Third Sunday of Advent [Gaudete Sunday]
Taken from Fr. Leonard Goffine's Explanations of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, Holydays throughout the Ecclesiastical Year, 1880

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On this Sunday again, the Church calls on us to rejoice in the Advent of the Redeemer, and at the Introit sings: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing by prayer let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. IV.) Lord, thou hast blessed thy land; thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. (Ps. LXXXIV.)

. Incline Thine ear, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto our prayers: and enlighten the darkness of our mind by The grace of thy visitation.

EPISTLE. (Phil. IV. 4— 7.) Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is meant by "rejoicing in the Lord?"

By "rejoicing in the Lord" is meant rejoicing in the grace of the true faith we have received, in the hope of obtaining eternal happiness; rejoicing in the protection of the most High under which we stand; and in the persecution for justice's sake in which Christ Himself exhorts us to rejoice, and in which the Apostle Paul gloried. (II Cor. VII. 4.)

What else does St. Paul teach in this epistle?

He exhorts us to give all a good example by a modest and edifying life, to which we should be directed by the remembrance of God's presence and His coming to judgment; (Chrysostom. 33, in Joann.) he warns us against solicitude about temporal affairs, advising us to cast our care on God, who will never abandon us in our needs, if we entreat Him with confidence and humility.

In what does “the peace of God" consist?

It consists in a good conscience, (Ambrose) in which St. Paul gloried and rejoiced beyond measure.(II. Cor. I. 12.) This peace of the soul sustained all the martyrs, and consoled many others who suffered for justice's sake. Thus St. Tibertius said to the tyrant: “We count all pain as naught, for our conscience is at peace.” There cannot be imagined a greater joy than that which proceeds from the peace of a good conscience. It must be experienced to be understood.

ASPIRATION. The peace of God, that surpasseth all understanding, preserve our hearts in Christ Jesus. Amen.


“Is any one troubled, let him pray."(James. V. 13.)

There is no greater or more powerful comfort in sorrow than in humble and confiding prayer, to complain to God of our wants and cares, as did the sorrowful Anna, mother of the prophet Samuel, (I. Kings X.) and the chaste Susanna when she was falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death. (Dan. XIII. 35) the pious King Ezechias complained in prayer of the severe oppression with which he was threatened by Senacherib. (IV. Kings XIX. 14.) So also King Josaphat made his trouble known to God only, saying: But as we know not what to do. we can only turn our eyes on Thee. (II. Paralip. XX. 12.) They all received aid and comfort from God. Are you sad and in trouble? Lift up your soul with David and say: To Thee I have lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He shall have mercy on us. (Ps. (XXII. 1 — 3].) Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul. (Ps.LXXXV. 4.)

GOSPEL. (John I. 19-28.) At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to John, to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny; and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No. They said therefore unto him. Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? what sayst thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water: but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not: the same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Why did the Jews send messengers to St. John to ask him who he was?

Partly because of their curiosity, when they saw St. John leading such a pure, angelic, and penitential life; partly, as St. Chrysostom says, out of envy, because St. John preached with such spiritual force, baptized and exhorted the people to penance, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem came to him in great numbers: partly, and principally, they were impelled by the providence of God to demand publicly of St. John, if he were the Messiah, and thus be directed to Christ, that they might be compelled to acknowledge Him as the Messiah, or have no excuse for rejecting Him.

Why did the Jews ask St. John, if he were not Elias or the prophet?

The Jews falsely believed that the Redeemer was to come into this world but once, then with great glory, and that Elias or one of the old prophets would come before Him, to prepare His way, as (Malachias IV. 5) had prophesied of St. John: so when St. John said of himself that he was not the Messiah, they asked him, if he Were not then Elias or one of the prophets. But Elias, who was taken alive from this world in a fiery chariot, will not reappear until just before the second coming of Christ.

Why did John saw he was not Elias or the Prophet?

Because he was not Elias, and, in reality, not a prophet in the Jewish sense of the word, but more than a prophet, because he announced that Christ had come, and pointed Him out.

Why does St. John call himself "the voice of one crying in the wilderness”?

Because in his humility, he desired to acknowledge that he was only an instrument through which the Redeemer announced to the abandoned and hopeless Jews, the consolation of the Messiah, exhorting them to bear worthy fruits of penance.

How do we hear worthy fruits of penance?

We bear fruits of penance, when after our conversion, we serve God and justice with the same zeal with which we previously served the devil and iniquity; when we love God as fervently as we once loved the flesh, — that is, the desires of the flesh, — and the pleasures of the world; when we give our members to justice as we once gave them to malice and impurity, (Rom. IV. 19) when the mouth that formerly uttered improprieties, when the ears that listened to detraction or evil speech, when the eyes that looked curiously upon improper objects, now rejoice in the utterance of words pleasing to God, to hear and to see things dear to Him; when the appetite that was given to the luxury of eating and drinking, now abstains; when the hands give back what they have stolen; in a word, when we put off the old man, who was corrupted, and put on the new man, who is created in justice and holiness of truth. (Ephes. IV. 22—24.)

What was the baptism administered by John, and what were its effects?

The baptism administered by John was only a baptism of penance for forgiveness of sins, fluke III. 3.) The ignorant Jews not considering the greatness of their transgressions, St. John came exhorting them to acknowledge their sins, and do penance for them; that being converted, and truly contrite, they might seek after their Redeemer, and thus obtain remission of their offences. We must then conclude, that St. John's baptism was only a ceremony or initiation, by which the Jews enrolled themselves as his disciples to do penance, as a preparation for the remission of sin by means of the second baptism, viz., of Jesus Christ.

