Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's The Church's Year

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INTROIT We have received thy mercy, O God, in the midst of thy temple: According to thy name, O God, so also is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in his mountain. (Ps. XLVII.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully grant us the spirit to think and do always the things that are right: that we, who can not subsist without Thee, may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will. Through etc.

EPISTLE (ROM. VIII. 12-17.) Brethren, We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the spirit you mortify the deed of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

Quote:Who live according to the flesh?

Those who follow the evil pleasures and the desires of corrupt nature, rather than the voice of faith and conscience. Such men are not guided by the Spirit of God, for He dwells not in the sensual man, (Gen. VI. 3.) they are no children of God, and will not inherit heaven, but eternal death. But he who is directed by the Spirit of God, and with Him and through Him crucifies his flesh and its concupiscence, is inspired with filial confidence in God. by the Holy Ghost, who dwells in him, and by whom he cries: Abba (Father.) Prove yourself well, Christian soul, that you may know whether you live according to the flesh, and strive by prayer and fasting to mortify all carnal and sensual desires that you may by such means become a child of God and heir of heaven.

ASPIRATION Strengthen me, O Lord, that I may not live according to the desires of the, flesh; but resist them firmly by the power of Thy Spirit, that I may not die the eternal death.

GOSPEL (Luke XVI. 1-9.) At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for now thou canst be steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me my stewardship? To dig, I am not able: to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty, Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the Lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generations than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

Who are represented by the rich man and his steward?

The rich man represents God, the steward is man - to whom God has confided the various goods of soul and body, of grace and nature: faith, intellect, memory , free will; and five senses, health, strength of body, beauty, skill power over others, time and opportunity for good, temporal riches, and other gifts. These various goods of soul and body God gives us not as our own, but as things to be used for His honor and the salvation of man. He will therefore demand the strictest account of us if we use them for sin, luxury, seduction, or oppression of others.

Why did Christ make use of this parable?

To teach us that God requires of every man a strict account of whatever has been given to him, and to urge us to works of charity, particularly alms-deeds.

What friends do we make by alms giving?

According to St. Ambrose they are the poor, the saints and angels, even Christ Himself: for that which we give to the poor, we give to Christ. (Matt. XXV. 40.) And: He that hath mercy on the poor, lendeth to the Lord, and he will repay him. (Prov. XIX. 17.) "The hands of the poor," says Peter Chrysologus, "are the hands of Christ," through whom we send our riches to heaven before us, and through whose intercession we obtain the grace of salvation.

Why did his lord commend the steward?

Because of his prudence and foresight, but not for his injustice; for he adds: The children of this world are wiser than the children of light: that is, the worldly-minded understand better hove to obtain temporal goods than do Christians to lay up treasures for themselves in heaven.

Why is wealth called unjust?

Because riches are often massed and retained unjustly, often lead man to injustice, and because they are often squandered, or badly used.

SUPPLICATON Grant me the grace, O my just God and Judge, that I may so use the goods of this earth confided to me by The e, that I mad make friends, who at my death will receive me into eternal joys.

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And the same was accused unto him. (Luke XVI. 1.)

The steward in the gospel was justly accused on account of the goods he had wasted; but there are many who lose their good name and honor by false accusations, and malicious talk! Alas, what great wrongs do detracting tongues cause in this world! How mean a vice is detraction, how seldom attention is paid to its evil, how rarely the injury is repaired!

When is our neighbor slandered?

When he is accused of a vice of which he is not guilty; when a secret crime is made known with the intention of hurting him, or when our duty does not require us to mention it; when we attribute an evil intention to him or entirely misconstrue his actions and omissions; when his good qualities or commendable actions are denied or lessened, or his merits underrated; when we remain silent, or speak ambiguously in cases where praise is due him; when we lend a willing ear to detractions, and make no effort to stop them; and lastly, when joy is felt in the detraction.

Is detraction a great sin?

Yes, for it is directly opposed to the love of our neighbor, therefore to the love of God, hence it is, as St. Ambrose says, hateful to God and man. By it we rob our neighbor of a possession greater than riches, (Prov. XXII. 1.) and often he is plunged by it into want and misery, even into the greatest vices; St. Ambrose says: "Let us fly from the vice of detraction, for it is altogether a satanic abyss, full of deceit." Finally, detraction is a great sin, because it can seldom be recalled, and the injury done by it is very great, and often irreparable.

What should we do when we have committed this sin?

We should retract the calumny as soon as possible and repair the injury done to our neighbor in regard to his name or temporal goods; we should detest this sin, regret it, and be cleansed from it by penance, we should daily pray for him whom we have injured, and in future guard against the like fault.

Are we ever allowed to reveal the wrongs of our neighbor?

To make public the faults of our neighbor only for the entertainment of idle people, or for the sake of news, and to satisfy the curiosity of others, is always sinful. But if after having reproached or advised our neighbor fraternally, without obtaining our end, we make known his faults to his parents or superiors for the sake of punishment and reformation, far from being a sin it is rather a duty, against which those err who are silent about the sins of their neighbor, when by speaking they could prevent the sin and save him much unhappiness.

Is it a sin to listen willingly to detraction?

Yes, for we thus give the detractors occasion and encouragement. Therefore St. Bernard says: "Whether to detract is a greater sin than to listen to detraction, I will not decide. The devil sits on the tongue of the detractor as he does on the ear of the listener." In such cases we must strive to interrupt, to prevent the detracting words, or else withdraw; or if we can do none of these, we must show in our countenance our displeasure, for the Holy Ghost says: The northwind driveth away rain, so doth a sad countenance a backbiting tongue. (Prov. XXV. 23.) The same demeanor is to be observed in regard to improper language.

What varieties of detraction are there?

There is a certain detestable kind of detraction which degrades and ridicules others by witty and sneering words. Still worse is that detraction which carries the faults of others from one place to another, thus exciting those who are on good terms to hard feeling, or making those who are living in enmity more opposed to each other. The whisperer and the double tongued, says the Holy Ghost, is accursed, for he bath troubled many that were at peace.

What should deter us from detraction?

The thought of the enormity of this sin; of the difficulty, even impossibility of repairing the injury caused; of the punishment it incurs, for St. Paul expressly says: Calumniators shall not possess the kingdom of God, (I Cor. VI. 10.). and Solomon writes: My son, fear the Lord, and the king: and have nothing to do with detractors; for their destruction shall rise suddenly. (Prov. XXIV 22.)

SUPPLICATON Guard me, O most loving Jesus, that I may not be so blinded, either by hatred or, envy, as to rob my neighbor of his good name, or make myself guilty of such a grievous sin.


