The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for May, 2010

The Office for Corpus Christi by St Thomas Aquinas

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 31, 2010

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Bernardine de Piconio on 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 31, 2010

11:23.  For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night he was delivered up, took bread.
11:24.  And giving thanks he broke, and said: Take and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered up for you: do this in my commemoration.
11:25.  Likewise also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: do this as often as you shall drink, in my commemoration.
11:26.  For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you will announce the death of the Lord until he comes.

I praised you for observing the commands I gave to you by word of mouth; but sine in regard to this you have failed to remember them, it is necessary for  me to repeat them in writing.  I received, by direct communication and revelation from Christ, not from any human teaching.  It is to be observed that it was only by accident that the Apostle wrote this down.  Had the Corinthians remembered what he said, he would in all probability not have written it.  Not only the written words, but the oral traditions, of the Apostles, are to be observed.

Saint Peter, as a fourth Evangelist, records the words of God the Father, This is my beloved son, rehearsed in three Gospels, 2 Pet. 1:17.  Here Saint Paul, as a fourth Evangelist, gives the words of Christ, which are also given by St Matthew, St Mark, and St Luke.

In the night he was delivered up to death, he took bread.  Wheat bread, and unleavened, for the seven days of unleavened bread had begun that evening.  By a misunderstanding of John 18:28, the Greeks consider that Christ suffered before the Pasch began, and they accordingly use leavened bread.

Giving thanks.  To God the Father.  From this action is derived the term Eucharist.  The canon of the Mass adds: and lifting up his eyes to heave, which he frequently did on similar occasions, (Matt 19:19; John 11:41.   Further, he blessed as in St Matthew and St Mark.  Thanksgiving has regard to God, blessing to the creature on which his benediction is implored.

He broke, into twelve portions, and distributing said, by words instantly operative and effectual of what they expressed.  The operative word of Christ is of two kinds.  One is imperative: be cleansed, rise, look up, Lazarus, come forth.  The other affirmative, and present: Thy son liveth; woman, thou art loosed from thy infirmity.  Of this latter kind are the words here used, Hoc est corpus meum.

Take and eat.  Take in the hands.  It was the ancient custom to receive the holy Eucharist in the hands, not as now in the mouth from the hand of the priest.

This is my body.  The Greek has τουτο μου εστιν το σωμα, in a somewhat different order of the words.  The Syriac or Hebrew language (i.e., Aramaic), which Christ spoke, has no substantive verb, and there is no doubt the words he used were only this my body.  See Cornelius a Lapide.  Hoc is most probably the predicate: my body is this.  Similarly, my blood is this chalice, or what is contained in this chalice.

Which shall be delivered up for you.  The Greek and Syriac both read: Which is being broken for you.  Broken, in the species of bread.  The body of our Lord was not otherwise broken (John 19:36. See my note at the end of this paragraph).  by the words do this, Christ conferred upon the Apostles the power of consecrating, or else he would have been enjoining upon them that which was impossible.  for a memorial of me.  Recalling the affection with which I delivered myself up to death for you.

Note: On the basis of manuscript evidence the word “broken” is considered by modern scholars as a scribal insertion (see Raymond F. Collins, FIRST CORINTHIANS, page 432).  Even if original it need not necessarily be seen as a contradiction of John 19:36, for “broken” could be a metaphor for death, i.e., separated from life.  See the image of the olive tree in Romans 11:17-24.

Likewise also the chalice, after he had supped.  Our Lord had first of all, with the Apostles, eaten the paschal lamb, standing, girded, and with a staff in his hands, according to the ritual in Exodus 12:11.  (See my note at end of paragraph).  Then he sat down, or according to the custom of those times, lay down, on a couch, to the ordinary supper.  Then rising, he washed the feet of this disciples; and afterwards lay down again, for the institution and distribution of the most holy Eucharist.  After this he delivered the morsel he had dipped to Judas; so that the remains of the supper must have been at that time still on the table.  Lastly, after speaking a long time, he rose, saying, Rise, let us go.  The supper referred to in the text is the ordinary one.

Note: In light of Matthew 26:20, Mark 14:17, it seems unlikely that the Passover was celebrated according to the rubrics of Exodus 12:11.  First century Jews had adopted the custom of reclining at the Passover, for in their day this was the mark of a free man; slave ate meals standing, and the Passover was a feast of liberation (see Protestant scholar Robert Gundry, MARK: A COMMENTARY ON HIS APOLOGY FOR THE CROSS, page 827).

The new testament in my blood.  The authentic copy of the new covenant between God and man, sealed with my blood.  The reference to the document is figurative, but the blood is real; for he does not say signed with that which represents my blood, but in my bloodDo this, as often as you drink.  The command, here, as in the last verse, is addressed to the Apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, as explained by the Council of Trent, Session II, cahpter 1.  Do what I have done.

In commemoration of me.  this memory is in no way inconsistent with the real presence of Christ.  Christ is in this Sacrament his own memorial, as in heaven, bearing the stigma of his wounds, he is himself the memorial of his own passion.  The time, the circumstances of the speaker, the quality of the action, the nature of the action, the actor’s intention, power, the very words he used, all compel us to place a literal interpretation on those words, implying the real and true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

The time: the night before he died.  No one uses tropes and figures at such a moment.

