Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Rosary, Jubilee Road, Buckley on Saturday 3rd November at 11am.
"I am a king. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
We have a king, but the question is, are we members of the kingdom? Jesus is the King of kings. Though His kingdom is not from here, He wishes it to be brought here.
Christ has established His kingdom here on earth in the Church, and He has called upon all to enter in and enjoy this kingdom. He does not wish to rule over us with force and coercion. He wishes that we enter freely and willingly. The grace of Faith is a gift from God. The Church does not force the Kingdom upon anyone she offers it to them. Those who obstinately refuse this grace will not be part of the Kingdom and will not taste of the pleasures therein.
Our King wishes to establish His kingdom of truth in our intellect; His kingdom of justice and holiness for our will and His kingdom of love and peace for our heart. In a word Christ wishes us to be completely immersed in His kingdom. Each and every faculty that we possess, all that we have and are must enter into this kingdom.
There is no dual citizenship. We are either with Him or we are against Him. There are no Christmas and Easter Catholics nor Sunday morning Catholics in the kingdom. Only those who live everyday as Catholics can truly be said to be Catholic and thus members of the Kingdom of God.
The King loves his people and gives them all that they need to live as worthy members in His kingdom. The citizens of this kingdom need only graciously accept these gifts and use them for the furtherance of the kingdom. The King has done everything for His people and all that He asks of the people is that they cooperate with Him.
Our King has given us the truth in the Holy Mother Church; we need not search to find it. It is here and waiting for us. The King offers it to us freely. The Church defines and explains the truth infallibly for every question that may arise, past, present, and future. The one and only truth is possessed by the Church which is Christ's kingdom here on earth.
There are consequently many false kingdoms or churches that may claim to have the truth. For all those who truly cooperate with the grace given freely by the King the error of these false kingdoms are eventually made clear. All that is left for us to do is to accept this truth and conform our intellects to that of the King.
For our wills the kingdom contains justice and holiness. Only the true Church can legitimately lay claim to being just and holy. The doctrines and practices of the true Church are just and holy. There are many false churches that lay claim to justice and holiness but again for those who have the grace the distinction becomes painfully clear. And just as we must do for our intellect so we must do for our will. We must conform our will to the will of the King. This is in truth what we pray for when we say: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." We ask that our will here on earth be just as the will of God in Heaven.
For our hearts the kingdom contains love and peace. This sadly is also counterfeited by the many false churches. As before, if we cooperate with the grace that the King offers us we cannot fail to see the distinction between the imposture love and peace, and the true love and peace of God. Christ gave us His love. No greater love has man than to lay down his life for those that he loves. This is what our King has done for us. And this is what the true Church continues to do. In imitation of Christ those of His kingdom continue to sacrifice themselves for those that they love. Christ came to this world to bring us His peace. He sent His apostles out with the universal greeting "Peace be to you." For all those who have truly entered the Church _ Christ's Kingdom here on earth _ they will truly have His peace. They will have conformed their intellects to His; they will have conformed their wills to His; and they will have conformed their hearts to His. And in this state they will have perfect peace regardless of whatever may take place in this world around them. They hear the voice of the King and are confident and at peace.
Let us not hesitate to enter into this kingdom and be of the truth and hear His voice!
Note - no Mass at Holywell on Sunday 28th October 2018
There will be no Mass at Holywell this coming Sunday (28th October) (the 4th Sunday), due to no priest being available. Canon Doyle is away and a suitable replacement has not been identified.
The next Sunday Mass at Holywell will be on 25th November and other forthcoming Masses in Wrexham Diocese can be viewed here.
For those close to New Brighton, a plenary indulgence can be gained if you attend Mass at Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena (ICKS) this Sunday.
The Feast of Christ the King is a main feast of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and so an indulgence is gracefully approved by the Holy See. The usual conditions apply: Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, Prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions and detachment from all sin.
HE LEGALITY OF THE TRIBUTE TO CAESAR
by Rev. Leonard Geoffine, 1871
Gospel. Matt. xxii. 15-21. At that time the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to ensnare Jesus in his speech. And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men: tell us therefore what dost thou think. Is it lawful to give tribute to Csesar, or not? But Jesus, knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? Show me the coin of the tribute. And they offered Him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Ccesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Csesar the things that are Csesar's, and to God the things that are God's.
