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Offline Binechi

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Tenth Sundy After Pentecost
« on: August 13, 2017, 07:00:14 AM »
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    Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
    by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1882

     "Two men went up into the temple to pray." Luke 18, 10.

    What a remarkable contrast presents itself to our view when we compare the two men. Christ informs us that "they went up into the temple to pray." The prayer of the Pharisee, properly speaking, was not a prayer, for it contained more self-gratulation than praise of God. Moreover, the very language of the prayer breathed sentiments directly contrary to the precept of fraternal chanty; for the haughty Pharisee looked scornfully down upon the humble publican, and dared to pass sentence upon the state of his soul. If he really believed him to be a sinner, he should have prayed for his conversion; but the prayer to which he did give utterance, was one which certainly did not ascend to God like a sweet odor, for the pride by which it was prompted rendered it most offensive in His sight, but pleasing to the king of hell.

    But, dearly beloved in Christ Jesus, what ample reason have we not to lament that, while such numbers among the children of our Holy Church throng to the house of God, but few among them really pray.

    On the contrary, those terrible words of the Psalmist: "His prayer shall be turned to sin," are accomplished in many Christians. And why? Here we need only compare the meaning of the petitions with which Christ taught us to pray, and the dispositions which frequently animate the hearts of those who profess to pray, and we will perceive but too clearly that prayer often becomes a mockery.

    Mary, vessel of singular devotion, obtain for us, thy children, the grace of fervent, sincere and humble prayer! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater honor and glory of God!

    Our prayer, to be acceptable, must correspond with that one which Christ taught His children, and which is the model of genuine prayer; and we must examine our hearts to discover how it is with us in this regard. So far from this being the case with habitual sinners, they are Pharisees and hypocrites when they pray; and, by their so-called devotions, they offer, not prayers, but insults to God.

     "Our Father." Thus, according to the direction of Christ, should we begin. But to have the right to call God Father, we must be in the state of grace, otherwise one is not a child of God, but a child of the devil a child of Him between whom and his Creator must be perpetual enmity.

    To the angels it must be indeed terrible to listen to the prayers of one who, being in mortal sin, and like unto the devil himself, presumes to look up to heaven, and address their Creator by that endearing name.

     "Hallowed be Thy name." Oh, what derision and contempt of God are contained in those words when pronounced by sinful souls! Sinner, with the lips indeed you pray that the name of God may be blessed, while your life and acts profane it fearfully; for every sin that you commit is an insult to that most holy name, to His dominion over all creatures, to His omniscience, to His omnipotence, to His justice and sanctity. Yes, practically, you deny and despise every one of those divine attributes; and how can you dare to say: "Hallowed be Thy name?" You who, perhaps, as the days pass on, can not count a single one in the entire year upon which you have not profaned that sacred name!

     "Thy kingdom come." So has Christ taught us to pray, and so presumes to pray the sinner whose soul is black with guilt. Oh, what an insult to the Lord of that kingdom appears in this mockery of prayer! How easily flow those words from the lips of the sinful Christian; but what says his life? What are we to understand by the words: "Thy kingdom come"? By this we beg that God will come and reign in our hearts by His grace. You say: "Thy kingdom come," and yet, with deliberate malice, you destroy it continually by committing fresh sins. While the morning service on Sundays witnesses your devotions, the evening revel renders your attendance there indeed a mockery. Your lips cry out: "Thy kingdom come;" but your actions call upon the Lord to remain far away with the kingdom of His grace.

    In the second place, this kingdom signifies exteriorly the Church of Christ, which, in accordance with the wish of its divine Founder, each one of its children should strive, with the utmost zeal, to propagate. Sinner, praying sinner, listen to my voice, and believe the words I speak to you today! Instead of propagating it, striving to gain souls for it, seeking to convert infidels from the error of their ways, and to admonish sinners, how is it with you? Instead of inciting, by your example, those who are already holy, to new and greater efforts, you give scandal by your wicked life, and become a snare to innocent souls for their ruin and damnation. Upon you, indeed, might well be fastened that millstone of which Christ speaks, and with which he threatens all who give scandal. Take heed lest by its weight you be drawn one day down, down, to the fathomless abyss of hell!