The condition: a loving father, about to die, makes his last will.  clearness and simplicity are always needed in such a case, and no wise man would use figures of speech, speaking of a precious jewel, when he meant the picture of one.

The quality of the act: the Mediator between God and man, making an everlasting covenant to subsist while the world stands, would not use language of metaphor and poetry.

The action itself: ambiguity and equivocation would have been most perilous in the institution of a sacrament and sacrifice of such august dignity, destined to last to the end of the world.

the will and intention: loving his children most ardently, and desirous to give the greatest good in his power.  He loved them to the end.

The power: Knowing that he came out from God, and to God returns, that the Father had given all things into his hands, and he can do all he will.

the words used, are simple and clear, in accordance with these considerations.  Simple, as the words of a loving father, addressing his children before he died: of a faithful mediator, contracting an eternal covenant, of a Supreme Pontiff, a fountain of truth, detesting all false dogma: of a true, zealous, most powerful savior of the race of man, conferring upon them the highest and greatest of all possible or imaginable goods.

My body, which shall be delivered up to death for you.  the body was delivered up to death, not in figure, it was his body of which he spoke.

My blood, which shall be shed.  In reality, not in figure, on the cross.  The blood of the Old Testament was real: so that of the New.  but this is no figure: in a few hours it was terribly fulfilled.

What man could dare to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and say he did not believe a statement so clear as this?  What Christian, believing it, even if deceived, would not be able to say, if I am deceived, thou hast deceived me, who art truth itself?

26.  You will announce the death of the Lord. The apostle has just called attention to Christ’s institution of the holy Eucharist on the might before his passion, and with direct reference to that event.  The Corinthian Christians had perhaps not sufficiently considered it in that light, as a commemoration, and proclamation of Christ’s death.  You will announce.  The word used in Greek might be either in the present indicative, you announce, or the imperative, announce ye.  The Eucharist represents the death of Christ by the mystical separation of his blood from his body, which is effected by the words of consecration; and which further takes place by the eating of the sacred body, as separated from the blood, and the drinking the precious blood as poured forth and separate from the body.  In either species there is the representation of the death of the Lord, but most perfectly in both together.  And this commemoration of the sacrifice and death of Christ is to continue till he come.

Suggested Readings:

WORTHY IS THE LAMB: The Biblical Roots Of The Mass, by Thomas Nash.  An outstanding, non-technical introduction to the subject.

THE HIDDEN MANNA: A Theology Of The Eucharist, by James T. O’Connor.  A fine overview of the history and development of Eucharistic theology from the first to the twentieth century.

THE EUCHARIST: Message Of The Fathers Of The Church, Vol. 7, by Daniel J. Sheerin.  “This volume is an endeavour, in keeping with the purpose of the series in which it appears, to place before the modern reader the message of the fathers of the church concerning the eucharist in the words of the fathers themselves.  Thus, what is offered is a collection of readings of sufficient length to place eucharistic teachings in their context” (From the general introduction).

CORPUS CHRISTI: A Theological Encyclopedia Of The Eucharist, by Michael O’Carroll. One of several encyclopedias he has compiled.

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Catholic Encyclopedia: The Feast of Corpus Christi

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2010

For those looking for further information, a hyperlink version of this excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia can be found at New Advent.

