A Funeral Requiem will be celebrated in Holy Ghost Church, Yeovil on Wednesday 8th February at 11.30am
Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Veronica Spender. Veronica and her late husband, Lt Cdr John Spender, were two of the founding members of the Latin Mass Society, he having served as the first Hon. Treasurer.
A Funeral Requiem will be celebrated in Holy Ghost Church, Yeovil on Wednesday 8th February at 11.30am
His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Burke clarifies pastoral questions regarding the perennial teachings of Catholic Church regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage, and homosexuality
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith.” Mt. 8:26
The Gospel narrative about the storm that threatens Peter’s boat has always been a symbol of the Church being persecuted throughout history from within and without. God allows these difficulties to oppose the Church in order to draw out a greater good. Fr. Gabriel in Divine Intimacy tells us, “Virtue and goodness are strengthened in time of difficulty; the efforts made in bearing trials tend to make us surpass what we would have done had we enjoyed perfect calm.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 183 God also allows difficulties in the Church in order to purify it of its errors and disobedience to His Commandments. It seems that only in difficulties, when events become insurmountable, will we turn out of desperation to God for help: “Lord, save us we are perishing.” Mt. 8: 25
“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” Mt. 8:27
In his commentary on the Gospel (Mt. 8:23-27) for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Dom Prosper Gueranger in The Liturgical Year III comments: “Let us adore the power of our Emmanuel, who is come to calm the tempests which threatened the human race with death. In the midst of their danger, the successive generations of men had cried out: ‘Lord, save us we are perishing.’ Mt. 8:25 When the fullness of time had come, he awoke from his rest; he had but to command, and the power of our enemies was destroyed. The malice of the devils, the darkness of idolatry, and the corruption of paganism—all yielded. Nation after nation was conquered to Jesus. They had said, when in their misery and blindness: ‘Who is this Jesus, whom no power can resist?’ and then they embraced his Law. This power of Jesus to break down every obstacle, and that, too, at the very time when men were disquieted at his apparent slumbering, has often shown itself in the past ages of the Church. How many times has he not chosen for saving the world that period which seemed the least likely for rescue! The same happens in the life of each one among us. Oftentimes we are tossed to and fro by violent temptations; it would seem as though the billows must sink us; and yet our will is firmly anchored to God! And what is this, if not Jesus sleeping in the storm-tossed boat, protecting us by this his sleeping? And if our cry for help at length awakens him, it is only to proclaim his own and our victory; for he has already conquered, and we have conquered in him.” Gueranger, p.261 We should never forget what St. Therese told us of this same incident of Jesus sleeping in the boat; always remember that Jesus is present in the boat and nothing can happen to Him as He is the Son of God and is all powerful. If we are with Him in the boat, we too will be protected no matter how bad the storms of life are.
Purification of evil
St. Cyprian in a letter to the Church relates how the present persecution was caused by their sins: “We have to confess that the force of the present storm of persecution which has decimated the flock and is even now still pouring out its fury upon it is to a great extent our fault, because we have not followed the commands of God which were given us for our salvation. Christ did the will of his Father, but we do not do his, living in luxury as we do and in pride and rivalries, despising simplicity and faith renouncing in words only, not in deeds, the world in which we live. We please ourselves and do harm to others…. For us this persecution is an examination of conscience. God has decreed that we should be proved and chastised – as he does many times with his own. However, he never fails us in time of trial. He has told me, the least of his servants, to give you this message. ‘Tell them,’ he said to me, ‘that peace will come. The delay is due to the fact that there are still some to be tried by the fire.’” (The Preacher’s Encyclopaedia, p. 437) Because of a lack of charity to others, God would allow the evil of persecution in the early Church to purify it from its selfishness and greed.
