SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Mission

P.O. Box 7352, York, PA, 17408

717-792-2789

SaintsPeterandPaulRCM.com

SaintsPeterandPaulRCM@comcast.net

To Restore and Defend Our Ecclesiastical Traditions of the Latin Rite to the Diocese of Harrisburg

 

SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Chapel

129 South Beaver Street, York PA 17401


 

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..... this missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used .....  Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us.  .....  Accordingly, no one whatsoever is permitted to infringe or rashly contravene this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, direction, will, decree and prohibition. Should any person venture to do so, let him understand he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Pope St. Pius V, Papal Bull, QUO PRIMUM,

Tridentine Codification of the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

St. Marcellus I, Pope & Martyr

January 16, 2022

    Almighty God, faithful to His promise to Abraham and his children, sent His Son to save His people; while in His mercy He willed to redeem the heathen as well.  Therefore Christ is the King whom, as its Redeemer, the whole world must hail and adore (Introit and Gradual).  It was through His death on the Cross that He became our King and it is through the Eucharist, the memorial of Calvary, that by applying the merits of His Redemption to our souls, He exercises His kingship over us.  In this miracle at Cana, a type of the Holy Eucharist, did our Lord formally manifest His divinity, i.e. His character as divine and therefore royal, and “His disciples believed in Him.”  The turning of water into wine is a type of transubstantiation, called by St. Thomas the greatest of all miracles, by which the wine of the Eucharist becomes the blood of the covenant of peace which God has made with His Church.  Since also the divine King wishes to espouse our souls and since, as Bossuet says, it is through the Eucharist that this mystical marriage is consummated. The marriage feast at Cana also signifies the union of the Word with His spouse the Church.  “Having been invited to the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee,” says St. Augustine, “our Lord attended, that being alone the author of the sacrament of Matrimony, He might confirm conjugal chastity.”  He also meant to make known to us the mystery of which these nuptials were the sign, that is the union of Christ with His Church.  For even those who, by a vow, have bound themselves to almighty God in the virginal state are not without nuptials since, with the whole Church, they have a part in the nuptials in which Christ Himself is the Spouse, and in this case, our Lord is typified by the bridegroom who kept to the end the good wine, that is, the Gospel.

 

INTROIT:

Ps. 65.  Let all the earth adore Thee, O God, and sing to Thee: let it sing a psalm to Thy name, O Thou most high.  Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name:  give glory to His praise.  Glory be, etc.  Let all the earth adore, etc.

 

COLLECT:

Almighty and eternal God, who rulest all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace in our days.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

Hear in Thy clemency, O Lord, we ask, the prayers of Thy people: that we may b e aided by the merits of Thy blessed Pope and Martyr Marcellus, in whose passion we rejoice.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

O God, who through the fruitful virginity of the blessed Mary didst bestow on mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession through whom we have deserved to receive the author of life, Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth, etc.

 


EPISTLE:  Rom. 12, 6-16. 

Brethren, Having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith; or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; he that exhorteth, in exhorting; he that giveth, with simplicity; he that ruleth, with carefulness; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honor preventing one another: in carefulness not slothful; in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer: communicating to the necessities of the Saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind one towards another: not minding high things, but consenting to the humble

EXPLANATION. St. Paul in this epistle exhorts every Christian to make good use of the gifts of God; if one receives an office, he must see well to it, so that he can give an account to God of the faithful performance of his duties. He exhorts especially to brotherly love which we should practice by charitable works; such as, receiving strangers hospitably, giving alms to those who are in need, and to those who by misfortune or injustice have lost their property; he commands us, at the same time, to rejoice in the welfare of our neighbor, as we rejoice at our own good fortune, and to grieve at his misfortunes as we would over those which befall us.

How is brotherly love best preserved?

By the virtue of humility which makes us esteem our neighbor above ourselves, consider his good qualities only, bear patiently his defects, and always meet him in a friendly, respectful, and indulgent manner. Humility causes us to live always in peace with our fellowmen, while among the proud, where each wishes to be the first, there is continual strife and dissatisfaction (Prov. 13:10).

