Tag Archives: Church

Mass of the Faithful: The Offertory; The Offering of the Host Lesson 1

image

Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offenses, and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation unto life everlasting. Amen.

image

Before The Priest Offers The Host

Long ago, people brought their gifts for the Church to the altar at the beginning of the Offertory of the Mass. During this time the choir sang a Psalm from the Bible. Today, a few sentences are read at the beginning of the Offertory. They contain part of the Psalm that the choir once sang. The priest reads this short prayer from the Missal. It is called the Offertory of the day and changes daily.

After the Offertory prayer the priest is ready to say the prayer offering the host to God. First, he takes the veil off the chalice and puts it on the right side. You already know that the paten is the small gold-like plate on which the priest brought the host to the altar. This is the host which is to be consecrated during Holy Mass.

The priest holds up the paten with the host on it and offers the host to God in the prayer printed at the beginning of this lesson. The prayer reminds us that God is our Father, that He is holy, that He can do all things, and that He always was and always will be.

If you were to put this prayer in simple English it would read like this:

“Recieve, O God the Father, this host which is to be consecrated and offered to You. I know how sinful I am, but I offer this host to You to make up for my sins. I offer it to You for all present in this church. I also offer it to You for all Catholics, living and dead, that it may help me and them to be happy with You forever in heaven.”

This prayer tells us that the priest is offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to atone for his sins, and to pray for all present and for all faithful Christians, living and dead. The prayer reminds us of the love that Christians should have for one another and, first of all, for the people of their own parish.

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!!

Advertisements

The Collect Lesson 7

image

O almighty and eternal God who has granted us the favor of honoring the merits of all the Saints on this one feast day, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of so many saints, to enrich us with the fulness of Thy much-desired mercy. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the union of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. (Collect for the Feast of All Saints.)

Before The Collects

After the Gloria, or if there is no Gloria in the Mass, after the Kyrie, the priest say to the people, “The Lord be with you.” In Latin this greeting is “Dominos vobiscum.” The priest turns his back to the altar for a second to make this prayer. The people answer through the server by saying, “And with your spirit .” In Latin this reply is “Et cum spiritu tuo.”

When the priest says “Dominus vobiscum,” meaning “The Lord be with you,” he is saying to all the people in the church, “May God’s grace be with you.” As we all know, God’s grace comes to us in a special way through the Mass. The server’s reply, “Et cum spiritu tuo,” means “And with you, too.” The priest has prayed for God’s grace for the people, and they pray for God’s grace for him.

The Collects

image

The priest then goes again to the right of the altar to read from the Missal. At this time, he reads the prayer or prayers called Collects. The Collect changes each day. It belongs to the Proper of the Mass. It is called Collect because it collects together the prayers of the people. Before beginning the Collect, the priest says “Oremus.” This means “Let us pray.” He says in a clear voice because he wants all to pay attention. He wants to remind people to unite themselves with him in a special way while he offers to God the prayers of all those present.

The Collect are short prayers, but they are full of meaning. Sometimes there is only one Collect in the Mass, and very often there are two or three. The Collect is the prayer of the people. It never uses the words I or me, but always we and us.

The Collect for the Feast of All Saints is printed at the beginning of this lesson. What are the priest and people asking God for in this prayer? They are praying that God, Who is all-powerful and Who always will be, will hear the prayer of all the saints for them. And what is the favor they know the saints are asking for them? It is mercy. Let us never forget that when we pray for mercy we are praying that God will be kind to us, even though we do not deserve it. We are asking God to give us His grace.

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 Gloria Lesson 6

image

Introduction: Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men of good will.

First Part: We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We glorify Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty.

Second Part: O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou alone art holy. Thou alone art Lord. Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, art most high.

Third Part: Together with the Holy Ghost in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Gloria is prayed immediately after the Kyrie. The priest is standing at the middle of the altar as he does so. The Gloria is a joyous prayer. For this reason, it is said only on certain days, like Sundays and joyous feasts. It is omitted in Masses for the dead and during Lent.

