THE SACRED RULE
for Celebrating the Most
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Do not do
at Mass what you would not do were you standing
at the foot of Christ hanging on the Cross
at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass what you
would do were you standing at the foot of Christ
hanging on the Cross — for at Holy Mass you
at the crucifixion of Christ on
really and truly.
you closed your eyes for a moment while standing
before Christ on the Cross, you would be where
you are this day at the Most Holy Sacrifice of
what you would have done.
Do not do what you
would never have done.
This is the proper disposition of the
soul at every single Mass.
The Sin of
and the Pedigree of our Malice
Wrath is one of the Seven Deadly
— sins that, consequent to them, engender other
Fundamentally, the sin of Anger is a rebellion against God.
when our will is frustrated and does not attain to its end.
It is the disordered will inasmuch as it understands
the self, and not God, as the end of a proposed or desired
state of affairs. The fulfillment of the will of God is the
greatest good possible for the human soul, which is to say
that God is properly the end of all willing in man. Wrath is
the violent rejection of God's will in preference to the
unrestrained will of the self apart from God. Indeed, the
expression of wrath or anger is the most explicit denial of
the sovereignty of God over all things at all times. It is
the preference of one's own will to the will of God, which,
as we have said, is the greatest good possible. The human
will that is one with the will of God is the attainment of
holiness. It is union
with God, and as such, the perfection of the soul. It is the
speculum Dei, the perfect reflection of God in Whose
image man is not just fundamentally, but in the Order of
Being, ontologically created.
In all things we must discern the will of God — and do it.
If it coincides with our own desires, that is an indication
of the soul's progress to union with God. If it does not,
and we repudiate our own will in preference (and obedience)
to the will of God, that is even greater progress to union
Once we come to understand that nothing — absolutely nothing
— that touches upon us, happens to us, afflicts us or
consoles us, occurs except that God either wills it or
permits it for our good, however remote our apprehension of
it, however implausible, or even impossible the consequences
may appear to us. It is not within the provenance of man to
see, let alone comprehend, that infinite reticulation of the
fabric of the universe, at the intersections of which we
would find the will of God intelligibly impressed.
physical sciences today we often hear of things measured in
terms of nanometers (1/1-billionth of a meter).
2-billion-600-million (2,600,000,000) transistors are, as of
this writing, on Intel's 10-Core Xeon Westmere-EX
microprocessor using a 32-nanometer manufacturing process.
This is the mind of man, the design of mere man. The
relationship of one single transistor to the 2
billion-600-million others, wherever their placement in the
array, is such that the whole depends on the one and the one
on the whole.
We nod our heads in agreement and are amazed at the
staggering numbers involved and the sophisticated technology
together with the intelligent design that coordinated all 2
billion-600-million transistors to a purposeful end. And yet
we are skeptical that
God orders all things, however remote our
understanding of them, however utterly inaccessible, even
impossible to our comprehension — to a good and coherent end
because we cannot perceive it in the moment ... or even in a
Were you to count up to 2 billion-600-million, by the second
around the clock, it would take you over 82 years — which,
according to actuarial tables, exceeds the anticipated
lifetime of any man or woman — and all this on a man-made
microprocessor less than the size of a typical thumbnail.
The material universe is a nearly infinite reticulation
woven by God and multiplied exponentially by time through
what was, is, and will be. It is ordered as God wills — not
as we will.
Anger, then, is a rebellion against the will of God
which is always consummately good. It has no lasting place
in the heart of a Catholic. Irascibility (the predisposition
or susceptibility to anger) as one of the Capital or Deadly
Sins, is indeed the progenitor of other sins and other
evils. It presumes to know the good with greater
perspicacity than God and as such is latently a claim to
superiority over God.
Anger is the
father of mayhem and murder. It was so from the beginning:
through anger Cain rose up and slew Abel. It is expressed in
impatience, pride (as the absence of humility) and
selfishness. It is the violent frustration with a world that
is not amenable to the selfish will, and in this sense it
would be the "creator" of the world around it, a world in
perfect conformity to its own will. In this sense it is the
inclination to usurp the creative order of God. Instead of
bending the will to God, it attempts to bend the world to
itself — and God with it.
expresses itself in destruction — of relationships,
communities, even nations. It descends to depth of demonic
rage. Hell, I am convinced, is infinitely more than the loss
of all hope. It is the unremitting experience of eternal
anger culminating in violent, unrelenting rage; rage against
God, and all who are, and all that is. The contorted,
frightening, and ugly face of anger is the baleful image of
the demonic, a harbinger of things to come for those who do
not submit themselves to God, like the father of lies and
murder who in the primordial beginning first set his will
Let it not be said of us,
"You are of your father the devil .... he was a murderer
from the beginning, and ... a liar, and the father thereof."
(St. John 8.44)
Anger — stamp it out within yourself, and give it no
quarter. Like Saint Stephen, the first Martyr for Christ and
His Church, let your countenance be as the
"face of an
6.15) even amid your tormentors — and not the menacing face
of the demons.
Choose then, whom you will be like ... and where, as a
consequence, you are likely to go.
Boston Catholic Journal
"What is Holiness?"
Holiness — sanctity — is simply the conformity of the
will to the will of God.
If you listen to no other homily on being
a Catholic and your obligation to love God
and your neighbor ... listen
The Law of Love by Venerable Servant
of God Fulton Sheen
The Complete Martyrology
Saturday July 26th in the
Year of Grace 2014
SEASON AFTER PENTECOST
This Day, the Twenty-Sixth Day of July
The departure out of this life of St. Anne, mother
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
At Philippi, in Macedonia, the birthday of St.
