Category Archives: The Bible

Posts that illustrate the Bible is a tool for Salvation, not the end all be all.

The Gospel Lesson 2

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At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the crowds, behold, a ruler came up and worshipped Him, saying, “My daughter has just now died; but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she will return to life.” And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. Now a woman who for twelve years had been suffering from hemorrhage, came up behind Him and touched the tassel of His cloak, saying to herself, “If I touch but His cloak I shall be saved.” But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said, “Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.” And the woman was restored to health from that moment. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the crowd making a din, He said: “Begone, the girl is asleep, not dead.” And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the crowd had been put out, He went in and took her by the hand; and the girl arose. And the report spread throughout all that district. (Gospel for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.)

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Before going to the left side to read the Gospel, the priest stops at the center of the altar. He looks up at the crucifix. Then he bows low, with hands folded, and prays. The prayer he says asks God to prepare his heart and his lips to make the Gospel known.

The Missal, which was at the right side of the altar, has been carried to the left side. The Gospel is one of the parts of the Mass that changes each day. It is the second and the most important of the two instructions in the Mass of the Catechumens.

The people stand during the Gospel to show their respect for the word of God. The Gospel is taken from the Bible. It tells what Our Lord said and did. It tells what He taught. Our Lord never taught a single lesson that He Himself did not put into practice.

Before reading the Gospel, the priest says: “Dominus vobiscum” – The Lord be with you. And the server answers: “Et cum spiritu tuo” – And with you, too.

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Then the priest is ready to read the Gospel. But first he makes four small crosses. You have seen him make a little Sign of the Cross on the book, on his forehead, on his lips, and on his breast. We also can make these little crosses on our foreheads, on our lips, and on our breasts. With the priest, we can ask God that our minds may know the teachings of Our Lord, that our tongues may make them known, and that our hearts may love them.

When the priest has finished reading the Gospel, the server says: “Praise be to Thee, O Christ.” At this time the priest kisses the book saying: “By the words of the Gospel, may our sins be blotted out.”

If you read the Gospel carefully, if you listen to the priest as he reads it to the people, you will learn how Our Lord lived, you will be reminded of lessons, many of which you already know. You will also learn new lessons about the things our Blessed Lord taught while He was on earth.

We should always try to find in the Gospel of the Mass a message from God to us. We should think about that message and plan what we can do about it right away. Sometimes it is not easy to put Our Lord’s teachings into practice. But we should recall the lesson in the Catechism on grace. Actual grace, if we will use it, helps us to do good and to avoid sin. And we know that one of the principal ways of obtaining grace is to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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Mass of the Catechumens Unit 3: The Epistle Lesson 1

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In those days I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth. Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them.” (Epistle read in the third Mass on All Souls Day. Apocalypse 14).

After praying the Collects, the priest reads the Epistle from the Missal. The Epistle changes every day.

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This part of the Mass is called the Epistle because parts of letters, written by the apostles St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, St. James, and St. Jude, are often read at this time. An epistle is a letter. The Epistles in the Bible are letters to the first Christians who were at a distance from the Apostles. These letters contain advice or instruction.

Sometimes the Epistle of the Mass is from the Acts of the Apostles or the Apocalypse or the Old Testament. But always it is from a book of the Bible. The Bible is the word of God. God is it’s real author. The Bible contains lessons from God for men.

The Epistle of the Mass gives instruction. It teaches a lesson, sometimes several lessons, to help men grow in the knowledge and love of God or their neighbor.

Many of the Epistles are hard for boys and girls to understand at first. But always they should make an effort to find in the Epistle a special message or lesson for themselves. The Epistle given at the beginning of this lesson is taken from one of the Masses for All Souls’ Day. It is not hard to understand.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Introit Lesson 4

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Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of all the Saints, in whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and join in praising the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, he just; praise becometh the upright. (Introit for the Feast of All Saints.)

Before the Introit

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Three things, in particular, you will want to remember about the prayers the priest says at the foot of the altar: (1) He expresses his desire to offer the Holy Sacrifice in these words, I will go to the altar of God. (2) He shows confidence in God. You remember this line, For Thou, O God, art my strength. And this line, you also will recall, Our help is in the name of the Lord. (3) He speaks of his sins in the Confiteor, and he asks God’s pardon for himself and for us.

