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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 15, Verses 1 to 10.
Now I make known unto you, brethren, the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; by which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures.
And that He was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven. Then He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once: of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep.
After that, He was seen by James, then by all the Apostles. And last of all, He was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the Apostles, who am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the Grace of God, I am what I am; and His Grace in me hath not been void.
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
The Gospel for today is taken from the Holy Gospel of Saint Mark, Chapter 7, Verses 31 to 37.
At that time Jesus:
Again going out of the coasts of Tyre, He came by Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.
And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb; and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him.
And taking him from the multitude apart, He put his fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue: and looking up to Heaven, He groaned, and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened.
And immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. And He charged them that they should tell no man. But the more He charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it.
And so much the more did they wonder, saying:
He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
So here is but one example of the concern Christ has for the temporal needs of each of us.
Although the primary work of Christ was the Redemption of mankind from sin and eternal damnation, part of His work also was to be a Teacher as well as a Redeemer. This He did in various ways.
One way He taught was by example, becoming a role model for each of us and to give all of us good examples to follow, especially the exercise of the Virtues.
Another way He taught was by preaching the Gospel for three years which ended by His unspeakable sufferings and finally His Holy death on the cross to prove His infinite love for each of us by making it possible for each of us to save our Immortal Souls and to one day to be able to go to Heaven.
Sometimes, because of the cares and worries of just trying to survive every day, some of us tend to forget that by doing these things, Christ has Faith in each and everyone of us that we will take advantage of the wonderful gifts He has given us to help us to save our Immortal Souls, including the Holy Sacrifice of the Traditional Catholic Mass which He Himself perfectly instituted, as well as the Seven Sacraments.
But there are some things that Catholics sometimes tend to take for granted. Although these things are obviously not on the same level as the Holy Sacrifice of the Traditional Catholic Mass and the Seven Sacraments, they still have the power to help those who use them correctly.
What are these things that help us to preserve us and to deliver us from many evils and obtain for us temporal goods of various kinds? The Catholic Church calls them “Sacramentals”.
Here Are a Few Examples of Sacramentals
1) One category of Sacramentals is something most of us would not think of as being a Sacramental, namely Exorcisms.
2) Another category of Sacramentals is the one with which most of you are already familiar, namely various material objects which the Catholic Churches Blesses and Consecrates for Divine Worship and for our own personal pious use through the ministry of her Priests and Prelates, as, for example:
a) Holy Water, which is composed of clean water and only a few grains of salt. Both the water and salt are first individually Exorcized, then individually Blessed, and then mixed together with a short prayer, followed by two additional prayers.They are called “Sacramentals” because they resemble the Sacraments in some way although they are essentially different from them.
b) Holy Oil - there are different kinds of oil: Liturgical Holy Oil of which a Bishop makes three different kinds to be used Liturgically by Prelates and Priests. One or more of these Holy Oils are used in administering the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Extreme Unction. There are also other kinds of Holy Oil which are usually touched to the relic of a Saint; etc.
There are 4 primary differences between the Sacraments and the Sacramentals which differences are great:
1) The Sacraments were perfectly instituted by Jesus Christ to give Sanctifying Grace and to operate by the efficacy which He gives them. But the Sacramentals were instituted by the Catholic Church and produce their effects by the prayers and Blessings of the Catholic Church.The bottom line is that the Sacramentals deliver and protect our person and material possessions from the injurious influences of Satan and from all evil spirits.
2) The Sacraments have an infallible effect, unless the effect is blocked by some kind of an obstacle. Theologians say the Sacraments work .ex opere operato, i.e. by their own objective power. In other words, its literal meaning is from the work done. This refers to the efficacy of the Sacraments which is derived from the objective action of each Sacrament, per se, (its metaphysical essence - that which a Sacrament does) as opposed to the personal merits or the holiness of the Priest or Prelate.
But the effects of the Sacramentals depend primarily on the pious intention of the person who makes a proper and devout use of them. Theologians say the Sacramentals work .ex opere operantis, i.e. by their subjective power. In other words, its literal meaning is from the action of the doer.
Stated another way, it is from the worker who performs the work. This refers to the prayers and good deeds of the Catholic Church as well as the proper disposition of the person who makes a proper and devout Religious use of the Sacramental. Sacramentals dispose the Immortal Soul to receive Actual Grace. In some cases, some Sacramentals can remit Venial Sin IF used with the proper intention as well as in a Religious manner which is pious, devout, humble, and prayerful.
3) The Sacraments immediately effect inward sanctification.
But the Sacramentals, by imparting what are called subordinate Graces, only contribute towards sanctification. Yet the Sacramentals do protect us from temporal evils.
4) The Sacraments are, in general, not only necessary, but also, God commands us to receive them as, for example, the Sacrament of Baptism without which a Rational Immortal Human Soul can never enter Heaven because Original Sin has not be cleansed from such a Soul.
But the Sacramentals are only recommended by the Catholic Church as being useful, helpful, and wholesome.
Christ Himself gave to His Church the power to cast out evil spirits as the Scripture reminds us:
“And He gave them power to heal sicknesses [Sacrament of Extreme Unction], and to cast out devils [Sacrament of Holy Orders - Order of Exorcist].” (Mark 3:15.)The Catholic Church has always made use of this power.
Also in James 5:14.
Historically, one of the Minor Orders of the Catholic Church is the Order of Exorcist. Because it was instituted by the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, and not by the Catholic Church, it is technically a Sacrament, per se. It is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give Grace.
This explains how Ordained Exorcists have the power of this Sacrament, which is, of course, ex opere operato - by its own objective power, i.e. from the work done, by which to cast out devils, unlike, for example, Protestant Ministers, who can rely, at best, only on their own subjective power of prayer which is ex opere operantis, i.e. by their subjective power, or by the proper Religious, pious, prayerful, devout use of special Sacramentals of the Catholic Church which likewise work exclusively ex opere operantis (as explained above).
Special Sacramentals of the Catholic Church, which cast out devils (Mark 3:15) ex opere operantis (as explained above), include:
1) The invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus.But the Sacramentals are also remedies against illnesses, weaknesses and frailties of the body. They are also powerful remedies against epidemics, storms, drought, and floods.
2) The Sign of the Cross.
3) The proper Religious and devout and prayerful use of Holy Water.
5) The Medal of Saint Benedict is a type of Exorcism on its reverse side.
The History of the Catholic Church records lots of cases where Sacramentals have helped people. For example:
Saint Martin extinguished a terrible conflagration by making the Sign of the Cross over it.In addition, the Sacramentals have banished mental anxiety, fear, frustration and worry, as well as horrible sadness. The Sacramentals have weakened what theologians call the irascible passions of human nature and have also proven themselves helpful in the time of temptations.
Saint Benedict Blessed a Chalice that contained poisoned wine with the Sign of the Cross and the Chalice immediately fell into many pieces.
Bishop Saint Nicetas stilled a violent storm at sea by making the Sign of the Cross over it.
While on the subject of temptations, Sacramentals have a much greater power than most Catholics realize regarding cases of temptations which tend to overwhelm a person against one’s will and vehemently allure and entice a person to various sinful acts such as blasphemy, unbelief, despair, impurity, and other vices which the person being attacked normally strongly detests. The Sacramentals help us not only in overcoming such temptations more easily, but, in some cases, they can also cause them to totally stop, returning the exhausted person to a State of Peace.
In addition, Sacramentals procure for us various natural and supernatural goods. Although the Sacramentals do NOT give Sanctifying Grace, in some instances they can obtain Actual Graces, especially obtaining the Graces of Repentance and Conversion for sinners.
The Angelic Doctor teaches that sometimes some Sacramentals effect even the remission of Venial Sins and even of their temporal punishments. (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, Summa Theologica III, Question 65, Article 1, Reply to Objection 8.)
But please DO NOT think that you can deliberately commit lots of Venial Sins and then get rid of them by bathing in Holy Water and not having to go to Confession!
NO! It does not work this way! A person must always have a firm Catholic Faith, confidence in God, correctly use (as explained above) the Sacramentals of the Catholic Church with the correct intention, be 100% resigned to the Holy Will of God, and make use of Sacramentals with a pure heart, or at least a repentant heart, and make a sincere effort to live a life of Virtue.
“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 have Faith, Trust, and Confidence in God, and to pray for healing from our own personal illnesses, whether Spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and/or financial, and also for a healing for all of one’s family members.
One ejaculation We especially like to make use of is: Jesu, in Te confido. Jesus, I trust in Thee.
Remember to expect miracles!
Also, always make a continuous correct Religious, pious, devout, and prayerful use of the Sacramentals, especially those to which you are drawn and like to use, for both Spiritual and temporal help.
With a few minor changes, for obvious reasons, although they are not Ordained Exorcists, and thus do NOT have the power of this Sacrament to cast out devils (Mark 3:15) ex opere operato, the Laity can, and even should, read the Liturgical Rite of Exorcism (adjusted accordingly), which works for the Laity .ex opere operantis.
But, whenever possible, the Laity should do this in conjunction with the proper Religious use of Holy Water which is made according to the Rituale Romanum - the Roman Ritual - in use before the wholesale changes to everything Catholic by the .anti-Catholic. Satanic. Synod. Vatican 2. pseudo-church. of .automatically. excommunicated. Apostate. and. Modernist. Heretics, and .NEW. Theology. Heretics.
In the pre-Vatican 2 Rituale Romanum, both the water and the salt are each individually Exorcized before they are each individually Blessed, and then, afterwards, mixed together with the special prayer for doing this, followed by two additional prayers.
(Graphic with Link Added for Internet Readers.)
Obviously, Protestant Ministers, and all of those priests who have been ordained with the anti-Catholic, so-called Roman Pontifical of the .anti-Catholic. Satanic. Synod. Vatican 2. pseudo-church. of .automatically. excommunicated. Apostate. and. Modernist. Heretics, and .NEW. Theology. Heretics, have no power of the Sacrament of Holy Orders of the Priesthood to make this Traditional Catholic Holy Water.