will be celebrated on
Saturday 6th February 2016
Our Lady of the Rosary,
Jubilee Road, Buckley,
Flintshire CH7 2BF
Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
will be celebrated on
Saturday 6th February 2016
Our Lady of the Rosary,
Jubilee Road, Buckley,
Flintshire CH7 2BF
PRESENCE OF GOD - O, Lord, I am here before You. Grant that my heart may be the good ground, ready to receive Your divine word.
Today Jesus, the divine Sower, comes to scatter the good seed in His vineyard the Church. He wishes to prepare our souls for a new blossoming of grace and virtue. "The seed is the word of God". Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, eternal Utterance of the Father, came to sow this word in the hearts of men; it is, as it were, a reflection of Himself. The divine word is not a sound which strikes the air and disappears rapidly like the word of men; it is a supernatural light which reveals the true value of things; it is grace, the source of power and strength to help us live according to the light of God. Thus it is a seed of supernatural life, of sanctity, of eternal life. This seed is never sterile in itself; it always has a vital, powerful strength, capable of producing not only some fruits of Christian life, but abundant fruits of sanctity. This seed is not entrusted to an inexperienced husbandman who, because of his ignorance, might ruin the finest sowing. It is Jesus Himself, the Son of God, who is the Sower.
Then why does the seed not always bring forth the desired fruit? Because very often the ground which receives it does not have the requisitive qualities. God never stops sowing the seed in the hearts of men; He invites them, He calls them continually by His light and His appeals; He never ceases giving His grace by means of the Sacraments; but all this is in vain and fruitless unless man offers God a good ground, that is, a heart, well prepared and disposed. God wills our salvation and sanctification, but He never forces us; He respects our liberty.
Today's Gospel (Lk 8, 4-15) mentions four categories of people who receive the seed of the divine word in different ways. It compares them to the hard ground, to the stony soil, the earth choked with thorns, and lastly, to the good fertile field.
The hard ground: souls that are frivolous, dissipated, open to all distractions, rumors, and curiosity; admitting all kinds of creatures and earthly affections. The word of God hardly reaches their heart when the enemy, having free access, carries it off, thus preventing it from taking root.
The stony ground: superficial souls with only a shallow layer of good earth, which will be rapidly blown away, along with the good seed, by winds of passion. These souls easily grow enthusiastic, but do not persevere and "in time of temptation fall away". They are unstable, because they have not the courage to embrace renunciation and to make the sacrifices which are necessary if one wishes to remain faithful to the word of God and to put it into practice in all circumstances. Their fervor is a straw fire which dies down and goes out in the face of the slightest difficulty.
The ground covered with thorns: souls that are preoccupied with the wordly things, pleasures, material interests and affairs. The seed takes root, but the thorns soon choke it by depriving it of air and light. Excessive solicitude for temporal things eventually stifles the rights of the spirit.
Lastly, the good ground is compared by Jesus to those "who, with a good and upright heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience." The good and upright heart is the one which always gives first place to God, which seeks before everything else the Kingdom of God and His justice. The seed of the divine word will bear abundant fruit in proportion to the good dispositions it finds in us: recollection, a serious and profound interior life, detachment, sincere seeking for the things of God above and beyond all earthly things, and finally, perseverance, without which the word of God cannot bear its fruit in us.
O, Jesus, divine Sower, rightly do You complain of the arid, sterile ground of my poor heart! What an abundant sowing of holy inspirations, interior lights, and grace You have cast into my heart! How many times You have invited me to come to You by special appeals, and how many times I stopped, after following You for a short time! O Lord, if only I could understand the fundamental reason for my spiritual sterility, my instability and inconstancy in good! Will Your light fail me? No, for you are continually instructing and admonishing my soul in a thousand ways. Oh! If so many souls living in error and not knowing You have received but a hundredth part of the light which You have given me so profusely, how much fruit would they not have drawn from it!
Will Your grace fail me? Is not Your grace my strength? O Lord, I see that neither Your light nor Your strength will fail me; what I lack is the perseverance which can faithfully withstand temptations, difficulties, and darkness; which can face courageously the sacrifice and austerity of the Christian life. It is easy to make sacrifices and to renounce oneself for a day, but it is hard to keep on doing it always, every day of our life. It is not the reason that You said, O Lord, that the good heart brings forth fruit "in patience"?