If your good name has been taken away by evil tongues, you may be consoled by knowing that God permitted this to humble you, to exercise you in patience and free you from pride and vain self-complacency. Turn your eyes to the saints of the Old and the New Law, to the chaste Joseph who was cast into prison on a false charge of adultery, (Gen. XXXIX.) to the meek David publicly accused by Semei as a man of blood, (II Kings XVI. 7.) to the chaste Susanna who was also accused of adultery, tried and condemned to death. (Dan, XIII.) Jesus, the king of saints, was called a drunkard, accused and condemned as a blasphemer, a friend of the devil, an inciter of sedition among the people, and like the greatest criminal was nailed to the cross between two thieves. Remember besides that it does not injure you in the sight of God, if all possible evil is said of you, and that He, at all times, cares for those who trust in Him; for he who touches the honor of those who fear God, touches, as it were, the pupil of His eye, (Zach. II. 8.) and shall not go unpunished. St. Chrysostom says: "If you are guilty, be converted; if you are innocent, think of Christ."

PRAYER O most innocent Jesus, who wert thus calumniated, I submit myself wholly to Thy divine will, and am, ready like Thee, to bear all slanders and detractions, as with perfect confidence I yield to land care my good name, convinced that Thou at Thy pleasure wilt defend and protect it, and save me from the hands of my enemies.
"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
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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In the Middle Ages, this Sunday was called, the sixth and last Sunday after the Natalis of the Apostles (that is, the Feast of St. Peter); it was, indeed, the last, for the years when Easter had been kept was late in April as was possible; but, it was only the first after that Feast of St. Peter, when Easter immediately followed the spring equinox.

We have already noticed the variable character of this last portion of the liturgical cycle, which was the result of Easter’s being kept on a different day each year; and that, in consequence of this variation, this week might be either the second of the reading from the Sapiential Books, or, what was of more frequent occurrence, the Books of Kings were still providing the Lessons for the divine Office. In this latter case, it is the ancient Temple raised by Solomon, the King of Peace, to the glory of Jehovah, that engages the Church’s attention today. We shall find, that the portions of the Mass, which are chanted on this Sunday, are closely connected with the Lessons read in last night’s Office.

Let us, then, turn our reverential thoughts once more to this splendid monument of the ancient Covenant. The Church is now going through that month, which immediately preceded the events so momentous to Jerusalem; she would do honor, today, to the glorious and divine past which prepared her own present. Let us, like her, enter into the feelings of the first Christians, who were Juda’s own children; they had been told of the impending destruction foretold by the Prophets; and an order from God bade them depart from Jerusalem. What a solemn moment that was, when the little flock of the elect,—the only ones in whom was kept up the faith of Abraham and the knowledge of the destinies of the Hebrew people,—had just begun their emigration, and looked back on the city of their fathers, to take a last farewell! They took the road to the east; it led towards the Jordan, beyond which, God had provided a refuge for the remnant of Israel. They halted on the incline of Mount Olivet, whence they had a full view of Jerusalem; in a few moments, that hill would be between them and the City. Not quite forty years before, the Man-God had sat himself down on that same spot, taking his own last look at the City and her Temple. Jerusalem was seen, in all her magnificence, from this portion of the Mount, which afterwards would be visited and venerated by our Christian pilgrims. The City had long since recovered from its ruins; and had, at the time we are speaking of, been enlarged by the princes of the Herodian family, so favorably looked on by the Romans. Never, in any previous period of her history, had Jerusalem been so perfect and so beautiful, as she then was, when our fugitives were gazing upon her. There was not, as yet, the slightest outward indication that she was the City accursed of God. There, as a queen in her strength and power, she was throned amidst the mountains of which the Psalmist had sung, her towers and palaces seemed as though they were her crown. Within the triple inclosure of the walls built by her latest kings, she enchased those three hills, the grandest, not only of Judea, but of the whole world: first, there was Sion, with her unparalleled memories; then, Golgotha, that had not yet been honored with the Holy Sepulcher, and which, nevertheless, was even then attracting to herself the Roman legions, who were to wreak vengeance on this guilty land; and lastly, Moriah, the sacred mount of the old world, on whose summit was raised that unrivalled Temple, which gave Jerusalem to be the queen of all the Cities of the East, for, as such, even the Gentiles acknowledged her.

“At sun-rise, when, in the distance, there appeared the sanctuary, towering upwards of a hundred cubits above the two rows of porticos which formed its double enclosure; when the sun cast his morning rays on that façade of gold and white marble; when there glittered the thousand gilded spires which mounted from its roof;—it seemed,” says Josephus, “that it was a hill capped with snow, which gradually shone, and reddened, with the morning beams. The eye was dazzled, the soul was amazed, religion was roused within the beholder, and even the pagans fell down prostrate.” Yes, when the Pagan came hither, either for conquest or for curiosity,—if he ever returned, it was as a pilgrim. Full of holy sentiments, he ascended the hill; and, having reached the summit, he entered, by the golden gate, into the gorgeous galleries, which formed the outward inclosure of the Temple. In the Court of the Gentiles, he met with men from every country; his soul was struck by the holiness of a place, where he felt that there were preserved, in all purity, the ancient religious traditions of the human race; and, he being profane, stood afar off, assisting at the celebrations of the Hebrew worship, such as God had commanded it to be, that is, with all the magnificence of a divine ritual. The white column of smoke from the burning victims rose up before him as earth’s homage to God, its creator and savior; from the inner courts, there fell on his ear the harmony of the sacred chants, carrying as they did to heaven, both the ardent prayer of those ages of expectation, and the inspired expression of the world’s hope; and when, from the midst of the levite choirs and the countless priests who were busy in their ministry of sacrifice and praise, the High Priest, with his golden crown on his head, came forth holding the censer in his hand, and entering, himself alone, within the mysterious veil which curtained off the Holy of Holies,—the stranger, though he had but a glimpse of all those splendid symbols of religion, yet confessed himself overpowered, and acknowledged the incomparable greatness of that invisible Deity, whose majesty made all the vain idols of the Gentiles seem to him paltry and foolish pretenses. The princes of Asia, and the greatest kings considered it an honor to be permitted to contribute, both by personal gifts of their own making, and by sums taken from the national treasuries, towards defraying the expenses of the holy place. The Roman Generals, and the Cæsars themselves, kept up the traditions of Cyrus and Alexander in this respect. Augustus ordered that, every day, a bull and two lambs should be presented, in his name, to the Jewish priests, and be immolated on Jehovah’s altar, for the well-being of the empire (Philo, Legatio); his successors insisted on the practice being continued; and Josephus tells us that the beginning of the war was attributable to the sacrificers refusing any longer to accept the imperial offerings.

But, if the majesty of the Temple thus impressed the very pagans right up to its last days, there were reasons for an intensity of veneration and love on the part of a faithful Jew, which he alone could realize. He was the inheritor of the submissive faith of the Patriarchs; as such, he was well aware that the prophetic privileges of his fatherland were but an announcement to the whole world, that it was one day to be blessed with the more real and lasting benefits of which he, the Jew, possessed but a figure; he quite understood, that the hour had come when the children of God would not confine their worship within the narrow limits of one mountain or one city; he knew that God’s true temple was then actually being built up on every hill of the Gentile world; and that, in its immensity, it took in all those countries of the earth, into which the Blood that flowed first from Calvary had won its way. And yet, we can easily understand what a sharp pang of anguish thrilled through his patriot heart, now that God was about to consummate, before the astonished universe, the terrible consumption of the ungrateful people, whom he had chosen for his portion, his inheritance. Whose is there, that would not share in the grief of these holy ones of Jacob, few in number as the ears of corn gathered by the gleaner, and now bidding an eternal farewell to that holy, but now accursed, City? These true Israelites might well weep; they were leaving forever, leaving to devastation and ruin, their homes, their country, and, dearest of all, that Temple, which, for ages, had sanctified the glory of Israel, which, for ages, had sanctified the glory of Israel, and gave Juda the right and title to be the noblest of the nations of the earth.