What else can be learned from this gospel?

We learn from it to be always sincere, especially at the tribunal of penance, and to practice the necessary virtue of humility, by which, in reply to the questions of the Jews, St. John confessed the truth openly and without reserve, as shown by the words: The latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose, as the lowest of Christ's servants, giving us an example of humility and sincerity, which should induce us always to speak the truth, and not only not to seek honor, but to give to God all the honor shown us by man.

Have you not far more reason than John, who was such a great saint, to esteem yourself but little, and to humble yourself before God and man? "My son," says Tobias, (IV. 14.) "never suffer pride to reign in thy mind, or in thy words: for from it all perdition took its beginning."

ASPIRATION. O Lord, banish from my heart all envy, jealousy and pride. Grant me instead, to know myself and Thee, that by the knowledge of my nothingness. Miseries, and vices, I may always remain unworthy in my own eyes, and that by the contemplation of Thy infinite perfections, I may seek to prize Thee above all, to love and to glorify Thee, and practice charity towards my neighbor. 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
From THE LITURGICAL YEAR by Dom Prosper Gueranger

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To-day, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to lessen some what the austerity of this penitential season by the innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first, this Sunday has had the name of Gaudete given to it, from the first word of the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare. The organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-colour; the deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious mitre. How touching are all these usages, and how admirable this condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the graceful poetry of the formulae of her liturgy. Let us enter into her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent, because our Lord is now so near unto us. To-morrow we will resume our attitude of servants mourning for the absence of their Lord and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful and makes love sad.

The Station is kept in the basilica of St. Peter, at the Vatican. This august temple, which contains the tomb of the prince of the apostles, is the home and refuge of all the faithful of the world; it is but natural that it should be chosen to witness both the joy and the sadness of the Church.

The night Office commences with a new Invitatory. The voice of the Church no longer invites the faithful to come and adore in fear and trembling the King, our Lord, who is to come. Her language assumes another character; her tone is one of gladness; and now, every day, until the vigil of Christmas, she begins her nocturns with these grand words:

Prope est jam Dominus: venite adoremus.
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Now let us take the book of the Prophet, and read with the Church:
Quote:De Isaia Propheta. Cap. xxvi.
In die illa cantabitur canticum istud in terra Juda: Urbs fortitudinis nostrae Sion; Salvator ponetur in ea murus et antemurale. Aperite portas, et ingrediatur gens justa, custodiens veritatem. Vetus error abiit, servabis pacem; pacem, quia in te speravimus. Sperastis in Domino in saeculis aeternis: in Domino Deo forti in perpetuum. Quia incurvabit habitantes in excelso, civitatem sublimem humiliabit. Humiliabit eam usque ad terram, detrahet eam usque ad pulverem. Conculcabit campes; pedes pauperis, gressus egenorum. Semita justi recta est, rectus callis justi ad ambulandum. Et in semita judiciorum tuorum, Dornine, sustinuimus te nomen tuum, et memoriale tuum in desiderio animae. Anima mea desideravit te in nocte: sed et spiritu meo in praecordiis meis, de mane vigilabo ad te.

From the Prophet Isaias.Ch. xxvi.
In that day shall this canticle be sung in the land of Juda. Sion the city of our strength: a Saviour, a wall, and a bulwark shall be set therein. Open ye the gates and let the just nation, that keepeth the truth, enter in. The old error is passed away, thou wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee. You have hoped in the Lord for evermore: in the Lord God mighty for ever. For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground, he shall pull it down even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down; the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. The way of the just is right, the path of the just is right to walk in. And in the way of thy judgements, O Lord, we have patiently waited for thee: thy name and thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. My soul hath desired thee in the night: yea, and with my spirit within me in the morning early I will watch to thee.

O holy Roman Church, city of our strength! behold us thy children assembled within thy walls, around the tomb of the fisherman, the prince of the apostles, whose sacred relics protect thee from their earthly shrine, and whose unchanging teaching enlightens thee from heaven. Yet, O city of strength: it is by the Saviour, who is coming, that thou art strong. He is thy wall, for it is He that encircles, with His tender mercy, all thy children; He is thy bulwark, for it is by Him that thou art invincible, and that all the powers of hell are powerless to prevail against thee. Open wide thy gates, that all nations may enter thee for thou art mistress of holiness and the guardian of truth.

May the old error, which sets itself against the faith, soon disappear, and peace reign over the whole fold! O holy Roman Church! thou hast for ever put thy trust in the Lord; and He, faithful to His promise, has humbled before thee the haughty ones that defied thee, and the proud cities that were against thee. Where now are the Caesars. who boasted that they had drowned thee in thine own blood? where the emperors, who would ravish the inviolate virginity of thy faith? where the heretics, who, during the past centuries of thine existence, have assailed every article of thy teaching, and denied what they listed? where the ungrateful princes, who would fain make a slave of thee, who hadst made them what they were? where that empire of Mahomet, which has so many times raged against thee, for that thou, the defenceless State, didst arrest the pride of its conquests? where the reformers, who were bent on giving the world a Christianity, in which thou wast to have no part? where the more modern sophists, in whose philosophy thou wast set down as a system that had been tried, and was a failure, and is now a ruin? and those kings who are acting the tyrant over thee, and those people that will have liberty independently and at the risk of truth, where will they be in another hundred years?