Though the Pharisees often heard the instructions of Our Lord, they never drew any benefit from them. On this day they came to Our Lord, and proposed this question to Him, "Tell us, what dost Thou think. Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?" In this way, instead of trying to learn something of benefit to their souls, they became more blind. They were full of hatred of Our Lord, and full of jealousy because the people considered Him a prophet, and their intention was to destroy the respect which the multitude had for Him. Here was a question which they thought would certainly lead Our Lord into their meshes. "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar?" The Jews hated the Roman dominion over them; they were a downtrodden race, and were obliged to furnish a throne and money for the Roman governor, while their religion was in confusion; and sometimes two highpriests were contending for the chief office. So the Pharisees said to themselves, "If this man consents to pay tribute to Caesar he will be hated by the people; and if on the contrary he disapproves of it, the government will have a case against him for inciting the people to resist lawful authority." Jesus confounded the Pharisees by His divine wisdom. "Why do you tempt Me, ye hypocrites?" He asked. You have a very bad reason for this question--you are not honest. Our Lord was affable and kind to the greatest sinners who came to Him in the sincerity of their hearts; but with these double-faced Pharisees He had no patience. He called them vipers, impostors, whitened sepulchres, fair without, but most loathsome within. Does not Our Lord teach us here the hatefulness of the vice of hypocrisy, and how He detested it?
My dear young friends, there are hypocrites among Christians, among our youth. Many young people wish to appear like angels in the eyes of their superiors; before their parents they are careful not to say a bad word, while with their companions they do and say most scandalous things. They hide their sins so carefully that no one suspects them of any wickedness: even in the confessional they do not make known their great sins, and deceive the priest, the minister of God. There are hypocrites everywhere; in the sanctuary, in the choir, in sodalities, in the church, and at the sacraments. Never pretend to a devotion that you have not--it ia disgusting. Be not servers of the eye of man, but serve God in all sincerity. Men may praise you for your piety, honesty, and truthfulness, but God sees deep into the heart; you do not deceive God. You may gain some temporal advantages by deceiving men, but God's time for punishment will come, and then to your shame, your hypocrisy will be made manifest to the world. We read in Job that, "dissemblers and crafty men provoke the wrath of God."
"Show me the coin of the tribute," said Our Lord. "Whose image and inscription is this?" He asked. They answered, "Caesar's." Then He said, " Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." The Pharisees were struck with the wisdom of the reply, and must have been covered with shame before the assembled multitude. St. Bonaventure asserts that this coin represents the soul of man, impressed with the image of God. A precious thing, of great value, is the soul in the eyes of God, and it derives its value from the blood of Christ. Our soul, my dear young friends, when gifted with the grace of the Redeemer is a most beautiful object; it is an angel hidden in a body of flesh, a beautiful spirit, radiant with thought and understanding. A soul in mortal sin has impressed on it the image of the devil. "What has become of me?" St. Augustine asks. "My soul, whither have your sins led you?" That bright image of God which was on you is there no longer; all is changed. "How has the gold changed its color!" Bewail your condition, my dear young people, if you should find yourselves in a state of sin. St. Jerome says, most lamentingly, "This I bewail, that you do not feel that you are dead; this I bewail, that you do not sorrow for yourselves." Yes, young people who are in sin ought to weep continually; at night instead of closing their eyes in sleep, they ought to keep them open to shed tears; they ought not be able to eat, play or study,--so great should be their concern. But do they weep? Oh no! these miserable blind beings enjoy themselves, and never stop to think that God hates them. Oh, raise your eyes to the crucified Saviour, see His thorn-crowned head--has He not sacrificed it for your soul? Those bloodstained eyes, those colorless lips, those hands pierced with nails, those feet cruelly wounded and that side opened by a lance--did He not sacrifice all for our salvation? Are you going to allow His sacred Passion to be wasted so far as you are concerned? Jesus has purchased you with His blood, and you are His if you remain faithful to Him. "Take great care of your souls," and Jesus will be satisfied with His purchase and will not consider His Passion too great a price for your soul.
"Give to God the things that are God's." Let us, for a moment, think of this. What do we owe God, that we must give Him? To God we owe honor and glory. Do we give this glory to God? Do we not give honor rather to men, to those especially who hold positions of dignity. When you enter the magnificent palace of the millionaire, how well-dressed you are, what politeness you assume, so that people may consider you well-bred; you tiptoe up the hall and in a humble whisper ask the servant to take in your card, to see whether you may be admitted; should you have the happiness of an audience, you hardly speak aloud and you put your demands in the most honeyed words. If such is our respect for men, what is not due to almighty God from a human being? Give to God, therefore, a little of the respect which you show to creatures.
God does not wish for a false respect. He wishes you to be free, gracious, and spontaneous in your worship of Him; to assume a pious attitude in church because you are watched is not a worship of God; to say your prayers night and morning for form's sake, or because your parents insist on it, is hardly to be considered meritorious; for it is an unwilling prayer. Does God consider these acts worthy of Him when they are forced from you? He will not look at them with pleasure. He will say to you as He said to the Jews of old, "You celebrate great feasts, and hold certain days solemn, but they are not My feasts, they are yours, because you want them for your own purposes and not for My glory; they excite My indignation but not My mercy toward you."