There was something even beyond all this: it was, that their dear Jerusalem had been the scene of the grandest mysteries of the law of grace. Was it not in yonder Temple, that, as the Prophets expressed it, God had manifested the Angel of the Testament, and given Peace? The honor of that Temple is no longer the exclusive right of an isolated people; for the Desired ofallnations, by his going into it, has brought it a grander glory, than all the ages of expectation and prophecy have imparted. It was under the shadow of those walls, that Mary,—she that was to be the future Seat of Wisdom Eternal,—prepared within her soul and body a more august sanctuary for the divine Word, than was that, whose cedared and golden wainscoting made it so exquisite a shelter for the infant maiden. Yes, it was there that, when but three years old, Mary joyously mounted up the fifteen steps which separated the Court of women from the Eastern-Gate, offering to God the pure homage of her immaculate heart. Here, then, on the summit of Moriah, began, in the person of their Queen, the long line of consecrated virgins, who, to the end of time, will come offering, after Her, their love to the King. There, also, the new Priesthood found its type and model in the divine Mother’s presenting, in that holy Temple, the world’s Victim, Jesus, the new-born Child of her chaste womb. In that same dwelling, made by the hands of men; in those halls where sat the Doctors, Eternal Wisdom, too, seated himself under the form of a child of twelve, instructing the very Teachers of the Law by his sublime questions and divine answers. Every one of those Courts had seen the Word Incarnate giving forth treasures of goodness, power, and heavenly doctrine. One of those porticos was the favorite one where Jesus used to walk, and the infant Church made it the place of its early assemblies.

Truly, then, this Temple is holy with a holiness possessed by no other spot on earth; it is holy for the Jew of Sinaï; it is holy for the Christian, be he Jew or Gentile, for here he finds that the Law ends, because here are verified all its figures. With good reason, did our Mother the Church, in her Office for this night, repeat the words which were spoken by God to Solomon: I have sanctified this House which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be always there.

How, then, is it that dark forebodings are come terrifying the watchmen of the Holy Mount? Strange apparitions, fearful noises, have deprived the sacred edifice of that calm and peace which become the House of the Lord. At the feast of Pentecost, the priests, who were fulfilling their ministry, have heard in the Holy place a commotion like that of a mighty multitude, and many voices crying out together: “Let us go hence!” On another occasion, at midnight, the heavy brazen gate which closed the sanctuary on the eastern side, and which took twenty men to move it, has opened of itself. O Temple, O Temple, let us say it, with them that witnessed these threatening prodigies, why are thou thus troubled? why workest thou thine own destruction? Alas! we know what awaits thee! The Prophet Zacharias foretold it, when he said: Open thy gates, O Libanus, and let fire devour thy cedars!

God,—has he forgotten his promises of infinite goodness! No: but let us think upon the terrible and just warning, which he added to the promise he made to Solomon, when he had finished building the temple: But if ye and your children, revolting shall turn away from following me, and will not keep my commandments and my ceremonies which I have set before you, I will take away Israel from the face of the land, which I have given them; and the Temple which I have sanctified to my name, I will cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb, and a by-word among all people. And this house shall be made an example; every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and shall hiss, and say: “Why hath the Lord done thus to this land, and to this house?”

O Christian soul! thou, that by the grace of God, art become a temple more magnificent, more beloved in his eyes, than that of Jerusalem, take a lesson from these divine chastisements; and reflect on the words of the Most High, as recorded by Ezechiel: The justice of the just shall not deliver him, in what day soever he shall sin … Yea, if I shall say to the just, that he shall surely live, and he, trusting in his justice, commit iniquity,—all his justices shall be forgotten, and, in his iniquity, which he hath committed, in the same shall he die.

With the Greeks, the multiplication of the five loaves and two fishes, is the subject of the Gospel for this Sunday: they count it, the eighth of Saint Matthew.


The Introit for today’s Mass speaks of the glory of the ancient Temple, and of the holy mount. But far greater is the splendor of the Church, which is now carrying the name and praise of the Most High even to the end of the earth, far more efficiently, than had done that temple which was but a figure of our Mother the Church.

Suscepimus, Deus misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui; secundum nomen tuum, ita et laus tua in fines terræ: justitia plena est destra tua.
We have received thy mercy, O God, in the midst of thy temple: according to thy name so also is thy praise, unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of justice.

Ps. Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis: in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto ejus. Gloria Patri. Suscepimus.
Ps. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised: in the city of our God, on his holy mountain. Glory, &c. We have received.

Not only are we incapable, of ourselves, of doing any good work, but, without the help of grace, we cannot even have a thought of supernatural good. Now, the surest means for obtaining the help that is so needed by us is to acknowledge humbly before God that we depend entirely upon him; it is what the Church does in the Collect.

Largire nobis, quæsumus Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quæ recta sunt, propitius et agendi: ut, qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus. Per Dominum.
Grant to us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful: that we, who cannot exist without Thee, may be enabled to live according to Thy will. Through, etc.

The other Collects, as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Ch. viii.

Brethren: We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.

Quote:The Apostle and Doctor of the Gentiles here goes on, forming to the Christian life the new recruits, whom his own voice and that of his fellow-apostles, dispersed as they are throughout the world, are every day leading, by hundreds, to the fount of salvation. Although the Church is all attention to the events which are preparing for Judea, yet is she full of maternal solicitude for the great work of the training those children whom she has given to her divine Spouse. While Israel is obstinate in his fatal refusal to accept the Messiah, another family is growing up in his place; and by its docility, richly repays our Lord for all the rebellion and slights offered him by the children he had first made his chosen ones. They were the ancient people, and are jealous of others being now called to the same privilege. The contradictions of which Christ complains in the Psalm, are anything but over; and yet, thanks to the Church, the Man-God is already the Head of the Gentiles.