Gone and forgotten as the noisy anger of a torrent; whilst thou, O holy Church of Rome, built on the immovable rock, wilt be as calm, as young, as unwrinkled as ever. Thy path through all the ages of this world’s duration, will be right as that of the just man; thou wilt ever be the same unchanging Church, as thou hast been during the eighteen hundred years past, whilst everything else under the sun has been but change. Whence this thy stability, but from Him who is very truth and justice? Glory be to Him in thee! Each year, He visits thee; each year, He brings thee new gifts, wherewith thou mayst go happily through thy pilgrimage; and to the end of time, He will visit thee, and renew thee, not only with the power of that look wherewith Peter was renewed, but by filling thee with Himself, as He did the ever glorious Virgin, who is the object of thy most tender love, after that which thou bearest to Jesus Himself. We pray with thee, O Church, our mother, and here is our prayer: ‘Come, Lord Jesus! Thy name and Thy remembrance are the desire of our souls: they have desired Thee in the night, yea, and early in the morning have they watched for Thee.’

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.—The assembly of the faithful is attentive; the chanters intone the Gregorian melody, and the church echoes with these sweet words:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innocescant apud Deum.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every prayer let your petitions be made known to God.

Ps. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob. ℣. Gloria Patri.
Ps. O Lord, thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. ℣. Glory.

In the Collect, the Church asks for the grace of that divine visit which dispels darkness and brings light. Darkness produces fear in the soul; whereas light gives courage and joy to the heart.

Aurem tuam, quæsumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda: et mentis nostræ tenebras gratia tuæ visitationis illustra. Qui vivis.
Bend thine ear, O Lord, we beseech thee, to our prayers; and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visitation. Who livest, &c.

The other Collects of the Blessed Virgin, against the Persecutors of the Church, and for the Pope, are given in the Mass of the first Sunday of Advent.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle, to the Philippians. Ch. iv.

Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Quote:Nothing is more just than that we rejoice in the Lord. Both the Prophet and the Apostle excite us to desire the Savior: both of them promise us Peace. Therefore, let us not be solicitous: The Lord is nigh; nigh to his Church, and nigh to each of our souls. Who can be near so burning a fire, and yet be cold? Do we not feel that he is coming to us, in spite of all these obstacles? He will let nothing be a barrier between himself and us, neither his own infinite high majesty, nor our exceeding lowliness, nor our many sins. Yet a little while, and he will be with us. Let us go out to meet him by these prayers and supplications and thanksgiving which the Apostle recommends to us. Let our zeal to unite ourselves with our holy mother the Church become more than ever fervent: now every day her prayers will increase in intense earnestness, and her longings after Him, who is her light and her love, will grow more ardent. First let us say together with her:

Qui sedes, Domine, super Cherubim, excita potentiam tuam et veni.
O Lord, who sittest on the Cherubim, exert thy power and come.

℣. Qui regis Israël, intende: Qui deducis velut ovem, Joseph.
℣. Thou who rulest Israel, hearken. Thou who leadest Joseph as a sheep.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Excita Domine potentiam tuam, et veni, ut salvos facias nos. Alleluia.
℣. Exert, O Lord, thy power, and come to save us. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. John. Ch. i.

At that time: the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to him, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said: I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that were sent, were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
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There hath stood One in the midst of you, whom you know not, says St. John the Baptist to them that were sent by the Jews. So that our Lord may be near, he may even have come, and yet by some be not known! This Lamb of God is the holy Precursor’s consolation: he considers it a singular privilege to be but the Voice, which cries out to men to prepare the way of the Redeemer. In this, St. John is the type of the Church, and of all such as seek Jesus. St. John is full of joy because the Savior is come: but the men around him are as indifferent as though they neither expected nor wanted a Savior. This is the third week of Advent; and are all hearts excited by the great tidings told them by the Church, that the Messias is near at hand? They who love him not as their Savior, do they fear him as their Judge? Are the crooked ways being made straight? are the hills being brought low? are Christians seriously engaged in removing from their hearts the love of riches and the love of sensual pleasures? There is no time to lose: the Lord is nigh! If these lines should come under the eye of any of those Christians who are in this state of sinful indifference, we would conjure them to shake off their lethargy, and render themselves worthy of the visit of the divine Infant: such a visit will bring them the greatest consolation here, and give them confidence hereafter, when our Lord will come to judge all mankind. Send thy grace, O Jesus, still more plentifully into their hearts; compel them to go in, and permit not that it be said of the children of the Church, as St. John said of the Synagogue: There standeth in the midst of you One, whom ye know not.

During the Offertory, the faithful should unite in the prayer of the Church, and beg that the captivity, in which our sins hold us, may be brought to an end, and that the divine Deliverer may come.

Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam; avertisti captivitatem Jacob, remisisti iniquitatem plebis tuæ.
Lord, thou hast blessed thy land; thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob, thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people.

Devotionis nostræ tibi, quæsumus, Domine, hostia jugiter immoletur: quæ et sacri peragat instituta mysterii, et Salutare tuum in nobis mirabiliter operetur. Per Dominum.
May we always, O Lord, offer thee this sacrifice of our devotion; both to effect that for which thou didst institute this mystery, and wonderfully to procure ourselves that Salvation which thou designest us. Through, &c.

The other Secrets as in the First Sunday of Advent.

During the Communion, the Church chants the words of the Prophet Isaias, which bid the heart of the sinner take courage. Fear not, Christian people! He that is coming is God; but he comes to save his creatures, and give himself to them.

Dicite: Pusillanimes, confortamini et molite timere: acceDeus noster veniet, et salvabit nos.
Say: Be comforted, O ye timid of heart, and fear not; behold our God will come, and save us.

