Sexagesima Sunday
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SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY
Taken from Fr. Leonard Goffine's Explanations of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, Holydays, and Festivals throughout the Ecclesiastical Year - 36th edition, 1880

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In the Introit of this day's Mass, the Church brings before us one who seeks to be loosed from his sins, and calls on God for help and assistance. Arise, why sleepest thou , O Lord? arise, and cast us not off to the end: why turnest thou thy face away, and forgettest our trouble? Our belly hath cleaved to the earth: arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us. O God, we have heard with our ears; our Fathers have declared to us. (Ps. XLIII. 23. 25.) Glory be to the Father, &c.

COLLECT O God, who seest that we trust not in aught we do; mercifully grant that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.

EPISTLE (II. Cor. XI. 19-33; to XII. 1-9,) Brethren, you gladly suffer the foolish; whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonor, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise,) I am more: in many more labors, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods; once was I stoned; thrice I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. In labor and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; besides those things which are without, my daily instance, the solicitude for all the Churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes to apprehend me; and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed); but I will come to the visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in, the body I know not, or out of the body, I know not, God knoweth): such an one rapt even to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell, God knoweth) : that he was caught up into paradise; and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter. For such an one I will glory; but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or anything he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For, which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Quote:Why is St. Paul mentioned in the Mass of this day, and why is this epistle read?

Because in Rome the Station or Church service is held on this day in the Church of St. Paul and because the Church continues to encourage us to work according to the example given by St. Paul who, with the grace of God, accomplished and suffered so much; also because we should labor for the honor of God and the salvation of our souls and faithfully cooperate with the grace of God.


Why, at the beginning of this epistle, does St. Paul say so much to his own praise?

Not out of ambition for honor and glory, but to honor God, and for the love and advantage of the Corinthians, who allowed themselves to be deceived by mercenary impostors and false prophets; that he might make public the craftiness of those deceivers who assumed the appearance of the true apostles, as Satan took the form of a good angel. To shame these, and to remove the obstacles they had placed in the way of the gospel, St. Paul was obliged to reveal to the Corinthians the things he had performed and endured in propagating the holy gospel. By trials and sufferings is the true apostle known; the false apostles, the hirelings, as Christ calls them, only care for their own bodies, for temporal advantages, not for the salvation of souls. We see this exemplified in our days by the heretical missionaries who, when there is suffering, when there is martyrdom, take to flight, for their eyes are directed only to the present life and a large income, while the Catholic missionaries rejoice if, for Christ's sake, and for the salvation of souls, they are permitted to suffer, and made worthy to endure the cruel death of the martyr.


Of whom does St. Paul relate such marvels?

Of himself, but from humility and modesty he does not say so; fourteen years before, forty-four years after the birth of Christ, St. Paul was rapt to the third heaven, that is, to the abode of happy spirits; but to preserve him in humility God permitted Satan to use the concupiscence of the flesh, which is like a sting in the body of man, as a temptation to the apostle, and by which he was continually tormented.

ASPIRATION Grant me, O God, thy grace that in these evil days of false doctrines I may remain steadfast to Thy holy gospel which in the holy Catholic Church remains pure and unchanged; never let me be deterred from obeying its precepts, neither by the charms of the world nor by the mockery and reproaches of the wicked.


GOSPEL (Luke VIII. 4-15.) At that time, when very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto him, he spoke by a similitude: The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns; and the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, he cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. To whom he said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that seeing, they may not see, and hearing, they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way-side are they that hear: then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no roots, for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares arid riche, and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground are they who, in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.

Quote:Why is the Word of God compared to a seed?

Because from the word of God germinates the fruit of good works, as from good seed grows good fruit; as it is impossible, therefore, for an unsowed field to produce good fruit, so is it impossible for man without the seed of God's word to produce good fruits of the spirit.


Why does Christ cry out an the parable: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear?

Because of the importance and necessity of the doctrine which was contained in the parable. For to hear the word of God is absolutely necessary for salvation, as the Apostle indicates: How shall they believe him (Jesus) of whom they have not heard? (Rom. X. 14.) Jesus calls those happy who hear the word of God and keep it. (Luke XI. 28.) And on this subject St. Augustine says: "Be assured, my brethren, that as the body becomes weakened by want and hunger, and wastes to a mere shadow, so the soul that is not nourished by the word of God, becomes shrunken, worthless and unfit for any good work."


Whence comes so much cockle of evil, when the seed of God's word is so abundantly sowed?

Because, as Christ says, the seed falls now by the wayside, now upon a rock, now among thorns, seldom upon good soil, that is to say, those who hear the word of God are as a highway, over which many distracting thoughts are traveling which tread down the scattered seed, or, like fowls of the air devour it; they are like rocks, hardened by their prejudices or repeated crimes, so that the divine word cannot take root; again, they are so overgrown by the thorns of worldly cares, the constant desire for wealth and riches, and sensual delights, that even if they receive the seed, it is unable to grow and bear fruit.