Admirable is the fruitfulness of the Bride; for, wonderful is the power of sanctification which she is using all through the world of various nations. Scarcely has she sprung into her beauteous existence, than she offers to her Lord and her King a new empire, consolidated in unity of love; she presents him with a generation that is all pure in the intelligence and practice of every virtue. It is quite true that the Holy Ghost acts directly on the souls of the newly baptized; but there is something else to be considered in the divine plan. It is this: the Word having been made flesh, and having taken to himself a Bride (which is the visible Church on earth), whom he has made his associate in the work of man’s salvation—he has willed that the invisible operation of the divine Spirit, who proceeds from him (the Word) shall not be in its normal state, unless there be added to it the extrinsic cooperation and intervention of this his Bride. Not only is the Church the depository of those all-potent formulas and mysterious rites which change man’s heart into a new soil, cleaning it from thorns and weeds, making it able to produce a hundred-fold—but she also sows the seed of the divine husbandman into that same soil, by her countless modes of teaching the Truth. To the Holy Ghost, indeed, a magnificent share is due of that fecundity and that social life of the Church; still her portion of work is exquisite; it deals with the elect taken as individuals, and consists especially in getting them to profit of the divine energies of the Sacraments which she administers, and in developing the germs of salvation which her teaching plants in their souls.

How important, then, and sublime will ever be that mission which is confided to those men who are set over particular churches, as teachers or directors of souls; they represent, to these isolated congregations, the common Mother of all the Faithful, for in her name, they really provide for the Holy Spirit those elements upon whom he is to make his all-powerful action felt. For that very same reason, woe to those times when the dispensers of the divine word, having themselves naught but halved or false principles, give but weak shriveled seed to the souls entrusted to them! The Holy Ghost is not bound to supply their insufficiency; ordinarily speaking, he will not supply it, for such is not the way established by Christ for the sanctification of the members of his Church.

The common Mother, however, has a supplementary aid for such of her children, as may be thus treated—it is her Liturgy. There they will find not only the holy Sacrifice which will support them, and the graces of the Sacrament of love which will nourish spiritual life within them,—but moreover, the surest rule of conduct, and the sublimest teachings of every virtue. Such souls as these have perhaps got the idea that the poor subjective system they have made for themselves is the royal road to perfection; but if they be of an earnest good will, desirous to find the best way, God will, some happy day, lead them to find, and finding, to appreciate the inexhaustible and divinely given treasures of the Church’s Liturgy; possessing and enriching themselves with these, they will soon put aside what the Prophet Isaias terms bread without strength, and water without power. The same Prophet would thus urge them in the Church’s name, to what is best: All ye that thirst, come to the waters! And ye that have no money, make haste, buy and eat. Come ye! buy wine and milk, without money, and without any price. Why spend ye money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which doth not satisfy you? Hearken diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and your soul shall be delighted in fatness! And truly, there is a fact which should rouse, both to attention and gratitude, any Christian who longs to be enlightened as to the best way of getting to heaven: this fact is that the Church herself has made a selection, for our reading, from the treasury of the Scriptures and, in her Missal, which she puts into our hands, she has inserted practical teachings from the same divine Books, which she knew were best suited to the wants of her children. A Christian who is humbly and devoutly assiduous in the study of this admirable book of the Liturgy will abound in spiritual knowledge. His guide will say to him, and with a well-grounded assurance: This is the way! walk in it! And go not aside, neither to the right, nor to the left! We have no need to wonder at all this; for in the guidance of souls, the Church is far superior to the most learned Doctors and to the greatest Saints—all of whom were humble disciples in her school.

Let us put together a few lines which have been read to us as the Epistles of the last three Sundays, and were taken from that written by St. Paul to the Romans: and, to say nothing of their infallible truth as being inspired by the Holy Ghost, could we have had any exposition of the principles of revealed morality which could have been compared to it? Clearness, simplicity of diction, earnest vehemence of exhortation,—all are perfect in these few words, and yet they are but the outward expression of the sublimest truths of Christian dogma. Let us make the barest possible summary of what these three Epistles have taught us, and we shall see how grand they are. Christ Jesus, foundation of man’s salvation;—his death and burial made, in Baptism, the regeneration of man; his Life in God, the model of our own; the disgrace of our enslaved bodies, removed;—the sanctifying fruitfulness of every virtue substituted in our members for the poisonous roots of all vices;—and on this very Sunday, the preeminence of the spirit over the flesh; the duties incumbent on our spirit, if she is to maintain her superiority, what must man do if he would preserve the liberty bestowed on him by the Spirit of love, and prove himself to be what he really is, a son of God and joint-heir of Christ. Yes, these are the splendid realities which are henceforth to light up in us the law of the spirit of life (that is, the law of the life we are to live by the Spirit) in Christ Jesus; these are the axioms of the science of salvation now taught to the whole world, which are to be substituted for both the weakness of the Jewish law and the empty ethics of philosophers.

For, the leading idea which pervades the whole of this sublime Epistle to the Romans, is this: man, unaided by grace, is incapable of producing perfect justice and absolute good. Experience has proved it, St. Paul teaches it, and Father will later on unanimously assert it, and the Church, in her Councils, will define it. True, by the mere powers of his fallen nature, man may come to the knowledge of some truths, and to the practice of some virtues, but without grace, he can never know, and still less observe, the precepts of even the natural law, if you take them as a whole.

From Jesus, then, from Jesus alone comes all justice; not only supernatural justice, which supposes the infusion of sanctifying grace in the sinner’s soul, is wholly from Him; but even that natural justice, of which men are so proud, and which they say is quite enough without anything else,—even that soon leaves one who does not cling to Christ by faith and love. Our modern world has a pompous phrase about “the independence of the human mind;” let them who pretend to acknowledge no other goodness but that, go on with their boasting of being moral and honest men; but as to us Christians, we believe what our mother the Church teaches us; and agreeably to such teaching, we believe that “a moral and honest man,” that is to say, a man who lives up to all the duties which nature puts upon him, can only be that, here below, by a special aid of our Redeemer and Savior, Christ Jesus. With St. Paul, therefore, let us be proud of the Gospel, for, as he calls it, it is the the power of God, not only to justify the ungodly, but also to enrich souls that thirst after what is right, with an active and perfect justice. The just man, says the same Apostle, liveth by faith; and according to the growth of his faith, so is his growth in justice. Without faith in Christ, the pretension to reach perfection in good by one’s own self and works, produces nothing but the stagnation of pride and the wrath of God.

The Jews are a proof of it. Proud of their Law, which gave them light greater than that enjoyed by the Gentiles, and wishing to make their whole virtue consist in their having possession of that Law,—they have rejected Him who was the end of the Law, and the source of all holiness; they have refused to accept the Christ who not only delivered them from their previous misery, but also brought them the knowledge of what would save them them, and the strength to fulfill it; they have continued in their iniquity, adding sin upon sin to that contracted from their First Parents, and thus treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. Now is being fulfilled the prediction of Isaias, whose words might very appropriately have been used by the faithful few of Israel, whom we have been today looking at when they were fleeing from Jerusalem: Except the Lord of hosts had left us seed, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have like to Gomorrha.

What, then, shall we say? asks the Apostle; and he answers his own question thus: That the Gentiles, who followed not after justice, have attained to justice, (that is) the justice that comes from faith. But Israel, by following after the law of justice, is not come unto the law of justice. Why so? Because they sought it, not by faith, but as it were of works: for they stumbled at the stumbling-stone, as it is written: “Behold! I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and a rock of scandal; and whosoever believeth in Him, shall not be confounded.”

