Mass Schedule of Rev. Fr. David Hewko

August 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • Holy Mass 8:00am in MA
  • Holy Mass 4:00pm in CA
  • Livestreaming Holy Mass 10:00am in CA
  • Holy Mass 2:00pm in CA

+ Sanctuary Lamp Sponsorship +
Sponsor the Sanctuary Lamp to burn for your intentions at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel (the current residence chapel for Fr. Hewko in MA). The Sanctuary Lamp burns in continual honor of both the Real Presence of Christ the King, and the Sorrowful Heart of Mary. The faithful are invited to sponsor a candle to burn for their intentions; and each new lamp lighting lasts for about 7 to 8 days. The suggested offering for a candle is $20.00 or whatever you can afford. If you’d like to sponsor a Sanctuary Lamp, please send your name HERE.

Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Hubbardston, Massachusetts


Fr. Hewko has reprinted this excellent brochure (originally printed by the SSPX in 1986). You can request copies of this brochure either in writing directly to Fr. Hewko at:


Rev. Fr. David Hewko

16 Dogwood Road South

Hubbarston, MA 01452


or via email at

Act of Spiritual Communion

As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior.

Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.

   Our Lady of Fátima Chapel
          SSPX-MC Massachusetts Mission


Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day – This Tuesday, July 26th

The privileges and graces with which God had surrounded the Immaculate Conception of His Blessed Mother, Mary, were reflected upon her happy parents, Joachim and Ann. We find, therefore, that in the Sixth Century, Justinian built a church at Constantinople in honor of Saint Ann. Devotion to the grandparents of the Divine Redeemer spread almost everywhere in the East. The Syrians venerated Saint Ann under the name of Dina on July 25th; other eastern Churches placed her feast on another date. Pope Leo III placed pictures of Joachim and Ann in the basilica of Saint Mary Major. Gregory XIII in 1584 inserted the feast of Saint Ann in the Roman Missal. At Rome, in the patriarchal basilica of Saint Paul, the precious relic of the arm of Saint Ann was venerated even in the days of Saint Bridget of Sweden, who obtained a very small portion of it as a gift. Saint Ann then appeared to her and showed her how to venerate and take care of the sacred relics. Leo XIII and Benedict XV have given several fragments of this arm of Saint Ann to celebrated sanctuaries dedicated to her in Canada and in Normandy, where God has been pleased to honor them by performing various miracles. Her feast was extended to the Universal Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. Pope Benedict XV visited her chapel outside the Vatican; this was the first time after 1870 that a Pope left the Vatican. – The Roman Missal

Holy Mass Schedule
Seventh Week After Pentecost

Sunday, July 24th
Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
Saint Christina, Virgin & Martyr

Holy Mass Livestream – 9:30 AM
Find Link Here

Tuesday, July 26th – 5:30 PM
Saint Anne, Mother of the BVM

Wednesday, July 27th – 7:30 AM
Saint Pantaleon, Martyr

Thursday, July 28th – 7:30 AM
Saint Nazarius & Companions, Martyrs

Friday, July 29th – 7:30 AM
Saint Martha, Virgin

Saturday, July 30th – 8:00 AM
Saints Abdon & Sennen, Martyrs


NEXT Sunday, July 31st – 10:00 AM
Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
Saint Ignatius, Confessor

Monday, August 1st – 8:00 AM
Saint Peter’s Chains

Confessions / Rosary – 30 Minutes Before Mass

VII Sunday After Pentecost


Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew vii:21

The Dominical cycle of the Time after Pentecost completes today its first seven. Previous to the general adoption of the changes introduced into the Sunday Gospels for this portion of the Year, the Gospel of the multiplication of the seven loaves gave its name to the seventh Sunday; and the mystery it contains is still evident in more than one section of today’s liturgy.

As we have already seen, this mystery was that of the consummation of the perfect in the repose or rest of God himself; it was the fruitful peace of the divine union. Nothing, then, could be more fitting, than that Solomon, who is the Peaceful by excellence, the sacred and authorized chanter of the nuptial Canticle, should have been selected to come forward, on this day, to speak the praises of infinite Wisdom, and reveal her ways to the children of men. When Easter is kept as late in April as it is possible, the seventh Sunday after Pentecost is the first of the month of August; and the Church then begins, in her night Office, the lessons from the Sapiential Books. Otherwise, she continues the historic scriptures, and that, some years, for five weeks more;—but, even in that case, Eternal Wisdom maintains her rights to this Sunday, which the number of Seven had already made hers in so special a way. For, when we cannot have the inspired instruction of Proverbs, we have Solomon’s own example preaching to us in the third book of Kings; we find him preferring Wisdom to all other treasures, and, on the throne of his father David, making her sit there with him as his inspirer and most noble Bride.

St. Jerome who has been appointed by the Church herself as the interpreter of today’s scripture lessons, tells us that David, at the close of his life of wars and troubles, knew, as well as Solomon, the loveliness of this incomparable Bride of the Peaceful; the chill of his age was remedied by her caresses, whose very contact is purity.

“O that this Wisdom may be mine,” exclaims the fervent solitary of Bethlehem; “may she embrace me, and abide with me. She never grows old. She is ever the purest of virgins; fruitful, yet ever immaculate. I think the Apostle meant her, when he speaks of a something that can make us fervent in spirit. so again, when our Lord tells us, in the Gospel, that, at the end of the world, the charity of many will grow cold,—I believe it will be, because Wisdom will then grow rare.”

The history of the two blind men, as related in the 9th Chapter of St. Matthew, is the subject of today’s Gospel, in the Greek Church. 

The Church, leaving the Synagogue in its cities which are to perish, had followed Jesus into the wilderness. While the children of the kingdom are assisting at, without seeing it, this transmigration which is to be so fatal to them,—the Root of Jesse, now become the standard of nations, is rallying the people, and marshals them, by thousands, on towards the Church. From East and West, from North and South, they are pouring in, sitting down to the banquet of the kingdom, in company with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Here is our Introit; let us mingle our voices with these their glad chants.

Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus: jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. Clap your hands, all ye Gentiles! Shout unto God with the voice of joy.
Ps. Quoniam Dominus excelsus, terribilis: Rex magnus super omnem terram. Gloria Patri. Omnes gentes. Ps. For, the Lord is most high; he is terrible: he is the great King over all the earth. Glory, &c. Clap.

All the opposition that men are capable of, can never prevent divine Wisdom from compassing her ends. The Jewish people deny their King; but the Gentiles come forward, and proclaim the Son of David. As we were just now singing in the Introit, his kingdom is extended the whole world over. In the Collect, the Church asks that all evils may be removed, and that an abundance of blessings may consolidate in peace the power of the true Solomon.

Deus, cujus providentia in sui dispositione non fallitur: te supplices exoramus, ut noxia cuncta submoveas, et omnia nobis profutura concedas. Per Dominum. O God, whose providence is never deceived in what it appointeth: we humbly beseech thee to remove whatever may be hurtful, and to grant us all that will profit us. Through, &c.

