Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi
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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INTROIT. The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because he was well pleased with me. (Ps. xvii.) I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory, &c.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name; for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost establish in Thy steadfast love. Thro'.

EPISTLE. (i John iii. 13 — 18.) Dearly beloved, Wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death; whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

EXPLANATION. People who are really pious, have always something to suffer from the wicked world, as Jesus foretold, but they do not cease to love their persecutors as their best friends, and are ready, if necessary, to give their life for their enemies, as Christ did. Thus should all Christians act; for the love of our neighbor and even of our enemies is a universal command, a law that binds all; it is the life of the soul. Hatred deprives the soul of this life and makes man a murderer, because hatred is the beginning of murder, and often ends in homicide. By love we know the true Christians. (John. xiii. 35.) St. John even considers love the certain sign of being chosen for eternal life, when he says: We know, we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. Alas! how few will be chosen from among the Christians of to-day, because there is so little love among them! Empty compliments, assurances of friendship, &c. love appears only in words, only on the tongue, and such idle, ephemeral, worthless love is found everywhere in this world; but that which is love in truth and reality, which shows charity to the suffering, how rare it is! and yet only to this love is promised eternal life, because it alone rests on the love of God.

GOSPEL. (Luke . 16 — 24.) At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of supper, to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out, and see it; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper.

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What is to be understood by this great supper?

The Church of Christ on earth, in which His doctrine and His most precious Flesh and Blood are given as food to those who belong to her; also the Church triumphant in heaven, in which God Himself, in the beatific vision, is the nourishment. This supper is called great, because God Himself has founded the Church ; because the Church embraces heaven and earth, hence many belong and will belong to her; and because having ended the contest on earth, she will last forever in heaven. There the saints of God will enjoy the Highest Good for all eternity, and will have nothing to wish for, since all their desires will there be realized. O, what happiness it is that we are invited to His supper, and as guests are nourished by the teachings of Christ, and by His most sacred Flesh and Blood.

Who is it that prepares the supper?

It is Christ, the God-Man; who for our benefit has not only instituted His Church to which He has entrusted His doctrine and the Sacrament of His Flesh and Blood, but has gained eternal salvation for us by His passion and death, and who has invited us first by the prophets, who foretold Him and His divine kingdom, and afterwards by His apostles, and their successors to His great supper.

Who are they who excuse themselves?

They are principally the Jews who bound by pride and avarice to earthly possessions, and blinded by the pleasures of the world, did not recognize Jesus, and remained outside of His church. By him who said he had bought a farm are understood those who by constant anxieties about the possession of earthly goods, and the riches of this world, become indifferent to eternal salvation. By him who had bought five yoke of oxen, is to be understood that sort of busy men, who are so burdened with worldly affairs that they find no time to work for heaven, for they even appropriate Sundays and festivals to their worldly affairs. By him who had taken a wife, and could not come, are represented the carnal, impure men who have rendered themselves by their lusts incapable of spiritual and heavenly joys. Since these different classes of people do not wish to have part in the heavenly banquet, God has excluded them and called others.

Who are meant by the poor, the feeble, the blind, and the lame?

The humble and submissive Jews, the publicans, also the Samaritans and the Gentiles, who did not reject Jesus
and His doctrine as did the proud, high-minded, carnal Scribes and Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke this parable. The former faithfully received Him, entered His Church, and became participators in eternal happiness. This is daily repeated, because God excludes from the kingdom of heaven those proud, avaricious, and carnal Christians who are ever invited by His servants, the priests, to the enjoyment of holy Communion, but who reject the invitation. On the contrary God welcomes the poor, despised people, the penitent sinners, by separating them from the love of the world by the inspiration of His grace, and by the adversities which He sends them measure, He forces them take part. Thus, in in the spiritual joys of a sincerely pious life in His Church on earth, and in the heavenly bliss of His Church in heaven.

SUPPLICATION. I thank Thee, O most merciful Jesus that Thou hast called me into Thy Church, permitting me so often to share in the banquet of Thy love, and that by Thy sufferings and death Thou hast obtained the joys of heaven for me. Urge me as seems pleasing to Thee, compel me by temporal trials that by the use of these graces I may obtain the place which Thou hast prepared for me in heaven.


I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (Luke xiv.- 29.)

FROM this foolish excuse it would seem as if married life were an obstacle to arriving at the heavenly banquet, whereas lawful, chaste, Christian marriage is, on the contrary, a means of eternal salvation for those to whom the gift of continency is not given. The excuse of this married man was not grounded on his station in life, but on his inordinate inclination for carnal pleasures which render the one who gives way to it, unfit for spiritual or heavenly things, for the sensual man perceiveth not the things that are of the Spirit of God. (i Cor. ii. 14.)

Unfortunate indeed are they who suffer themselves to be carried away by their sensual lusts, who give away the priceless jewel of chastity and purity of heart which makes man equal to the angels, (Matt. xxii. 30.) who for a momentary enjoyment of sinful pleasure lose that white and precious garment in which chaste souls will shine for ever in heaven before the face of God! What benefit does the impure man derive from the gratification of vile lust? He gains the anger and contempt of God; intolerable disgust when the sin is consummated; the torment of a remorseful conscience, and unless he repent, the eternal torments of hell, for the apostle says: Do not err: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate shall possess the kingdom of God. (i Cor. vi. 9, 10.)

It is seen from the examples of the Old Law, how much God hates and abominates the sins of impurity. Why did God regret having created man? (Gen. vi. 6.) Why did He destroy all except a very few, by a universal deluge? (Gen. vi. 17.) Why did He lay the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha in ashes by pouring upon them fire and brimstone? (Gen. xix.) Why did He punish the two brothers Her and Onan, by a sudden death? (Gen. xxxviii. 7. 10.) Why did He permit the whole tribe of Benjamin to be extirpated? (Judges xx.) Because of their detestable sins of impurity.

And is not this vice an object of the just wrath of God? By these sins an impure man disgraces his body which should be a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost; he disgraces his soul the image of God, purified and purchased by the precious blood of Christ, and lowers himself beneath the animal, which, void of intellect, follows its instinct; he weakens the power of his body and soul, and ruins his health; he loses the respectof the good, scandalizes his fellowmen, voluntarily separates himself from the communion of saints, deprives himself of the sanctifying grace of God and participation in the merits of Jesus and His saints, and, if he continues like an animal to wallow in this vice, he finally falls into such blindness and hard-heartedness that eternal truths, death, judgment, hell, and eternity no longer make any impression upon him; the most abominable crimes of impurity he considers as trifles, as human weaknesses, no sin at all. He is therefore but seldom, if ever converted, because the evil habit has become his second nature, which he can no longer overcome without an extraordinary grace from God. This God seldom gives, because the impure man generally despises ordinary means and graces, and therefore despairs and casts himself into the pool of eternal fire, where the worm
dies not, and where with Satan and his angels the impure shall be for ever tormented.

