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 the ‘Catechetical Resources’ Category

Sunday, October 27, 2013: Commentaries and Resources for Sunday Mass (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 21, 2013

This post contains resources (mostly biblical and homiletic) for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.




Today’s Mass Readings (NABRE). Translation used in the USA.

Today’s Mass Readings (NJB). Scroll down slightly. The NJB is used in most other English speaking countries.

Today’s Divine Office.

Anglican Use Daily Office. ”Briefly, it is a provision for an “Anglican style” liturgy similar to the Book of Common Prayer as an ecclesiastically approved variant on the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.” More info.


Navarre Bible Commentary on Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18.

Word-Sunday Notes on Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 34.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 34.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 34.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 34.


Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18.

Word-Sunday Notes on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18.

Homilist’s Catechism on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18.


Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 18:9-14.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 18:9-14.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

Homilist’s Catechism on Luke 18:9-14.


St Augustine’s Homily on Luke 18:9-14.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Luke 18:10. Can be used for homily suggestions, points for meditation or further study.

Humility: A Homily on Luke 18:13.

Pride: A Homily on Luke 18:14.

Father Howe’s Homily Notes on the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.


Sacred Page Blog: What Does It Mean To Be Poor? Reflections on the readings from Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma.

St Charles Borromeo Parish Bible Study. Notes on all the readings.

Lector Notes. Historical and theological background on the readings.

Gospel Summary with Life Implications. St Vincent’s Archabbey.

Historical Cultural Context. Examines the gospel in light of the 1st century Mediterranean world.

Thoughts From the Early Church. Brief excerpt on the gospel from Gregory Palamas.

Scripture in Depth. Brief look at all the readings.

The Bible Workshop. Links to relevant articles, a reading guide on the gospel, review of the readings, suggested lessons (homily ideas).

Prepare For Mass. Various links, videos, etc.


Dr Scott Hahn’s Sunday Bible Reflections. Brief. Usually highlights the theme(s) of the readings.

St Martha’s Parish Bible Study Podcast. Looks at the readings in some detail.

Franciscan Sister’s Bible Study Podcast. Archive page. New studies posted on Thursdays.

Father Mcllhone’s Lecture on Luke, Session 17. Looks at a several different topics from Luke, including the parable in today’s gospel.

Father Rober Barron’s Homily Podcast. From the noted speaker, writer and theologian.

Father Francis Martin’s Reflections on the Readings in Four Parts: Each approx. 15 minutes.

1. Introductory Reflection on Humility.

2. On the First Reading and Responsorial.

3. On the Second Reading.

4. On the Gospel Reading.

In festo Domino nostro Jesu Christi Regis ~ I. classis
Commemoratio: Dominica XXIII Post Pentecosten V. Octobris


Daily Roman Missal. Be sure correct date is set.

Roman Breviary. Be sure correct date is set.


Father Callan’s Commentary on Colossians 1:12-20. On 9-23.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Colossians 1:12-20.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Colossians 1:12-20. On 9-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Colossians 1:12-20.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Colossians 1:12-20. Read lectures 3, 4, and 5.


My Notes on John 18:33-37.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 18:33-37.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 18:33-37.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on John 18:33-37. Scroll down to lecture 6.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic Sunday Lectionary | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 16, 2013

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, that ye resist not the evil:1 but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”

Seest thou that it was not of an eye that He was speaking before, when He made the law to pluck out the offending eye, but of him who by his friendship is harming us, and casting us into the gulf of destruction? For He who in this place uses so great strength of expression, and who, not even when another is plucking out your eye, permits you to strike out his; how should He have made it a law to strike out one’s own?

But if any one accuses the ancient law, because it commands such retaliation, he seems to me very unskillful in the wisdom that becomes a legislator, and ignorant of the virtue of opportunities, and the gain of condescension. For if he considered who were the hearers of these sayings, and how they were disposed, and when they received this code of laws, he will thoroughly admit the wisdom of the Lawgiver, and will see that it is one and the same, who made both those laws and these, and who wrote each of them exceeding profitably, and in its due season. Yes, for if at the beginning He had introduced these high and most weighty commandments, men would not have received either these, or the others; but now ordaining them severally in their due time, He hath by the two corrected the whole world.

And besides, He commanded this, not that we might strike out one another’s eyes, but that we might keep our hands to ourselves. For the threat of suffering hath effectually restrained our inclination to be doing.

And thus in fact He is silently dropping seed of much self-restraint, at least in that He commands to retaliate with just the same acts. Yet surely he that began such transgression were worthy of a greater punishment, and this the abstract nature of justice2 demands. But forasmuch as He was minded to mingle mercy also with justice, He condemns him whose offenses were very great to a punishment less than his desert: teaching us even while we suffer to show forth great consideration.

Having therefore mentioned the ancient law, and recognized it all, He signifies again, that it is not our brother who hath done these deeds, but the evil one. For this cause he hath also subjoined, “But I say unto you, that ye resist not the evil one.” He did not say, “resist not your brother,” but “the evil one,” signifying that on his motion men dare so to act; and in this way relaxing and secretly removing most of our anger against the aggressor, by transferring the blame to another.

“What then?” it is said, “ought we not to resist the evil one?” Indeed. we ought, but not in this way, but as He hath commanded, by giving one’s self up to suffer wrongfully; for thus shall thou prevail over him. For one fire is not quenched by another, but fire by water. And to show thee that even under the old law he that suffered rather prevails, that he it is who wins the crown; examine just what is done, and thou wilt see that his advantage is great. For as he that hath begun with unjust acts, will have himself destroyed the eyes of both, his neighbor’s and his own (wherefore also he is justly hated of all, and ten thousand accusations are aimed at him): so he that hath been injured, even after his equal retaliation, will have done nothing horrible. Wherefore also he hath many to sympathize with him, as being clear from that offense even after he hath retaliated. And though the calamity be equal to both parties, yet the sentence passed on it is not equal, either with God, or with men. It should seem then, that neither is the calamity equal in the end.

Now whereas at the beginning He said, “he that is angry with his brother without a cause,” and “he that calleth him feel shall be in danger of hell fire,” here He requires yet more entire self-restraint, commanding him that suffers ill not merely to be quiet, but even to be more exceedingly earnest in his turn,3 by offering the other cheek.

And this He saith, not as legislating about such a blow as this only, but as teaching also what forbearance we should practise in all our other trials. For just as when He saith, “whose calleth his brother feel, is in danger of hell,” He speaks not of this word only, but also of all reviling; even so here also He is making a law, not so much for our bearing it manfully, when smitten, as that we should be undisturbed, whatever we suffer. Because of this He both there singled out the extremest insult, and here hath set down that which seems to be of all blows most opprobrious, the blow on the cheek, so full of all insolence. And He commands this as having regard both of him that strikes and of him that is stricken. Since both he that is insulted will not think that he suffers any harm, being thus framed to self-restraint (nay, he will not even have any sense of the insult, as striving rather for a prize than as receiving a blow); and he that is offering the affront will be made ashamed, and not add a second blow, though he be fiercer than any wild beast, yea, rather will condemn himself heartily for the former. For nothing so restrains the wrong doers, as when the injured bear what is done with gentleness. And it not only restrains them from rushing onward, but works upon them also to repent for what has gone before, and in wonder at such forbearance to draw back. And it makes them more our own, and causes them to be slaves, not merely friends, instead of haters and enemies; even as avenging one’s self does just the contrary: for it both disgraces each of the two, and makes them worse, and their anger it heightens into a greater flame; yea, often no less than death itself is the end of it, going on from bad to worse. Wherefore He not only forbade thee to be angry when smitten, but even enjoined thee to satiate the other’s desire, that so neither may the former blow appear to have befallen thee against thy will. For thus, lost as he may be to shame, thou wilt be able to smite him with a mortal blow, rather than if thou hadst smitten him with thine hand; or if his shamelessness be still greater, thou wilt make him gentle in proportion.

