Humility Of Heart Part 11

47. Who knows if the one I judge and speak ill of may not be dearer to God than I am? Whether another whom I esteem but little and despise for his physical or moral defects be not destined to be very happy with God for all eternity? Who knows whether I may not be condemned to the pains of Hell for all eternity? With this uncertainty how can I then presume to consider myself better than any other?

No one is worth more than what he is worth in the eyes of God, and how can 1 know whether I am an object of hatred or of love to God? “And yet man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love or hatred.” [Ecclus ix, 1] How do I know if God will fashion a vessel of honor or of dishonor from the clay of which I am made? “For who distinguisheth thee?” [1 Cor. iv, 7] “But what is the use of these vessels? the Potter is the judge.” [Wisd. xv, 7]

When I read of St. Paul, the herald of the Holy Ghost and great doctor of the Gentiles, who said of himself that he lived in fear of falling into sin and becoming a castaway after having converted so many thousands of souls to God: “Lest perhaps when I have preached to others I myself may become a castaway;” [1 Cor. ix, 27] ah, if St. Paul himself, who was rapt unto the third heaven and could say that “Christ lived in him,” “and I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me,” [Gal. ii, 20] should thus fear, what shall I say of myself, who am so contemptible? At the day of judgment how many shall we see on the right hand of God whom we looked upon as castaways! and how many shall we see on His left whom we believed to be amongst His elect!

It would be well for us, however, when we make comparisons between ourselves and others, to say what Juda said of Thamar, “She is juster than I,” and in some circumstance or other this will always prove to be true. St. Thomas taught that a man may truthfully say and believe that he is worse than others, partly on account of the hidden defects which he knows that he possesses, and partly on account of the gifts of God that are hidden in others. [xxii, qu. 161, art. 6 ad 2]

48. Who can assure me that before long I shall not fall into some mortal sin? And having once fallen, who can assure me that I may not die in sin, and thus be condemned to eternal punishment? As long as I live in this world I cannot be sure of anything. I must hope to save my soul, but I must also fear to lose it. O my soul, I do not in tend to depress thee; no, nor do I wish to fill thee with pusillanimous despair by these thoughts. I only desire thee to be humble. And how much reason hast thou to humble thyself in this uncertainty, not knowing what manner of death shall be thine, nor what shall be thy lot for all eternity? It is only by the measure of thy humility that thou canst hope to please God and save thyself, because it is certain that God will “save the humble people,” [Ps. xvii, 28] “and He will save the humble of spirit.” [Ps. xxxiii, 19]

There are some who think that to meditate on the mystery of predestination is likely to fill us with despair; but it appears to me, as it also did to St. Augustine, that this thought is a most efficacious means of practicing humility, [Lib. de Praedest. et Grat.] because when I meditate upon my eternal salvation I see that it does not depend upon the power of my own free-will, but only upon the Divine mercy. Not trusting to myself, but placing all my hope in God, I must say with the wise Judith: “And therefore let us humble our souls before Him, and continuing in a humble spirit in His service, ask the Lord that He would show His mercy to us.” [Jud. viii, 16, 17]

49. It is a special gift of God to know how to govern the tongue, as the preacher says in his Proverbs: “It is the Lord who governs the tongue”; [Prov. xvi, 1] and when God wishes to confer this gift of His upon anyone, He does so by means of humility. And the Savior teaches us in St. Matthew xii, 34: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Therefore, if the heart is well-regulated by humility, the tongue will be well-regulated also.

He who is humble of heart has but a poor opinion of himself and a good opinion of others; hence it is that he never praises himself or blames others. The humble man speaks but little, and weighs and measures his words so as not to say more than truth and modesty require, and, as his heart is free from vanity, so is his speech. We argue therefore that there can be little or no humility in our hearts when there is little or no circumspection in our speech. “Their heart is vain,” says the prophet, and this is the reason why he also adds: “Their throat is an open sepulcher.” [Ps. v, 10, 11] We speak of those things that fill the heart, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” [Luke vi, 45] and our speech will determine whether truth or vanity predominates in our hearts. It is well to ask God to curb our tongue, but let us also ask Him to give humility to our heart, for this alone will be a most powerful curb.

Holy Guardian Angels – October 2nd

Guardian AngelThis feast, like many others, was local before it was placed in the Roman calendar. It was not one of the feasts retained in the Pian breviary, published in 1568; but among the earliest petitions from particular churches to be allowed, as a supplement to this breviary, the canonical celebration of local feasts, was a request from Cordova in 1579 for permission to have a feast in honour of the guardian angels. (Bäumer, “Histoire du Breviaire”, II, 233.)