“Be debtor to no man in anything—except only in regard to mutual love.” Rom. 13:8
St. Paul in today’s Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 13: 8-10) reminds us that the debt of charity can never be fully paid. Our one debt that we owe to our fellow man is charity. We can never say that we have paid that debt already! When we pay the debt of charity, we pay all the other debts of the Law of Ten Commandments: “For he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the Law. For ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet’; and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’… Love therefore is the fulfilment of the Law.” Rom. 13:10 The early Christians were known to the pagans for their love for one another: “See how the Christians love one another.” St. Paul is just repeating throughout the Epistle to the Romans the major teaching of Jesus which is to love God: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Mt. 22:37-40.
Modified from a commentary written by Father George Mary Roth
Can I commend you to visit Touch of Faith who have a Traditional Novena for the feast of the Purification. Click here to visit.
I'm pleased to be able to give a little plug to this event up at the Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena on the 4th February.
The acclaimed boys choir of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School will perform a concert at 7pm on Saturday 4th February. [Updated with more details]
Today, we were very pleased to welcome to Holywell, Canon Amaury Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to celebrate the 4th Sunday Mass. Below are a selection of photographs of the Mass.
Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form
11.3oam Sunday 22nd January 2017
St Winefride's, Well Street, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 7PL
Celebrant: Canon Amaury Montjean ICKSP
The Gospel for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany describes two miracles of Christ, confirming His Divinity before Jewish priests through the cleansing of the despised leper who came to Him personally; also, before the Gentile world through the amazing cure of a lowly paralytic utterly unable to come. "They all wondered at these things." (Communion).
We must surely show our faith in His Divinity by never despising anyone, however lowly, for our God is a God of Mercy; again, as the Epistle warns, never to render evil for evil, since He is the God of Justice, who will avenge all injustice. Then will He "stretch forth the right hand" (Prayer) of His Divinity to heal our souls from the leprosy and paralysis of sin
The Gospel finally speaks of the eternal banquet where humanity will feed on Divinity; outside of which, non-believers in His Divinity will suffer eternal night.
“Be of one mind towards one another.” Rom. 12:16
The readings show the radical difference between the gospel message of Jesus and the way in which the world lives. Jesus taught all his followers the need for a life of charity and the practice of virtue. In the Gospel (Mt. 8:1-13), we see how Jesus Himself exemplifies His great love for men by His compassion for the leper and the centurion’s servant when He cured them of their sickness. Likewise, in today’s Epistle to the Romans (12:16-21), St. Paul emphasizes the need for charity, especially towards our enemies. This was unheard of in the ancient world, and it is still not practiced in the world today: “Be of one mind towards one another.” Rom. 12:16 We also see in today’s readings, how much Jesus was pleased with the faith and humility of the both the leper and the centurion who believed that Jesus could aid them in their request. For us, these readings are important teachings because they remind us of the need for charity toward one another and faith in Jesus who alone can help us.
“Vengeance is mine...” Deut. 32:35
In the Epistle to the Romans today, St. Paul reminds his followers of Jesus’ lesson on the need to practice charity even to one’s enemies. Jesus had said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you...” Mt. 5:44. St. Paul tells the Romans this same message: “To no man render evil for evil, but provide good things....Do not avenge yourselves, but give place to the wrath, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.’” Rom. 12:17-9 This was a far cry from the ancient traditions which said that one could return what was given to you--- “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth...” Lev. 24:19. St. Paul is reminding his followers that Christians who believe in Jesus Christ must love their enemies and take no revenge on anyone who opposes them. Revenge is not for man to take! This is God’s domain as He alone knows who is evil and who is good, and He will ask all His creatures to render an account of their works. If men do not repent of their evil, they will have to endure the severe justice of God. This can be seen in what Jesus said would happen to anyone who causes one of His little ones to sin; Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Mt. 18:6 While God is all merciful, He is also all just, and those who offend Him and do evil to their fellow man will endure a most severe judgment. This is why Jesus asks us to pray for those who persecute us as they will have to endure the justice of God for their deeds. If we could see how the justice of God shall punish those who do evil (to us), then we would fervently pray for them. Jesus also warns us not to despise (hurt) them: Mt. 18:6 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you, their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father in heaven.” Mt. 18:6 What are we doing to our little ones and those innocents in the world; we are murdering our babies with abortion, we are denying life for other brothers and sisters to our children with contraception, we are corrupting the morals of our youth with false teachings and sex education, and we are denying our children the faith in a good Catholic family by not marrying and practicing the faith. The list could go on and on! Has there ever been such a sinful generation as ours is today? How severe will be the vengeance of God on the Day of Judgment towards our generation for the scandal that we have caused “the little ones.”