2. “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”4

For not in the matter of blows only, but of our goods also, He would have such forbearance exhibited. Wherefore He again employs the same strong figure.5 That is, as in the other case He commands to overcome in suffering, so here again, by allowing ourselves to be deprived of more than the wrong doer expected. However, He did not put it so merely, but with something to enhance it: not saying, “give thy cloak to him that asketh,” but “to him that would sue thee at the law,” that is, “if he drag thee into court, and give thee trouble.”

And just as, after He had bidden not to call another fool, nor to be angry without cause, He went on and required more, in that He commanded to offer the right cheek also; even so here, having said, “Agree with thine adversary,” He again amplifies the precept. For now He orders us not only to give what the other would have, but even to show forth a greater liberality.

“What then!” one may say, “am I to go about naked?” We should not be naked, if we obeyed these sayings with exactness; rather more abundantly than any should we be clothed. For first, no one would attack men of this disposition; and next, if there chanced to be any one so savage and ungentle, as to proceed even so far, yet many more would be found to clothe him, who acted with such self-denial, not with garments only, but even with their own flesh, if it were possible.

Further: even though one were of necessity to go about naked on account of this sort of self-denial, neither so were it any disgrace. Since Adam too was “naked”6 in paradise, “and was not ashamed;” and Isaiah was “naked, and barefoot,” and more glorious than all the Jews;7 and Joseph8 also, when he stripped himself, did then more than ever shine forth. For to be thus naked is no evil, but to be so clad, as we now are, with costly garments, this is both disgraceful and ridiculous. For this cause, you see, those had praise of God, but these He blames, both by prophets and by apostles.

Let us not therefore suppose His injunctions impossible. Nay, for besides their expediency, they are very easy, if we are sober-minded; and the profit of them is so great as to be an exceeding help, not to ourselves only, but to those also who are using us despitefully. And in this chiefly stands their excellence, that while they induce us to suffer wrong, they by the same means teach them also that do the wrong to control themselves. For while he on his part thinks it a great thing to take what belongs to others, but thou signifiest to him, that to thee it is easy to give even what he doth not ask: while thou bringest in liberality for a counterpoise to his meanness, and a wise moderation to his covetousness: consider what a lesson he will get, being taught not by sayings, but by actual deeds, to scorn vice and to seek after virtue.

For God will have us profitable not to ourselves alone, but to all our neighbors as well. Now if thou givest, and abstainest from suing, thou hast sought thine own advantage only; but if thou give him some other thing, thou hast made him too better, and so sent him away. Of this nature is salt, which is what He would have them to be; seeing it both recruits9 itself, and keeps all other bodies with which it may associate: of this nature is light; for it shows objects both to a man’s self and to all others. Forasmuch then as He hath set thee in the rank of these things, help thou likewise him who is sitting in darkness, and teach him that neither before did he take any thing by force: persuade him that he hath done no despite. Yea, for thus thou thyself also wilt be had in more respect and reverence, if thou signify that thou gavest freely and wert not robbed. Make therefore his sin, through thy moderation, an instance of thine own bounty.

3. And if thou think this a great thing, wait, and thou wilt see clearly, that neither yet hast thou attained to perfection. For not even here doth He stop with thee, who is laying down the laws of patient endurance, but He proceeds even further, thus saying,

“If any one shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him twain.”10

Seest thou the height of self-denial? in this at least, that after giving thy coat, and thy cloak, not even if thine enemy should wish to use thy naked body for hardships and labors, not even so (saith He), must thou forbid him. For He would have us possess all things in common, both our bodies and our goods, as with them that are in need, so with them that insult us: for the latter comes of manliness, the former of mercifulness.

Because of this, He said, “If any one shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him twain:” again leading thee higher up, and commanding thee to show forth the same kind of ambition.

For if the things of which He spake at the beginning, being far less than these, have so great blessings pronounced on them; consider what sort of portion awaits them, who duly perform these, and what they become even before their rewards, in a human and passible11 body winning entire freedom from passion. Since when neither insult, nor blows, nor the spoiling of their property, galls them; while they give way to no such thing, but rather add in large measure to their endurance; reflect what kind of training their soul is undergoing.

On this account then, as in regard of blows, as in regard of our goods, so in this case also, He hath bidden us act. “For why,” saith He, “do I mention insult, and property? Though he should want to make use of thy very own limbs for toil and weary work, and this unjustly, do thou again conquer and overpass His unjust desire.”

For “to compel”12 is this, to drag unjustly and without any reason, and by way of despite. Nevertheless, for this also be thou ready in thy station, so as to suffer more than the other would fain do to thee.

“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.”13

These last are less than what went before; but marvel not, for this He is ever wont to do, mingling the small with the great. And if these be little in comparison with those, let them hearken, who take the goods of others, who distribute their own among harlots, and kindle to themselves a double fire, both by the unrighteous income, and by the pernicious outlay.

But by “borrowing,” here, He means not the compact with usury, but the use merely. And elsewhere He even amplifies it, saying that we should give to them, from whom we do not expect to receive?

4. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them which despitefully use you: bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you. That ye may become like14 your Father which is in Heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”15

See how He hath set the highest pinnacle on our good deeds. For this is why He teaches not only to endure a blow, but to offer the right cheek also; not only to add the cloak to the coat, but to travel also two miles with him who compels thee to go one; in order that thou mightest receive with all facility that which is much more than these. “But what,” one may say, “is more than these?” Not even to count as an enemy him who is doing these things: or rather even somewhat else more than this. For He said not, “do not hate,” but “love;” He said not, “do not injure,” but “do good.”

And if any one should examine accurately, he will see that even to these things somewhat is added, much greater than they are. For neither did He simply command to love, but to pray.

Seest thou how many steps He hath ascended, and how He hath set us on the very summit of virtue? Nay, mark it, numbering from the beginning. A first step is, not to begin with injustice: a second, after he hath begun, to vindicate one’s self by equal retaliation; a third, not to do unto him that is vexing us the same that one hath suffered, but to be quiet; a fourth, even to give one’s self up to suffer wrongfully; a fifth, to give up yet more than the other, who did the wrong, wishes; a sixth, not to hate him who hath done so; a seventh, even to love him; an eighth, to do him good also; a ninth, to entreat God Himself on his behalf. Seest thou, what height of self-command? Wherefore glorious too, as we see, is the reward which it hath. That is, because the thing enjoined was great, and needed a fervent16 soul, and much earnestness, He appoints for it also such a reward, as for none of the former. For He makes not mention here of earth, as with respect to the meek; nor of comfort and mercy, as with regard to the mourners and the merciful; nor of the kingdom of Heaven; but of that which was more thrilling than all; our becoming like God, in such wise as men might become so. For He saith, “That ye may become like unto your Father which is in Heaven.”

And observe, I pray thee, how neither in this place, nor in the preceding parts, doth He call Him His own Father, but in that instance, “God,” and “a great King,” when he was discoursing about oaths, and here, “their Father.” And this He doth, as reserving for the proper season what He had to say touching these points.