(Feast of the Body of Christ)This feast is celebrated in the Latin Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday to solemnly commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist.Of Maundy Thursday, which commemorates this great event, mention is made as Natalis Calicis (Birth of the Chalice) in the Calendar of Polemius (448) for the 24th of March, the 25th of March being in some places considered as the day of the death of Christ. This day, however, was in Holy Week, a season of sadness, during which the minds of the faithful are expected to be occupied with thoughts of the Lord’s Passion. Moreover, so many other functions took place on this day that the principal event was almost lost sight of. This is mentioned as the chief reason for the introduction of the new feast, in the Bull “Transiturus.”The instrument in the hand of Divine Providence was St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, in Belgium. She was born in 1193 at Retines near Liege. Orphaned at an early age, she was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mont Cornillon. Here she in time made her religious profession and later became superioress. Intrigues of various kinds several time drove her from her convent. She died 5 April, 1258, at the House of the Cistercian nuns at Fosses, and was buried at Villiers. Juliana, from her early youth, had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and always longed for a special feast in its honour. This desire is said to have been increased by a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She made known her ideas to Robert de Thorete, then Bishop of Liege, to the learned Dominican Hugh, later cardinal legate in the Netherlands, and to Jacques Pantaléon, at that time Archdeacon of Liege, afterwards Bishop of Verdun, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and finally Pope Urban IV. Bishop Robert was favourably impressed, and, since bishops as yet had the right of ordering feasts for their dioceses, he called a synod in 1246 and ordered the celebration to be held in the following year, also, that a monk named John should write the Office for the occasion. The decree is preserved in Binterim, together with parts of the Office.Bishop Robert did not live to see the execution of his order, for he died 16 October, 1246; but the feast was celebrated for the first time by the canons of St. Martin at Liege. Jacques Pantaleon;on became pope 29 August, 1261. The recluse Eve, with whom Juliana had spent some time, and who was also a fervent adorer of the Holy Eucharist, now urged Henry of Guelders, Bishop of Liege, to request the pope to extend the celebration to the entire world. Urban IV, always an admirer of the feast, published the Bull “Transiturus” (8 September, 1264), in which, after having extolled the love of Our Saviour as expressed in the Holy Eucharist, he ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi in the Thursday next after Trinity Sunday, at the same time granting many indulgences to the faithful for the attendance at Mass and at the Office. This Office, composed at the request of the pope by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, is one of the most beautiful in the Roman Breviary and has been admired even by Protestants.The death of Pope Urban IV (2 October, 1264), shortly after the publication of the decree, somewhat impeded the spread of the festival. Clement V again took the matter in hand and, at the General Council of Vienne (1311), once more ordered the adoption of the feast. He published a new decree which embodied that of Urban IV. John XXII, successor of Clement V, urged its observance.Neither decree speaks of the theophoric procession as a feature of the celebration. This procession, already held in some places, was endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.The feast had been accepted in 1306 at Cologne; Worms adopted it in 1315; Strasburg in 1316. In England it was introduced from Belgium between 1320 and 1325. In the United States and some other countries the solemnity is held on the Sunday after Trinity.In the Greek Church the feast of Corpus Christi is known in the calendars of the Syrians, Armenians, Copts, Melchites, and the Ruthenians of Galicia, Calabria, and Sicily.

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Pope John Paul II~Homily for the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2010



Basilica of Saint John Lateran
Sunday, 17 June 1979

Beloved Brothers and Sisters!

1. Let my words be brief today. Let the feast itself, the Eucharist itself, speak to us, instead, in the fullness of its liturgical expression.

We are about to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of Mass on the parvis of the Basilica of St John Lateran, cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. After this we will proceed in procession to the Basilica of St Mary Major on the Esquiline.

In this way we wish to put together, in one liturgical act, the worship of the Sacrifice and the worship of adoration, as today’s solemnity and the centuries-old tradition of the Church demand of us.

2. We wish to proclaim to Rome and the world the Eucharist, that is, Gratitude. This Sacrament is the sign of the gratitude of the whole of creation for the Creator’s visit. This Sacrament is the sign of man’s gratitude because the Creator became a creature; because God became man; because he took a human body from his Mother Mary Immaculate” to raise us men again to the Father; to make us Sons of God.

We wish, therefore, to proclaim and sing with our mouths, and still more avow with our human hearts, gratitude for the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of God, with which he nourishes our souls and renews our human hearts.

3. We wish furthermore to proclaim the Eucharist to Rome and the world as the sign of the covenant that God concluded irreversibly with man by means of the Body and Blood of his Son.

This Body was exposed to the Passion and death. It shared the earthly fate of man after original sin. This Blood was shed to seal God’s New Covenant with man: the covenant of grace and love, the covenant of holiness and truth. We are participants in this covenant even more than the People of God of the Old Law. Today, therefore, we wish to bear witness before all men.

Yet God became man for all men. Christ died and rose again for everyone. Everyone, finally, has been called to the Banquet of eternity. And here on earth the Lord God invites each one saying: “Take and eat… Take and drink!… in order not to stop on the way!”

4. Finally, we wish to proclaim the Eucharist to Rome and the world as a Sign of the worship due to God alone. How admirable is our God! He whom no intellect is able to embrace and worship in accordance with his holiness. He whom no heart is able to love in accordance with his love.

How wondrous he is when he wishes us to embrace him, love him and worship him, according to the human dimension of our faith, under the species of Bread and Wine!

5. Christ in the Eucharist, accept this expression of adoration and love which the Church renders to you by means of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Peter’s successor. Be worshipped through the memory of all my Predecessors who worshipped you before the eyes of Rome and the world.

At the end of today’s liturgy, let your Holy Mother who gave you, Eternal Son of the Father, a human body receive you from our hands on the parvis of her temple:

-“Ave, verum corpus, / natum ex / Maria Virgine, / Vere passum immolatum / in cruce pro homine; / esto nobis praegustatum / mortis in examine!”

Hail, oh true Body, / born of the Virgin Mary, / which really suffered and was sacrificed / on the Cross for Mankind; / may you be foretasted by us / when the test of death arrives!


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Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 9:11b-17 for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2010

And they did all eat and were filled. And there were taken up of fragments that remained to them, twelve baskets.  The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate. 2009 (Lk 9:17). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

And they did all eat and were filled. And there were taken up of fragments that remained to them, twelve baskets~Lk 9:17

Though the lectionary reading encompasses only verses 11b-17 I have included verses 10-11a in this post.