ON THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD

The word of God is compared, by the Prophet Jeremias, to a hammer which crushes hearts as hard as rocks, and to a fire that dries up the swamps of vice, and consumes inveterate evil habits. (Jer. XXIII. 29.) The Psalmist compares it to thunder that makes all tremble, a storm-wind that bends and breaks the cedars of Lebanon, that is, proud and obstinate spirits; a light that dispels the darkness of ignorance; and a remedy that cures sin. (Ps. XXVIII. 3. 5., CXVIII. 105.) St. Paul compares it to a sword that divides the body from the soul, that is, the carnal desires from the spirit; (Hebr. IV. 12.) the Apostle James to a mirror in which man sees his stains and his wrongs. (Jam. I, 23.) the Prophet Isaias to a precious rain that moistens the soil of the soul and fertilizes it; (Isai: LV. 10. 11.) and Jesus Himself compares it to a seed that when it falls on good ground, brings forth fruit a hundredfold. (Luke VIII. 8.) One single grain of this divine seed produced the most marvellous fruits of sanctity in St. Augustine, St. Anthony the Great, in St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and others; for St. Augustine was converted by the words: "Let us walk honestly as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy." (Rom. XIII. 13.) St. Anthony by the words: If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shaft have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (Matt XIX. 21.) Nicholas of Tolentino was brought to Christian perfection by the words: "Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. (I. John II. 15.)


How should we prepare ourselves to be benefited by the word of God?

We must be good, well-tilled soil, that is, we must have a heart that loves truth, desires to learn, and humbly and sincerely seeks salvation; we must listen to the word of God with due preparation and attention, keep the divine truths we have heard, in our heart, frequently consider and strive to fulfil them.


What should be done before the sermon?

We should endeavor to purify our conscience, for, as St. Chrysostom demands; "Who would pour precious juice into a vessel that is not clean, without first washing it?" We should, therefore, at least cleanse our hearts by an ardent sorrow for our sins, because the spirit of truth enters not into the sinful soul; (Wisd. I. 4.) we should ask the Holy Ghost for the necessary enlightenment, for little or no fruit can be obtained from a sermon if it is not united with prayer; we should listen to the sermon with a good motive; that is, with a view of hearing something edifying and instructive; if we attend only through curiosity, the desire to hear something new, to criticize the preacher, or to see and to be seen, we are like the Pharisees who for such and similar motives went to hear Christ and derived no benefit therefrom. “As a straight sword goes not into a crooked sheath, so the word of God enters not into a heart that is filled with improper motives." We should strive to direct, our minds rightly, that is, to dispel all temporal thoughts, all needless distraction, otherwise the wholesome words would fall but upon the ears, would not penetrate the heart, and the words of Christ be fulfilled: They have ears, and hear not.


How should we comfort ourselves during the sermon?

We should listen to the sermon with earnest, reverent attention, for God speaks to us through His priests, and Christ says to them: Who hears you, hears me. (Luke X. 16.) We must listen to the priests, therefore, not as to men, but as to God's ambassadors, for every priest can say with St. Paul: We are ambassadors for Christ, God, as it were, exhorting by us. (II. Cor. V. 20.) "If," says St. Chrysostom, "when the letter of a king is read, the greatest quiet and attention prevails, that nothing may be lost, how much more should we listen with reverence and perfect silence to the. word of God?" The word of God is, and ever will be, a divine seed, which, when properly received, produces precious fruit, by what priest soever sowed; for in the sowing it matters not what priest sows, but what soil is sowed. Be careful, also, that you do not apply that which is said to others, but take it to yourself, or the sermon will be of no benefit to you. Are you free from those vices which the preacher decries and against which he battles? then, thank God, but do not despise others who are perhaps laboring under them, rather pray that they may be released and you preserved from falling into them. Keep also from sleeping, talking, and other distractions, and remember, that whoever is of God, also willingly hears his word. (John VIII. 47.)


What should be done after the sermon?

We should then strive to put into practice the good we have heard, for God justifies not those who hear the law, but those who keep it, (Rom. II. 13.) and those who hear the word of God and do not conform their lives to it, are like the man who looks into the mirror, and having looked into it goes away, and presently forgets what manner of man he is. (Fam. I. 23. 24.) To practice that which has been heard, it is above all necessary that it should be kept constantly in mind, and thoughtfully considered. St. Bernard says: "Preserve the word of God as you would meat for your body, for it is a life-giving bread, and the food of your soul. Happy those, says Christ, who keep it. Receive it, therefore, into your soul's interior, and let it reach your morals and your actions."

That food which cannot be digested, or is at once thrown out, is useless; the food should be well masticated, retained, and by the digestive powers worked up into good blood. So not only on the day, but often during the week, that which was heard in the sermon should be thought of and put into practice. Speak of it to others, thus will much idle talk be saved, many souls with the grace of God roused to good, and enlightened in regard to the evil they had not before seen in themselves and in future will avoid. Let us listen to others when they repeat what was said in the sermon. Heads of families should require their children and domestics to relate what they have heard preached. Let us also entreat God to give us grace that we may be enabled to practice the precepts given us.


PRAYER How much am I shamed, O my God, that the seed of Thy Divine word, which Thou hast sowed so often and so abundantly in my heart, has brought forth so little fruit! Ah! have mercy on me, and so change my heart, that it may become good soil, in which Thy word may take root, grow without hindrance, and finally bring forth fruits of salvation. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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The Church offers to our consideration, during this week of Sexagesima, the history of Noah and the deluge. Man has not profited by the warnings already given him. God is obliged to punish him once more, and by a terrible chastisement. There is found out of the whole human race one just man God makes a covenant with him, and with us through him. But, before he draws up this new alliance, he would show that he is the Sovereign Master, and that man, and the earth whereon he lives, subsist solely by his power and permission.