The Gloria gets its name from the first word of the prayer when it is said in Latin. The word gloria or glory means “great praise and honor.” The prayer gives praise and honor to the Blessed Trinity. You already know one prayer offering glory to the Blessed Trinity, the prayer that begins with the words, “Glory be to the Father.”

The Introduction to the Gloria

Words the angels sang at the birth of Our Lord make up the introduction to this prayer: Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men of good will. The angels sang their Gloria because of the wonderful work Our Lord did. He gave glory to God when He made up to God for the sins of men. He obtained peace for men when He procured pardon for their sins and the gift of grace. Our Lord continues to do this in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

You know what your Catchism says about sanctifying grace. It gives our souls a new life. We share in the life of God Himself. Because of the life of grace in us, we have great peace. This comes from being children of God, with the right to heaven.

You also know that to get God’s grace we must be persons of good will. The angels sang, “Peace on earth to men of good will.” Who are men of good Will? We can answer that question very easily. We are men of good will when we are good Catholics, when we love God, our neighbor, and ourselves in the way the Catholic Church teaches. Jesus, the Son of God, teaches us through the Catholic Church.

The Gloria is made up of an introduction and three parts. The first part is addressed to God the Father, the second part to God the Son, and the third part to God the Holy Ghost. We have already examined the introduction, the words the angels sang at the birth of Our Lord.

The First Part: To God The Father

The first part of the Gloria uses four different words to offer honor to God the Father. The prayer says: We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We glorify Thee. When we make this part of the prayer with the priest, we are expressing our desire to give God the honor due to Him.

Next, this first part of the prayer says: We give thanks for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. Here we are thanking God for His own greatness. We know a little about God’s greatness from the world about us. The Church also teaches us about His greatness. Some of the teachings of the Church are in our Catechism, in the lesson called “God and His Perfections.”

The Second Part: To God The Son

The second part of the Gloria is addressed to God the Son. It begins with the words, “O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, and ends with the line, Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, art most high. In this part of the prayer we praise Our Lord, and we again pray for mercy.

We praise Our Lord when we use the different names given to Him on this prayer. We call Him Lord, Jesus Christ, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father. At the close of this second part of the Gloria, we praise Him in a very special way. Later, when we look at the third part of the prayer, we will see that this praise also is for God the Holy Ghost and for God the Father.

St. John the Baptist called Our Lord the Lamb of God. When John pointed out Jesus to his disciples, he said: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takest away the sins of the world.” The words Lamb of God describe Jesus who offered Himself in sacrifce by giving up His life to make up for the sins of men. The Bible tells how the Jews would offer a lamb to God in sacrifice. In the Mass Jesus continues to offer Himself in sacrifice, but in an unbloody manner.

Twice, in this second part of the Gloria, we say who takest away the sins of the world. The first time we ask Our Lord to have mercy on us; the second time we ask Him to receive our prayer. Then again we ask Him to have mercy on us. This time we show that we believe He is equal to God the Father. We say who sittest at the right hand of the Father.

When we ask Our Lord to have mercy on us, we are praying for pardon for our sins and for God’s grace. At the same time we are thinking how unworthy we are.

The Third Part: To God The Holy Ghost

In the introduction to the Gloria, we offer praise to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. We do this in the words, Glory to God in the highest.

In the third part of the prayer we give praise to the Holy Ghost in a special way when we pray: With the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father, Amen. These words remind us that Jesus and the Holy Ghost are one with Father. As the Catechism says: “The Three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another because all are one and the same 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!!

The Kyrie Eleison Lesson 5

image

Priest: Kyrie, eleison.
Response: Kyrie, eleison.
Priest: Kyrie, eleison.

Response: Christe, eleison.
Priest: Christe, eleison.
Response: Christe, eleison.

Priest: Kyrie, eleison.
Response: Kyrie, eleison.
Priest: Kyrie, eleison.

When the priest has finished reading the Introit, he goes to the center of the altar. The people in the church can hear him begin the prayer called the Kyrie. They can hear the altar boy make the responses. He does This for the people. He represents them. In some churches, everyone present makes the responses aloud.

The Kyrie is not in Latin as are all the other prayers of the Mass. It is in Greek. Kyrie, eleison means, “Lord, have mercy on us.” Christe, eleison means, “Christ, have mercy on us.”