5. Then, bringing the likeness yet closer, He saith,

“Because He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain upon just and unjust.”17

“For He too, so far from hating.” so He speaks, “even pours benefits on those that insult Him.” Yet surely in no respect is the case parallel, not only because of the surpassing nature of His benefits, but also by reason of the excellence of His dignity. For thou indeed art despised by thy fellow-slave, but He by His slave, who hath also received ten thousand benefits from Him: and thou indeed givest words, in praying for him, but He, deeds, very great and marvellous, kindling the sun, and giving the annual showers. “Nevertheless, even so I grant thee to be mine equal, in such wise as it is possible for a man so to be.”

Hate not then the man that doeth thee wrong, who is procuring thee such good things, and bringing thee to so great honor. Curse not him that uses thee despitefully; for so hast thou undergone the labor, but art deprived of the fruit; thou wilt bear the loss, but lose the reward; which is of the utmost folly, having borne the more grievous, not to bear what is less than it. “But how,” saith one, “is it possible for this to take place?” Having seen God become man, and descend so far, and suffer so much for thy sake, dost thou still inquire and doubt, how it is possible to forgive thy fellow-servants their injuriousness? Hearest thou not Him on the cross, saying, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do?”18 Hearest thou not Paul, when he saith, “He who is gone up on high, and is sitting on the right hand intercedeth for us?”19 Seest thou not that even after the cross, and after He had been received up, He sent the apostles unto the Jews that had slain Him, to bring them His ten thousand blessings, and this, though they were to suffer ten thousand terrors at their hands?

6. But hast thou been greatly wronged? Nay, what hast thou endured like thy Lord, bound, beaten with whips, with rods, spit upon by servants, enduring death, and that death, which is of all deaths the most shameful, after ten thousand favors shown? And even if thou hast been greatly wronged, for this very cause most of all do thou do him good, that thou mayest both make thine own crown more glorious, and set thy brother free from the worst infirmity. For so too the physicians, when they are kicked, and shamefully handled by the insane, then most of all pity them, and take measures for their perfect cure, knowing that the insult comes of the extremity of their disease. Now I bid thee too have the same mind touching them that are plotting against thee, and do thou so treat them that are injuring thee. For it is they above all that are diseased, it is they who are undergoing all the violence. Deliver him then from this grievous contumely, and grant him to let go his anger, and set him free from that grievous demon, wrath. Yea, for if we see persons possessed by devils, we weep for them; we do not seek to be ourselves also possessed.

Now let us do this too likewise with respect to them that are angry; for in truth the enraged are like the possessed; yea rather, are more wretched than they, being mad with consciousness of it. Wherefore also their frenzy is without excuse. Trample not then on the fallen, but rather pity him. For so, should we see any one troubled with bile, blinded and giddy, and straining to east up this evil humor, we stretch forth a hand, and continue to support him through his struggles, and though we stain our garments, we regard it not, but seek one thing only, how we may set him free from this grievous distress. This then let us do with respect to the angry also, and continue to bear them up when vomiting and struggling; nor let him go, until he put from him all the bitterness. And then shall he feel toward thee the greatest thankfulness; when he is at rest, then he will know clearly from how great trouble thou hast released him.

But why do I speak of the thanks from him? for God will straightway crown thee, and will requite thee with ten thousand honors, because thou hast freed thy brother from a grievous disease; and that brother too will honor thee as a master, ever reverencing thy forbearance.

Seest thou not the women that are in travail, how they bite those that stand by, and they are not pained? or rather they are pained, but bear it bravely, and sympathize with them who are in sorrow and are torn by those pangs. These do thou too emulate, and prove not softer than women. For after these women have brought forth (for these men are more feeble minded than women), then they will know thee to be a man in comparison.20

And if the things enjoined be grievous, consider that to this end Christ came, that He might implant these things in our mind, that He might render us profitable both to enemies and friends. Wherefore also He commands us to have a care of both these: of our brethren, when He saith, “If thou bring thy gift;” of our enemies, when He makes a law both to love them, and to pray for them.

7. And not only from the example they have in God, doth He urge them on to this, but also from the contrary.

“For if ye love those,” saith He, “that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?”21 This Paul also saith, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”22 If then thou doest these things, thou hast taken thy stand with God; but if thou forsakest them, with the publicans. Seest thou how that the interval between the commandments is not so great as the difference between the persons? Let us not therefore infer this, “the injunction is hard;” but let us consider also the reward, and think whom we are like, if we duly perform it, and to whom equal, if we wander from it.

Thus then to our brother He commands us to be reconciled, and not to desist till we have removed the enmity: but when He is discoursing of persons generally, He subjects us no longer to this necessity, but requires only what is on our part; in this way also making the law easy. For inasmuch as He had said, “They persecuted the prophets which were before you;” lest on occasion of those very words they should be unfavorably disposed towards them, He bids them not only to endure such as do so, but even to love them.

8. Seest thou how He pulls up by the roots wrath, and sensual lusts, as well as that of riches, that of glory, all that belongs to this life? For this he had done indeed from the first, but much more now. For the poor, and the meek, and the mourner, empties himself of his anger; the just and the merciful, of the lust of riches; the pure in heart is delivered from wicked lusts; he that is persecuted and suffers insults, and is evil spoken of, is practising of course entire contempt of things present, and is clear from pride and vainglory.

Having therefore loosed the hearer from these bonds, and having anointed him for the conflicts, again in another way He roots up these passions, and with increased strictness. For having begun by anger, and having cut out on every side the sinews of this passion; having said, “he that is angry with his brother,” and “he that calleth fool,” or “Rata,” let him be punished: and “he that is offering his gift, let him not approach the table until he have done away the enmity;” and “he that hath an adversary, before he see the tribunal, let him make the enemy a friend:” He makes a transition to lust again, and saith, “he that beholds with unchaste eyes, let him be punished as an adulterer;” whoso is offended by an unchaste woman, or by a man, or by any other of those belonging to him, let him cut off all these; “he that hath a woman by law of marriage, let him never cast her out, and look to another.” For hereby He hath pulled up the roots of wicked lust. Then after this He restrains the love of riches, commanding neither to swear, nor to lie, nor to keep hold of the very cloak with which one may chance to be clad, but rather to give up one’s coat too, to him who would have it, and one’s bodily services; completely and more than completely taking away our longing for riches. Then after all these things, and the varied garland of these commandments, He goes on to say “pray for them which despitefully use you:” leading us up to the very highest summit of self-control.

For as being meek is not so much as to take smiting, nor being merciful, as to give one’s coat also together with one’s cloak, nor being just, as to bear injury, nor being a peacemaker, as to follow even when smitten and compelled; so also to suffer persecution is not so much as to bless when persecuted. Seest thou how by degrees He leads us up into the very arches, of Heaven?

9. What then can we deserve, who are commanded to emulate God, and are perhaps in a way not so much as to equal the publicans? For if “to love them that love us” be the part of publicans, sinners, and heathens: when we do not even this (and we do it not, so long as we envy our brethren who are in honor), what penalty shall we not incur, commanded as we are to surpass the scribes, and taking our place below the heathens? How then shall we behold the kingdom, I pray thee? how shall we set foot on that holy threshold, who are not surpassing even the publicans? For this He covertly signified, when He said, “Do not even the publicans the same?”

