Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dominica X post Pentecosten: "Thank God I am not like other men"

From the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 18:9-14
At that time: Jesus spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the Temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo
Serm 36 of the Word of the Lord
The Pharisee might at least have said: "I am not as many men are." But what meaneth "other men"? All other men except himself. "I," said he, "am righteous; others are sinners." "I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers," and then he took occasion, from the neighborhood of the publican, to plume himself "or even," quoth he, "as this publican." "I am alone," he thought, "that publican" is one of the others. Mine own righteousness maketh the gulf between me and the wicked, such as he is.

Sunday 19A: "Why did you doubt?"


"Lord, save me!"

Peter, frightened by the wind and the waves, cries out desperately for help in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-two to thirty-three. Christ had granted Peter the power to walk on the water, but giving in to his fear, the apostle had begun to sink. "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Peter found himself overwhelmed by the natural elements which threatened him as a storm. There is however something far worse: the threat of losing God forever.

There is a mystery here, that our faith is a gift from God for salvation, but at the same time, our faith is a cooperation with God; we freely choose to believe. And we can also choose to doubt and fall into fear as did Peter. The tempest which provoked his cry for help is a symbol of the life storms that threaten our perseverance in faith.

There is a grace by which we weather life's storms. Fortitude is the virtue of which Peter stood in need at his moment of temptation.

“Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. ‘The Lord is my strength and my song.’ ‘In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ “ (CCC 1808)

It is through grace by faith that we receive the gift of fortitude.  Peter confesses faith in Christ's divinity, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water". Moments later that faith gives way to fear, and Peter is threatened with destruction by the forces of nature. Do we need power to "walk on water" in order to be happy? What are the things that we fear, that drive the power of faith, and the power of God, out of our lives? Is sin among them? Do we disregard the corrosive power of falsehood, the destructive force of unchastity? What we cannot do without is a reverent spirit of worship, the power to confidently acclaim Jesus as Lord, and then to call upon Him for what we need to live as the praise of His glory.

Bearing witness to the Lord, confessing our Faith before others, enables us to practice and to grow in the virtue of fortitude.

“The faithful should bear witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear. Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (CCC 2145)

When the disciples witnessed the power of Christ over the wind and waves, they fell down and worshipped Him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."  They acclaimed Him in faith and thus they saw with true vision through the supernatural power of God working in them.

"Very often in the Gospels people address Jesus as 'Lord'. This title testifies to the respect and trust of those who approach him for help and healing. At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, 'Lord' expresses the recognition of the divine mystery of Jesus. In the encounter with the risen Jesus, this title becomes adoration: 'My Lord and my God!' It thus takes on a connotation of love and affection that remains proper to the Christian tradition: 'It is the Lord!' " (CCC 448)

Let us ask for the virtue of fortitude in worship and witness that our faith may grow and others may come to the Lord as well.  Above all, it is Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist that calls for our adoration.  We can, for example, better witness before the world by our more attentive genuflection as we enter or depart a church or chapel where the Lord is present; by an interior spirit of adoration as we process forward during the Communion of the Mass; by pausing to make a profound bow before receiving our Eucharistic Lord in Communion; by carefully resting one hand upon the other to receive the Lord and then reverently placing the Host on our tongue.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, we adore thee!

-Fr. Cusick @MCITLFrAphorism
(Publish with permission.)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dominica VII post Pentecosten: "Beware of false prophets"

V. Grant, Lord, a blessing.
Benediction. May the Gospel's glorious word Cleansing to our souls afford. Amen. 

Reading 3
From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 7:15-21
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. And so on.