As the ground-work of this week’s instructions, we give a short passage from the Book of Genesis: it is read in the Office of this Sunday’s Matins.

De Libro Genesis. Cap. vi. 
Videns autem Deus quod multa malitia hominum esset in terra, et cuncta cogitatio cordis intenta esset ad malum omni tempore, pœnituit cum quod hominem fecisset in terra. Et tactus dolore cordis intrinsecus: Delebo, inquit, hominem quem cravi, a facie terræ, ab homine usque ad volucres cœli. Pœnitet enim me fecisse eos. Noë vero invenit gratiam coram Domino.

Hæ sunt generationes Noë: Noë vir justus atque perfectus fuit in generationibus suis, cum Deo ambulavit. Et genuit tres filios, Sem, Cham, et Japheth. Corrupta est autem terra coram Deo, et repleta est iniquitate. Cumque vidisset Deus terram esse corruptam (omnis quippe caro corruperat viam suam super terram) dixit ad Noë: Finis universæ carnis venit coram me: repleta est terra iniquitate a facie eorum, et ego disperdam eos cum terra.


From the Book of Genesis. Ch. vi.

And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, it repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, he said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air. For it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace before the Lord.

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just and perfect man in his generations: he walked with God. And he begot three sons: Sem, Cham, and Japheth. And the earth was corrupted before God, and was filled with iniquity. And when God had seen that the earth was corrupted (for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth), he said to Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me: the earth is filled with iniquity through them, and I will destroy them with the earth.


This awful chastisement of the human race by the Deluge was a fresh consequence of sin. This time, however, there was found one just man; and it was through him and his family that the world was restored. Having once more mercifully renewed his covenant with his creatures, God allows the earth to be re-peopled, and makes the three sons of Noah become the Fathers of the three great families of the human race.

This is the Mystery of the Divine Office during the week of Sexagesima. The Mystery expressed in to-day’s Mass is of still greater importance, and the first is but a figure of the second. The earth is deluged by sin and heresy. But the Word of God, the Seed of life, is ever producing a new generation, a race of men, who, like Noah, fear God. It is the Word of God that produces those happy children, of whom the Beloved Disciple speaks, saying: they are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God [St. John, 1. 13]. Let us endeavour to be of this family; or, if we already be numbered among its members, let us zealously maintain our glorious position. What we have to do, during these days of Septuagesima, is to escape from the Deluge of worldliness, and take shelter in the Ark of salvation; we have to become that good soil, which yields a hundred-fold from the heavenly Seed. Let us flee from the wrath to come, lest we perish with the enemies of God: let us hunger after that Word of God, which converteth and giveth life to souls [Ps. xviii].

With the Greeks, this is the seventh day of their week Apocreös, which begins on the Monday after our Septuagesima Sunday. They call this week Apocreös, because they then begin to abstain from flesh-meat, which abstinence is observed till Easter Sunday.


MASS


At Rome, the Station is in the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls. It is around the tomb of the Doctor of the Gentiles, – the zealous sower of the divine Seed, – the Father by his preaching, of so many nations, – that the Roman Church assembles her children on this Sunday, whereon she is about to announce to them, how God spared the earth on the condition that it should be peopled with true believers and with faithful adorers of his Name.

The Introit, which is taken from the Psalms, cries out to our Lord for help. The human race is all but extinct after the Deluge, and is here represented as beseeching its Creator to bless and increase it. The Church adopts the same prayer, and asks her Saviour to multiply the children of the Word, as he did in former days.

Introit
Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? Exsurge, et ne repellas in finem; quare faciem tuam avertis, oblivisceris tribulationem nostram? Adhæsit in terra venter noster: exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos.
Arise, why sleepest thou, O Lord? Arise, and cast us not off to the end. Why turnest thou thy face away? and forgettest our tribulation? Our belly cleaveth to the earth. Arise, O Lord, help us, and deliver us.

Ps. Deus, auribus nostris audivimus: patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis. ℣. Gloria Patri. Exsurge.
Ps. We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us thy wonders. ℣. Glory. Arise.


In the Collect, the Church expresses the confidence she puts in the prayers of the great apostle St. Paul, that zealous sower of the divine seed, who labored more than the other apostles in preaching the word to the Gentiles.

Collect
Deus, qui conspicis quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus: concede propitius, ut contra adversa omnia, Doctoris Gentium protectione, muniamur. Per Dominum.

O God, who seest that we place no confidence in anything we do: mercifully grant that, by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles, we may be defended against all adversity. Through, &c.

Then are added two other Collects, as in the Mass of Septuagesima Sunday.


The Epistle is that admirable passage from one of St. Paul’s Epistles, in which the Great Apostle, for the honour and interest of his sacred ministry, is necessitated to write his defence against the calumnies of his enemies. We learn from this his apology, what labours the Apostles had to go through, in order to sow the Word of God in the barren soil of the Gentile world, and make it Christian.