Do not suffer yourself to be deceived, Christian soul, by the words "love and friendship", which is sought to cover this vice and make it appear a weakness clinging to man. This impure love is a fire which has its origin in hell, and there it will eternally torment the bodies in which it has prevailed. That which God so much detests and so severely punishes, certainly cannot be a trifle, a human weakness! Impress deeply on your heart that all impure thoughts desires, and looks, to which you consent, all impure words, songs, exposures, touches, jokes, and such things, are great sins which exclude you from the kingdom of heaven, into which nothing defiled can enter. Remember that he who looks at a woman with a lustful desire, has already, as Christ says, committed adultery in his heart. [Matt. v. 28.) We must, then, carefully guard against "such trifles", as the wicked world calls them, if we do not wish to expose ourselves to the greatest danger of losing our souls. Although it is difficult for an impure person to be converted, yet he should not despair. God does not cast away even the greatest sinner; Jesus forgave the adulteress in the temple, and forgave and received Mary Magdalen. But he who wishes to repent must make use of the proper means to regain the grace of God, and prevent a relapse.

Those who have not defiled themselves by the sin of impurity can make use of the following means:
Quote:1. Constant prayer. Hence the admonition of the wise King; As I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought him. (Wisd. viii. 21.)

2. Mortification of the flesh by fasting and abstinence. Jesus says these impure spirits can in no other way be cast out but by prayer and fasting. (Matt. xvii. 20.)

3. The frequent meditation on the four last things, and on the bitter sufferings of our Lord; for there is, says St. Augustine, no means more powerful and effective against the heat of lust than reflection on the ignominious death of the Redeemer.

4. The quiet consideration of the temporal and eternal evils which follow from this vice, as already described.

5. The love and veneration of the Blessed Virgin who is the mother of beautiful love, the refuge of all sinners, of whom St. Bernard says: "No one has ever invoked her in his necessity without being heard."

6. The careful mortification of the eyes. The pious Job made a covenant with his eyes, that he would not so much as look upon a virgin. (Job xxxi. 1.)

7. The avoidance of evil occasions, especially intercourse with persons of the other sex. "Remember," says St. Jerome, "that a woman drove out the inhabitants of paradise, and that you are not holier than David, stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, who all fell by evil intercourse."

8. The avoidance of idleness: for idleness, says the proverb, is the beginning of all evil.

9. The immediate banishing of all bad thoughts by often pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary, which, as St. Alphonsus Ligouri says, have the special power of driving away impure thoughts.

10. The frequent use of the holy Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar. This last remedy in particular is a certain cure if we make known to our confessor our weaknesses, and use the remedies he prescribes. The Scripture says that frequent Communion is the seed from which virgins spring, and the table which God has prepared against all temptations that annoy us.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may serve Thee with pure bodies, and please Thee with clean hearts. 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
Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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Christum regem adoremus dominantem gentibus, qui se manducantibus dat spiritus pingudeninem. 
Let us adore Christ, the King, who ruleth the nations; who giveth fatness of spirit to them that eat him.

The Desired of all nations, the Angel of the testament whom Israel longs for, has come down from heaven. Wisdom is come among us. Who, asks the Prophet, shall go up into heaven to take Wisdom and bring him down from the clouds? Who shall pass over the sea, and bring him from distant lands, him, the treasure more precious than the purest gold? Israel has forsaken the fountain of Wisdom. He has not even been heard of in the land of Chanaan; he has not been seen in Idumea. The children of Agar, the princes of the nations, the philosophers of earthly wisdom, the ingenious inventors, the searchers after science, the hoarders of riches, and makers of strength and beauty, which do but cheat the beholder,—all these have not known the ways of Wisdom, they have not understood his paths. But, lo! the Son promised to David has sate upon his throne of glory; he is the source of Wisdom; the four rivers of paradise have derived all their waters from Him. His thoughts are more vast than the sea and his counsels more deep than the great ocean. He is come to fulfill the mysterious design of the divine and sovereign will,—that is, to reestablish, by uniting all things in himself, all that are in heaven and on earth. He is truly Mediator, for he is, himself, both God and Man; and being also High Priest, he is the bond of that holy religion which fastens on all things to the Creator, in the unity of one same homage. His Sacrifice is the masterpiece of the divine Wisdom: it is by that Sacrifice that, embracing all created beings in the immensity of the love whose impatient ardor has been the subject of our past considerations, he makes the whole world become one sublime holocaust to his Father’s glory. Let us, then, proceed to consider him in this immolation of his victim; let us reverently watch him setting forth his table. The Eucharist has been instituted for the very purpose of ceaselessly applying, here on earth, the reality of Christ’s Sacrifice. Today, therefore, we will turn our thoughts upon this Sacrifice, as it is in its own self; this will enable us the better to understand how it is continued in the Church.

God has a right to his creature’s homage. If earthly kings and lords may claim from their vassals this recognition of their sovereignty,—the sovereign dominion of the great and first Being, the first cause and last end of all things, demands it, on an infinitely just title, from beings called forth from nothing by his almighty goodness. And just as by the rent or service which accompanies it, the homage of vassals implies, together with the avowal of their submission, the real, the effective declaration that it is from their liege-lord that they hold their property and rights; so the act, whereby the creature, as such, subjects himself to his Creator, should adequately manifest, by and of itself, that he acknowledges him as the Lord of all things and the author of life. Moreover, if, by the infringement of his commands, he has deserved death, and only lives because of the infinite mercy of this his sovereign Lord,—then his act of homage or fealty will not be complete unless it also express an avowal of his guilt and the justice of the punishment. Such is the true notion of Sacrifice, so called because it sets apart from the rest of similar beings, and makes sacred the offering whereby it is expressed: for spirits purely immaterial, the offering or oblation will be interior and exclusively spiritual; but as regards man, this oblation must be spiritual, and at the same time, material, for, being composed of a soul and a body, he owes homage to his God for both.

Sacrifice may not be offered but to the one true God, for it is the effective acknowledgment of the Creator’s sovereign dominion, and of that glory which belongs to him, and which he will not make over to another. It is essential to religion, be the state that of innocence or of fall; for religion, the queen of moral virtues, whose object is the worship due to God, necessarily demands Sacrifice, as its own adequate exercise and expression. Eden would have witnessed this Sacrifice offered by unfallen man; it would have been one of adoration and thanksgiving; its material portion would have been that garden’s richest fruits, those symbols of the divine fruit promised by the tree of life; sin would not have put its own sad stamp on such Sacrifice, and blood would not have been required. But man fell; and then, Sacrifice became the only means of propitiation, and the necessary center of religion in this land of exile. Until Luther’s time, all the nations of the earth held and lived up to this truth; and when the so-called Reformers excluded Sacrifice from religion, they took away its very basis. Nor is the duty of Sacrifice limited to man’s earthly existence; no, the creature when in heaven, and in the state of glory, must still offer Sacrifice to his Creator; for he has as much, and even more, obligation when he is in the brightness of the Vision, as when he lived amid the shadows of Faith, to offer to the God who has crowned him, the homage of those gifts received.

It is by Sacrifice that God attains the end he had in view by creation, that is, his own glory. But in order that there should go up from this universe an homage in keeping with the magnificence of its Maker, there was needed some one leader or head who should represent all creation in his one person; and then, using it as his own property, should offer it in all its integrity, together with himself, to the Lord God. There was something better than this; and it is just what God has done: by giving his own Son, clad in our nature, to be the Head of creation, he obtains an infinite return of glory; for the homage of this inferior nature assumes the dignity of the Person offering it; and the honor thus paid becomes truly worthy of the supreme Majesty. And as a banker knows how to draw golden interest from even the least sum entrusted to his keeping, so our God has, from a world made out of nothing, produced a fruit of infinite worth.