     "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Christ has taught us to pray in this manner, and the sinner does not stop to reflect upon the mockery which such a petition becomes upon his lips; but dares to present himself before the throne of grace. And what says his miserable, sinful life? So far from caring for those things which he knows well are pleasing to God, and trying to do His holy will, his aim is, by every possible means, to gratify his own sinful propensities. Sinner, do you know what Christ requires of us? "Be ye holy, as your Father in heaven is holy. Be ye perfect, as He is perfect."

    You call yourself a child of the one true Church, and yet it never enters into your thoughts to lead a holy life; perhaps, indeed, never has entered therein, even once, during the days and months and years which God has given you to work out your salvation. Perhaps you have never once thought of breaking the galling chain by which the devil binds you to himself. How then, O sinner, can you dare to say: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"?

     "Give us this day our daily bread." This is one of the petitions of that prayer which was taught by the Lord Himself, and the recreant Christian blushes not to join therein; but what says the story of his life?

    Sinner, you know well that while solicitous for the good things of this life, you act as if you scorned the idea of a divine Providence, and were able to procure all temporal blessings of yourself alone. You allow the thorns of worldly cares to grow up so fast and thick that they destroy the good seed of the Divine Word, and prevent the calls of grace being heard. You are not content with bread alone, that is, with the necessaries of life; but crave for more, that you may give yourself up entirely to your evil passions, and gratify the demands of that pride of life to which you are a slave, you give no thought to the supernatural daily bread of the altar, except when the Church, laying aside that voice of entreaty which at other periods of the year her maternal heart impels her to use, threatens you with all the penalties of ecclesiastical severity. Even then, it may be, O sinner, that you approach the sacred table only to burden your soul with the additional crime of sacrilege; but may God, in His infinite mercy, preserve you from so great an evil.

     "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Oh, divine words of Christ, too often made the subject of mockery and blasphemy by the unforgiving Christian. Why? Dearly beloved in Christ, we need only consider the petition itself: "Forgive me as I forgive." Yet you do not forgive, therefore your prayer is a petition for God to condemn you to hell! Oh, what blasphemy!

     "Lead us not into temptation." Presumptuous sinner! so do you venture to speak and to pray to God, and yet you go in search of temptation, and regret when the occasion is wanting to gratify lust.

     "But deliver us from evil." How can this be done, when you encourage such evil dispositions? Can it be? No; a thousand times no! Therefore, to all here present, who feel that they have offended God by mortal sin, I would say: When you feel moved to pray, from the depths of your heart, first cry out: "Have mercy on me, O Lord." Then, without ceasing, call upon God, asking Him to give you the grace of repentance, that you may return to Him, and live as His true child; that thus your prayer, rising up to heaven, may find favor with our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!

    "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"--Luke 18.

    "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" was the prayer of the repentant publican, who, venturing not to lift his eyes to heaven, found grace before God, and "went home justified."

    Our Lord specifies the principal reason for this reconciliation with God in the words: "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted!" Dearly beloved in Christ Jesus, we have heretofore, in reading this Gospel, considered the wide difference of the prayers addressed to their Creator by the two men "who went into the temple to pray." Too often in our own day it is the case that Christians go to the temple of God to offer up their petitions; but how do they pray? Alas! their prayers are an insult to the adorable majesty of God. Mark it well; both of those men went to the temple of the Lord, and both were sinners. One recognized and confessed his fault, and went home justified. Far different was it with the other, who was blinded by pride and self-sufficiency.

    I will make the application to our lives as children of the Church in another relation, and say: How often do we not see Christians thronging in crowds to the confessional, that they may be cleansed from their sins; yet how often are their confessions the semblance only of confession, the absolution of the priest an illusion, the reception of the Most Holy Sacrament a profanation! And why? Because there is such a want of humility among those who profess to be penitent, that they find their prototypes in the proud Pharisee instead of the humble publican.