In the Kyrie, priest and people are asking the most Blessed Trinity to be kind to them, even though they do not deserve it. They are asking for the graces Our Lord obtained for them in the sacrifice of the cross and which they hope to receive during Holy Mass. This is what “have mercy on us” means.

This prayer asks for mercy nine different times. It expresses the very great desire of priest and people for God’s mercy. If we wish, we can think of the Kyrie as said the first three times to God the Father, the next three times to God the Son, and the last three times to God the Holy Ghost.

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!!

Mass of the Catechumens – Prayer Part Lesson 1 The Sign of the Cross

image

In the name
Of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass begins with the Sign of the Cross. The priest makes it, and the people make it. It is a gesture that everyone can see. When people make the Sign of the Cross, it shows that they are praying with the priest. They are preparing to offer Holy Mass with him. The Sign of the Cross says that priest and people are going to offer Holy Mass to honor the Blessed Trinity.

Christians once used the Sign of the Cross as a pass word. This was in the first centuries of the Christian religion. In making the Sign of the Cross, the early Christians were making an act of faith. They showed they believed in the Blessed Trinity, and that the Son of God died on the cross to make up for sins of men.

Today when Catholics make the Sign of the Cross they also are making an act of faith. The Catechism tells us that we make the Sign of the Cross to express two important truths of Christian religion. These truths are the Blessed Trinity and the Redemption. The Catechism also says:

When we say, “In the name,” we express the truth that there is only one God;

When we say, “of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” we express the truth that there are three distinct Persons in God;

And when we make the form of the Cross on ourselves, we express the truth that the Son of God, made man, redeemed us by His death on the cross.

In making the Sign of the Cross at the beginning of Holy Mass, the people are praying together. They show that together they are preparing to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. All during Holy Mass they will be praying together.

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 Parts of the Mass Lesson 5

image

image

Holy Mass has two large parts. The first part is called The Mass of the Catechumens. It consists of the prayers and readings from the beginning of Mass to the Offertory.

The word catechumens is a very old word. Long ago people who were preparing to receive the Sacrament of Baptism were called catechumens or learners. During the time of instruction, they were permitted to be present only at the first part of the Mass. They had to leave after the sermon. It was in this way that the first part of the Mass received the name, “Mass of the Catechumens” or the “Mass of the Learners.”

The second part of Holy Mass is called The Mass of the Faithful. This part of the Mass begins with the Offertory and continues to the end of Holy Mass.

The word faithful means baptized Christians. For several hundred years, only the baptized were allowed to assist at the second part of Holy Mass.

There is another division of the parts of Holy Mass. One part is called the  Ordinary of the Mass. The other part is called the Proper of the Mass.

The Ordinary of the Mass is made up of the prayers which, with few exceptions, do not change. The Proper consists of the prayers and readings that change from day to day.

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!!

Food For Thought – Communion in the Hand…WHY?

image

Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated.’

–St. Thomas Aquinas

Have you noticed a change in the way the Catholic Church receives and administers Holy Communion from the way it once was?

Do you remember when Catholics always knelt for Holy Communion?

Do you remember when Catholics received Holy Communion on the tongue only?

Do you remember when only the priest administered Holy Communion?

Do you remember our priests and sisters teaching us it was sacrilegious for anyone but the priest to touch the Sacred Host?

Do you remember when tabernacles were always on the center of the altar as the primary focal point?

Why has kneeling for Holy Communion disappeared?

Why are tabernacles disappearing from the center of the Churches and placed on the side?

Why are people receiving Communion in the hand?

Why are there lay-ministers of the Eucharist?

Why were these things changed?

If things were changed for the sake of “modern times” and “modern men”, has it resulted in record crowds of “modern men” flocking into the Churches to pray and receive the Sacraments?

Do we have record turnouts in our seminaries, monasteries, and convents?

Has the introduction of these new things increased the amount of vocations in the Church?

Has the introduction of these new things increased the amount of converts coming into the Church?

Was there a “vocation crisis” before these essential and fundamental things were changed?