This forced devotion is similar to the mock adoration which the Jews and soldiers offered Our Lord in the hall of Pilate's palace, when they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and made genuflections before Him; and at the cross, when the Jews cried out: "Let Him now come down from the cross and we will believe Him." God looks at the heart. He pays little attention to our exterior actions; a good, strong, fervent, cordial intention is as good in the eye of God as is the execution of the noblest human action. Give then to God the honor and glory that are due to Him; there is no need to force the youth who is in earnest to honor God in church, or when he hears Mass or goes to the sacraments; he does it of his own free will and with the greatest devotion. Yes, my dear young people, give to God that honor, freely, not through routine or custom. With a great heart, give glory to God. Serve Him with a great heart, joyfully and with alacrity, and then you can say with truth that you have given to God the things that are God's.
For those who need to know, I have a new e-mail address!
wrexham at lms.org.uk replace at with @
for future contact. The e-mail button in the header has been modified accordingly.
On Saturday, the Latin Mass Society in conjunction with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, held what has become an annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Sorrows at Wrexham. The pilgrimage is in honour of Wrexham Martyr, St Richard Gywn who is also co-patron of the LMS.
St Richard (alias White) was born at Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, about 1537; and was executed at Wrexham, Denbighshire, 15 October, 1584. He studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, until 1562, when he became a schoolmaster, first at Overton in Flintshire, then at Wrexham and other places, acquiring considerable reputation as a Welsh scholar. He had six children by his wife Catherine, three of whom survived him. For a time he conformed to the new religion, but was reconciled to the Catholic Church when priests first came back to Wales. Owing to his refusal to attend church (recusancy) he was arrested more than once, and in 1579 he was imprisoned in Ruthin gaol, where he was offered liberty if he would conform.
In 1580 he was transferred to Wrexham, where he suffered much persecution, being forcibly carried to the Church of England service, and being frequently taken to court at different assizes to be continually questioned, but was never freed from prison; he was removed to the Council of the Marches, and later in the year suffered torture at Bewdley and Bridgenorth before being sent back to Wrexham. There he remained a prisoner till the Autumn Assizes, when he was brought to trial on 9 October, found guilty of treason and sentenced to be executed. Again his life was offered him on condition that he acknowledge the queen as supreme head of the Church. His wife and one of their children were brought to the courtroom and warned not to follow his example. She retorted that she would gladly die alongside her husband; she was sure, she said, that the judges could find enough evidence to convict her if they spent a little more money. She consoled and encouraged her husband to the last. He suffered on 15 October 1584. On the scaffold he stated that he recognised Elizabeth as his lawful queen but could not accept her as head of the Church in England.
Our Mass was a Missa Cantata (Gregorian Chant) celebrated by Canon Poucin de Wouilt ICKSP who is assigned to Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena, New Brighton. MC was Mr P Russell and the Schola was led by Mr Christian Spence who also played the organ.
Despite the fact that Storm Callum was heavily afflicting Wales both North and South with truly atrocious weather, Mass attendance was on par with last year.
I’m grateful to the Bishop of Wrexham, the Rt Rev Peter Brignall and Canon Treloar, Cathedral Dean for allowing us use of the church once again.
Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated at St Francis of Assisi, Llay on Sunday 14th October at 12.30pm
The parable this Sunday is in response to the question of St. Peter to Our Lord, “How many times must I forgive my brother, seven times?” We know that Our Lord’s answer was not seven times but, rather seventy times seven; or every time. Because of this the Gospel reading for today begins with “Therefore….”
In considering the servant in the parable, we are to look upon ourselves. This servant had received a great many things from his master; we have received even more from God. The blessings that God has given us are truly incalculable. God has thought of us from all eternity; He has called us into being from nothing; He has given His life to redeem us; and He gives us countless blessings every day. The enormity of our debt to God is truly incalculable. After standing in awe and bewilderment at the consideration of all that God has done for us, we then must call ourselves to give an account. What have we done with all the benefits and graces that God has so generously poured out upon us?
How many material things has God placed in our hands that we have squandered or wasted? How many spiritual gifts have we likewise misspent? These graces were entrusted to us by God and we have carelessly allowed them to slip through our hands and disappeared without doing any good. How many of these blessings both material and spiritual have been spent in doing evil? They were not just wasted but even used against God. What a crime of injustice! God’s gifts that were supposed to be blessings for us have been turned into weapons against Him. Every sin is truly an abuse of some gift that we received from Him.
We too, must likewise appear before our Master prostrate and begging for mercy. Our debt is much greater than ten thousand talents. God brings us to this understanding of our debt and our inability to pay it so that we might beg Him for mercy and receive the tremendous blessing of having the entire debt forgiven. But, He would have us understand the enormity of the debt first. In just a moment the very word of God wipes clean the entire debt, no matter how huge it had grown.