And this thing most especially we may admire in His teaching, that while in each instance He sets down with very great fullness the prizes of the conflicts; such as “to see God,” and “to inherit the kingdom of Heaven,” and “to become sons of God,” and “like God,” and “to obtain mercy,” and “to be comforted,” and “the great reward:” if anywhere He must needs mention things grievous, He doth this in a subdued tone. Thus in the first place, the name of hell He hath set down once only in so many sentences; and in some other instances too, it is with reserve that He corrects the hearer, and as though he were managing His discourse rather in the way of shaming than threatening him; where He saith, “do not even the publicans the same?” and, “if the salt have lost its savor;” and, “he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven.”

And there are places where He puts down the sin itself by way of punishment, leaving to the hearer to infer the grievousness of the punishment: as when He saith, “he hath committed adultery with her in his heart;” and, “he that putteth away causeth her to commit adultery;” and, “That which is more than these is of the evil one.” For to them that have understanding, instead of the mention of the punishment, the very greatness of the sin is sufficient for correction.

Wherefore also He here brings forward the heathens and the publicans, by the quality of the person putting the disciple to shame. Which Paul too did, saying, “Sorrow not, even as the rest which have no hope;”23 and, “Even as the Gentiles which know not God.”24

And to signify that He requires nothing very overpowering, but a little more than was accustomed, He saith,

“Do not even the Gentiles25 the same?”26 Yet nevertheless He stops not the discourse at this, but makes it end with His rewards, and those good hopes, saying,

“Be ye therefore perfect, as your Heavenly Father.”27

And He intersperses everywhere abundantly the name of the heavens, by the very place thoroughly elevating their minds. For as yet, I know not how, they were somewhat weak and dull.

10. Let us then, bearing in mind all the things which have been said, show forth great love even towards our enemies; and let us east away that ridiculous custom, to which many of the more thoughtless give way, waiting for those that meet them to address them first. Towards that which hath a great blessing, they have no zeal; but what is ridiculous, that they follow after.

Wherefore now dost thou not address him first? “Because he is waiting for this,” is the reply. Nay, for this very reason most of all thou shouldest have sprung forward to him, that thou mightest win the crown. “No,” saith he, “since this was his object.” And what can be worse than this folly? That is, “Because this,” saith he, “was his object;-to become procurer of a reward for me;-I will not put my hand to what he has thus suggested.” Now if he first address thee, thou gainest nothing, even though thou accost him. But if thou be first to spring forward and speak to him, thou hast made thyself profit of his pride, and hast gathered in a manner abundant fruit from his obstinacy.28 What is it then but the utmost folly, when we are to reap so large fruit from bare words, to give up the gain; and condemning him, to stumble at the very same thing? For if thou blamest him for this, that he first waits to be addressed by another, wherefore dost thou emulate that same thing which thou accusest? That which thou saidst was evil, why art thou to imitate the same as good? Seest thou how that nothing is more senseless than a man who associates with wickedness? Wherefore, I entreat, let us flee this evil and ridiculous practice. Yea, for ten thousand friendships hath this pestilence overthrown, many enmities hath it wrought.

For this cause then let us anticipate them. Since we who are commanded to take blows, and be compelled to journey,29 and to be stripped by enemies, and to bear it; what kind of indulgence should we deserve, exhibiting so great contentiousness in a mere formal address?

11. “Why,” saith one, “we are despised and spit upon, the moment we have given him up this.” And in order that man may not despise thee, dost thou offend God? And in order that thy frenzied fellow servant may not despise thee, dost thou despise the Lord, who hath bestowed on thee benefits so great? Nay, if it be amiss that thine equal should despise thee, how much more that thou shouldest despise the God that made thee?

And together with this, consider that other point also; that when he despises thee, he is at that very moment employed in procuring to thee a greater reward. Since for God’s sake thou submittest to it, because thou hast hearkened to His laws. And this, to what kind of honor is it not equal? to how many diadems? Be it my portion both to be insulted and despised for God’s sake, rather than to be honored by all kings; for nothing, nothing is equal to this glory.

This then let us pursue, in such wise as Himself commanded, and making no account of the things of men, but showing forth perfect self restraint in all things, let us so direct our own lives. For so even now, from this very timer we shall enjoy the good things of the heavens, and of the crowns that are there, walking as angels among men, going about in the earth like the angelic powers, and abiding apart from all lust, from all turmoil.

And together with all these things we shall receive also the unutterable blessings: unto which may we all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, and power, and worship, with the unoriginate Father, and the Holy and Good Spirit, now and always, even forever and ever. Amen.~(source)

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Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 24:1-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 30, 2013

Ver 1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.3. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said to them, Why seek you the living among the dead?6. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke to you when he was yet in Galilee,7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.8. And they remembered his words,9. And returned from the se sepulcher, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna; and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the apostles.11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.12. Then arose Peter, and ran to the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

BEDE; Devout women not only on the day of preparation, but also when the sabbath was passed, that is, at sun-set, as soon as the liberty of working returned, bought spices that they might come and anoint the body of Jesus, as Mark testifies. Still as long as night time restrained them, they came not to the sepulcher. And therefore it is said, On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, &c. One of the Sabbath, or the first of the Sabbath, is the first day from the Sabbath; which Christians are wont to call “the Lord s day”, because of our Lord’s resurrection. But by the women coming to the sepulcher very early in the morning, is manifested their great zeal and fervent love of seeking and finding the Lord.

AMBROSE; Now this place has caused great perplexity to many, because while St. Luke says, Very early in the morning, Matthew says that it was in the evening of the sabbath that the women came to the sepulcher. But you may suppose that the Evangelists spoke of different occasions, so as to understand both different parties of women, and different appearances. Because however it was written, that in the evening of the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, our Lord rose, we must so take it, as that neither on the morning of the Lord’s day, which is the first after the sabbath, nor on the sabbath, the resurrection should be thought to have taken place. For how are the three days fulfilled; Not then as the day grew towards evening, but in the evening of the night He rose. Lastly, in the Greek it is “late;” but late signifies both the hour at the end of the day, and the slowness of any thing; as we say, “I have been lately told.” Late then is also the dead of the night. And thus also the women had the opportunity of coming to the sepulcher when the guards were asleep. And that you may know it was in the night time, some of the women are ignorant of it. They know who watch night and day, they know not who have gone back. According to John, one Mary Magdalene knows not, for the same person could not first know and then afterwards be ignorant. Therefore if there are several Marys, perhaps also there are several Mary Magdalenes, since the former is the name of a person, the second is derived from a place.

AUG. Or Matthew by the first part of the night, which is the evening, wished to represent the night itself, at the end of which night they came to the sepulcher, and for this reason, because they had been now preparing since the evening, and it was lawful to bring spices because the sabbath was over.

EUSEB. The Instrument of the Word lay dead, but a great stone enclosed the sepulcher, as if death had led Him captive. But three days had not yet elapsed, when life again puts itself forth after a sufficient proof of death, as it follows, And they found the stone rolled away.

THEOPHYL. An angel had rolled it away, as Matthew declares.

CHRYS. But the stone was rolled away after the resurrection, on account of the women, that they might believe that the Lord had risen again, seeing indeed the grave without the body. Hence it follows, And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus

CYRIL; When then they found not the body of Christ which was risen, they were distracted by various thoughts, and for their love of Christ and the tender care they had shown Him, were thought worthy of the vision of angels. For it follows, And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

EUSEB. The messengers of the health-bearing resurrection and their shining garments stand for tokens of pleasantness and rejoicing. For Moses preparing plagues against the Egyptians, perceived an angel in the flame of fire. But not such were those who appeared to the women at the sepulcher, but calm and joyful as became them to be seen in the kingdom and joy of the Lord. And as at the Passion the sun was darkened, holding forth signs of sorrow and woe to the crucifiers of our Lord, so the angels, heralds of life and resurrection, marked by their white garments the character of the health-bearing feast day.