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21
St. Paul takes the essential gospel teaching of charity which Jesus had taught to its desired end of loving even our enemies: “If thy enemy is hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing thou wilt heap coals of fire upon his head.” Rom 12:20 These “coals of fire” are what St. Augustine explains as “the violence of charity: Evil must be answered and conquered by good. By gentleness Christians must disarm anger, and by charity they must break down hatred. Against the violence of charity,” says St. Augustine, ”the world is powerless.” (Msgr. Patrick Boylan, The Sunday Epistles and Gospels,” p. 75.) These are the “coals of fire” which one’s enemy will not be able to overcome. Fight hatred with charity. It is the same lesson that Jesus taught when He said, “But I say to you not to resist the evildoer; on the contrary, if someone strikes thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...” Mt. 5: 39 Only those filled with the Spirit of Jesus can understand such divine wisdom.
“Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Mt. 8:2
The leper in today’s gospel has the Spirit of Jesus because he firmly believes that Jesus can cure him of his leprosy. His faith and confidence in Jesus are rewarded: “And stretching forth his hand Jesus touched him, saying, ‘I will; be thou made clean.’” Mt. 8:3 We can certainly admire the leper who has trust in the goodness of Jesus by coming to Him even though he knows that, as a leper, all are advised to shun him as unclean. He goes to Jesus with great hope and confidence that He can make him clean if Jesus wills it. His trust in Jesus’ goodness is rewarded instantly!
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8
Like the leper, the centurion also has great faith in Jesus. He also has great charity: he is not asking for help for himself but for his servant who is dying: “Lord, my servant is lying sick in the house, paralyzed, and is grievously afflicted.” Mt. 8:6 The centurion, even though he is a pagan, is also aware Jesus should not enter his house. He knows that Jesus, who is a prophet having great power with God, does not need to come all the way to his house and can cure him from where He is: “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8 Jesus is amazed at the centurion’s faith and says: “Amen I say to you, I have not found such great faith in Israel. And a I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west, and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be put forth into the darkness outside; there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” Mt. 8:10-11. By contrast, the faith of the children of Abraham, who should know better, is so weak that they will not feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven....” Mt. 8:11
“Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee.” Mt. 8:13
Although Jesus says these words to the centurion, they also apply to the leper. Here we see how important it is to have faith in Jesus. Ironically, in today’s gospel the two men who have faith in Jesus are despised in the Jewish society, a leper and a pagan Roman soldier. There is a most important lesson for all of us who have been called to follow Christ. We need to practice the same faith in God and charity to all or else, like the Jews, we will be excluded from the kingdom and be in the darkness outside “weeping and gnashing our teeth.” Mt. 8:11
Adapted from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger
The Second Sunday after Epiphany
The third Mystery of the Epiphany shows us the completion of the merciful designs of God upon the world, at the same time that it manifests to us, for the third time, the glory of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Star has led the soul to faith; the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering, during the Octave of Epiphany, the Bridegroom revealing Himself to His Spouse, the Church; we have heard Him calling Her to come to Him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified Her, He invites Her to the heavenly feast, where She is to receive the Wine of His Divine Love.
A Feast is prepared (John 2); it is a Marriage-Feast; and the Mother of Jesus is present, for it is just that, having cooperated in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, She should take part in all that Her Son does, and in all the favours He bestows on His elect. But, in the midst of the Feast, the wine fails. Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth; for the Gentiles had never tasted its sweetness; and as to the Synagogue, what had it produced but wild grapes (Is. 5: 2)? The True Vine is our Jesus, and He calls Himself by that name (John 15: 1). He alone could give that wine which gladdeneth the heart of man (Ps. 103: 15); He alone could give us that chalice which inebriateth (Ps. 22: 5), and of which the Royal Psalmist prophesied.