The other Collects as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos. Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
Cap. vi. Ch. vi.
Fratres, Humanum dico, propter infirmitatem carnis vestræ: sicut enim exhibuistis membra vestra servire immunditiae, et iniquitati ad iniquitatem, ita nunc exhibete membra vestra servire justitiæ in santificationem. Cum enim servi essetis peccati, liberi fuistis justitiæ. Quem ergo fructum habuistis tunc in illis, in quibus nunc erubescitis? nam finis illorum mors est. Nunc vero liberati a peccato, servi autem facti Deo, habetis fructum vestrum in santificationem, finem vero vitam æternam. Stipendia enim peccati, mors. Gratia autem Dei, vita æterna, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro. Brethren: I speak an human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh. For as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity, unto iniquity; so now yield your members to serve justice, unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free men to justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Reckon that ye are dead unto sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord! The Apostle of the Gentiles enters today into the development of this leading formula of the Christian life. The Epistle of last Sunday aimed exclusively at putting it in language that could not be misunderstood; it showed us, that it expresses what is meant by that Baptism which, when we are immersed in the water, unites us to Christ.

There, as in a sepulcher, the death of Jesus becomes ours, and delivers us from sin. Sold under sin by our First Parents even before we had seen the day, and branded with its infamous stigma,—our whole life belonged to the cruel tyrant; he is a master who is never satisfied with our service; he is a merciless exactor; there is scarce an hour, that he does not make us feel his power over the members of our body; he does not allow us to forget that our body is his slave. But, if the life of a slave is under master’s control, death comes at last and sets the soul free; and as to the body, the oppressor can claim nothing, once it is buried. Now, it was on the Cross of the Man-God, on the Cross of that Jesus who, as the Apostle so strongly expresses it, was made sin because of our sins,—it was on that Cross, that guilty human nature was considered, by God’s merciful justice, to have become what its divine and innocent Head was. The old man, that was the issue of Adam the sinner, has been crucified; he has died in Christ; the slave by birth, affranchised by this happy death, has had buried under the waters of Baptism the body of sin, which carried in its flesh the mark of its slavery.

The body of sin was indeed our flesh; not that innocent flesh which originally came all pure from its Creator’s hands,—but the flesh, which, generation after generation, was defiled by the transmission of a disgraceful inheritance. In Baptism, which the Apostle calls the mysterious sepulcher, the sacred stream has not only washed away the defilement of this degraded body, but it has also set it free from those members of sin, which are the evil passions. These passions were powers of iniquity, that is, powers which deformed, and turned into uncleanness, those faculties and organs wherewith God had endowed us, that we might fulfill all justice, unto sanctification. At that moment of our Baptism, the strong-armed tyrant forfeited his possession of us; that Baptism was a death, which set his slave free. Sin being thus destroyed, the head of triple concupiscence has been severed, and the monster may writhe as he can; aided by grace, man thus liberated, may always prevent, if he wishes, the coils of the serpent from again being joined with their head.

Yes, this is the manifold, yet single, work of holy Baptism: in the twinkling of an eye, and by its own power, it extirpates sin, and annihilates all its rights over us; but, once this is achieved, man must cooperate with the grace of the sacrament; that is, he must keep watch over his treacherous inclinations to sin, which comes to life again by the slightest encouragement; he must be ever keeping up the work which his baptism-day began, that is, he must be ever cutting down the vile and noxious weeds which are ever cropping up. First, then, there is the death of sin, which, in its complete and sudden defeat of the old enemy, is the result of God’s divine operation; but all this is to be followed up by a work which belongs to the affranchised slave to do,—the life-long work of mortification of the spirit and the senses. It is the virtue of the first sacrament which is still telling on the Christian in this work of two-fold mortification; in his mortification, the sacrament is still pushing on its ceaseless work of vengeance against sin. Holy Baptism, having, of itself alone, operated in the wretched slave of sin what God alone could empower it to achieve,—summons man, now that his chains have fallen, to join her in the glorious work of maintaining his liberty; she invites him to share with her the honor of the divine victory over Satan and his works.

The keeping down the flesh will be again brought before us, next Sunday, as the true indicator of liberty on this earth, and as the authentication of our being truly children of God. As the Apostle says: Let not sin reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present yourselves to God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants are ye whom ye obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience unto justice. But thanks be to God, that ye were the servants of sin; … but being freed from sin, we have been made servants of justice.

And shall we do less for Justice, than is being done everywhere in favor of our enemy, Sin? Surely, justice deserves that we should make greater efforts in her service, than for that odious tyrant who requites his slaves with nothing but shame and death. And yet, O admirable condescension of God to our weakness!—we have St. Paul telling us in today’s Epistle, in the name of the Holy Ghost,—we shall be saints, we shall attain eternal life, if we will but serve justice with as much earnestness as we once served uncleanness and iniquity.

Let us humble ourselves at hearing such words; let us be honest, and we shall feel that they contain a reproach. For many of us, we might ask: What has become of that intense ardor, wherewith we once used to follow after sin? To say, that we have converted our ways, would be no answer; for, a conversion does not paralyze our faculties; it enlists our natural energy in God’s service, it even intensifies it by the very fact of its now being employed as originally intended; at all events, conversion does not lessen the activity which was in us before our conversion; it would be an insult to grace to accuse it of diminishing in us the gifts of God.

What lessons, then, may we not learn, by seeing how eager in the pursuit of honor, interest, or pleasure, are the votaries of the world! What earnestness, what toil, what perseverance, what frequent sufferings, what abnegation at every turn, what misplaced heroism,—and all for the purpose of satisfying the seven heads of the beast, and tasting a few drops of the poisoned cup of Babylon! There are many souls in hell, who have gone through more fatigue and pain to procure their damnation, than even the martyrs endured for Christ; and even with all that, never attaining the object they sought to obtain in this world! so true is it, that the fools who are the most subservient to Satan’s wishes, do not always succeed in enjoying, not even for a single day, the vile rewards he promises his slaves.

Justice treats her followers in a very different way; she does not degrade, she does not deceive them that keep her. She blesses them with peace of mind at every step they take in duty-doing; she is ever enriching their treasure of merit; she leads them safely to the perfection of love. The life of union divine then grows, almost spontaneously, on that high ground of Justice; it rests on Justice, as a flower does on its stem. He that possesseth Justice, says the Scripture, shall lay hold on Wisdom: he shall find delights in that divine Wisdom, which surpasses all that earth could procure.

Would it, then, be fair to hesitate about going through those toils which procure heaven for us, and are a preparation made here on earth for the glories which are to be revealed in us in our eternal home? The present life, how long soever it may be, seems but momentary to a faithful soul; she is glad to give this proof of the love she bears to Him she longs for. “Jacob,” says St. Augustine, “gave his twice seven years of service for the sake of Rachel, whose name, they tell us, signifies, vision of the Beginning, that is, of the Word, that is, of the Wisdom which shows us God. Every virtuous man on earth loves this Wisdom; it is for her he works and suffers, by serving Justice. What he, like Jacob, aims at by his labors, is, not the fatigue for its own sake, but the possession of that which the fatigue is to bring him, namely, the fair Rachel, that is to say, rest in the Word, in whom we have the vision of the Beginning. Is there any true servant of God who can have any other thought, when he is under the influence of grace? Once converted, what is it that man wishes for? What are his thoughts on? What has he in his heart? What is it that he thus passionately loves and desires? It is the knowledge of Wisdom. Of course, man would, if he could, avoid all fatigue and suffering, and come straight to the delights which he knows are in the exquisitely beautiful and perfect Wisdom; but that cannot be in the land of the dying. If thou desire Wisdom, keep justice; and God will give her unto thee. Justice here, means the commandments; and the commandments prescribe works of Justice, of that Justice which comes of Faith; and Faith lives amidst the uncertainty of temptations; that by piously believing what it does not as yet understand, it may merit the happiness of understanding.

