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Gothic Style Mass Chasuble
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1 Corinthians 1:4-8.
The Epistle appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today is taken from Saint Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 4-8.
I give thanks to my God always for you, for the Grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus, that in all things you are made rich in Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that nothing is wanting to you in any Grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
The Gospel appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today is taken from the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew, Chapter 9, Verses 1-8.
At that time Jesus
entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into his own city. And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed.
And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy:
Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee.And behold some of the scribes said within themselves:
He blasphemeth.And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said:
Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the man sick of palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house.And he arose, and went into his house.
And the multitude
seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
I give thanks to my God always for you, for the Grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus,So what do you get out of this verse?
The first thing you notice is what?
What is the very first thing in this verse that jumps out at you, so to speak?
It is called “gratitude”.
Saint Paul expresses his “gratitude”
to my God always for you, for the Grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus.What is the first obvious lesson you should learn as the result of reading this verse which begins:
“I give thanks to my God always”?To imitate Saint Paul by “always” thanking God, “always” giving “gratitude” to Almighty God.
WHY should you bother to always thank God, to always give “gratitude” to Almighty God”
Do any of you have the foggiest idea of WHY you need to do this?
The answer is:
What do you have that you have NOT received from God, whether directly or indirectly?
For example, God has given you:
parents so that you could be born;The second thing you notice in this verse is what?
various talents and natural abilities;
your vocation to whatever state in life your God-given vocation has called you;
opportunities to learn about Him in Catechism Classes, in Sermons, in Spiritual Reading, etc.
Sanctifying Graces (a participation in the very life of God Himself) as the result of your assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Traditional Catholic Mass and of your reception of the Sacraments Jesus Christ perfectly instituted which are outward signs of the special unique Graces of each Sacrament - called Sacramental Graces.
Actual Graces every day to help you to resist and to overcome temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Actual Graces to help you to live a good Spiritual Life in the practice of the Virtues, including Humility - the basis of all of the Virtues, and also Meekness and all of the other
Moral Virtues, including Justice of which the Virtue of Religion is an integral part; plus the three Theological Virtues - Faith, Hope, and Charity.
This is just a very short list and does not include how God has helped you regarding your family, your education, your job, etc., etc.
Read it over and think about it!
Not getting much, if anything?
When you read “the Grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus” - what is it that becomes clear to you?
What do you perceive?
The answer is very simply that “in Christ Jesus...” “the Grace of God... is given to you”.
The first question you probably have about this is why does the text say “IN Christ Jesus”?
The Profession of the Catholic Faith by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent requires us to interpret the Scriptures in accordance with the “unanimous consensus of the Fathers of the Church”:
“In like manner, I accept Sacred Scripture according to the meaning which has been held by Holy Mother the Church and which she now holds. It is her privilege and duty to judge the true meaning and interpretation of Sacred Scripture. And, I will never accept or interpret it [Sacred Scripture] in a manner different from the unanimous consensus [agreement] of the Fathers of the Church.” (Required by the Decree “De Reformatione” of the Roman Catholic Pope Pius IV, Giovan Angelo De Medici, [Friday, December 25, 1559 - Thursday, December 9, 1565] and by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent, Session Twenty Five, Wednesday, December 4, 1563, by the Decree “De Reformatione”, Chapter 2. Plus, it is also required by the Papal Bulla “Injunctum Nobis”, Friday, November 13, 1564 by the Roman Catholic Pope Pius IV.)Now it seems that while many of the Fathers have not written on this subject, others have, especially Saint John Chrysostom who explains that “in” is frequently used in other Scriptures to mean “by” or “through”.
Therefore, on this basis, the Scripture “in Christ Jesus” is better translated, not literally, but in overall Scriptural context as either “by” or “through Christ Jesus” which better translates the actual thought or idea of the inspired writer, Saint Paul.
Finally, the third thing you notice in this verse is....?????
It is “the Grace of God that is given you”.
What exactly is this “Grace of God that is given” to “you”?
The answer is found in verse 6 which is explained below.
Continuing on to the next verse, verse # 5:
That in all things you are made rich in Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;What is it that gets your attention in this verse?
How about the two phrases: “rich in Him” and “in all knowledge”.
It should be noted that the Apostles never addressed any of their Epistles to non-Catholics.