AMBROSE; But how is it that Mark has mentioned one young man sitting in white garments, and Matthew one, but John and Luke relate that there were seen two angels sitting in white garments.

AUG. We may understand that one Angel was seen by the women, as both Mark and Matthew say, so as supposing them to have entered into the sepulcher, that is, into a certain space which was fenced off by a kind of wall in front of the stone sepulcher; and that there they saw an Angel sitting on the right hand, which Mark says, but that afterwards when they looked into the place where our Lord was lying, they saw within two other Angels standing, (as Luke says,) who spoke to encourage their minds, and build up their faith. Hence it follows, And as they were afraid,.

BEDE; The holy women, when the Angels stood beside them, are reported not to have fallen to the ground, but to have bowed their faces to the earth; nor do we read that any of the saints, at the time of our Lord’s resurrection, worshipped with prostration to the ground either our Lord Himself, or the Angels who appeared to them. Hence has arisen the ecclesiastical custom, either in memory of our Lord’s resurrection, or in the hope of our own, of praying on every Lord’s day, and through the whole season of Pentecost, not with bended knees, but with our faces bowed to the earth. But not in the sepulcher, which is the place of the dead, was He to be sought, who rose from the dead to life. And therefore it is added, They said to them, that is, the Angels to the women, Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. On the third day then, as He Himself foretold to the women, together with the rest of His disciples, He celebrated the triumph of His resurrection.

Hence it follows, Remember how he spoke to you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again, &c. For on the day of the preparation at the ninth hour giving up the ghost, buried in the evening, early on the morning of the first day of the week He rose again.

ATHAN. He might indeed at once have raised His body from the dead. But some one would have said that He was never dead, or that death plainly had never existed in Him. And perhaps if the resurrection of our Lord had been delayed beyond the third day, the glory of incorruption had been concealed. In order therefore to show His body to be dead, He suffered the interval of one day, and on the third day manifested His body to be without corruption.

BEDE; One day and two nights also He lay in the sepulcher, because He joined the light of His single death to the darkness of our double death.

CYRIL; Now the women, when they had received the sayings of the Angels, hastened to tell them to the disciples; as it follows,And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. For woman who was once the minister of death, is now the first to receive and tell the awful mystery of the resurrection. The female race has obtained therefore both deliverance from reproach, and the withdrawal of the curse.

AMBROSE; It is not allowed to women to teach in the church, but they shall ask their husbands at home. To those then who are at home is the woman sent. But who these women were he explains, adding, It was Mary Magdalene,

BEDE; (who was also the sister of Lazarus,) and Joanna, (the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward,) and Mary the mother of James, (that is, the mother of James the less, and Joseph.) And it is added generally of the others, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the Apostles.

BEDE; For that the woman might not endure the everlasting reproach of guilt from men, she who had transfused sin into the man, now also transfuses grace.

THEOPHYL. Now the miracle of the resurrection is naturally incredible to mankind. Hence it follows, And their words seemed to them as idle tales.

BEDE; Which was not so much their weakness, as so to speak our strength. For the resurrection itself was demonstrated to those who doubted by many proofs, which while we read and acknowledge we are through their doubts confirmed in the truth.

THEOPHYL. Peter, as soon as he heard this, delays not, but runs to the sepulcher; for fire when applied to matter knows no delay; as it follows, Then arose Peter, and ran to the sepulcher.

EUSEB. For he alone believed the women saying that they had seen Angels; and as he was of more ardent feelings than the rest, he anxiously put himself foremost, looking every where for the Lord; as it follows, And stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves.

THEOPHYL. But now when he was at the tomb, he first of all obtained that he should marvel at those things which had before been derided by himself or the others; as it is said, And departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass; that is, wondering in himself at the way in which it had happened, how the linen clothes had been left behind, since the body was anointed with myrrh; or what opportunity the thief had obtained, that putting away the clothes wrapped up by themselves, he should take away the body with the soldiers standing round.

AUG. Luke is supposed to have mentioned this concerning Peter, recapitulating. For Peter ran to the sepulcher at the same time that John also went, as soon as it had been told to them alone by the women, (especially Mary Magdalene,) that the body was taken away. But the vision of Angels took place afterwards. Luke therefore mentioned Peter only, because to him Mary first told it. It may also strike one, that Luke says that Peter, not entering but stooping down, saw the linen clothes by themselves, and departed wondering, whereas John says, that he himself saw the linen clothes in the same position, and that he entered after Peter. We must understand then that Peter first saw them stooping down, which Luke mentions, John omits, but that he afterwards entered before John came in.

BEDE; According to the mystical meaning, by the women coming early in the morning to the sepulcher, we have an example given us, that having cast away the darkness of our vices, we should come to the Body of the Lord. For that sepulcher also bore the figure of the Altar of the Lord, wherein herein the mysteries of Christ’s Body, not in silk or purple cloth, but in pure white linen, like that in which Joseph wrapped it, ought to be consecrated, that as He offered up to death for us the true substance of His earthly nature, so we also in commemoration of Him should place on the Altar the flax, pure from the plant of the earth, and white, and in many ways refined by a kind of crushing to death. But the spices which the women bring, signify the odor of virtue, and the sweetness of prayers by which we ought to approach the Altar. The rolling back of the stone alludes to the unclosing of the Sacraments which were concealed by the veil of the letter of the law which was written on stone, the covering of which being taken away, the dead body of the Lord is not found, but the living body is preached; for although we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. But as when the Body of our Lord lay in the sepulcher, Angels are said to have stood by, so also at the time of consecration are they to be believed to stand by the mysteries of Christ. Let us then after the example of the devout women, whenever we approach the heavenly mysteries because of the presence of the Angels, or from reverence to the Sacred Offering, with all humility, bow our faces to the earth, recollecting that we are but dust and ashes.

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St Cyril of Jerusalem on Matthew 22:1-14 (From his Proto-Catechesis)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 21, 2012

Having warned his listeners not to approach the their baptismal instructions-and, by implication, their baptism- out of mere curiousity (section 2), the Saint now tells the story of  a guest who shows  up to a wedding feast in unseemly dress and with bad manners.   He is clearly adopting and adapting Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast from Matthew 22:1-14.

Text in red are my additions. My notes follow.

A certain man in the Gospel once pried into the marriage feast, and took an unbecoming garment, and came in, and sat down, and ate: for the bridegroom permitted it.  But when he (the guest) saw them all clad in white, he ought to have assumed a garment of the same kind himself; for like the others he partook of the food but was unlike them in fashion and purpose.  The bridegroom, however, though bountiful, was not undiscerning; and in going round to each of the guests and observing them (for his care was not with their eating, but for their seemly behavior), he saw a stranger not having on a wedding garment, and said to him, “friend, how is it you came in looking like that?  In that color!  With what a conscience!  True, the door-keeper did not forbid you entrance because of my bounty; but were you ignorant of what fashion to wear to a wedding feast?  When you came in and beheld the glorious raiment of the guests, should this not have been a lesson to you?  Should you not have receded in good taste so as to return in good taste? (i.e. you should have gone home and changed, then re-presented yourself) But since you have come here and stayed without taste, tastelessly you shall be cast out.”  And so the Bridegroom ordered the servants to bind the feet he used to intrude; and to bind the hands he refused to use to put on fine garments; and he ordered him cast headlong into the outer darkness, for he was unworthy of the wedding torches.  Seeing, then, what happened to that man, make your own condition safe.


