Sunday, May 04, 2008

Dominica infra Octavam Ascensionis


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Semiduplex
Proprium Missae
Cum sermonibus S. Gregorii, S. Thomae, & Rev. Romanoski

Introit.

EXAUDI, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad te, alleluja: tibi dixit cor meum, quaesivi vultum tuum; vultum tuum, Domine, requiram: ne avertas faciem tuam a me, alleluja, alleluja. Ps. 26, 1. Dominus illuminatio mea, et salus mea: quem timebo? V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

HEAR, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia: my heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy face, Thy face, O Lord, I will seek: turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 26, 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Oratio
Collect
OMNIPOTENS sempiterne Deus: fac nos tibi semper et devotam gerere voluntatem; et majestati tuae sincero corde servire. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and eternal God, make us ever bear a devout affection toward Thee, and with sincere heart to serve Thy Majesty. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


Lectio Epistolae beati Petri Apostoli. (1 Pet. 4, 7-11 )
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle.

CARISSIMI: Estote prudentes, et vigilate in orationibus. Ante omnia autem, mutuam in vobismetipsis caritatem continuam habentes: quia caritas operit multitudinem peccatorum. Hospitales invicem sine murmuratione: unusquisque, sicut accepit gratiam, in alterutrum illam administrantes, sicut boni dispensatores multiformis gratiae Dei. Si quis loquitur, quasi sermones Dei: si quis ministrat, tamquam ex virtute, quam administrat Deus: ut in omnibus honorificetur Deus per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

DEARLY beloved, be prudent, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one toward another without murmuring. As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another; as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the power which God administereth; that in all things God may be honoured through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps. 46, 9. Regnavit Dominus super omnes gentes: Deus sedet super sedem sanctam suam. Alleluja.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps. 46, 9. The Lord hath reigned over all the nations; God sitteth on His holy throne. Alleluia.

Alleluia (mp3)

V. Ioann. 14, 18: Non vos relinquam orphanos: vado, et venio ad vos, et gaudebit cor vestrum. Alleluia.
V. John 14, 18: I will not leave you orphans; I go and I come to you, and your heart shall rejoice. Alleluia.


+ Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem
+ Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Saint John

IN ILLO tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Cum venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me: et vos testimonium perhibebitis, quia ab initio mecum estis. Haec locutus sum vobis, ut non scandalizemini. Absque synagogis, facient vos: sed venit hora, ut omnis, qui interficit vos, arbitretur obsequium se praestare Deo. Et haec facient vobis, quia non noverunt Patrem, neque me. Sed haec locutus sum vobis: ut, cum venerit hora eorum, reminiscamini, quia ego dixi
vobis.

AT THAT time Jesus said to his disciples, When the Paraclete cometh, Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But these things I have told you, that, when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you.


Sermo S. Thomae de Dominica Quarta post Oct. Paschae, ex Epistola.