Epistle

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle, to the Corinthians. 2 Ch. xi.

Brethren: you gladly suffer the foolish; whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise). I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me. And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed), but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth), That he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter. For such an one I will glory; but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.


In the Gradual, the Church beseeches her Lord to give her strength against those who oppose the mission he has entrusted to her, of gaining for him a new people, adorers of his sovereign Majesty.

Gradual
Sciant gentes, quoniam nomen tibi Deus: tu solus Altissimus super omnem terram.
Let the Gentiles know that God is thy name: thou alone art the Most High over all the earth.

℣. Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam, et sicut stipulam ante faciem venti.
℣. O my God, make them like a wheel, and as stubble before the wind.


While the earth is being moved and is suffering those terrible revolutions which, deluge-like, come first on one nation and then on another, the Church prays for her faithful children, in order that they may be spared, for they are the elect, and the hope of the world. It is thus she prays in the Tract, which precedes the Gospel of the word.

Tract
Commovisti, Domine, terram, et conturbasti eam.
Thou hast moved the earth, O Lord, and hast troubled it.

℣. Sana contritiones ejus, quia mota est.
℣. Heal the breaches thereof, for it is moved.

℣. Ut fugiant a facie arcus: ut liberentur electi tui.
℣. That they may flee from before the bow: that thy elect may be delivered.


Gospel
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke. Ch. viii.

At that time: when a very great multitude was gathered together, and hastened out of the cities unto him, he spoke by a similitude. The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, he cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. To whom he said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way side are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away. And that which fell among thorns, are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground, are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.

Quote:St. Gregory the Great justly remarks, that this Parable needs no explanation. since Eternal Wisdom himself has told us its meaning. All that we have to do, is to profit by this divine teaching, and become the good soil, wherein the heavenly Seed may yield a rich harvest. How often have we not, hitherto, allowed it to be trampled on by them that passed by, or to be torn up by the birds of the air? How often has it not found our heart like a stone, that could give no moisture, or like a thorn plot, that could but choke? We listened to the Word of God; we took pleasure in hearing it; and from this we argued well for ourselves. Nay, we have often received this Word with joy and eagerness. Sometimes, even, it took root within us. But, alas! something always came to stop its growth. Henceforth, it must both grow and yield fruit. The Seed given to us is of such quality, that the Divine Sower has a right to expect a hundred-fold. If the soil, that is, if our heart, be good;- if we take the trouble to prepare it, by profiting of the means afforded us by the Church;- we shall have an abundant harvest to show our Lord on that grand Day, when, rising triumphant from his Tomb, he shall come to share with his faithful people the glory of  his Resurrection.

Inspirited by this hope, and full of confidence in Him, who has once more thrown his Seed in this long ungrateful soil, let us sing with the Church, in her Offertory, these beautiful words of the Royal Psalmist:- they are a prayer for holy resolution and perseverance.

Offertory
Perfice gressus meos in semitis tuis, ut non moveantur vestigia mea: inclina aurem tuam et exaudi verba mea: mirifica misericordias tuas, qui salvos facis sperantes in te, Domine.
Perfect thou my goings in thy paths; that my footsteps be not moved. O incline thine ear unto me and hear my words. Show forth thy wonderful mercies; who savest them that hope in thee, O Lord.

Secret
Oblatum tibi, Domine, sacrificium vivicet nos semper, et muniat. Per Dominum.
May the sacrifice we have offered to thee, O Lord, always enliven us and defend us. Through, &c.

To this are added the other Secrets, as on Septuagesima Sunday.


The visit, which our Lord makes to us in the Sacrament of His love, is the grand means whereby He gives fertility to our souls. Hence it is that the Church invites us, in the Communion antiphon, to draw nigh to the altar of our God; there, our heart shall regain all the youthful fervor of its best days.

Communion
Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.
I will go up to the altar of God; to God, who rejoiceth my youth.

Postcommunion
Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus; ut quos tuis reficis sacramentis, tibi etiam placitis moribus dignanter deservire concedas. Per Dominum.
Grant, we humbly beseech thee, O almighty God, that those whom thou refreshest with thy sacraments, may, by a life well pleasing to thee, worthily serve thee. Through, &c.

Two other Postcommunions are said after this, as on Septuagesima Sunday.

VESPERS
The Psalms and Antiphons are given in above.

CAPITULUM.
(II. Cor. XI.)

Fratres, libenter suffertis insipientes, cum sitis ipsi sapientes: sustinetis enim si quis vos in servitutem redigit, si quis devorat, si quis accipit, si quis extollitur, si quis in faciem vos caedit.
Brethren, you gladly suffer the foolish, whereas yourselves are wise: for you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face.


For the Hymn and Versicle, see above.

ANTIPHON OF THE MAGNIFICAT.
ANT. Vobis datum est nosse mysterium Dei, caeteris autem in parabolis, dicit Jesus discipulis suis.
ANT. To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the others in parables, said Jesus to his disciples.

OREMUS.
Deus qui conspicis quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus: concede propitius, ut contra adversa omnia Doctoris Gentium protectione muniamur. Per Dominum.


LET US PRAY.
O God, who seest that we place no confidence in anything we do: mercifully grant that, by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles, we may be defended against all adversity. Through, &c.


