Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
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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The Introit of the Mass excites in your heart an ardent desire for heaven, with these words: Behold, O God, our protector, and look on the face of thy Christ: for better is one day in thy courts above thou- sands. How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. (Ps. Ixxxiii.) Glory, &c.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Keep, We beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy Church with Thy perpetual favor; and because without Thee the weakness of man is ready to fall, may it be withheld by Thy aid from all things hurtful, and devoted to all things profitable to salvation. Thro'.

EPISTLE. (Gal. v. 16—24.) Brethren, Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh: for the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are, fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I foretell to you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences.

What is it to walk in the spirit?

It is to obey the inspirations of the Holy Ghost always, and in all things. He who does this, says St. Paul, will not do the evil woiks of the flesh, which are here enumerated, but he will rather suppress and mortify all sensual desires, in this manner crucify his flesh together with its vices and lusts, and make himself worthy of the fruits of the Holy Ghost, which are also mentioned; he will belong to Christ, and secure for himself eternal happiness. On the contrary, he who lives according to the flesh, that is, gives way to the desires of the flesh, has no hope of salvation.

Is it not strange, that all Christians wish to belong to Christ and become heirs of His kingdom, but are unwilling to crucify the flesh and its lusts, though Christ says to all; If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matt. xvi. 24.)

ASPIRATION. Intercede for me, O St. Paul, that God may give me grace to crucify my flesh with its lusts, that I may have part with thee in Christ.

GOSPEL. (Matt. vi. 24 — 33.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air; for they neither sow, nor do they reap , nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? And for raiment, why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labor not, neither do they spin; but I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. Now, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is to-day, and to morrow is cast into the oven, how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous, therefore, saying: What shall we eat or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God and his justice; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What is meant by serving God?

Doing the will of God, or performing faithfully and zealously all that God asks of us according to our age and condition, and for love of Him.

Who are the two masters whom we cannot serve alike?

God and Mammon or riches, whereby also the other goods and pleasures of the world are understood. These we cannot serve at the same time, because they command things diametrically opposed to each other; for instance, God prohibits usury, theft, deceit &c; to which the desire for wealth impels us. God commands that we keep holy Sundays and holy days, and devote them to His service; the desire for riches tempts man to omit religious worship and to seek temporal gain; it disturbs him even in church, so that he is only present with his body, but absent in mind with his temporal goods and business.

To whom can riches be useful?

To those who, like the saints, perform works of mercy with them, and thus lay up treasures for themselves in heaven.

Why does Christ call our attention to the birds of the air and the lilies of the field?

To excite in us confidence in the providence of God, which preserves even the birds and the flowers. Surely, if God feeds the young ravens which cry to Him; (Ps. cxlvi. 9.) if He nourishes the birds which neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns; if He vests the flowers of the field so beautifully, how much more will He care for man whom He has made to His own image and likeness, and adopted as His child, if he only acts as such, keeps His commandments, and always entertains a filial confidence in Him.

Should we therefore, lay aside all care and never work?

This does not follow from what has been said. Christ condemns only the superfluous cares, which cause man to
forget God and to neglect the salvation of his soul. Besides, God has Himself ordered [Gen. iii. 17-19.) that man should obtain the fruits of the earth with much labor, that he should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. St. Paul says: If any man will not work, neither let him eat. (ii Thess. iii. 10.)

What should preserve us from superfluous cares?

A firm and lively faith, that God can, and will help us. That He can, is evident, because He is almighty; that He will, is certain, because He promises it in so many passages of Holy Writ, and because He is infinitely faithful to all His promises. Christ encourages us to this lively-confidence with these words: All things whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive and they shall come unto you. (Mark xi. 24.) Therefore the apostle also commands us to throw all cares upon the Lord, who provides for us. (i Pet. v. 7.) And why should God not care for us. since He sent us His Son and with Him all; for which reason St. Augustine says: "How can you doubt that God will give you good things, since He vouchsafed to assume evil for you!"

PRAYER. O Lord Jesus! give me a firm confidence in Thy Divine Providence, and daily increase it in me, that when in necessity I may confidently believe if I seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, the rest shall be added unto me.

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Be not solicitous for your life. (Matt. vi. 25.)

If you are born in poverty, or accidentally, or through your own fault become poor, be consoled, because God has sent you this poverty for your own good; for good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God. (Ecclus.xi. 14.) Therefore receive it from the hand of Hod without impatience or murmuring, as a means by which He wishes to keep you from forgetting Him, which would, perhaps, happen if He were to bless you with temporal prosperity, Riches are a source of destruction for many. If you have brought poverty upon yourself by a licentious and sinful life, receive it in a spirit of penance as a just and salutary chastisement, and thank God that He gives you an opportunity to do penance for your sins. But if you have become poor through no fault of your own, be consoled by the example of the saints, of whom St. Paul says: they bear the unjust taking away of their goods with joy, because they know that a better and an unchangeable treasure is in store for them in heaven. (Hebr. x. 34.) But you should particular take courage from the example of Christ who, being rich, became poor for us, (ii Cor. viii. 9.) and had not a place whereon to lay His head. (Matt. viii. 20.)

In your distress say with Job: The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away: as it pleased the Lord, so it is done: blessed be the name of the Lord. Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither. (Job. i. 21.) Fear not my son, says Tobias, we lead indeed a poor life, but we shall have many good things if we fear God, and depart from all sins, and do that which is good. (Tob. iv.2s.) To serve God and to be content with few things always brings rich reward, if not in this, at least in the next life. Therefore Christ promised the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit, that is, not only to the humble, but also to the poor who imitate Christ in all patience and resignation. Follow, therefore, the poor Jesus, follow His poor mother, by imitating their example, and you will possess the kingdom of heaven.

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You cannot serve God and Mammon. (Matt. vi. 24.)

USURY is to demand more than legal interest from our neighbor, to whom we have lent something, or who is otherwise indebted to us. Those are also commonly called usurers, who, in times of want, hoard up necessary food, such as grain, flour, &c, and only sell it at an exorbitant price; or who buy up all such articles to sell them to the needy for enormous prices. This is a grievous sin, and usurers are threatened with eternal death, for Christ expressly prohibits lending with usury. (Luke vi. 34, 35.)