Mary said to Jesus: They have no wine. It is the office of the Mother of God to tell Him of the wants of men, for She is also their Mother. But Jesus answers Her in words which are seemingly harsh: Woman, what is it to Me and to Thee? My hour is not yet come. The meaning of these words is that, in this great mystery, He was about to act, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of God. Later on, the hour will come when, dying upon the Cross, He will do a work, in the presence of His Mother, and He will do it as Man, that is, according to that human nature which He has received from Her. Mary at once understands the words of Her Son, and She says to the waiters of the Feast, what She is now ever saying to Her children: Do whatsoever He shall say to you.
Now, there were six large water-jars of stone there, and they were empty. The world was then in its Sixth Age, as St. Augustine and other Holy Doctors tell us. During these six ages, the earth had been awaiting its Saviour, Who was to instruct and redeem it. Jesus commands these water-jars to be filled with water; and yet water does not suit the Feast of the Spouse. The figures and prophecies of the ancient world were this water, and until the opening of the Seventh Age, when Christ, Who is the Vine, was to be given to the world, no man had contracted an alliance with the Divine Word.
But, when the Emmanuel came, He had but to say, Now draw out, and the water-jars were seen to be filled with the wine of the New Covenant, the wine which had been kept to the end. When He assumed our human nature—a nature weak and unstable as water—He effected a change in it; He raised it up even to Himself, by making us partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1: 4); He gave us the power to love Him, to be united with Him, to form that one Body, of which He is the Head, that Church of which He is the Spouse, and which He loved from all eternity, and with such tender love, that He came down from Heaven to celebrate His nuptials with Her.
St. Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of Our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the star; St. Luke, the Evangelist of Jesus' Priesthood, has been selected, by the same Holy Ghost, to instruct us in the Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple. He suggests to the Church the object of this third Mystery of Epiphany, by this expression: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and He MANIFESTED His glory (John 2: 11). At Bethlehem, the Gold of the Magi expressed the Divinity of the Babe; at the Jordan, the descent of the Holy Ghost and the voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus (known to the people as a carpenter of Nazareth) to be the Son of God; at Cana, it is Jesus Himself that acts, and He acts as God, for, says St. Augustine, He Who changed the water into wine in the water-jars could be no other than the same Who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was that, from that day, as St. John tells us, His disciples believed in Him, and the Apostolic College began to be formed.
O the wonderful dignity of man! God has vouchsafed, says the Apostle, to show the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which had no claim to, nay, were unworthy of such an honour. Jesus bids the waiters fill them with water and the water of Baptism purifies us; but, not satisfied with this, He fills these vessels, even to the brim, with that heavenly and new Wine, which was not to be drunk save in the kingdom of His Father (Rom. 9; 23). Thus, divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love, is communicated to us; and that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with Himself, to which He called us, He raises us up even to Himself. Let us, therefore, prepare our souls for this wonderful union, and, according to the advice of the Apostle, let us labour to present them to our Jesus with such purity as to resemble that chaste Virgin, who was presented to the spotless Lamb (2 Cor. 11: 2).
The Communion Antiphon recalls once more the miracle of the changing of the water into wine. This was only a dim figure of that wondrous transformation which is accomplished on our altars—only a symbol of that divine Sacrament, the food of our souls whereby, in an unspeakable way, is realised our union with God:
The Lord saith: Fill the water-jars with water and carry to the chief steward of the feast. When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he said to the bridegroom: Thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of His miracles did Jesus before His disciples.
Canon Doyle has to provide supply to Mold Parish in January and therefore is unable to celebrate the 4th Sunday Mass at St Winefride's, Holywell.
However, it gives me great pleasure to announce that a priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will come from New Brighton to celebrate for us. It is most likely to be Canon Amaury Montjean, the Shrine Rector at New Brighton who will celebrate.
Mass is at 1130am on Sunday 22nd January 2017 - this being the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany.
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.