In other words, the Apostles always addressed the Epistles only to Catholics - to those people who had been previously converted to the Catholic Faith.
It should also be noted that infidel and pagan nations, merely by reading the inspired writings, would not really be able to ascertain the depths of the Truths of the Catholic Religion.
Because non-Catholics, to whom the Epistles were NOT addressed, are:
1) not instructed in God’s revealed Word and hence lack a real understanding of it;Still yet another reason becomes more clear in the following verse 6:
2) unable to fully comprehend and understand the inspired writings - God’s revealed Word - not only because they are ignorant of the depths of the Deposit of the Catholic Faith - never having been instructed in it, and would therefore be prone to misinterpret the Scriptures, but also because they have not abandoned their non-Catholic, pagan, or other religions, would be in the darkness of idolatry, or at least of ignorance, especially of that ignorance found in secular humanism, and therefore would be much more easily led astray by the Father of Lies - Satan - or, in the words of Saint Paul, these are those sad Souls who are:“ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7.)
As the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,“As the testimony of Christ”, i.e. what Christ testified and taught, “was confirmed in you”.
What does this mean?
It means that your faith in Christ has been “confirmed” by those Graces and Gifts which you received from God the Holy Ghost at your Baptism, and when you were Confirmed by me - i.e. by Saint Paul, who is the author of this Epistle to the people at Corinth, or by some other Catholic Bishop.
It should be self-evident that these things are not true of non-Catholics because none of their temples or synagogues or churches have any .valid. Sacraments. This includes, although it is not limited to, the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
Therefore, non-Catholics would not have any personal knowledge of the Spiritual Effects, i.e. the Graces of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, as well as the Seven Gifts of God the Holy Ghost, which are received in these two Sacraments.
So this is “still yet another reason” which “becomes more clear” in the analysis of verse 5 above and thus why non-Catholics are not “rich in Him” [Christ] and why they lack “all knowledge”.
But, it is not merely a matter of the absence of the “riches” of the Graces and the Gifts, but also the absence of a much greater “knowledge” of Christ, and of the “knowledge” of the Catholic Faith, and of a “completeness of knowledge” of the Scriptures - which completeness is called “Wisdom”, but also a lack of “Understanding” of the effects of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation on the Soul because they have not experienced them because they have not received them, as have Catholics.
Such “Wisdom”, “Understanding”, and “Knowledge” can not be attained by non-Catholics because they are three of the Seven Gifts of God the Holy Ghost which can ONLY be attained, in the beginning, by the Sacrament of Baptism, and refreshed, retained, and enhanced to some degree by the Sacrament of Confirmation.
It is to the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation that verse 4 above referred where you read in part:
“the Grace of God that is given you”,i.e. Sanctifying Grace which each of the Seven Sacraments give, but also Graces special or unique to each Sacrament, called the Grace of the Sacrament, in this case the two Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
Therefore, at best, non-Catholics can have only a very superficial knowledge and understanding of the depths of the “Knowledge”, of the “Wisdom”, and of the correct “Understanding” of Sacred Scripture.
Or, to use a rather blunt Anglo-Saxon term: they are simply “in the dark”.
There are two lessons for Catholics here:
The first is to imitate Saint Paul to “always give thanks”, “always give gratitude” to God that you are NOT “in the dark”!Going on to verse # 7:
The second is to pray for those people who are “in the dark”. Many of them are sincere people who simply have not had the opportunities Catholics have had to learn these Truths and to receive these great Graces and Gifts.
So that nothing is wanting to you in any Grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.“So that nothing is wanting to you in any Grace” is Saint Paul’s way of expanding from the beginning of the living of a real Catholic, Spiritual Life, by the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, to a more advanced Spiritual Life, which would, depending on one’s vocation, contain at least some of the rest of the Graces of each of the other Sacraments (e.g. Penance, the Holy Eucharist, and Matrimony), and even implies Actual Grace as well.
In this verse, Saint Paul is telling the Christian Catholics at Corinth that they have available to them - at their disposal - the opportunities to take advantage of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Seven Sacraments, the living of a real Spiritual Life of the Theological and Moral Virtues and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. In other words, there is nothing more that “is wanting to you in any Grace”.
An Important Clarification
Today, because of a gross misuse of the word “Christian” which Protestants have attempted to exclusively apply to themselves, it is necessary to realize that Protestants have NO claim whatsoever to the word “Christian”, either as a kind of synonym for “Protestant”, or to try to rob Christian Catholics of their sacred Patrimony.