Yes, truly marvellous finish to his work of creation! The immense glory rendered to the Father by the Word Incarnate has brought God and the creature nearer to each other; it tells upon the world, by filling up its hateful depths of misery with grace, grace abundant and rich; and thereby the distance between God and us does not exclude the union for which he first made us. The Sacrifice of the Son of Man becomes the basis and cause of the supernatural order both in heaven and on earth. Christ was the first and chief object of the decree of creation; and therefore, it was for him and upon him as type, and in harmony with the qualities of the nature, that he was at a given future time to assume to himself,—that, at the Father’s bidding, there came forth out of nothing the various grades of being, spiritual and material, all of which were intended to form the palace and court of the future God-Man. It was the same also in the order of grace,—this God-Man, who is to be the most Beautiful among the children of men, is, in all truth, the Well-Beloved. The Spirit of love, as a precious and fragrant ointment, will flow from this one Well Beloved, from this dear Head, upon all his Members, yea, and even to the lowest skirt of his garment, generously communicating true life, supernatural being, to those whom Christ shall have graciously called to a participation of his own divine substance, in the banquet of love. For the Head will lead on his Members; these will unite to his, their own homage, which, being in itself too poor to be offered to God’s infinite Majesty, will,—by their incorporation with the Incarnate Word, in the act of his Sacrifice,—put on the dignity of Christ himself.

It is on this account, as we have already noticed and cannot too strongly urge, that one should inveigh against the narrow-minded individualism which is now so much the fashion, of attaching more importance to the practices of private devotion than to the solemnity of those great acts of the Liturgy, which form the very essence of religion. Thus, as we were just saying, it is by the sacrifice of the God-Man that the entire creation is consummated in unity, and that true social life is founded upon God. God is one in his essence; the ineffable harmony of the Three Divine Persons does but bring out more clearly, by its sublime fecundity, this infinite Unity. The creature, on the contrary, is multiplicity; and the division, resulting from Adam’s fall, has strongly emphasised this mark of finite and borrowed being. And yet, having come forth from God’s hands, it must return thither, it must, that is, procure his glory; and this it cannot do, save on the condition of there being removed that unhappy division which separates it from both God and its fellow creatures; its very multiplicity must reproduce, as it tends towards its Maker, an image of the fruitful harmony of the Three Divine Persons, That they, also, may be one in us, as we also are one: there is the grand revelation of God’s intentions, when he produced creatures; and the revelation is made to us by the Angel of the great Counsel, who is come upon this earth, that he might carry out the divine plan. Now, what is it that brings all the several elements of the social body into oneness, by bringing them back to their Creator? It is religion. And what is the fundamental act of religion? Sacrifice. Sacrifice is both the means and scope of this magnificent unification in Christ; its perfect realization will mark the consummation of the eternal kingdom of the Father, who will have become, through his Christ, all in all.

But this royalty of endless ages, which is to be procured for the Father by Christ’s reign here below, has enemies, and they must be subdued. The principalities and powers and virtues of Satan’s kingdom are leagued against it. They were jealous of Man, the image of God’s own likeness; and that envy made them turn their attacks upon man; they led him to disobedience, and disobedience brought death into the world. By man, now become its slave, sin took occasion, by every one of God’s commandments, to insult that God. Far from studying how to offer to its Maker the homage due to him, the human race seemed bent on intensifying the poverty of its original nothingness, by adding to it the baseness of every sort of defilement. So that, before being capable of acceptableness with the Father, the future members of Christ have need of a Sacrifice of propitiation and acquittance. Their Christ will himself have to live the expiatory life, which comports a sinner; he will have to suffer their sufferings, and die the death. Yes, death was the penalty threatened, from the very commencement, as sanction of God’s commandment; it was the severest penalty the transgressor could possibly pay, and yet was not adequate to the offense offered, by the transgression to the infinite Majesty of God, unless a Divine Person, taking upon himself the terrible responsibility of this infinite debt, were to undergo himself the punishment due upon man, and by so doing, restore man to innocence.

Oh! then let our High Priest come forth; let the divine Head of our human race and world show himself! Because he hath loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore hath God anointed him with the oil of gladness, above his fellows, his brethren. He was Christ by the priesthood destined to be his from the very bosom of his Father, and confirmed by a solemn oath; he is Jesus, too, for the sacrifice he is about to offer will save his people from their sin. Jesus Christ, then, is to be forever the name of the eternal Priest. What power and what love are there not in his Sacrifice! Priest and Victim at one and the same time, he swallows death in order to destroy it, and by that very act crushes sin by his own innocent flesh suffering its penalty; he satisfies, even to the last farthing, yea, and far beyond it, the justice of his Father; he takes the decree that was against us, nails it to the Cross and blots out the handwriting; and then, despoiling the principalities and powers of their tyrant sway, he triumphs over them in himself. Our old man was crucified together with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed; renovated by the Blood of his Redeemer, he can rise together with him from the tomb and begin a new life. Ye are dead, says the Apostle, and your life is hidden with Christ in God; when Christ shall appear, who is your Life, then ye also shall appear with him in glory. For it is as our Head that Christ suffered; his Sacrifice includes the whole body, of which he is the Head, and he transforms it by uniting it to himself for an eternal holocaust, the sweet fragrance of which is to fill heaven itself.

“The word comes forward,” says St. Ambrose, “in the robes of the High Priest, which Moses described; he is clad with the world in its magnificence, that he may fill all with the fullness of God. He is the Head which rules the body, and he unites it closely to himself.” Speaking of himself, he said: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things unto myself. David had sung all this, in the Psalm, wherein he said: All flesh shall come unto thee. How so? “Because,” answers St. Augustine, “he took flesh; and that flesh which he took shall draw all flesh. He took its first-fruits when he took flesh from the Virgin’s womb; the rest will follow, and the holocaust will be complete;” the holocaust, of which this same Psalm says, that the vow shall be paid in Jerusalem. For what is this vow, made by Christ, our Head, but the vow which he himself describes so fully in the next Psalm? I will go into thy house with burnt offerings; I will pay thee my vows which my lips have uttered. And my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble: I will offer up to thee holocausts full of marrow, with the incense of rams; I will offer to thee bullocks, with goats.

What is this day, whereon our High Priest was in trouble? It is that of which the Apostle speaks when he tells us that, with a strong cry and tears, he offered up prayers and supplications to Him (his Father) who was able to save him from death. But why does this Jesus mention rams and bullocks and goats,—those offerings become useless and rejected of God? Did he not himself say, when he came into our world, Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not; but a Body thou hast fitted unto me? Yea, truly: and it is this Body of Christ, says St. Augustine, which is here shown to us in this Psalm; he presents his Body as the offering he vows to his Father; the rams are the leaders of the Church. Hear my prayer, continues the Psalmist, prophesying of our High Priest,—O hear my prayer: all Flesh shall come unto thee. Princes and people of all nations, children, young men and old, Jews and Gentiles, Greeks, Romans, Barbarians,—all are on the Wood, and are the victim vowed to the Father. It is with all these, and in their name, and for their sakes, in the entirety and unity of his Body that Christ said to his Father: I will go into thy house with burnt offerings; send thy Fire, the fire of thy Spirit, the divine flame of me, Eternal Wisdom; let it burn and wholly burn this Body which I have taken to myself; let it be a holocaust, that is, let it be all thine, O Father!