Bäumer, who makes this statement on the authority of original documents published by Dr. Schmid (in the “Tübinger Quartalschrift”, 1884), adds on the same authority that “Toledo sent to Rome a rich proprium and received the desired authorization for all the Offices contained in it, Valencia also obtained the approbation in February, 1582, for special Offices of the Blood of Christ and the Guardian Angels.”

So far the feast of Guardian Angels remained local. Paul V placed it (27 September, 1608) among the feasts of the general calendar as a double “ad libitum” (Bäumer, op. cit., II, 277). Nilles gives us more details about this step. “Paul V”, he writes, “gave an impetus to the veneration of Guardian Angels (long known in the East and West) by the authorization of a feast and proper office in their honour. At the request of Ferdinand of Austria, afterwards emperor, he made them obligatory in all regions subject to the Imperial power; to all other places he conceded them ad libitum, to be celebrated on the first available day after the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel. It is believed that the new feast was intended to be a kind of supplement to the Feast of St. Michael, since the Church honoured on that day (29 September) the memory of all the angels as well as the memory of St. Michael (Nilles, “Kalendarium”, II, 502). Among the numerous changes made in the calendar by Clement X was the elevation of the Feast of Guardian Angels to the rank of an obligatory double for the whole Church to be kept on 2 October, this being the first unoccupied day after the feast of St. Michael (Nilles, op. cit., II, 503). Finally Leo XIII (5 April, 1883) favoured this feast to the extent of raising it to the rank of a double major.

Such in brief is the history of a feast which, though of comparatively recent introduction, gives the sanction of the Church’s authority to an ancient and cherished belief. The multiplicity of feasts is in fact quite a modern development, and that the guardian angels were not honoured with a special feast in the early Church is no evidence that they were not prayed to and reverenced. There is positive testimony to the contrary (see Bareille in Dict. de Theol. Cath., s.v. Ange, col. 1220). It is to be noted that the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael is amongst the oldest feasts in the Calendar. There are five proper collects and prefaces assigned to this feast in the Leonine Sacramentary (seventh century) under the title “Natalis Basilicae Angeli in Salaria” and a glance at them will show that this feast included a commemoration of the angels in general, and also recognition of their protective office and intercessory power. In one collect God is asked to sustain those who are labouring in this world by the protecting power of his heavenly ministers (supernorum . . . . praesidiis . . . . ministrorum). In one of the prefaces, God is praised and thanked for the favour of angelic patronage (patrociniis . . . . angelorum). In the collect of the third Mass the intercessory power of saints and angels is alike appealed to (quae [oblatio] angelis tuis sanctisque precantibus et indulgentiam nobis referat et remedia procuret aeterna” (Sacramentarium Leonianum, ed. Feltoe, 107-8). These extracts make it plain that the substantial idea which underlies the modern feast of Guardian Angels was officially expressed in the early liturgies. In the “Horologium magnum” of the Greeks there is a proper Office of Guardian Angels (Roman edition, 329-334) entitled “A supplicatory canon to man’s Guardian Angel composed by John the Monk” (Nilles, II, 503), which contains a clear expression of belief in the doctrine that a guardian angel is assigned to each individual. This angel is thus addressed “Since thou the power (ischyn) receivest my soul to guard, cease never to cover it with thy wings” (Nilles, II, 506).

For 2 October there is a proper Office in the Roman Breviary and a proper Mass in the Roman Missal, which contains all the choice extracts from Sacred Scripture bearing on the three-fold office of the angels, to praise God, to act as His messengers, and to watch over mortal men. “Let us praise the Lord whom the Angels praise, whom the Cherubim and Seraphim proclaim Holy, Holy, Holy” (second antiphon of Lauds). “Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice” (Exodus 23; capitulum ad Laudes). The Gospel of the Mass includes that pointed text from St. Matthew 28:10: “See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Although 2 October has been fixed for this feast in the Roman calendar, it is kept, by papal privilege, in Germany and many other places on the first Sunday (computed ecclesiastically) of September, and is celebrated with special solemnity and generally with an octave (Nilles, II, 503). (See ANGEL; INTERCESSION.)

From the Catholic Encyclopedia

A Quote From Bishop Athanasius Schneider

“God is using in this time the little one in the Church, the pure faith mostly of the lay faithful to keep the faith intact and to hand it over to the next generations. It is an honour that we can be witnesses and defenders of our dear Catholic faith not only against the enemies outside but also in the face of the traitors inside the Church, even when these traitors are bishops or cardinals.

– Found online at 1P5 blog


What a encouraging exhortation from Bishop Schneider.  It seems, he is living up to his illustrious patron.  May God send us more Bishops like him.