Homily by St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers.
Comment. on Matth. ch. vi.
The Lord here warneth us that we must rate the worth of soft words and seeming meekness, by the fruits which they that manifest such things bring forth in their works, and that we should look, in order to see what a man is, not at his professions, but at his deeds. For there are many in whom sheep's clothing is but a mask to hide wolfish ravening. But "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." Thus, the Lord teacheth us, is it with men also evil men bring not forth good fruits, and hereby are we to know them. Lip-service alone winneth not the kingdom of heaven, nor is every one that saith unto Christ: "Lord, Lord," an heir thereof.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sermon for Dominica V post Pentecosten: "unless your righteousness exceeds that of of the scribes and Pharisees"

From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 5:20-24
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
Bk. i. on the Lord's Sermon on the Mount, ch. 9.
Thou shalt not kill, is of the righteousness of the Pharisees; Thou shalt not be angry with thy brother without a cause, is of the righteousness of them which shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. The least therefore is: “Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall break this commandment, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” v. 19.But whosoever shall do it, and not kill, he is not therefore great, and meet for the kingdom of heaven; albeit, he hath risen a step; but he will have gotten farther, if he be not angry with his brother without a cause, which, if he do, he will be the farther off from manslaughter. Wherefore, He Which teacheth us that we are not to be angry without a cause, destroyeth not the law, Thou shalt not kill, but rather fulfilleth and increaseth it, making us not only to be free of the sin of outward killing, but also clean of anger within.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sermon for Dominica IV post Pentecosten


From the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 5:1-11
At that time: As the people pressed upon Jesus, to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Gennesareth. And so on.

Homily by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.
Bk. iv. on Luke v.
When the Lord wrought so many works of healing, neither time nor place could restrain the people from seeking health. Evening came, and they still followed Him He went down to the lake, and they still pressed upon Him and therefore He entered into Peter's ship. This is that ship, which spiritually up to this very hour, according to the expression of Matthew, is buffeted by tempests, but still, according to Luke, is filled with fishes, this signifying, that, for a while, to labour is present to the Church, but, hereafter, it shall be to rejoice. The fishes are they which swim in the troublous waters of human life. In this ship also spiritually doth Christ, for His disciples, still sleep, and still command; for He sleepeth for the lukewarm, and watcheth for the perfect.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

THIRTEENTH Sunday
2 Kings 4, 8-11.14-16; Psalm 89; Romans 6, 3-4.8-11;
Matthew 10: 37-42

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Every vocation is discipleship. All men and women are called to “follow after” Christ the Lord. Married or single, ordained or lay, every human person finds ultimate fulfillment in answering Jesus’ call to “take up the cross” which brings life out of death and to “lose life” that it may be found in all its fullness.

Of all the vocations it is the ordained priesthood which is most closely configured to the Lord, making men “other Christs”. The grace of the priesthood by which men give the Lord’s Body and Blood to His people and forgive their sins in Confession make the priest particular and close co-workers with Him in God’s plan of salvation. Through the charism of celibacy priesthood is a “higher calling” because it most closely anticipates in this world the life of heaven where there is “no marrying nor giving in marriage”. What higher joy could there be for a Catholic husband and wife to support the call of a son of theirs to the priesthood? And yet, with all the Catholics that say they love the Mass and love the Eucharist, there yet remain few who see with clarity that their love for the Lord must also extend to practical support for priestly vocations, beginning in their own families and with their own children.

Our Holy Father Benedict recently said, in regard to the diminished numbers of priestly vocations today: “Today’s parents have other plans for their sons and daughters. The primary consideration, therefore, is: Are there any believers, and only after that - will they produce priests?” Pope John Paul II before him addressed the blessing of large families, and the fact that if a husband and wife have more than one child they are more likely to welcome a vocation to the priesthood or religious life if our Lord should so call one of their children. It is a wonderful thing to see one's family continue to the next generation, and one of the greatest joys of earthly life. The supernatural life, however, is what every child must have to reach the fullness of life forever in God, and the priesthood, and all religious vocations, exist to serve this need for all of mankind.

Spiritual fatherhood and motherhood, the vocation of priests, sisters and brothers, is not an optional part of Christ's plan, but a constitutive part of the Church. "For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (1 Cor. 4:15) St. Paul thus proudly asserts his ministerial priesthood of bringing the faithful to birth in Christ.