These are three thoughts from the priest’s preparation for Holy Mass that is made at the foot of the altar. We could have no better thoughts in preparing to unite with him in offering the Holy Sacrifice. When the priest goes up to the altar, he kisses it. He does so to show respect for Our Lord and for the relics of the saints that are in it.

The Introit

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After kissing the altar, the priest goes to the Mass book on the right. This is really the beginning of Holy Mass. Everything up to this moment has been in preparation. The priest makes the Sign of the Cross. He reads the first part in the Proper of the Mass. It is called the Introit. You already know that the parts of the Mass that change from day to day are called the Proper of the Mass.

In the Introit there is almost always a sentence from one of the Psalms. Hundreds of years ago the Introits were much longer. Often a whole Psalm was included. The Introits, at that time, were sing by the choir during a procession to the altar before Holy Mass. Today, many Introits are hard to understand because of the parts that are now omitted.

Often the Introit tells something about the feast of the day, as you can see in the Introit at the beginning of this lesson.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Confiteor Lesson 3

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Altar Boy: I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary, ever virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me.
Priest: May almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting.
Altar Boy: Amen.
Priest: May the almighty and merciful God grant us pardon, absolution, and full remission of our sins.
Altar Boy: Amen.

After reciting Psalm 42, the priest bends way over. He is praying the Confiteor. This prayer gets it’s name from the first word of the prayer when it is said in Latin. Confiteor means “I confess.” Most children first learn this prayer when they are in second or third grade.

The Confiteor is a prayer that speakers of sorrow for sin. First, the priest recites the prayer. He tells God he has sinned. Then the altar boy says the same prayer. The Confiteor is said as a preparation to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the priest.

The prayer, as it is given at the beginning of this lesson, is just as the altar boy says it. When the priest makes this act of sorrow for his sins, one word is different. The priest says “and to you, brethren” instead of “and to you, Father.” The priest is telling the people that he has sinned. He wants them to know that he is sorry for having offended God.

When we pray the Confiteor, we want it to mean what it says. If this is true, we must hate our sins. We show God that we are truly sorry when we are determined to try our hardest not to do them again.

It would help us if, when we pray the Confiteor, we would think of the sin we commit which is most displeasing to God and ask His help not to do it again. We prove our sorrow by keeping away from sin.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass Lesson 2

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The Bible tells about many sacrifices. Abel offered the finest lamb of his flock to God. Noe offered sacrifice when he came out of the ark. Abraham was ready to obey God and to offer even his son in sacrifice. When an angel stopped Abraham, he offered a ram. From the time of Moses, the priests of the Jews offered sacrifices for the people.

Saint Paul said that the sacrifices offered by the Jews were a shadow of the good things to come. Saint Paul was speaking of the perfect sacrifice. In this sacrifice Jesus, the Son of God, was and would be the victim.

Jesus offered to God the Father His sufferings and death on the cross. This is called that sacrifice of the cross. On the cross Jesus gained merit and made up for the sins of men.

Every day Jesus makes the same offering that He made on the cross. He again offers Himself to God the Father. He offers His sufferings and death on the cross. He does This In the Sacrifice of the Mass. Our Lord applies to us the merits of His death on the cross. No better victim, no greater gift, could be offered to God. The victim in the Sacrifice of the Mass is Our Lord Himself.

The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross. There is only one difference. The way in which the sacrifice is offered is different. On the cross Our Lord shed His Blood. In the Mass there is no shedding of blood. There is no death. Jesus offers Himself to God under the appearances of bread and wine.

The first Sacrifice of the Mass was offered by Our Lord at the Last Supper. He did it in this way. He changed bread and wine into His body and blood. He offered Himself to God the Father. He said: “This is My body which is given for you; this is My blood which is shed for you.”

Jesus made the apostles priests at the Last Supper. At that time He gave them the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood. He said: Do this in Remembrance of Me.” And the priest does this every day in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

When I pray the Mass with the priest, I offer Jesus to God the Father. I also offer myself to God the Father. During Holy Mass, God the Father wishes to give me a gift. He wishes to give me His Son in Holy Communion. This gift is food for my soul. Our Lord Himself said: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.” Our Lord meant the life of grace which I must have to belong to the kingdom of God.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

End Times and The Anti-Christ

A Better take on things to come. Bishop Donald Sandborn of The Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville FL is as about straight to the heart of Catholoscism as we can find in this day and age. Please feel free to browse YouTube for the series “What Catholics Believe”, which aired in the 1980s and had very good topics of interest with a number of terrific clergymen and Catholic role models. God Bless BJS!!