Parallel Synod – Something Is Amiss

Rorate has posted an article that, if true, is very serious.  It appears the “conclusion” of the synod has already been written.

BOMBSHELL – SECRET PARALLEL SYNOD: Papal Post-Synod Document ALREADY being drafted by Jesuit group to allow communion for divorced and other aberrations

Summary: Italian journalist Marco Tosatti reveals that A SECRET PARALLEL SYNOD has been established in Rome, a cabal composed almost exclusively by Jesuits, with the occasional Argentinian presence (easy to guess who), to draft the necessary post-synodal documents to implement whatever the Pope wants to implement. And they will implement it, no matter what, as the secret committee to draft the Annulment reforms has shown; what everyone supposed was true in fact is true: the Synodal process is a sham.
The always admirably well informed Marco Tosatti, who has refused to become a stealth spokesman for the pontificate and has kept his journalistic integrity — and, for this reason, has become, along with Sandro Magister, the best Italian religious correspondent in the current pontificate — reports today on the most recent machinations for 2015 “Synod on the Family”, which opens in a few days.

Because since, as Edward Pentin revealed in detail, the 2014 Synod was rigged, the 2015 will be rigged beyond all measure, as Pentin himself reported on September 29 at the National Catholic Register, on procedural changes to be announced tomorrow (Friday) that will make any control over the outcome impossible by Synod Fathers who realize they are being cheated (as happened last year – the manipulators learned their lesson):
At last year’s meeting, the interim document, properly called a relatio post-disceptationem, caused controversy after it was sent out to the media before the synod fathers had read it. Critics said the document lacked references to Scripture and tradition, and most controversially, appeared to imply the Church was considering giving tacit acceptance of same-sex relationships — an issue that was hardly discussed during the meeting’s first week.
The probable decision not to have an interim report may be an effort to avoid last year’s controversy from recurring. But some fear it will lead to less transparency, and worry the timing could be intentional in order to facilitate the advancement of controversial proposals as time runs out for discussion.
Another rumored change is that the rule on propositions having to pass by a two-thirds majority might be eliminated and a simple majority take its place.
This would favor a controversial proposal, such as Cardinal Kasper’s, because his thesis only received a simple majority at the last synod. (It should have therefore been rejected under the rules in place, but the Holy Father insisted that it, and the paragraph on a new approach to same-sex relationships that also failed to achieve a two-thirds majority, remain in the lineamenta (guidelines), for this October’s synod).
And in fact the first part of Marco Tosatti’s article today translates what Pentin reveals in his own piece in the Register. Then, Tosatti adds his own exclusive information, which is quite explosive, considering that the last time a secret papal commission met, what we got was the most authoritarian canon law reforms in the history of the Church, in violation of all understanding of the proper boundaries of papal power and establishing de facto Catholic divorce under the guise of easy acccess to “annulments”:
In this context [that is, of the procedural changes mentioned by Edward Pentin], news has arrived to us for about twelve days that around thirty people, almost all of them Jesuits, with the occasional Argentinian, are working on the themes on the Synod, in a very reserved way, under the coordinatin of Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of Civiltà Cattolica [the official journal of the Holy See], who spends a long time in Santa Marta, in consultation with the Pope.
The discretion in the works extends also to the Jesuits of the same House, the villa of Civiltà Cattolica, Villa Malta, on the Pincio [Hill], where part of the work is done. One possibility is that the “task force” works to provide the Pope the instruments for an eventual post-synodal document on the theme of the Eucharist to the remarried divorced, on cohabiting [couples], and same-sex couples.
Update: A final observation is in order. As Pentin and other observers have noted, it has been said that the Pope may wish to avoid a typical post-synodal EXHORTATION, which has been the typical papal document following the creation of the post-conciliar format of the Synod of Bishops. These exhortations have typically been papal lists of the majority decisions of the synods, as guided by the popes, and interpreted by them, and have guided future decisions. This is obviously not what we mention above. Considering the character of Francis, it is not surprising that he now wants to avoid a wordy exhortation that leads nowhere. No, the post-synodal documents being prepared secretly should obviously have an executive or legislative nature and would be promulgated with a different shape and weight than that of a mere exhortation. It would obviously make no sense for the Pope and his allies to go through this immense process and get absolutely no palpable result (text) from it, right?…


On the Sacrament Of Marriage

Tim, at the St Louis Catholic Blog, just started a series on the Sacrament of Marriage using the Council of Trent Catechism.  This is a timely reminder of what marriage truly is.  Please remember to pray for the Holy Father and the synod so that they will uphold the objective truth of marriage which is contained in the deposit of faith.

Read the first post from Tim here.