Usurers are the real leeches of the poor, whom they rob of their sweat and blood, and since they transgress the natural law, but still more the divine, which commands us to love our neighbor, and be merciful to the needy, they will surely not possess the kingdom of heaven. Would to God, the hard-hearted sinner might consider this, and take to heart the words of Christ: What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul! (Matt. xvi. 26.)

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"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
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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In the Western Church, this Sunday is called that of the two masters, because of the Gospel which is read upon it.

The Greeks give it the name of the Sunday of the Invited to the Marriage-feast, or the fourteenth of Saint Matthew, unless the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross happen to fall during the ensuing week. In this latter case, this and the following Sundays are called of the Exaltation, and take for their Gospels the first from St. John, the second from St. Mark. After this, follow the Sundays called of Saint Luke, which go on till Lent, in the manner already described for Saint Matthew.


Behold, O God, our protector! and look on the face of thy Christ! Thus begins the Church, as she advances towards the Altar, whereon the holy Sacrifice is going to be offered up. The Church is the Bride of the Man-God; she is, as the Apostle says, his glory; but the Spouse, according to the same Saint Paul, is both the image and the glory of God, and the head of his Bride. In all truth, then, and with full confidence that she will be graciously heard, the Church, in presenting her petitions to the Most High, begs of him to look on the face of his Christ, who is also hers.

Protector noster, aspice, Deus, et respice in faciem Christi tui: quia melior est dies una in atriis tuis super millia. 
Behold, O God, our protector, and look on the face of thy Christ: for, better is one day in thy courts, above thousands.

Ps. Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum! concupiscit, et deficit anima mea in atria Domini. Gloria Patri. Protector. 
Ps. How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. Glory, &c. Behold.

The remembrance of the future glories which fill the Church with gladness, and the dignity of the divine Union, which, even in this present life, makes her truly Bride—do not prevent her from always feeling the need she has of help from on high. Were she to be deprived one single moment of God’s assistance, she would see her children, through their innate human frailty, hurrying into the abyss of vice, such as the Apostle describes in today’s Epistle. Let us join with our Mother, in her Collect, and beseech God, that he will grant us that uninterrupted, that constant, mercy, which is absolutely necessary for us.

Custodi, Domine, quæsumus, Ecclesiam tuam propitiatione perpetua: et quia sine te labitur humana mortalitas, tuis semper auxiliis et abstrahatur a noxiis, et ad salutaria dirigatur. Per Dominum. 
Persevere, O Lord, we beseech thee, thy Church by thy constant mercy; and whereas, without thee, human mortality fails, may it, by thine aid, be ever delivered from what things are hurtful, and be directed towards such as are salutary. Through, etc.

The other Collects as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul, the Apostle, to the Galatians. Ch. v.

Brethren: Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.

Quote:The Bride who came from the top of Sanir and Hermon that she might be crowned knows not the servitude of Sinaï; still less is she under the slavery of the senses. On the mountain, where her tent is fixed forever, her Spouse has broken the fetters of the jewish law, and that more galling chain which tied all people down—the web of sin that covered all nations of the earth. She, the Bride, is queen—her sons are kings; the milk whereon she feeds them infuses liberty within them. Filled with the Holy Spirit, who is their glory and their strength, they have the Lord of Hosts looking on them, as they bravely fight battles such as Princes should engage in. Satan too has beheld their glorious struggles, and his kingdom has been shaken to its foundations. Two cities now divide the world between them, and the Holy City, made up of vanquishers over the devil, the world, and the flesh, is full of admiration and joy at seeing that the noblest of the nations flock to her. The law which reigns supreme within her walls is love; for the Holy Spirit, who rules her happy citizens, takes them far beyond the injunctions or prohibitions of any law. Together with Charity, there spring up Joy, Peace, and those other Fruits here enumerated in the Epistle; they grow spontaneously from a soil which is saturated with the glad waters of a Stream which is no other than the Sanctifying Spirit, who inundates the City of God. We are not astonished at this new Sion’s being loved by the Lord above all the tabernacles of Jacob; beautiful as those once were. Now that the Blessing has taken on earth the place once held by the Law, the Servants of God have been turned into Children, Sons and Daughters. Even while living in the flesh, they bear evidence of their heavenly origin, by going on from virtue unto virtue. Though sojourning in this vale of tears, they are ever on the ascent, approaching gradually nigher to the high summits of holiness: they reflect in their lives the perfection of their heavenly Father who, surrounded as he thus is in Sion by his noble family, is seen to be, in all truth, the God of gods.

Flesh and blood have had no share in their divine birth; flesh and blood have no hand in their regenerated life. Their first birth being in the flesh, they were flesh, and did the works of death and ignominy mentioned in the Epistle, showing at every turn that they were from slime of earth; but, born of the Spirit, they are spirit, and do the works of the Spirit, in spite of the flesh which is always part of their being. For by giving them of his own life, the Spirit has emancipated them, by the power of love, from the tyranny of sin which held dominion over their members; and having been grafted on Christ, they bring forth fruit unto God.

Man, therefore, who was once a slave to concupiscence, has regained on the cross of Christ that equilibrium of his existence which is true liberty. The supremacy, which the soul had forfeited, in punishment for her revolt against God has been restored to her by the laver of the water of baptism, and now that she is once more queen, it is but just that she chastise the slave, who so long lorded it over her, his rightful sovereign. Man owes nothing to the flesh, especially after the miseries it has brought upon him; but further than this, God too has been insulted by the sensual abominations committed in his sacred presence; and he, too, demands atonement. For this purpose, her mercifully takes man, now that he is enfranchises, and confides to him the task of sharing with his divine Majesty, in taking revenge on their common enemy and usurper. Then again, this mortifying the flesh and keeping it in subjection is a necessary means for retaining the good position already obtained. It is true that the rebel has been made incapable of damaging those who are in Christ Jesus, and who walk not according to the flesh and its vile suggestions; but it is equally true that the rebel is rebel still, and is ever watching opportunities for assailing the spirit. If there be exceptions, they are exceedingly rare. The rule of the flesh is to attack the spirit all through life, and try to make it yield. If one were an Antony in the desert, the flesh would be fierce in its assaults even there. If the Saint were a Paul, just flesh from the third heaven of his sublime revelations, the flesh would have impudence enough to buffet even him. So that, had we no past sins to atone for, the commonest prudence would urge us to take severe measures of precaution against an enemy who is so fearfully untiring in his hatred of us, and what is worse, lives always in our own home. That St. Paul, of whom we were just speaking, says of himself: I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps … I should become reprobate!