Come, then, O ye children of God! bring unto the Lord the offspring of rams. The voice of the Lord has been heard in its power; he bids the flame of Fire come down upon the mount; the Holocaust is already burning, and from Calvary the fire will spread throughout the world. The divine Fire pursues its work, each succeeding generation; it absorbs into itself each of the members of the great Victim, that is, each one of the Faithful; it devours sin; it burns out the dross of vice; it purifies, even in the dust of the grave, the flesh that has once been sanctified by the touch of Christ, in the sacred Mystery. It is a true fire of Heaven; it is the uncreated flame; it destroys nought but evil; it sends, indeed, suffering and death among men, but it is only that it may deliver them from the wreck and ruin of the Fall, and, by expiation, remake the whole human race. The day will come when this Fire of the great Sacrifice, having drawn into itself the last member of Christ’s mystical body, the very flesh itself of the elect will reappear all spiritual and glorified; and this wonderful transformation of the victim will make it a sacrifice truly worthy of the Lord God, and an assertion, far stronger than was its destruction by death, of the sovereign power and dominion of Him who is the Author of Life. Then will the complete body of the Word Incarnate ascend, like purest incense, from the holy mount whereon the Church had fixed her tent here below, and make its way even to the Altar of heaven; it will be the eternal aliment of the divine flame, the immense holocaust, in which “the city of the redeemed, the people of the saints, will be offered to God, as the universal sacrifice, by the great High Priest, who offered himself for us, in his Passion, in the form of a servant and slave, that we might be the body of so great a Head.”

In this “universal Sacrifice,” as we have just heard St. Augustine calling it, in this Sacrifice of adoration and thanksgiving, wherein expiation will no longer have part, the very spirits of the angelic hosts will be included; for they too are the Sacrifice of the Lord, making up, together with ourselves, the one only City of God, of which the Psalm sings. St. Cyril of Alexandria thus speaks on the Angels forming part of the “universal Sacrifice”: ”We have all received of the fulness of Christ, as St. John tells us; for every creature, not only visible but invisible, also receives of Christ; for the Angels and Archangels, and the spirits that are above these, and, finally, the very Cherubim are sanctified in the Holy Ghost, not otherwise than by Christ alone. So that He (Christ) is the Altar, He is the Incense, He is the High Priest, just as He is the blood of the cleansing away of sins.”

Having, therefore, as our great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God, who, by one oblation, hath perfected forever the holy City,—let us hold fast the teaching of this glorious faith. As the high priest of old went on the day of Atonement, himself alone into the Holy of Holies, holding in his hands the blood of propitiation,—so our High Priest, Jesus, having purchased eternal redemption for us, has withdrawn himself for a time from our sight. Minister of the true sanctuary and tabernacle, set up by God himself, we have seen this Jesus of ours entering, by his triumphant Ascension, beyond the veil; and that veil is still down, hiding God’s sovereign Majesty from our view. There, in the sanctuary of heaven, is he celebrating, and with unbroken unity, the rite of his Sacrifice, presenting thereby to his Father, in the human nature which he has assumed, and which is now marked with the bright stigmata of his Passion, the august Victim, whose immolation here on earth called for the consummation in heaven. Meanwhile, as heretofore, the people of Israel awaited the high priest’s return out of the Holy of Holies, so too we Christians, here below, keep close to our Priest, and are ever at prayer round the Altar which is in the outer court. “It is the day of Atonement,” says Origen, “and it lasts till the setting sun, that is, till the world comes to an end. We stand nigh the door, awaiting our High Priest who is within the Holy of Holies, praying, not for the sins of all, but for the sins of them that are awaiting him … There were two portions of the holy place, as we are told by Scripture: one was visible and accessible to all the priests; but the other was invisible, and no one might enter into it, save only the High Priest, and while he was there, the rest stood outside; I believe that, by this first portion, is to be understood the Church wherein we now are, while in the flesh; in this portion, priests are ministering at the altar of holocausts, which is fed by that fire of which our Jesus speaks, saying: I came to cast fire on the earth, and I will it to be enkindled … It is there, in that first portion, that the High Priest offers the victim; and it is thence, also, that he goes forth in order to enter into the inner veil, the second portion, which is heaven itself, and the throne of God. But take notice of the wonderful order of the mysteries: the fire which he takes with him into the Holy of Holies, he takes from the altar of that first portion; and the incense, he takes it from that same portion, yea, and the vestments wherewith he is robed, he received them in that same place.”

Nor is that all: even after his departure, the fire of the Sacrifice is not extinguished in the outer court; and the victim of Atonement, whose Blood gives him admission into the most holy sanctuary, continues to burn and be offered on our outer Altar.


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This Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi is the second after Pentecost. The Introit is taken from the 17th Psalm, which sings the praises of the God who protects his people, and delivers them from their enemies. Let us lovingly extol this God who is our support and our refuge.

Factus est Dominus protector meus, et eduxit me in latitudinem: salvum me fecit, quoniam voluit me.
The Lord hath become my protector, and set me at large: he hath saved me, because he loved me.

Ps. Diligam te, Domine, virtus mea: Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus. Gloria Patri. Factus est.
Ps. I will love thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my support, my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory, &c. the Lord, &c.

In the Collect, the Church prays for us, that we may have love and fear of God’s holy name. Yes, the fear here spoken of, the fear which children have for their father, does not exclude love; on the contrary, it strengthens love, by guarding it against the negligence and oversights into which certain souls are led by a false familiarity.

Sancti nominis tui, Domine, timorem pariter et amorem fac nos habere perpetuum: quia numquam tua gubernatione destitutuis quos in soliditate tuæ dilectionis instituis. Per Dominum.
Grant us, O Lord, both a constant love and fear of thy holy Name: since thou never withdrawest thy protection from those whom thou solidly groundest in thy love. Through, etc.

Commemoration of Corpus Christi
Deus qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili passionis tuæ memoriam reliquisti: tribue, quæsumus; ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuæ fructum in nobis jugiter sentiamus. Qui vivis.
O God, who, under the wonderful Sacrament, hast left us a memorial of thy Passion: grant us, we beseech thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that, in our souls, we may always feel the fruit of thy Redemption. Who livest, etc.

Lesson of the Epistle of Saint John the Apostle. I Ch. III.
Dearly beloved, wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth.

Quote:These impressive words of the Beloved Disciple could not have a more appropriate occasion for their being addressed to the faithful than this joyous Octave. God’s love for us is both the model and motive of that which we owe to our fellow men; the divine charity is the type of ours. I have given you an example, says our Lord, that, as I have done unto you, so ye may also do. If, then, he has gone so far as to lay down his life for us, we also should be ready, if occasion so required, to lay down ours, in order to procure our neighbor’s salvation; and still more ready to help him, to the best of our power, when he is in need; we should love, not in word, or in tongue, but in deed, and in truth.

Now, the divine memorial, which is shining on us in all its splendor, what else is it than an eloquent demonstration of infinite love? A living remembrance, and abiding representation of that Death of our Lord, upon which the Apostle bases his argument.