    Mary, virgin most humble, obtain for us true humility of heart, that we may be effectually cleansed from every stain of sin in the sacred tribunal of penance! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater honor and glory of God!

     "Learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart," says our divine Lord. "Humility is the foundation of all virtues," the holy fathers cry out. St. Augustine writes: "Ask me what is virtue, and I answer humility; ask me again, and I say humility; ask me yet a third time, and a third time would my answer be, humility." So it is; even as, according to the declaration of Holy Scripture, pride is the root of every vice, so is humility the beginning of every virtue; nay, even more, it is the foundation of the conditions necessary for the forgiveness of sins. It constitutes that disposition of heart upon which depends our reconciliation with God, if we have had the misfortune of being separated from Him by sin. The reason for this is given, in the declaration of the Council of Trent, which teaches that man of himself is not able, without a particular grace, to arrive at a proper knowledge of his sins, much less to deplore and confess them, in order to obtain forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance.

    Now, Holy Scripture expressly declares that "God gives grace to the humble." If you wish to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily and in an effective manner, the first requisite it can not be too often repeated is humility. This can be seen from the examples in Holy Scripture, wherein, whenever there is question of the pardon of sin, this virtue is spoken of. David humbled himself, Nineveh humbled itself, the prodigal son threw himself at the feet of his father, the publican ventured not even to lift up his eyes, Mary Magdalen is everywhere represented kneeling at the feet of Christ; all these illustrious penitents were penetrated with that deep and heart-felt humility which is but too often lacking in those who seek pardon for their sins in the Sacrament of Penance. O my dear Christians! pray to God for an increase of this virtue, for, be assured, that no prayer but that of the humble will pierce the clouds, and ascend like incense before the Lord.

    Many approach this Sacrament with their hearts puffed up with self-conceit, and without a trace of that suppliant entreaty to God: "O Lord, enlighten me, and have mercy on me, that I may know my sins, and confess them so as to obtain through thy infinite merits a full pardon, and that peace which the world can not give!"

    Let us consider the conditions necessary for making a good confession. First, we must know our sins; humility will guide us to self-knowledge. The proud man does not readily admit his failings, but finds ample excuse for what, in another, he would deem sins of wonderful magnitude. Pride steps in, and not only enables him to palliate, but even to transform evil-doings into what has at least the semblance of right, and sometimes of virtue.

    Whosoever is thus disposed will give himself but little anxiety about cleansing his soul from venial faults in the sacrament of reconciliation; for to him it may even seem a condescension to declare the transgressions he admits to be mortal.

    Humble yourselves, and you will receive light from the Spirit of Light, the Holy Ghost, to know your sins; and grace will be added for the obtaining of true contrition for them, which may be called the most important requisite for making a good confession. For what will a thorough knowledge of your sins avail if you be not sorry for them? This self-knowledge and contrition must be accompanied by a firm resolution to sin no more, and this resolution must be based on humility.

    But the proud man does not feel that grief and horror for sin which its enormity should inspire. Therefore he contents himself with but little preparation for confession. Oh! how different are the sentiments of the truly humble Christian, who, when he has had the misfortune to fall into sin, exclaims with the deepest contrition: "O my God and my all! God of infinite goodness and holiness, my God and Creator, my Redeemer and Father, my only Benefactor, how have I dared to oppose myself to Thee, to offend Thee? No more sin, O my God!"

    Mark it well: "No more sin" for what is the sentiment of sorrow without a resolution of amendment, but a mere illusion? And what will enable you to keep that resolution? I say, and repeat humility, humility! This golden virtue removes the bandage from the eyes of the sinner, the penitent sinner, and teaches him to distrust his own strength, and to follow the admonition of Christ: " If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out; or if thy hand or thy foot, cut it off." Cost what it may, the Christian who wishes to save his soul must avoid every occasion of sin, and distrust himself. This the proud man does not, and consequently his resolutions are not kept. But how is it with the second part of this Sacrament confession? What renders so many confessions not only imperfect, but sacrilegious? The concealment of some mortal sin; for men do not confess as fully as they should.