Penance and Mortification differ in this: that, Penance is a debt of justice, incumbent on the sinner; Mortification is a duty commanded by prudence; which duty becomes that of every Christian who is not foolish enough to pretend to be out of the reach of concupiscence. Is there any one living who could honestly say that he has fully acquitted himself of these two duties: that he has satisfied the claims of God’s justice? and that he has stifled every germ of his evil passions? All spiritual masters, without exception, teach that no man who is desirous either for perfection or salvation should limit himself to the rules of simple Temperance, that cardinal virtue which forbids excess in pleasures, be they of one kind or another. This, they tell us, is not enough; and that the Christian, taking up another virtue, namely Fortitude, must, from time to time, refuse himself even lawful gratifications; must impose privations on himself which are not otherwise of obligation; must even inflict punishment on himself in the manner and measure permitted him by a discreet director. Amidst the thousands of holy writers who treat on this point of asceticism, let us listen to the amiable and gentle St. Francis of Sales: “If,” says he in his Introduction to a Devout Life, “If you can bear fasting, you would do well to fast on certain days, beyond those fasts which the Church commands us to observe … even when one does not fast much, yet does the enemy fear us all the more, when he knows that we know how to impose a fast on ourselves. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays were the days whereon the Christians of former times most practices abstinence. Therefore, do you choose out of these for your fasts, as far as your devotion and the discretion of your director will counsel you to do … The discipline, when taken with moderation, possesses a marvelous power for awakening the desire for devotion. The hair-shirt is efficacious in reducing the body to subjection … on days which are especially devoted to penance, one may wear it, the advice of a discreet Confessor having been previously taken.” Thus speaks the learned Doctor of the Church, the saintly Bishop of Geneva, whose sweet prudence is almost proverbial; and they to whom he addresses these instructions are persons living in the world. In the world, quite as much as in the cloister, the Christian Life, if seriously taken up, imperatively requires this incessant war of the spirit against the flesh. Let that war cease, and the flesh speedily usurps the sway and reduces the soul to a state of torpor, by either seizing her very first attempts at virtue and chilling them into apathy, or by plunging her, at a single throw, deep into the filth of sin.

Neither is it to be feared that affability in the Christian’s social intercourse will be in any way impaired by this energy of self-mortification. That virtue which is based on such forgetfulness of oneself as to make him love discomfort and suffering for God’s sale, does not render such a man one whit less pleasing in company, nor rob the friendly circle he frequents of one single charm. But will it not interfere somewhat with an article which the world is very jealous about? No: when Dress is what every Christian reserve would have it be—in other and plainer words, when it is the love of Jesus that regulates the arrangements—there is no toilet where the jewels of penance may not find their place without in the least intruding with those of the world. The day of judgment will give a strange lesson to those many good-for-nothing and cowardly Christians who feel sure that every one of their acquaintance is as fond of easy-going softness as they themselves are! Then will be revealed to them the pious schemes of penance, which Christian love of the Cross suggested, as means for crucifying their flesh even amidst pleasures, and to those very persons, who were the most admired in the worldling’s earthly paradise of wild saloons.

And ought it not to be thus? ought not the Cross to be most dear to men? Yes, unless we hold that Christianity and divine love have entirely disappeared from this world. How is it possible to love Jesus, the Man of sorrows, and not love his sufferings? Can we say that we are walking in his footsteps if we are not on the road to Calvary? If any man will come after me, says this Jesus, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me! And the Church, who is one with her divine Spouse—the Church who completes Him in all things and therefore continues through all ages his life of expiation and atonement, puts on her children the sublime task, which the Apostle thus expresses: I fill up those things, that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, by suffering in my flesh for his body, which is the Church.

Sublime task indeed! filial, as far as the Church is concerned, but divine also, and deifying, if we consider the union it produces between the Word and the Soul: he, the Word, gives to the soul what he has not given to the Angels; that is, he invites her to a share of that Chalice, which the Eternal Father reserved to Jesus’ sacred Humanity. Here we have the intimacy of the Bride—the one same Cup for the Two, and it unites their two lives into one. It is a Cup of sorrow’s holy inebriation; they both drink it with avidity; and that avidity gives such vehemence to their union, that the creature at times leaves her ecstasy all stigmatized in soul, yea, it may be in her body too, with the Wounds of her Crucified Lord. But whether our Lord communicate or not, either invisibly or visibly, the stigmata of his love to the soul that is devoted to Him—there is always, under one form or other, the royal seal, which gives the surest sign of authenticity to the contract of divine union here below; that seal is suffering. Many—who on hearing or reading the favors gratuitously granted to certain saintly souls, are excited to a feeling of holy envy—would shrink back with dismay if they were told of the trials they had to go through before gaining such mystic ascensions. Even when the trials of purification (of which we were speaking on the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost) are all over, the place of meeting is invariably that which the inspired Canticle calls the Mount of myrrh, which is but another name for suffering. Myrrh is the first fragrant herb culled by the divine Word in the mystic garden—nay, it is the only one he expressly mentions. Myrrh distills from the Bride’s hands, and her fingers are full of it; her Spouse is the bouquet she clasps to her heart, but that bouquet is one of Myrrh; and his lips are as lilies dropping choice Myrrh.

Of course, we are too miserable ever to aspire to be raised up by the Holy Spirit to those heights of the mystic life, where divine union produces such marvelous results as those we have already mentioned; but let us remember that neither the intensity nor the merit of love, no, not even the reality of effective Union, depend on those exterior manifestations. It should suffice to make us love, and even go in quest of suffering, to remember how faith teaches us that it was life-long with Him who wishes, and infinitely deserves, to be the one object of our thoughts and affections. We are members of a Head who was crowned with thorns; can we pretend to have nothing but pleasures and flowers? Let us not forget that all the Saints must, when in heaven, be likenesses of the new Adam; and that the Eternal Fathers admits no one into his House who is not conformable to the image of his Son.