Luk 9:10  And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all they had done. And taking them, he went aside into a desert place, apart, which belongeth to Bethsaida.
Luk 9:11  Which when the people knew, they followed him: and he received them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and healed them who had need of healing.
Luk 9:12  Now the day began to decline. And the twelve came and said to him: Send away the multitude, that, going into the towns and villages round about, they may lodge and get victuals; for we are here in a desert place.
Luk 9:13  But he said to them: Give you them to eat. And they said: We have no more than five loaves and two fishes; unless perhaps, we should go and buy food for all this multitude.
Luk 9:14  Now there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples: Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
Luk 9:15  And they did so and made them all sit down.
Luk 9:16  And taking the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven and blessed them: and he broke and distributed to his disciples, to set before the multitude.
Luk 9:17  And they did all eat and were filled. And there were taken up of fragments that remained to them, twelve baskets

AUG. Matthew and Mark, taking occasion from what had occurred above, relate here how John was slain by Herod. But Luke, who had long before given an account of John’s sufferings, after mentioning that perplexity of Herod’s, as to who our Lord was, immediately adds, And the apostles when they were returned told him all that they had done.

THEOPHYL; But they not only tell Him what they had done and taught, but also, as Matthew implies, the things which John suffered while they were occupied in teaching, are now repeated to Him either by His own, or, according to Matthew, by John’s disciples.

ISIDORE; Our Lord because He hates the men of blood, and those that dwell with them, as long as they depart not from their crimes, after the murder of the Baptist left the murderers and departed; as it follows, And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

THEOPHYL; Now Bethsaida is in Galilee, the city of the Apostles Andrew, Peter, and Philip, near the lake of Gennesaret. Our Lord did not this from fear of death, (as some think,) but to spare His enemies, lest they should commit two murders, waiting also for the proper time for His own sufferings.

CHRYS. Now He did not depart before, but after it was told Him what had happened, manifesting in each particular the reality of His incarnation.

THEOPHYL. But our Lord went into a desert place because He was about to perform the miracle of the loaves of bread, that no one should say that the bread was brought from the neighboring cities.

CHRYS. Or He went into a desert place c that no one might follow Him. But the people did not retire, but accompanied Him, as it follows, And the people when they knew it, followed him.

CYRIL; Some indeed asking to be delivered from evil spirits, but others desiring of Him the removal of their diseases; those also who were delighted with His teaching attended Him diligently.

THEOPHYL; But He as the powerful and merciful Savior by receiving the weary, by teaching the ignorant, curing the sick, filling the hungry, implies how He was pleased with their devotion; as it follows, And he received them, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, &c.

THEOPHYL. That you may learn that the wisdom which is in us is distributed into word and work, and that it becomes us to speak of what has been done, and to do what we speak of. But when the day was wearing away, the disciples now beginning to have a care of others take compassion on the multitude.

CYRIL; For, as has been said, they sought to be healed of different diseases, and because the disciples saw that what they sought might be accomplished by His simple assent, they say, Send them away, that they be no more distressed. But mark the overflowing kindness of Him who is asked.

He not only grants those things which the disciples seek, but to those who follow Him, He supplies the bounty of a munificent hand, commanding food to be set before them; as it follows, But he said to them, Give you them to eat.

THEOPHYL. Now He said not this as ignorant of their answer, but wishing to induce them to tell Him how much bread they had, that so a great miracle might be manifested through their confession, when the quantity of bread was made known.

CYRIL; But this was a command which the disciples were unable to comply with, since they had with them but five loaves and two fishes. As it follows, And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we go and buy meat for all this people.

AUG. In these words indeed Luke has strung together in one sentence the answer of Philip, saying, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, but that every one may have a little, and the answer of Andrew, There is a lad here who has five loaves and two small fishes, as John relates. For when Luke says, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes, he refers to the answer of Andrew. But that which he added, Except we go and buy food for all the people, seems to belong to Philip’s answer, save that he is silent about the two hundred pennyworth, although this may be implied also in the expression of Andrew himself. For when he had said, There is a lad here who has five loaves and two fishes, he added, But what are these among so many? that is to say, unless we go and buy meat for all this people. From which diversity of words, but harmony of things and opinions, it is sufficiently evident that we have this wholesome lesson given us, that we must seek for nothing in words but the meaning of the speaker; and to explain this clearly, ought to be the care of all truth telling authors whenever they relate any thing concerning man, or angel, or God.

CYRIL; But that the difficulty of the miracle may be still more enhanced, the number of men is stated to have been by no means small. As it follows, And there were about five thousand men, besides women and children, as another Evangelist relates.

THEOPHYL. Our Lord teaches us, that when we entertain any one, we ought to make him sit down at meat, and partake of every comfort. Hence it follows, And he said to his disciples, &c.

AUG. That Luke says here, that the men were ordered to sit down by fifties, but Mark, by fifties and hundreds, does not matter, seeing that one spoke of a part, the other of the whole. But if one had mentioned only the fifties, and the other only the hundreds, they would seem to be greatly opposed to one another; nor would it be sufficiently distinct which of the two was said. But who will not admit, that one was mentioned by one Evangelist, the other by another, and that if more attentively considered it must be found so. But I have said thus much, because often certain things of this kind exist, which to those who take little heed and judge hastily appear contrary to one another, and yet are not so.