The saints would have us frequently reflect back upon this debt and our past sins, even when they have already been forgiven so that we may increase our repentance, but more importantly, so that we might increase our gratitude. St. Paul even after his conversion often recalled that he persecuted the Church and therefore is the least of the Apostles and unworthy to be an Apostle.
In this state of repentance and gratitude, let us now consider the debt that our fellow men perhaps may owe us. All that they are indebted to us for, we are likewise indebted to God for. It was God who placed the goods of this earth in our hands and it was through God that we were able to sell, or lend to others. In this light, we must consider that no one is really our debtor, but rather they are debtors to God through us. Since God is ever ready to forgive us our debts when we plead for mercy and more time, so we should be ready to do for our fellow men. That which they owe us is truly owed to God and since we no longer owe this to God because He has released us from our debt, it seems that we have no right to demand payment. It was loaned to us and we loaned to others; and the loan was forgiven us. Since our debt was forgiven so must we now forgive others debts to us.
Our debt was immense and just as we were forgiven much so must we forgive much. In fact, in the Lord’s Prayer, we ask that God may forgive us in the same way and the same measure that we forgive one another.
If having failed in the virtue of compassion and mercy towards our fellow men, we then can expect that God will, just as the master did in the parable, recall us to account. We will then find that we are once again overwhelmed with an incalculable debt. In this state, we will be handed over to the devils until payment be made. But, since the debt is an infinite debt because of the infinite good that God has bestowed upon us, we will never be able to repay, and thus will spend the rest of eternity in Hell.
May we seek to avoid this sentence of justice by showing charity and mercy towards one another, just as we have received it from God.
The prayer of this father in today’s Gospel fills us with a superfluity of things to contemplate. Let us look upon this man’s prayer as well as upon our own in the light of today’s Gospel.
This man was driven to Jesus by a paternal love for his child. It was not so much belief in Jesus as it was a desperate parent willing to try any means available for the cure of his child. Parents in such circumstances often will try even the most outrageous claims and cures, so as to leave nothing untried for the cure of their children. Jesus was approached in this manner, and so the man received the just rebuke that “unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The affections that parents have for the bodies of their children are a cause of great concern, because this extreme affection is most often in opposition to true love for their children. In supplying our children with all the comforts and pleasures of the body that parents can obtain, we forget about their immortal souls. The pleasures of the body prove to be hazardous and most often a detriment to the soul. If parents truly loved their children, we would see greater concern for their souls rather than their bodies. In his “Confessions,” St. Augustine informs us that his parents were more concerned with his worldly education and success rather than his spiritual life. On the other hand, we have the admonition of the mother of St Louis (king) who told her son that she would rather see his body dead and in the ground than to ever see him in mortal sin.
The prayers of parents for their children need to take on a vastly different tone than the one that is most prevalent. Too often, we likewise deserve the same rebuke that Our Lord gave to the man in today’s Gospel. If we truly love ourselves and our children, our first and greatest concern and therefore our first and greatest prayer is that we are pleasing to God and may enter into the eternal happiness of Heaven with Him. All the other concerns and prayers must become secondary to this first and greatest one.
It is not wrong for us to desire and to pray for the material blessings and benefits of the body and material things, but they must always be pursued with the provision that they not become a hindrance our spiritual life. Our Lord when He was upon earth taught us to despise the riches and the pleasures of this world. He invites us to take up our cross daily and follow Him so that we may be His worthy disciples. Above all, He taught us how to pray. We have the greatest and most perfect prayer in the “Our Father” or “Lord’s Prayer.” In addition to this prayer, we are given the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will, but Thine be done.”
In our prayers for material, bodily, and worldly things we are strongly encouraged to condition them with these same words: “Not my will, but Thine be done” or some similar conclusion. The idea is that if what we are praying for is offensive to God; or a detriment to our Souls; or is not in the Divine Will, then we ask that God not give us what we ask of Him.
In doing this, we present a perfect prayer that is most pleasing to God. Such a prayer acknowledges our own weaknesses in not knowing what is for our own good. It manifests our humility and willing obedience to God. It shows our complete trust and faith in Him. But, most of all we proclaim our unyielding love of God.
God often is willing to answer our bodily, material and worldly prayers because of the lack of our faith. He does this so that He may manifest His goodness and love for us with His signs and wonders. In seeing these signs and wonders we are to be led as the man in the Gospel and his family to have faith and believe.
God is not ignorant of our bodily wants and needs, and He desires that we beg Him for these as He taught us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” He desires more that we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and Its justice, knowing that all our other needs will be taken care of. If our faith is so weak that we pray to God saying: “if You are real then hear my prayer,” we are like this man, driven to prayer by necessity rather than love. God may grant this prayer, but when we see that it is granted, let us like the man in the Gospel then believe and not continue in doubt, desiring further proof and confirmation as so many in the world today.
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.