In the Gradual, the Church sings the happy confidence she has put in her divine Spouse. The Alleluia-Verse invites us to rejoice as she, our Mother, does in God our Savior.

Bonum est confidere in Domino, quam confidere in homine. 
It is better to trust in the Lord, than to trust in man.

℣. Bonum est sperare in Domino, quam sperare in principibus. 
℣. It is better to hope in the Lord, than to hope in princes.

Alleluia, alleluia. 
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Venite, exsultemus Domino: jubilemus Deo salutari nostro. Alleluia. 
℣. Come, let us praise the Lord with joy; let us joyfully sing to God our Savior. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. Ch. vi.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Mammon: That is, riches, worldly interest. Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Quote:The supernatural life can never be healthy in men’s souls unless it triumph over the three enemies, which St. John calls concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life. As to the first of these, our Epistle has been instructing us upon the obstacle it raises against the action of the Holy Spirit, and on the means we are to adopt for surmounting it. Pride of life is overcome by Humility, on which the Church has several times spoken to us during the previous Sundays. The Gospel for today is the condemnation of the concupiscence of the eyes, that is, attachment to the goods of this world, which of themselves are but goods in name and appearance.

No man, says our Lord, can serve two masters; and these two Masters are God and Mammon; Mammon means riches. Riches are not, of their own nature, bad. When lawfully acquired and used agreeably to the designs of God, Riches help the possessor to gain true goods for his soul; he stores up for himself, in the kingdom of his eternal home, treasures which neither thieves nor rust can reach. Ever since the Incarnation, wherein the divine Word espoused Poverty to himself, it is the Poor that are heaven’s nobility; and yet the mission of the rich man is a grand one. He is permitted to be rich, in order that he may be God’s minister to make all the several portions of material creation turn to their Creator’s glory. He graciously vouchsafes to entrust into his hands the feeding and supporting the dearest of his children—that is, the Poor—that is, the indigent and suffering members of his Christ. He calls them to uphold the interests of his Church and be the promoter of works connected with the salvation of men. He confides to him the keeping up the beauty of his temples. Happy that man, and worthy of all praise who thus directly brings back to the glory of their maker the fruits of the earth, and the precious metals she yields from her bosom! Let not such a man fear: it is not of him that Jesus speaks those anathemas uttered so frequently by him against the rich ones of this world. He has but one Master—the Father who is in heaven, whose steward he humbly and gladly acknowledges himself to be. Mammon does not domineer over him; on the contrary he makes her his servant, and obliges her to minister to his zeal in all good works. The solicitude he takes in spending his wealth in acts of justice and charity is not that which our Gospel here blames; for in all such solicitude, he is but following our Lord’s precept—of seeking first the kingdom of God; and the riches which pass through his hands in the furtherance of good works do not distract his thoughts from that heaven where his heart is, because his true treasure is there.

It is quite otherwise when riches, instead of being regarded as a simple means, become the very end of a man’s existence, and that to such an extent as to make him neglect, yea, and sometimes forget, his last end. The ways of every covetous man, says the Scripture, destroy the souls of the possessors. The Apostle explains this by saying that the love of money drives a man into temptation and the snares of the devil, by the countless unprofitable and hurtful desires it excites within him; it drowns men in destruction and perdition, making then even barter away their faith. And yet the more an avaricious man gets, the less he spends. To nurse his treasure, to gaze upon it, to be thinking of it all day and night long, when obliged to go from home—that is what he lives for; and his money becomes, at last, his idol. Yes, Mammon is not merely his master, whose commands are obeyed before all others, but it is his god, before which he sacrifices friends, relatives, country, and himself, for he devotes and, as it is said in Ecclesiasticus, throws his whole soul and body away to his idol. Let us not be astonished at our Gospel declaring that God and Mammon are irreconcilable enemies; for who was it but Mammon that had our Lord Jesus sacrificed on its hateful altar for thirty pieces of silver? Of all the devils in hell, is there one whose hideous guilt is deeper than the fallen angel who prompted Judas to sell the Son of God to his executioners? It is the avaricious who alone can boast of deicide! The vile love of money, which the Apostle defines as the root of all evils, can lay claim to having produced the greatest crime that was ever perpetrated!

But without going into such crimes as made the authors of the inspired books of even the Old Testament say that nothing is more wicked than the covetous man … there is not a more wicked thing, than to love money—it is easy to allow oneself to be led, as regards this world’s goods, into an excessive solicitude, that is, into one which prudence condemns. What ineffable truth and clearness are there not in the reasoning of our Jesus, as put before us in today’s Gospel! To attempt to add any human words to these of His would be an insult offered to both their charm and their energy. The exquisitely beautiful comparisons of the birds of the air, and the lilies of the field, by which our divine Master shows how such solicitude is the very opposite of the confidence we should have in our heavenly Father—are beyond all comment. We may just add that solicitude of this sort would prove the existence of an attachment to earthly things, which is incompatible with anything approaching the Christian perfection, or to the desire of making progress in the paths of divine Union. The Unitive Way is possible in every state of life; only there must be one consideration observed, and that is, the soul must be detached from every tie that could keep her from going to God. The Religious breaks these ties by his three vows, which are in direct opposition to the triple concupiscence of fallen nature; the layman who, though he is living in the world, desires to be what his Creator would have him be, must without the aid of the real separation which the Religious makes, be quite as completely detached from his own will, and sensuality, and riches, in order that all his intentions and aspirations may be fixed on the eternal home, where his one infinite loved Treasure is. If he does not bring himself, even in the midst of his riches, to be as poor in spirit as the Religious is in deed, his progress will be checked at the very first step he takes in the contemplative life; and if he allow the obstacle to block up the way, he must give up all idea of rising, in light and love, above the lowly paths of the majority of Christians.

Like the other portions of today’s Liturgy, the Offertory is all confidence and joy. The Prince of the heavenly hosts, the Archangel St. Michael—whose Feast is at hand, and whom the Church always invokes in the blessing of the incense at this part of the Mass—is he not ever ready to protect and watch over those who fear the Lord?