The Church asks of God, in the following prayer, that the secret visit which she has just been receiving from her divine Spouse, may fit her for that solemn one which she is preparing to receive at the feast of Christmas.

Imploramus, Domine, clementiam tuam: ut hæ divina subsidia, a vitiis expiatos, ad festa ventura nos præparent. Per Dominum.
We implore, O Lord, thy mercy: that these divine helps, having cleansed us from sin, may prepare us for the ensuing solemnity. Through, &c

The other Postcommunions as in the First Sunday of Advent.

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1. ANT. Veniet Dominus, et non tardabit, et illuminabit abscondita tenebrarum, et manifestabit se ad omnes gentes, alleluia.
2. ANT. Jerusalem, gaude gaudio magno, quia veniet Salvator, alleluia.
3. ANT. Dabo in Sion salutem, et in Jerusalem gloriam meam, alleluia.
4. ANT. Montes et omnes colles humiliabuntur: et erunt prava in directa, et aspera in vias planas: veni, Domine, et noli tardare, alleluia.
5. ANT. Juste et pie vivamus, exspectantes beatam spem, et adventum Domini, alleluia.

1. ANT. The Lord will come, and will not delay, and he will reveal things hidden in darkness, and will manifest himself to all nations, alleluia.
2. ANT. Rejoice, O Jerusalem, with great joy, for thy Saviour will come to thee, alleluia.
3. ANT. I will settle salvation in Sion, and my glory in Jerusalem. alleluia.
4. ANT. Mountains and hills shall be brought low: the crooked paths shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth: come, O Lord, and delay not, alleluia.
5. ANT. Let us live justly and piously, expecting the blessed hope, and the coming of the Lord, alleluia.


Fratres, gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est.
Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always: again I say rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh.

The hymn Creator alme siderum, and the canticle Magnificat, are given elsewhere.


Beata es, Maria, qui credidisti Domino; perficientur in te, quae dicta sunt tibi a Domino, alleluia. Blessed art thou, O Mary, who didst believe the Lord; what the Lord said to thee shall be fulfilled in thee, alleluia.

But if the third Sunday of Advent fall on December 17, then, instead of the above, is said the first of the Great Antiphons (O Sapientia), which will be found, with the other six, in the proper of saints, from December 17 to 23.

Aurem tuam, quaesumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda, et mentis nostrae tenebras gratiae tuae visitationis illustra. Qui vivis.

Bend thine ear, O Lord, we beseech thee, to our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visitation. Who livest, &c.
"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 here.


Third Sunday in Advent (From the Epistle)

Let a man so account of us as the ministers of Christ." — 1 Cor. iv. 1.

In the preceding Epistle the Apostle has taught us that Christ was a Minister for us. "But I say that Christ was the Minister of the Circumcision,” so, therefore, in this Epistle he teaches us that we ought to be the ministers of Christ, and six matters are treated of concerning this ministry. First, that we ought to make ministers of Christ; second, that we ought to avoid a thoughtless choice; third, to despise human discernment; fourth, not to trust to individual conscience ; fifth, to submit all choice to Christ as the Judge; sixth, to seek praises from God alone. Of the first, "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ;” of the second, “to judge nothing before the time;" of the third, that "it is a very small thing to me that I should be judged of you;”’ of the fourth, “I know nothing by myself;" of the fifth, “until the Lord come;" of the sixth, "then shall every man have praise of God." It ought to be known about the first point that there are three chief reasons why we ought to be ministers of Christ and to serve Him—(1) Because what-ever we are able to do He gave us the power to do when He created us; (2) because He served us by redeeming us; (3) Him Who need not have created us unless he willed." "It is He that hath made us" (Ps. xcv. 7). Of the second, S. Luke xxii. 27, “I am among you as He that serveth," for He temporally served them by washing their feet, in cleansing by His own blood the wounds of sinners, and in ministering to His own flesh— (1) S. John xiii. 5, "And began to wash the disciples’ feet." (2) Rev. i. 5, "Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Isa. xliii. 24, "Thou hast made me to serve with thy sins." (3) S. Matt. xxvi. 26, "Jesus took bread and brake and gave it to His disciples.” S. Bernard, "The good Minister Who gave His Flesh for food, His Blood for drink, and His Soul for a ransom, He will likewise serve in glory." S. Mark xii. 87, "That He will gird Himself and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth to serve them.” Rightly, therefore, we are said to be His ministers. But there are these things which He chiefly hates in His ministers—want of compassion, disobedience, and uselessness. Of the first, S. Matt. xviii. 82, 38, “O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee?” S. Matt. xxiv. 48, 49, "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken, the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Of the second, S. Luke xii. 47, “And that servant which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." Of the third, S. Matt. xxv. 80, "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 

There are three things which the Lord requires of His servants—the first, that they should be cleansed from every defilement of sin; the second, that they should be ornamented with every virtue; the third, that they should be decorated with honesty of manners. Of the first, Ps. ci. 6, "He that walketh in a perfect way he shall serve Me." 1 Tim. iii. 10 (Vulg.), "Let them minister having no crime." Of the second, 2 Cor. vi. 4, “In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God." Of the third, 1 Peter ii. 12, "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles." Of these three things, Exod. xl. 12, 18,"And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and wash them with water;" (v. 15), "and thou shalt anoint them as thou didst anoint their father," &c. 2 Cor. ii. 15, "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ." 