“We are not, therefore, to find fault with the ardor of those, who are possessed by the desire to possess Truth in its unveiled loveliness; what we must do, is to put order in their love, by telling them to begin with faith, and strive, by the exercise of good deeds, to arrive at the bliss they long for. Do thou love and desire, at the very onset, and above all things, this object which is so worthy of thy possession; but, let the ardor which burns within thee show itself, first of all, by its leading thee to cheerfully endure the fatigues of the road which leads to the prize, towards which thy love is all directed. Yea, and when thou hast got up to it, remember, thou wilt never enjoy beautiful Truth in this life, without having, all the same happy while, to be still cultivating laborious Justice. How comprehensive and pure soever, may be the sight granted to mortal men of the Unchangeable Good; the corruptible body is a load upon the soul, and the earthly habitation presseth down the mind that museth upon many things. One, then, is that to which we must tend; but many are the things we are to bear for that one’s sake.”

In the Gradual, the Church keeps up the thought which pervades this seventh Sunday; she invites her sons to come and receive from her the knowledge of the Fear of the Lord; for the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. The Alleluia-Verse again calls upon the Gentiles, the heirs of Jacob, to celebrate in gladness, the gift of God.

Venite, filii, audite me: timorem Domini docebo vos. Come, children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
℣. Accedite ad eum, et illuminamini: et facies vestræ non confundentur. ℣. Come ye unto him, and be enlightened; and your faces shall not be confounded.
Alleluia, alleluia. Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus: jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. Alleluia. ℣. Clap your hands, all ye Gentiles! shout unto God, with the voice of joy. Alleluia.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum. Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Cap.vii. Ch. vii.
In illo tempore: dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Attendite a falsis prophetis, qui veniunt ad vos in vestimentis ovium, intrinsecus autem sunt lupi rapaces: a fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos. Numquid colligunt de spinas uvas, aut de tribulis ficus? Sic omnis arbor bona fructus bonos facit: mala autem arbor malos fructus facit. Non potest arbor bona malos fructus facere: neque arbor mala bonos fructus facere. Omnis arbor, quæ non facit fructum bonum, excidetur, et in ignem mittetur. Igitur ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos. Non omnis qui dicit mihi, Domine, Domine, intrabit in regnum cælorum: sed qui facit voluntatem Patris mei, qui in cælis est, ipse intrabit in regnum cælorum. At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

By rejecting the Gospel, the Jewish people have refused the light. Whilst the Sun of Justice, hailed with delight by the Gentiles, is lighting up, in all splendor, the land, that was once in the shadow of death,—a black night is covering the heretofore blessed country of the Patriarchs, and darkness is every hour thickening in Jerusalem. By the blindness which is leading her to destruction, the synagogue is verifying our Lord’s words: He that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth.

False Prophets and false christs abound in Israel, ever since the true Messiah, whom the Prophets foretold, has been ignored, and treated by his own people as the Prophets themselves had been. Hit witnesses, the Apostles, have vainly tried to induce Juda to retract the fatal denial made in the pretorium. And yet, Juda knows better than all the world beside, that the times are accomplished; for, has not the scepter fallen from his hands? And Juda, who disdainfully disowns the spiritual royalty of the Savior of men, is going on with his ceaseless expectation and search of the christ of his own imagining,—a messiah who will restore to him the power he has lost. The Jewish doctors have not as yet invented the sentence of Talmud, whereby they hoped to stifle the unpleasant prophecies which give them the lie: “Cursed be he, that calculates the times of the coming of Messiah!” What, then, must be the feelings of a people, which has for ages been living in the expectation of an event the most important that could be,—now that it sees the time specified by prophecy to be fast expiring! so that they are compelled, either to disavow the past, or acknowledge, at the foot of the Cross which it has set up, its most sinful error.

A strange anxiety has seized on the nation of deicides. The spirit of madness governs her determinations. In the scare of her feverish excitement, which is the very opposite of the calm and resigned expectation of her ancient Patriarchs,—she takes every rebel for a Christ. She, that would not have the Son of David, hails every upstart as her Messiah, and follows every adventurer that sets up the cry of war against Rome, or that cheats her with the promise of making her country independent. with such materials, Judea is soon turned into a kingdom of anarchy and confusion. The very sanctuary of the Temple is made the scene of party-quarrels and bloodshed. The Daughter of Sion follows her false-christs into the desert; there organizes riot; and returns to the holy City, filling it with highway-men, or with assassins imported from the wilderness. Long before these events, Ezechiel had thus spoken: Wo to the foolish prophets that see nothing! Thy prophets, O Israel, were like foxes in the deserts! And Isaias thus prophesied: Therefore, the Lord shall have no joy in their young men; neither shall he have mercy on their fatherless and widows; for every one is a hypocrite and wicked, and every mouth hath spoken folly.

The time is close at hand: the hour is come, when they that are in Judea must flee to the mountains, as our Lord had said. The Christians of Jerusalem will, as history records, soon be leaving the doomed City, under the guidance of Simeon, their Bishop. With them, departs Sion’s last hope; God is about to avenge his Christ. Already has the signal of destruction been heard,—the whistle, as the Prophet Isaias had foretold, has been heard from beyond the seas; and, as Balaam had seen it in vision, they are coming in galleys from Italy, to lay waste to the Hebrews. The Leader, announced by Daniel, is approaching towards the once Land of Promise; the appointed desolation and ruin shall remain there even after the end of the war.

Let us leave the Jews to hurry on their own ruin; let us return to the Church, which, at the same time, is rising up, so grand and so beautiful, on the cornerstone that had been rejected by the synagogue. Because of the absence of this Stone, which the builders of Sion had not the wisdom to recognize as the basis indispensably necessary to their City,—Jerusalem falls in Judea, but reappears, more than ever beauteous, on the hills, whether Cephas, Prince of the Apostles, has carried her everlasting Foundation. Set firmly on the divine Rock, she shall no longer fear the violence of the billows and winds, when they storm against her walls. False prophets, and all the workers of lies, who had so successfully sapped the walls of the ancient, will not leave the new Jerusalem in peace; for our Lord had plainly said, it is necessary that scandals should come; and the Apostle, speaking of heresy (that greatest of all scandals), said: There must be heresies in order that they who are approved, may be made manifest.

Indeed, for each individual Christian, as for the Church at large, the security of the spiritual building depends primarily on the firmness of the foundation, which is Faith. The Holy Ghost will not build on a foundation that is unsound or unsafe. When, especially, he is to lead a soul to the higher degrees of divine union, he exacts from her, as the first condition, that her Faith, too, be above the average,—a Faith, that is, with heroism enough to fight successfully those battles, which brace the soul, and so render her worthy of light and love. In every stage of the Christian life, however, it is Faith that provides love with its enduring and substantial nourishment; it is Faith that gives to the virtues their supernatural motives, and makes them fit to form a worthy court for their queen, Charity. A soul’s development never goes beyond the measure of her Faith. The capaciousness of Faith, and its ever growing plenitude, and its certified conformity with truth,—these are the guarantee of the progress which will be made by a just man; whereas all such holiness as affects to be guided by a Faith which is cramped or false, is holiness of a very dubious kind, and one that is exposed to most fearful illusions.

