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Prayer For Each Other: Homily Notes on 1 Thessalonians 1:2 (with some Catechism links)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 14, 2012

This outline was prepared by Fr. George Howe and is in the public domain (published 1906).  These notes can be used for homily ideas, points for meditation, further study, etc. I’ve included some links to articles in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which you might find helpful.

PRAYER FOR EACH OTHER
Sermon Plan By Father George Howe
“Making a remembrance of you in our prayers.” 1 Thess 1:2

INTRODUCTION:

I. The Apostle here gives us the example of thoughtful charity. The charity of prayer is based upon God who is love (see CCC. 2577),

II. Consider this practice of praying for each other.

WE ARE ALL BRETHREN: Concerning the Fatherhood of God and prayer see the CCC 2779-2785.

1. All children of the same Father,

2. Hence the wants of others should be to us as our own. When one member of our body suffers, all suffer. See CCC. 953.

3. In the epistles, the Faithful are styled “Brethren.”

4. We should help each other as members of the same family. This especially by prayer.

PRAYER FOR OTHERS: Concerning intercessory prayer see the CCC. 2634-2636.

1. Recommended

a. By Our Lord’s own words. “Our Father,” (not “my”): Matt 6:9. Concerning God as Our Father see CCC. 2786-2793. See also the Jesus teaching concerning prayer in the CCC. 2607-2615.

b. By the Apostle: “Pray one for another:” James 5:16.

c. By the practice of the Church: “Pray for us,” (plural) in the Litanies,

2. Avails more than prayer for ourselves only. Because thus accompanied by charity for others.

3. This intercessory prayer

a. Tends to advance the glory of God.

b. Brings many graces to souls.

4. Persons for whom we should pray:

a. Those in sin, or outside the Church.

Practice of S. Teresa: S. Teresa gives this as a reason for founding her convents that, as there are so many that offend God, nuns ought to pray for their conversion, especially for the defenders of the Church, for preachers and learned men who maintain its truth. She spent whole nights praying and weeping for the conversion of souls, especially those infected with heresy.

b. Those in lukewarmness or tepidity.

c. Those in sorrow, spiritual or temporal.

d. The sick and the dying. How much depends on the hour of death!

e. Our relations, friends, and benefactors.

f. Even our enemies : Matt 5:44.

5. Founded on the dogma of the Communion of Saints. Hereby the Faithful may assist each other by prayer and good works. See the CCC. 946-953.

EXAMPLES:

1. Job prayed for his friends: Job 42:8.

2. Judith, asking for prayers: Judith 8:31.

3. Jeremiah, for Israel: Jer 14:11.

4. The Church, for S. Peter: Acts 12:5.

5. S. Paul asks for prayers: Rom 15:30.

6. Our Lord, for His disciples: John 17:11. See The CCC 2598-2606 on Jesus and Prayer.

7. Also for His enemies: Luke 23:34.

8. St. Stephen, for Saul: Acts 7:59.

LESSONS:

I. Imitate this practice of the Apostle,

II. Hesitate not to ask for prayers.

III. When promising prayers to others, don’t fail to say them.

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Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 131

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 3, 2012

“My heart is not proud’
Evening Prayer – Tuesday of Week Three

1. We have listened to only a few words, about 30 in the original Hebrew, of Psalm 131[130]. Yet they are intense words that convey a topic dear to all religious literature: spiritual childhood. Our thoughts turn spontaneously to St Thérèse of Lisieux, to her “Little Way”, her “remaining little” in order to be held in Jesus’ arms (cf.Story of a Soul, Manuscript “C”, p. 208).

Indeed, the clear-cut image of a mother and child in the middle of the Psalm is a sign of God’s tender and maternal love, as the Prophet Hosea formerly expressed it: “When Israel was a child I loved him…. I drew [him] with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered [him] like one who raises an infant to his cheeks… I stooped to feed my child” (Hos 11: 1, 4).

2. The Psalm begins by describing an attitude quite the opposite of infancy, which, well aware of its own frailty, trusts in the help of others. In the foreground of this Psalm, instead, are pride of heart, haughty eyes and “great things” that are “too sublime for me” (cf. Ps 131[130]: 1). This is an illustration of the proud person who is described by Hebrew words that suggest “pride” and “haughtiness”, the arrogant attitude of those who look down on others, considering them inferior.