Estote prudentes, et vigilate in orationibus, 1 Petri 4. Beatus Petrus in ista epistola ad tria monet. (1) Primo ad orationem, ibi, estote prudentes, et vigilate in orationibus. (2) Secundo, ad dilectionem, ibi, ante omnia mutuam in vobismetipsis caritatem continuam habentes, quia caritas operit multitudinem peccatorum. (3) Tertio, ad rectam intentionem, ibi, si quis ministrat, tamquam ex virtute quam administrat Deus.
  • (1) Circa primum tria facit. (a) Primo monet orare prudenter, idest fideliter, ibi, estote prudentes et cetera. Glossa: non deficientes a fide. Jac. 1: si quis indiget sapientia, postulet a Deo, qui dat omnibus affluenter et cetera. Matth. 2: et omnia quaecumque petieritis in oratione, credite quia accipietis. (b) Secundo monet orare attente, ibi, et vigilate: Glossa: ne animus cogitet aliud praeter id quod precatur. Cum ad orandum stamus, omnis carnalis cogitatio abscedat: adsistat intentio cordis sincera: Deum non sono vocis, sed sensu mentis oret. (c) Tertio monet orare frequenter, ibi, in orationibus. Pluraliter dicit, ut notet frequentiam orandi. Luc. 18: oportet semper orare, et nunquam deficere.
  • (2) Circa secundum similiter tria facit. (a) Primo monet ad exhibendam dilectionem quae est in effectu cordis, ibi, ante omnia mutuam in vobismetipsis caritatem continuam habentes. Tit. 5: finis praecepti est caritas de corde puro et conscientia bona et fide non ficta. (b) Secundo ad dilectionem quae est in effectu operis, ibi, hospitales invicem sine murmuratione. Hebr. 12: hospitalitatem nolite oblivisci: per hanc enim placuerunt quidam Angelis hospitio receptis et cetera. (c) Tertio ad dilectionem quae est in affectu sermonis, ibi, si quis loquitur, quasi sermones Dei. Quilibet enim tenetur proximum corde diligere, et opere subvenire, et ore docere. Hebr. 3: videte, fratres, ne quando sit in aliquo vestrum cor malum incredulitatis recedendi a Deo vivo; sed adhortamini vosmetipsos per singulos dies, donec hodie cognominatur, ut non obduretur quis ex vobis fallacia peccati et cetera.
  • (3) Circa tertium similiter tria facit. (a) Primo monet ut omnia bona a Deo nos habere cognoscamus, ibi, si quis administrat, tamquam ex virtute quam administrat Deus. Glossa: eleemosynam vel quodlibet bonum opus humiliter impendat nisi a solo Deo. Isa. 16: omnia opera nostra operatus es in nobis, domine. (b) Secundo monet ut omnia ad honorem Dei faciamus, ibi, ut in omnibus honoretur Deus. Matth. 5: sic luceat lux vestra coram hominibus, ut videant opera vestra bona, et glorificent patrem vestrum qui in caelis est. (c) Tertio monet nos ut gratiam et gloriam domino referamus. 1 Thess. 5: Deo in omnibus gratias agite: cui est honor et gloria et imperium per saecula.

Homilía sancti Gregórii Papæ: Homilía 29 in Evangelia, ex III Nocturno.
A Homily by St. Gregory the Pope: Homily 29 in the Gospels, from the III Nocturn.

Quod resurrectiónem Dominicam discípuli tarde credidérunt, non tam illórum infirmitas, quam nostra, ut ita dicam, futúra firmitas fuit. Ipsa namque resurréctio illis dubitántibus per multa arguménta monstráta est : quæ dum nos legéntes agnoscimus, quid áliud quam de illórum dubitatióne solidamur? Minus enim mihi Maria Magdalene præstitit, quæ citius crédidit, quam Thomas, qui diu dubitávit. Ille étenim dubitando, vúlnerum cicatríces tetigit, et de nostro péctore dubitatiónis vulnus amputávit.

I may be allowed to say that the disciples' slowness to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, was not so much their weakness as our strength. In consequence of their doubts, the fact of the Resurrection was demonstrated by many infallible proofs. These proofs we read and acknowledge. What then assureth our faith, if not their doubt? For my part, I put my trust in Thomas, who doubted long, much more than in Mary Magdalene, who believed at once. Through his doubting, he came actually to handle the holes of the Wounds, and thereby closed up any wound of doubt in our hearts.

Ad insinuandam quoque veritátem Dominicæ resurrectiónis, notándum nobis est quid Lucas referat, dicens : Convéscens, præcepit eis ab Jerosolymis ne discederent. Et post pauca : Vidéntibus illis, elevátus est, et nubes suscépit eum ab óculis eórum. Notate verba, signate mysteria. Convéscens elevátus est. Comedit, et ascéndit : ut vidélicet per effectum comestiónis, véritas patésceret carnis. Marcus vero, priúsquam cælum Dóminus ascendat, eum de cordis atque infidelitátis durítia increpásse discípulos memorat. Qua in re quid considerándum est, nisi quod idcirco Dóminus tunc discípulos increpávit, cum eos corporáliter relíquit, ut verba, quæ recédens diceret, in corde audiéntium arctius impressa remanérent?