In the rampant practical materialism of our time, the priority of the spiritual is easily overlooked. Mothers and fathers who learn to love their children with the love of God will give the spiritual life of their children the emphasis it deserves. “Whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” To love Christ more than son or daughter is to love the will of Christ for one’s child more than one’s own plans for that child. "He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin, whereas he who brings himself to naught for me discovers who he is."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2232, teaches: "Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. Parents should respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. They must be convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus: 'He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.'"

Parents who "bear their share of the hardship which the Gospel entails," and put their own desires and needs second to the will of God, such that they encourage their sons and daughters to be open to the higher calling of the priesthood and religious life, come first in the reign of God. What else is necessary or more wonderful?

-Fr. Cusick
(Publish with permission.)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

"The Living Father sent Me": Celebrating Eucharist and Fathers' Day

"Honor thy Father”

God Himself commands the love and respect we show for our earthly fathers on Father’s Day. On this day we focus in a more intense way on the gratitude and reverence we owe to the men who, committed to marriage and family life, helped to give us life and to raise us. We are thankful in particular for the roles our fathers play in raising us in the Faith and teaching us love for our Heavenly Father by their own witness. May God always bless them as they so richly deserve.

Our celebration of Mass is the perfect way to mark Father’s Day: Jesus’ perfect prayer is offered to His Father and ours accomplished by perfect obedience, through His suffering and death, to the perfect will of the Father. We truly participate in His prayer through the grace of our baptism as we  pray the Mass.

"The Living Father sent Me"

Every time we celebrate the Eucharist we receive the Son sent by the Father in Word and Sacrament. At Corpus Christi we focus more intensely on Christ's real and true presence in the Eucharist, unique among the sacraments and thus called "the Most Blessed Sacrament".

Praised be to God.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Ad cæli Reginam": Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XII on the Queenship of Mary

From Ad cæli Reginam, diei 11 Octobris 1954

"From the documents of ancient Christianity, from the prayers of the liturgy, from the innate religious sense of the Christian people, from works of art, from all sides we gather witnesses which assert that the Virgin Mother of God excelleth in queenly dignity. And we have set forth the reasons which sacred theology deduces from the treasury of divine faith to confirm the same truth.

All these witnesses form a sort of chorus, proclaiming far and wide the supreme queenly honour granted to the Mother of God and man, who is above all created things and exalted over the choirs of Angels to reign in heaven.

Thus it is that after mature and thoughtful consideration we have been persuaded that great benefits would flow to the Church if, like a light that illumines more brightly when placed in its stand, this solidly proved truth were to shine out more clearly to all, and so, by Our Apostolic Authority, we decree and institute the feast of Mary, Queen, which is to be celebrated every year on the thirty-first day of May throughout the world."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

June 26: S. Cleti et Marcellini Summorum Pontificum et Martyrum ~



Cletus was a Roman, and ruled the Church in the time of the Emperors Vespasian and Titus. In accordance with the precept of the Prince of the Apostles he ordained twenty-five priests for the City. He was the first Pope who made use in his letters of the phrase, Health and Apostolic Benediction. Having brought the Church into an excellent state of order, he was crowned with martyrdom in the reign of the Emperor Domitian, and the second persecution since the time of Nero, and was buried on the Vatican mount, hard by the body of blessed Peter. Marcellinus was a Roman; he ruled the Church during the savage persecution which was ordered by the Emperor Diocletian. He suffered through the false severity of those who blamed him as being too indulgent toward them who had fallen into idolatry, and for this reason also hath been slandered to the effect that he himself burnt incense to idols; but this blessed Pope, on account of his confession of the faith, was put to death along with three other Christians, whose names are Claudius, Cyrinus and Antoninus.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday: "Something strange is happening today... a great silence ..."

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday
The Lord's descent into the underworld
Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
  He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
  I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
  See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
  I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
  Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Not "fake news": Jesus reads the conscience of the Samaritan woman at the well

Third Sunday of Lent Year A

Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well: Not fake news.

What is news?

What is fake news?

We are often played between people on both sides of the spectrum, but no matter what happens we have to do what is best for ourselves and continue to seek the truth.

What's news for us? What is the truth for us? The "good news": the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ does not look at us impersonally, from a distance, but he reads our lives back to us from within, as he did with the Samaritan woman.