Hence it was that our Divine Master deferred his promulgation of the law of fraternal love, which he came upon our earth to establish, till he instituted the holy Sacrament, which was to give the strongest support to the observance of that law. No sooner has he effected the august mystery, no sooner has he given himself to mankind under the sacred species, than he exclaims: A new commandment I give unto you;—and this is my commandment;—that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Truly, the commandment was a new one, considering that the world to which it was given, had egotism as its leading law. This new commandment was to be the distinctive mark of all Christ’s Disciples, and as one of the shrewd observers of these early pagan times says, consign them to the hatred of the human race, which was in open violation of this law of love. It was in answer to the hostile reception given by the then world to the new progeny, that is, to the Christians, that St. John thus speaks in the Epistle of this Sunday: Wonder not, dearly beloved, if the world hate you. We yes, we know that we ham passed from death to life, because we love our brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death.

The union of the members with each other, through their divine Head, is the condition on which the existence of the Christian religion is based. The Eucharist is the vigorous nourishment of this union; it is the strong bond of Christ’s mystical body, which, thereby, maketh increase in charity. Charity, therefore, and peace, and concord, are, together with the love of God himself, the best proof that our reception of holy Communion is not turning to our condemnation, and the most needful of all preparations for our participation in the sacred Mysteries. It is the meaning of that injunction of our Lord: If thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thine offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother; and then coming, thou shalt offer thy gift.

The Gradual, which is taken from the Psalms, gives thanks to God for the protection he has accorded us in the past; and prays for its continuation, seeing that our enemies are as unrelenting as ever.

Ad Dominum cum tribularer clamavi, et exaudivit me.
In my troubles, I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.

℣. Domine, libera animam meam a labiis iniquis et a lingua dolosa.
℣. O Lord deliver my soul from wicked lips and a deceitful tongue.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Domine Deus meus, in te speravi: salvum me fac ex omnibus persequentibus me, et libera me. Alleluia.
℣. O Lord my God, in thee have I put my trust: save me from those that persecute me, and rescue me.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke. Ch. XIV.
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the Pharisees: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of those men that were invited, shall taste of my supper.

Quote:The Gospel just read was appointed for this Sunday long before the institution of the Corpus Christi feast, as we learn from the Capitulary of Gospels, published by Blessed Thomasi, upon manuscripts much earlier than the 13th Century, as well as Honorius of Autun, and Rupert. The Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in her arrangement of the Liturgy, was thus anticipating and completing the instructions suited for the future grand Solemnity.

The parable here spoken by Jesus at the table of one of the leading Pharisees was again used by him when he spoke so strongly in the Temple, a few days previous to his Passion and Death. And what is this Supper to which many are invited,—what is this Marriage Feast,—but that which eternal Wisdom has been getting ready, from the very beginning of the world? Nothing could exceed the magnificence of these preparations; there was a splendid banquet hall built on the top of a mountain, and supported by seven pillars of mysterious beauty; there were the choicest meats,—purest bread, and wine the most delicious,—served up to the King’s table. It was with his own hands that the Wisdom of the Father pressed the rich cluster of Cyprus grape into the cup; it was He ground down the wheat that had sprung up, without having been sown, from a soil holy beyond description; it was He that immolated the Victim. Israel, the Father’s chosen people was the fortunate guest invited by the loving kindness of the Master, that is, Wisdom, that is, the Son of the Father; he had sent messengers without end to the children of Jacob. As we read in the Gospel: The Wisdom of God said: “I will send unto them prophets and apostles.” But this favored people, this loved one, as the Book of Deuteronomy says, grew fat, and kicked, that is, it abused the gifts bestowed on it; it seemed to study how to provoke the anger of God its Savior, by despising his invitations and going their ways. This daughter of Sion, in her adulterous pride, preferred the bill of divorce to the Marriage-feast; Jerusalem rejected the heavenly messengers, and killed the prophets, and crucified the Spouse himself.

But even so, eternal Wisdom still offers the first place at the Supper to the ungrateful children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; he does so because of those saintly fathers of theirs. Yes, it is to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that are first sent the Apostles. What delicate attention may we justly exclaim, with St. John Chrysostom: “Before his Crucifixion, Christ calls the Jews; he does the same after it, he goes on inviting them. Instead of crushing them with a terrible chastisement, as it seemed most just he should do, he invites them to a Marriage; he loads them with honors. But they that have slain his prophets and murdered even Him,—these same, invited so pressingly by such a Spouse, urged so lovingly to go to the Wedding, and that by the very victim of their own making,—these same, I say, pay no regard to the invitation, and give as an excuse their yoke of oxen, and their wives, and their estates!” Soon, these Priests, these Scribes, these hypocrite Pharisees, will persecute and slay the Apostles also; and the Servant of our parable will find none in Jerusalem whom he can induce to come to the Master’s Supper, except the poor, and little, and sickly ones, of the roads and by-lanes with whom there is no ambition or avarice or pleasure, to keep them from the divine banquet.

Then will be realised the vocation of the Gentiles,—that great mystery of a new people being substituted for the former one, in the covenant with Jehovah. “The Marriage of my Son is indeed ready,” will God the Father say to his servants; but they that were invited, were not worthy. Go ye, therefore: abandon the wicked city that hath not known her time, and my visit! go ye into the highways, and hedges, and countries of the Gentiles; and as many as ye shall find, call ye to the Marriage!

O ye Gentiles! praise the Lord for his mercy! You have been invited, without any merits of your own, to a feast that was prepared for another people; take heed, lest you incur the reproach given to the intended guests, who were excluded from the promises made to their fathers. O thou lame one, and blind, that hast been called from the by-path of thy sin and misery, hasten to the holy table! But then take care, out of respect to Him who calls thee, to put off the rags of thy former life; and quickly put on the wedding garment! The invitation given thee has made a queen of thy soul; “give her, then, the purple robe and diadem, and set her on a throne! Think of the Marriage thou art invited to attend,—the Marriage of God! Oh! the soul that goes to it, should be clad and decked with a garment richer than all the garments of earth!”

Like the Gradual, the Offertory is an earnest prayer for God’s help; it is his mercy that encourages the soul to make this prayer.

Domine, convertere, et eripe animam meam: salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam.
Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me, for thy mercy’s sake.

In the Secret, the Church prays for the twofold effect of the holy Sacrament, in the transformation of man’s soul: purification from the remnants left by sin, and progress in the works which lead to life everlasting.

Oblatio nos, Domine, to Nomini dicanda purificet: et de die in diem ad cœlestis vitæ transferat actionem. Per Dominum.
May this Sacrifice, offered to thy Name, purify us, O Lord: and make us, ever day, advance towards a heavenly life. Through, etc.

Commemoration of Corpus Christi
Ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus, Domine, unitatis et pacis propitius dona concede: quæ sub oblatis muneribus mystice designantur. Per Dominum.
Mercifully grant thy Church, O Lord, we beseech thee, the gifts of unity and peace, which are mystically represented in these offerings. Through, etc.

During the Communion, holy Church enriched as she is with heavenly favors, pours forth her gratitude towards Him who, though the Most High God, is also her Spouse, and leads her with exquisite gifts.

Cantabo Domino, qui bona tribuit mihi, et psallam nomini Domini altissimi.
I will sing unto the Lord, who hath bestowed good things on me, and I will sing a psalm to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Let us pray with the Church, in the Postcommunion, that our frequent participation in these sacred Mysteries may not be fruitless in our souls, but may effect, with increased assurance, the whole work of our salvation.

Sumptis muneribus sacris quæsumus, Domine, ut cum frequentatione mysterii, crescat nostræ salutis effectus. Per Christum.
Having received, O Lord, this sacred oblation, grant, that by frequenting these mysteries, the work of our salvation may increase. Through, etc.