But the Lord requires that we should serve Him in three ways— first, by imitating Him; second, by delighting in His service; thirdly, by fearing Him. Of the first, S. John xi. 26, “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me." Of the second, Ps. c. 2, "Serve the Lord with gladness.” Of the third, Ps. ii. 11, "Serve the Lord with fear." The first makes the service acceptable to the Lord; the second makes us ready in serving; the third preserves us in His service. But the Lord promises three rewards to His servants, viz., happiness, dignity, and eternity. Of the first reward, 1 Tim. iii. 18,"For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree." Of the second reward, 8. Matt. xxv. 28, "Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things," &c. Of the third reward, Rev. vii. 15; "And serve Him day and night in His Temple;" and afterwards He shall feed them, and shall lead them unto the living fountains of waters." Eternity is a fountain of life. As Dionysius says, "Eternity is endless, and at the time the whole and perfect possession of life." Of these three attributes, S. John vii. 26, "Where I am, there also shall My servant be." Where Christ is, there is joyful exultation and eternal delightfulness, to which for His sake may the Lord God bring us. 


Third Sunday in Advent (From the Gospel)

"Now, when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ," &c. — S. Matt. xi. 2-4.

In the preceding Gospel the Advent of Justice was treated of: in this Gospel the Advent of Grace is considered. Mention is here made of S. John Baptist, whose name is interpreted the grace of God; or, as he in whom the grace of God was. Four things are here spoken about S. John—(1) his imprisonment; (2) the question about the Advent of Christ by the disciples whom He sent; (3) the answer of the Lord; (4) the manifold commendation of John. He was praised chiefly on four accounts — (1) for the strength of his constancy; (2) for the rigour of his clothing; (8) for the dignity of his office ; (4) for the holiness of his life. Firstly, when John had heard; secondly, "Who art thou;" thirdly, "Go and show John again," &c.; fourthly, "He began to say unto the multitudes concerning John." And, again (1) of the commendation, "What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?" (2) "A man clothed in soft raiment.” (3) "Yea I say unto you, and more than a Prophet." (4) “ This is he of whom it is written, "Behold, I send My messenger before thy face," &c. But afterwards it ought to be known concerning the bonds that three kinds of people are said to bein bonds. The godly are placed in the bonds of precepts; the impious, in the bonds of sinners; the condemned, in the bonds of the tormentors. Of the first, Ezekiel iv. 8,"Behold I will lay bands upon thee." Hos. xi. 4, "I drew them with the cords of a man; with bands of love." Of the second, Prov. v. 22, "He shall be holden with the cords of his sins." Isa. x. 4 (Vulgate), "That you be not bound down under the bond." Of the third, Wisdom xvii. 2, "Fettered with the bonds of darkness." S. Matt. xxii. 18, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away and cast him into outer darkness." The first bonds are to be sought for; the second bonds to be dissolved; and the third to be avoided. 

For three reasons the bonds of the teachers are to be embraced— (1) because by them safety is obtained against all evil; (2) because he who is bound by them is protected by the wisdom of God; (3) because from them he goes forth to government. Of the first reason, Eccles. vi. 80, "Then shall her fetters be a strong defence." Of the second reason, Wisdom x. 14, “And left him not in bonds." Of the third reason, Eccles. iv. 14, "Because out of prison and chains sometimes a man cometh forth to a kingdom." There are not only the bonds of receptors to be embraced, but the bonds of sinners to be dissolved. For the sinner is bound with the chains of pride, of avarice, of luxury, and of an evil tongue. 

Of the first chain, Job xxxix. 5, "Who hath sent out the wild ass free? Or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?" By the wild ass pride is understood. Job. xi. 12, "For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt;" whence the bands of the wild ass are the bands of pride. Of the second. chain, Isa. v. 18, "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity." Riches are vanity. Of the third chain, Prov.viii. 22, "Immediately he followeth her as an ox led to be a victim, and not knowing that he is drawn like a fool to bonds,” (Vul.), for the hands of a woman are the bonds that draw. Ecc. vii. 27, "And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands." These are the bonds that are to be dissolved.

These bonds are loosened in four ways— (1) by the grace of justification; (2) by the grace of contrition; (3) by the ‘modesty of confession; (4) by the penance of satisfaction. Of the first way, Ps. cxvi. 16, “Thou hast loosed my bonds," that is to say, the Lord has done this by infusing grace. Of the second way, Dan. iii. 25, "Lo, I see four men loose;" where it is said the fire consumed the chains of the children. By the fire contrition is understood. Psalm xxxix. 9, "While I was musing the fire burned." Of the third way, Hos. v. 18 (Vulg.), "And Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his band." Judah is interpreted as confessing. So that he saw his band when being penitent; he saw himself bound by the band of sinners; he declares himself in confession, 4hat he may be loosed. Of the fourth way, Nah. i. 12, 18, “I have afflicted thee." "And will burst thy bonds in sunder.” So are loosed the bands of sinners; but the bands of the tormentors are to be avoided for three reasons —(1) because they are dark; (2) because they are cruel; (3) because they are eternal. Of the first reason, Wisdom xvii., "Fettered with bonds of darkness." Of the second reason, Eccles. xii. 15, "He will not spare to do thee hurt, and to cast thee into prison." Of these bands, Isa. xxviii. 22, "Lest by chance he should be bound with our fetters." Of the third reason, S. Jude 6, "He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness." He speaks of demons. From these chains may God deliver us, to Whom, &c.
"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
On The Means Necessary For Salvation - Third Sunday Of Advent
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord.” John i. 23.