A Holy Saint of the Catholic Church, who died in the 4th Century A.D., who quotes another Holy Saint - a Martyr of the Catholic Faith - of the 3rd Century, A.D., wrote the following very clear explanation of the correct use of the words “Christian” and “Catholic”.
Catholics have the Christian duty in the fullness of Charity and in the fullness of Humility - which is Truth - to correct Protestants who attempt to usurp the term “Christian” for themselves - and they are desperately trying to make it exclusive of all others and only inclusive for themselves. This is blatant deception!
“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, are we sufficient for its rejection? And shall the Fathers rather follow our authority, and the antiquity of Saints give way to be emended by us, and times now putrifying through their sins, pluck out the grey hairs of the Apostolic Age?
And yet, my brother, 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).The term “waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ” is an euphemistic expression which means “waiting for the day of judgement” which has two simultaneous meanings - the particular judgment when each person is judged individually and the general judgment when everyone who has ever lived will each be judged before the rest of the entire human race.
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,And further,Clothed round about with varieties. After her shall virgins be brought to the King (Psalm 44:15).Therefore amidst all, she is one, and one over all. If thou askest the reason of the name, it is 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).young maidens without number [Canticle of Canticles 6:7].
In this way will the Justice of God be fully revealed, both in the rewards to the good - eternal happiness in Heaven - and in the punishments to the bad - eternal suffering in Hell.
Finally, going to verse # 8:
Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.“Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime” simply refers to Jesus Christ as the Just Judge Who will confirm, i.e. confer upon, those who are good, the reward of eternal happiness in Heaven - these are they who, by the many Graces and Gifts of God, by living a Spiritual Life of the daily practice and exercise of Virtue and of the Seven Gifts, and the practice of acts of supererogation, were able to overcome temptations to sin and to lead a life that was holy and pleasing to God, despite the imperfections and defects of their human nature which was severely wounded by Original Sin, which the Graces and Gifts helped them to overcome and/or to purify.
“In the day of the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” is also a reference, both to the two days
of judgement - the particular judgment and the general judgment,
and also to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world at which
time the general judgment will take place.
“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, right now, with the help of God’s Grace, to ALWAYS give thanks to God, to ALWAYS give gratitude to God, for everything we have because there is nothing we have that we did not receive from Almighty God, whether directly, or indirectly.
Besides thanking God for your very life, for the precious gift of your Holy, Catholic Faith, for your family and friends, and whoever else, and for whatever you have, pray for the conversion of those less fortunate than yourself - pray for the conversion of all non-Catholics and for lukewarm and tepid Catholics, as well as for yourself, your family members, and friends, that all of you be filled to overflowing with the flames of the fire of Divine Love, every Virtue - both Theological and Moral - of which you are in need, as well as the Seven Gifts of God the Holy Ghost.
Pray to God for the Graces necessary to live a good life, i.e. a good Spiritual Life of the daily practice of the Theological and Moral Virtues, especially Faith, Hope, and Charity, as well as Humility, Meekness, Justice/Religion, etc. Also to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at least on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, to frequently receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.
To obey the Ten Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church. To transform your life into a life of prayer, especially by the daily practice of the praying of the Morning Offering by which prayer you make everything you do a prayer, even breathing, walking, talking, etc., plus the daily Rosary. Perform little acts of supererogation - things you are not required to do, but you do them for the love of God.
In doing these things, you will find it much easier to overcome temptations and will become one of God’s “favorites”!
In addition, you will get into the habit of doing NOW what, on the day of your judgement, you will then wish that you would have done NOW - except that you did NOW what you will be happy you did NOW because God IS in the "punishment business" despite the heresies you hear to the contrary in some anti-Catholic Churches which have Roman Catholic sounding names!
In addition, in true Christian Catholic CHARITY correct Protestants who try to use the term Christian to identify their heretical Protestant Church.
Make them aware of the correct history of the term Christian Catholic which goes all the way back to the 3rd and 4th Centuries, A.D. - Well over 1,200 years before the coming of the "Protestant" churches made up by heretical ex-Roman Catholic Clergy, e.g. Father Martin Luther, O.S.A., Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and various other ex-Roman Catholic Prelates and Priests, etc., etc.