What lesson does the Apostle give us in this epistle?
That we should hate that which is evil, and love that which is good; that we should love one another, and practice works of mercy; that we should be solicitous and fervent, as in the service of God. We should cooperate with the grace of God, and pray instantly.

Aspiration

O God, give us Thy grace to follow faithfully what St. Paul teaches us of humility and charity, that we may have compassion on

all who are in need, and not exalt ourselves above our neighbors, but, humbling ourselves with the humble, may merit, with them, to be exalted. Amen.

 

GRADUAL:

Ps. 106.  The Lord sent His Word, and healed them:  and delivered them out of their destruction.  Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to Him:  and His wonderful works to the children of men. 

Alleluia, alleluia.  Ps. 148.  Praise ye the Lord, all His angels, praise ye Him all his hosts.  Alleluia.

 

GOSPEL:  John 2, 1-11.

At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus said to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine: and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Why was Jesus present at the wedding with His Mother and disciples?
1. In order there to reveal His majesty, and by that means to establish and confirm the belief in His divinity. 2. To show that marriage is pleasing to God. 3. To let us understand how pious the bridegroom and bride were. 4. To teach us that those pleasures are permitted which are in accordance with reason and Christianity, and neither sinful nor leading to sin.

Why did Mary intercede for the bride and bridegroom when the wine was failing?
She was sorry for them, for she is the tenderhearted mediatrix of the afflicted and destitute. Besides, the number of the guests had been considerably increased by the presence of Jesus and His disciples, so that the wine was not sufficient for all.

What is the meaning of the words, "Woman, what is that to Me and to thee”?
According to the idiom of the Hebrew language, they mean as much as, "Mother, be not anxious; I will provide the wine as soon as the hour appointed by My Father is come." Jesus did not mean to rebuke His Mother, but He thus gave her, and all who were present, to understand that He had not received the power of working miracles as the son of woman, but that He possessed it as the Son of God, and should use it according to the will of His Father.

What are we taught by the words: “My hour is not yet come”?

These words teach us that we should in all things await God's appointed time, and in things belonging to God and His honor, act only by divine direction, without any human motives.

What does the scarcity of wine signify?

In a spiritual sense the want of wine may be understood to signify the lack of love between married people, which is principally the case with those who enter this state through worldly motives, for the sake of riches, beauty of person, or who have before marriage kept up sinful intercourse. These should ask God for the forgiveness of their sins, bear the hardships of married life in the spirit of penance, and change the wrong motives they had before marriage; by doing so God will supply the scarcity of wine, that is the lack of true love, and change the waters of misery into the wine of patient affection.

Why did Christ command them to take the wine to the steward?

That the steward, whose office required him to be attentive to the conduct of the guests, and to know the quality of the wine, should give his judgment in regard to the excellence of this, and be able to testify to the miracle before all the guests.

ASPIRATION O my most merciful Jesus! I would rather drink in this world the sour wine of misery than the sweet wine of pleasure, that in heaven I may taste the perfect wine of eternal joy.

Aspiration

I thank Thee, O Jesus, for the grace of knowing Thy divinity; grant that I may persevere in this knowledge till death, in order to enjoy the contemplation of Thy Godhead in eternity.

 

OFFERTORY:

Ps. 65.  Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing you a psalm to His name; come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what great things He hath done for my soul.  Alleluia.

 

SECRET:

Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts which we offer, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

By the offered gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thou kindly enlighten Thy Church, so that Thy flock may everywhere progress and prosper, and Thy shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be pleasing to Thy name.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

By Thy merciful forgiveness, O Lord, and the intercession of the blessed Mary ever Virgin, may this oblation obtain for us peace and prosperity, now and forever.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

COMMUNION:

John 2.  The Lord saith, Fill the water-pots with water, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.  When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he saith to the bridegroom:  Thou hast kept the good wine until now.  This first miracle did Jesus before his disciples.