Let us, in the Secret, pray that the saving host, offered on the Altar, may by its virtue purify our soul and draw the divine power to our assistance.

Concede nobis, Domine, quæsumus: ut hæc hostia salutaris et nostrorum fiat purgatio delictorum, et tuæ propitiatio potestatis. Per Dominum. 
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that this saving host may both cleanse us from our sins and render thy majesty propitious to us. Through, etc.

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

The Communion-Anthem, taken from the Gospel, which now is assigned to this Sunday, was not the one primitively used; the ancient liturgists make no mention of it in its present position, nor is it to be found there in any of the manuscripts consulted by Blessed Thomasi, when he was preparing the publication of his Antiphonary. The composition of this and some other Masses shows some few variations of this kind; but these are details which, whatever may be their interest in other respects, savor too much of erudition, and the nature of this Work necessarily excludes them.

Purificent semper et muniant tua sacramenta nos, Deus: et ad perpetuæ ducant salvationis effectum. Per Dominum. 
May these thy mysteries, O God, continually purify and strengthen us, and procure us eternal salvation. Through, &c.

An ever-growing love of purity, heaven’s protection, and final perseverance—these are the precious fruits of our frequent assistance at these sacred Mysteries. Let us secure them by joining our Mother in her Postcommunion prayer.

Purificent semper etmuniant tua sacramenta nos, Deus: et ad perpetuæ ducant salvationis effectum. Per Dominum. 
May these thy mysteries, O God, continually purify and strengthen us, and procure us eternal salvation. Through, 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 Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

2017 - 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

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"The grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven.” MATT. vii. 30.

BEHOLD! all the goods of the earth are like the grass of the field, which Today is blooming and beautiful, but in the evening it withers and loses its flowers, and the next day is cast into the fire. This is what God commanded the Prophet Isaias to preach, when he said to him: “Cry” And I said: What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof as the flower of the field.” (Isa. xl. 6.) Hence St. James compares the rich of this world to the flower of grass: at the end of their journey through life they rot, along with all their riches and pomps. “The rich. . . .because as the flower of the grass shall he pass away. For the sun rose with a burning heat, and parched the grass, and the flower thereof fell off, and the beauty of the shape thereof perished: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” (St. James i. 10, 11.) They fade away and are cast into the fire, like the rich glutton, who made a splendid appearance in this life, but afterwards” was buried in hell.” (Luke xvi. 22.) Let us, then, dearly beloved Christians, attend to the salvation of our souls, and to the acquisition of riches for eternity, which never ends; for everything in this world ends, and ends very soon.

First Point. Everything ends.

1. When one of the great of this world is in the full enjoyment of the riches and honours which he has acquired, death shall come, and he shall he told: “Take order with thy house; for thou shalt die, and not live.” (Isa. xxxviii. 1.) Oh! what doleful tidings! The unhappy man must then say: Farewell, world! farewell, O villa! farewell, grotto! farewell, relatives! farewell, friends! farewell, sports! farewell, balls! farewell, comedies! farewell, banquets! farewell, honours! all is over for me. There is no remedy: whether he will or not, he must leave all. “For when he shall die, he shall take nothing away; nor shall his glory descend with him.” (Ps. xlviii. 18.) St. Bernard says, that death produces a horrible separation of the soul from the body, and from all the things of this earth. “Opus mortis horrendum divortium.” (Serm.xxvi., in Cant.)

To the great of this world, whom worldlings regard as the most fortunate of mortals, the bare name of death is so full of bitterness, that they are unwilling even to hear it mentioned; for their entire concern is to find peace in their earthly goods. “O death!” says Ecclesiasticus, “how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that hath peace in his possessions. ” (Eccl. xli. 1.) But how much greater bitterness shall death itself cause when it actually comes miserable the man who is attached to the goods of this world! Every separation produces pain. Hence, when the soul shall be separated by the stroke of death from the goods on which she had fixed all her affections, the pain must be excruciating. It was this that made king Agag exclaim, when the news of approaching death was announced to him: “Doth bitter death separate me in this manner?” (I Kings xv. 32.) The great misfortune of worldlings is, that when they are on the point of being summoned to judgment, instead of endeavouring to adjust the accounts of their souls, they direct all their attention to earthly things. But, says St. John Chrysostom, the punishment which awaits sinners, on account of having forgotten God during life, is that they forget themselves at the hour of death. “Hac animadversione percutitur impius, ut moriens obliviscatur sui, qui vivens oblitus est Dei.”

2. But how great soever a man’s attachment to the things of this world may be, he must take leave of them at death. Naked he has entered into this world, and naked he shall depart from it. “Naked,” says Job, “I came out of my mother*s womb, and naked shall I return thither.” (Job i. 21.) In a word, they who have spent their whole life, have lost their sleep, their health, and their soul, in accumulating riches and possessions shall take nothing with them at the hour of death: their eyes shall then be opened; and of all they had so dearly acquired, they shall find nothing in their hands. Hence, on that night of confusion, they shall be overwhelmed in a tempest of pains and sadness. “The rich man, when he shall sleep, shall take away nothing with him! He shall open his eyes and find nothing… a tempest shall oppress him in the night.” (Job xxvii. 19, 20.) St. Antonine relates that Saladin, king of the Saracens, gave orders at the hour of death, that the winding sheet in which he was to be buried should be carried before him to the grave, and that a person should cry out: “Of all his possessions, this only shall Saladin bring with him.” The saint also relates that a certain philosopher, speaking of Alexander the Great after his death, said: Behold the man that made the earth tremble. “The earth,” as the Scripture says, “was quiet before him.” (1 Mach. i. 3.) He is now under the earth. Behold the man whom the dominion of the whole world could not satisfy: now four palms of ground are sufficient for him. “Qui terram heri conculcubat, hodie ab ea conculcatur; et cui heri non sufficiebat mundus hodie sufficiunt quatuor ulnæ terræ.” St. Augustine, or some other ancient writer, says, that having gone to see the tomb of Caesar, he exclaimed: “Princes feared thee; cities worshipped thee; all trembled before thee; where is thy magnificence gone ?” (Serm. xxxviii. ad Fratr.) Listen to what David says: “I have seen the wicked highly exalted and lifted up like the cedars of Libanus. And I passed by, and lo! he was not.” (Ps. xxxvi. 35, 36.) Oh! how many such spectacles are seen every day in the world! A sinner who had been born in lowliness and poverty, afterwards acquires wealth and honours, so as to excite the envy of all. When he dies, every one says: He made a fortune in the world; but now he is dead, and with death all is over for him.