In the rubrics of the Old Rite of Mass, why was there such precaution taken against the desecration of the Sacred Species?

Why did the priest wash his fingers after administering Holy Communion?

Why did the priest scrape the corporal with the paten so as not to allow even the slightest minute particle to fall to the ground and be desecrated?

Why when Holy Communion was dropped, the Host was covered and left on the floor until after Mass, where the priestwould then remove it, and then carefully clean the area where the Sacred Host lay?

Why did these rubrics disappear?

Was there more faith in the Real Presence before the “renewal?”

Was there a deeper and greater understanding and appreciation of the Blessed Sacrament as really and truly being the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity  of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine?

Were the old rubrics simply “over scrupulous?

“Did the old rubrics and strict laws safeguarding reverence, dignity, and holiness, not express the Catholic Faith regarding the Blessed Sacrament properly?

Do we now understand and believe in it in a different manner, and this is therefore manifested by the actions of first the clergy, then the laity?

Are we afraid to adore the Sacred Host?Are we ashamed to adore the Sacred Host?

Is it any coincidence that Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament began to fade away more and more with the introduction of Communion in the hand and lay ministers of the Eucharist?

Has Catholic teaching changed regarding TRANSUBSTANTIATION, that is, the changing of the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ during the Sacrifice of the Mass?

If the teaching has not changed, why has attitude, spirit, rubrics and practice changed?

Where did Communion in the hand come from since it is nowhere proposed or even mentioned in the documents of Vatican II?

Why did it still come about on a worldwide scale even after Pope Paul VI in his 1969 letter to the Bishops, “Memoriale Domini” stated “This method, ‘on the tongue’ must be retained?”

If it is supposed to be “optional”, why are the little children in most parochial schools taught no other way than receiving in the hand as “this is the way it is done?”

Why is there a new attitude of “anyone can handle it?”

Have we created a “vicious circle” or a “cause and effect” situation where radical changes are introduced, vocations drop as a result, and then more changes such as “lay ministers of the Eucharist” are introduced appealing to their need because of the “vocation crisis?”

The results of Communion in the hand and the Novus Ordo have caused a major crisis in the Catholic Church. The New York Times reported that when Catholics were asked, in a Times-CBS news poll, what best describes their belief about what happens to the bread and wine at Mass, most chose the answer that the bread and wine are “symbolic reminders of Christ” over the answer that they are “changed into the Body and Blood of Christ”. The official Church teaching, which we must believe in order to be saved, is this: “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharist species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and the whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.”

What is the solution to this terrible loss of faith? We must return to the traditional teachings of the Church and to the Traditional Latin Mass as codified by Pope St. Pius V, who declared, by virtue of his apostolic authority, was to last in perpetuity and never at a future date could it be revoked or amended legally. The way we worship is the way we believe (lex orandis, lex credendi)

Letter of Saint Athanasius to His Flock

image

The Catholic Church Ravaged in the Fourth Century

Saint Athanasius lived in the fourth century during the time of what used to be considered the greatest crisis of faith ever to befall the Catholic Church, the Arian Heresy. (The Arians denied the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ). The vast majority of Churchmen fell into this heresy, so much so that Saint Jerome wrote of the period, “The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Arian”. Athanasius was the Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt for 46 years. He was banned from his diocese at least five times and spent a total of 17 years in exile. He even suffered an unjust excommunication from Pope Liberius (325-366) who was under Arian influence. It is a cold fact of history that Athanasius stood virtually alone against the onslaught of heretical teaching ravaging the Church of his day – begetting the familiar phrase, “Athanasius contra mundum”, that is, “Athanasius against the world”.

The famous convert to the Church, Ven. John Henry Newman, described him as a “principal instrument, after the Apostles, by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world.” Often referred to as the Champion of Orthodoxy, Saint Athanasius was undoubtedly one of the most courageous defenders of the Faith in the entire history of the Church. If anyone can be singled out as a Saint for our times, surely it is Saint Athanasius. The following letter of his could, almost word for word, have been written yesterday.