To confirm to our minds the trustworthiness of the fact that our Lord did indeed rise again from the dead, it is well for us to remark one of the statements of Luke : Eating together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem : and a little afterward : While they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. Consider these words, note well these mysteries. After eating together with them, he was taken up. He ate and ascended : that the fact of his eating might shew the reality of the Body in which he went up. But Mark telleth us that before the Lord ascended into heaven he upbraided his disciples with their unbelief and hardness of heart. From this I know not what we should gather, but that the Lord then upbraided his disciples, from whom he was about to be parted in the body, to the end that the words which he spake unto them as he left them might be the deeper imprinted on their hearts.

Increpáta ígitur eórum duritia, quid admonéndo dicat, audiámus : Eúntes in mundum univérsum, prædicate Evangélium omni creaturæ. Numquid, fratres mei, sanctum Evangélium vel insensatis rebus, vel brutis animálibus fuerat prædicándum, ut de eo discípulis dicátur : Prædicate omni creaturæ? Sed omnis creaturæ nómine signátur homo. Omnis autem creaturæ áliquid habet homo. Habet namque commune esse cum lapídibus, vívere cum arbóribus, sentire cum animálibus, intellígere cum Angelis. Si ergo commune habet áliquid cum omni creatura homo, juxta áliquid omnis creatura est homo. Omni ergo creaturæ prædicátur Evangélium, cum soli hómini prædicátur.

When, then, he had rebuked the hardness of their hearts, what command did he give them? Let us hear. Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Was the Holy Gospel, then, my brethren, to be preached to things insensate, or to brute beasts, that the Lord said to his disciples : Preach the Gospel to every creature? Nay ; but by the words Every creature, we must understand man, in whom are combined qualities of all creatures. Being he hath in common with stones, life in common with trees, feeling in common with beasts, understanding in common with angels. If, then, man hath something in common with every creature, man is to a certain extent every creature. The Gospel, then, if it be preached to man only, is preached to every creature.

A sermon by Rev. Jonathan Romanoski, F.S.S.P.

This last Thursday our Lord ascended into heaven. The last words put before us were these: “Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” At the end of the Gospel the Paschal Candle was extinguished, symbolizing the presence of Christ no longer among us, or rather now transferred to you. For our Lord came only to cast fire upon this earth, divine fire in your soul, and the flame that we received on the Paschal vigil, lit from the Paschal candle, Christ our Light, will now burst forth at Pentecost, in tongues of fire unto all the ends of the earth. The continuation of Christ’s life among us now depends on you, his Mystical Body. The salvation of the world now depends on you, “for he that believeth not shall be condemned.” We heard at the end of the gospel the Apostles response “But they going forth preached everywhere, the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.” What will be your response?

For all are called to bear witness to this divine light they have received, in word and deed to our cold dark culture of death, as our late, and rather optimistic Holy Father referred to it. However, Our Lord calls certain representatives today to participate in this work most intimately, sharing in his very priestly persona. A priesthood, which is in fact, rooted in nothing less than the incarnation itself, the union of the divine and human nature in Christ who is thus the sole mediator between God and man.

It is in this divine mediation that the priest is called to participate. And thus it is a calling utterly divine in it’s origin, unlike the priesthood of nature, which every father enjoys by the natural law over his family, which indeed continues in his Christian life, as the father is always to be found as the spiritual leader and model of holiness for the family, interceding for them before God. Yet the ministerial priesthood is entirely “from above,” and ends in no less than the very Fatherhood of God. For at the words of the priest God Himself obeys, and comes down from heaven anew, as it were, obedient even unto the mystical death of the Cross, sacramentally shedding his blood at the command of the priest. At whose voice, a soul in mortal sin, a slave of satan condemned to hell for all eternity, becomes in an instance the friend of God, a living tabernacle of the Most Holy Trinity who truly dwells in the soul by sanctifying grace. As St. John Chrysostom says, “so wondrous is this mystery, that it surpasses all wonder.”

