Sunday, April 11, 2021

Dominica in Albis: "That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb"

     “When we hear this passage of the Gospel read, a question straightway knocketh at the door of our mind. How was it that the Body of the Risen Lord was a real Body, if It was able to pass through closed doors into the assembly of His disciples? But we ought to know that the works of God are no more wonderful when they can be understood by man's reason, and faith has lost her worth when her subject-matter is the subject-matter of human demonstration. Nevertheless, those very works of our Redeemer which are in themselves impossible to be understood, must be thought over in connection with other of His works, that we may be led to believe in things wonderful, by mean of things more wonderful still.

     “That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb without breaking the seal thereof. What wonder is it if that Body Which had come out of the Virgin's womb, without opening the matrix, albeit It was then on Its way to die, now that It was risen again from the dead and instinct for ever with undying life, what wonder is it, I say, if that Body passed through closed doors?”

- St Gregory the Great

- Homily by Pope St Gregory 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Emmaus: they recognized the risen Christ in “the breaking of the Bread”


     “And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus...”

                                                   - Luke 24:13-35

     “Dearly beloved brethren, ye hear, how that while two of His disciples walked together in the way, not believing in His Resurrection, but talking, together concerning Him, the Lord manifested Himself unto them, but yet held their eyes that they should not know Him. This holding of the eyes of their body, wrought by the Lord, was a figure of the spiritual veil which was yet upon the eyes of their heart. For in their heart they loved and yet doubted: even as the Lord drew near to them outwardly, but showed not Who He was. To them that talked together of Him, He revealed His immediate presence; but hid, from them that doubted, the knowledge of His Person.

     “Is He spoke to them; He rebuked the hardness of their heart; He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself: and, nevertheless, seeing that He was yet a stranger to faith in their hearts, He made as though He would have gone further. These words He made as though would here seem to mean He feigned, but He Who is simple Truth doth nothing with feigning: He only showed Himself to them in bodily manners, as He was towards them spiritually; but they were put to the proof whether, though they loved Him not yet as their God, they could love Him at least as a wayfarer.

     “But since it was impossible, that they with whom Truth walked, should be loveless, they asked Him as a wayfarer to take of their hospitality. But why say we that they asked Him, when it is written: And they constrained Him? From their example we learn that we ought not only to bid, but also to urge, wayfarers to our hospitable entertainment. They laid a table therefore, and set before Him bread and meat; and that God Whom they had not known in the expounding of the Holy Scripture, they knew in the breaking of bread. In hearing the commandments of God they were not enlightened, but they were enlightened in the doing of them: as it is written: Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Rom. ii. 13. Whosoever therefore will understand that which he heareth, let him make haste to practice in his works that which he hath already been able to hear. Behold, the Lord was not known while He spake, but He was contented to be known when He broke bread.”

                            - Pope St. Gregory the Great
     Our risen Lord, high Priest of the new and perfect covenant in His Blood, celebrated the holy Mass with the disciples from Emmaus and, because of their encountering with faith His true and real Presence in the Blessed Eucharist, they recognized Him in the breaking of the Bread.

This ancient epithet for the holy Mass indicates that those who today still faithfully offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass, instituted by the Lord on the first Holy Thursday, encounter Christ today in the breaking of the bread and thus remain faithful to Him in action as well as in word.

Those who, today, act with the utmost reverence for Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist as taught by our holy tradition share in the same true Faith of those first disciples at Emmaus.

Happy Easter.
                                                       - FrC

Sunday, January 3, 2021

IHS: The Circumcision of the Lord and the Holy Name

  From the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Luke 2:21
In that time: when eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb. And so on.

Homily by St. Bernard, Abbot (of Clairvaux)
1st on the Circumcision
Behold a mystery, great and full of wonder! The Child is circumcised, and His Name is called Jesus. Why are these two things thus mentioned together? It would seem that circumcision should rather be for the saved than for the Saviour; that the Saviour ought rather to be Circumciser than circumcised. But behold here the Mediator between God and men, how even from His childhood He joineth the things of the Highest to the things of the lowest, the things of God to the things of men. He is born of a woman, but her womb is made fruitful without the loss of the flower of her virginity. He is wrapped in swaddling-bands, but these swaddling-bands are a theme for the jubilation of angels. He is laid in a manger, but a bright star standeth in heaven over the place. So also in His circumcision, the ceremony gave proof of the reality of the Manhood which He had taken, and that Name which is above every name proclaimed the glory of His Blessed Majesty. As very son of Abraham He underwent circumcision; He assumed the Name of Jesus as very Son of God.
Why Jesus beareth not that Name as others have borne it before Him, as a vain and empty title. It is not in Him the shadow of a great Name, but the very meaning of that Name. That His Name was revealed from heaven, is attested by the Evangelist, where it is written, Which was so named of the Angel before He was conceived in the womb. After Jesus was born, men called Him Jesus, but angels called Him Jesus, before He was conceived in the womb. The One Lord is the Saviour of angels and of men; of men, since His Incarnation; of angels, from the beginning of their creation. His Name, saith the Evangelist, was called Jesus, which was so named of the Angel before He was conceived in the womb. In the mouth therefore of two or three witnesses is every word established; and that word whereof the Prophet spoke as cut short, is set forth at length in the Gospel: the Word made Flesh.

And on the Circumcision

It is no wonder that it should be at His circumcision that the Name of Jesus (which is, being interpreted, Saviour) is given to the Child Who is born unto us, for it was then that He for the first time shed that sinless Blood Which is the mean whereby He hath chosen to work out our salvation. It is no matter for the speculation of Christians why the Lord Christ was pleased to be circumcised. He was circumcised for the same reason for which He was born, and for which He suffered. Neither one nor the other was for Himself, but all for the sake of the elect. He was not born in sin; He was not circumcised to separate Him from sin; neither did He die for sins of His own, but for ours. Which was so named of the Angel before He was conceived in the womb. The Angel indeed gave Him that title of Saviour, but not for the first time. Saviour is His Name from everlasting; He hath it of His own proper nature to save. This title He hath in Himself, not by the gift of anything that He hath made, be it man or Angel.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

“People Will Die” by Father Kevin M Cusick


Yes, they will. It’s impossible to be alive without suffering the risk of dying.


The COVID-19 phenomenon is not just about a disease. It’s also about exposing the maladies afflicting our society and our world. And in the Church as well. “People will die,” we’re told.
“People will die,” we’re told, if we don’t wear a mask, wash hands, anti-socially distance, and stay home. Some people, however, are dying because they are doing these things. COVID-19 is not the only threat humanity faces.
I haven’t heard the same morally superior individuals who are militant about masks warn that people will die because of riots. And people have died because of riots. I haven’t heard the same social justice warriors who harangue on and on about physical health say anything about the fact that people will die if a doctor suctions a living baby out of her mother’s womb.
And yet millions have died and are dying because of legalized child murder in our abortion mills every day. Yes, people will die. But the death of the body is not the only kind of death and it’s certainly not the worst sort of death.
People are dying in the vast wildfires on the West Coast. People are dying as a result of Hurricane Sally. Unprecedented areas of land in California have been consumed by flame and cadaver dogs are being led through the wreckage to find the dead. Over twenty inches of rainfall fell on the Florida panhandle and Alabama and the resulting loss of human life has yet to be fully revealed.
The risk of death begins the very moment we are born and doesn’t end until we die, when and where we do not know. 

Read the rest:

My latest column: “People Will Die”

 My latest column: “People Will Die”

Click here.

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