“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

“You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”

Other Patristic Testimony To The Abysmal State of the Church at the Time Of The Arian Heresy

A.D. 360: Saint Gregory Nazianzen says about this date: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing up again and revival of Israel (the Church. ed.) by the influence of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interests, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance.

Cappodocia: Saint Basil says about the year 372: “Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in the Faith avoid the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude, with groans and tears to the Lord in Heaven.” Four years after he writes: “Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer, and assembled in the deserts, – a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid most profuse rains and snowstorms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit, because they will have no part of the wicked Arian leaven.” Again: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”

In our time when impious novelties, liberalism and modernism are ravishing the Church under the pretext of “aggiornamento” (update!), and infidelity to Catholic Tradition is the order of the day, the above statements cannot help but strike the reader as a parallel of our time. As it was then so it is today.

Today we see the loss of faith among many Catholics occasioned by compromises in the Faith, both great and small, which have touched on the very essence of our Faith. Recent surveys and polls show that only 15% of Catholics believe that they have to accept all of the Church’s teachings.

The majority of Church leaders have succumbed to the “spirit of the age”, and faithful Catholics now suffer at the hands of those who should be their protectors.

The Catholic Church survived the Arian crisis, and so it will survive the present one. For our part, it is our duty to remain faithful to the unchangeable teaching and Sacred Tradition of our Holy Catholic Church, and to not compromise our Faith in any way with the present trend of liberalism and modernism sweeping the Catholic Church worldwide.

If the Arian crisis proves anything, if this historical lesson of the fourth century teaches us anything in the twentieth century it is this: Falsehood cannot become truth no matter how many accept it but rather the truth of doctrinal teaching is to be judged by its conformity to Tradition and not by the number or even the authority of those teaching it. It shows to us that a pope can err as a private teacher and so much more the bishops. Another point the Arian crisis brings out is that Catholics true to the traditional faith may have to worship outside the official Churches, their parish churches and even to avoid them as schools of impiety. It proves that Catholics may even have to suffer false denunciation and excommunication for their beliefs as St. Athanasius suffered: today as always we must pray for the Church, the clergy and especially the bishops and our Holy Father the Pope. Only the good Lord knows how long this crisis will last but Our Blessed Mother has given us hope in Her prophecy at Fatima. “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph and there will be peace in the world”.

http://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/

God Bless BJS!!

​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!!

​Of those who Continue in Sin, trusting in the Mercy of God 

Taken from the book entitled The Sinner’s Guide by the Venerable Louis of Granada 





Besides those who defer their conversion till the hour of death, there are others who persevere in sin, trusting in the mercy of God and the merits of His Passion. We must now disabuse them of this illusion. You say that God’s mercy is great, since He died on the cross for the salvation of sinners. It is indeed great, and a striking proof of its greatness is the fact that He bears with the blasphemy and malice of those who so presume upon the merits of His death as to make His cross, which was intended to destroy the kingdom of evil, a reason for multiplying sin. Had you a thousand lives you would owe them all to Him, yet you rob Him of that one life which you have and for which He died. 
This crime was more bitter to Our Saviour than death itself. For it He reproaches us by the mouth of His prophet, though He does not complain of His sufferings: “The wicked have wrought upon my back; they have extended their iniquity.” (Ps. 128:3). Who taught you to reason that because God was good you could sin with impunity? Such is not the teaching of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, those who listen to His voice reason thus: God is good; therefore, I must serve Him, obey Him, and love Him above all things. God is good; therefore, I will turn to Him with all my heart; I will hope for pardon, notwithstanding the number and enormity of my sins. God is good; therefore, I must be good if I would imitate Him. God is good; therefore, it would be base ingratitude in me to offend Him by sin. Thus, the greater you represent God’s goodness the more heinous are your crimes against Him. Nor will these offenses remain unpunished, for God’s justice, which protects His mercy, cannot permit your sinful abuse of it to remain unavenged. This is not a new pretext; the world has long made use of it. In ancient times it distinguished the false from the true prophets. While the latter announced to the people, in God’s name, the justice with which He would punish their iniquities, the former, speaking in their own name, promised them mercy which was but a false peace and security.
You say God’s mercy is great; but if you presume upon it you show that you have never studied the greatness of His justice. Had you done so you would cry out to the Lord with the psalmist: “Who knoweth the power of thy anger, and for thy fear who can number thy wrath?” (Ps. 89:11-12). But to dissipate your illusion, let me ask you to contemplate this justice in the only way in which we may have any knowledge of it – that is, in its effects here below. Besides the result we are seeking, we shall reap another excellent advantage by exciting in our hearts the fear of God, which, in the opinion of the saints, is the treasure and defence of the soul. Without the fear of God the soul is like a ship without ballast; the winds of human or divine favor may sweep it to destruction. Notwithstanding that she may be richly laden with virtue, she is in continual danger of being wrecked on the rocks of temptation, if she be not stayed by this ballast of the fear of God. Therefore, not only those who have just entered God’s service, but those who have long been of His household, should continue in this salutary fear; the former by reason of their past transgressions, the latter on account of their weakness, which exposes them to danger at every moment. This holy fear is the effect of grace, and is preserved in the soul by frequent meditation.