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​On the Commandments of the Church 

Taken from The Sinner’s Guide by the Venerable Louis of Granada chap. 38

Besides these sins against the Commandments of God there are those against the commandments of the Church, which also impose upon us a grave obligation. Such are the precepts to hear Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation; to confess our sins at least once a year, and to receive the Holy Eucharist at Easter or thereabouts; to pay tithes to our pastor, and to observe the days of fasting and abstinence prescribed by the Church. 
The precept of fasting is binding from the age of 21 and upwards; that of abstinence obliges all who have attained the age of reason. The sick, the convalescent, nursing women, women in pregnancy, those whose labors are severe, and those who are too poor to afford one full meal a day, are exempt from the law of fasting. There may be other lawful reasons for dispensation, for which the faithful ought to apply to their pastor or confessor, and not take it upon themselves to set aside the law of the Church.
The difference between abstinence and fasting should be remembered. By fasting we mean eating only one full meal in the day, with a slight collation in the evening. By abstinence we mean giving up the use of flesh-meat. It should be borne in mind, therefore, on Ember days and at other times of fast, that the law is not fulfilled by simply abstaining from meat. Unless you are excused by some of the reasons given above or by dispensation, you must observe the fast by eating only one full meal, with the collation in the evening, and a warm drink, with a cracker or small piece of bread, in the morning.
In regard to hearing Mass, we must endeavor to be present at the Holy Sacrifice not only in body but in mind, with silence and recollection, having our thoughts fixed upon the mystery of the altar, or upon some other pious subject. The recital of devout prayers, especially the Rosary, is an excellent means of keeping ourselves united with God. If we are at the head of a house we must be careful to see that all under our charge hear Mass, not only on Sundays, but also on holy days. Too much laxity regarding holy days is apt to prevail among those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. They should remember that the obligation to hear Mass on a holy day is the same as the obligation to hear it on Sunday. Consequently, they must make serious and sincere efforts to comply with this duty. To attend an early Mass may involve the loss of a little sleep, but they should remember that these holy days occur but seldom, and that they must do something to atone for their sins and to merit the kingdom of Heaven.
Parents and employers will have a severe account to render to God if they cause or permit those confided to their care to neglect this sacred duty. When there is a just reason, such as the care of the sick or any other pressing necessity which prevents Mass, we are released from the obligation.

God Bless BJS!!

Things to Remember… (p2)