    And why is this? Dearly beloved in Christ, they listen to the promptings of shame. Oh, wretched shame! which closes the lips of so many in this sacred tribunal, and leads its victims to ruin and to hell! Too often does it transform the soul of the penitent into a sealed book, the secrets of which the confessor can not penetrate. And this is especially so if the latter be the pastor or parish priest, as is generally the case. Oh, how many reasons there are to urge any well instructed child of the Catholic Church to conquer this false shame, and to encourage every faithful soul to confess without reserve! The priest is the representative of God, of His infinite mercy. He is a type of the good Samaritan, of the Good Shepherd, of the loving Father. What he hears as confessor he hears not at all as man. Even looking upon him as man and your pastor, you would wish to stand high in his estimation. Oh, let him feel, then, that you truly confess every mortal sin that lies upon your conscience, and every circumstance connected therewith, and he will from his very heart, thank God who has bestowed upon you such lively faith and such confidence in Him, as well as such profound humility. He will rejoice that he has been an instrument in the hands of God to save your soul from perdition. Therefore, O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, be merciful unto us, and so penetrate our hearts with the virtue of humility that we may be enabled to conquer and trample upon that false shame, which, if yielded to, will bring eternal ruin! Amen!

    Prayers before Examination of Conscience

    O Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who hast made me out of nothing in Thine image and likeness, and hast redeemed me with Thine own Blood; whom I a sinner am not worthy to name, or call upon, or think of: I humbly pray Thee, I earnestly beseech Thee, to look mercifully on me, Thy wicked servant. Thou who hadst mercy on the woman of Chanaan and Mary Magdalen; Thou who didst spare the publican and the thief upon the cross, have mercy upon me. Thou art my hope and my trust; my guide and my succor; my comfort and my strength; my defense and my deliverance; my life, my health, and my resurrection; my light and my longing; my help and my protection.

    I pray and entreat Thee, help me and I shall be safe; direct me and defend me; strengthen me and comfort me; confirm me and gladden me; enlighten me and come unto me. Raise me from the dead; I am Thy creature, and the work of Thy hands. Despise me not, O Lord, nor regard my iniquities; but according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies have mercy upon me, the chief of sinners, and be gracious unto me. Turn Thou unto me, O Lord, and be not angry with me. I implore Thee, most compassionate Father, I pray Thee meekly, of Thy great mercy, to bring me to a holy death, and to true penance, to a perfect confession, and to worthy satisfaction for all my sins. Amen.

    Prayer after Examination of Conscience

    O my God, I cry unto Thee with the prodigal: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee; I am no longer worthy to be called Thy Son. I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost. O seek Thy servant, for I have not forgotten Thy commandments. Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord. O spare me for Thy mercy's sake. Prove me, O God, and know my heart; examine me, and know my paths. Thou whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, O meet me in pity, embrace me in love, and forgive me all my sins.

    I confess my sins unto Thee, O Christ, Healer of our souls, O Lord of Life. Heal me, heal me of my spiritual sickness, Thou who art long-suffering and of tender mercy; heal me, O Lord Christ. Accept my supplications, O Thou Holy Spirit, unto whom every heart is open, every desire known, and from whom no secret is hid, and who givest life to our souls; hear and answer, O Spirit of God. O Heavenly Father, who willest not that any sinner should perish, give me true repentance for this my sin, that I perish not!

    To what misery am I come by my own fault! O merciful God, pity and forgive me for Jesus' sake. Thine eyes, O God, are as a flame of fire searching my inmost heart. O pardon my sin, for it is great! Thou, God, seest me in all the foulness of my sins'. Blessed Jesus, speak for me, plead for me, come between my soul and my offended God, that I perish not. Amen.


