him labour, working with his hands at what is good, that he may have something to share with him who suffers need.” Eph. 4:25-8 Only those who keep “the bond of peace” with one another can belong to Christ and enter the heavenly “marriage feast.”

Heavenly Marriage Feast
Today’s Gospel is similar to the Gospel of Second Sunday after Pentecost (Lk. 14:16-24) which has “The Great Supper” to which many were invited. St. Matthew’s “Marriage Feast” is fuller in details with a revelation of the true aim of the Church. Dom Gueranger, in comparing the two gospels, says: “The certain man who made a great supper, and invited many, has become the King, who makes a marriage feast for His Son, and, in this marriage, gives us an image of the kingdom of heaven. The world’s history, too, has been developing, as we gather from the terms respectively used by the two Evangelists. Those who were first invited, and contented themselves with declining the kindness of the Master of the house, have grown in their impious ingratitude; laying hands on the messengers sent them by the loving kindness of the King, they treat them with contumely, and put them to death! We have seen the merited punishment inflicted on these deicides, by this Man, who was God Himself, the Father of Israel, now become King of the Gentiles: we have seen how He sent his armies to destroy them and burn their city. And now at last, in spite of the refusal of the invited of Juda, in spite of the treacherous opposition put them against the celebration of the nuptials of the Son of God, all things are ready for the marriage, and the banquet-hall is filled with guests.” Gueranger, p.417

Wedding Garment of Sanctifying Grace
The spiritual meaning of the “Parable of the Marriage Feast” contains the need for sanctifying grace to enter the heavenly “marriage feast.” All have been invited from the highways and crossroads of the land. When the King enters, he notices one without a wedding garment. This wedding garment signifies the need on the part of the soul to have sanctifying grace. In the spiritual sense, the man has not kept the “bond of peace” because he has not kept the Commandments and has offended God and his neighbour by his sins; therefore, the king has his hands and feet bound and casts him out into the darkness “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Mt. 22:13 As we can see from today’s parable of the “Marriage Feast,” “...many are called, but few are chosen.” Mt. 22:14 All have the invitation, but not all accept the invitation. It is they who refuse to come either by rejecting Jesus Christ or by refusing to repent after disobeying God’s Commandments. We can be assured that we will be chosen for the heavenly “marriage feast” if we persevere in “the bond of peace” with love of God and our neighbour.

“The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” Part III
by St. Leonard of Port Maurice
The Words of Holy Scripture
But why seek out the opinions of the Fathers and theologians, when Holy Scripture settles the question so clearly? Look in to the Old and New Testaments, and you will find a multitude of figures, symbols and words that clearly point out this truth: very few are saved. In the time of Noah, the entire human race was submerged by the Deluge, and only eight people were saved in the Ark. Saint Peter says, "This ark was the figure of the Church," while Saint Augustine adds, "And these eight people who were saved signify that very few Christians are saved, because there are very few who sincerely renounce the world, and those who renounce it only in words do not belong to the mystery represented by that ark." The Bible also tells us that only two Hebrews out of two million entered the Promised Land after going out of Egypt, and that only four escaped the fire of Sodom and the other burning cities that perished with it. All of this means that the number of the damned who will be cast into fire like straw is far greater than that of the saved, whom the heavenly Father will one day gather into His barns like precious wheat.
I would not finish if I had to point out all the figures by which Holy Scripture confirms this truth; let us content ourselves with listening to the living oracle of Incarnate Wisdom. What did Our Lord answer the curious man in the Gospel who asked Him, "Lord, is it only a few to be saved?" Did He keep silence? Did He answer haltingly? Did He conceal His thought for fear of frightening the crowd? No. Questioned by only one, He addresses all of those present. He says to them: "You ask Me if there are only few who are saved?" Here is My answer: "Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Who is speaking here? It is the Son of God, Eternal Truth, who on another occasion says even more clearly, "Many are called, but few are chosen." He does not say that all are called and that out of all men, few are chosen, but that many are called; which means, as Saint Gregory explains, that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble.
Salvation in the Various States of Life
But oh, I see that by speaking in this manner of all in general, I am missing my point. So let us apply this truth to various states, and you will understand that you must either throw away reason, experience and the common sense of the faithful, or confess that the greater number of Catholics is damned. Is there any state in the world more favorable to innocence in which salvation seems easier and of which people have a higher idea than that of priests, the lieutenants of God? At first glance, who would not think that most of them are not only good but even perfect; yet I am horror-struck when I hear Saint Jerome declaring that although the world is full of priests, barely one in a hundred is living in a manner in conformity with state; when I hear a servant of God attesting that he has learned by revelation that the number of priests who fall into hell each day is so great that it seemed impossible to him that there be any left on earth; when I hear Saint Chrysostom exclaiming with tears in his eyes, "I do not believe that many priests are saved; I believe the contrary, that the number of those who are damned is greater."
Look higher still, and see the prelates of the Holy Church, pastors who have the charge of souls. Is the number of those who are saved among them greater than the number of those who are damned? Listen to Cantimpre; he will relate an event to you, and you may draw the conclusions. There was a synod being held in Paris, and a great number of prelates and pastors who had the charge of souls were in attendance; the king and princes also came to add luster to that assembly by their presence. A famous preacher was invited to preach. While he was preparing his sermon, a horrible demon appeared to him and said, "Lay your books aside. If you want to give a sermon that will be useful to these princes and prelates, content yourself with telling them on our part, 'We the princes of darkness thank you, princes, prelates, and pastors of souls, that due to your negligence, the greater number of the faithful are damned; also, we are saving a reward for you for this favor, when you shall be with us in Hell.'" (To be continued next week)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost 5th October 2014