To aid you in this reflection we shall here propose a few of the practical proofs of the greatness of God’s justice. The first work of God’s justice was the reprobation of the angels. “All the ways of God are mercy and justice” (Cf. Ps. 24:10), says David; but until the fall of the angels, divine justice had not been manifested. It had been shut up in the bosom of God like a sword in the scabbard, like that sword of which Ezechiel speaks with alarm, foretelling the ruin it will cause. (Cf. Ezech. 21). This first sin drew the sword of justice from its scabbard, and terrible was the destruction it wrought. Contemplate its effects; raise your eyes and behold one of the most brilliant beings of God’s house, a resplendent image of the divine beauty, flung with lightning-like rapidity from a glorious throne in Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell, for one thought of pride. (Cf. Lk, 10:18). The prince of heavenly spirits becomes the chief of devils. His beauty and glory are changed into deformity and ignominy. God’s favorite subject is changed into His bitterest enemy, and will continue such for all eternity. With what awe this must have filled the angels, who knew the greatness of his fall! With what astonishment they repeat the words of Isaias: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning”? (Is. 14:12).

Consider also the fall of man, which would have been no less terrible than that of the angels, if it had not been repaired. Behold in it the cause of all the miseries we suffer on earth: original and actual sin, suffering of body and mind, death, and the ruin of numberless souls who have been lost forever. Terrible are the calamities it brought upon us; and even greater would be our misfortunes had not Christ, by His death, bound the power of sin and redeemed us from its slavery. How rigorous, therefore, was the justice of God in thus punishing man’s rebellion; but how great was His goodness in restoring him to His friendship! In addition to the penalties imposed on the human race for the sin of Adam, new and repeated punishments have at different times been inflicted upon mankind for the crimes they have committed. In the time of Noe, the whole world was destroyed by the deluge. (Cf. Gen. 7). Fire and brimstone from Heaven consumed the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha. (Cf. Gen. 19). The earth opened and swallowed alive into Hell Core, Dathan, and Abiron for resisting the authority of Moses. (Cf. Num. 16). Nadab and Abiu, sons of Aaron, were destroyed by a sudden flame from the sanctuary because they offered strange fire in the sacrifice. (Cf. Lev. 10). Neither their priestly character, nor the sanctity of their father, nor the intimacy with God of their uncle, Moses, could obtain for them any remission for their fault. Recall the example of Ananias and Sapphira, struck dead by God for telling a lie. (Cf. Acts 5). 
But the strongest proof of the rigor of God’s justice was the satisfaction required for sin, which was nothing less than the death of His only-begotten Son. Think of this Price of man’s Redemption, and you will begin to realize what sin is and how the justice of God regards it. Think, too, of the eternity of Hell, and judge of the rigor of that justice which inflicts such punishment. This justice terrifies you, but it is no less certain than the mercy in which you trust. Yes, through endless ages, God will look upon the indescribable torments of the damned, but they will excite in Him no compassion; they will not move Him to limit their sufferings or give them any hope of relief. Oh! Mysterious depths of divine justice! Who can reflect upon them and not tremble? Another subject to which I would call your serious attention is the state of the world. Reflect on this, and you will begin to realize the rigors of God’s justice. As an increase in virtue is the effect and reward of virtue, so likewise an increase in sin is the effect and punishment of sin. Indeed, it is one of the greatest chastisements that can be inflicted on us, when we are permitted, through blindness and passion, to rush headlong down the broad road of vice, adding sin to sin every day and hour of our lives. This is but just; for when man once mortally sins he loses all right to any help from God. It is owing solely to the divine mercy when he is converted.
Look, therefore, over the world, and behold the greatness of its iniquity. Think of the millions who are living in infidelity and heresy. Think how many calling themselves Christians are daily betraying their name by their scandalous lives. Why is this sad condition permitted? Ah! It is owing to man’s crimes. God is disobeyed, insulted, and mocked by the majority of men, and His long-suffering justice, being wearied by their wickedness, permits them to go on in their mad career. St. Augustine is an illustrious example of this. “I was plunged,” he says, “in iniquity, and Thy anger was aroused against me, but I knew it not. I was deaf to the noise which the chains of my sins made. But this ignorance, this deafness, were the punishments of my pride.” Reflect on this. Men act freely when they sin, for no man is forced to do wrong. But when they have fallen they cannot rise without the divine assistance.