The bountiful bridegroom.  The description of the bridegroom as bountiful or benefiecent was no doubt meant to recall to the listeners minds what was said in section 1: “For he does not lie who said, “to them that love God all things work together for good.” God is lavish in beneficence, yet he waits for each man’s genuine will…”  The saint clearly wants us to see the wedding guest as not acting with a good will.  “Like the others he partook of the food but was unlike them in fashion and purpose.”  The food  no doubt represents the instructions they are receiving.  Proper attire symbolizes the good will or purpose the saint had praised them for in section 1, and exhorted them to maintain in section 2.

 (The bridegroom went) round to each of the guests and observing them (for his care was not with their eating, but for their seemly behavior), he saw a stranger not having on a wedding garment, and said to him, “friend, how is it you came in looking like that?  In that color!  With what a conscience!  The watchful bridegroom who notices the man’s slovenly appearance and recognizes it as bad conscience calls to mind the warning at the end of section 2:  You must not tempt God’s grace so that no bitter root grow up and cause trouble. Let none of you come in saying, ‘let us see what the faithful are doing; let me go in and see, that I may leaarn what is being done.’ Do you expect to see and yet not be seen? Do you think that while you search out what is going on, God is not searching your heart?  

Should you not have receded in good taste so as to return in good taste? (i.e. you should have gone home and changed, then represented yourself) But since you have come here and stayed without taste, tastelessly you shall be cast out.  Normally, a bridegroom would not cast an invited guest out of his wedding feast, but should an inconsiderate guest expect considerations from the man who invited him? “the measure with whcih you measure shall be measured out to you.” (Mt 7:2).   Notice that the feet with which the guest walked in with, and the hands he refused to dress himself properly with, are bound.

he ordered him cast headlong into the outer darkness, for he was unworthy of the wedding torches.  Possibly an allusion to the parable of the ten virgins (Mt 25:1-13).  As noted at the beginning, the saint is making use of the parable of the wedding feast from Matthew 22:1-14.  This use of scripture as a warning reminds us of what was said earlier by the saint in relation to what happened to Simon Magus:  I make reference and indict this man for his fall so that you may not fall. Things such as this happen to serve as an example to you, and were written down as an admonition for those who would draw near (i.e. to baptism).


For we, the ministers of Christ, (the bridegroom of section 3) have admitted everyone, and occupying, as it were, the place of door-keepers we left the door open: and possibly you did enter with your soul stained by sin, and with your will defiled. You entered, and were allowed to do so, and your name was inscribed (like a guest’s name in a wedding book). Answer me this, do you not see the venerable constitution of the Church? Do you not view her order and discipline, the reading of the Scriptures, the presence of the ordained, the course of instruction? Be ashamed at the place, andbe taught by what you see. It is appropriate that you go out now, and even more appropriately return tomorrow.

If your soul is dressed in avarice, put on a different garment and come in. Put off your former garment. Continue not to cloak yourself in it. I beg of you, strip off your garments of fornication and uncleanness, and don the glorious robe of chastity. This charge I give you, before Jesus the Bridegroom of souls come in and see what fashion they (those espoused to Christ) wear. A long period of preparation has been given to you; you have forty days of repentance; you have full time then to put off (their old garments) and wash up, and then put on (their new garments of repentance) so as to enter in (i.e. to the wedding feast, their union with Christ in baptism). But if you persist in your evil intentions (a hypocritical conversion lacking repentance) the speaker (St. Cyril) is blameless, but you must not look for the grace; for though the water will receive you, the holy spirit will not accept you. If anyone of you is conscious of a wound, then take the salve; if any of you have fallen, then rise up. Let there be no Simon among you, no hypocrisy, no idle curiosity concerning this matter.


Concerning the garment imagery see (or recall) the parable St. Cyril gave in section 3. As we saw in our notes on that section, St. Cyril’s image was heavily dependent on the parable of the wedding feast Jesus spoke in Matt 22:1-14. In the present section, the garment imagery from section 3 is combined with allusions to Col 3:8-10 (see the text and corresponding footnote.See also Eph 4:22-24)

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St Augustine’s Homily on Luke 17:11-19

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 20, 2012


I. The ten lepers met by Jesus when going to Jerusalem lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. Whom, when He saw, He said: Go, show yourselves to the priests.- And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean . Considering this fact, we ask: Why did the Lord send them to the priests, that they might be cleansed as they went? Lepers were the only class among those whose bodies were cured by Jesus, who were sent by Him to the priests. In another place it is written that our Lord said to a leper whom He had cleansed: Go, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing according as Moses commanded for a testimony to them (Luke v. 14). We ask, then, of what leprosy was a type, since those who were delivered were called, not healed, but cleansed. This disease first appears in the colour of the skin, but does not immediately destroy the health, nor the use of the feeling and the limbs. Lepers, we may not absurdly suppose, are the types of those who have not the knowledge of the true faith, but show forth various teachings of error. They do not hide their ignorance, but make use of all the wit they have to manifest and proclaim it in high-sounding words. There is no false doctrine, but has some truth mixed with it. A man’s discourse with some truths in it mingled with errors, and all confounded in one mass, is like to the body of one stricken with leprosy, whereon various foul colours appear in different places along with the true colour of the skin.

II. It follows that such men are to be avoided by the faithful, to the end that, standing afar off, they may lift up their voices and cry to the Lord, just as the ten lepers, standing outside the village, lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. Notice that they called Him Master; and I know not that any of those who were cured by Him, ever called Him by this title. I think by this it is sufficiently shown that leprosy signifies false doctrines, whereof we are cleansed by the Good Master.

III. As to the priests, to whom the ten lepers were sent, it is known to every good Christian that they were a figure or type of the kingly priesthood that is, the Church, by whom the faithful, belonging to the body of Christ, are consecrated, He being the true High Priest. Now all the faithful are anointed, what among the Jews was the privilege only of kings and priests. St. Peter,
therefore, in his first Epistle (1 Pet 2:9) calls them a kingly priesthood, because in some manner the dignity of king and priest belongs to them by reason of their unction. There is no doubt that the diseases of our soul and the defects of our mind and senses are cured and corrected in our conscience by Jesus Himself. However, when our ignorance is to be enlightened by words suit able to our needs; when we are to receive the Sacraments, then we must have recourse to the ministers appointed by our Lord. These ministers are to pronounce on the colour of the leprosy, so as not to confound it with the true and sincere doctrine manifested by the good works brought forth. St. Paul was thus instructed. He heard the voice: Saul, Saul, why persecutest fhou Me? Who said: Who art Thou, Lord? And He: I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest (Acts 9:4, 5). Yet, he was sent to Ananias, who, by virtue of the power of the priesthood, was to instruct him in the doctrine of faith, and afterwards to pronounce on the genuineness of his colour that is, of his mission to the Gentiles.

IV. It does not follow from this that Jesus could not do all that by Himself, for who else does all these things in His Church? But if He wishes us to consult His ministers, and thus to be made sure of the doctrine and faith we profess, it is to unite all the members of His Church into one and the same society or fold, with the one and same doctrine, and thus to preserve the unity and soundness of colour that is, of faith, the one sure mark of the Church. This is confirmed by the words of St. Paul to the Galatians: Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. And I went up according to revelation, and conferred with them the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but apart with them who seemed to be something; lest perhaps I shoiild run or had run in vain (Gal 2:1). And soon after he adds: And when they had known the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (2:9). This conference of St. Paul with the three Apostles clearly shows the necessity of knowing whether his doctrine agreed with the true doctrine of the Church of Christ. We hear him, therefore, beseeching the Corinthians to remain in the unity of doctrine: I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing (1 Cor 1:10).

V. Then the centurion Cornelius was told by an Angel of God that his prayers and almsgivings had ascended for a memorial in the sight of God (Acts 10:4); yet he was ordered to send men to Joppe, and call hither one Simon, who is surnamed Peter, to receive from him the true doctrine and the unity of the Sacraments. Telling him and his whole house to send for Peter (seems as if our Lord had said: Go, show yourselves to the priests. And, as they went, they were made clean. Peter had already come to them; but since they had not received the Sacrament of Baptism, they had not been spiritually presented to the priests, though their cleansing had been declared by the Holy Ghost coming into them, and by the gift of tongues imparted to them.

VI. There is no doubt about this; yet it may happen that we are delivered from leprosy that is, from false doctrines after accepting the true faith and embracing the doctrine of the Church in all its points, so as to be able to distinguish between the things coming from the Creator and those proceeding from His creatures. But we still remain ungrateful towards God, by Whom we were cleansed from our spiritual leprosy. Our pride and our presumption, preventing us from humbly recognising the blessings of our Creator, are the cause of our ingratitude. We are like those spoken of by the Apostle: When they knew God, they have not glorified Him as God, or given thanks (Rom 1:21). Note these words of the Apostle. They mean that these people knew God, and were freed from the leprosy of error, yet were still afflicted with ingratitude towards their Creator Who had enlightened them. They must, therefore, be reckoned among the nine lepers of the Gospel. This number nine is imperfect, and must increase by one, and thus be made perfect, since nothing can be added to the number ten, perfect in itself. This tenth is the leper who came back, with a loud voice glorifying God and giving thanks. He represents the Church, in whom alone there is unity. He is praised by our Lord, whereas the nine others are rejected and condemned on account of their ingratitude. Consider also that these nine lepers were a type of the Jews, who, through their pride and ingratitude, lost the kingdom of heaven; whereas the one who came back giving thanks was a Samaritan, who, like a faithful keeper of entrusted goods, preserved this kingdom by his humility and thankfulness, and could say with the prophet: I will keep my strength to Thee, for Thou art my Protector (Ps 58:10).

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Homily Notes on 2 Cor 3:5~ The Secret Workings of Grace

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 15, 2012

These homily notes can make excellent points for meditation or further study. Filling out the points with references to the Scripture and the Catechism would also be useful.

“Our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Cor 3:5

1. How silently work the great forces of Nature: e.g. The morning light steals softly over the world. Noiselessly the sap stirs the naked trees in spring.

2. Thus silent is the action of God on matter, but more so still in the immaterial souls of men. If we cannot follow it in the former, still less in the latter: Luke 22:20.

3.. Consider one of God’s spiritual gifts Grace and its secret workings.

Divine Grace:

I. Man at birth pertains to the order of nature, till Baptism lifts him to a supernatural plane.

A. The difference not at once apparent, yet truly there; as,

B. Between a real and a carved acorn, little difference to the eye, yet in reality what a distance divides them!

C. So, the essential, though invisible, difference between a man in grace, and one devoid of it.

II. Grace lifts us even above the angels, considered in their nature alone.

A. A greater gift than Creation a new creation into a higher order.

B. It is literally being “born again:” Jn 3:5. First, children of Adam, by nature; then, of God, by Grace,

III. This relationship with God bestows upon us

A. Spiritual rank and dignity, beyond description. We may now address Him as “Our Father.”

B. Fellowship with Christ, since we are sons of God.

1. Relationship without an equal in condescension and love.

2. Intensified in the Incarnation, wherein Our Lord embraced

a. Temporal life, that we might acquire
the eternal.

b. Poverty, that we might share His riches.

C. Men are proud of noble ancestry. Yet what compares with the honour of being brothers of Christ!

IV. Grace makes us tabernacles of God: 1 Cor 3:16

A. The Holy Ghost dwells in a soul in Grace.

B. Where He is, there also are Father and Son: Jn 14:23.

C. We are even made partakers of the divine nature: 2 Pet 1:4. Hence the enormity of sin, committed by one in grace.

D. The soul does not become God, but God enters its innermost recesses. As light fills a clear crystal.

E. As bodies reflect light differently, so also souls, their degrees of grace 1 Cor 15:41.

V. Grace also bestows

A. A special knowledge of things spiritual; and

B. A power to discriminate between them and earthly vanities. As witness the lives of the Saints and Martyrs,

VI. It makes our every act pleasing to God, if done for supernatural ends.

A. The true “philosopher’s stone” (merit).

B. Whereby the future life is made dependent on this one.

VII. Thus is Grace, day by day, secretly working out the principles of future glory.


1. Realize the beauty and effects of Grace, then will
you guard it jealously,

2. Keep it ever bright in the soul, like the wedding garment: Matt 22:12.

3.. Grace, a joy-giving thought to sorrowful and sin-laden souls. They are made for happiness, and through Grace, will find it in eternity.

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Grace: Homily Notes on 1 Cor 15:10

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2012

These homily notes can make excellent points for meditation or further study. Filling out the points with references to the Scripture and the Catechism would also be useful.

“By the grace of God.” 1 Cor 15:10.

1. The question of Grace one of the most difficult in all theology. S. Augustine, its chief exponent: 5th century.

2. At the same time, a most important one for all.

3. Try therefore to know something of it.


I. A supernatural gift of God, freely bestowed for our sanctification and salvation.

II. There are many divisions of Grace: consider the two chief: viz.

A. Habitual, or sanctifying Grace:

1. Permanently inhering in the soul.

2. Uniting us to God, as His children.

3. The source of actual graces

4. Typified by:

a. The cleansing of Naaman: 2 Kings 5:14.

b. The wedding garment: Matt 22:12.

c. The parable of the vine: John 15:5.

B. Actual Grace:

1. Not a permanent, but a transient divine influence.

2. Enabling the soul hic et nunc to avoid evil and do good.

3. Enlightening the mind, and strengthening the will.

4. Examples:

a. The preaching of Jonah: Jonah 3.

b. The descent of the Holy Ghost: Acts 2:3.

c. The conversion of S. Paul: Acts 9.

5. Occasions of actual grace: e.g.

a. Sermons: S. Antony, the Hermit: Jan. 17.

b. Good reading: S.Ignatius: July. 31.

c. An accident: S. Norbert: June 6.

d. A death: S. Francis Borgia: Oct. 10.

e. Friendly advice: The rich young man: Matt 19:21.

6. Means to obtain it:

a. The performance of good works: Especially prayer, fasting, and almsdeeds.

b. Hearing Mass,

c. Receiving the Sacraments.

d. Attending instructions,

III. Effects of divine Grace:

A. Justification of the soul by freedom from mortal sin.

B. We become the temples of God: 1 Cor 3:16.

C. Ease in obeying the divine Law and moral precepts.

D. Great peace in the mind: Ps 119:165.

E. Good works, done for God, and then meritorious for eternity.

F. We become children of God, and heirs of His Kingdom.

G. Grace is the root of future glory. Our Glory in Heaven, proportioned to our Grace upon earth.

IV. Lost by one mortal sin, though it probably revives on repentance.

V. Without a special revelation, no one knows whether he have grace in the heart, though we may have a moral certitude of it.