The Gradual seems to express the sentiments of the Jewish converts who had to depart from their cities; they might thus have besought God, that he henceforth would be their protector and a place of refuge where they might be safe. The Alleluia-Versicle again sings of the glory that was once given to the Lord in Jerusalem, especially on the holy mountain where his Temple was built.

Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias.
Be thou unto me a God, a protector, a a place of refuge to save me.

℣. Deus, in te speravi: Domine, non confundar in æternum.
℣. O God, in thee have I hoped; let me, O Lord, never be confounded.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Magnus Dominus, et laudibilis valde in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto ejus. Alleluia.
℣. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, on his holy mountain. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke. Ch. xvi.

At that time: Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore calling together every one of his lord’ s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

Quote:The several parts of the parable here proposed to us, are easy to understand and convey a deep teaching. God alone is rich by nature, for to Him alone belongs the direct and absolute dominion over all things: they are his because he made them. But by sending his Son into the world under a created form, he, by this temporal mission, appointed him Heir to all the works of his hands, just as truly as he already was owner of the riches of the divine nature because of his eternal generation. The rich man, then, of our Gospel is Jesus, who in his sacred Humanity, united to the Word, is heir of all things, and as such, all things of the Most High God, created or uncreated, finite or infinite, belong to him. To him belong the heavens which proclaim his glory, and which, as long as they last, clothe him with their garment of light; to him the ocean, whose surges are but a voice that speaks his praise, and hushes the fury of its tempests when he bids it be still; to him the earth, which gladly offers him the homage of all its fullness. The grass and flowers of the meadows, the varied fruits, the fertile loveliness of the fields, the birds of the air and the fishes which inhabit the rivers, or that sport in the paths of the sea, the huge oxen as well as the tiniest insect that lives—the wild beasts of forest or mountain are all his, all are subject to his rule. Silver, too, is his, and gold is his; and man too is his, and would have been eternally his servant, had not this Jesus mercifully vouchsafed to divinize him, and make him a partaker of his own eternal happiness and riches.

Instead of our being his slaves or servants, he would have us be his Brothers; and when he returned from this world to his Father, whom he had also made to be ours by the grace he had infused into us, he sent us the Holy Ghost, who should bear testimony to us that we are the Sons of God, and be to us the pledge of our sacred inheritance,—heaven. O ineffable riches of the world to come! O inheritance the fullest that ever was! Our Jesus himself is all joy at the sight of it, and in the Psalm of his Resurrection, he gives expression to that joy. We, his members and joint-heirs, have a right to repeat those words after him, and say: The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places; for my inheritance is goodly to me! for the Lord himself is my portion! I will bless him for his have given me to understand my happiness!

But in order that we may attain to those eternal riches, there is a condition imposed on us:—we must turn to profit the visible domain of Christ; we must see that it is used in his service. The future rewards we are to have in heaven depend upon the more or less fidelity wherewith we have employed our share of these inferior good things, for they are entrusted to us, to each of us in the measure which seemed good in God’s eyes. What a divine agreement has been drawn up for us! What perfect adjustment between justice and love! Our Lord Jesus Christ has divided his property into two portions; he gives the eternal portion unreservedly to us; it is the only one that is truly great, the only one that is capable of contenting our infinite longings. As to the other portion which, in itself, would not be worthy of the attention of beings that are made for the contemplation of the divine essence, he could not think of allowing us to set our hearts on it, neither will he permit us to have absolute dominion over it. The real possession of temporal good belongs, therefore, to Him alone; the ownership of earthly riches, which he permits to the future joint-heirs of his own blissful eternity, is subject to numberless restrictions during their lifetime and, at their death, exhibits its essentially precarious tenure, by its not being able to follow its owner beyond the grave.

For the fool, as well as for the wise man, the day will come when his soul will be required of him; and when the rich man, as well as the poor, will be brought before his Maker, exactly as he was on the day of his first entrance into the world, and it will be said to him: Give an account of thy stewardship! At that dread hour, the rule observed for the judgment will be that which our Lord revealed to us during his mortal life: Unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required; and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more. Woe, at that hour, to the servant who has comported himself as though he were the absolute master! woe to the steward who, disregarding the trust assigned to him, has done just what his own whim suggested with the good of which he was only the dispenser. When that the light of eternity shall be upon him, he will understand the error of his foolish pride. He will see the shameful injustice of a life which the world, perhaps, thought of a very decent one, but which was spent without the slightest regard to the intentions for which God gave him the riches, which were his boast. He will then be entirely deprived of them all; neither will be it be then in his power to make a better use of them for the future, that is, a use more in accordance with the designs of God. If he might at least make some restitution for the good he has abused! if he might sue for aid from those with whom he lived upon earth! But no! when time is over, labor is over too. He has nothing to show for all his riches; he is powerless; and when he goes before that dread tribunal, where every man is afraid that he cannot put his own accounts right,—whom can he get to help him?

Happy, therefore, if now that time is still granted him, he would allow the thousand calls of God to awaken him from his false conscience! Happy if, like the steward mentioned in our Gospel, he would say to himself those words of Job: What shall I do, when God shall rise to judge? And, when he shall examine, what shall I answer him?

This very Judge, whom he so rightly fears, now most mercifully points out to him how he may escape the punishment due to his past maladministration. Let him imitate the prudence of the unjust steward, and he will have praise for it from his Lord: not only, like him, because of his prudence, but because, by his thus spending over God’s servants the riches that were entrusted to his care, far from thereby robbing his divine Master, he acts in strict accordance with his wishes. Who thinkest thou, asks our Lord, is the faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord setteth over his family, to give them, in due time, their measure of wheat, and oil? Alms, whether corporal or spiritual, secure us powerful friends for that awful day of our death and judgment. It is to the poor, that the kingdom of heaven belongs; so that, if we spend the riches of this present life in solacing the sufferings of those poor ones, now that they are living here below—afterwards, they will not fail to make us a return, by receiving us into their future homes,—the everlasting dwellings of heaven.

Such is the immediate and obvious meaning of the parable given us today. But if we would go further,—if we would understand the whole intention of the Church in her choice of the present Gospel, we must then listen to St. Jerome, whose homily for last night’s Office, is put before us as the official interpretation of the sacred text. Let us first listen to the words of Scripture which the Saint quotes,—they immediately follow those of our Gospel: He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater; and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater. If, then, ye have not been faithful in the unjust mammon, who will trust you with that which is the true? These words, says St. Jerome, were said in the presence of the scribes and pharisees; they felt that the parable was intended for them; and they derided the divine preacher. The one that was unjust in that which is little, is the jealous Jew who, in the limited possession of the present life, refused to his fellow men the use of those goods which were created for all. If, then, you avaricious Scribes are convicted of maladministration in the management of temporal riches, how can you expect to have confided to you the true, the eternal, riches of the divine word, and the teaching of the Gentiles? Terrible question, which our Lord leaves thus unanswered; let these unjust Stewards, the depositories of the figurative Law, deride Jesus as much as they please, and pretend that his question does not refer to them; but they will soon be giving the true answer: the answer will be the ruin of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the little humble flock of the elect of Juda,—leaving these hard-hearted men to the vengeance which their proud madness is hurrying on, is continuing its journey, knowing that the promises of Sion belong to it. The Offertory-Anthem is the expression of their faith and their hope.