We will end our Sunday by a hymn taken from the ancient breviaries of the Churches of France:
it will help us to keep up in our souls the sentiments proper to the season of Septuagesima.

Hymn

Dies absoluti prætereunt;
Dies observabiles redeunt.
Tempus adest sobrium:
Quæramus puro corde Dominum.


The days of ease are about to close: the days of holy observance are returning; the time of temperance is at hand; let us seek our Lord in purity of heart.

Hymnis et in confessionibus
Judex complacabitur Dominus.
Non negabit hic veniam,
Qui vult ut homo quærat gratiam.


Our sovereign Judge will be appeased by our hymns and praise. He who would have us sue for peace will not refuse us pardon.

Post jugum servile Pharaonis,
Post catenas diræ Babylonis:
Liber homo patriam
Quærat cœlestem Hierosolymam.


The slavish yoke of Pharaoh, and the fetters of cruel Babylon, have been borne too long: let man now claim his freedom, and seek his heavenly country, Jerusalem.

Fugiamus de hoc exilio:
Habitemus cum Dei Filio:
Hoc decus est famuli
Si sit cohæres sui Domini.


Let us quit this place of exile: let us dwell with the Son of God. Is it not the servant’s glory, to be made co-heir with his Lord?

Sis Christe nobis dux hujus vitæ:
Memento quod sumus oves tuæ,
Pro quibus ipse tuam
Pastor ponebas morte animam.


O Jesus! be thou our guide through life. Remember that we are thy sheep, for whom thou, the Shepherd, didst lay down thine own life.

Gloria sit Patri et Filio:
Sancto simul honor Paraclito:
Sicut erat pariter
In principio et nunc et semper. Amen.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son; honor too be to the holy Paraclete: as it was in the beginning, now is, and shall ever be. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#3
Meditation for Sexagesima Sunday
"Divine Seed" comes from the book "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD.

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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.

MEDITATION

1. 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.

2. 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.


COLLOQUY

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.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#4
Sermon XIII ~ Sexagesima Sunday
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

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On The Unhappy Life Of Sinners, And On The Happy Life Of Those Who Love God

And that which fell among the thorns are they who have heard, and, going their way, are choked with the cares and riches of this life, and yield no fruit.” LUKE viii. 14.


In the parable of this day’s gospel we are told that part of the seed which the sower went out to sow fell among thorns. The Saviour has declared that the seed represents the divine word, and the thorns the attachment of men to earthly riches and pleasures, which are the thorns that prevent the fruit of the word of God, not only in the future, but even in the present life. Misery of poor sinners! By their sins they not only condemn themselves to eternal torments in the next, but to an unhappy life in this world. This is what I intend to demonstrate in the following discourse.


First Point. Unhappy life of sinners.

1. The devil deceives sinners, and makes them imagine that, by indulging their sensual appetites, they shall lead a life of happiness, and shall enjoy peace. But there is no peace for those who offend God. ”There is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord.” (Isa. xlviii. 22.) God declares that all his enemies have led a life of misery, and that they have not even known the way of peace. ”Destruction and unhappiness in their ways: and the way of peace they have not known.” (Ps. xiii. 3.)

2. Brute animals that have been created for this world, enjoy peace in sensual delights. Give to a dog a bone, and he is perfectly content; give to an ox a bundle of hay, and he desires nothing more. But man, who has been created for God, to love God, and to be united to him, can be made happy only by God, and not by the world, though it should enrich him with all its goods. What are worldly goods? They may be all reduced to pleasures of sense, to riches, and to honours. “All that is in the world,” says St. John,” is the concupiscence of the flesh,” or sensual delights, and “the concupiscence of the eyes,” or riches, and “the pride of life” that is, earthly honours. (1 John ii. 16.) St. Bernard says, that a man may be puffed up with earthly goods, but can never be made content or happy by them. ”Inflari potest, satiari, non potest.” And how can earth and wind and dung satisfy the heart of man? In his comment on these words of St. Peter”Behold, we have left all things” the same saint says, that he saw in the world different classes of fools. All had a great desire of happiness. Some, such as the avaricious, were content with riches; others, Ambitious of honours and of praise, were satisfied with wind; others, seated round a furnace, swallowed the sparks that were thrown from it these were the passionate and vindictive; others, in fine, drank fetid water from a stagnant pool and these were the voluptuous and unchaste. O fools! adds the saint, do you not perceive that all these things, from which you seek content, do not satisfy, but, on the contrary, increase the cravings of your heart? ”Hæc potius famem provocant, quam extinguunt.” Of this we have a striking example in Alexander the Great, who, after having conquered half the world, burst into tears, because he was not master of the whole earth.