It was, therefore, a good and a wholesome thing that Faith should be put to the test, for it grows brighter and stronger under trial. St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, is enthusiastic in his praise of the triumphs won by the Faith of our forefathers. Could there be denied to the new Covenant those glorious combats, which constituted the eternal merit and honor of the Saints who lived in the period of expectation and figures? It is by their victorious Faith in the word of the promise, that all those worthy ancestors of the Christian people merited to have God himself as their praise-giver. For us, who joyously have possession of that Messias, who, to them was but the object of their heroic hope, our trial cannot be like theirs,—the trial of expectation. This is quite true; and yet, heresy, which is the offspring of man’s pride and hell’s malice,—heresy and its manifold outcomings, which are ever producing the diminution of truth in this world of ours,—yes, it is through these, that we shall win merit by our possession of what they beheld and saluted only afar off. Man is ever trying to intrude his foolish ideas into the truths of divine revelation; and, as to the prince of this world, he will do all in his power to encourage these audacious attempts at corrupting the purity of the Word. But Wisdom, who is never overcome, will turn all these impious efforts into an occasion of glorious victories for her children. Here we have the reason why God permitted, fro the very commencement of the Church’s existence, and still permits, that sects should be continually springing up. It is in the battlefield against error, that the Church brings forth the armor of God, and shows herself all brilliant with that absolute truth, which is the brightness of the Word, her Spouse, it is by the personal triumph over the spirit of lying, and by the spontaneous adhesion to the teachings of Christ and his Church, that the Christian shows himself to be a true child of light, and becomes himself a light to the world.

The combat is not without its dangers for the Christian who would hold, in all its integrity, the Faith of his mother the Church. The tricks of the enemy, his studied and obstinate hypocrisy, the crafty skill wherewith he tries to stir up in the soul, almost without her knowing it, a score of little weaknesses of hers which more or less favor error,—all this frequently ends in injuring the light, not perhaps in extinguishing it altogether, but in robbing it of some of its brilliancy. And yet, they who live on the teachings given us in our today’s Gospel, are sure to come off with the victory. Let us meditate upon them with gratitude and love; for it is by such teachings, that eternal Wisdom grants us what we so ardently ask of him, when, in Advent, we thus beseech him: Come, and teach us the way of prudence! Prudence, the friend of a wise man, guardian of his treasures, and his surest defense, has no greater peril from which to keep him, than shipwreck concerning the Faith; if Faith be lost, all is lost. No price is too great to give for that Prudence of the serpent, which, in a disciple of Christ, goes so admirably with the simplicity of the dove. If we are happy enough to possess Prudence, we shall readily distinguish between those false teachers whom we must shun, and those we must hearken to,—between the falsifiers of the Word, and his faithful interpreters.

By their fruits shall ye know them, says our Gospel, and history confirms the words of our Redeemer. Under the sheep’s clothing, which they wear that they may deceive simple souls, the apostles of falsehood ever betray a stench of death. The artful language they use, and the flatteries they utter for gain’s sake, cannot hide the hollowness of their works. They separate themselves from the flock of Christ, and flee from the light; for, as the Apostle says, all things that are reproved, or deserve to be so, are made manifest by the light; and as to the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of them. Therefore, be ye not partakers with them. The useless or rotten fruits of darkness, and the trees of Autumn, twice dead, which bear such fruits on their withered branches,—both of them shall be cast into the fire. If you yourselves were heretofore darkness, now that you have become light in the Lord by Baptism, or by a sincere conversion, show yourselves to be so, and produce the fruits of light, in all goodness, and justice, and truth. On this condition alone, can you hope to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and call yourselves disciples of that Wisdom of the Father, who, on this seventh Sunday, asks us to give him our love.

St. James the Apostle almost seems to be giving a commentary on the Gospel of this seventh Sunday, where he says: Can the fig-tree, my Brethren, bear grapes? or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet. Who is a wise man and endued with wisdom among you? let him, by a good conversation (that is, by his good conduct), shew his work in the meekness of Wisdom … For there is a wisdom which is bitter, and misleads others; it descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish … But the Wisdom, which is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good (and always sides with them), full of mercy and good fruits, without judging (the conduct of others) without dissimulation. And the fruit of justice is sown in peace to them that make peace.

The Offertory Anthem has been selected, according to Honorius of Autun (iv. 57), in allusion to the sacrifice of the thousand victims which were offered at Gabaon by Solomon, in the early days of his reign; when the sacrifice was ended, he was bid ask, what he would have God give to him: he desired and obtained Wisdom, with the addition of riches and glory, for which he had not asked. It depends upon us, that the Sacrifice which is here ready to be offered up, should be equally, and even more, accepted of God, for it is Incarnate Wisdom that is being offered to the Most High God; he desires to obtain for us all the gifts of his Eternal Father,—and give Himself also to us.

Sicut in holocaustic arietum, et taurorum, et sicut in millibus agnorum pinguium: sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu tuo hodie, ut placeat tibi: quia non est confusio confidentibus in te, Dominus. As in holocausts of rams and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat sheep, so let our Sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee.

Another circumstance which confirms what we have said regarding the mysterious character of this seventh Sunday, as to its being especially sacred to eternal Wisdom,—is the fact, that the Verse of Scripture, which formerly used to be joined to the present Offertory-anthem, is the same as that which in the Roman Pontifical, opens the magnificent ceremony of the Consecration of Virgins: And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face; put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies! After being a third time called by the Bishop, the affianced of the divine Spouse advance (singing these words), to the Altar, where they are to be espoused to Him.

The Secret speaks to God of how the multiplied variety of the ancient sacrifices, such as those mentioned in the Offertory, were all made one in the oblation of our Christian Sacrifice.

Deus, qui legalium differentiam hostiarum unius sacrificii perfectione sanxisti: accipe sacrificium a devotis tibi famulis, et pari benedictione, sicut munera Abel, sanctifica: ut, quod singuli obtulerunt ad Majestatistuæ honorem, cunctis proficiant ad salutem. Per Dominum. O God, who in one perfect Sacrifice, hast united all the various sacrifices of the Law, accept, from thy devoted servants, this Sacrifice, and sanctify it by a blessing like to that thou gavest to Abel’s offerings; that what each hath offered to thy divine Majesty, may avail to the salvation of all. Through, &c.

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

The Communion, says Honorius of Autun, gives us the prayer of Solomon, who asks Wisdom of God, and obtains it. If any of you, says St. James, want Wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men abundantly, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.

Inclina aurem tuam, accelera ut eripias me. Bow down thine ear unto me. Make haste to deliver me!

Original Sin has vitiated man to such a degree,—he is so far from divine union, at his first coming into this life,—that, of himself, he can neither cleanse the defilement that is on him, nor enter on the path which leads to God. It is requisite that our God, as a generous and patient physician, take our cure in his own hand; and, even when the cure is effected, should support and guide us. Let us then, in the Postcommunion, say with the Church:

Tua nos, Domine, medicinalis operatio et a nostris perversitatibus clementer expediat, et ad ea quæ sunt recta, perducat. Per Dominum. Grant, O Lord, that this healing efficacy of these thy mysteries may, through thy mercy, free us from all our sins, and bring us to the practice of what is right. Through, &c.