ALL would wish to be saved and to enjoy the glory of Paradise; but to gain Heaven, it is necessary to walk in the straight road that leads to eternal bliss. This road is the observance of the divine commands. Hence, in his preaching, the Baptist exclaimed: “Make straight the way of the Lord.” In order to be able to walk always in the way of the Lord, without turning to the right or to the left, it is necessary to adopt the proper means. These means are, first, diffidence in ourselves; secondly, confidence in God; thirdly, resistance to temptations.

First Means. Diffidence in ourselves.

1. “With fear and trembling,” says the Apostle, “work out your salvation.” (Phil. ii. 12.) To secure eternal life, we must be always penetrated with fear, we must be always afraid of ourselves (with fear and trembling), and distrust altogether our own strength; for, without the divine grace we can do nothing. “Without me,” says Jesus Christ, “you can do nothing.” We can do nothing for the salvation of our own souls. St. Paul tells us, that of ourselves we are not capable of even a good thought. “Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Cor. iii. 5.) Without the aid of the Holy Ghost, we cannot even pronounce the name of Jesus so as to deserve a reward. “And no one can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. xii. 8.)

2. Miserable the man who trusts to himself in the way of God. St. Peter experienced the sad effects of self-confidence. Jesus Christ said to him: “In this night, before cock-crow, thou wilt deny me thrice.” (Matt. xxvi. 31.) Trusting in his own strength and his goodwill, the Apostle replied: “Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee.” (v. 35.) What was the result? On the night on which Jesus Christ had been taken, Peter was reproached in the court of Caiphas with being one of the disciples of the Saviour. The reproach filled him with fear: he thrice denied his Master, and swore that he had never known him. Humility and diffidence in ourselves are so necessary for us, that God permits us sometimes to fall into sin, that, by our fall, we may acquire humility arid a knowledge of our own weakness. Through want of humility David also fell: hence, after his sin, he said: “Before I was humbled, I offended.” (Ps. cxviii. 67.)

3. Hence the Holy Ghost pronounces blessed the man who is always in fear: “Blessed is the man who is always fearful.” (Prov. xxviii. 14.) He who is afraid of falling distrusts his own strength, avoids as much as possible all dangerous occasions, and recommends himself often to God, and thus preserves his soul from sin. But the man who is not fearful, but full of self-confidence, easily exposes himself to the danger of sin: he seldom recommends himself to God, and thus he falls. Let us imagine a person suspended over a great precipice by a cord held by another. Surely he would constantly cry out to the person who supports him: Hold fast, hold fast; for God’s sake, do not let go. We are all in danger of falling into the abyss of all crime, if God does not support us. Hence we should constantly beseech him to keep his hands over us, and to succour us in all dangers.

4. In rising from bed, St. Philip Neri used to say every morning: Lord, keep thy hand this day over Philip; if thou do not, Philip will betray thee. And one day, as he walked through the city, reflecting on his own misery, he frequently said, I despair, I despair. A Certain religious who heard him, believing that the saint was really tempted to despair, corrected him, and encouraged him to hope in the divine mercy. But the saint replied: “I despair of myself, but I trust in God.” Hence, during this life, in which we are exposed to so many dangers of losing God, it is necessary for us to live always in great diffidence of ourselves, and full of confidence in God.

Second Means. Confidence in God

5. St. Francis de Sales says, that the mere attention to self- diffidence on account of our own weakness, would only render us pusillanimous, and expose us to great danger of abandoning ourselves to a tepid life, or even to despair. The more we distrust our own strength, the more we should confide in the divine mercy. This is a balance, says the same saint, in which the more the scale of confidence in God is raised, the more the scale of diffidence in ourselves descends.

6. Listen to me, O sinners who have had the misfortune of having hitherto offended God, and of being condemned to hell: if the Devil tells you that but little hope remains of your eternal salvation, answer him in the words of the Scripture: ”No one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded. ” (Eccl. ii. 11.) No sinner has ever trusted in God, and has been lost. Make, then, a firm purpose to sin no more; abandon yourselves into the arms of the divine goodness; and rest assured that God will have mercy on you, and save you from Hell. ”Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.” (Ps. liv. 23.) The Lord, as we read in Blosius, one day said to St. Gertrude: “He who confides in me, does me such violence that I cannot but hear all his petitions”

7. “But,” says the Prophet Isaias, “they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall take wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” (xl. 31.) They who place their confidence in God shall renew their strength; they shall lay aside their own weakness, and shall acquire the strength of God; they shall fly like eagles in the way of the Lord, without fatigue and without ever failing. David says, that “mercy shall encompass him that hopeth in the Lord.” (Ps. xxxi. 10.) He that hopes in the Lord shall be encompassed by his mercy, so that he shall never be abandoned by it.

8. St. Cyprian says, that the divine mercy is an inexhaustible fountain. They who bring vessels of the greatest .confidence, draw from it the greatest graces Hence the Royal Prophet has said: “Let thy mercy Lord be upon us, as we have hoped in thee.” (Ps. xxxii. 22.) Whenever the Devil terrifies us by placing before our eyes the great difficulty of persevering in the grace of God in spite of all the dangers and sinful occasions of this life, let us, without answering him, raise our eyes to God, and hope that in his goodness he will certainly send us help to resist every attack. “I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me.” (Ps. cxx. 1.) And when the enemy represents to us our weakness, let us say with the Apostle “I can do all in him who strengtheneth me.” (Phil. iv. 13 ) Of myself I can do nothing; but I trust in God, that by his grace I shall be able to do all things.