    Offline Binechi

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    Re: Tenth Sundy After Pentecost
    « Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 07:03:03 AM »
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  • Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
    by Leonard Goffine, 1871

    In the Introit of the Mass pray with the Church for God's help to guard us against our enemies: When I cried out, the Lord heard my complaint against those that were coming against me: and he that was before all ages, and will be for ever, humbled them: cast thy care on the Lord, and he will feed thee. (Ps. liv.) Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my petition: look down upon me, and hear me. Glory, &c.

    PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, who chiefly manifestast Thy Almighty power in pardoning and shewing mercy, increase Thy goodness towards us: that having recourse to Thy promises, we may be partakers of Thy heavenly blessing. Through our Lord &c.

    EPISTLE, (i. Cor. xii. 2 - 11.) Brethren: You know that, when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the spirit of God, saith anathema to Jesus. And no man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diveirsities of graces, but the same spirit. And there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God who worketh all in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same spirit: to another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one spirit: to another, the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning of spirits: to another, divers kinds of tongues: to another, interpretation of speeches. But in all these things one and the same spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.



    The apostle here reminds the Corinthians converted from heathenism of the great grace they received from God in their conversion, and urges them to be grateful for it; for while heathens they cursed Jesus, but being now brought to the knowledge of the Spirit of God, they possess Christ as their Lord and Redeemer, who can be known and professed only by the enlightment of the Holy Ghost. This, as all other graces which they have received from God, is a free gift of the Holy Ghost who gives to whomsoever He pleases and who alone produces all the effect of them. These graces, the word of wisdom to impart to others and to instruct in the mysteries of the Christian religion, the gift of healing sickness, the gift of miracles and of prophecy, the gift of discerning spirits, to know if one is governed by the Spirit of God, or of the world, Satan and the flesh, the gift of tongues and others, the Holy Ghost gave, in the early times of Christianity to the faithful, especially to the pastors of the Church, for the propagation of the gospel; but these became rarer the more the faith spread and grew firmer; whereas the gifts which sanctify man, will always remain in the Church of God.

    GOSPEL. (Luke xvhi. 9 -14.) At That Time: Jesus spake this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others. Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one was a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in the week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican standing afar off would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven: but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.


    Why did Christ make use of this parable of the Pharisee and the Publican?

    To teach us never to proudly condemn or despise a man, even when he seems wrong, and to enable us to understand how easily we may be mistaken like the Pharisee who despised the Publican, whom he considered a great sinner, while, in reality, the man was justified before God on account of his repentant spirit.

    What should we do before entering a Church?

     "We should reflect, that we are going into the house of God, to speak to Him, and should therefore think well, what we are about to say to Him, and what we wish to ask of Him. That we may make ourselves less unworthy to be heard, we should humble ourselves as did Abraham (Gen. xviii. 27.), remembering that we are dust and ashes, and on account of our sins unworthy to appear before the eyes of God, much less to address Him, for God listens to the prayers of the humble only (Ps. ci. 18.), gives them His grace, and resists the proud. (James iv. 6.)

    Was the Pharisee's prayer acceptable to God?

    No, for it was no prayer, but boasting and ostentation; while he praised himself, enumerated his apparent good works, he attributed them all to himself, taking away all the honor from God, hiding his pride under the gloss of sanctity, despising others, judging them rashly, regarding them as extortioners, unjust, adulterers, and thus he sinned, instead of meriting the grace of God.

    Was the Publican's prayer acceptable to God?

    Yes, for though short, it was humble and contrite. He did not stand in the front of the temple, but at a distance, as if to acknowledge himself unworthy of the presence of God and communion with men. He stood with down cast eyes, thus showing that he considered himself because of his sins unworthy to look towards heaven, teaching us to regard ourselves, on account of our sins, unworthy to appear in the presence of God. He confessed himself a sinner, and struck his breast to punish, as St. Augustine says, the sins which he had committed in his heart. This is why also we during Mass several times strike our breast, for by this we acknowledge that we are miserable sinners, and that we regret our sins.


    We should especially learn from this gospel, that God looks upon the humble, but is far from the proud (Ps.cxxxvii. 6.), and that He resists the proud and exalts the humble. The Pharisee went to the temple entirely wrapt up in himself, fancying himself replete with good works, but returned empty and hated by God; the Publican, on the contrary, appearing before God as a public but penitent sinner, returns justified. Truly an humble sinner is better in the sight of God than a proud just man!