 

POSTCOMMUNION: 

Be there increases in us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the workings of Thy power, that thriving on these divine sacraments, we may be prepared by Thy bounty to receive what they promise.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

Being appeased, O Lord, guide Thy Church, which has been nourished by holy refreshment, that under Thy direction and powerful rule it may receive increase of liberty and may continue in religious integrity.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from our sins, and through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, make us partakers of this heavenly remedy.  Through our Lord, etc.

 

 

 

 

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His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Marcellus I Martyred by Apostate Catholics

The work of the Pope Marcellus I was, however, quickly interrupted by the controversies to which the question of the readmittance of the lapsi (who had apostatized during the persecution of Diocletian) into the Church gave rise. As to this, we gather some light from the poetic tribute composed by St. Damasus in memory of his predecessor and placed over his grave (De Rossi, "Inscr. christ. urbis Romæ", II, 62, 103, 138; cf. Idem, "Roma sotterranea", II, 204-5). Damasus relates that the truth-loving leader of the Roman Church was looked upon as a wicked enemy by all the lapsed, because he insisted that they should perform the prescribed penance for their guilt. As a result serious conflicts arose, some of which ended in bloodshed, and every bond of peace was broken. At the head of this band of the unfaithful and rebellious stood an apostate who had denied the Faith even before the outbreak of persecution. The tyrannical Maxentius had the pope seized and sent into exile. This took place at the end of 308 or the beginning of 309 according to the passages cited above from the "Catalogus Liberianus", which gives the length of the pontificate as no more than one year, six (or seven) months, and twenty days. Marcellus died shortly after leaving Rome, and was venerated as a saint. His feast-day was 16 January, according to the "Depositio episcoporum" of the "Chronography" of 354 and every other Roman authority. Nevertheless, it is not known whether this is the date of his death or that of the burial of his remains, after these had been brought back from the unknown quarter to which he had been exiled. He was buried in the catacomb of St. Priscilla where his grave is mentioned by the itineraries to the graves of the Roman martyrs as existing in the basilica of St. Silvester (De Rossi, "Roma sotterranea", I, 176).  Catholic Encyclopedia

 

PROPER OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 16th:

16

Sun

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

St. Marcellus, PM

sd

G

 

Mass 9:00 AM & Noon; Confessions & Rosary of Reparation 8:30 AM; Mass for the members of Mission

17

 

St. Anthony, Ab

d

W

 

Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass

18

Mon

St. Peter’s Chair at Rome

St. Paul, Ap

St. Prisca, VM

dm

W

 

Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass

19

Tue

St. Marius & Comp., Mm

St. Canute, King, M

sp

R

 

Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass

20

Wed

Ss. Fabian, P & Sebastian, Mm

d

R

 

Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass

21

Thu

St. Agnes, VM

d

R

A

Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass

22

Fri

Ss. Vincent & Anastasius, Mm

sd

R

 

Mass 9:00 AM; Confession & Rosary of Reparation 8:30

24

Sun

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

St. Raymund of Pennafort, C

St. Emerentiana, VM

Betrothal of St. Joseph and BVM

sd

G

 

Mass 9:00 AM & Noon; Confessions & Rosary of Reparation 8:30 AM; Mass for the members of Mission

 

 

 

St. Anthony, in the year 339, saw in a vision, under the figure of mules kicking down the altar, the havoc which the Arian persecution made two years after in Alexandria, and clearly foretold it, as St. Athanasius, St. Jerome, and St. Chrysostom assure us.  He would not speak to a heretic, unless to exhort him to the true faith; and he drove all such from his mountain, calling them venomous serpents. At the request of the bishops, about the year 355, he took a journey to Alexandria to confound the Arians, preaching aloud in that city that God the Son is not a creature, but of the same substance with the Father; and that the impious Arians, who called him a creature, did not differ from the heathens themselves, "who worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator." All the people ran to see him, and rejoiced to hear him; even the pagans, struck with the dignity of his character, flocked to him, saying, "We desire to see the man of God." He converted many, and wrought several miracles: St. Athanasius conducted him back as far as the gates of the city, where he cured a girl possessed by the devil. Being desired by the duke or general of Egypt to make a longer stay in the city than he had proposed, he answered: "As fish die if they leave the water, so does a monk if he forsakes his solitude."