1. Value this beautiful gift, producing such fruits in the soul,

2. Guard it with care, as it may easily be lost: 2 Cor.4:7. “Even if a man have the light of grace and the love of God, let him remember he is still under the open sky and not in the house, and that a breeze may put out this holy light for ever.” ~St. Bernard.

3. Avoid occasions of sin that expose you to its loss.

These notes were originally published by Fr. George Howe. 192

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Healing Spiritual Deafness and Dumbness

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2012

These homily notes can make excellent points for meditation or further study. Filling out the points with references to the Scripture and the Catechism would also be useful.


Under the physical ailments of the man in the Gospel, consider our own spiritual frailties, typified by them.

Three-fold trial:

I. Deafness:

A. Are we not deaf, spiritually, to:

1. What concerns the work of salvation?

2. The Law of God and the maxims of the Gospel?

3. Instructions in God’s Word:

a. By continued absence from them? or,

b. By drawing no profit from them?

4. The voice of conscience, and the inspirations of grace?

B. On the contrary, are our ears not open to:

1. Uncharitable conversations?

2. Attacks on morality or religion?

3. Words of foolish flattery ?

II. Dumbness:

A. What use do we make of the gift of speech?

B. Are we not oftentimes dumb? e.g.

1. Concealing sin in confession.

2. Neglecting prayer to God.

3. Taking no part in public services.

4. Not defending Charity and virtue, when able.

5. Omitting to correct those under our care.

C. On the contrary, do we not sometimes speak amiss? e.g.

1. Words of cursing, or blasphemy.

2. Language of anger or abuse.

3. Calumny, detraction or backbiting,

III. Weariness, as a natural consequence:

A. Weariness in well-doing may come from:

1. Not advancing in virtue, rather than from actual faults.

2. Physical causes: health, weather.

3. The Devil.

4. Past sin, as a punishment.

5. Want of recollection.

B. Remedies:

1. Constant and even struggle.

2. Punctuality to duty.

3. Guarding against the worship of health.

Our Lord’s action:

I. Imposition of hands. Sufficient for the miracle; yet,

II. He did more (Mark 7:33-34), in order

A. To instruct His Church: e.g. Use of ceremonies in Liturgy and Ritual.

B. To instruct us also:

1. The spiritually deaf and dumb are difficult to heal.

2. They must retire apart, and consider their state.

3. They must open lips and ears to things of God.

4. They must groan in prayer, and seek their cure from God.

Proofs of the cure:

I. The complete change: for The man heard and spoke aright.

II. After receiving the Sacraments, what change is there in us?

A. Are we healed, or do we remain as before?

B. Do we still lend ear to forbidden discourse?

C. Do we still use the tongue for sinful ends?

III. If so, their inefficacy in us would almost imply impossibility of cure. A weighty thought indeed to dwell upon!

Originally published by Fr. George Howe.

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Spiritual Deafness and Dumbness

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2012

These homily notes can make excellent points for meditation or further study. Filling out the points with references to the Scripture and the Catechism would also be useful.

“They bring to Him one deaf and dumb.” Mark 7:32.

1. The goodness and power of Christ so well known that men brought Him their sick to heal. To-day we have the cure of one who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:31-37).

2. Under this type, consider those who are spiritually deaf and dumb.

Spiritual Deafness: towards

I. Superiors (parents, etc.), i.e. disobedience :

a. Arising from pride, setting up its own will against authority.

b. Its guilt will vary according to circumstances (person, command).

c. The consequent punishment will vary in like manner. Adam and Eve expelled from Eden: Gen 3:2424. Death of Absalom: 2 Sam 18:14.

d. How common nowadays this spiritual deafness: e.g. Children refuse to hear their parents’ voice. Servants murmur at the will of employers.

II. Word of God:

a. Priests bound to explain the Faith to their flocks: “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel.” 1 Cor 11:16.

b. This implies the correlative duty on their part to hear it.

c. Yet how many fail in the fulfilment thereof !

1. Preferring ease and comfort at home, or elsewhere.

2. Hearing an early Mass, without instruction.

3. Or, if present, hear not, i.e. apply it not to themselves.

d. No wonder their faith cools down and perhaps dies out. If you take the oil from the lamp, the light goes out.

e. Ignorance one cause of the great defections in history of the Church.

III. Spiritual deafness thus refuses to hear those who have a right to speak, admonish or command.

Spiritual Dumbness:

I. Parents, in regard to children’s correction.

a. A duty too often omitted : result -a spoiled child! “Dumb dogs, not able to bark!” Isa 56:10.

b. In justice: without fear or favour, for the children’s good.

c. In prudence: counsel first, without passion, in
patience. Omnia vide: multa dissimula: paitca corrige. S. Aug.

d. Omission of such duty, a source of evil to parent and child. Punishment of Eli: 1 Sam 3:13; 1 Sam 4:18.

e. Responsibility of parents and others Ezek 3:18.

II. Catholics generally, as to:

a. Neglect of daily devotions.

b. Omission of Sunday Mass.

c. Distractions at prayer.

d. Confession: allowing the dumb devil to seal their lips.

e. Silence: when they should inform superiors of some abuse.

III. Thus does spiritual dumbness neglect the duty of speech.


1. See whether you suffer from spiritual deafness or dumbness.

2. If so, go in confidence to Jesus, like the sick man of the Gospel. Since repentance will obtain a certain cure.

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Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 8:13 (The Earthly and the Heavenly Life)

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 18, 2012

The following notes can be used for homily ideas, points of meditation, or for further study. Romans 8:12-17 is the Lesson Reading for the 8th Sunday After Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form of the Rite.

“For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”
Rom 8:13

THE Apostle does three things in these words:

Firstly, he commands us that we should mortify the pleasure of the flesh, “through the Spirit do ye mortify the deeds of the body.”

It is to be noted, that in a threefold manner we ought to mortify the flesh.

(1) By destroying its carnal desires and sin, Col 3:5-10, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry, for which things sake the wrath of God corneth on the children of disobedience; in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.”

(2) By macerating it by fasting and afflictions to the likeness of the passion of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 4:10, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

(3) In afflicting it by spiritual meditations, “Much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).  “Watching
for riches consumeth the flesh” (Sirach 31:1). That is carnal pleasures; the thought of it takes away sleep, i.e., the weariness of sluggishness. In the same chapter: “The thinking
beforehand taketh away the understanding” (Sirach 31:2),  i.e., he who sees beforehand the rewards of gifts turns away sense i.e., from all evil concupiscence; and heavy infirmity i.e., of the body makes the mind free from sin.

Secondly, he places the necessity of mortifying it, “if ye live after the flesh ye shall die.”

It is to be noted that it is necessary we should mortify the flesh, since if we live after the flesh we shall die; for it follows that there is a threefold death from the pleasure of the flesh

(1) the death of sin;

(2) the death of nature, “By surfeiting many have perished” (Sirach 37:34);

(3) the death of Gehena, “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Gal 6:8;  “The death of the wicked is very evil” (Ps 34:22, Vulgate).

Thirdly, he places the profit of the mortification, “ye shall live.”

It is to be noted that a threefold life is acquired by the mortification of the flesh:

(1) prolongation of natural life,  “He that is temperate
shall prolong life”(Sirach 32:31).

(2) the life of grace, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace”(Rom 8:6).

(3) the prolongation of the life of glory, “Always bearing
about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the
life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Cor 4:11).


Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Meditations, Notes on Romans, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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