  • “Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth cannot be My disciple.” [Luke, 14. 33.]
  • “Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding, that thou mayst know also where is length of days and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace.” (Bar. 3:14).
  • “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me.” (Jer. 9:23-24).
  • “Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation.” (Ecclus. 2:1)
  • If all the calamities which have existed in the world since the creation, and all the sufferings of Hell, were put into one side of a scale, and but one mortal sin into the other, it would outweigh all these evils, for it is incomparably greater. This is a truth which must be strongly felt and constantly remembered.
  • We are all made to the image and likeness of God, as Jesus Christ. The life question is whether or not we represent His image and likeness in our daily lives and actions.
  • St. Thomas says all sin, proceeds from self-love, for we never commit sin without coveting some gratification for self. From self-love spring those three branches of sin mentioned by St. John: “the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1Jn. 2:16), which are love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of honors. Three of the deadly sins, lust, gluttony, and sloth, spring from love of pleasure, pride springs from love of honors, and covetousness from love of riches. The remaining two, anger and envy, serve all these unlawful loves. Anger is aroused by any obstacle which prevents us from attaining what we desire, and envy is excited when we behold anyone possessing what our self-love claims. These are the three roots of the seven deadly sins, and consequently of all the others. Let these chiefs be destroyed and the whole army will soon be routed. Hence we must vigorously attack these mighty giants who dispute our entrance to the promised land.
  • Perfection consists: First, in a true contempt of one’s self. Secondly, in a thorough mortification of our own appetites. Thirdly, in a perfect conformity to the will of God: whosoever is wanting in one of these virtues is out of the way of perfection.
  • Certain souls, greedy of spiritual dainties in prayer, go in search only of these banquets of sweet and tender feelings; but courageous souls that seek sincerely to belong wholly to God, ask Him only for light to understand His will, and for strength to put it in execution.
  • “Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning.” (Job. 4:14).
  • “If you find difficulty in the performance of a virtuous action, the trouble is soon past and the virtue remains; but if you take pleasure in committing a base action, its pleasure disappears, but its shame continues with you.”
  • We must patiently endure the tribulations of this life—–ill-health, sorrows, poverty, losses, bereavement of kindred, affronts, persecutions, and all that is disagreeable. Let us invariably look on the trials of this world as signs of God’s love towards us, and of His desire to save us in the world to come. And let us, moreover, be fully persuaded that the involuntary mortifications which God Himself sends us are far more pleasing to Him than those which are the fruit of our own choice.
  • Let us acquire the good habit of saying in every adversity: God hath so willed it, and so I will it likewise.
  • Let us, moreover, force ourselves to endure scorn and insult with patience and tranquility. Let us answer terms of outrage and injury with words of gentleness; but as long as we feel ourselves disturbed, the best plan is to keep silence, till the mind grows tranquil.
  • He that prays, conquers; he that prays not, is conquered.
  • The maxim of St. Francis should never be out of our sight: “We are just what we are before God.”
  • Detach your heart from all creatures. Whoever continues bound by the slightest fondness to things of earth can never rise to a perfect union with God.
  • It was said by St. Philip Neri, that “whatever affection we bestow on creatures is so much taken from God.”
  • We must leave all, in order to gain all. “All for all,” writes Thomas à Kempis. Imit. Chr. 1. 3. C. 37.
  • St. Francis de Sales: “I never remember to have been angry without afterwards regretting it.”
  • St. Philip Neri: “We shall have no account to render to God of what is done through obedience.” Which is to be understood, of course, as long as there is no evident sin in the command.
  • All passes away in this life, whether it be joy or sorrow; but in eternity nothing passes away.
  • What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
  • All that comes from God, whether it be adverse or prosperous, all is good, and is for our welfare.
  • We must leave all, to gain all.
  • There is no peace to be found without God.
  • To love God and save one’s soul is the one thing needful.
  • We need only be afraid of sin.
  • If God be lost, all is lost.
  • He that desires nothing in this world is master of the whole world.
  • He that prays is saved, and he that prays not is damned.
  • Let me die, and give God pleasure. 
  • God is cheap at any cost.
  • Every pain is slight to him who has deserved Hell.
  • He bears all who looks on Jesus crucified.
  • Everything becomes a pain that is not done for God.
  • Whoever wishes for God alone is rich in every good.
  • Happy the man who can say: “My Jesus, I desire Thee alone, and nothing more!”
  • He that loves God, finds pleasure in everything; he that loves not God, finds no true pleasure in anything.

    God Bless BJS!!

    The Last Sacraments (Confession, Holy Viaticum, & Extreme Unction), & Holy Communion Calls

    But the children of the murderers he did not put to death, according to that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: but every man shall die for his own sins.”
    4 Kings (2 Kings) 14:6

    What are the Last Sacraments? They are the sacraments administered to a person dangerously ill. The sick person first makes his confession, then receives the Holy Eucharist in the Viaticum, and Extreme Unction.
    Extreme Unction is a remedy; and as medicine is for the living, not the dead, so those dead in sin will not profit from this spiritual remedy. However, if the patient is physically unable to confess, the Church accepts the intention and administers Extreme Unction with confession.
    The sacred Unction of the sick was instituted by Our Lord as a true sacrament of the New Law (Council of Trent, 14, 4). It confers grace, remits sin, and comforts the sick. In administering Extreme Unction the priest anoints the Christian who is in danger of death with the holy oils upon the organs of his five senses, and prays over him; by means of which the spiritual and not infrequently the bodily malady of the sick man is cured.
    We have a serious obligation, if we are taking care of a sick person, to call the priest the moment there is danger of death. It is very wrong to delay calling the priest until the person is already on the point of death. While his mind is clear, he can prepare for the Last Sacraments better, and profit more from them. Some people do not call the priest to administer the Last Sacraments because they fear the patient would be frightened and become more worse. This is a great mistake, for actual observation has provided that a sick person is always more calm and peaceful after the visit of the priest.
    Extreme Unction strengthens the sick because it confers on him grace to bear more easily the inconviences and pains of sickness,  and enables him more readily to resist temptation of all kinds. It is for the healing of the soul, and oftentimes the body; it effects the remission of mortal sins, which through infirmity of mind or body the sick man has not been able to confess, as well as the remission of some temporal punishment. And besides, at times it obtains bodily health, when expedient for the welfare of the soul. Extreme Unction compensates for all that, through no fault of his own, the sick man left incomplete in the Sacrament of Penance. It is thus the completion of the Sacrament of Penance, or the penance of the sick.
    In common with all the other sacraments, Extreme Unction imparts a higher degree of sanctifying grace. This is of more importance to us at our death than at any other moment, for the degree of our future felicity depends on the degree of sanctifying grace we possess.
    And the greater our love of God, the more capable shall we be of the enjoyment of eternal bliss. Thus this holy sacrament cleanses away all that is an impediment to our eternal salvation.
    He, who enters upon the journey from time to eternity without fortifying himself with the last sacraments, is like a traveler who starts on his way with an empty purse. Nor can there be contempt of so great a sacrament without heinous sin and an injury to the Holy Ghost Himself (Council of Trent, 14, 9).