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
5 October 2014

“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,...” Eph. 4:1-2
In today’s readings, the Church teaches us that the vocation of the Christian is to love God and one another. It is the most exalted of vocations because it leads to union with God here on earth and the guarantee of our eternal union with God in heaven. Dom Gueranger in his The Liturgical Year Vol. 11 sums up in the Epistle (Ephesians 4:1-6) St. Paul’s teaching on the Church “...the dignity of her children. She beseeches them to correspond, in a becoming manner, to their high vocation. This vocation, this call, which God gives us is, as we have been so often told, the call, or invitation, made to the human family to come to the sacred nuptials of divine union; it is the vocation given to us to reign in heaven with the Word, who has made Himself our Spouse, and our Head (cf. Eph. 2:5).” Gueranger, p. 374 “I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,...” Eph. 4:1-2 In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22: 34-46) Jesus is tested by Pharisees about “which is the great commandment in the Law” (Mt. 22:36). He eludes their trap and repeats the Old Testament teaching on the need to love God and one’s neighbour: “’Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ (Deut. 6:5) This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Lev. 19:18) On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Mt. 22: 37-40 The “love” of which Jesus speaks is what St. Paul describes as the practice of “humility, meekness and patience.”

The Glorious Bond of Charity
Dom Gueranger tells us “what we must do to prove ourselves worthy of the high honour offered to us by the Son of God. We must practise, among other virtues, these three—humility, mildness, and patience. These are the means for gaining the end that is so generously proposed to us. And what is that end? It is the unity of that immense body, which the Son of God makes His, by the mystic nuptials He vouchsafes to celebrate with our human nature. This Man-God asks one condition from those whom He calls, whom He invites, to become, through the Church, His bride, bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh (cf. Eph. 5:30). This one condition is, that they maintain such harmony among them that it will make one body and one spirit of them all, the bond of peace. ‘Bond most glorious!’ cries out St. John Chrysostom---‘bond most admirable, which unites us all with one another, and then, thus united, unites us with God.’ (Ep. Ad Eph., Hom. IX, 8) The strength of this bond is the strength of the holy Spirit Himself, who is all holiness and love; for it is that holy Spirit who forms these spiritual and divine ties; He it is who, with the countless multitudes of the baptized, does the work which the soul does in the human body—that is, gives it life, and unites all the members into oneness of person. It is by the Holy Ghost that young and old, poor and rich, men and women, distinct as all these are in other respects, are made one, fused, so to say, in the fire which eternally burns in the Blessed Trinity. But in order that the flame of infinite love may thus draw into its embrace our regenerated humanity, we must get rid of selfish rivalries, and grudges, and dissensions, which, so long as they exist among us, prove us to be carnal (cf. I Cor. 3:3), and, therefore, to be unfit material either for the divine flame to touch, or for the union which that flame produces.” Gueranger, p. 374-5

The Great Commandment
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22:34-46), we see how the Pharisees fail in their attempt to trick Jesus into denying the greatest commandment of the law. “....they (the Pharisees) wanted to see if Jesus, who had declared Himself to be God, would not, consequently, make some addition to the commandment of divine love; and if He did they would be justified in condemning Him as having tried to change the letter of the law in its greatest commandment (St. Chrysostom, Hom. 77 in Matt.). Our Lord disappointed them. He met their question by giving it a longer answer than they had asked for. Having first recited the text of the great commandment as given in the Scriptures, he continued the quotation, and, by so doing, showed them that He was not ignorant of the intention which had induced them to question Him. He reminded them of the second commandment, like unto the first, the commandment of love of our neighbour, which condemned their intended crime of deicide (crucifixion of Jesus). Thus were they convicted of loving neither their neighbour, nor God Himself, for the first commandment cannot be observed if the second, which flows from and completes it, be broken.” Gueranger, p. 380-1

Denial of Jesus’ Divinity
Jesus not only shows how the Pharisees lack love of God and neighbour, but they also lack faith as they refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Dom Gueranger shows how Jesus proves that they are blinded in their hatred of Him: “He (Jesus) put a question, in His turn, to them, and they answer it by saying, as they were obliged to do, that the Christ was to be of the family of David; but if he be his Son, how comes it that David calls Him his Lord, just as he calls God Himself, as we have it in Psalm 109 (Ps. 109:1: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy enemies thy footstool.’), where he celebrates the glories of the Messiah? The only possible explanation is, that the Messiah, who in due time, and as Man, was to be born of David’s house, was God, and Son of God, even before time existed, according to the same psalm: ‘From my womb, before the day-star, I begot thee.’ Ps. 109:3 This answer would have condemned the Pharisees, so they refused to give it; but their silence was an avowal; and, before very long, the eternal Father’s vengeance (The Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD) upon these vile enemies of His Son will fulfil the prophecy of making them His footstool in blood and shame: that time is to be the terrible day when the justice of God will fall upon the deicide city.” Gueranger, p. 381-2