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


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Saint Mary Magdalene
Feast Day – This Coning Friday, July 22nd 

The Latin writers, beginning With Tertullian, have generally and with great probability identified Mary of Magdala as the sister of Lazarus, and as the sinner who anointed the feet of Jesus. The Greeks, on the other hand, distinguished three Marys. Her brother Lazarus, died in the island of Cyprus. His body was brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Leo VI and laid in the Lazarion, (899). The body of Mary, his sister, who, according to a tradition dating from the Sixth Century, had been buried at Ephesus, was soon brought and laid beside him in the new sepulchral basilica of Byzantium. The Greeks give to her the title of “like unto an Apostle”, because she first announced to the world and to the Apostles themselves the Resurrection of Our Lord. For this reason the Credo is said in the Mass today; as in Masses of the Apostles. The scene of the conversion of Mary of Magdala is perhaps one of the incidents in the Gospel which best reveal the gentleness of the Heart of the Redeemer. To Mary much is forgiven, because she loved much; this is the remedy for sinners; this is the spirit which sustains the Church Militant, wherein we may indeed see many sins caused by human frailty, but in which there may be found also a great love ready to pardon all. – The Roman Missal

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Holy Mass Schedule
VI Week After Pentecost

Today- Sunday, July 17th
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Saint Alexius, Confessor

Holy Mass Livestream from AZ – 12:30 PM EDT
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Tuesday, July 19th – 5:30 PM
Saint Vincent de Paul, Confessor

Wednesday, July 20th – 7:30 AM
Saint Jerome Emilian, Confessor
Saint Margaret, Virgin & Martyr

Thursday, July 21st – 7:30 AM
Saint Praxedes, Virgin

Confessions / Rosary – 30 Minutes Before Mass

VI Sunday After Pentecost

O God of all power, to whom belongs whatsoever is best: implant in our hearts the love of thy name, and grant us an increase of religion: that thou mayst nourish what is good in us, and, whilst we make endeavors after virtue, mayst guard the things thus nourished. – Collect of the Mass

The Office for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, which began yesterday evening, reminded us, in its Magnificat Antiphon, of a repentance which has never had an equal. David, the royal prophet, the conqueror of Goliath, himself conquered by sensuality, and from adulterer become a murderer, at last felt the crushing weight of his double crime, and exclaimed: I do beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant, for I have done foolishly! “have acted as a fool!”

Sin is always a folly, and a weakness, no matter what kind it may be, or who he be that commits it. The rebel angel, or fallen man may, in their pride, make efforts to persuade themselves that, when they sinned, they did not act as fools, and were not weak; but all their efforts are vain; sin must ever have this disgrace upon it, that it is folly and weakness, for it is a revolt against God, a contempt for his law, a mad act of the creature who, being made by his Creator to attain infinite happiness and glory, prefers to debase himself by turning towards nothingness, and then falls even lower than the nothingness from which he was taken. It is, however, a folly that is voluntary, and a weakness that has no excuse; for although the creature has nothing of his own but darkness and misery, yet his infinitely merciful Creator, by means of his grace, which is never wanting, puts within that creature’s reach divine strength and light.

It is so with even the sinner that has been the least liberally gifted—he has no reason that can justify his offenses: but when he that sins is a creature who has been laden with God’s gifts and, by his divine generosity, raised higher than others in the order of grace—oh! then, the offense he commits against his benefactor is an injury that has no name. Let this be remembered by those who, like David, could say that their God has multiplied his magnificence over them. They may, perhaps, have been led by him into high paths which are reserved for the favored few, and may, perhaps, have reached the heights of divine union: yet must they be on their guard; no one who has still to carry with him the burden of a mortal body of flesh is safe, unless by exercising a ceaseless vigilance. On the mountains, as on the plains and the valleys, at all times and in all places, a fall is possible; but when it is on those lofty peaks which, in this land of exile, seem bordering on heaven, and but one step from the entrance into the powers of the Lord,—what a terrific fall, when the foot slips there! The yawning precipices, which that soul had avoided on her ascent now are all open to engulf her; abyss after abyss of crime, she rushes into them, and with a violence of passion that terries even them that have long been nothing but wickedness.

Poor fallen soul! pride, like that of Satan, will now try to keep her obstinately fixed in her crimes: but from the depths into which she has fallen, let her lament her abominations; let her not be afraid to look up, through her tears, at those glorious heights which were once her abode,—an anticipated heaven. Without further delay, let her imitate the royal penitent, and say with him: I have sinned against the Lord! and she will hear the same answer that he did: The Lord hath taken away thy sin; thou shalt not die; and as with David, so also with her, God may still do grand things in her. David, when innocent, was a faithful image of Christ, who was the object of the love of both heaven and earth; David, sinner but penitent, was still the figure of the Man-God, as laden with the sins of the whole world, and bearing on his single self the merciful and just vengeance of his offended Father.

It is difficult to see what connection there is between the Mass and the Office of this Sunday, at least as we now have them. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Honorius of Autun and Durandus applied the Introit and the other sung portion to the inauguration of Solomon’s reign. At the time when these two writers lived, the Scripture Lessons for this Sunday were taken from the first pages of the second book of Paralipomenon, where we have the account of the glorious early days of David’s son. But since then, it has been the Church’s practice to continue the reading of the four books of Kings (again, first and second books of Samuel; and first and second books of Kings in Bibles other than Douay) up to the month of August, omitting altogether the two books of Paralipomenon, which were but a practical repetition of the events already related in previous Lessons. So that the connection suggested by the two writers just mentioned has no foundation in the actual arrangement of today’s liturgy. We must, therefore, be satisfied with taking from the Introit the teaching of what it is that constitutes the Christian’s courage—his faith in God’s power which is always ready to help him, and the conviction of his own nothingness, which keeps him from all presumption.


Dominus fortitudo plebis suæ, et protector salutarium Christi sui est: salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hæreditati tuæ, et rege eos usque in sæculum. The Lord is the strength of his people, and the protector of the salvation of his Christ: save, O Lord, thy people, and bless thine inheritance, and govern them for ever.
Ps. Ad te, Domine, clamabo; Deus meus, ne sileas a me, nequando taceas a me, et assimilabor descendentibus in lacum. Gloria Patri. Dominus. Ps. To thee, O Lord, will I cry out: O my God, be not silent, refuse not to answer me, lest I become like those who descend into the pit. Glory, &amp.c. The Lord.

The Collect gives us an admirable summing up of the strong yet sweet action of grace upon the whole course of Christian life. It has evidently been suggested by those words of St. James: Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.

Deus virtutum, cujus est totum quod est optimum: insere pectoribus nostris amorem tui nominis, et præsta in nobis religionis augmentum: ut quæ sunt bona, nutrias, ac pietatis studio, quæ sunt nutrita, custodias. Per Dominum. O God of all power, to whom belongs whatsoever is best: implant in our hearts the love of thy name, and grant us an increase of religion: that thou mayst nourish what is good in us, and, whilst we make endeavors after virtue, mayst guard the things thus nourished. Through, &amp.c,

The other Collects as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos. Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
Cap. vi. Ch. vi.
Fratres: Quicumque baptizati sumus in Christo Jesu, in morte ipsius baptizati sumus. Consepulti enim sumus cum illo per baptismum in mortem: ut quomodo Christus surrexit a mortuis per gloriam Patris, ita et nos in novitate vitae ambulemus. i enim complantati facti sumus similitudini mortis ejus: simul et resurrectionis erimus. Hoc scientes, quia vetus homo noster simul crucifixus est, ut destruatur corpus peccati, et ultra non serviamus peccato. Qui enim mortuus est, justificatus est a peccato. Si autem mortui sumus cum Christo, credimus quia simul etiam vivemus cum Christo, scientes quod Christus resurgens ex mortuis jam non moritur: mors illi ultra non dominabitur. Quod enim mortuus est peccato, mortuus est semel: quod autem vivit, vivit Deo. Ita et vos existimate vos mortuos quidem esse peccato, viventes autem Deo, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro. Brethren: all we who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death. For we are buried together with him by baptism into death; that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ: Knowing that Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over him. For in that he died to sin, he died once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God: So do you also reckon, that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Masses of the Sundays after Pentecost have, so far, given us but once a passage from St. Paul’s Epistles. It has been to Ss. Peter and John that the preference has been hitherto given of addressing the Faithful at the commencement of the sacred Mysteries. It may be that the Church, during these weeks, which represent the early days of the apostolic preaching, has intended by this to show us the disciple of faith and the disciple of love as being the two most prominent in the first promulgation of the new Covenant, which was committed, at the onset, to the Jewish people. At that time, Paul was but Saul the persecutor, and was putting himself forward as the most rabid opponent of that Gospel, which later on he would so zealously carry to the furthest parts of the earth. If his subsequent conversion made him become an ardent and enlightened apostle even to the Jews, it soon became evident that the house of Jacob was not the mission that was to be specially the one of his apostolate. After publicly announcing his faith in Jesus the Son of God; after confounding the synagogue by the weight of his testimony, he waited in silence for the termination of the period accorded to Juda for the acceptance of the covenant; he withdrew into privacy, waiting for the Vicar of the Man-God, the Head of the apostolic college, to give the signal for the vocation of the Gentiles, and open, in person, the door of the Church to these new children of Abraham.

But Israel has too long abused God’s patience; the day of the ungrateful Jerusalem’s repudiation is approaching, and the divine Spouse, after all this long forbearance with his once chosen, but now faithless Bride, the Synagogue—has gone to the Gentile nations. Now is the time for the Doctor of the Gentiles to speak; he will go on speaking and preaching to them, to his dying day; he will not cease proclaiming the word to them, until he has brought them back, and lifted them up to God, and consolidated them in faith and love. He will not rest until he has led this once poor despised gentile world to the nuptial union with Christ, yes, to the full fecundity of that divine union, of which, on the 24th and last Sunday after Pentecost, we shall hear him thus speaking: We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing him; being fruitful in every good work. … Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the Saints in light, … and hath translated us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.

It is to the Romans that are addressed today’s inspired instructions of the great Apostle. For the reading of these admirable Epistles of St. Paul, the Church, during the Sundays after Pentecost, will follow the order in which they stand in the canon of Scripture: the epistle to the Romans, the two to the Corinthians, then those to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, will be read to us in their turns. They make up the sublimest correspondence that was ever written—a correspondence where we find Paul’s whole soul, giving us both precept and example how best we may love our Lord: I beseech you, so he speaks to his Corinthians, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.

Indeed, the Gospel, the kingdom of God, the Christian life, is not an affair of mere words. Nothing is less speculative than the science of salvation. Nothing makes it penetrate so deep in the souls of men as the holy life of him that teaches it. It is for this reason that the Christian world counts him alone as Apostle or Teacher, who in his one person holds the double teaching of doctrine and works. Thus, Jesus, the Prince of Pastors, manifested eternal truth to men, not alone by the words uttered by his divine lips, but likewise by the works he did during his life on earth. So too the Apostle, having become a pattern of the flock, shows us all, in his own person, what marvelous progress a faithful soul may make under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of sanctification.

Let us, then, be attentive to every word that comes from this mouth, ever open to speak to the whole earth; but at the same time, let us fix the eyes of our soul on the works achieved by our Apostle, and let us walk in his footsteps. He lives in his Epistles; he abides and continues with us all, as he himself assures us, for the furtherance and joy of our faith.

Nor is this all. If we value, as we ought, the example and the teaching of this father of the gentiles, we must not forget his labors and sufferings and solicitudes, and the intense love he bore towards all those who never had seen, or were to see, his face in the flesh. Let us make him the return of dilating our hearts with affectionate admiration of him. Let us love not only the light, but also him who brings it to us—and all them who, like him, have been getting for us the exquisite brightness from the treasures of God the Father and his Christ. It is the recommendation made so feelingly by St. Paul himself; it is the intention willed by God Himself, by the fact of his confiding to men like ourselves the charge of sharing with Him the imparting this heavenly light to us. Eternal Wisdom does not show herself directly here below; she is hidden, with all her treasures, in the Man-God; she reveals herself by Him; and by the Church, which is the mystical body of that Man-God, and by the chosen members of that Church, the Apostles. We cannot either love or know our Lord Jesus Christ, save by and in Him; but we cannot love or understand Jesus unless we love and understand his Church. Now, in this Church—the glorious aggregate of the elect both of heaven and earth—we should especially love and venerate those who are, in a special manner, associated with our Lord’s sacred humanity in making the divine Word manifest—that Word who is the one center of our thoughts, both in this world and in the world to come.

According to this standard, who was there that had a stronger claim than Paul to the veneration, gratitude, and love of the Faithful? Who of the Prophets and holy Apostles went deeper into the mystery of Christ? Who was there like him, in revealing to the world the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus? Was there ever a more perfect teacher, or a more eloquent interpreter, of the life of union—that marvelous union which brings regenerated humanity into the embrace of God, union which continues and repeats the life of the Word Incarnate in each Christian? To him, the last and least of the saints (as he humbly calls himself), was given the grace of proclaiming to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; to him was confided the mission of teaching to all nations the mystery of creation—mystery hidden so long in God, as the secret to be, at some distant day, revealed to men, and would show them what was the one only meaning of the world’s history—the mystery, that is, of the manifestation, through the Church, of the infinite Wisdom which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For, as the Church is neither more nor less than the body and mystical complement of the Man-God,—so, in St. Paul’s mind, the formation and growth of the Church are but the sequel of the Incarnation; they are but the continued development of the mystery shown to the angelic hosts, when this Word Incarnate made himself visible to them in the Crib at Bethlehem. After the Incarnation, God was the better known of his Angels; though ever the self-same in his own unchanging essence, yet to them he appeared grander and more magnificent in the brilliant reflection of his infinite perfections, as seen in the Flesh of his Word. So, too, although no increase in them was possible, and their plenitude was their fixed measure; yet the created perfection and holiness of the Man-God have their fuller and clearer revelation in proportion as the marvels of perfection and holiness which dwell in Him, as in their source, are multiplied in the world.

Starting from Him, flowing ever from His fullness, the stream of grace and truth ceaselessly laves each member of the body of the Church. Principle of spiritual growth, mysterious sap, it has its divinely appointed channels: and these unite the Church more closely to her Head than the nerves and vessels, which convey movement and life to the extremities of our body, unite its several parts to the head which directs and governs the whole frame. But just as in the human body, the life and the head and of the members is one, giving to each of them the proportion and harmony which go to make up the perfect man, so in the Church, there is but one life: the life of the Man-God, of Christ the head, forming his mystical Body, and perfecting, in the Holy Ghost, its several members. The time will come when this perfection will have attained its full development; then will human nature, united with its divine Head in the measure and beauty of the perfect age due to Christ, appear on the throne of the Word, an object of admiration to the Angels, and of delight to the most holy Trinity. Meanwhile, Christ is being completed in all things and in all men; as heretofore at Nazareth, Jesus is still growing; and these his advances are gradual fresh manifestations of the beauty of infinite Wisdom.

The holiness, the sufferings, and then, the glory of the Lord Jesus—in a word, his life continued in his members, this is St. Paul’s notion of the Christian life: a notion most simple and sublime which, in the Apostle’s mind, resumes the whole commencement, progress and consummation of the work of the Spirit of love in every soul that is sanctified. We shall find him, later on, developing this practical truth, of which the Epistle read to us today merely gives the leading principle. After all, what is Baptism, that first step made on the road which leads to heaven—what else is it but the neophyte’s incorporation with the Man-God, who died once unto sin that he might forever live in God his Father? On Holy Saturday, after having assisted at the blessing of the font, we had read to us a similar passage from another Epistle of St. Paul, which put before us the divine realities achieved beneath the mysterious waters. Holy Church returns to the same teaching today, in order that she may recall to our minds this great principle of the commencement of the Christian life, and make it the basis of the instructions she is here going to give us. If the very first effect of the sanctification of one who, by Baptism, is buried together with Christ, is making him a new man, the creating of him anew in this Man-God, the in-grafting his new life upon the life of Jesus whereby to bring forth new fruits—we cannot wonder at the Apostle’s unwillingness to give us any other rule for our contemplation or our practice, than the study and imitation of this divine model. There, and there only, is man’s perfection, there is his happiness: as then ye have received the knowledge of Jesus Christ the Lord, walk ye in him; for as many of you as have been baptised in Christ, have put on Christ. Our Apostle emphatically tells us that he knoweth nothing, and will preach nothing but Jesus. If we are to be of St. Paul’s school, adopting the sentiments of our Lord Jesus Christ and making them our own, we shall become other Christs, or, rather, one only Christ with the Man-God, by the sameness of thoughts and virtues, under the impulse of the same sanctifying Spirit.

Between the two lessons of Epistle and Gospel, the Gradual and Alleluia-Verse come urging us to make that humble and confiding prayer, which should ever be ascending to God from the Christian soul.

Convertere, Domine, aliquantulum, et deprecare super servos tuos. Turn to us a little, O Lord, and be appeased with thy servants.
℣. Domine, refugium factus es nobis, a generatione et progenie. ℣. O Lord, thou hast been our refuge, from generation to generation.
Alleluia, alleluia. Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. In te, Domine, speravi, non confudar in æternum: in justitia tua libera me et eripe me: inclina ad me aurem tuam: accelera, ut eripias me. Alleluia. ℣. In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust, let me never be confounded: save me by thy justice, and rescue me: bend thine ear unto me: make haste to save me. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum. Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Mark.
Cap.viii. Ch. viii.
In illo tempore: Quum turba multa esset, nec haberent quod manducarent, convocatis discipulis, ait illis: Misereor super turbam: quia ecce jam triduo sustinent me, nec habent quod manducent: et si dimisero eos jejunos in domum suam, deficient in via: quidam enim ex eis de longe venerunt. Et responderunt ei discipuli sui: Unde illos quis poterit saturare panibus in solitudine? Et interrogavit eos: Quot panes habetis? Qui dixerunt: Septem. Et præcepit turbæ discumbere super terram. Et accipiens septem panes, gratias agens fregit, et dabat discipulis suis ut apponerent, et apposuerunt turbæ. Et habebant pisciculos paucos: et ipsos benedixit, et jussit apponi. Et manducaverunt, et saturati sunt, et sustulerunt quod superaverat de fragmentis, septem sportas. Erant autem qui manducaverunt, quasi quatuor millia: et dimisit eos. At that time: When there was a great multitude, and had nothing to eat; calling his disciples together, he saith to them: I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way; for some of them came from afar off. And his disciples answered him: From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness? And he asked them: How many loaves have ye? Who said: Seven. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, he broke, and gave to his disciples for to set before them; and they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes; and he blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat and were filled; and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand; and he sent them away.

The interpretation of the sacred text is given to us by St. Ambrose, in his Homily which has been chosen for this Sunday. We shall there find the same vein of thought as is suggested by the whole tenor of the Liturgy assigned for this portion of the Year. The holy Doctor thus begins: “After the woman, who is the type of the Church, has been cured of the flow of blood,—and after the Apostles have received their commission to preach the Gospel,—the nourishment of heavenly grace is imparted.” He had just been asking, a few lines previous, what this signified; and his answer was: “The Old Law had been insufficient to feed the hungry hearts of the nations; so, the Gospel food was given to them.”

We were observing this day week, that the Law of Sinaï, because of its weakness, had made way for the Testament of the universal covenant. And yet, it is from Sion itself that the Law of Grace has issued; here again, it is Jerusalem that is the first to whom the word of the Lord is spoken. But the bearers of the Good Tidings have been rejected by the obdurate and jealous Jews; they, therefore, turn to the Gentiles, and shake of Jerusalem’s dust from their feet. That dust, however, is to be an accusing testimony; it is soon to be turned into a rain showering down on the proud city a more terrible vengeance than was that of fire, which once fell on Sodom and Gomorrha. The superiority of Juda over the rest of the human race, had lasted for ages; but now, all that ancient privilege of Israel, and all his rights of primogeniture, are gone; the primacy has followed Simon Peter to the west; and the crown of Sion, which is fallen from off her guilty head, now glitters, and will so forever, on the consecrated brow of the queen of nations.

Like the poor woman of the Gospel who had spent all her substance over useless remedies, the Gentile world had grown weaker and weaker by the effects of original and subsequent sins; she had put herself under the treatment of false teachers, who gradually reduced her to the loss of that law and gifts of nature, which, as St. Ambrose expresses it, had been her “vital patrimony.” At length the day came for her hearing of the arrival of the heavenly Physician: she, at once, roused herself; the consciousness of her miserable condition urged her on; her faith got the upper hand of her human respect, and brought her to the presence of the Incarnate Word; her humble confidence, which so strongly contrasted with the insulting arrogance of the Synagogue, lead her into contact with Christ, and she touched him; virtue went forth from him, cured from her original wound, and, at once, restored to her all the strength she had lost by her long period of languor.

Having thus cured human nature, our Lord bids her cease her fast which had lasted for ages; he gives her the excellent nourishment she required. St. Ambrose, whose comment we are following, compares the miraculous repast mentioned in today’s Gospel with the other multiplication of loaves brought before us on the fourth Sunday of Lent; and he remarks, how, both in spiritual nourishment, and in that which refreshes the body, there are various degrees of excellence. The Bridegroom does not ordinarily serve up the choicest wine, he does not produce the daintiest dishes, at the beginning of the banquet he has prepared for his dear ones. Besides, there are many souls here below who are incapable of rising, beyond a certain limit, towards the divine and substantial Light which is the nourishment of the spirit. To these, therefore, and they are the majority, and are represented by the five thousand men who were present at the first miraculous multiplication, the five loaves of inferior quality (Hordeaceos, barley) are an appropriate food, and one that, by its very number, is in keeping with the five senses, which, more or less, have dominion over the multitude. But, as for the privileged favorites of grace,—as for those men who are not distracted by the cares of this present life, who scorn to use its permitted pleasures, and who, even while in the flesh, make God the only king of their soul,—for these, and for these only, the Bridegroom reserves the pure wheat of the seven loaves, which, by their number express the plenitude of the Holy Spirit, and mysteries in abundance.

“Although they are in the world,” says St. Ambrose, “yet these men, to whom is given the nourishment of mystical rest, are not of the world.” In the beginning, God was, for six days, giving to the universe he had created its perfection and beauty; he consecrated the seventh to the enjoyment of his works. Seven is the number of the divine rest; it was also to be that of the fruitful rest of the Son of God,—the perfecting souls in that peace which makes love secure, and is the source of the invincible power of the bride, as mentioned in the Canticle. It is for this reason, that the Man-God, when proclaiming on the mount the Beatitudes of the law of love, attributed the seventh to the peace-makers, or peaceable, as deserving to be called, by excellence, the Sons of God. It is in them alone, that is fully developed the germ of divine sonship, which is put into the soul at Baptism. Thanks to the silence to which the passions have been reduced, their spirit, now master of the flesh, and itself subject to God, is a stranger to those inward storms, those sudden changes, and even those inequalities of temperature, which are all unfavorable to the growth of the precious seed; warmed by the Sun of Justice in an atmosphere which is ever serene and unclouded, there is no obstacle to its coming up, there is no ill-shapen growth; absorbing all the human moisture of this earth wherein it is set, assimilating the very earth itself, it soon leaves nothing else to be seen in these men but the divine, for they have become, in the eyes of the Father who is in heaven, a most image of his first-born Son.

“Rightly then,” continues St. Ambrose, “the seventh Beatitude is that of the peaceful; to them belong the seven baskets of the crumbs that were over and above. This bread of the Sabbath, this sanctified bread, this bread of rest,—yes, it is something great; and I even venture to say, that if, after thou hast eaten also of the seven, thou hast no bread on earth that thou canst look forward to.”

But, take notice of the condition specified in our Gospel, as necessary for those who aspire to such nourishment as that. “It is not,” says the Saint, “to lazy people, nor to them that live in cities, nor to them that are great in worldly honors, but to them that seek Christ in the desert, that is given the heavenly nourishment: they only who hunger after it, are received by Christ into a participation of the World and of God’s kingdom.” The more intense their hunger, the more they long for their divine object and for no other, the more will the heavenly food strengthen them with light and love, the more will it satiate them with delight.

All the truth, all the goodness, all the beauty of created things, are incapable of satisfying any single soul; it must have God; and so long as man does not understand this, everything that his senses and his reason can provide him with of good or true, far from its being able to satiate him, is ordinarily nothing more than a something which distracts him from the one object that can make him the happy being he was created to be,—a mere something that becomes a hindrance to his living the true life which God willed him to attain. Observe how our Lord waits for all their human schemes to fail, and then he will be their helper, if they will but permit him. The men of our today’s Gospel are not afraid to abide with him in the desert, and put up with the consequent privations of meat and drink; their faith is greater than that of their brethren who have preferred to remain in their home in the cities, and has raised them so much the higher in the order of grace; for that very reason, our Lord would not allow them to admit anything of a nature to interfere with the divine food he prepares for their souls.

Such is the importance of this entire self-abnegation for souls that aim at the highest perfection of Christian life, such, too, the difficulty which even the bravest find of reaching that total self-abnegation by their own efforts, that we see our Lord himself acting directly upon the souls of his saints, in order to create in them that desert, that spiritual vacuum, whose very appearance makes poor nature tremble, and yet which is so indispensable for the reception of his gifts. Struggling, like another Jacob with God, under the effort of this unsparing purification, the creature feels herself to be undergoing a sort of indescribable martyrdom. She has become the favored object of Jesus’ research; and, as He intends to give himself unreservedly to her, so He insists on her becoming entirely His. It is with a view to this, that he, in the delicate dealings of his mercy, subdues and breaks her, in order that he may detach her from creatures and from herself. The piercing eye of the Word perceives every least crease or fold of her spiritual being; his grace carries its jealous work right down to the division of soul and spirit, and reaches to the very joints and marrow, scrutinizing and unmercifully probing the thoughts and intents of the heart As the Prophet describes the refiner of the silver and gold, which is to form the king’s crown and scepter, so our divine Lord: he shall sit, refining and cleansing, in the crucible, this soul so dear to him, that he wishes to wear her as one of the precious jewels of his everlasting diadem. Nothing could exceed his zeal in this work, which, in his eyes, is grander far than the creation of a thousand worlds. He watches, he fans, the flame of the furnace, and he himself is called a consuming fire. When the senses have no more vile vapors to emit; when the dross of the spirit, which is the last to yield, has got detached from the gold, then does the divine purifier show it, with complacency, to the gaze of men and angels; its luster is all he would have it be; so he may safely produce on it a faithful image of himself.

When the Jewish people were led forth by Moses from Egypt, they said: The Lord God hath called us; we will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, to sacrifice unto the Lord our God. In like manner, the disciples of Jesus have retired into the wilderness, as our today’s Gospel tells us; and, after three days, they have been fed with a miraculous bread, which foretold the victim of the great Sacrifice, of which the Hebrew one was a figure. In a few moments, both the bread and the figure are to make way, on the altar before which we are standing, for the highest possible realities. Let us, then, go forth from the land of bondage of our sins; and since our Lord’s merciful invitation comes to us so repeatedly, let our souls get the habit of keeping away from the frivolities of earth, and from worldly thoughts. And now as we sing the Offertory-anthem, let us beseech our Lord that he may graciously give us strength to advance further into that interior desert, where he is always the most inclined to hear us, and where he is most liberal with his graces.

Perfice gressus meos in semitis tuis, ut non moveantur vestigia mea: inclina aurem tuam, et exaudi verba mea: mirifica misericordias tuas, qui salvos facis sperantes in te, Domine. Perfect thou my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps be not moved: incline thine ear unto me, and graciously hear my words: show forth thy wonderful mercies, O thou that savest them, who trust in thee, O Lord.

The efficacy of our prayers depends on this,—that the object of those prayers be prompted and animated by faith. The Church has just been receiving her children’s offerings for the Sacrifice; she now asks, in the Secret, that we may all be endowed with faith.

Propitiare, Domine, supplicationibus nostris, et has populi tui oblationes benignus assume: et ut nullius sit irritum votum, nullius vacua postulatio, præsta; ut quod fideliter petimus, efficaciter consequamur. Per Dominum. Be appeased, O Lord, by our humble prayers, and mercifully receive the offerings of thy people: and, that the vows and prayers of none may be in vain, grant, that we may effectually obtain, what we ask with faith.

The other Secrets as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

We were just admiring the work of purification, achieved by the Angel of the Covenant in his chosen souls. The Prophet Malachy, who spoke to us about this mystery of refining the elect, tells us, in the next verse, why all this is done; his words give us an explanation of the Communion-anthem we are now going to chant: And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years.

Circuibo, et immolabo in tabernaculo ejus hostiam jubilationis: cantabo et psalmum dicam Domino. I will go up, and sacrifice, in his temple, a victim of praise: I will sing, and repeat a psalm to the Lord.

The sacred Mysteries are the true fire that purifies: they entirely cleanse from the remnants of sin every Christian that allows their divine heat to tell upon him; they also strengthen him in the path of perfection. Let us, then, unite with the Church in this prayer:

Repleti sumus, Domine, muneribus tuis: tribue quæsumus; ut eorum et mundemur effectu, et muniamur auxilio. Per Dominum. We have been filled, O Lord, with thy gifts; grant, we beseech thee, that we may be cleansed by their efficacy, and strengthened by their aid. Through, &c.

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



Fr. Hewko
Fr. Hewko

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