CHRYS. And to make men believe that He came from the Father, Christ when He was about to work the miracle looked up to heaven. As it follows, There he took the five loaves, &c.

CYRIL; This also He did purposely for our sakes, that we may learn that at the commencement of a feast when we are going to break bread, we ought to offer thanks for it to God, and to draw forth the heavenly blessing upon it. As it follows, And he blessed, and broke.

CHRYS. He distributes to them by the hands of His disciples, so honoring them that they might not forget it when the miracle was past. Now He did not create food for the multitude out of what did not exist, that He might stop the mouth of the Manichaeans, who say that the creatures are independent of Him; showing that He Himself is both the Giver of food, and, the same who said, Let the earth bring forth, &c. He makes also the fishes to increase, to signify that He has dominion over the seas, as weld as the dry land. But well did He perform a special miracle for the weak, at the same time that He gives also a general blessing in feeding all the strong as well as the weak. And they did all eat, and were filled.

GREG. NYSS. For whom neither the heaven rained manna, nor the earth brought forth corn according to its nature, but from the unspeakable garner of divine power the blessing was poured forth. The bread is supplied in the hands of those who serve, it is even increased through the fullness of those who eat. The sea supplied not their wants with the food of fishes, but He who placed in the sea the race of fishes.

AMBROSE; It is clear that the multitude were filled not by a scanty meal, but by a constant and increasing supply of food. You might see in an incomprehensible manner amid the hands of those who distributed, the particles multiplying which they broke not; the fragments too, touched by the fingers of the breakers, spontaneously mounting up.

CYRIL; Nor was this all that the miracle came to; but it follows, And there was taken up of the fragments that remained, twelve baskets, that this might be a manifest proof that a work of love to our neighbor will claim a rich reward from God.

THEOPHYL. And that we might learn the value of hospitality, and how much our own store is increased when we help those that need

CHRYS. But He caused not loaves to remain over, but fragments, that He might show them to be the remnants of the loaves, and these were made to be of that number, that there might be as many baskets as disciples.

AMBROSE; After that she who received the type of the Church was cured of the issue of blood, and that the Apostles were appointed to preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God, the nourishment of heavenly grace is imparted. but mark to whom it is imparted. Not to the indolent, not to those in a city, of rank in the synagogue, or in high secular office, but to those who seek Christ in the desert.

THEOPHYL; Who Himself having left Judea, which by unbelief had bereft herself of the source of prophecy, in the desert of the Church which had no husband, dispenses the food of the word. But many companies of the faithful leaving the city of their former manner of life, and their various opinions, follow Christ into the deserts of the Gentiles.

AMBROSE; But they who are not proud are themselves received by Christ, and the Word of God speaks with them, not about worldly things, but of the kingdom of God. And if any have ulcers of bodily passions, to these He willingly affords His cure. But every where the order of the mystery is preserved, that first through the remission of sins the wounds should be healed, but afterwards the nourishment of the heavenly table should plentifully abound.

THEOPHYL; Now when the day was going down, he refreshes the multitudes, that is, as the end of the world approaches, or when the Sun of righteousness sets for us.

AMBROSE; Although the multitude is not as yet fed with stronger food. For first, as milk, there are five loaves; secondly, seven; thirdly, the Body of Christ is the stronger food. But if any one fears to seek food, let him leave every thing that belongs to him, and listen to the word of God. But whoever begins to hear the word of God begins to eat, the Apostles begin to see him eating. And if they who eat, as yet know not what they eat, Christ knows; He knows that they eat not this world’s food, but the food of Christ. For they did not as yet know that the food of a believing people was not to be bought and sold. Christ knew that we are rather to be bought with a ransom, but His banquet to be without price.

THEOPHYL; The Apostles had only got but the five loaves of the Mosaic law, and the two fishes of each covenant, which were covered in the secret place of obscure mysteries, as in the waters of the deep. But because men have five external senses, the five thousand men who followed the Lord signify those who still live in worldly ways, knowing well how to use the external things they possess. For they who entirely renounce the world are raised aloft in the enjoyment of His Gospel feast. But the different divisions of the guests, indicate the different congregations of Churches throughout the world, which together compose the one Catholic.

AMBROSE; But here the bread which Jesus broke is mystically indeed the word of God, and discourse concerning Christ, which when it is divided is increased. For from these few words, He ministered abundant nourishment to the people. He gave us words like loaves, which while they are tasted by our mouth are doubled.

THEOPHYL; Now our Savior does not create new food for the hungry multitudes, but He took those things which the disciples had and blessed them, since coming in the flesh He preaches nothing else than what had been foretold, but demonstrates the words of prophecy to be pregnant with the mysteries of grace; He looks towards heaven, that thither He may teach us to direct the eye of the mind, there to seek the light of knowledge; He breaks and distributes to the disciples to be placed before the multitude, because He revealed to them the Sacraments of the Law and the Prophets that they might preach them to the world.