Commemoration of Corpus Christi
Fac nos, quæsumus, Domine, divinitatis tuæ sempiterna fruitione repleri: quam pretiosi Corporis et Sanguinis tui temporalis perceptio præfigurat. Qui vivis.
Grant us, O Lord, we beseech thee, the everlasting possession of thyself: as a pledge of which, we have received thy Body and Blood. Who livest, etc.
"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
Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi

"And they began all at once to make excuses."--Luke 14.

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The Church reads today the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi a Gospel, which points not only to the table which Jesus, by the institution of the most holy Sacrament, has set for the children of His Church, but also to His great desire that they may all draw from this inexhaustible fountain of all graces the merits of the Redemption, to sanctify their lives and to secure for all eternity the salvation of their souls.

Indeed, we need not hesitate to say that the entire life of the children of the Church, if it is to be a truly Catholic life, depends on their benefiting by the presence of Christ in the most holy Sacrament, as was acknowledged so clearly and distinctly by the apostolic Christians.

The holy Eucharist is a source of grace to us in three ways. It is, namely, first a sacrifice; secondly, a banquet; and, thirdly, the Sacrament of Christ's presence among us here upon earth. Unfortunately, so many children of the Church are inconceivably indifferent to the presence of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament, and do not benefit by it as they should, they excuse themselves.

Let us consider, in order, the emptiness and frivolity of these excuses. I shall speak today, especially, of the high regard we should entertain for Holy Mass, and of the fervor that should animate us to derive from the holy sacrifice great fruit for our salvation.

Mary, thou who didst most highly esteem the presence of Christ, and most wisely benefit by it, increase in our hearts love and devotion to Jesus, especially in that character in which, as the sacrifice of the New Testament, He is offered to God upon our altars! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

The first relation of Christ to us in the Most Holy Eucharist, is that of a sacrifice. Through the transubstantiation effected at Mass, Christ sacrifices Himself always anew upon the altars of the Church to His heavenly Father, and thus becomes the sacrifice of the New Testament, which, according to the words of the Prophet Malachias, would be offered to God over the entire earth "from the rising to the setting of the sun," and until the end of time.

Let us consider, especially, two points; namely, esteem for this holy sacrifice, and participation in its fruits. Both of these points deserve the greatest attention, as they relate to the essential part ot external worship, namely, sacrifice, and to the countless graces which flow from this sacrifice to those who share in its fruits.

I say, first: The Most Holy Eucharist relates to the essential part of the external worship of God. The reason lies in the fundamental character of a sacrifice. The offering of sacrifice has been recognized since the creation of mankind by all nations of the earth, as an expression of devotion, and the highest and most proper way of worshiping God. Abel and Cain already offered sacrifices, and these were; surely preceded by Adam. The Patriarchs brought sacrifices, and so did Melchisedech and Job.

But we see also among all nations countless temples and altars, and the sacrifice which was offered there was at all times regarded as the highest act of the worship of God. And when God chose from among the human races a nation to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, He gave Moses manifold and minute commands in regard to the offering of sacrifices. He glorified, by a visible sign of His presence, the temple which Solomon had built, in order to give a special sanction to the sacrifices offered there by priests, forming a cast by themselves and separated from the people.

All these sacrifices, however, were only figures of that sacrifice which, according to the command of Christ, is offered upon our altars, and which, in overflowing fullness of graces, exceeds all its prototypes. To recognize this truth we need only think:

First: Who it is that offers, and what is offered, and in what way and manner. He who makes the offering in the person of the priest is Christ Himself, the incarnate Son of God. As St. Ambrose rightly remarks, the words of the transubstantiation remind us of this. The priest does not say: "This is the body this is the chalice of His blood;" but he says: "This is my body this is the chalice of my blood," as if Christ Himself were speaking. Yes, indeed, it is Christ Himself, Who, through the words of transubstantiation uttered by the priest, offers the sacrifice to His heavenly Father.

Catherine of Bologna saw one day at Mass which was read by her confessor, St. Raymond at the moment when the priest took the host in his hand, two persons standing before the altar on the same spot St. Raymond and Christ in him. She saw at the elevation of the host, in the hands of the priest, the hands of Christ with the marks of His wounds! That which St. Catherine saw with, her bodily eyes, we see at every Mass with the eyes of faith.

And what is offered? Christ Himself lies upon the altar a victim, veiled in the sacramental species. This transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is, according to St. Augustine, an infinitely greater miracle than the creation of the world, which God called into existence by the words: "Let there be light!" Then Omnipotence called finite beings into existence now the Creator Himself appears at the word of a creature of the priest. And how perfectly this sacrifice which Christ makes of Himself includes all the acts of worship which distinguish sacrifices, as, for instance, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, petition and atonement!

The reason is, that Christ is both priest and victim, and that by the personal union in Him of the word with the human nature, all His actions have an infinite value. No pure creature nor any number of creatures could make; an offering of equal value. The praise of the angels continued from the moment of their creation through the ages of all eternity, the praise of all the saints, their adoration, their thanksgiving, their prayers and intercessions all vanish in comparison with the adoration, praise, thanks, prayers and atonement which, in one holy Mass, Christ offers to His heavenly Father.

It is the sacrifice of the Mass that, like a sun, pierces and illumines the whole service of God, that gives our homage its highest meaning and makes it worthy of the Most High; it is to this sacrifice that all the grades of holy Orders have reference, by which the servants of the sanctuary are raised step by step to the dignity of the priesthood.

The Church explains all that we have to consider in this matter when she says, that Mass is the same sacrifice which Christ offered for us upon the cross, with only this difference, that it is not a bloody sacrifice. What a sight, what an impulse to praise and exultation must it not be for the angels when they look down upon the most holy Sacrament, which at every moment, in some part of the earth, is raised to heaven by the oblation of priests, to give thanks and praise to God, and to reconcile us to Him through our Lord Jesus Christ!

But if this is the case, oh how eager every child of the Church should be to assist daily, if possible, at holy Mass, and to unite his praise, adoration, prayer and atonement with the praise, adoration, prayer and atonement of Christ! How fortunate we should deem ourselves that we are permitted to assist at the offering of this sacrifice, and as the Church desires and demands of the faithful during Mass to unite our acts and prayers spiritually with those of the priest! It is for this reason that St. Peter calls the Christians a sacerdotal people, although priests alone are permitted to say Mass.

How sad to think that so many children of the Church do not value this sacrifice, yes, do not even seem to understand it, and, therefore, do not endeavor to assist as often as possible, even daily, at Holy Mass, but must be forced by the commandment of the Church to hear Mass at least on Sundays and holydays! And even on these days, not a few stay away through shere carelessness or indolence, and others, make the slightest inconvenience a pretext for absenting themselves.

But of those who assist at Mass, many by their willful distractions, their idle curiosity, their disrespectful behavior, offend God, even though they fulfill the command of the Church. We can maintain, on the contrary, with certainty, that those whoever they may be that endeavor to assist every day devoutly at the Mass, will lead, in other respects, too, the life of true children of God, and walk the path of salvation without hesitation.

Hence, how becoming, how profitable would it be if out of every family in the congregation, at least one member assisted each day at Mass! Streams of heavenly grace would then pour from the altar upon the whole congregation, conveying blessings for time and eternity, through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen!