The great temptation of the proud, who want to be like God, the arbiter of good and evil (cf. Gn 3: 5), is decisively rejected by the person of prayer who chooses humble and spontaneous trust in the One Lord.

3. Thus, we move on to the unforgettable image of the mother and child. The original Hebrew text does not speak of a newborn child but of a child that has been “weaned” (Ps 131[130]: 2). Now, it is known that in the ancient Near East a special celebration marked the official weaning of a child, usually at about the age of 3 (cf. Gn 21: 8; I Sam 1: 20-23; II Mc 7: 27).

The child to which the Psalmist refers is now bound to the mother by a most personal and intimate bond, hence, not merely by physical contact and the need for food. It is a more conscious tie, although nonetheless immediate and spontaneous. This is the ideal Parable of the true “childhood” of the spirit that does not abandon itself to God blindly and automatically, but serenely and responsibly.

4. At this point, the praying person’s profession of trust is extended to the entire community: “O Israel, hope in the Lord both now and for ever” (Ps 131[130]: 3). In the entire people which receives security, life and peace from God, hope now blossoms and extends from the present to the future, “now and for ever”.

It is easy to continue the prayer by making other voices in the Psalms ring out, inspired by this same trust in God: “To you I was committed at birth, from my mother’s womb you are my God” (Ps 22[21]: 11). “Though my father and mother forsake me, yet will the Lord receive me” (Ps 27[26]: 10). “For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength” (Ps 71[70]: 5-6).

5. Humble trust, as we have seen, is opposed by pride. John Cassian, a fourth-fifth century Christian writer, warned the faithful of the danger of this vice that “destroys all the virtues overall and does not only attack the tepid and the weak, but principally those who have forced their way to the top”.

He continues: “This is the reason why Blessed David preserved his heart with such great circumspection, to the point that he dared proclaim before the One whom none of the secrets of his conscience escaped: “Lord, may my heart not grow proud, nor my gaze be raised with haughtiness; let me not seek great things that are beyond my strength’…. Yet, knowing well how difficult such custody is even for those who are perfect, he does not presume to rely solely on his own abilities, but implores the Lord with prayers to help him succeed in avoiding the darts of the enemy and in not being injured by them: “Let not the foot of the proud overtake me’ (Ps 36[35]: 12)” (Le Istituzioni Cenobitiche, XII, 6, Abbey of Praglia, Bresseo di Teolo, Padua, 1989, p. 289).

Likewise, an anonymous elderly Desert Father has handed down to us this saying that echoes Psalm 131[130]: “I have never overstepped my rank to walk higher, nor have I ever been troubled in the case of humiliation, for I concentrated my every thought on this: praying the Lord to strip me of the old man” (I Padri del Deserto. Detti, Rome, 1980, p. 287).

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Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Philippians 3:20 for the Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 1, 2012

These notes can be used for homily suggestions, points for meditation, or for further study.

THE HEAVENLY CONVERSATION
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
“For our conversation is in heaven”~Philip 3:20

THE Apostle in these words teaches that the conversation of the just is in heaven; so that if we wish to be like them we must not have our conversation about the miseries of this present life, but “in heaven.” The Apostle here lays down three things in regard to the conversation in heaven. Firstly, the reason why we should have our conversation there. Secondly, the nature of that conversation. Thirdly, the similitude between the conversation of the saints and of the angels.

I. The Reason Why We Should Have Our Conversation in Heaven:  It is to be noted, that the saints have their conversation in heaven for three reasons.

(1) For security, for he who has his conversation in heaven is secure from the dangers of this troublesome life: “Lay me down now, and put me in a surety with Thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?” Job 17:3. S. Augustine says that he who enters into the joy of his Lord is secure, and will experience the best condition in the best place.

(2) On account of delight; for he who has his conversation in heaven will have a continuous joy and delight: “For her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness,” Wisdom 8:16. Seneca compares the mind of the wise to a world above the moon, which is ever calm.

(3) On account of the necessity that there is for all earthly things to pass away. The saints know that all the earthly things here quickly are about to pass away: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall meet with fervent heat Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Pet 3:10, 14.

II. The Nature Of That Conversation:  It is to be noted, that the saints have in heaven a three- fold conversation.

(1) In ever thinking over the good things of heaven.