3. Many expect to find peace in accumulating riches; but how can these satisfy their desires?” Major pecunia,” says St. Augustine, “avaritiæ fauces non claudit, sed extendit.” A large quantity of money does not close, but rather extends, the jaws of avarice; that is, the enjoyment of riches excites, rather than satiates, the desire of wealth. ”Thou wast debased even to hell; thou hast been wearied in the multitude of thy ways; yet thou saidst not, I will rest.” (Isa. Ivii. 9, 10.) Poor worldlings! they labour and toil to acquire an increase of wealth and property, but never enjoy repose: the more they accumulate riches, the greater their disquietude and vexation. “The rich have wanted, and have suffered hunger; but they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.” (Ps. xxxiii. 11.) The rich of this world are, of all men, the most miserable; because, the more they possess, the more they desire to possess. They never succeed in attaining all the objects of their wishes, and therefore they are far poorer than men who have but a competency, and seek God alone. These are truly rich, because they are content with their condition, and find in God every good. ”They that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.” To the saints, because they possess God, nothing is wanting; to the worldly rich, who are deprived of God, all things are wanting, because they want peace. The appellation of fool was, therefore, justly given to the rich man in the gospel (Luke xii. 19), who, because his land brought forth plenty of fruits, said to his soul: “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take rest, eat, drink, make good cheer.” (Luke xii. 19.) But this man was called a fool. ”Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee; and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” (v. 20.) And why was he called a fool. Because he imagined that by these goods by eating and drinking he should be content, and should enjoy peace. “Rest,” he said, “eat, drink.” “Num quid,” says St. Basil of Seleucia, “animam porcinam habes?” Hast thou the soul of a brute, that thou expectest to make it happy by eating and drinking?

4. But, perhaps sinners who seek after and attain worldly honours are content? All the honours of this earth are but smoke and wind (“Ephraim feedeth on the wind” Osee xii. 1), and how can these content the heart of a Christian? “The pride of them,” says David, “ascendeth continually.” (Ps. lxxiii. 23.) The ambitious are not satisfied by the attainment of certain honours: their ambition and pride continually increase; and thus their disquietude, their envy, and their fears are multiplied.

5. They who live in the habit of sins of impurity, feed, as the Prophet Jeremiah says, on dung. “Qui voluptuose vescebantur, amplexati sunt stercora.” (Thren. iv. 5.) How can dung content or give peace to the soul? Ah! what peace, what peace can sinners at a distance from God enjoy? They may possess the riches, honours, and delights of this world; but they never shall have peace. No; the word of God cannot fail: he has declared that there is no peace for his enemies. ”There is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord.” (Isaias, xlviii. 22.) Poor sinners! they, as St. Chrysostom says, always carry about with them their own executioner that is, a guilty conscience, which continually torments them. ”Peccator conscientiam quasi carnificem circumgestat.” (Serm. x. do Laz.) St. Isidore asserts, that there is no pain more excruciating than that of a guilty conscience. Hence he adds, that he who leads a good life is never sad. ”Nulla poena gravior poena conscientiæ: vis nunquam esse tristis? bene vive.” (S. Isid., lib. 2, Solit.)

6. In describing the deplorable state of sinners, the Holy Ghost compares them, to a sea continually tossed by the tempest. “The wicked are like the raging sea, which cannot rest.” (Isa. Ivii. 20.) Waves come and go, but they are all waves of bitterness and rancour; for every cross and contradiction disturbs and agitates the wicked. If a person at a ball or musical exhibition, were obliged to remain suspended by a cord with his head downwards, could he feel happy at the entertainment? Such is the state of a Christian in enmity with God: his soul is as it were turned upside down; instead of being united with God and detached from creatures, it is united with creatures and separated from God. But creatures, says St. Vincent Ferrer, are without, and do not enter to content the heart, which God alone can make happy. “Non intrant ibi ubi est sitis.” The sinner is like a man parched with thirst, and standing in the middle of a fountain: because the waters which surround him do not enter to satisfy his thirst, he remains in the midst of them more thirsty than before.

7. Speaking of the unhappy life which he led when he was in a state of sin, David said: ”My tears have been my bread, day and night, whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God ?” (Ps. xli. 4.) To relieve himself, he went to his villas, to his gardens, to musical entertainments, and to various other royal amusements, but they all said to him: “David, if thou expectest comfort from us, thou art deceived.  “Where is thy God? Go and seek thy God, whom thou hast lost; for he alone can restore thy peace.” Hence David confessed that, in the midst of his princely wealth, he enjoyed no repose, and that he wept night and day. Let us now listen to his son Solomon, who acknowledged that he indulged his senses in whatsoever they desired. “Whatsoever my eyes desired, I refused them not.” (Eccl. ii. 10.) But, after all his sensual enjoyments, he exclaimed: “Vanity of vanities:… behold all is vanity and affliction of spirit.” (Eccles. i. 2 and 14.) Mark! he declares that all the pleasures of this earth are not only vanity of vanities, but also affliction of spirit. And this sinners well know from experience; for sin brings with it the fear of divine vengeance. The man who is encompassed by powerful enemies never sleeps in peace; and can the sinner, who has God for an enemy, enjoy tranquility?” Fear to them that work evil.” (Prov. x. 29.) The Christian who commits a mortal sin feels himself oppressed with fear every leaf that moves excites terror. ”The sound of dread is always in his ears.” (Job xv. 21.) He appears to be always flying away, although no one pursues him. ”The wicked man fleeth when no man pursueth.” (Prov. xxviii. 1.) He shall be persecuted, not by men, but by his own sin. It was thus with Cain, who, after having killed his brother Abel, was seized with fear, and said: ”Every one, therefore, that findeth me shall kill me.” (Gen. iv. 14.) The Lord assured him that no one should injure him: “The Lord said to him: ’No; it shall not be so’” (v. 15.) But, notwithstanding this assurance, Cain, pursued by his own sins, was, as the Scripture attests, always flying from one place to another “He dwelt a fugitive on the earth.” (v. 16.)