AMBROSE; Not without meaning are the fragments which remained over and above what the multitudes had eaten, collected by the disciples, since those things which are divine you may more easily find among the elect than among the people. Blessed is he who can collect those which remain over and above even to the learned. But for what reason did Christ fill twelve baskets, except that He might solve that word concerning the Jewish people, His hands served in the basket? that is, the people who before collected mud for the pots, now through the cross of Christ gather up the nourishment of the heavenly life. Nor is this the office of few, but all. For by the twelve baskets, as if of each of the tribes, the foundation of the faith is spread abroad.

THEOPHYL; Or by the twelve baskets the twelve Apostles are figured, and all succeeding teachers, despised indeed by men without, but within loaded with the fragments of saving food.

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General Douglas MacArthur’s Tribute To American Servicemen

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2010

John Trumbull's famous painting (A.D. 1786)

Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast.

But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory’s eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.

And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.  (Sources: ImageQuote)

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May 30~Resources For Trinity Sunday Mass (Both Forms of the Rite)

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2010

This post contains resources to help prepare for this Sunday’s Mass.  These resources include both Forms of the Roman Rite.  At the end of the post I’ve included a few links to online theological works for those who may need to “brush up” on their knowledge of the Trinity.

Readings From the NAB.

Haydock Bible CommentaryReadings from the Douay-Rheims Bible followed by notes from the Old Haydock Commentary.

Cornelius a Lapide on John 16:12-15Notes on the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday by the famed 17th Century Jesuit scholar.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 16:12-15Commentary from the Fathers compiled by St Thomas Aquinas.

Bernardine de Piconio on Romans 5:1-5Notes on this Sunday’s Epistle reading from a popular 17th century commentator/Capuchin Monk.

Bishop MacEvily on Romans 5:1-5 for Trinity Sunday.

Aquinas’ Commentary on Psalm 8 for Trinity Sunday. Latin and English in Parallel columns.

Word Sunday: Readings and notes.

  • FIRST READING The book of Proverbs spoke highly of wisdom. This virtue came from God and led others back to God. It was a virtue to seek and cherish.
  • PSALM Psalm 8 spoke to the majesty of God and the awesome display of power in creation.
  • SECOND READING In Romans 5, St. Paul spoke to the Christian life, a life built upon a hope that endures suffering. A life in the Trinity.
  • GOSPEL The gospel of John described what the Spirit would do for the believer. The Spirit will bring a person to the truth, not a philosophic or scientific truth, but a true relationship with the Father through the Son.

The Most Holy TrinityBrief audio podcast by Dr. Scott Hahn.  Highlights major themes of the readings.

God Has SpokenAudio homily by Fr Robert Barron.

Thoughts From The Early ChurchAn excerpt St Hilary of Poitiers’ ON THE TRINITY.

Scripture In DepthUsually does a good job of relating the readings together.


St John Chrysostom on Romans 11:33-36 For Trinity Sunday.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 28:18-20 for Trinity SundayReading in the Extraordinary Form of the Rite.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes for Trinity SundayUseful for meditation or further study.

The following links are to pages in an online book.  You may have to scroll down slightly to find the beginning of the sermon.  You may also wish  to use the zoom feature to increase the text size for easier reading.  The feature is located at the top left side of page.

The Mystery of the Most Holy TrinityHomily on the Epistle Reading.  Note that this homily differs from the one below, though they share the same title.

The Commission and Promises Christ Gave to His DisciplesHomily on the Gospel.

The Mystery of the Most Holy TrinityThis is a dogmatic homily and differs from the one above.

The Blessing of the Most Holy TrinityA liturgical sketch.

The Holy Sign of the CrossA symbolical sketch.

The Worship of the Most Holy Trinity. a dogmatic/liturgical sketch.

The Ceremonies of BaptismA liturgica.l/moral sketch.


Theology And Sanity Chapters 6, 7, & 8 of Frank Sheed’s famous introduction to Catholic Theology.  This work is still under copyright in the US.

Three Persons in One GodFrom God, The Teacher of Mankind by Michael Mueller.

Outlines of Dogmatic TheologyA series of dogmatic essays on various points of the doctrine.

A Manual of Catholic TheologyA condensed version of Matthias Scheeben’s famous work.

The Divine Trinity: A Dogmatic TreatiseA complete book on the subject.

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St John Chrysostom on Romans 11:33-36 For Trinity Sunday (Extraordinary Form)

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2010

The following is excerpted from a much longer exegetical homily on Romans 11:7-35 which can be read in full here.

Rm 11,33. “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments!”

Here after going back to former times, and looking back to God’s original dispensation of things whereby the world hath existed up to the present time, and having considered what special provision He had made for all occurrences, he is stricken with awe, and cries aloud, so making his hearers feel confident that certainly that will come to pass which he saith. For he would not have cried aloud and been awe-struck, unless this was quite sure to come to pass. That it is a depth then, he knows: but how great, he knows not. For the language is that of a person wondering, not of one that knew the whole. But admiring and being awe-struck at the goodliness, so far forth as in him lay, he heralds it forth by two intensitive words, riches and depth, and then is awestruck at His having had both the will and the power to do all this, and by opposites effecting opposites. “How unsearchable are His judgments.” For they are not only impossible to be comprehended, but even to be searched. “And His ways past finding out;” that is, His dispensations for these also are not only impossible to be known, but even to be sought into. For even I, he means, have not found out the whole, but a little part, not all. For He alone knoweth His own clearly. Wherefore he proceeds:

+Rm 11,34-35. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?”