HIs love works through our conscience. Knowledge of our sins is real news but we are called to respond not with denial as if it were fake or useless.

He is Incarnate God with a heart like ours beating in his breast, one who was tempted as we are yet without sinning, one who walked the earth as we do, one who suffered fatigue and weariness, who needed to sleep and eat, needed to love friends and family.

And one who reads our sins back to us from the Cross and in the Resurrection tells the real news of His forgiving merciful love which confers life without end.

Just as is with the Samaritan woman, so for ourselves he reads our lives back to us as God. We are called respond to the truth about ourselves not with suspicion as fake news but as the good news, the truth. And called to respond in love, disciples who testify to His forgiving, life-giving love to others.

Jesus is the true "good news" for all of us but, before we can accept Him with authentic love, we must first face the real news about our sins with repentance.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday, first week of Lent: "Love your enemies"

"But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Heavenly Father"

Matthew 5

"Christ died out of love for us, while we were still 'enemies.' The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself. 

"The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: 'charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.'"

CCC 1825

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, Lent I: "If you forgive men's sins"

"This is how you are to pray:

"Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

"The Lord's Prayer "is truly the summary of the whole gospel."7 "Since the Lord . . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, 'Ask and you will receive,' and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord's Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires."8

CCC 2761

Saturday, February 25, 2017

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time A: "But seek first the kingdom of God ..."

"... and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides."

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022617.cfm

"The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well. And so throughout the centuries has the Lord's saying been verified: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well": 
"For two thousand years this sentiment has lived and endured in the soul of the Church, impelling souls then and now to the heroic charity of monastic farmers, liberators of slaves, healers of the sick, and messengers of faith, civilization, and science to all generations and all peoples for the sake of creating the social conditions capable of offering to everyone possible a life worthy of man and of a Christian."

CCC 1942

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: "Be holy"

"... for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

In spite of the holy Law that again and again their Holy God gives them - "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" - and although the Lord shows patience for the sake of his name, the people turn away from the Holy One of Israel and profane his name among the nations. For this reason the just ones of the old covenant, the poor survivors returned from exile, and the prophets burned with passion for the name.


CCC 2811

"Christ, 'holy, innocent, and undefiled,' knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners. In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time. Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ's salvation but still on the way to holiness: 
The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

CCC 827

Friday, February 10, 2017

Domenica in Septuagesima: "Who indeed is more justly to be likened to an householder than our Maker?"

"At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. And having agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And about the third hour, he went out and saw others standing in the market place idle; and he said to them, ‘Go you also into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is just.’ So they went. And again he went out about the sixth, and about the ninth hour, and did as before. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing about and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ They said to him, ‘Because no man has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘Go you also into the vineyard.’ But when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers, and pay them their wages, beginning from the last even to the first.’ Now when they of the eleventh hour came, they received each a denarius. And when the first in their term came, they thought that they would receive more; but they also received each his denarius. And on receiving it, they began to murmur against the householder, saying, ‘These last have worked a single hour, and you have put them on a level with us, who have borne the burden of the day’s heat.’ But answering one of them, he said, ‘Friend, I do you no injustice; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go; I choose to give to this last even as to you. Have I not a right to do what I choose? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.

Matt 20:1-16


"We hear that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning, to hire labourers into his vineyard. Who indeed is more justly to be likened to an householder than our Maker, Who is the Head of the household of faith, bearing rule over them whom He hath made, and being Master of His chosen ones in the world, as a Master over those that are in his house? He it is That hath the Church for a vineyard, a vineyard that ceaseth not to bring forth branches of the True Vine, from righteous Abel to the last of the elect that shall be born in the world.

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great

Cleanse my heart and my lips, O almighty God, who didst cleanse the lips of the prophet Isaias with a burning coal, and vouchsafe, through Thy gracious mercy, so to purify me, that I may worthily announce Thy holy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 





The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant
CCC 2563


Monday, February 6, 2017

Saint Titus, Bishop and Confessor: "in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils"

1 Tim 3:14-16;4:1
14 These things I write to thee, hoping that I shall come to thee shortly.
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16 And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.
1 Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: "If you choose you can keep the commandments"

Reading 1 SIR 15:15-20

If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water



"As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did: 
"On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.
When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

CCC 1345

5th Sunday after Epiphany: "Who has sown weeds in my field?"