    He who glories in his own good works, or performs them to please men and to win their praise, loses their merit in the eyes of the most High, for Christ says: Take heed that you do not your justice before men, that you may be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward from your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. vi. 1.)

    In order that we may learn to despise vain glory, these teachings should be well borne in mind. We should consider, that, it will happen to the seeker after vain glory, as to the man who made many toilsome journeys on land and sea in order to heap up wealth, and had no sooner acquired it than he was shipwrecked and lost all. Thus the ambitious man avariciously seeking glory and honor, will find, when dying that the merit which he might have had for his good works, is now lost to him, because he did not labor for the honor of God. To prevent such an evil, strive at the commencement of every good work which you undertake to turn your heart by a good intention to God.

    But that you may plainly recognize the vice of pride, which generally keeps itself concealed, and that you may avoid it, know that pride is an inordinate love of ostentation, and an immoderate desire to surpass others in honor and praise. The proud man goes beyond himself, so to speak, makes himself out far more than he really is, and, like the Pharisee, despises others; the humble man, on the contrary, has a low estimate of himself, looks upon himself as nothing and, like the Publican, despises no one but himself, and thus is pleasing in the sight of God.

    ASPIRATION. O God, who dost regard the prayers of the humble, but dost despise and throw away the proud, I earnestly beseech Thee to give me an humble heart, that I may imitate the humility of Thy only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by so doing become less unworthy to be exalted with Him in heaven.


    In the epistle of this day the Apostle St. Paul speaks of the different gifts of the Holy Ghost which He distributes as He pleases. The extraordinary graces which the apostle mentions, are not necessary for salvation. But the Church teaches, that the grace of God, of the Holy Ghost, is necessary for salvation, because without it we could neither properly believe, nor faithfully keep the commandments of God. For the holy religion of Jesus teaches us, and experience confirms it, that since the fall of our first parents we are weak and miserable, and by ourselves, of our own strength, we cannot know or perform the good necessary for our salvation. We need a higher aid, a higher assistance, and this aid, this assistance is called grace.

    What, then, is grace?

    Grace is an inward, supernatural gift which God from pure goodness, and in consideration of Christ's merits, grants us to enable us to work out our salvation.

    Grace is a gift, that is, a present, a favor, a benefit. It is an inward and supernatural gift; an inward gift, because it is bestowed upon man's soul in distinction from external gifts and benefits of God, as: food, clothes, health, the preaching of God's word; it is a supernatural gift, because by supernatural is meant that which is above nature. In creating our souls God gives us a certain degree of light which enables us to think, reflect, judge, to acquire more or less knowledge: this is called natural light. In the same way He gives our souls the power in some measure to overcome our sensual vicious inclination; this power is called natural power (virtue). To this natural light and power must be added a higher light and a higher power, if man would be sanctified and saved. This higher light and higher power is grace. It is therefore called a supernatural gift, because it surpasses the natural power of man, and produces in his understanding and in his will wholesome effects, which man could not produce without it. For example, divine faith, divine love is a supernatural gift or grace of God, because man of his own power could never receive as certain God's revelations and His incomprehensible mysteries with so great joy and so firm conviction, and could never love God above all things and for His own sake, unless God assisted him by His grace.

    God grants us grace also through pure benevolence without our assistance, without our having any right to it; He grants it without cost, and to whom He pleases; but He gives it in consideration of the infinite merits of Christ Jesus, in consideration of Christ's bloody death on the cross, and of the infinite price of the redemption He accomplished on the cross, for us. Finally, grace is a gift of God, by which to work out our salvation, that is, it is only by the grace of God that we can perform meritorious works to aid us in reaching heaven; without grace it is impossible for us to perform any good action, even to have a good thought by which to gain heaven.