If in mortal sin, the Church calls on you to repent, and by a sincere and contrite confession be reconciled to God, and then approach the blessed Eucharist, otherwise you commit a sacrilege. The only condition which our Lord requires for admission to His holy table, is to be in a state of grace, and to have a desire to receive Him.

Prayer which may be said some days before Communion

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O Lord Jesus Christ! whom I aspire to receive in a few days within the temple of my soul, I come to implore that Thou wilt Thyself prepare Thy destined abode, cleansing it from every stain, and enriching it with ornaments worthy of Thy presence. Grant me an increase of faith, hope, and charity; grant me true contrition, and profound humility; grant me to sigh with holy Simeon for Thy coming, and, like him, to centre in Thee alone the ardent affections and fervent desires of my heart. O Lord! whose throne is surrounded by cherubim and seraphim! whose presence is felt by all creation, whose spotless sanctity the angels themselves contemplate with awe, I acknowledge my extreme unworthiness to receive Thee; but animated with lively confidence in Thy paternal goodness, I conjure Thee to prepare me Thyself, and to supply from the treasury of Thy abundant mercies for all my deficiencies. O Thou who hast come on earth to save me, and who by Thy sufferings hast opened heaven to receive me, grant me grace to profit by all Thou hast done and endured for my salvation! Amen

Aspirations which whould be used the Days Preceeding Communion

As the wearied hart pines for the refreshing water, so does my soul thirst for Thee, O Lord!

My soul sighs for the possession of God; when shall I come and appear before Him? Lord, I come to Thee; but how shall I prepare the way for Thee? I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed.

How can I receive Thee into a heart so full of iniquities, and yet how can I abstain from the living Bread come down from heaven to give life to the world?

Have pity, I beseech Thee on me, a sinner; and deign to prepare Thyself a dwelling in my heart; grant that from Thy adorable body may proceed a virtue to give strength and life to my soul.

Prepare me for Thyself, O Jesus! and render me worthy of Thy visit; look on me, O Lord! and inflame me with Thy love; that I may run after the odor of Thy perfumes.

Grant me humility of spirit, and pure charity, to render me worthy of participating in the blessed food of heaven.

I wish to attract Thee by my love, and to enjoy Thy presence in the centre of my soul. O my God! my life! my all! I beseech Thee to come into my heart, and to unite me to Thyself forever.
"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
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi






"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
[Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi]

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A certain man made a great supper.” LUKE xiv. 16.

In the gospel of this day we read that a rich man prepared a great supper. He then ordered one of his servants to invite to it all those whom he should find in the highways, even though they were poor, blind, and lame, and to compel those who should refuse, to come to the supper. “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (v. 20). And he added, that of all those who had been invited and had not come, not one should ever partake of his supper. “But I say unto you, that none of those men that were invited shall taste of my supper” (v. 24). This supper is the Holy Communion; it is a great supper, at which all the faithful are invited to eat the sacred flesh of Jesus Christ in the most holy sacrament of the altar. “Take ye and eat: this is my body.” (Matt. xxiv. 26.) Let us then consider today, in the first point, the great love which Jesus Christ has shown us in giving us himself in this sacrament; and, in the second point, how we ought to receive him in order to draw great fruit from the holy communion.

First Point. On the great love which Jesus Christ has shown us in giving us himself in this sacrament.

1. ”Jesus, knowing that his hour was come that he should pass out of this world to the Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. ”(John xiii. 1.) Knowing that the hour of his death had arrived, Jesus Christ wished, before his departure from this world, to leave us the greatest proof which he could give of his love, by leaving us himself in the holy Eucharist. ”He loved them to the end.” That is, according to St. Chrysostom, ”with an extreme love.” St. Bernardino of Sienna says that the tokens of love which are given at death make a more lasting impression on the mind, and are more highly esteemed. ”Quæ in fine in signum amicitiæ celebrantur, firmius memoriæ imprimuntur et cariora tenentur.” But, whilst others leave a ring, or a piece of money, as a mark of their affection, Jesus has left us himself entirely in this sacrament of love.

2. And when did Jesus Christ institute this sacrament? He instituted it, as the Apostle has remarked, on the night before his passion. “The Lord Jesus, the same night on which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: “Take ye and eat: this is my body.” (1 Cor. xi. 23, 24.) Thus, at the very time that men were preparing to put him to death, our loving Redeemer resolved to bestow upon us this gift. Jesus Christ, then, was not content with giving his life for us on a cross: he wished also, before his death, to pour out, as the Council of Trent says, all the riches of his love, by leaving himself for our food in the Holy Communion. “He, as it were, poured out the riches of his love towards man.” (Sess. 13, cap. ii.) If faith had not taught it, who could ever imagine that a God would become man, and afterwards become the food of his own creatures? When Jesus Christ revealed to his followers this sacrament which he intended to leave us, St. John says, that they could not bring themselves to believe it, and departed from him saying: ”How can this man give us his flesh to eat ?…This saying is hard, and who can hear it?” (St. John vi. 53, 61.) But what men could not imagine, the real love of Jesus Christ has invented and effected. ”Take ye and eat: this is my body.” These words he addressed to his apostles on the night before he suffered, and he now, after his death, addresses them to us.

3. “How highly honoured, ” says St. Francis de Sales, “would that man fed to whom the king sent from his table a portion of what he had on his own plate? But how should he feel if that portion were a part of the king‟s arm?” In the Holy Communion Jesus gives us, not a part of his arm, but his entire body in the sacrament of the altar. “He gave you all,” says St. Chrysostom, reproving our ingratitude, ”he left nothing for Himself. ” And St. Thomas teaches, that in the eucharist God has given us all that he is and all that he has. “Deus in eucharistia totum quod est et habet, dedit nobis.” (Opusc. 63, c. ii.) Justly then has the same saint called the eucharist”a sacrament of love; a pledge of love. ”“Sacramentum charitatis pignus charitatis.” It is a sacrament of love, because it was pure love that induced Jesus Christ to give us this gift and pledge of love: for he wished that, should a doubt of his having loved us ever enter into our minds, we should have in this sacrament a pledge of his love. St. Bernard calls this sacrament ”love of loves.” “Amor amorum.” By his incarnation, the Lord has given himself to all men in general; but, in this sacrament, he has given, himself to each of us in particular, to make us understand the special love which he entertains for each of us.