9. Hence, in the midst of the greatest dangers of perdition to which we are exposed, we should continually turn to Jesus Christ, and. throwing ourselves into the hands of him who redeemed us by his death, should say: “Into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.” (Ps. xxx. 6.) This prayer should be said with great confidence of obtaining eternal life, and to it we should add: “In thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me not be confounded forever” (Ps. xxx. 1.)

Third Means. Resistance to temptations.

10. It is true that when we have recourse to God with confidence in dangerous temptations, he assists us; but, in certain very urgent occasions, the Lord sometimes wishes that we cooperate, and do violence to ourselves, to resist temptations. On such occasions, it will not be enough to have recourse to God once or twice; it will be necessary to multiply prayers, and frequently to prostrate ourselves and send up our sighs before the image of the Blessed Virgin and the crucifix, crying out with tears: Mary, my mother, assist me; Jesus, my Saviour, save me, for thy mercy’s sake do not abandon me, do not permit me to lose thee.

11. Let us keep in mind the words of the Gospel: “How narrow is the gate and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it.” (Matt. vii. 14.) The way to Heaven is strait and narrow: they who wish to arrive at that place of bliss by walking in the paths of pleasure shall be disappointed: and therefore few reach it, because few are willing to use violence to themselves in resisting temptations: “The kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.” (Matt. xi. 12.) In explaining this passage, a certain writer says: “Vi queritur, invaditur, occupatur.” It must be sought and obtained by violence: he who wishes to obtain it without inconvenience, or by leading a soft and irregular life, shall not acquire it he shall be excluded from it.

12. To save their souls, some of the saints have retired into the cloister; some have confined themselves in a cave; others have embraced torments and death. “The violent bear it away” Some complain of their want of confidence in God; but they do not perceive that their diffidence arises from the weakness of their resolution to serve God. St. Teresa used to say: “Of irresolute souls the Devil has no fear” And the Wise Man has declared, that “desires kill the slothful.” (Prov. xxi. 25.) Some would wish to be saved and to become saints, but never resolve to adopt the means of salvation, such as meditation, the frequentation of the sacraments, detachment from creatures; or, if they adopt these means, they soon give them up. In a word, they are satisfied with fruitless desires, and thus continue to live in enmity with God, or at least in tepidity, which in the end leads them to the loss of God. Thus in them are verified the words of the Holy Ghost, “desires kill the slothful.”

13. If, then, we wish to save our souls, and to become saints, we must make a strong resolution not only in general to give ourselves to God, but also in particular to adopt the proper means, and never to abandon them after having once taken them up. Hence we must never cease to pray to Jesus Christ and to His Holy Mother for holy perseverance.

✠ ✠ ✠

"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 Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday


2018 - Two Masses

2019 - Three 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
Third Sundy of Advent: The Three-fold Hope
by Bishop Ehrler, 1891

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"I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: make straight the way of the Lord." (John I: 23.)

In my text of to-day, my dearly-beloved, St. John calls himself a voice, thereby giving his disciples plainly to understand that he was not the "Word made flesh," but simply the voice of that Word. And those who listened to him knew that the Son of God could not then be far off, inasmuch as they already heard his voice in the person of the Baptist. As the voice prepares the way for the word, so that it may come forth intelligibly from the mouth of man, so also John, through his voice, (that is, through his preaching and baptism) prepared the hearts of men for the coming of Christ. Hence, he says that he is that voice which Isaias had long before foretold as crying out: "Make straight the way of the Lord." In what did this preparation principally consist?" He preached the baptism of penance, for the remission of sins (Luke 3 : 3)." He consoled the people, and after he had imbued them with faith in the Redeemer, he animated them still further to love him and confide in him:

I. Through the hope of pardon;
II. Through the hope of grace; and
III. Through the hope of glory.

This three-fold hope, my brethren, is the necessary fruit of that three-fold faith of which we spoke, last Sunday. From the faith of the commandments, springs the hope of pardon; from the faith of miracles, the hope of grace; and from the faith of the promises, the hope of glory. We will, to-day, examine the foundations of these three truths.

I. Every sinner, no matter how often or how grievously he mav have violated the Commandments of God, has a sure hope of pardon. It is true that, when a hardened offender turns to God, and calls upon him for forgiveness, the abyss of evil cries out to the abyss of mercy; or as the Psalmist expresses it: "Deep calleth upon deep." (Ps. 41 : 8.) But, though this abyss of wickedness be ever so deep and fathomless, that of God's mercy is still greater and more profound; where sin hath abounded, grace more fully abounds. "Turn ye to me, saith the Lord of Hosts: and I will turn to you (Zach. 1 : 3)." Yea, He promises still further: "If the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done (Ezech. 18 : 21-22)."

Moreover, He not only invites the sinner to repentance, my dear brethren, but He waits long and patiently for his conversion. "I desire not the death of the wicked," He declares by the mouth of his prophet, "but that the wicked turn from his ways and live (Ezech. 33 : 11)." "The Lord is compassionate and merciful (Ps. 112 : 8)." He is merciful to all sinners, He is long-suffering toward the perverse and obdurate, so that they may be converted from the evil of their ways; or, as the Wise Man says in his apostrophe to the Most High: "Thou overlookest the sins of men for the sake of repentance (Wis. 11: 24)." Why, then, do you delay your repentance, unhappy sinner? "Despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou pot that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance (Rom. 2: 4)?" Long and zealously did St. John the Baptist preach to the Jews "the baptism of penance," for no other purpose than "for the remission of their sins"! Yet, how often might he not have said to them: "Be not as your fathers, to whom the former prophets have cried, saying: Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: turn ye from your evil ways, and from your wicked thoughts: but they did not give ear (Zach. 1: 4)." I beseech of you now, my brethren, to take warning from the example of that hardened and stiff-necked people, and listening, to follow with docility and faith "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." Making straight the way of the Lord by the faith of the Commandments, you will not only enjoy the assured hope of pardon for past sins, but also, if you will humbly beg it from God, the hope of grace that will prevent you from committing sins in the future.