8. Moreover, sin brings with it remorse of conscience that cruel worm that gnaws incessantly, and never dies. ”Their worm shall not die.” (Isa Ixvi. 24.) If the sinner goes to a festival, to a comedy, to a banquet, his conscience continually reproaches him, saying: Unhappy man! you have lost God; if you were now to die, what should become of you? The torture of remorse of conscience, even in the present life, is so great that, to free themselves from it, some persons have put an end to their lives Judas, through despair, hanged himself. A certain man who had killed an infant, was so much tormented with remorse that he could not rest. To rid himself of it he entered into a monastery; but finding no peace even there, he went before a judge, acknowledged his crime, and got himself condemned to death.

9. God complains of the injustice of sinners in leaving him, who is the fountain of all consolation, to plunge themselves into fetid and broken cisterns, which can give no peace. ”For my people have done two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jer. ii. 13.) You have, the Lord says to sinners, refused to serve me, your God, in peace. Unhappy creatures! you shall serve your enemies in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and in want of every kind. “Because thou didst not serve the Lord thy God with joy and gladness, … thou shalt serve thy enemy in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and in want of all things.” (Deut. xxviii. 47, 48.) This is what sinners experience every day. What do not the vindictive endure after they have satisfied their revenge by the murder of an enemy? They fly continually from the relations of their murdered foe, and from the minister of justice. They live as fugitives, poor, afflicted, and abandoned by all. What do not the voluptuous and unchaste suffer in order to gratify their wicked desires? What do not the avaricious suffer in order to acquire the possessions of others? Ah! if they suffered for God what they suffer for sin, they would lay up great treasures for eternity, and would lead a life of peace and happiness: but, by living in sin, they lead a life of misery here, to lead a still more miserable life for eternity hereafter. Hence they weep continually in hell, saying: “We wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity and destruction, and have walked through hard ways.” (Wis. v. 7.) We have, they exclaim, walked through hard ways, through paths covered with thorns. We wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity: we have laboured hard: we have sweated blood: we have led a life full of misery, of gall, and of poison. And why? To bring ourselves to a still more wretched life in this pit of fire.


Second Point. The happy life of those who love God.

10. “Justice and peace have kissed.” (Ps. lxxxiv. 11.) Peace resides in every soul in which justice dwells. Hence David said: “Delight in the Lord, and he will give thee the requests of thy heart.” (Ps. xxxvi. 4.) To understand this text, we must consider that worldlings seek to satisfy the desires of their hearts with the goods of this earth; but, because these cannot make them happy, their hearts continually make fresh demands; and, how much soever they may acquire of these goods, they are not content. Hence the Prophet says: ”Delight in the Lord, and he will give thee the requests of thy heart.” Give up creatures, seek your delight in God, and he will satisfy all the cravings of your heart.

11. This is what happened to St. Augustine, who, as long as he sought happiness in creatures, never enjoyed peace; but, as soon as he renounced them, and gave to God all the affections of his heart, he exclaimed: “All things are hard, O Lord, and thou alone art repose.” As if he said: Ah! Lord, I now know my folly. I expected to find felicity in earthly pleasures; but now I know that they are only vanity and affliction of spirit, and that thou alone art the peace and joy of our hearts.

12. The Apostle says, that the peace which God gives to those who love, surpasses all the sensual delights which a man can enjoy on this earth. ”The peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding. ” (Phil. iv. 7.) St. Francis of Assisium, in saying “My God and my all,” experienced on this earth an anticipation of Paradise. St. Francis Xavier, in the midst of his labours in India for the glory of Jesus Christ, was so replenished with divine consolations, that he exclaimed: “Enough, Lord, enough.” Where, I ask, has any lover of this world been found, so satisfied with the possessions of worldly goods, as to say: Enough, O world, enough; no more riches, no more honours, no more applause, no more pleasures? Ah, no! worldlings are constantly seeking after higher honours, greater riches, and new delights; but the more they have of them, the less are their desires satisfied, and the greater their disquietude.

13. It is necessary to persuade ourselves of this truth, that God alone can give content. “Worldlings do not wish to be convinced of it, through an apprehension that, if they give themselves to God, they shall lead a life of bitterness and discontent. But, with the Royal Prophet, I say to them: ”taste, and see that the Lord is sweet.” (Ps. xxxiii. 9.) Why, sinners, will you despise and regard as miserable that life which you have not as yet tried? ”taste and see.” Begin to make a trial of it; hear Mass every day; practise mental prayer and the visitation of the most holy sacrament; go to communion at least once a week; fly from evil conversations; walk always with God; and you shall see that, by such a life, you will enjoy that sweetness and peace which the world, with all its delights, has not hitherto been able to give you.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#5
HOMILY XIII. LABOUR AND TOIL
by St. Thomas Aquinas

SEXAGESIMA.—(FROM THE EPISTLE.)


In labours more abundant.”—2 Cor, xi. 23.