O Jesus, who endured with invincible patience Your most sorrowful Passion and death, give me the patience I need to keep up the struggle against my passions and my self-love, patience to embrace with perseverance all the sacrifices required by total detachment, to be able to live without personal satisfactions and pleasures, to do everything that is repugnant to me, that hurts me, that crosses me and is displeasing to my self-love.
O, Lord, You know that I desire total purification because I long for union with You; but You cannot purify me entirely if I cannot accept patiently Your work: the trials, humiliations and detachments that You prepare for me. O Jesus, divine Sufferer, give me Your patience; make me, like Yourself, humble and patient.
Credit, meditation for Sexagesima Sunday, "Divine Seed" comes from the book "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD.
Important news from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (source www.icrsp.org)
Above: Facsimiles of the documents sent by the Holy See (CDF)
Those intending to take part in the ICKSP pilgrimage to Lourdes must make their intentions known to Canon Montjean by Friday.
Last evening at First Vespers of Septuagesima, the Alleluia was said for the last time in the Extraordinary Form liturgy until the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday.
A double "Alleluia”, added at the end of the “Benedicámus Domino” and again after the response “Deo grátias” and that is that until the great night of the vigil.
Over at New Liturgical Movement, there is an interesting article that details how the Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian in La Londe-les-Maures, France actually bury the Alleluia.
Of course, the changes brought in with the Novus Ordo buried the season of Septuagesima.
For those not familiar with the Old Rite or are not old enough to remember the lovely pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima, I would recommend that you watch this short video made by the LMS and which gives some insight into this not so lost season.
Septuagesima Sunday begins the period in the Church’s liturgy in which there is the transition time between the joys of Christmas and Epiphany and the rigours of Lent. Pope St. Gregory the Great established these Sundays before Easter: Septuagesima (70 days), Sexagesima (60 days) and Quinquagesima (50 days) in order to prepare the faithful, both in body and spirit, for the Lenten period of penance. “The Church through the appropriate liturgical texts, tries to make the Christian realize the misery of their state as sinners and their own weakness, in order to prepare them for the need of penance and unite them to the one sacrifice of Christ, which is commemorated in the Lenten cycle.” The period of Septuagesima has been compared to the seventy years of Babylonian captivity where the Jews wept for their sins and longed to return to Jerusalem. So, too, the Church calls us to weep for our sins and long for the joys of the resurrection and of heaven. We see how this is true in today’s Epistle (I Cor. 9:24-27; 10:1-5) where St. Paul reminds the Corinthians to deprive themselves like good athletes in order to prepare for the struggle for the crown of eternal salvation: “...but I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps after preaching to others I myself should be rejected.” I Cor. 9:27 In the Gospel (Mt. 20:1-16) parable of “The Labourers in the Vineyard,” Jesus shows us how important it is to labour in His vineyard, that is, the temporal world, for the reward of the kingdom of heaven. All are invited to work in the vineyard: “Why do you stand here all the day idle?” Mt. 20:6 All are invited to work for their eternal salvation, and no one should be idle and careless in doing the things which will bring this great reward.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race, all indeed run, but one receives the prize? So run to obtain it.” [Epistle I Cor. 9 24]
St. Paul uses the analogy of the runner to show how one must train vigorously to win the prize of a heavenly crown. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Christian runs a spiritual race that demands great effort: “Even in the spiritual race, one only receives the prize—he who perseveres to the end. Run, then, for victory; (this) indicates first the effort, then the purpose, lastly the prize.” Like all good athletes, St. Paul demands that the faithful who are aiming at the goal of eternal life should do penance and chastise their bodies lest they lose the eternal crown: “...but I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps after preaching to others I myself should be rejected.” I Cor. 9:27 St. Paul reminds his followers that it is not enough to belong to the chosen race. He reminds them that the Jews were brought out of Egypt and received great graces from God, but some sinned and died in the desert: “Yet with most of them God was not well-pleased, for ‘they were laid low in the desert.’” I Cor. 10:5 The lesson from St. Paul is self-evident: “The Christian is an athlete; and it is not enough for him to cry Lord, Lord, from the gallery. He must be in the arena fight for his life!”
“Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.” [Gospel Mt. 20:16]
These mysterious words of Our Lord become clear when one considers the spiritual meaning of this parable in its allegorical sense. The vineyard is our life in the world where we must strive for the reward of our labours: instead of a denarius for our day’s work, we will gain eternal life. Quoting St. Gregory the Great and St. Augustine, Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Life Vol. 4 says that the various hours of the day represent the stages of life: “It signifies the calling given by God to each of us individually, pressing us to labour, during this life, for the kingdom prepared for us. The morning is our childhood. The third hour, according to the division used by the ancients in counting their day at sunrise; it is our youth. The sixth hour, by which name they called our midday, is manhood. The eleventh hour, which immediately preceded sunset, is old age. The Master of the house calls His labourers at all these various hours.” All those called must go at the time when they are summoned as they are not certain that they will be called later. The same happens to us in life: no one is certain that he will live to old age. We need to accept the call to live our faith when we are called. We also need to accept the wage which we are promised. Interestingly, the denarius is a coin comprising ten other coins; so the good Christian must keep the Ten Commandments if he hopes to save his life. Jesus calls all to the kingdom of heaven, but not everyone accepts the invitation. Some who thought that they were special because they came first, may be last; and those who were called last, may be first in the kingdom of heaven.
“Have I not a right to do what I choose? Or art thou envious because I am generous?” [Gospel Mt. 20:15]
When the first labourers came for their wages, they reasoned that they should have a higher wage since they had worked all day. In reality, they were envious of the good fortune of those who worked only part of the day. It seems to be another example of the typical reaction of the Pharisees at Jesus’ generosity to sinners and other non-Jews. Fr. Boylan in “The Sunday Epistles and Gospels,” explains it thus: “The Pharisees were like the early hired workers; they had professed to walk in the ways of the Lord, and for their ‘works of the Law’, they thought themselves fully entitled to demand payment, as wages earned, from God. Against all this outlook the parable is a protest. The Kingdom of Heaven has been offered to all—but in the goodness and mercy of God, and not as a wage definitely earned by work done. Those who might have expected to enter it first of all are likely to be the last to do so, and those whom the Pharisees despised—the ‘people of the land’ and sinners—are among the first to enter the Kingdom.” The Pharisees are the people to whom Jesus often refers in the scriptures who want special favours for being His followers yet they lack His spirit: “’We ate and drank in thy presence, and thou didst teach in our streets.’ And he shall say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me all you workers of iniquity.” Lk. 13: 26-7 Let us be thankful for having been called to be a follower of Christ, and let us wish that all our fellow men would also accept Jesus’ call even if it is at “the eleventh hour”.
The Capital Sin of Envy
Envy implies sorrow at the happiness and prosperity of our neighbour. For which reason the envious man is never without sadness or trouble. Are his neighbour’s fields green and fertile? Is his house a happy one? Is he not lacking interior and spiritual happiness? All these signs of prosperity increase the illness and disturb the mind of the envious man. St. Basil tells of the evil effects of envy: “The envious man is hurt by the good fortune of a friend; the joy of his brothers causes him pain; he cannot look with favour on the riches of another and considers the prosperity of his neighbour as a misfortune for himself. If he wished to tell the truth, he would be forced to confess this; but since he does not wish to make it manifest, he keeps this hatred in his heart, where it gnaws away at his entrails.” St. Basil, “Homily 11 on Envy”
Fellow LMS Committee Member, Stefano Mazzeo is busy working on his latest film for EWTN.
Some commentary and photographs of the final shoot which took last weekend can be viewed here.
In the The Inquisition, Stefano is striving to get to the truth of the matter. Seeing beyond the myth and legend by presenting the events in a factual and unbiased way, especially dispelling much of the false testimony that exists against the Catholic Church.
Watch this space for more progress reports and broadcast dates in due course.
On Wednesday 20th January at 7pm at St Mary’s, Buttermarket Street, Warrington WA1 2NS, Father Armand de Malleray FSSP will give a second talk about the Traditional Mass.
Free parking on church car park: access via SMITH Street, WA1 2NS
Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui facis mirabilia magna solus: praetende super famulos tuos, et super congregationes illis commissas, spiritum gratiae salutaris; et, ut in veritate tibi complaceant, perpetuum eis rorem tuae benedictionis infunde.
Kevin Jones is the local representative for the Latin Mass Society in Wrexham Diocese. Any views expressed neither represent those of the Latin Mass Society or the Diocese of Wrexham.