3. “Why is earth and ashes proud ?” (Eccl. x. 9.) Such the language which the Lord addresses to the man who is puffed up by earthly honours and earthly riches. Miserable creature, he says, whence comes such pride? If you enjoy honours and riches, remember that you are dust. “For dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.” (Gen. iii. 19.) You must die, and after death what advantage shall you derive from the honours and possessions which now inflate you with pride? Go, says St. Ambrose, to a cemetery, in which are buried the rich and poor, and see if you can discern among them who has been rich and who has been poor; all are naked, and nothing remains of the richest among them but a few withered bones. “Respice sepulchra, die mihi, quis ibi dives, quis pauper sit“(lib. vi. exam., cap. viii). How profitable would the remembrance of death be to the man who lives in the world!” He shall be brought to the grave, and shall watch in the heap of the dead.” (Job xxi. 32.) At the sight of these dead bodies he would remember death, and that he shall one day be like them. Thus, he should be awakened from the deadly sleep in which perhaps he lives in a state of perdition. But the misfortune is, that worldlings are unwilling to think of death until the hour comes when they must depart from this earth to go into eternity; and therefore they live as attached to the world, as if they were never to be separated from it. But our life is short, and shall soon end: thus all things must end, and must soon end.

Second Point. All soon ends

4. Men know well, and believe firmly, that they shall die; but they imagine death is far off as if it were never to arrive. But Job tells us that the life of man is short. “Man born of a woman, living for a short time, is filled with many miseries. Who cometh forth like a flower and is destroyed.” (Job xiv. 2.) At present the health of men is so much impaired, that, as we see by experience, the greater number of them die before they attain the age of seventy. And what, says St. James, is our life but a vapour, which a blast of wind, a fever, a stroke of apoplexy, a puncture, an attack of the chest, causes to disappear, and which is seen no more?”For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while.” (St. James iv. 15.)”We all die,” said the woman of Thecua to David, “and like waters that return no more, we fall down into the earth.” (2 Kings xiv. 14.) She spoke the truth; as all rivers and streams run to the sea, and as the gliding waters return no more, so our days pass away, and we approach to death.

5. They pass; they pass quickly. “My days, “ says Job, “have been swifter than a post.” (Job ix. 25.) Death comes to meet us, and runs more swiftly than a post; so that every step we make, every breath we draw, we approach to death. St. Jerome felt that even while he was writing he was drawing nearer to death. Hence he said: “What I write is taken away from my life.” “Quad scribo de mea vita tollitur.” Let us, then, say with Job: Years passed by, and with them pleasures, honours, pomps, and all things in this world pass away, “and only the grave remaineth for me.” (Job xviii. 1.) In a word, all the glory of the labours we have undergone in this world, in order to acquire a large income, a high character for valour, for learning and genius, shall end in our being thrown into a pit to become the food of worms. The miserable worldling then shall say at death: My house, my garden, my fashionable furniture, my pictures and rich apparel, shall, in a short time, belong no more to me;“and only the grave remaineth for me.”

6. But how much soever the worldling may be distracted by his worldly affairs and by his pleasures how much soever he may be entangled in them, St. Chrysostom says, that when the fear of death, which sets fire to all things of the present life, begins to enter the soul, it will compel him to think and to be solicitous about his lot after death. “Cum pulsare animam incipit metus mortis (ignis instar præsentis vitæ omnia succendens) philosophari eam cogit, et futura solicita mente versari.” (Serm. in 2 Tim.) Alas! at the hour of death “the eyes of the blind shall be opened.” (Is xxxv. 5.) Then indeed shall he opened the eyes of those blind worldlings who have employed their whole life in acquiring earthly goods, and have paid but little attention to the interests of the soul. In all these shall be verified what Jesus Christ has told them that death shall come when they least expect it. “At what hour you think not the Son of Man will come.” (Luke xii. 40.) Thus, on these unhappy men death comes unexpectedly. Hence, because the lovers of the world are not usually warned of their approaching dissolution till it is very near, they must, in the last few days of life, adjust the accounts of their soul for the fifty or sixty years which they lived on this earth. They will then desire another month, or another week, to settle their accounts or to tranquillize their conscience. But”they will seek for peace, and there shall he none.” (Ezec. vii. 25.) The time which they desire is refused. The assistant priest reads the divine command to depart instantly from this world. “Proficiscere, anima Christian! de hoc mundo. “”Depart, Christian soul, from this world.” Oh! how dangerous the entrance of worldlings into eternity, dying, as they do, amid so much darkness and confusion, in consequence of the disorderly state of the accounts of their souls.

7. “Weight and balance are the judgments of the Lord.” (Prov. xvi. 11.) At the tribunal of God, nobility, dignities, and riches have no weight; two things only our bins, and the graces bestowed on us by God make the scales ascend or descend. They who shall be found faithful in corresponding with the lights and calls which they have received, shall be rewarded; and they who shall be found unfaithful, shall be condemned. We do not keep an account of God’s graces; but the Lord keeps an account of them; he measures them; and when he sees them despised to a certain degree, he leaves the soul in her sins, and takes her out of life in that miserable state. “For what things a man shall sow those also shall he reap.” (Gal. vi. 8.) From labours undertaken for the attainment of posts of honour and emolument, for the acquisition of property and of worldly applause, we reap nothing at the hour of death: all are then lost. We gather fruits of eternal life only from works performed, and tribulations suffered for God.