Love of God Fulfils the Law
Unlike the Jews who rejected Christ and the law, the Christians, by loving Jesus, fulfil the whole law. Dom Gueranger contrasts the love of the Christians with the rejection of the Pharisees: “The Jews by rejecting Christ Jesus, sinned against both of the commandments which constitute charity, and embody the whole law; and we, on the contrary, by loving that same Jesus, fulfil the whole law. Jesus is the brightness of eternal glory (cf. Heb. 1:3) one, by nature, with the Father and the Holy Ghost; He is the God whom the first commandment bids us love, and it is in Him also that the second has its truest and adequate application....Nothing counts with God, excepting so far as it has reference to Jesus. As St. Augustine says (in Joan. Trace cx). God loves men only inasmuch as they either are, or may one day become members of His Son; it is His Son that He loves in them; thus He loves, with one same love though not equally, His Word, and the Flesh of His Word, and the members of His Incarnate Word. Now, charity is love—love such as it is in God, communicated to us creatures by the Holy Ghost. Therefore, what we should love, by charity, both in ourselves, and in others, is the divine Word, either as being, or, according to another expression of the same St. Augustine, ‘that He may be’ in others and in ourselves.’(Serm. cclv., in dieb pasch.) ....The question is St. Augustine’s again (Epist. lxi). ‘Who can love Christ without loving, with Him, the Church, which is His body? Without loving all His members? What we do—be it to the least, or be it to the worthiest, be it of evil, or of good—it is to Him we do it, for He tells us so (cf. Mt. 25: 40-45). Then let us love our neighbour as ourselves, because of Christ, who is in each of us, and who gives to us all union and increase of charity.’” (cf. Eph. 4:15, 16) Gueranger, p.382-3

“The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” II
by St. Leonard of Port Maurice
Thanks be to God, the number of the Redeemer's disciples is not so small that the wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees is able to triumph over them. Although they strove to calumniate innocence and to deceive the crowd with their treacherous sophistries by discrediting the doctrine and character of Our Lord, finding spots even in the sun, many still recognized Him as the true Messiah, and, unafraid of either chastisements or threats, openly joined His cause. Did all those who followed Christ follow Him even unto glory? Oh, this is where I revere the profound mystery and silently adore the abysses of the divine decrees, rather than rashly deciding on such a great point! The subject I will be treating today is a very grave one; it has caused even the pillars of the Church to tremble, filled the greatest Saints with terror and populated the deserts with anchorites. The point of this instruction is to decide whether the number of Christians who are saved is greater or less than the number of Christians who are damned; it will, I hope, produce in you a salutary fear of the judgments of God.
Brothers, because of the love I have for you, I wish I were able to reassure you with the prospect of eternal happiness by saying to each of you: You are certain to go to paradise; the greater number of Christians is saved, so you also will be saved. But how can I give you this sweet assurance if you revolt against God's decrees as though you were your own worst enemies? I observe in God a sincere desire to save you, but I find in you a decided inclination to be damned. So what will I be doing today if I speak clearly? I will be displeasing to you. But if I do not speak, I will be displeasing to God.
Therefore, I will divide this subject into two points. In the first one, to fill you with dread, I will let the theologians and Fathers of the Church decide on the matter and declare that the greater number of Christian adults are damned; and, in silent adoration of that terrible mystery, I will keep my own sentiments to myself. In the second point I will attempt to defend the goodness of God versus the godless, by proving to you that those who are damned are damned by their own malice, because they wanted to be damned. So then, here are two very important truths. If the first truth frightens you, do not hold it against me, as though I wanted to make the road of heaven narrower for you, for I want to be neutral in this matter; rather, hold it against the theologians and Fathers of the Church who will engrave this truth in your heart by the force of reason. If you are disillusioned by the second truth, give thanks to God over it, for He wants only one thing: that you give your hearts totally to Him. Finally, if you oblige me to tell you clearly what I think, I will do so for your consolation. (to be continued next week)

The First Friday, 3 October 201
Now is a good time to continue (or begin) the devotion to the “Nine First Fridays” of the Month. The Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to St. Margaret Mary: "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." There is no better way of honouring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than in receiving Holy Communion on the “Nine First Fridays.”.

The First Saturday, 4 August 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays! Just think that when you are about to die the Blessed Virgin Mary will be there with you to help you get to heaven! “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen” How many times have you said these words in your lifetime?

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix 4 September 2014

On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who are interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door)
This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)
We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of so many souls. Our Lady said at Fatima in 1917: “Many souls will go to hell because no one will pray and sacrifice for them.”

St. Teresa of Avila
The Fifth Centenary Celebrations1515-2015
Exhibition of the Life & Works of St.Teresa Cathedral of SS Mary & Boniface, Plymouth
Saturday, 4th October until Wednesday, 15th October
9:00 AM to 4 PM