The Church's Year
ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the
protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that
trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. If armies
in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear.
(Ps. XXVI. 1-3.) Glory be to the Father, etc.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that both the course of the world
may be peaceably ordered for us by Thy governance, and that Thy
Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion. Through etc.
(Rom. VIII. 18-23). Brethren, The sufferings of this time are not
worthy to be compared
to the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation
of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For
the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly; but by reason
of him that made it subject, in hope: because the creature also
itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into
the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that
every creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain, even till now.
Arid not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits
of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting
for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body:
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is no greater consolation under crosses and afflictions, no
more powerful support in the adversities of a pious and virtuous
life, than the thought that all sufferings are as nothing when compared
with the coming glory of heaven, and that by a slight and momentary
suffering in this life is obtained a superabundant happiness in
the next. (II Cor, IV. 17.) Thus St. Augustine says: "Were
we daily to suffer all torments, even for a short time the pains
of hell, in order to see Christ and be numbered among His saints,
would it not be worth all this misery to obtain so great a good,
so great a glory?"
when shall we be delivered from the miserable bondage of this life,
and participate in that indescribable glory which Thou hast prepared
for Thy children, where free from the misery and many temptations
of this life, they enjoy eternal bliss. Enable us to see more and
more into the misery of this life that we may thus be urged to strive
for freedom and glory in Thy kingdom. Amen.
(Luke V. 1-11.) At that time, When the multitude pressed upon Jesus,
to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth. And
he saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone
out of them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one
of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little
from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the
ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch
out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon,
answering, said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and
have taken nothing, but at thy word I will let down the net. And
when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of
fishes: and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners
that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.
And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost
sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus's knees,
saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was
wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of
fishes which they had taken; and so were also James and John, the
sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's Partners. And Jesus with to Simon:
Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought
their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.
are we to learn from the people who came to Christ to hear the word
We should listen
with great zeal to the word of God, because from it man receives
the life of the soul, (Matt. IV. 4.) and eternal happiness. (Luke
did Christ teach from Peter's ship?
By this He
showed that the true doctrine is preached only from that Church
of which Peter is the head, (John. XXI. 15.) which is here represented
by his ship. Amid storms of persecution Jesus has preserved arid
will preserve this ship, His Church, until the end of time. (Matt.
XVI. 18). Peter still guides the bark in the unbroken line of his
successors, and Jesus still teaches from this ship the same doctrine
through the bishops and priests, as His cooperators, with whom He
has promised to remain to the end of the world. Matt. XXVII. 20.)
was it that Peter and his assistants took in such a draught of fishes
after they had labored all night in vain?
first they trusted in themselves, and did not throw out their nets
in the name of the Lord, relying on His blessing and assistance.
"This example," says St. Ambrose, "proves how vain
and fruitless is presumptuous confidence, and how powerful, on the
contrary, is humility, since those who had previously labored without
success, filled their nets at the word of the Redeemer." Let
us learn from this our inability, that we begin our work only with
God, that is, with confidence in His help, and with the intention
of working only for love of Him, and for His honor. If we do this,
the blessing of the Lord will not be wanting.
is represented by the nets and the draught of fishes?
of truth which, so to speaks forms the net?work of gospel preaching,"
says St. Ambrose, "with which the successors of the apostles,
the bishops and priests, draw souls from the darkness of error to
the light of truth, and from the depths of the abyss to raise them
is meant by the apostles' calling, to their partners for help?
We are instructed
by this that we should assist the preachers of the gospel, the priests,
in the conversion of sinners, by prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, and
other good works, especially by good example, for this is a most
meritorious work. (James V. 20.)
did Jesus choose poor and illiterate fishermen to be His apostles?
To show that
the founding and propagating of the holy Catholic Church is not
the work of man, but of God; for how could it be possible, without
the evident assistance of God, that poor, illiterate fishermen could
overthrow proud paganism, and bring nations to receive the doctrine
of the crucified God-Man Jesus, who to the Jews was an abomination,
to the Gentiles a folly!
ON A GOOD INTENTION
have labored all the night, and have taken nothing, but at thy word
I will let down the net. (Luke V. 5.)
There are many
people who by a special, but loving decree of God, seem to be born
only for a miserable life, and who, with all this, can have no hope
of a reward in the next world, because they, do not avail themselves
(by a good intention) of the miseries which God gives them as a
ladder to heaven.
what does a good intention consist?
all our works, even the smallest, and in offering all our thoughts
and words in the name of God, that is, for His honor and in accordance
with His most holy will; that we receive all sufferings and afflictions
cheerfully from His hand, and offer them in union with the passion
should we make a good intention?
In the morning
we should offer to the Lord all our thoughts, words, and deeds,
all our crosses and afflictions, and all our steps during the day:
- as a sacrifice
of homage, to pay to Him the service, honor and adoration due
- a sacrifice
of thanksgiving for graces received;
- a sacrifice
of propitiation to render some satisfaction to divine justice
for our own sins and the sins of others;
- a sacrifice
of impetration to obtain, through the merits of Christ, new graces
and gifts for ourselves and others.
We must not
forget, however, in making a good intention, to unite all our works
with the merits of Jesus, by which alone they acquire worth and
merit before God,
and we must guard against impatience or sinful deeds by which we
lose the merit of the good intention made in the morning, for a
good intention cannot exist with. sin. It is also very useful to
place all our actions into the wounds of Jesus, offering them to
Him by the hands of His Blessed Mother, and it is advisable frequently
to renew our good intention during t the day, by making use of these
or similar words: "For the love of Thee, O Lord! For Thy sake!
All in honor of God! With the intention I made this morning!"
Endeavor to instruct the ignorant, how to make a good intention,
and thus share in their good works.
What benefit is derived from a good intention?
says: "It renders all works, even the smallest golden and divine;"
and St. Gregory: "It makes all thoughts, words and deeds meritorious,
and causes us to expect in the hour of death, like the wise virgins,
the heavenly bridegroom, Jesus, and be richly rewarded by Him."
my heart, O God, to Thy holy commandments. Guard me, that I work
not in the night of sin, and thus gain nothing by my works. Assist
all pastors that by Thy divine will, they may win souls for Thy
kingdom, and bring them to Thee.