8. Hence, St. Paul exhorts us to attend to our own business. “But we must entreat you, brethren…. that you do your own business.” (1 Thess. iv. 10, 11.) Of what business, I ask, does the Apostle speak? Is it of acquiring riches, or a great name in the world? No; he speaks of the business of the soul, of which Jesus Christ spoke, when he said: “Trade till I come.” (Luke xix. 13.) The business for which the Lord has placed, and for which he keeps us on this earth, is to save our souls, and by good works to gain eternal life. This is the end for which we have been created. “And the end eternal life.” (Rom. vi. 22.) The business of the soul is for us not only the most important, but also the principal and only affair; for, if the soul be saved, all is safe; but if the soul be lost, all is lost. Hence, we ought, as the Scripture says, to strive for the salvation of our souls, and to combat to death for justice that is, for the observance of the divine law. “Strive for justice for thy soul, and even unto death fight for justice.” (Eccl. iv. 33.) The business which our Saviour recommends to us, saying: Trade till I come, is, to have always before our eyes the day on which he shall come to demand an account of our whole life.

9. All things in this world acquisitions, applause, grandeur must, as we have said, all end, and end very soon. “The fashion of this world passeth away.” (1 Cor. vii. 31.) The scene of this life passes away; happy they who, in this scene, act their part well, and save their souls, preferring the eternal interests of the soul to all the temporal interests of the body. “He that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.” (John xii. 26.) Worldlings say: Happy the man who hoards up money! happy they who acquire the esteem of the world, and enjoy the pleasures of this life! folly! Happy he who loves God and saves his soul! The salvation of his soul was the only favour which king David asked of God. “One thing have I asked of the Lord, this will I seek after.” (Ps. xxvi. 4.) And St. Paul said, that to acquire the grace of Jesus Christ which contains eternal life, he despised as dung all worldly goods. “I count all things as loss and I count them as dung, that I may gain Christ.” (Phil, iii. 8.)

10. But certain fathers of families will say: I do not labour so much for myself as for my children, whom I wish to leave in comfortable circumstances. But I answer: If you dissipate the goods which you possess, and leave your children in poverty, you do wrong, and are guilty of sin. But will you lose your soul in order to leave your children comfortable? If you fall into hell, perhaps they will come and release you from it? O folly! Listen to what David said: “I have not seen the just man forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread.” (Ps. xxxvi. 25.) Attend to the service of God; act according to justice; the Lord will provide for the wants of your children; and you shall save your souls, and shall lay up that eternal treasure of happiness which can never be taken from you a treasure not like earthly possessions, of which you may be deprived by robbers, and which you shall certainly lose at death. This is the advice which the Lord gives you: “But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where  neither the rust nor the moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matt. vi. 20.) In conclusion, attend to the beautiful admonition which St. Gregory gives to all who wish to live well and to gain eternal life. “Sit nobis in intentione æternitas, in usu temporalitas.” Let the end of all our actions in this life be, the acquisition of eternal goods; and let us use temporal things only to preserve life for the little time we have to remain on this earth. The saint continues: “Sicut nulla est proportio inter æternitatem et nostræ vitæ tempus, ita nulla debet esse proportio inter æternitatis, et hujus, vitæ curas.” As there is an infinite distance between eternity and the time of our life, so there ought to be, according to our mode of understanding, an infinite distance between the attention which we should pay to the goods of eternity, which shall be enjoyed for ever, and the care we take of the goods of this life, which death shall soon take away from us.

"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
Trusting in God
by the Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul, 1893

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"Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you."--1. St. Peter v. 7.

This spiritual direction of the chief of the Apostles should bring to our inmost souls the greatest consolation. If we but keep these words in our hearts and recall them to our minds the moment we need them, they will increase our faith, arouse our spiritual energies, and secure to us that victory which we must gain in order to possess even a small part of the peace of God in our souls.

But what is meant by ''Casting all your care upon Him"? These words mean that we are to cast all of our care upon God; not merely a part of it, not merely this or that care, but all care without exception. What are the things that become a care to us? First, our immortal souls. These are a care to us, the greatest of all our cares and the source of our greatest anxiety.

Why is this? Because eternal joy or woe depends upon our own actions in life; because we do not know with positive certainty that the salvation of our souls will be secured. The thought of this makes all tremble, even with terror at times, for their salvation. We examine our consciences and recall all the sins of our past lives. These show to us how small the amount of our merit is. Temptation to give up all and to despair begins to assault us. How are we to do then? Cast even that care upon God. But how? By remembering that God's mercy is exalted by Him above His justice. Therefore, making an act of contrition, we must then cast the care of our salvation upon that mercy that is never withheld when asked for in sincerity; by remembering the fact that ''by grace we are saved," and by going to confession to get that very grace which is the eternal life of our souls, insuring our salvation. Follow this by a good Communion, that by receiving worthily we may again begin fervently a persevering reunion with God. The light by which we, see our past lives, our little merit and our great demerit葉hat light is sent into our souls in order to make us, to drive us to confession, Communion, and a new life. But, some may say, I am sure to do these things again; what is the use of going to confession and Communion? This is a lie of the evil one and a deceit of our own weakness. If we cast this care and fear upon God, he will take care of us and we shall not do these things again. Fidelity to-day wins grace for to-morrow. God's grace will not be wanting, but is sure. Those who talk in that way yield to their temptations before they come. This is a form of despair. We are commanded most stringently and most positively never to despair of our salvation at any time, in any place, nor under any circumstances. To do so is to add to the list of our sins the gravest of all, final impenitence. Despair of our salvation is the same thing.

What other things are a great care to us? Our bodies, our human life in this world, with all that belongs to it, called worldly advancement and success. We must remember, however, that the great care these things give us comes in great part from our making too much of them. Practically, the vast majority of mankind, and of Catholics also, seem to think and act as if life in this world is our all, and that success, honor, wealth, and social position once secured here, men can die in peace, without any thought of that great future eternity. When the vast majority start out in life in this world they find they cannot get these things; try and try again as they may, they fail as often, even when about to succeed, because of these failures, in many cases, even they turn against God and lose their faith. And why? Simply because they did not and do not ''cast the care of these things upon God," who would not and will not permit success in this world to be enjoyed by those he loves with a special love, when that success will be sure to ruin their souls in this life and in eternity. Let us, then, stop for a moment and examine our hearts in order to see if we have been regarding this life, with its concerns, as if it be our all. If we have, let us cease to care so much for it, commit our success or defeat in this human life and its concerns to the loving providence of God, so far, at least, as to be able to say from our hearts when we fail: "God knows what is best for me. I am contented." In success we should tremble lest we offend, and in defeat bless God, who has kept us from many temptations and sins by sending defeat instead of success. The unsuccessful can say always, ''At any rate, my soul is safe from any new sin." But how are we to know that we love this life and its concerns too much? By the way we act as Christians. If we are careless about our duties to God, if we do not obey the laws of our holy religion, if we follow the ways of the world and feel ashamed to acknowledge courageously that we are Catholics, then we know that the world has almost overcome us. And how has this come to pass? It is the result of our failure to desire only what God desires us to have, of our failure to live always under his providential care, by checking our desires and aspirations so as not to be driven too far by them, and because we have thrown aside God's care of us.