4. Oh! how ardently does Jesus Christ desire to come to our souls in the holy communion! This vehement desire he expressed at the time of the institution of this sacrament, when he said to the apostles: ”With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you.” (Luke xxii. 15.) St. Laurence Justinian says that these words proceeded from the enamoured heart of Jesus Christ, who, by such tender expressions, wished to show us the ardent love with which he loved us. ”This is the voice of the most burning charity. ”Flagrantissimæ charitatis est vox hæc.” And, to induce us to receive him frequently in the Holy Communion, he promises eternal life that is, the kingdom of heaven to those who eat his flesh. ”He that eateth this bread shall live forever.” (John vi. 59.) On the other hand, it threatens to deprive us of his grace and of Paradise, if we neglect communion. ”Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” (John vi. 54.) These promises and these threats all sprung from a burning desire to come to us in this sacrament. X 5. And why does Jesus Christ so vehemently desire that we receive him in the Holy Communion? It is because he takes delight in being united with each of us. By the communion, Jesus is really united to our soul and to our body, and we are united to Jesus. “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him.” (John vi. 57.) Thus, after communion, we are, says St. Chrysostom, one body and one flesh with Jesus Christ. ”Huic nos unimur, et facti summus unum corpus ut una caro.” (Hom. lxviii. ad Pop. Ant.) Hence St. Laurence Justinian exclaims: “Oh! how wonderful is thy love, O Lord Jesus, who hast wished to incorporate us in such a manner with thy body, that we should have one heart and one soul inseparably united with thee.” Thus, to every soul that receives the eucharist, the Lord says what he once said to his beloved servant Margaret of Ipres ”Behold, my daughter, the close union made between me and thee; love me, then, and let us remain forever united in love: let us never more be separated.” This union between us and Jesus Christ is, according to St. Chrysostom, the effect of the love which Jesus Christ bears us. ”Semetipsum nobis immiscuit, ut unum quid simus ardentur enim amantium hoc est.” (Hom. lxi.) But, Lord, such intimate union with man is not suited to thy divine majesty. But love seeks not reason; it goes not where it ought to go, but where it is drawn. ”Amor ratione caret, et vadit quo dicitur, non quo debeat.” (Serm. cxliii.) St. Bernardino of Sienna says that, in giving himself for our food, Jesus Christ loved us to the last degree; because he united himself entirely to us, as food is united to those who eat it. “Ultimus gradus amoris est, cum se dedit nobis in cibum quia dedit se nobis ad omnimodam unionem, sicut cibus et cibans, invicem uniuntur.” (Tom. 2, Serm. liv.) The same doctrine has been beautifully expressed by St. Francis de Sales. ”No action of the Saviour can be more loving or more tender than the institution of the holy eucharist, in which he, as it were, annihilates himself, and takes the form of food, to unite himself to the souls and bodies of his faithful servants.”

6. Hence, there is nothing from which we can draw so much fruit as from the Holy Communion. St. Denis teaches, that the most holy sacrament has greater efficacy to sanctify souls than all other spiritual means. ”Eucharistia maxim am vim habet perficiendæ sanctitatis.” St. Vincent Ferrer says, that a soul derives more profit from one communion than from fasting a week on bread and water. The eucharist is, according to the holy Council of Trent, a medicine which delivers us from venial, and preserves us from mortal sins. “Antidotum quo a culpis quotidianis liberemur, et a rnortalibus præservemur.” Jesus himself has said, that they who eat him, who is the fountain of life, shall receive permanently the life of grace. “He that eateth me, the same shall also live by me.” (John vi. 58.) Innocent the Third teaches, that by the passion Jesus Christ delivers us from the sins we have committed, and by the Eucharist from the sins we may commit. According to St. Chrysostom, the Holy Communion inflames us with the fire of divine love, and makes us objects of terror to the devil. ”The Eucharist is a fire which inflames us, that, like lions breathing fire, we may retire from the altar, being made terrible to the devil.” (Hom. lxi. ad Pop. Ant.) In explaining the words of the Spouse of the Canticles, “He brought me into the cellar of wine; lie set in order charity in me” (ii. 4.) St. Gregory says, that the communion is this cellar of wine, in which the soul is so inebriated with divine love, that she forgets and loses sight of all earthly things.

7. Some will say: ”I do not communicate often; because I am cold in divine love.” In answer to them Gerson asks, Will you then, because you feel cold, remove from the fire? When you are tepid you should more frequently approach this sacrament. St. Bonaventure says: ”Trusting in the mercy of God, though you feel tepid, approach: let him who thinks himself unworthy reflect, that the more infirm he feels himself the more he requires a physician” (de Prof. Rel., cap. lxxviii). And, in ”The Devout Life,” chapter xx., St. Francis de Sales writes: ”Two sorts of persons ought to communicate often: the perfect, to preserve perfection; and the imperfect, to arrive at perfection.” It cannot be doubted, that he who wishes to communicate should prepare himself with great diligence, that he may communicate well. Let us pass to the second point. X

Second Point. On the preparation we ought to make in order to derive great fruit from the Holy Communion.

8. Two things are necessary in order to draw great fruit from communion preparation for, and thanksgiving after communion. As to the preparation, it is certain that the saints derived great profit from their communions, only because they were careful to prepare themselves well for receiving the holy Eucharist. It is easy then to understand why so many souls remain subject to the same imperfections, after all their communions. Cardinal Bona says, that the defect is not in the food, but in the want of preparation for it. ”Defectus non in bibo est, sed in edentis dispositione.” For frequent communion two principal dispositions are necessary. The first is detachment from creatures, and disengagement of the heart from everything that is not God. The more the heart is occupied with earthly concerns, the less room there is in it for divine love. Hence, to give full possession of the whole heart to God, it is necessary to purify it from worldly attachments. This is the preparation which Jesus himself recommends to St. Gertrude. ”I ask nothing more of thee,” said he to her, ”than that thou come to receive me with a heart divested of thyself.” Let us, then, withdraw our affections from creatures, and our hearts shall belong entirely to the Creator.

9. The second disposition necessary to draw great fruit from communion, is a desire of receiving Jesus Christ in order to advance in his love. ”He,” says St. Francis de Sales, ”who gives himself through pure love, ought to be received only through love.” Thus, the principal end of our communions must be to advance in the love of Jesus Christ. He once said to St. Matilda: “When you communicate, desire all the love that any soul has ever had for me, and I will accept your love in proportion to the fervour with which you wished for it.”

10. Thanksgiving after communion is also necessary. The prayer we make after communion is the most acceptable to God, and the most profitable to us. After communion the soul should be employed in affections and petitions. The affections ought to consist not only in acts of thanksgiving, but also in acts of humility, of love, and of oblation of ourselves to God. Let us then humble ourselves as much as possible at the sight of a God made our food after we had offended him. A learned author says that, for a soul after communion, the most appropriate sentiment is one of astonishment at the thought of receiving a God. She should exclaim: ”What! a God to me! a God to me!” Let us also make many acts of the love of Jesus Christ. He has come into our souls in order to be loved. Hence, he is greatly pleased with those who, after communion, say to him: “My Jesus, I love thee; I desire nothing but thee.” Let us also offer ourselves and all that we have to Jesus Christ, that he may dispose of all as he pleases: and let us frequently say: ”My Jesus, thou art all mine; thou hast given thyself entirely to me; I give myself entirely to thee.

11. After communion; we should not only make these affections, but we ought also to present to God with great confidence many petitions for his graces. The time after communion is a time in which we can gain treasures of divine graces. St. Teresa says, that at that time Jesus Christ remains in the soul as on a throne, saying to her what he said to the blind man: ”What wilt thou that I should do to thee ?” (Mark x. 51.) As if he said: ”But me you have not always.” (John xii. 8.) Now that you possess me within you, ask me for graces: I have come down from heaven on purpose to dispense them to you; ask whatever you wish, and you shall obtain it. Oh! what great graces are lost by those who spend but little time in prayer after communion. Let us also turn to the Eternal Father, and, bearing in mind the promise of Jesus Christ “Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it you” (John xvi. 23) let us say to him: My God, for the love of this thy Son, whom I have within my heart, give me thy love; make me all thine. And if we offer this prayer with confidence, the Lord will certainly hear us. He who acts thus may become a saint by a single communion.

"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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A reminder ...
"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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