Populum humilem salvum facies, Domine, et oculos superborum humiliabis: quoniam quis Deus præter te, Domine?
Thou wilt save the humble people, O Lord! and thou wilt humble the eyes of the proud: for, who is God besides thee, O Lord?

It is from God that we receive the gifts, which he deigns to accept at our hands; and yet the sacred mysteries, which are about to transform our Oblation do, nonetheless, obtain for us, by his grace, the sanctification of our present life, and the joys of eternity.

Suscipe, quæsumus Domine, munera quæ tibi de dua largitate deferimus: ut hæc sacrosancta mysteria, gratiæ tuæ operante virtute, et præsentis vitæ nos conversatione sanctificent, et ad gaudia sempiterna perducant. Per Dominum.
Accept, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts of Thine own bounty, which we bring Thee: that these holy and sacred Mysteries, by the working of the power of Thy grace, may sanctify us in our conduct of this present life and bring us to everlasting joys. Through our Lord, etc.

The other Secrets, as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

The hope which man has in his God could never disappoint him; what stronger pledge could he wish for than the sweetness of the divine banquet which he is now enjoying?

Gustate, et videte, quoniam suavis est Dominus: beatus vir, qui sperat in eo.
Taste and see, that the Lord is sweet! blessed is the man that putteth his trust in him.

The heavenly nourishment, we have now received, has power to renew both our souls and bodies: let us make ourselves worthy of experiencing the fullness of its effects.

Sit nobis, Domine, reparatio mentis et corporis cœleste mysterium: ut cujus exsequimur cultum, sentiamus effectum. Per Dominum.
May this heavenly Mystery be to us, O Lord, for renewal of mind and body: that we may enjoy the fruits of that which we celebrate. Through our Lord, etc.

The other Postcommunions, as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.
"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 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

2015 - Two Masses




2019 - Two Masses

2020 - Two Masses

2021 - Two Masses

"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
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

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Give an account of thy stewardship.” LUKE xvi. 2.

BELOVED Christians, of all the goods of nature, of fortune, and of grace, which we have received from God, we are not the masters, neither can we dispose of them as we please; we are but the administrators of them; and therefore we should employ them according to the will of God, who is our Lord. Hence, at the hour of death, we must render a strict account of them to Jesus Christ, our Judge. “For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body as he hath done, whether it be good or evil.” (2 Cor. v. 10.) This is the precise meaning of that ”give an account of thy stewardship,” in the gospel of this day. “You are not,” says St. Bonaventure, in his comment on these words, “a master, but a steward over the things committed to you; and therefore you are to render an account of them.” I will place before your eyes Today the rigour of this judgment, which shall be passed on each of us on the last day of our life. Let us consider the terror of the soul, first, when we shall be presented to the Judge; secondly, when she shall be examined; and thirdly, when she shall be condemned.

First Point. Terror of the soul when she shall be presented to the Judge.

1. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” (Heb. ix. 27.) It is of faith that we shall die, and that after death a judgment shall be passed on all the actions of our life. Now, what shall be the terror of each of us when we shall be at the point of death, and shall have before our eyes the judgment which must take place the very moment the soul departs from the body? Then shall be decided our doom to eternal life, or to eternal death. At the time of the passage of their souls from this life to eternity, the sight of their past sins, the rigour of God’s judgment, and the uncertainty of their eternal salvation, have made the saints tremble. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzia trembled in her sickness, through the fear of judgment; and to her confessor, when he endeavoured to give her courage, she said: “Ah! father, it is a terrible thing to appear before Christ in judgment.” After spending so many years in penance in the desert, St. Agatho trembled at the hour of death, and said: “What shall become of me when I shall be judged ?” The venerable Father Louis da Ponte was seized with such a fit of trembling at the thought of the account which he should render to God, that he shook the room in which he lay. The thought of judgment inspired the venerable Juvenal Ancina, Priest of the Oratory, and afterwards Bishop of Saluzzo, with the determination to leave the world. Hearing the Dies Iræ sung, and considering the terror of the soul when presented before Jesus Christ, the Judge, he took, and afterwards executed, the resolution of giving himself entirely to God.

2. It is the common opinion of theologians, that at the very moment and in the very place in which the soul departs from the body, the divine tribunal is erected, the accusation is read, and the sentence is passed by Jesus Christ, the Judge. At this terrible tribunal each of us shall be presented to give an account of all our thoughts, of all our words, and of all our actions. “For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil.” (2 Cor. v. 10.) When presented before an earthly judge criminals have been seen to fall into a cold sweat through fear. It is related of Piso, that so great and insufferable was the confusion, which he felt at the thought of appearing as a criminal before the senate that he killed himself. How great is the pain of a vassal, or of a son, in appearing before an angry prince or an enraged father, to account for some crime which he has committed! Oh! how much greater shall be the pain and confusion of the soul in standing, before Jesus Christ enraged against her for having despised him during her life! Speaking of judgment, St. Luke says: “Then you shall see the Son of Man.” (Luke xxi. 27.) They shall see Jesus Christ as man, with the same wounds with which he ascended into heaven. “Great joy of the beholders!” says Robert the Abbot, “a great terror of those who are in expectation!” These wounds shall console the just, and shall terrify the wicked. In them sinners shall see the Redeemer’s love for themselves, and their ingratitude to him.

3. “Who,” says the Prophet Nahum, “can stand before the face of his indignation ?” (i. 6.) How great, then, shall be the terror of a soul that finds herself in sin before this Judge, the first time she shall see him, and see him full of wrath! St. Basil says that she shall be tortured more by her shame and confusion than by the very fire of hell. “Horridior quam ignis, erit pudor.” Philip the Second rebuked one of his domestics for having told him a lie. “Is it thus,” said the king to him, “you deceive me?” The domestic, after having returned home, died of grief. The Scripture tells us, that when Joseph reproved his brethren, saying: “I am Joseph,  whom you sold,” they were unable to answer through fear, and remained silent. “His brethren could not answer him, being struck with exceeding great fear.” (Gen. xlv. 3.) Now what answer shall sinners make to Jesus Christ when he shall say to them: I am your Redeemer and your Judge, whom you have so much despised. Where shall the miserable beings fly, says St. Augustine, when they shall see an angry Judge above, hell open below, on one side their own sins accusing them, and on the other the devils dragging them to punishment, and their conscience burning them within? “Above shall be an enraged Judge below, a horrid chaos on the right, sins accusing him on the left, demons dragging him to punishment within, a burning conscience! Whither shall a sinner, beset in this manner, fly? “Perhaps he will cry for mercy? But how, asks Eusebius Emissenus, can he dare to implore mercy, when he must first render an account of his contempt for the mercy which Jesus Christ has shown to him?”With what face will you, who are to be first judged for contempt of mercy, ask for mercy?” But let us come to the rendering of the accounts.