(2) In desiring to be ever in heaven. Of these two it is said, such an holy one is held worthily in the memory of man; he has passed ever to the joy of angels, since in the body only he is placed in the present conversation, his true conversation being in that heavenly country.

(3) The conversation of the saints in heaven consists in their living after the manner of heaven. The Gloss, on the text being, that our conversation is in heaven while we live on earth; because we have our hope there, and because we are like to the angels both in living and knowing.

III. the Similitude Between The Conversation Of The Saints And The Conversation Of The Angels: It is to be noted, that the conversation of the saints is like that of the angels in three ways.

(1) In purity.

(2) In simplicity without guile.

(3) In charity.

These three are chiefly seen in the angels: simplicity in essence, purity in nature, charity in grace. The conversation of the saints is also in these three: “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world,” 2 Cor 1:12.

 

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Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 116:1-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2012

“O Lord… deliver me!”

1. In Psalm 116 that has just been proclaimed, the voice of the Psalmist expresses gratitude and love for the Lord after he has granted his anguished plea:  “I love the Lord for he has heard the cry of my appeal; for he turned his ear to me in the day when I called him” (Ps 116:1-2). This declaration of love is immediately followed by a vivid description of the mortal dread that has gripped the man in prayer (cf. Ps 116:3-6).

The drama is portrayed through the symbols customarily used in the Psalms. The snares that enthral life are the snares of death, the ties that enmesh it are the coils of hell, which desire to entice the living of whom it can never have “enough” (cf. Prov 30:15-16).

2. The image is that of the prey which has fallen into the trap of a relentless hunter. Death is like a vice that tightens its grip (cf. Ps 116:3). Behind the praying person, therefore, lurked the risk of death, accompanied by an agonizing psychological experience:  “they caught me, sorrow and distress” (Ps 116:3). But from that tragic abyss the person praying cried out to the only One who can stretch out his hand and extricate him from that tangle:  “O Lord, my God, deliver me!” (Ps 116:4).

This is the short but intense prayer of a man who, finding himself in a desperate situation, clings to the one rock of salvation. Thus, in the Gospel, just as the disciples cried out during the storm (cf. Matt 8:25), so Peter cried to the Lord when, walking on the water, he began to sink (cf. Matt 14:30).

3. Having been saved, the person praying proclaims that the Lord “is gracious… and just”, indeed, he has “compassion” (Ps 116:5). In the original Hebrew, the latter adjective refers to the tenderness of a mother whose “depths” it evokes.

Genuine trust always perceives God as love, even if it is sometimes difficult to grasp the course of his action. It remains certain, however, that “the Lord protects the simple hearts” (Ps 116:6). Therefore, in wretchedness and abandonment, it is always possible to count on him, the “father of the fatherless and protector of widows” (Ps 68:6).

4. A dialogue of the Psalmist with his soul now begins and continues in the remainder of the Psalm. The Psalmist invites his soul to turn back, to rediscover restful peace after the nightmare of death (cf. Ps 116:7).

The Lord, called upon with faith, stretched out his hand, broke the cords that bound the praying person, dried his tears and saved him from a headlong fall into the abyss of hell ( Ps 116:8). Henceforth, the turning point is clear and the hymn ends with a scene of light:  the person praying returns to the “land of the living”, that is, to the highways of the world, to walk in the “presence of the Lord”. He joins in the community prayer in the temple, in anticipation of that communion with God which awaits him at the end of his life (cf. 116:9).

5. To conclude, let us re-examine the most important passages of the Psalm, letting ourselves be guided by Origen, a great Christian writer of the third century whose commentary in Greek on Ps 116 has been handed down to us in the Latin version of St Jerome.

In reading that “the Lord has turned his ear to me”, he remarks:  “We are little and low; we can neither stretch out nor lift ourselves up, so the Lord turns his ear to us and deigns to hear us. In the end, since we are men and cannot become gods, God became man and bowed down, as it has been written:  “He bowed the heavens, and came down’ (Ps 18:10)”.

Indeed, the Psalm continues, “the Lord protects the simple hearts” (Ps 116[114]: 6). “If someone is great and becomes haughty and proud, the Lord does not protect him; if someone thinks he is great, the Lord has no mercy on him; but if someone humbles himself, the Lord takes pity on him and protects him. Hence, it is said, “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me’ (Is 8: 18). And further, “I was helpless so he saved me'”.

So it is that the one who is little and wretched can return to peace and rest, as the Psalm says (cf. Ps 116[114]: 7), and as Origen himself comments:  “When it says:  “Turn back, my soul, to your rest’, it is a sign that previously he did have repose but then he lost it…. God created us good, he made us arbiters of our own decisions and set us all in paradise with Adam. But since, through our own free choice, we pitched ourselves down from that bliss and ended in this vale of tears, the just man urges his soul to return to the place from which it fell…. “Turn back, my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has been good’. If you, my soul, return to paradise, it is not because you yourself deserve it, but because it is an act of God’s mercy. It was your fault if you left paradise; on the other hand, your return to it is a work of the Lord’s mercy. Let us also say to our souls:  “Turn back to your rest’. Our rest is in Christ, our God” (Omelie sul Libro dei Salmi, Milan, 1993, pp. 409, 412-413).

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Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Galatians 3:16~Abraham a Pattern for Sinners

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 20, 2012

These notes can be used for sermon/homily ideas, or points for meditation.

ABRAHAM A PATTERN FOR SINNERS
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
“To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.” Gal 3:16

IN these words it is shown that heavenly promises are made to those who seek with all their powers to be like Abraham.

I. On the first head it is to be noted, that seven things are pointed out of Abraham, in which every Christian ought to imitate him.

  • (1) In constancy of faith, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom 4:3). “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6).
  • (2) In perfect obedience,  “And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gev 22:17). “And now, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul?” (Deut 10:12).
  • (3) In disregard of country and,
  • (4) In contempt of pedigree. Of these two (i.e., 3 & 4), “And the Lord said to Abram: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father’s house, and come into the land which I shall shew thee” (Gen 12:1). “By faith he that is called Abraham obeyed to go out into a place which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he abode in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same promise. For he looked for a city that hath foundations: whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:8-10).
  • (5) In hospitality and compassion. “My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on” (Gen 18:3-5). “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb 13:2).
  • (6) In humility, “I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes” (Gen 18:27); which are the words of Abraham to the Lord. “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart” (St Matt 11:29).
  • (7) In fear of God, “Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me” (Gen 22:12).  “And now, what doth the ‘Lord thy God require of thee?” &c (Deut 10:12). In these words we are exhorted to imitate Abraham, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham,” S. John 13:39.

II. On the second head it is to be noted, that to those who in these things imitate Abraham, the Lord makes seven great promises which he made to Abraham.

  • (1) He promised to him that He would give him His blessing.
  • (2) That He would exalt him.
  • (3) That He would humble his enemies.
  • (4) That He would honour him among all nations. Of these four point we find the following in Gen 12:2-3, “I will bless thee;” mark the first point. “And make thy name great;” mark the second point. “I will curse him that curseth thee;” mark the third point. “And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed;” mark the fourth point.
  • (5) That God would protect him in all things.
  • (6) That He Himself would be to him as a reward. Of these two points we find the following in Gen 15:1, “The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abrain: I am thy shield;” mark the fifth point. “And thy exceeding great reward;” mark the sixth point.
  • (7) That God would give to him a land flowing with milk and honey, “The Lord said unto Abram, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Gen 13:15-17).

III. On the third head it is to be noted, that the Lord gives seven good things to those who imitate Abraham.

  • (1) He blesses them, “Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3)
  • (2) He glorifies them, K”Whom He justified them also He glorified” (Rom 8:30).
  • (3) He humbles their enemies, “Turned my hand against their adversaries” (Ps 81:15).
  • (4) He protects them, “Because He hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high because he hath known My name” (Ps 91:14).
  • (5) He honours them, “How precious are thy thoughts unto me, God” [Ps 139:17, friends, Vulg.]
  • (6) God Himself gives Himself to them for a reward, He who will be all in all, He who will be salvation, life, honour, glory, peace, joy, and all good things.
  • (7) He gives to them the land flowing with milk and honey, that is the kingdom of heaven, the joy of the humanity and divinity making joyful.  “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you” (Matt 25:34).

To which kingdom may we be brought, &c.

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Fr. George Howe’s Homily Notes on 2 Cor 3:7-8: Moses, a Type of Christ

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 15, 2012

MOSES, A TYPE OF CHRIST

1. God took 4,000 years to prepare the world for the Messiah,

2. As one means to this end, He raised up types of Him.

i. Types show forth His chief characteristics.

ii. The Elders were enlightened to recognize these, and instruct the people therein,

3. When our Lord came, men could not fail to observe them,

4. To-day’s Epistle refers to Moses, a prominent type of Christ.

Moses, a type: e.g.

I. Pharao slaying the male children, when Moses was born: Ex 1:16.

A. Herod slaying the Innocents, at the birth of Christ: Matt 2:16.

II. Escape of Moses, in a basket among the sedges: Ex 2:3.

B. Escape of Our Lord, by flight into Egypt: Matt 2:14.

III. Moses was taken to the Court of Pharao to be educated.

C. Our Lord was reared for a time in the foreign land of Egypt.

IV. Moses later on returned to his brethren, the Israelites.

D. Our Lord returned to His brethren, the Jews,
in Palestine.

V. Moses, chosen of God to deliver Israel from Egypt: Ex 3:10.

E. Our Lord, sent by the Father to deliver man from sin.

VI. Before appearing among the people, Moses passed 40 years in the desert.

F. Before manifesting Himself to the world, Our Lord spent 30 years at Nazareth.

VII. Moses wrought miracles to prove himself the envoy of God: Ex 4.

G. The Gospels relate the miracles Our Lord wrought to prove Himself the envoy, and also the Son of God.

VIII. Moses commanded the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb: Ex 12:24.

H. Our Lord, the true Paschal Lamb, sacrificed Himself on Calvary, and is still offered daily on the Altar.

IX. Moses led the Hebrews through the waters of the Red Sea, which then separated them from the Egyptians: Ex 14:22.

I. Christ leads His people through the waters of Baptism, which separates Christians from Infidels.

X. Moses led his people through the desert, towards the Land of Promise.

J. Christ leads His followers, through the desert of life, to the true Land of Promise Heaven.

XI. Moses obtains the Manna from Heaven, as food in the desert: Ex 16:15.

K. Christ feeds our souls with the Living Bread from Heaven,

XII. Moses gives the Law on Mount Sinai: Ex 20.

1. To the Jews, and for a time only.

2. Amid the terrors of thunder and lightning.

L. Our Lord gives a more perfect Law the Sermon on the Mount: Matt 5-7.

1. For the whole world, and for all time.

2. Taught in all sweetness and mercy.

XIII. Moses offered the blood of victims to ratify the Old Covenant.

M. Our Lord offers His own Blood to ratify the New.

XIV. Moses did not finally lead the people into the Promised Land Deut 34:14.

N. Our Lord, greater than Moses, opened Heaven to men, on the day of His Ascension.

Conclusion:

1. Moses typifies Our Lord, chiefly, as being Our Deliverer, our Legislator, and our Intercessor.

2. The Just of the Old Law found their consolation in the many types God raised up in their midst.

3. Let us rejoice in the

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Fr George Howe’s Homily Notes on the Parable of the Good Samaritan

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.

PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
“Our Lord wished to convey this lesson, that the neighbour is he who does
mercy and gives assistance to those in need”~Bede the Venerable.

1. The parable of the Good Samaritan, one of the most touching of all.

2. Full of varied instruction and lessons for each of us.

Points of the Parable: A CERTAIN MAN:

I. A Jew, hateful to the Samaritans: The greater therefore the merit of the Samaritan’s conduct.

II. Adam and the human race, falling into sin.

III. Each individual member of the human family.

JERUSALEM:

I. The ” Vision of Peace.”

II. The Garden of Eden and the state of innocence. Where Adam had peace with God, himself, Eve and all creation.

III. The state of grace and friendship with God.

IV. Peace and joy which God wishes all men to have.

JERICHO:

I. The “moon,” and its ever varying phases; Representing the passing goods of this inconstant world.

II. The state of sin, to which too many gravitate.

THE ROBBERS:

I. The devils, seeking to strip and wound our souls.

II. Their aids and agents the world and the flesh. Often more successful than their own direct efforts,

III. We fall into their hands, when we yield to temptation.

IV. Yet we can resist, for we have help at hand- God’s grace. “There are more with us than with them.” 2 Kings 6:16.

V. Despoiling us of divine grace, gifts of the Holy Ghost and merit.

THE WOUNDS, left in our soul, are:

I. Darkness in the Intellect, so that we see not the truth.

II. Weakness in the Will, whereby we easily yield,

III. Corruption in the Heart, prone now to evil.

THE PRIEST AND LEVITE represent

I. The Old Law, which could not repair the Fall.

II. The priesthood of Aaron, unable to save mankind.

III. The hard-hearted, refusing efficacious means
within their power.

IV. Hateful examples of unfeeling hearts.

THE SAMARITAN:

I. Christ Our Lord, who came to redeem us.

A. The oil: His mercy and love, in the Sacred Tribunal.

B. The wine: His Precious Blood, in the Holy Eucharist.

C. The beast: His own Humanity, in which He suffered for us.

D. The inn: the Church He founded on earth, which

1. Receives sinners to her bosom, and

2. Offers aid and help to their souls.

II. Priests of the Church, especially in the tribunal of Penance.

III. Any person, doing works of mercy to others.

THE HOST:

I. Christ’s Vicar, and the prelates of the Church. To these, on leaving the earth, He entrusted us all.

II. Two pence:

A. Whatever is necessary to the welfare of our souls.

B. The two-fold power of Order and Jurisdiction.

III. The return: in death and judgment, to repay,

IV. How worthy of our gratitude and love.

Resolution:

1. Be not as the rich man, refusing pity: 1 Jn 3:17- But,

2. Imitate the good Samaritan towards all, friends or foes. For all men are neighbours.

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Fr. George Howe’s Homily Notes on Luke 10:27~The Twofold Precept

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.

THE TWO-FOLD PRECEPT.
“Thou shall love the Lord . . . and thy neighbour.” Luke 10:27.

1. True love of God is inseparable from love of our neighbour. “There are two precepts, hut only one Charity.” S. Aug.

2. The Gospel tells us this two-fold love is essential to salvation.

3. It is therefore worthy of our serious attention.

First Precept: Love of God:

I. The very essence of Charity:Including Adoration, Homage, Reverence and Service,

II. Grounded on God’s

A. Infinite perfections : love of Charity.

B. Infinite goodness: love of Gratitude.

1. Length of His love: its eternal duration.

2. Breadth: universality of His favours.

3. Height: sublimity of His graces.

4. Depth: humiliations by which He gained them.

C. Supreme dominion over us.

D. Positive command: Deut 6:5.

III. With our whole HEART:

A. So that no love opposed to God shall enter. Abraham leaving his country for God: Gen 12:4.

B. So that God be the highest and final object of our love. Abraham ready to sacrifice his son: Gen 22:3.

C. So that He be the chief object of our affections. Magdalen, at Our Lord’s feet: Luke 7:47.

IV. With our whole SOUL:

A. Memory, recalling God’s benefits of every kind.

B. Understanding, studying His works and mercies.

C. Will, resolving to do all for His glory.

V. With our whole MIND:

A. Often turning to God in our thoughts.

B. Seeking to know God by study, instruction, etc.

VI. With our whole STRENGTH:

A. With all fervour and devotion.

B. Striving to serve God, according to His Law.

C. Working only for God and His glory: e.g. Missionaries in heathen countries.

Second Precept: Love of our Neighbour.

I. All persons, without exception. In God and for God, otherwise it is mere philanthropy,

II. Because:

A. We are all children of God and brothers of Christ: Matt 23:9.

B. In loving them, we love God: Matt 25:40.

C. It is a powerful means to obtain mercy: 1 Pet 4:8.

D. God commands it: Matt 22:39.

III. Order in Charity must be observed: e.g.

A. Our own soul before everyone and everything.

B. Our neighbour’s soul before our own body, in things of salvation.

C. Children, parents and relations.

D. Benefactors, friends and fellow-countrymen.

E. Our enemies also: Matt 5:44.

IV. This love of Charity will exist and be perfected in Heaven. Grace does not destroy Charity, but perfects it.” S. Thos. Aq.

V. Without it, we cannot truly love God: 1 Jn 4:20.

VI. This love of others for God makes earth a foretaste of Heaven,

VII. This one law, if observed, would dispense with all human law.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Meditations, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.

GRACE
“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.

Grace:

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.

Lessons:

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

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Meditations, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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.

HEALING THE DEAF AND DUMB.

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.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Meditations, Morality, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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