And because it is a vocation so divine in its end it must also be divine in its means. And so let us listen for the supernatural criteria by which one discerns such a call.

The vocation to the priesthood is seen in three principal signs St. Alphonsus tells us.

First, purity of intention--the intention above all to serve God and save souls for the glory of God, and not to please men, or gain the esteem of others, for the scriptures tell us “God hath scattered the bones of them that please men: they have been confounded, because God hath despised them,” (Ps. 52:6), that is, those who pleased men apart from or contrary to God’s good pleasure, which is indeed the plague of the Church today.

Secondly, there is needed the necessary talent and learning, a talent and learning so as to understand and communicate the faith. As we read in the Gospel today: the priest is sent by “the Spirit of Truth.” And Holy Writ declares, “the lips of the priest shall teach knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth.” (Mal 2:7). A teaching ordered toward the love of God, which aims not only at enlightening with truth but which is truly pastoral as well, exposing and condemning error, which is the ruin of souls. As Pope Pius XI said: “The first and obvious duty the priest owes to the world about him, is service to the truth, the unmasking and refutation of error in whatever form of disguise it conceals itself.”

Lastly, yet most importantly there is needed goodness of character, both due to the fact that the priest must become the guide of others in the way of holiness, and, most of all, because he stands in the very Holy of Holies and holds the Body of Christ in his very hands, consecrated for this sole purpose. Thus not only his hands but his whole soul must be consecrated and set apart for god, which the Church sums up in a most beautiful phrase in the ordination rite, “Imitamini quod tractatis” Imitate what you handle; that is, Sacrifice yourself as Christ sacrifices himself for the glory of God and salvation of souls. Live the Mass.

Now please don’t misunderstand. These are the qualities needed to be ordained. Yet in he who has only begun to discern, these qualities will be present in a true but seminal/undeveloped fashion. For it takes many, many years in the seminary to form a priest. In the one just discerning, these qualities will be seen in the desire to give oneself to God, in the desire to know and teach the faith, in the desire to be holy, even despite one’s past and present failings, which may serve well to humble the soul.

And again here we do well not to lean on our own understanding, but to ask a priest and expose our soul to him and receive his guidance. For, quite honestly it can be overwhelming to consider the sanctity of the office, which sanctity the Fathers and Doctors say in sum, should be greater than that of the upright man’s as heaven is greater than earth. Yet if you find yourself humbled and filled with holy fear of the sacerdotal office, this is exactly the kind of soul that God wants, for his priests. As St. Pius X, says “Do we imagine that God is influenced by any inborn or acquired excellence of ours, to make use of our help for the extension of his glory? By no means; for it is written: God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world God has chosen to confound the strong... the humble and contemptible things of the world God has chosen....” So do not lose heart, as St. Augustine says, “God commands not impossibilities, but, by commanding, both admonishes thee to do what thou art able, and to pray for what thou are not able (to do), and aids thee that thou mayest be able.” For “Our sufficiency is from God who also hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament.” For by ourselves we can do nothing. But with Christ all things are possible. And thus St. Thomas says “God does not destine men to such or such a vocation without favoring them with gifts at the same time, and preparing them in such a way as to render them capable of fulfilling the duties of their vocation.” Of this we are sure, if we only correspond to these graces. For we must have great generosity toward God, and a prompt obedience to his calling, especially in our day for as St. Pius X said “to bring about the reign of Jesus Christ in the world, nothing is more essential than a saintly clergy who, by their example, their preaching and their learning will be the guides of the faithful; an old proverb says that the people will always be like their priests: Sicut sacerdos, sic populus.”

Now since holy priestly vocations are the life of the Church, and salvation of the world it falls to each one of us to do what we can to promote them, and for young men to be generous in discerning this call. It behooves parents, especially the father, to encourage such vocations by the holiness with which they live, as one can notably observe the great benefit in formation that seminarians have received who enter the seminary from holy families. The priestly vocation must be something held in great esteem as well, and seen as the greatest honor for a family. And to the contrary, it is my obligation to inform you, that if parents discourage a priestly vocation in their son (or a religious vocation in their daughter), when they appear truly interested in it, it is a mortal sin, according to St. Alphonsus and the common teaching. St. Bernard goes so far as to call such parents murderers. The Council of Trent also condemned the opinion of Luther, who held that one should obey parents who object to their religious calling, as we must obey God before men. Yet I know that this does not apply to most of you. May you rather be inspired by the very moving tradition in which a newly ordained priest gives to his mother the cloth with which his anointed hands were wrapped, and to his Father the stole of his first confession, which are placed on them at their death, that they may appear before God as the blessed parents of a priest for all eternity. (My classmate Rev. Mr. Gordon will be the third of his brothers to be ordained for us, and we joke that his mom will look like a mummy when she meets St. Peter. A happy mummy indeed, shall she be.)

Lastly for the young man discerning this call, the Church most highly recommends above all else for The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, which are most profitably done on retreat, but can even be done amidst one’s daily life if they set aside some time for prayer each day to consider them. They simply focus the mind on what reality truly is; that you have been created for the praise and service of God alone, and by this means to save your soul. Everything else passes away, and only has value with reference to this. St. Ignatius converted his roommate Francis Xavier, by awakening him every morning with this consideration- what would it profit you if you gained the whole world, but lost your own soul. You then consider all of your sins in their true horror as a rebellion against the good God, who has freely created you and sustains you so as to serve Him and to be happy with Him for ever, and how an eternity in hell, will not compare with the dishonor shown to the infinitely good God by sin, in which we prefer created goods to eternal goodness itself. In short, these considerations and those which follow, put everything into perspective, so that you may then make a choice about your vocation in life, according to what is simply most reasonable, for the attainment of your end- the service of God and the salvation of your soul. And thus whatever choice a man makes in this state, it will be a supernatural one, and if it is to have a family it will be for supernatural motives as well, to manifest the fruitful love between Christ and the Church, and not based on attractions to fading beauty, money, power, etc., which will all pass away and may well be the greatest obstacles to growing in sanctity and saving your soul, as they are truly good things. But the good is the enemy of the best, when it is sought as an end and not a means towards it.

So let us spend this brief time dedicated to the Ascension, mediating on our calling in life. And to do so with the utmost generosity of spirit, as the salvation of the world indeed depends on our generosity in whatever state we are in. A generosity, which is simply a response to the generosity of God, who freely chooses to save man, and to choose men to participate in his very own divine work. AS the Father sent me (the Son of God!) so I send you, for the salvation of the world, the ONLY end, which matters after this so-called life, which lasts but for the blink of an eye. Christ came down from heaven and died the most shameful death for love of you. What have you done for Christ, what are you doing for Christ, what will you do for Christ.


Holy Mary Mother of the Saviour: Pray for us.

Offertorium (mp3)

Ascendit Deus in iubilatione, et Dominus in voce tubae, alleluia.

Secreta

Sacrificia nos, Domine, immaculata purificent: et mentibus nostris supernae gratiae dent vigorem. Per Dominum nostrum.

Communio

Ioann. 17, 12-13 et 15: Pater, cum essem cum eis, ego servabam eos, quos dedisti mihi, alleluia: nunc autem ad te venio: non rogo, ut tollas eos de mundo, sed ut serves eos a malo, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunio

Repleti, Domine, muneribus sacris: da, quaesumus; ut in gratiarum semper actione maneamus. Per Dominum nostrum.

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