Now, God owes this to no man. It is His gratuitous gift when He restores the sinner to His favor. Hence He but exercises His justice when He permits him to remain in his misery, and even to fall lower. When, therefore, we behold so much iniquity, have we not reason to feel that God’s justice permits men to become so blinded and hardened? I say permits, for man is the cause of his own miseries; God urges him only to what is good. If, then, you perceive in yourself any mark of such divine anger, be not without fear. Remember that you need no help but your own passions and the devil’s temptations to carry you along the broad road to destruction. Stop while you have time. Implore the divine mercy to aid you in retracing your steps till you discover that narrow way which leads to everlasting life. Having found it, walk manfully in it, ever mindful of the justice of God, and of the terrible truth that while thousands throng the road to death, there are few who find the way of life. Tremble for your salvation, and, while always maintaining an unshaken hope, have no less fear of Hell. 
You have no reason to expect that God should treat you differently from other men. Bear in mind the law of His justice, as it has been explained, and so live that you may never expose yourself to its terrible effects here and hereafter. Be not the victim of a vain confidence which you may flatter yourself is hope, while it is naught but presumption. Rather, in the words of the Eternal Wisdom, “Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin. And say not: The mercy of the Lord is great; he will have mercy on the multitude of my sins. For mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketh upon sinners.” (Ecclus. 5:5-7). If, then, we must tremble even for sin which has been remitted, how is it that you do not fear to add daily to your crimes? And mark well these words: “His wrath looketh upon sinners”; for as the eyes of His mercy are upon the good, so are the eyes of His anger upon the wicked. And this agrees with what David says in one of the psalms: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers. But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” (Ps. 33:16-17). “The hand of God,” says the inspired author of the book of Esdras, “is upon all them that seek him in goodness; and his power and strength and wrath upon all them that forsake him.” (1Esd. 8:22). Be reconciled, therefore, with God; amend your life; and then you can confidently hope for the mercy promised to His faithful servants. “Hope in the Lord and do that which is good,” we are told by the psalmist; “offer the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 36:3 and 4:6). This is hope; any other confidence is presumption. The ark of the true Church will not save its unworthy members from the deluge of their iniquities, nor can you reap any benefit from the mercy of God if you seek His protection in order to sin with impunity. “Men go to Hell,” says St. Augustine, “through hope, as well as through despair: through a presumptuous hope during life, and through despair at the hour of death.” (De Verbo Dei, Serm. 147).

I entreat you, therefore, O sinner, to abandon your false hope, and let God’s justice inspire you with a fear proportioned to the confidence which His mercy excites in you. For, as St. Bernard tells us, “God has two feet, one of justice and the other of mercy. We must embrace both, lest justice separated from mercy should cause us to despair, or mercy without justice should excite in us presumption.” (In Cantica, Serm. 80)

I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!