Necessity of Hearing the Word of God (Pinned)
Christ taught daily in the temple at Jerusalem, and yet the Jews remained, as before, hardened in wickedness, so that when the Saviour looked on the city, His eyes overflowed and He wept bitterly: ”If thou hadst only known on this day,” when my teaching and instruction are not wanting to thee! Oh, if Christ, the Preacher who holds the hearts and minds of all in His hands, could do no more than that with His teaching, how can I and other preachers complain that our words often produce so little fruit in the hearts of our hearers? Still it is a lamentable thing! Every Sunday and holyday we cry out, or rather, Christ does so through us; how many Christians lead better lives on that account? We have now to see the cause of that, my dear brethren. Many do not come to the sermons; many do not come as they ought; others do not listen as they ought; others do not go away from it as they ought. These four faults shall furnish matter for the next four sermons, or instructions. And it is on this matter that the fruit of all other sermons must depend; if we do not understand and practise what it teaches, no other sermon will be of any use to souls. To-day I shall commence with those who do not come to sermons.
How one Should Go to Sermons (Pinned)
Two men went to the same place, the Temple of God; they went with the same intention, to pray; but how differently they carried it out! The one was a Pharisee, who was looked upon as a pattern of piety; the other a Publican, a public sinner, whose wicked life was known to all. The one was full of secret pride, the other, of humility and contrition. The one went to extol himself in his prayer, and to raise himself above others; the other to repent of his sins, and to beg the mercy of God. What wonder is it that they both left the Temple in very different states? ”This man went down into his house justified, rather than the other.” A picture, my dear brethren, of many Christians, who go into the same Church, at the usual time, to hear the same sermon; but all of them do not return home in the same state. If there are ten of them who derive great profit for their souls, there are fifty who derive much less, and a hundred who have no profit at all. One sinner is touched and moved to penance, another remains as hardened as he was before. One just man is made more zealous in the service of God, the other remains as he was. One poor unfortunate gets consolation and courage, the other is just as discontented as ever. The one understands, knows, and fulfils the truth preached to him, the other is not at all enlightened by it. Whence arises this difference amongst men of the same nature, who hear the same Word of God, preached at the same time, and in the same place? The fault lies with themselves: they do not come to the sermon in the same way and with the same dispositions. To remedy this great defect, I will tell you, in to-day's instruction, how you must go to a sermon in order to profit by it.
Article: Generosity of the Mother of God.
"How shall this be done, because I know not man?" [Luke 1:34]
Among all the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary there is hardly one which invites us more eloquently to pay her honor than that of to-day. For it has been instituted as a perpetual memorial of the divine message which has distinguished her above all the daughters of man. But what made this occasion so glorious for her was no less the heroic generosity of soul which she displayed on receiving this message than the in comparable dignity which it announced to her.
It is on the generosity displayed by the Mother of God in this mystery that I intend to dwell in the present discourse. This generous disinterestedness was manifested by her both in the initial renunciation and in the final acceptance of the unspeakable dignity of the divine Motherhood offered her by the angel. I shall, therefore, endeavor to show you her generosity (1) in refusing, (2) in accepting the dignity of Mother of God.
The Annunciation - a teological love letter
Today the Church celebrates the most blessed and solemn feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. This is if you ask me one of the most joyful feast of the entire Ecclesiastical year.
"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin' s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." [Luke 1:26-38]
On the method of conversion.
To the venerable and beloved prelate Boniface, Daniel, servant of the people of God.
I rejoice, beloved brother and fellow priest, that you are deserving of the highest prize of virtue. You have approached the hitherto stony and barren hearts of the pagans, trusting in the plentitude of your faith, and have labored untiringly with the plowshare of Gospel preaching, striving by your daily toil to change them into fertile fields. To you may well be applied the Gospel saying: ”The voice of one crying in the wilderness,” etc. Yet a part of the second prize shall be given, not unfittingly, to those who support so pious and useful a work with what help they can give and supplement the poverty of those laborers with means sufficient to carry on zealously the work of preaching which has already been begun and to raise up new sons to Christ.