61  What he means is nearly this: that though He is so wise, yet He has not His Wisdom from any other, but is Himself the Fountain of good things. And though He hath done so great things, and made us so great presents, yet it was not by borrowing from any other that He gave them, but by making them spring forth from Himself; nor as owing any a return for having received from him, but as always being Himself the first to do the benefits; for this is a chief mark of riches, to overflow abundantly, and yet need no aid. Wherefore he proceeds to say, “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things.” Himself devised, Himself created, Himself worketh together (Vulg). sugkratei, mss. sugkrotei ). For He is rich, and needeth not to receive from another. And wise, and needeth no counsellor. Why speak I of a counsellor? To know the things of Him is no one able, save Himself alone, the Rich and Wise One. For it is proof of much riches that He should make them of the Gentiles thus well supplied; and of much wisdom that He should constitute the inferiors of the Jews their teachers. Then as he was awe-struck he offers up thanksgiving also in the word, “To Whom be glory forever. Amen.

For when he tells of any great and unutterable thing of this kind, he ends in wonder with a doxology. And this he does in regard to the Son also. For in that passage also he went on to the very same thing that he does here. “Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, Who is over all God blessed forever. Amen. (Rm 9,5).

Him then let us also imitate, and let us glorify God in all things, by a heedful way of life, and let us not feel confidence in the virtues of our ancestry, knowing the example that has been made of the Jews. For this is not, certainly it is not, the relationship of Christians, for theirs is the kinsmanship of the Spirit. So the Scythian becometh Abraham’s son: and his son on the other hand more of an alien to him than the Scythian. Let us not then feel confidence in the well-doings of our fathers (most mss. “of others”), but if you have a parent who is a marvel even, fancy not that this will be enough to save you, or to get you honor and glory, unless you have the relationship of character to him. So too if you have a bad one, do not think that you will be condemned on this account, or be put to shame if at least you order your own doings aright. For what can be less honorable than the Gentiles? still in faith they soon became related to the Saints. Or what more nearly connected than the Jews? Yet still by unbelief they were made aliens. For that relationship is of nature and necessity, after which we are all relations. For of Adam we all sprung, and none can be more a relation than another, both as regards Adam and as regards Noah, and as regards the earth, the common mother of all. But the relationship worthy of honors, is that which does distinguish us from the wicked. For it is not possible for all to be relations in this way, but those of the same character only. Nor do we call them brothers who come of the same labor with ourselves, but those who display the same zeal. In this way Christ giveth men the name of children of God, and so on the other hand children of the devil, and so too children of disobedience, of hell, and of perdition likewise. So Timothy was Paul’s son from goodness and was called “mine own son” 15 (1Tm 1,2): but of his sister’s son we do not know even the name. And yet the one was by nature related to him, and still that availed him not. But the other being both by nature and country far removed from him (as being a native of Lystra), still became most nearly related. Let us then also become the sons of the Saints, or rather let us become even God’s sons. For that it is possible to become sons of God, hear what he says, “Be ye therefore perfect, as your father which is in Heaven.” (Mt 5,48). This is why we call Him Father in prayer, and that not only to remind ourselves of the grace, but also of virtue, that we may not do aught unworthy of such a relationship. And how it may be said is it possible to be a son of God? by being free from all passions, and showing gentleness to them that affront and wrong us. For thy Father is so to them that blaspheme Him. Wherefore, though He says various things at various times, yet in no case does He say that ye may be like your Father, but when He says, “Pray for them that despitefully use you, do good to them that hate you” (Mt 5,44), then He brings in this as the reward. For there is nothing that brings us so near to God, and makes us so like Him, as this well-doing. Therefore Paul also, when he says, “Be ye followers of God” (Ep 5,1), means them to be so in this respect. For we have need of all good deeds, chiefly however of love to man and gentleness, since we need so much of His love to man ourselves. For we commit many transgressions every day. Wherefore also we have need to show much mercy. But much and little is not measured by the quantity of things given, but by the amount of the givers’ means. Let not then the rich be high-minded, nor the poor dejected as giving so little, for the latter often gives more than the former. We must not then make ourselves miserable because we are poor, since it makes alms-giving the easier for us. For he that has got much together is seized with haughtiness, as well as a greater affection to that (or “lust beyond that”) he has. But he that hath but a little is quit of either of these domineering passions: hence he finds more occasions for doing well. For this man will go cheerfully into a a prison-house, and will visit the sick, and will give a cup of cold water. But the other will not take upon him any office of this sort, as pampered up (flegmainwn, by his riches. Be not then out of heart at thy poverty. For thy poverty makes thy traffic for heaven the easier to thee. And if thou have nothing, but have a compassionating soul, even this will be laid up as a reward for thee. Hence too Paul bade us “weep with them that weep” (Rm 12,15), and exhorted us to be to prisoners as though bound with them. (He 13,3). For it is not to them that weep only that it yieldeth some solace that there be many that compassionate them, but to them who are in other afflicting circumstances. For there are cases where conversation has as muchpower to recover him that is cast down as money. For this then God exhorts us to give money to them that ask, not merely with a view to relieve their poverty, but that He may teach us to compassionate the misfortunes of our neighbors. For this also the covetous man is odious, in that he not only disregards men in a beggared state, but because he gets himself trained (aleifetai) for cruelty and great inhumanity. And so he that, for their sakes, thinks little of money, is even on this account an object of love, that he is merciful and kind to man. And Christ, when He blesseth the merciful, blesseth and praiseth not those only that give the alms of money, but those also who have the will to do so. Let us then be so inclinable to mercy, and all other blessings will follow, for he that hath a spirit of love and mercy, if he have money, will give it away, or if he see any in distress, will weep and bewail it; if he fall in with a person wronged, will stand up for him; if he sees one spitefully entreated, will reach out his hand to him. For as he has that treasure-house of blessings, a loving and merciful soul, he will make it a fountain for all his brethren’s needs, and will enjoy all he rewards that are laid up with God (Field with 4 mss. tw Qew). That we then may attain to these, let us of all things frame our souls accordingly. For so, while in this world, we shall do good deeds without number, and shall enjoy the crowns to come. To which may we all attain by the grace and love toward man, etc).