    Note:

    • Those who have not yet received the Sacrament of Penance cannot receive Extreme Unction since it is the completetion of penance.
    • To this class belong idiots and children who have not yet attained the age of reason. It must not be supposed that this includes all children under seven, for children of five years of age have been known on their death-bed to ask for a priest, because they were conscious of having dinner against their parents.
    • Extreme Unction can only be administered to the sick once in the same illness; but if the sick person recovers temporarily, and then has a relapse, he may be anointed again.
    • Every priest who has been duly authorized by the bishop, may give the Papal benediction with a plenary indulgence, provided he makes use of the prescribed formula. The sick man must call upon the holy name of Jesus (the priest usually repeats some ejaculatory prayer to him, in which the name of Jesus occurs) verbally, if he can still speak; if not, mentally, otherwise the indulgence is not gained, and the crucifix is offered to him to be kissed.

    How should we help a sick person prepare for the Last Sacraments?

    We should help a sick person prepare for the Last Sacraments both spiritually and corporally.

    1. Before the priest arrives we should help the patient get ready for his Confession. Let us say with him acts of contrition, and ejaculation to keep him united with God.
    2. The patient’s face, hands, and feet should be sponged with a wet towel.
    3. There should be ready towards the foot of the bed, to the right, a table with a clean white cloth. On it should be the following:
    • A crucifix,
    • 2 lit blessed candles
    • Some holy water, and
    • A glass of fresh water with a tablespoon.
    • A clean napkin,
    • A saucer with six balls of cotton, and
    • A piece of soft bread, or one or two slices of lemon for the hands of the priest, for wiping off the anointing.
    • A basin of water and a towel should be nearby, so the priest can wash his hands after anointing.

    4.  Upon the priests arrival, if he is carrying the Blessed Sacrament, we should meet him with a lighted blessed candle, in silence.

    5.  The priest himself brings the corporal, on which he lays the pyx containing the Blessed Sacrament.

    6.  While the sick man makes his confession, let all leave the room, as the priest may have to speak above a whisper.

    How can we help a dying person?

    1. We should kneel near the patient’s bed and recite the prayers for the dying, which may he found in most prayer books. We should suggest to him short ejaculations that he can easily repeat, at least in his mind. We should recite with him especially those prayers which are enriches with plenary indulgences for the hour of death.

    2.  The following prayer is enriched with a plenary indulgence at the hour of death: “O my God, I now at this moment readily and willingly accept at Thy hand whatever kind of death Thou latest wish to send me, with all its pains, penalties, sorrows.”

    If we reflect that a plenary indulgence gained with proper disposition means that the soul will go straight  from death bed to Heaven, we would be more zealous in helping the dying gain one.

    3.  During the agony, we should sprinkle the bed and the dying person with holy water. Those around should pray, instead of fussing, or showing too extreme grief. The first thing that we can offer immediately to God in relief of the soul of a loved one is an act of resignation to His holy will. Let us humbly say, “Lord, Thy will be done!”

    In case of sudden or unexpected death, should a priest be called?

     If a person is apparently dead and has not received the Last Sacraments, we should immediately call the priest. A person may continue to live two or three hours after has apparently taken place, especially if it is sudden. In that case, Extreme Unction will avail his soul.

    I highly recommend reading St. Alphonsus de Ligouri’s Preparation For Death. All information excerpted from: The Catechism Explained, p.p. 640-643 and My Catholic Faith, pp. 326, 327.

    God Bless BJS!!