Second Point. Terror of the soul when she shall be examined.

4. As soon as the soul shall be presented before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, he will say to her: “Give an account of thy stewardship:” render instantly an account of thy entire life. The Apostle tells us, that to be worthy of eternal glory our lives must be found conformable to the life of Jesus Christ. “For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to  the image of his son ;…them he also glorified.” (Rom. viii. 29, 30.) Hence St. Peter has said, that in the judgment of Jesus Christ, the just man who has observed the divine law, has pardoned enemies, has respected the saints, has practised chastity, meekness, and other virtues, shall scarcely be saved. “The just man shall scarcely be saved.” The Apostle adds: “Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ?” (1 Pet. iv. 18.) What shall become of the vindictive and the unchaste, of blasphemers and slanderers? What shall become of those whose entire life is opposed to the lite of Jesus Christ?

5. In the first place, the Judge shall demand of sinners an account of all the blessings and graces which he bestowed on them in order to bring them to salvation, and which they have rendered fruitless. He will demand an account of the years granted to them that they might serve God, and which they have spent in offending him. “He hath called against me the time.” (Lam. i. 15.) He will then demand an account of their sins. Sinners commit sins, and afterwards forget them; but Jesus Christ does not forget them: he keeps, as Job says, all our iniquities numbered, as it were in a bag. “Thou hast sealed up my iniquities, as it were in a bag.” (Job xiv. 17.) And he tells us that, on the day of accounts, he will take a lamp to scrutinize all the actions of our life. “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps.” (Soph. i. 12.) The lamp, says Mendoza on this passage, penetrates all the corners of the house that is, God will discover all the defects of our conscience, great and small. According to St. Anselm, an account shall be demanded of every glance of the eyes. “Exigitur usque ad ictum oculi.” And, according to St. Matthew, of every idle word. “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment.”(Matt. xii. 36.)

6. The Prophet Malachy says, that as gold is refined by taking away the dross, so on the day of judgment all our actions shall be examined, and every defect which may be discovered shall be punished. “He shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold.” (Mal. iii. 3.) Even our justices that is, our good works, confessions, communions, and prayers shall be examined. “When I shall take a time, I will judge justices.” (Ps. Ixxiv. 3.) But if every glance, every idle word, and even good works, shall be judged, with what rigour shall immodest expressions, blasphemies, grievous detractions, thefts, and sacrileges be judged? Alas! on that day every soul shall, as St. Jerome says, see, to her own confusion, all the evils which she has done. “Videbit unusquisque quod fecit.”

7. “Weight and balance are judgments of the Lord. “(Prov. xvi. 11.) In the balance of the Lord a holy life and good works make the scale descend; but nobility, wealth, and science have no weight. Hence, if found innocent, the peasant, the poor, and the ignorant shall be rewarded. But the man of rank, of wealth, or of learning, if found guilty, shall be condemned. “Thou art weighed in the balance,” said Daniel to Belthassar, “and art found wanting.” (Dan. v. 27.)”Neither his gold nor his wealth,” says Father Alvares, “but the king alone was weighed.”

8. At the divine tribunal the poor sinner shall see himself accused by the devil, who, according to St. Augustine, “will recite the words of our profession, and will charge us before our face with all that we have done, will state the day and hour in which we sinned.” (Con. Jud., tom. 6.)”He will recite the words of our profession” that is, he will enumerate the promises which we have made to God, and which we afterwards violated. “He will charge us before our face ;” he will upbraid us with all our wicked deeds, pointing to the day and hour in which they were committed. And he will, as the same saint says, conclude his accusation by saying: “I have suffered neither stripes nor scourges for this man.” Lord, I have suffered nothing for this ungrateful sinner, and to make himself my slave he has turned his back on thee who has endured so much for his salvation. He, therefore, justly belongs to me. Even his angel-guardian will, according to Origen, come forward to accuse him, and will say: “I have laboured so many years for his salvation; but he has despised all my admonitions.” “Unusquisque angelorum perhibet testimonium, quot annis circa eum laboraverit, sed ille monita sprevit.” (Hom. lxvi.) Thus, even friends shall treat with contempt the guilty soul. “All her friends have despised her.” (Lamen. i. 2.) Her very sins shall, says St. Bernard, accuse her. “And they shall say: You have made us; we are your work; we shall not desert you.” (Lib. Medit, cap. ii.) We are your offspring; we shall not leave you: we shall be your companions in hell for all eternity.

9. Let us now examine the excuses which the sinner will be able to advance. He will say, that the evil inclinations of nature had drawn him into sin. But he shall be told that, if concupiscence impelled him to sins, it did not oblige him to commit them; and that, if he had recourse to God, he should have received from him grace to resist every temptation. For this purpose Jesus Christ has left us the sacraments: but when we do not make use of them, we can complain only of ourselves. “But, “ says the Redeemer, “now they have no excuse for their sin.” (John xv. 22.) To excuse himself, the sinner shall also say that the devil tempted him to sin. But, as St. Augustine says, “The enemy is bound like a dog in chains, and can bite only him who has united himself to him with a deadly security.” The devil can bark, but cannot bite unless you adhere and listen to him. Hence the saint adds: “See how foolish is the man whom a dog, loaded with chains, bites.” Perhaps he will advance his bad habits as an excuse; but this shall not stand; for the same St. Augustine says, that though it is difficult to resist the force of an evil habit, “if any one does not desert himself, he will conquer it with the divine assistance.” If a man does not abandon himself to sin, and invokes God’s aid, he will overcome evil habits. The Apostle tells us, that the Lord does not permit us to be tempted above our strength. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able.” ( I Cor. x. 13.)

10. “For what shall I do,” said Job, “when God shall rise to judge me? and when he shall examine, what shall I answer him” (Job xxxi. 14.) What answer shall the sinner give to Jesus Christ? How can he, who sees himself so clearly convicted, give an answer? He shall be covered with confusion, and shall remain silent, like the man found without the nuptial garment. “But he was silent.” (Matt. xxii. 12.) His very sins shall shut the sinner’s mouth. “And all iniquity shall stop her mouth.” (Ps. cvi. 42.) There,, says St. Thomas of Villanova, there shall be no intercessor to whom the sinner can have recourse. “There, there is no opportunity of sinning; there, no intercessor, no friend, no father shall assist.” Who shall then save you? Is it God? But how, asks St. Basil, can you expect salvation from him whom you have despised?”Who shall deliver you? Is it God, whom you have insulted ?” (S. Bas., Or. 4, de Fen.) Alas! the guilty soul that leaves this world in sin, is condemned by herself before the Judge pronounces sentence. Let us come to the sentence of the Judge.

Third Point. Terror of the soul when she shall be condemned.