II. The hope of pardon, my dear Christians, is far from being so attractive to the sinner as the hope of continued grace. He knows that God's forgiveness for the past will avail him nothing, if he continues to offend Him anew by fresh sins. He also knows that, of himself, he is utterly unable to avoid evil; and that "it is God who worketh in him both to will and to accomplish according to His good will (Phil. 2: 13)." The Wise Man declares that: "To God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike; "and when the converted sinner remembers that he was once an object of hatred to that good God, and reflects at the same time that he is now His friend and favorite, what can he do but cry out gratefully with St. Paul: "By the grace of God, I am what I am (1 Cor. 15 : 10)!" adding with the Psalmist: "What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things that He hath rendered to me (Ps. 115 : 12)?" The recollection of one's past misery is the first happy effect of grace, as well as the first step toward future holiness.

But this knowledge, my brethren, is due altogether to the ineffable goodness of God. "The Lord is my light and my salvation (Ps. 26: 1)!" O ye poor, blinded sinners! no matter how deeply you may be sunk in misery, "Come ye to him, and be enlightened (Ps. 33: 6)." Seeing, you will understand the danger from which you have been rescued by the mercy of God; and understanding, you will learn to dread a relapse into sin.

Grace is alike necessary to convert the sinner and to preserve him in the divine friendship after his conversion. The soul of a Christian is like a fortified city, which is surrounded on all sides by enemies. "Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it (Ps. 126: 1)." Our spiritual enemies are most numerous, their plans most cunningly devised for our destruction; and we are obliged to contend constantly with the traitorous foe within the walls--our own miserable concupiscence. A man's enemies, says the Lord, are they of his own household (Mich. 7 : 6). But, for our consolation, let us be firmly assured that God will not desert us, unless we first turn our backs on Him; and it is especially written of the just: "The Lord keepeth all them that love Him (Ps. 144: 20)." God does not constrain the free will of man; but His grace is always ready to co-operate with that free will in the grand work of salvation. "He has created us without our aid," says St. Augustine, " but He will not save us without our co-operation." His assistance is so essential to the success of our undertakings, that no one can begin, continue, or complete any work without the all-powerful help of God. He has, then, a just right to issue His commands, since His gracious help encompasses His children on every side, mercifully and efficaciously enabling them to keep His commandments to the end. See, O dearly beloved! how firm and consistent is the hope of grace, to the heart of the repentant and converted sinner!

III. The hope of glory is that strong and intimate confidence which supports the just, and enables them to persevere in the performance of their good works. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved (Matth. 10 : 22)," says our Saviour. In what does this being saved consist?" One can truly receive the happiness of the elect," says St. Augustine, "but one can never properly estimate it." "I can more easily tell what is not in heaven than what is there." Death shall be no more in that kingdom of delights; and sorrow, and weakness, and sickness shall be at an end; neither shall hunger, nor thirst, heat, disappointment, or any other misery, afflict the children of God. "They shall be inebriated with the plenty of Thy house: and Thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of Thy pleasure (Ps. 35: 9)." "And they shall reign with God forever and ever (Apoc. 22: 5)." "Oh, true life! Oh, eternal life! Oh, eternally happy life!" exclaims in an ecstasy the great Bishop of Hippo--unable to find words to express the feelings of his heart, when he would depict the ineffable joys of Paradise. And if any thing further were needed to encourage us, we shall find it in the exhortation and promise of our Saviour which is jointly the foundation of our hope: "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: because your reward is very great in heaven (Matth. 5 : 12)." St. Bernard, speaking of this same reward, says: "It is so great that one can not exhaust it; and so precious that one can not sufficiently value it."

And what does God require from us, my brethren, in order to merit this heavenly recompense? If He exacted of us to serve him for half an eternity, the demand would not be too great. "The days of man are short (Job 14: 5)." "Our days upon earth are but a shadow" (Job 8: 9), and they "are passed more swiftly than the web is cut by the weaver (Job 7 : 6)." Should we not, then, apply these few brief days to serving our Creator, and keeping His commandments? "His commands are not heavy (1 John 5: 3)." This short life may be filled with miseries, I will admit, my dear fellow-sufferers, but, with the Apostle of the Gentiles, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8: 18)." That which we suffer is only temporary, and "our present tribulation, which is momentary and light, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4: 17)."

Peroration. Therefore, "prepare ye the way of the Lord," beloved Christians, and "trust in Him, all ye congregation of people (Ps. 61: 9)." "Being justified by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom, also, we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God (Rom. 5: 1-2)." God receives us back into His friendship even after we have frequently and basely insulted him. He upholds us by His all-powerful grace in the path of righteousness; and he promises us, moreover, an eternal reward if we serve Him faithfully during the short days of our life. Dearly beloved, have we not here three signal mercies of our good God, sufficient to excite us to the thorough and lasting reformation of our lives? Ah! yes, let us put our hope in his divine power and goodness; and persevering bravely with His help in the path of virtue, let us hope to love, for all eternity, that gracious God in whom we have believed and hoped unwaveringly here below. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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A reminder ...
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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