    From this it follows, that with the grace of God we can accomplish all things necessary for our salvation, can fulfil all the commandmends of God, but without grace can do nothing meritorious; also that grace is given to all, so that the wicked perish, not because they could not, but because they would not be good, and that we can resist grace, and therefore by our own fault perish.

    How is grace divided?

    It is of two kinds, the actual and the sanctifying grace.

    The actual grace is God's assistance which we always need to accomplish a good work, to avoid sin which we are in danger of committing, or that grace which urges us on to good, assisting us in accomplishing it; for God it is, says the Apostle Paul (Phil. ii. 13.), who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish. If a good work is to be done by us, God must enlighten our mind, that we may properly know the good and distinguish it from evil; He must rouse our will and urge it on to do the known good and to avoid the evil; He must also uphold our will and increase our strength that what we wish to do, we may really accomplish. This actual grace is, therefore, necessary to the just, that they may always remain in sanctifying grace, and accomplish good works; it is necessary to the sinner, that he may reach the state of sanctifying grace. What is sanctifying grace?

    It is the great benefit which God bestows upon us, when He sanctifies and justifies us; in other words: Sanctifying grace is the love of God, given to us by the Holy Ghost, which love dwells in us and whose temple we become, or it is the advent and residence of God in our hearts, as promised in the words of Jesus: If any one keep my word, I will come to him and abide in him (John xiv. 24.); and: If any one love me, my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will make our abode with him. (John xiv. 23.)

    He who possesses sanctifying grace, possesses the greatest treasure that a man can possess on earth. For what can be more precious than to be beautiful in the sight of God, acceptable to Him, and united with Him! He who possesses this grace, carries within himself the supernatural image of God, he is a child of God, a friend of God, and has a right to the inheritance of heaven.

    How is this sanctifying grace lost? It is lost by every mortal sin, and can only be regained by a complete return to God, by true repentance and amendment. The loss of sanctifying grace, which is given to every one in baptism, is a far greater injury than the loss of all earthly possessions, greater than the loss of honor, greater even than the loss of life. How terrible, then, is mortal sin which deprives us of this treasure!

    Offline Meg

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    Re: Tenth Sundy After Pentecost
    « Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 12:39:26 PM »
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  • "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" was the prayer of the repentant publican, who, venturing not to lift his eyes to heaven, found grace before God, and "went home justified."


    Prayer after Examination of Conscience
    I confess my sins unto Thee, O Christ, Healer of our souls, O Lord of Life. Heal me, heal me of my spiritual sickness, Thou who art long-suffering and of tender mercy; heal me, O Lord Christ. Accept my supplications, O Thou Holy Spirit, unto whom every heart is open, every desire known, and from whom no secret is hid, and who givest life to our souls; hear and answer, O Spirit of God. O Heavenly Father, who willest not that any sinner should perish, give me true repentance for this my sin, that I perish not!

    To what misery am I come by my own fault! O merciful God, pity and forgive me for Jesus' sake. Thine eyes, O God, are as a flame of fire searching my inmost heart. O pardon my sin, for it is great! Thou, God, seest me in all the foulness of my sins'. Blessed Jesus, speak for me, plead for me, come between my soul and my offended God, that I perish not. Amen.

    At Holy Mass today, the priest spoke, during the homily, on the two above subjects: the situation of the Publican and the Pharisee, and the need for true contrition for sins at Confession.

    He said that the Publican, even though a sinner, showed true humility, in admitting he was a sinner, and asking for God's mercy. The Pharisee on the other hand was just showing off to make himself look good. The priest gave a quote from a source that I don't recall:

    "It's better to be fallen and humble, than it is to be innocent and proud."

    Father repeated it twice and said that it's important to remember this. Then he gave a small reference to the Resistance. He said that we are not to think that we are better than anyone else. We shouldn't think to ourselves..."Thank God I'm not a Novus Ordite, or.....Thank God I'm not one of those Resistance freaks." He said that we are not to have this kind of attitude. This was said at a regular SSPX chapel. I think he made a good point about charity, one that I especially need to remember.

    He also talked at length about the importance of true contrition for sins. It was quite edifying.


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