From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 13:24-30
At that time, Jesus said to the people a parable: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seeds in his field. And so on.


Quest. Evang. Matth. xi., Bk. 4.
When the Shepherds of the Church wax careless, and since the Apostles sleep the sleep of death, cometh the devil, and soweth them whom the Lord calleth a seed of evil-doers. Now, are these seed of evil-doers the heretics, or Catholics of bad lives? It is possible to call even the heretics a seed of evil-doers because they have sprung up from the seed of the Gospel, and been begotten in the Name of Christ, though afterwards they have turned after crooked ways and lying doctrines.

- St Augustine 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time: "Shelter...the homeless"

Reading 1 IS 58:7-10

"Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard."

"The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. 
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

CCC 2241

Always in life there is a balance between competing goods, had the needs of persons always paramount:

“do not turn your back on your own”

We do have a duty toward our citizens and families before strangers, a duty imposed by God under the virtue of piety: our origin from our parents imposes a duty to honor them; also to country of origin.

As well, saying we welcome born strangers from other countries while being unwelcoming to the unborn child by supporting abortion is sinful, an affront to God which makes repentance and sacramental confession necessary before returning to receive Communion.

If we welcome the immigrant or refugee we can see but reject the preborn child we cannot see, we also reject God and sin in His sight. Coming forward to receive God in holy Communion while rejecting His image and creation in the preborn child adds sin to sin and frustrates out eternal salvation, placing us in jeopardy of damnation instead.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Third Sunday after Epiphany: "but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out"

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

By these words our Lord wished to signify that many persons born in infidelity shall be saved, and that many who are born in the bosom of the Church shall be cast into Hell, where the worm of conscience, by its gnawing, shall make them weep bitterly for all eternity.

Let us examine the remorses of conscience which a damned Christian shall suffer in Hell: the remorse arising from the thought of the little which was required to do in order to save his soul; from the remembrance of the trifles for which he lost his soul; from the knowledge of the great good which he has lost through his own fault ... 

Each of the reprobate will say for eternity: If I abstained from such a gratification; if in certain circumstances I overcame human respect; if I avoided the occasion of sin, such a companion, I should not now be damned; if I had frequented some pious sodality; if I had gone to confession every week; if in temptations I had recommended myself to God, I would not have relapsed into sin. I have so often proposed to do these things but I have not done them. I began to practice these means of salvation, but afterwards gave them up; and thus I am lost.

This torment will be increased by the remembrance of the good example given them by some young companions who led a chaste and pious life even in the midst of the world. It will be still more increased by the recollection of all the gifts which the Lord had bestowed upon them, that by their cooperation they might acquire eternal salvation; the gifts of nature – health, riches, respectability of family, talents; all gifts granted by God, not to be employed in the indulgence of pleasures and in the gratification of vanity, but in the sanctification of their souls, and in becoming saints.

Commentary by St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, C.Ss. R.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 11, Epiphanytide: "I must be about My Father's business"

"And His Mother said to Him, Son, why have You done so to us? Behold, in sorrow Your father and I have been seeking You. And He said to them, How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?"
Luke 2: 42-52

Like the prophets before him Jesus expressed the deepest respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that Joseph and Mary presented him forty days after his birth. At the age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his parents that he must be about his Father's business. He went there each year during his hidden life at least for Passover. His public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts.

CCC 583

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10: Epiphanytide "When Jesus was 12 years old..."

Luke 2:42-52
When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. And after they had fulfilled the days, when there were returning, the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents ...


CCC 534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus. Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Most Holy Name of Jesus: "nor is there any other Name"


... given to man by which we may be saved."
-- Acts 4, 8-12

The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases, but holds fast to the word and "brings forth fruit with patience." This prayer is possible "at all times" because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus.