Roman Style Mass Chasuble
Front & Back
Gothic Style Mass Chasuble
Front & Back
The Epistle appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today is taken from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verses 2 to 11.
You know that when you were Gentiles, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith "Anathema" to Jesus.
And no man can say the "Lord Jesus", but by the Holy Ghost.
Now there are diversities of Graces, but the same Spirit;
And there are diversities of Ministries, but the same Lord;
And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all.
And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit.
To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom:But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.
and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
To another, Faith in the same spirit;
to another, the Grace of healing in one Spirit;
To another, the working of miracles;
to another, Prophecy;
to another, the discerning of spirits;
to another, diverse kinds of tongues;
to another, interpretation of speeches.
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
The Gospel for today is taken from the Holy Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 18, Verses 9 to 14.
At that time Jesus:
Spoke also this parable:
Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself:O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying:O God, be merciful to me a sinner.I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
In Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Christian Catholics at Corinth, from which the word “Corinthians” is derived, one finds all kinds of very interesting information.
For example, to put this Epistle into some kind of context, and to better understand why it was necessary for Saint Paul to write it, the ancient Greek city of Corinth had been almost totally destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C.
It was 102 years later, in 44 B.C., that Julius Cæsar founded the Corinth of the New Testament era under the name of Colonia Laus Julia Corinthos as the capital of the senatorial province of Achæa. This city was composed mostly of Italian freedmen but later attracted a large and mixed population from the East, although most of the citizens were probably not Greeks.
Both the previous Greek city and the newer Roman city had large numbers of pagan temples along with a bad reputation as a center of pleasure and vice, so much so that the Greeks had a proverb which said that not everyone should go to Corinth.
It was obviously under the influence of God the Holy Ghost that Saint Paul would have chosen such a den of iniquity for evangelization and his Epistles seem to reflect the character of his congregation there with some allusions which are not found in his Epistles to other places.
On a smaller scale, Corinth tends to remind one of what Saint Paul encountered when he began to evangelize the wild city of Rome.
Saint Paul preached for 1 ½ years at Corinth where he converted large numbers of peoples, some of whom were of the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and some of whom were pagan Gentiles.
The Roman Proconsul of Corinth, Lucius Junius Annæus Gallio, whose original name was Marcus Annæus Novatus, who was a Brother of Seneca, the philosopher and tutor of Nero, refused to hear the charge brought against Saint Paul by the members of the local synagogue whose leader, Crispus, the president of the synagogue, had been converted by Saint Paul. The synagogue charge against Saint Paul was that he was a teacher of an unlawful religion, despite the hundreds of different pagan religions in Corinth as witnessed by the hundreds of different pagan temples!
Saint Paul left Corinth some time after this and went to the city of Ephesus (Acts 18:18) where he lived for about three years. Saint Paul wrote his first Epistle to the Corinthians in which he covers matters relating to faith and morals as well as ecclesiastical discipline. This Epistle was written about 24 years after Christ ascended into Heaven which means it was written in about 51 A.D. or 52 A.D.
In this Christian Catholic Congregation at Corinth, many of the members had been endowed with extra-ordinary Gifts of God the Holy Ghost which are part of what is called the “Charismata”, some of which Saint Paul mentions in the following verses of this Epistle.
The “Charismata” are frequently found in the Apostolic age of the Catholic Church in various places.
But the “Charismata”, these extra-ordinary Gifts of God the Holy Ghost, became the cause for dissensions among many members of the Congregation who became jealous, one of another. Some of them envied those who, as they thought, possessed more excellent gifts than did they, while others became proud and exalted themselves above those who did not receive these extra-ordinary favors.
In an overview of today’s Epistle, you see Saint Paul trying to stop this nonsense by teaching the Christian Catholics at Corinth that they have no justifiable reason:
1) to envy each other;Saint Paul teaches them that the reason for this is because, while all Spiritual Gifts are undeserved Graces of God, such “Charismata” do not make one Christian Catholic holier, or another Christian Catholic less holy, than any other Christian Catholic, but that instead the “Charismata” are given to individual Christian Catholics for the general good of ALL Christian Catholics.
2) to exalt themselves above others.
Although the Catholic Church begins today’s Epistle with verse 2 of this Epistle, the overall theme of Chapter 12 is found in verse 1 which is why verse 1 was cited, and not verse 2, at the beginning of this Sermon which is something seldom done, but in this case was more logical to help you to see this Epistle in its general context.
In verses 2 and 3, Saint Paul indicates that both Paganism and rejected Judaism are destitute of all Spiritual Gifts which are to be found only in the Christian Catholic Church.
The Christian Catholic Church
But before We continue, no doubt some of you will wonder why We use the term the Christian Catholic Church? Based upon the nomenclature of today, Christian is frequently used to designate only Protestants, is it not?
Historically, Protestants, who PROTESTED against the Christian Catholic Church during the 16th Century in various Western European countries, e.g. England, Germany, etc., are simply what they are: Protestors, a.k.a. Protestants! Sometime in the previous 20th Century, apparently certain Protestant leaders did not like term Protestant, obviously because of its negative connotation of being Protestors, and so they decided to call themselves Christians. However, Catholics have not only used the term Christian Catholics, but some have also used the term Christian, per se, especially in their writings.
Here are a few random examples of such writings:
“Share the lot of those whom you freely embrace and not the honor and communion of the Catholic Church. Likewise, realize that you are separated from the number of the Faithful; that you receive the name of an enemy of the Christian religion; that you are condemned by the judgment of the Holy Ghost and Apostolic Authority; and that you are never released from the bonds of this .anathema.” (Pope Saint Felix I [Tuesday, January 5, 269 - Wednesday, December 30, 274], Epistle 6; emphasis added.)The proper name for Catholics is actually Christian Catholics. This fact is found in the historical records which were discovered in what is known as the Apostolic Age, which fact was referenced, and explained in the year 375 A.D. by Bishop Saint Pacian where he wrote:
“Let us note that the very Tradition, Teaching, and Faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.” (Patriarch Saint Athanasius [b. Alexandria, Egypt 296 A.D. - d. Alexandria, Egypt on Wednesday, May 2, 373A.D.], Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, Father of Orthodoxy in the Christian Catholic Church, Letter to Serapion of Thmuis, 359 A.D.; emphasis added.)
But “that which signifies many things is an ambiguous sign and consequently occasions deception; this is clearly seen in equivocal words. But all deception should be removed from the Christian religion according to Col. 2:8: `Beware, lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit.’” (Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P., [b. 1225 A.D. in Rocca Secca, Naples, Italy - d. Wednesday, March 7, 1274 A.D. in Fossa Nuova, Italy], Doctor of the Church: “Angelic Doctor”, “Common Doctor”; “Summa Theologica”, Part III, Question 60, Article 3, Reply to Objection 1;emphasis added.)
“For while We realized that peace was necessary to free and preserve the commonwealth from the many dangers that threatened it, We found all filled with hatreds and dissensions, and particularly those princes, to whom God has entrusted almost the entire direction of affairs, at enmity with one another. Whilst We deemed it necessary for the integrity of the Christian religion and for the confirmation within Us of the hope of Heavenly things, that there be one fold and one shepherd, for the Lord’s flock, the unity of the Christian namewas well-nigh rent and torn asunder by schisms, dissensions and heresies [by the 16th Century Protestants !).” (Pope Paul III, Alessandro Farnese [Saturday, October 13, 1534 - Thursday, November 10, 1549], “Bulla of the Convocation of the Holy Œcumenical Council of Trent”, Friday, May 22, 1542; emphasis added.)
How ironic that some 20th Century Protestants chose the name Christian to designate themselves, which is the very same name of which the 16th Century Protestants well-nigh rent and tore asunder by schisms, dissensions and heresies!
“Now therefore, in order that all everywhere may adopt and observe what has been delivered to them by the Holy Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of the other churches, it shall be unlawful henceforth and forever throughout the Christian world to sing or to read Masses according to any formula other than that of this Missal published by Us...” (Pope Saint Pius V, Antonio-Michele Ghislieri [Friday, January 7, 1566 - Monday, May 1, 1572], Quo Primum Tempore, Tuesday, July 14, 1570; forbidding any/all changes to the Missale Romanum of Tuesday, July 14, 1570, which Pope Saint Pius V restored to the 595 A.D. edition of the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Gregory I, which was really the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Leo I [Saturday, September 29, 440 - Thursday, November 10, 461]!; emphasis added.)
“22. IV. In each and every parish the society known as the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine is to be canonically established. Through this Confraternity, the Pastors, especially in places where there is a scarcity of Priests, will have lay helpers in the teaching of the Catechism, who will take up the work of imparting knowledge both from a zeal for the glory of God and in order to gain the numerous Indulgences granted by the Sovereign Pontiffs [i.e. by the Popes].” (Pope Saint Pius X, Giuseppe Sarto [Tuesday, August 4, 1903 - Thursday, August 20, 1914], Encyclical “Acerbo Nimis”, On Teaching Christian Doctrine, promulgated on Saturday, April 15, 1905; ¶ 22; emphasis added.)
It is self-evident that in 1905 Pope Saint Pius X did NOT require the teaching of Protestant Doctrine, but rather the teaching of Christian Doctrine, in each and every Catholic Parish!
“7. As you know, once Religion is taken away there cannot be a well-ordered, well-regulated society. In this point lies the urgency to spur on Priests under your guidance in order that, especially during the Holy Year , they spare no efforts so that Souls entrusted to them, with their false prejudices and erroneous convictions cast aside, and hatreds and discords settled, may nourish themselves on the teachings of the Gospel and thus participate in Christian life so as to hasten the desired renewal of morals.”
“8. And since the Priest can reach neither everybody nor everything, and as his work is not always able to meet adequately all needs, those who serve in the Catholic Action ranks must offer the aid of their own experience and activity. No one must be idle and lazy in the face of so many evils and dangers while those in the other camp strive to destroy the very basis of Catholic religion and Christian worship. Let it never come to pass that ‘the children of this world are wiser than the children of light’ (Luke 16:8); let it never be that the latter are less active than the former.” (Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli [b. at Rome, Kingdom of Italy on Thursday, March 2, 1876 - d. at Castel Gandolfo, Italy on Thursday, October 9, 1958], Pope [Thursday, March 2, 1939 - Thursday, October 9, 1958], Encyclical “Anni Sacri”, A Program for Combating Atheistic Propaganda Throughout the World, Sunday, March 12, 1950; ¶¶ 7-8; emphasis added.)
“7. Many things the Holy Spirit hath taught us, Whom God sent from Heaven to the Apostles as their Comforter and Guide. Many things reason teaches us, as Paul saith, and honesty, and, as he says, nature itself. (1 Corinthians 11:14). What! Is the authority of Apostolic men, of Primitive Priests, of the most Blessed Martyr and Doctor Cyprian
[Bishop Saint Cyprian of Carthage, a.k.a. Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus, (b. 190 A.D. - d. Martyred on Saturday, August 14, 258 A.D.). He converted to the Catholic Church later in his life time. He was Ordained a Priest in 247 A.D. and Consecrated as the Bishop of Carthage in about 249 A.D.],of slight weight with us? Do we wish to teach the teacher? Are we wiser than he was, and are we puffed up by the spirit of the flesh against the man, whom his noble shedding of blood, and a crown of most glorious suffering, have set forth as a witness of the Eternal God? What thinkest thou of so many Priests on this same side, who throughout the whole world were compacted together in one bond of peace with this same Cyprian? What of so many aged Bishops, so many Martyrs, so many Confessors? Come say, if they were not sufficient authorities for the use of this name [Christian Catholic], are we sufficient for its rejection? And shall the Fathers rather follow our [much later] authority, and the antiquity of Saints give way to be emended by us, and times [i.e. in modern times: the 4th Century!] now putrifying through their sins, pluck out the grey hairs of the Apostolic Age? And yet, my Brother [i.e. a Spiritual, Ecclesiastical Brother: Sympronianus], be not troubled; Christian is my name, Catholic is my surname. [Christianus mihi nomen est, Catholicus cognomen.] The former [Christian] qualifies me, while the latter [Catholic] proclaims me for what I am. The latter [Catholic] demonstrates what the former [Christian] signifies.”
“8. And, if I finally must explain the word Catholic, and translate it from the Greek into the Roman idiom, Catholic means ubique Unum - everywhere One, or, as the more learned - doctores - think, obedience to all the Commandments of God. Whence the Apostle, whether you be obedient in all things (2 Corinthians 2:9). And again, For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of One, many shall be made just (Romans 5:19). Therefore he who is a Catholic, the same man is obedient He who is obedient, the same is a Christian, and thus the Catholic is a Christian. Wherefore our people, when named Catholic are separated by this appellation from the heretical name. But if also the word Catholic means ubique Unum - everywhere One, as those first think, David indicates this very thing, when he saith, The Queen stood at thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety (Psalm 44:10). And in the Canticle of Canticles the Bridegroom speaketh these words: One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her Mother, the chosen of her that bore her. [Canticle of Canticles 6:8]. Again it is written, Clothed round about with varieties. After her shall virgins be brought to the King (Psalm 44:15). And further, young maidens without number [Canticle of Canticles 6:7]. Therefore amidst all, she is one, and one over all. If thou askest the reason of the name, it is [self-]evident.” (Bishop Saint Pacian [b. ? A.D. - d. 390 A.D.], Bishop of Barcelona, Spain [360 A.D. - 390 A.D.], Epistola I, Contra Sympronianum, De Catholico Nomine, ¶ 7-8. Letter I, Against Sympronian, a.k.a. Sympronianus, On the Catholic Name, ¶ 7-8 [375 A.D.]; De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis; emphasis added.)
Concerning Paganism and Judaism
Now concerning Paganism, Saint Paul appealed to the personal experiences of the converted pagan Corinthians where he writes:
“You know that when you were Gentiles, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led.” (1 Corinthians 12:2.)The converted pagan Corinthians understood what he was telling them, but exactly what was it?
Saint Paul reminded them how, before they were converted to the Christian Catholic Faith, they were Spiritually blind, and did such things as to adore wooden and stone images of their false pagan gods who were powerless, as well as dumb and dead.
They did these things blindly because God the Holy Ghost did not dwell in them because they were members of one of the many false religions of Paganism at that time. Instead, they were ruled by the spirit of error and darkness.
Concerning Judaism, Saint Paul says:
“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith .Anathema. to Jesus. And no man can say the "Lord Jesus", but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3.)Certain Fathers of the Christian Catholic Church, namely, Saint Justin Martyr [b. Sichem, a.k.a. Neapolis, or Flavia Neapolis, modern day Nablus, Palestine c. 100 A.D. - d. Rome, Italy c. 165 A.D.] and Origen of Alexandria [b. Alexandria, Egypt in 185 A.D. - d. Tyre, Phenicia in 254 A.D.], claim that in the early ages of the Christian Catholic Church, the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were accustomed to utter curses and maledictions 3 times a day against Christ and against Christian Catholics.
So here the Apostle is saying that a person does not have God the Holy Ghost who curses Christ, or who speaks irreverently of Christ and of His religion.
A Christian Catholic cannot curse Christ because a Christian Catholic has the Spirit of God and is guided by Him.
No one can have the true saving Faith, nor profess it, nor think, speak, or do anything salutary, unless God the Holy Ghost operates in that person.
“It can neither profit me, the speaker, to speak, nor you, the hearers, to hear, unless we comply with the things which are spoken, ...so let us not limit the display of our zeal to hearing only, but let us observe what is said in our deeds. For it is indeed a good thing to spend time continually in hearing the Divine oracles: but this good thing becomes useless when the benefit to be derived from hearing is not linked with it.” (Patriarch Saint John Chrysostom [b. Antioch, c. 347 A.D. - d. at Commana in Pontus on Friday, September 14, 407 A.D.], Patriarch of Constantinople [Thursday, February 26, 398 A.D. - Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D.], exiled from his See the 2nd time on Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D., Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church. Sermon on Romans 12:20; emphasis added.)
For our resolutions, let all of us, by the Grace of God, firmly resolve to pray to avoid the dangers into which the Christian Catholics at Corinth fell. So, whatever Gifts, Graces, or talents God has given to us, whether natural, e.g. the talent of singing, or of drawing, or of writing, etc., or supernatural, let these gifts and talents never be a cause of pride because all we have we owe to God’s unmerited Grace as God the Holy Ghost reminds us through the pen of Saint Paul:
“What hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).Let everyone reflect that the more Gifts, Graces, and talents we have received from God, the greater will be the strict accounting that each of us must give to God on the day of judgement! Why? Because to whosoever much has been given, much will be required. We must imitate the Saints who humbled themselves the more, in proportion to the favors they received from God.
Let no one envy others for WHO they are, and/or for
WHAT they have. Let each of us be satisfied with WHO we are, and
WHAT we have, being convinced that God gives His Graces and His Gifts with
the greatest Wisdom, giving each person only what is helpful for that individual
person to save his/her Immortal Soul.