Erastus, who was appointed bishop of that place by the blessed
Apostle Paul, and there crowned with martyrdom.
At Rome, on the Latin road, the holy martyrs Symphronius,
Olympius, Theodulus, and Exuperia, who (as we read in the Acts
of Pope St. Stephen) were burnt alive, and thus obtained the palm of
At Porto, St. Hyacinth, martyr, who was
first thrown into the fire, and then precipitated into a stream without
being injured. Afterwards, under the emperor Trajan, being struck with
the sword by the ex-consul Leontius, he terminated his life. His body
was buried by the matron Julia, on her own estate near Rome.
Also, at Borne, St. Pastor, priest. His
name is used to designate a cardinal's title in the church of St. Pudentiana,
on the Viminal hill.
At Verona, St. Valens, bishop and confessor.
In the monastery of St. Benedict, near Mantua,
St. Simeon, monk and hermit, who was renowned for many miracles,
and at an advanced age rested in the Lord.
At Lovere, in the diocese of Brescia, St. Bartholemea
Capitanio, virgin, who founded the Sisters of Charity, dedicated
to teaching the young. Pope Pius XII added her name to the catalogue
of holy virgins.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors,
and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres,
oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the
Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)
Response: Thanks be to God.
Roman Martyrology by Month
Why the Martyrs Matter
Each day we bring
you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs
who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride
the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men
and women for whom — and well they knew — their
Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.
They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church,
and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short
time longer (even the lapsi only postponed
their death — and at so great a cost!).1
What would motivate men, women, even children and
entire families to willingly undergo the most evil
and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death
rather than denial?
Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when
the first flame licked at their feet, after the
first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized”
in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured
over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer
incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession
would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after
all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of
the state? What is a little burned incense and a
few words uttered without conviction, compared to
your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely
God knows that you are merely placating the state
with empty gestures …
Did they love their wives, husbands, children —
their mothers, fathers and friends less than we
do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they
less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what
did they possess that we do not?
Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given
in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to
it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and
faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising
belief in the invincible reality of God, of life
eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting
apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality
of this passing world and all within it, and lives
lived in total accord with that adamant belief.
We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will
make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What
they died for, we will die for. If only we will!
For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom,
a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ,
for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside
the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides
with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people
who suffered unknown to the world, but known to
God. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides.
Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are
the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses
because they would not flee God, the Church, the
call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary
things of life made extraordinary through the grace
of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is
just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small sampling
of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless
men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but
whom the world does not know.
“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”,
Christ said to His Apostles
2. “I have given
you an example.” And His Martyrs give one
to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.
Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal
Note: We suggest that you explore our newly
edited and revised
"De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments
and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an
in-depth historical account of the sufferings of
INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY
J. Cardinal Gibbons,
Archbishop of Baltimore
THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official
and accredited record, on the pages of which are
set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words,
the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in
all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes
and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict
has beatified or canonized. In making up this long
roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that
instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God,
who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has
endowed her, and which permeates through and guides
all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without
spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and
undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and
to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort
her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley
of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is
one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject
to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she
teaches and practices what He commands.
If the world
has its "Legions of Honor," why should not also
the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the
ground of the truth? If men who have been stained
with blood, and women who have been tainted with
vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose
and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory,
because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved
great success, or were, to a greater or less extent,
benefactors of their race in the temporal order,
which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes
and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example,
have overcome themselves, risen superior to and
trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their
thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown,
and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal
and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men,
have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed
in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If
time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if
man, why should not God? "Thy friends, O Lord, are
exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly
exalted." Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world
crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and
crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly
honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth,
with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for
ages on ages.
of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled
only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated.
The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models.
Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through
them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost,
in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His
wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated
human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection.
Their example still appeals to our minds and to
our hearts, more eloquently even than did their
words to the men of their own generation, while
they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though
dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct
with sanctity, and through them they continue to
breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality
into which they have entered still lingers in their
bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains.
As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush
to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of
earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul
has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled
to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the
lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and
Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal,
is more potent in its influence on the human heart
and conduct than are words in their most eloquent
knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with
whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth,
with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and
ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men
and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under
her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading
this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive
conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul
of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his
life, the moment of his conversion "If other men
like me have attained to such sanctity, why not
I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of
the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown
of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and
dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and
glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven?
Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon
me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted,
in the petty contest for this world's evanescent
honors and riches, while the poor and contemned
lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize
of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of
God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain
His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?"
It is a consoling
evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this
country to find the Martyrology here published,
for the first time, in English, and thereby made
accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to
all classes of our population. It will prove highly
edifying and useful, not only to the members of
our numerous religious Communities of both sexes,
but also to the laity generally. Every day has here
its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a
Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied,
who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith
and with great profit, the brief page of each day's
models of Holiness. These belong to all classes
and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel,
from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the
philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks
of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.
Let all, then,
procure and read daily the appropriate portions
of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal
will console us in affliction, will animate us in
despondency, will make our souls glow with the love
of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and
hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to
the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for
us in Heaven!
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland
The Lapsi were
early Catholics who renounced the Faith and either
sacrificed to the Roman gods by edict from the emperor,
or offered incense to them to escape Imperial persecution
and death, and who later returned to the Faith when
persecution subsided. However, Christ warns us,
“Every one therefore that shall confess me before
men, I will also confess him before my Father who
is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men,
I will also deny him before my Father who is in
heaven.” (St. Matthew 10.3-33)