How SCRIPTURE treats of four kinds of labour or travail. Firstly, material labour, by which man supplies the deficiencies of nature—Job. v. 7, ‘‘Man is born unto trouble" (Vulg., labour). Secondly, the labour of sin, in which a man toils at committing sin—Jer. ix. 5, “Weary themselves to commit iniquity.” Thirdly, the labour of Gehenna, after which there follows no rest—Ps. xlviii. 9, 10 (Vulg.), "Shall labour for ever, and shall still live unto the end.” Fourthly, the labour of grace, which the just undergo in order to do good works—Prov. x. 16, “The labour of the righteous tendeth to life." Three of these kinds of labour are to be noticed.

I. On the first head it is to be noted that in natural labour five points are to be considered. (1) It was inflicted on man on account of sin, whence it is manifest that man should hate sin as the eause of his toil—Gen. iii. 17-19, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." (2) That if endured in love eternal blessedness is the fruit of labour—Ps. exxviii. 2, “Thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands, happy shalt thou be." (3) It is demanded because the fruit of the land is frequently consumed by wild beasts, by insects, and by enemies; all of which are the effects of sin, therefore man ought to hate sin—Deut. xxviii. 33, ‘The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up." On the other hand, it is said of the just—Isaiah lxii. 8, "Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine.” (4) All are ealled to labour: the idle are denied bread—2 Thess. iii. 10, “If any would not work, neither should he eat." (5) He that refuseth to labour is punished with eternal punishment—Ps. lxxii. 5 (Vulg.), "They are not in the labour of men, neither shall they be scourged like other men ;" but with the demons.

II. On the second head it is to be noted that the labour of toil of sin is of five kinds. (1) Of covetousness—Eccles. iv. 8, "Yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches;" Prov. xxiii. 4, "Labour not to be rich.” (2) Of pride—‘ What profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?” The wind is pride. (3) Of luxury— Eecles. ix 9, "Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity ........ . That is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. (4) Of sorceries—Isaiah xlvii. 12, “Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth." (5) Of gluttony—Eccles. vi. 7, * All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled." What he may eat, and drink, and enjoy of his labour; so does the glutton speak. 

III. On the third head it is be noted of the labour of Gehenna, that thrée particulars are to be noted. (1) Its immensity—Lam. iii. 5, "He hath compassed me with gall and travail.” (2) Its bitterness—Eccles. x. 15, "The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them." (8) Its duration—Ps. xlviii. 9, 10, ‘Shall labour for ever, and shall live unto the end.” From which labour may the Lord deliver us.




HOMILY XIV. THE BIRDS AND THE SEED

SEXAGESIMA.—(FROM THE GOSPEL.)


“The fowls of the air devoured it."—S. Luke viii. 5.


By the fowls of the air, are understood evil spirits; by the sea, righteousness; whence three points arise from the mystical expositions. Firstly, the quickness of the evil spirit to do evil—‘ birds ;” secondly, their natural dignity— * of the air,” or of heaven; thirdly, the iniquity of their sin—“devoured it.”

I. On the first head it is to be noted that evil spirits are compared to birds for three reasons. (1) Their high flight; the evil spirits fly on high—Numb. xxiv. 21, “Thou puttest thy nest in a rock.” (2) For their quickness of flight— Lam. iv. 19, “ Our persecutors are mightier than the eagles of the heaven.” (3) In their rapacity they live by devouring the souls that they have seized—Ezek. xvii. 3, "A great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers, took the branch of the cedar. He cropped off the top of his young twigs.” 

II. On the second head it is to be noted that the birds of the air are called evil spirits from their natural dignity, which consists of three things. (1) Of origin; for they were created in the high heavens. (2) Of lightness or subtlety. Of these two—lIsa. xiv. 12-14, “How art thou fallen, O Lucifer, Son of the Morning ......... I will be like the Most High.” His origin is pointed out, in that he is said to have fallen from Heaven, for he was created in Heaven. The name Lucifer signifies lightness and beauty of nature. (3) Of habitation on high—Eph. vi. 12, “Spiritual wickedness in high places.”

III. On the third head it is to be noted that the iniquity of the evil spirits consists in their devouring three kinds of seeds. (1) Seed of the Word of God—*« The seed is the Word of God;" S. Luke viii. 12, "Then cometh the Devil and taketh away the Word out of their hearts." (2) Seed of righteousness—2 Cor. ix. 6, * He who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly,” &c. (3) Seed of any good work —Ps. cxxvi. 6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him.” We sow this seed whenever we do good. Of (1), The evil spirits take away the seed of the Word of God by sowing error in the mind of man—2 Cor. iv. 4, *In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the Image of God, should shine unto them.” Of (2), They take away the seed of righteousness by enticing men into unrighteousness—S. John viii. 44, "Ye are of your father the Devil, the lust of your father ye will do.” Of (3), The Devil takes away the seed of good works, at the same time that he makes men to glory in them—S, Matt. vi. 1, 2, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them. When thou dost thine alms, do not sound à trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do ......... that they may have glory of men ......... They have their reward.” Whence it is manifest that the seed must be guarded from the "birds of the air," from the evil spirits, that it may bring forth fruit an hundredfold, which fruit is the joy of eternity. To which may we be brought.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#6
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for Sexagesima Sunday



2017





2018





2019 - Two Masses







2020 - Two Masses







2021 - Two Masses







2022

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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