But how are we to remedy as well as prevent this unholy state of soul? Only by ceasing to pursue too eagerly anything that can last only the few short years of human life in this world, by subjecting all things to the rule we must follow in order to lead good lives as good Catholics, and by doing as the text tells us: casting all our care upon God, for He hath care of us.

Act of Hope

O my God, because Thou art almighty, infinitely good and merciful, I hope that, by the merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Thou wilt grant eternal life, which Thou, most faithful, hast promised to all those who shall do the works of a good Christian, as I purpose to do by Thy holy help. 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
Taken from Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen's Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Everyday of the Year


PRESENCE OF GOD - Give strength to my weakness, O Lord, so that I may come to possess Your kingdom.


1. We find the central thought of today’s Mass synthesized in the Collect: “O Lord. . . because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation.” Behold the position of man in respect to the spiritual life : he is like a child who finds himself at a crossroad: he cannot go on alone, and he does not know which road leads to his home. Two roads open up before the Christian: one leads to the kingdom of the spirit, the kingdom of God; the other to the kingdom of the flesh, the kingdom of Mammon; which of the two will he choose? Evidently, he wishes to give the preference to the one leading to the kingdom of God, the calm, peaceful kingdom described by Jesus in today’s Gospel (Mt 6,24-33). Unfortunately, however, the kingdom of Mammon also has attractions and tries to seduce his heart. The Epistle (Gal 5,16-24) tells us that we must struggle against these allurements. “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another, so that you do not the things that you would.”

The struggle is hard sometimes, even in souls that are decidedly advanced in the things of God. Why? Because the path that leads to the kingdom of God is rough and tiring; it is often shrouded in dense darkness, rendering it impossible for the soul to discern the progress already made. Then the soul must proceed in the night, believing and hoping.

Meanwhile, its gaze falls on the other road, which is broader and more comfortable, strewn with sensible goods which can be seen and touched, gathered and enjoyed immediately, by merely stretching out one’s hand. The soul feels the temptation and realizes that alone it could not resist, but if it takes refuge in God, if it yields to the guidance of the Spirit, it will be saved, although not without sacrifice. “I say then, walk in the spirit,” continues St. Paul, “and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.... Now the works of the flesh are manifest...” and the Apostle gives a very unattractive list of them. It is always true : material goods present themselves like flowers, attractive, yes, but doomed to quickly vanish and decay; it is not worthwhile to stop to enjoy them. That is why “ they that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.”

2. The Gospel again puts us on our guard against the attractiveness of earthly goods. First it affirms that no man can simultaneously serve two masters, God and Mammon, any more than one can follow the two roads at the same time: the one leading to the kingdom of God and the other to worldly pleasure. Anyone giving himself to God must have the courage to give himself entirely, with no regrets, no backward glance—however fleeting—at the things of the world. The soul who, after choosing the path of perfection, does not go forth generously, with its whole heart, will never be contented. It will neither experience the joy of knowing that it belongs entirely to God, nor will it have the satisfaction of being able to follow all the attractions of the world; the first will be impeded by the soul’s unfaithfulness, the second by the fear of God which it still possesses. Such a soul is unhappy, torn between the two and in continual struggle with itself.

But what keeps it from seeking the kingdom of God with its whole heart? Jesus gives us the answer in today’s Gospel : too much solicitude about material things, about ease and security in this present life. Even though we have the will to live according to the spirit, as long as we are pilgrims here below and in a mortal body, we shall always have to face the possibility of becoming engrossed in worldly cares: “ What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewith shall we be clothed?” Precisely to relieve us of such anxieties, Jesus presents to us the marvelous picture of divine Providence. “Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of more value than they?”

These are words that give us wings and fill us with a desire to cast aside all vain preoccupations about earthly things and concentrate on seeking the kingdom of God. “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Oh, if we only had greater faith in divine Providence, how much freer we would be to attend to the things of our soul! Although obliged to occupy ourselves with earthly affairs, we would not remain entrapped by them, but would know how to attend to them with complete liberty of spirit.


“O Lord, as the desires of the flesh are opposed to those of the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are opposed to those of the flesh, the struggle is a mortal one; I do not do the things I would like to do, for I would like to free myself from concupiscence, but this is impossible. Whether I will it or not, I cling to it; it flatters, tempts, importunes, always trying to raise up its head. It can be restrained but not suppressed.

“O Lord, my God, Your commandments are weapons. By the Holy Spirit, You have given me the possibility of keeping my members under control; therefore, all my hope is in You. Grant that I may do what You command, and then command what You will.

“I do not want to be a friend of this world, O Lord, for if I were, I should be Your enemy. I want to make a ladder of all created things, by which I may mount to You, for if I love creatures more than You, I shall not possess You. Of what benefit would an abundance of created things be to me, if I did not have You, the Creator of all things?

“Why do I work so much for the love of riches? The desire for gain imposes fatigue, dangers, and tribulations; and I, unhappy that I am, submit to them. I accept them in order to fill my coffers, and so I lose my tranquility.

“But You, what do You command me to do, O my God? To love You. If I love gold, I try to seek it but am not able to find it; but You are always with those who seek for You. I desire honor, and I may not receive it; but can anyone love You and not reach You? All I have to do is love You, and love itself will bring You near me. Is there anything sweeter than such love? You, O Lord, are my love! I love You with all the ardor of my heart, and I trample underfoot all earthly attractions, resolving to pass them by” (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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