11. How great shall be the joy of a soul when, at death, she hears from Jesus Christ these sweet words: “Well done, good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matt. xxv. 21.) Equally great shall be the anguish and despair of a guilty soul, that shall see herself driven away by the Judge with the following words: “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire” (verse 41). Oh! what a terrible thunderclap shall that sentence be to her!” Oh! how frightfully,” says the Carthusian, “shall that thunder resound!” Eusebius writes, that the terror of sinners at hearing their condemnation shall be so great that, if they could, they would die again. “The wicked shall be seized with such terror at the sight of the Judge pronouncing sentence that, if they were not immortal, they should die a second time.” But, brethren, let us, before the termination of this sermon, make some reflections which will be profitable to us. St. Thomas of Villanova says, that some listen to discourses on the judgment and condemnation of the wicked with as little concern as if they they themselves were secure against these things, or as if the day of judgment were never to arrive for them. “Heu quam securi hæc dicimus et audimus, quasi nos non tangeret hæc sententia, aut quasi dies hæc nunquam esset venturus!” (Conc, i., de Jud.) The saint then asks: Is it not great folly to entertain security in so perilous an affair? “Quæ est ista stulta securitas in discrimine tanto?” There are some, says St. Augustine, who, though they live in sin, cannot imagine that God will send them to hell. “Will God,” they say, “really condemn us ?” Brethren, adds the saint, do not speak thus. So, many of the damned did not believe that they should be sent to hell; but the end came, and, according to the threat of Ezechiel, they have been cast into that place of darkness. “The end is come, the end is come… and I will send my wrath upon thee, and I will judge thee.” (Ezec. vii. 2, 3.) Sinners, perhaps vengeance is at hand for you, and still you laugh and sleep in sin. Who will not tremble at the words of the Baptist: “For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, that doth not yield good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire.” (Matt, iii. 10.) He says, that every tree that does not bring forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire; and he promises that, with regard to the trees, which represent sinners, the axe is already laid to the roots that is, chastisement is at hand. Dearly beloved brethren, let us follow the counsel of the Holy Ghost “Before judgment, prepare thee justice.” (Eccl. xviii. 19.) Let us adjust our accounts before the day of accounts. Let us seek God, now that we can find him; for the time shall come when we will wish, but shall not be able to find him. “You shall seek me, and shall not find me.” (John vii. 36.)”Before judgment,” says St. Augustine, “the Judge can be appeased, but not in judgment.” By a change of life we can now appease the anger of Jesus Christ, and recover his grace; but when he shall judge, and find us in sin, he must execute justice, and we shall be lost.

"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
Taken from Fr. Gabriel's Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Everyday of the Year


PRESENCE OF GOD - Teach me, O Lord, to be a faithful, wise administrator of Your goods.


1. Today again, as last Sunday, St. Paul, in the Epistle of the Mass (Rom 8,12-17), compares the two lives which always struggle within us : the life of the old man, a slave to sin and the passions, from which come the fruits of death, and that of the new man, the servant, or better, the child of God, producing fruits of life. “If you live according to the flesh, you shall die, but if, by the spirit, you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.” Baptism has begotten us to the life of the spirit, but it has not suppressed the life of the flesh in us; the new man must always struggle against the old man, the spiritual must fight against the corporeal. Baptismal grace does not excuse us from this battle, but it gives us the power to sustain it. We must be thoroughly convinced of this so that we will not be deceived or disturbed if, after many years of living a spiritual life, certain passions, which we thought we had subdued forever, revive in us.

This is our earthly condition: “The life of man upon earth is a warfare” (Jb 7,1), so much so that Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence” (Mt 11,12). But this continual struggle should not frighten us; for grace has made us children of God, and as such, we have every right to count on His paternal help. “ You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear,” says St. Paul, “but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba, Father.” To increase our belief in this great truth, he adds, “ The Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God.” It is as though the Apostle would like to say to us: “It is not I who tell you this, but the Holy Spirit who says it and testifies to it within you.” The Holy Spirit is in us; in us He supplicates the heavenly Father, and in us He arouses confidence and trust. “You are not slaves,” He says to us, “but children; of what are you afraid?” This is our great treasure : to be children of God, co-heirs with Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit.

2. Today’s Gospel (Lk 16,1-9) teaches us by means of a parable—which at first sight seems a little disconcerting—how to be wise in administering the great riches of our life of grace. When Jesus spoke this parable, He certainly had no intention of praising the conduct of the “unjust” steward who, after wasting his master’s goods during his whole stewardship, continued to steal even when he learned that he was to be discharged. However, Jesus did praise him for the clever way he made sure of his own future. The lesson of the
parable hinges on this point: “The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.” Jesus exhorts the “children of light” not to be less shrewd in providing for their eternal interests than the “children of darkness” are in assuring for themselves the goods of earth.

We also, like the steward in the parable, have received from God a patrimony to administer, that is, our natural gifts, and more particularly, our supernatural gifts, and all the graces, holy inspirations, and promptings to good which God has bestowed upon us. The hour for rendering an account will come for us too, and we shall have to admit that we have often been unfaithful in trafficking with the gifts of God, in making the treasures of grace fructify in our soul. How can we atone for our infidelities? This is the moment to put into practice the teaching of the parable by which, as St. Augustine says, “God admonishes all of us to use our earthly goods to make friends for ourselves among the poor. They, in turn, becoming the friends of their benefactors, will be the cause of their admission into heaven.” In other words, we must pay our debts to God by charity toward our neighbor, for Sacred Scripture tells us, “Charity covereth a multitude of sins” (1 Pt 4,8). This does not mean material charity alone, but also spiritual charity and not in great things only, but in little ones too—yes, even in the very least things, such as a glass of water given for the love of God. These little acts of charity, which are always within our power, are the riches by which we pay our debts and put in order “our stewardship.”


“O Lord, it is Your Spirit which combats within me. You gave it to me to destroy the deeds of the flesh. Moved by Your Spirit, I keep up the struggle because I have a powerful helper; my sins have slain, wounded and humbled me; but You, my Creator, were wounded for me, and by Your death You overcame mine. I bear within myself human frailty and the chains of my former slavery; in my members there is a law which opposes the law of the spirit and would drag me into the slavery of sin; my corruptible body still weighs upon my soul. Although I am made strong by Your grace, as long as I continue to carry Your treasure in this earthen vessel, I shall always have to suffer because of my frailty. You are the stability which makes me firm against all temptations; if they increase and frighten me, You are my refuge. ‘You are my hope, my inheritance in the land of the living."

“Oh! how much I owe You, my Lord God, who redeemed me at so great a price! Oh! how much I ought to love, bless, praise, honor, and glorify You who have loved me so much! I shall give praise to Your Name, O God, who made me capable of receiving the great glory of being Your son. I owe to You all I have, all that is of use for my life, all that I know and love. Who possesses anything that is not Yours? Bestow Your gifts on me, O Lord our God, so that made rich by You, I may serve and please You, and every day return thanks to You for all that Your mercy has done for me. I cannot serve You or please You without making use of Your own gifts to me” (cf. St. Augustine).
"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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