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Aquinas’ Homily Notes For Trinity Sunday (May 30)

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2010


Rom. xi. 33. — ” O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and
knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are His judgments, and
His ways past finding out.”

THREE points are to be noted in these words which are contemplated as belonging to God — (i) His Divinity, (2) His Unity, (3) His Trinity. Firstly Divinity, then Trinity in Divinity, and Unity in Trinity. Divinity of majesty, Trinity of persons, Unity of essence. This implied statement of doctrine refutes three errors which we
sometimes find held respecting God. Some persons fall into error concerning His Divinity, not allowing God to be God: “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God” (Ps. xiv. 1). Others there are who assign to the creature the attributes of God, and who worship it rather than Him: “Who worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. v. 25). Others, also, are in error as to the Unity of God, saying that there be Gods many and Lords many.

I. On the first head is to be noted the Divinity of the Godhead. The Divinity of the Godhead includes three perfections —

  • (1) depth or heighth,
  • (2) fulness,
  • (3) breadth or space. And these are according to three other corresponding qualities which unite in God — (1) nature, (2) power, (3) operation.

Firstly, God is high in nature. ” Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” (iS. 11m. vi. 16).

Secondly* God is full of power, since with Him are the riches of wisdom.

Thirdly, He is also broad and universal in His works; for “His judgments are unsearchable, and His ways past finding out.” ” His judgments,” or decrees, by which He ordains all things; ” His ways,” or means, by which His works and operations are carried on.

To these three attributes can be applied seriatim the several clauses in the following passage : — “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” (Rom. xi. 34> 35)-

II. On the second head, the Trinity of Persons, we note —

(i) That this doctrine is expressed by the words, ” For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things” (id. v. 36), in which the distinction of persons is so fully
sustained by the use of the three separate prepositions.

Firstly, ” of Him” is the same as ” out of Him,” which marks the authority of the head or beginning, and therefore the ” out of Him” is understood of the Father, Who
is the fount and origin of the Divinity.

Secondly, the word “through” signifies the manner of operation; and, therefore, in this instance, the i€ through Him” applies to the Son. ” All things were made by Him;and without Him was not anything made that was made” (S. John i. 3).

The ” to Him” many also mean “in Him.” In either case it denotes a certain preservation which enables us to apply this “to Him” to God the Holy Ghost.

This is one way in which the threefold personality of the one Godhead is set forth.

(2) Another method is by the naming of distinct persons — as mentioning “the Father,” “the Son,” and “the Holy Ghost.”

Lastly, by assigning certain attributes to particular persons of this Godhead. Thus God the Father is represented by power; God the Son, by wisdom; and God the Holy Ghost, by goodness.

III. On the third head is to be noted the Unity of the Godhead. This is expressed by the words ” to Whom” as of one person ; the word is used in the singular, not
in the plural.

About this glory three points are to be noted, for it ought to be referred to themselves, that is to say — firstly, glory of heart ; secondly, glory of mouth; thirdly, glory of work. Or one glory on account of creation ; another glory on account of redemption ; a third glory by glorification hereafter.

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Latest Addition To The Index Of Forbidden Kooks

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 27, 2010

Ed “Sergeant”  Schultz is without a doubt one of the worst informed members of the pseudo-news organization MSNBC.  He recently expressed fear that the 1,200 guardsmen sent to patrol the Mexican/American border had “shoot to kill” orders regarding illegal aliens, this in spite of the fact that the guardsmen are unarmed and on a mission to control drug smuggling, not illegal immigration.

By the way, the pinhead who decided to send the guardsmen down there unarmed deserves a permanent spot on the index.

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