St. Athanasius, Life of St. Anthony

 

Protestantism strove to throw doubts on St. Peter’s having lived and died in Rome… It was in order to nullify, by the authority of the Liturgy, this strange pretension of the Protestants, that Pope Paul IV, in 1558, restored the ancient Feast of St. Peter’s Chair at Rome, and fixed it on the 18th of January.  For many centuries the Church had not solemnized the mystery of the Pontificate of the Prince of the Apostles on any distinct feast, but had made the single Feast of February 22nd serve for both the Chair at Antioch and the Chair at Rome.  From that time forward, the 22nd of February has been kept for the Chair at Antioch, which was the first occupied by the Apostle.

Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Feast of St. Peter’s Chair at Rome

 

 

 

 

 

Novena to SS. Peter and Paul

(begins January 16th)

O glorious SS. Peter and Paul, filled with compassion for those who invoke you, with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection (mention intention).  As disciples of Christ and the first pastors of the early Church you both knew disappointment and suffering.  Lead me out of my troubles as you have so many to Christ our Lord.  Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.  Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints praise Him through all eternity.

O most powerful SS. Peter and Paul, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of winning my way to heaven.

 

O holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, I choose you this day and forever to be my special patrons and advocates; thee, Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the Rock, upon which Almighty God hath built His Church; thee, Saint Paul, because thou wast fore-chosen by God as the Vessel of election and the Preacher of truth in the whole world.  Obtain for me, I pray you, lively faith, firm hope and burning love; unshakable confidence in the merciful providence of God, complete detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, a right intention in all my works, diligence in fulfilling the duties of my state of life, constancy in my resolutions, resignation to the will of God and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death; that so, by means of your intercession and your glorious merits, I may be able to overcome the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and may be made worthy to appear before the chief and eternal Shepherd of souls, Jesus Christ, who with the  Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth for endless ages, to enjoy His presence and love Him forever.  AMEN

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

§  V.  Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth,  

§  R.  They shall be mindful of Thy name, O Lord.

Let us pray

O God, whose right hand raised up blessed Peter, when he walked upon the water and began to sink, and thrice delivered his fellow-Apostle Paul from the depths of the sea, when he suffered shipwreck: graciously hear us and grant, by the merits of them both, that we also may attain unto everlasting glory: Who livest and reignest world without end. 

AMEN

 

 

 

 

Octave Prayer from the Chair of St. Peter to the Conversion of St. Paul

(January 16th to January 24th inclusive for the conversion of heretics and schismatic to the Catholic Church outside of which there is no salvation.)

That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me.

          V: I say to thee, that thou art Peter

          R: And upon this rock I will build my Church

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst say to Thine Apostles; peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, look not upon my sins, but upon the faith of Thy Church; and vouchsafe unto her that peace and unity which is agreeable to Thy will; Who livest and reignest God forever and ever. AMEN           (plenary indulgence under the usual conditions)

 

 

We must picture to ourselves a young soldier, who tears himself away from all the ties of his home at Milan, because the persecution there was too tame, with anxiety at the thought that perhaps some of the Christians in the Capital may be losing courage.  He has been told that at times some of the Emperor’s soldiers, who were soldiers also of Christ, have gained admission into the prisons, and have roused up the sinking courage of the confessors.  He is resolved to go on the like mission, and hopes that he may also receive the blessing of martyrdom.  He reaches Rome, he is admitted into the prisons, and encourages to martyrdom such as had been shaken by the tears of those who were dear to them.  Some of the gaolers, converted by witnessing his faith and his miracles, become martyrs themselves; and one of the Roman Magistrates asks to be instructed in a religion which can produce such men as this Sebastian.  He has won the esteem of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian Hercules for his fidelity and courage as a soldier; they have loaded him with favours; and this gives him an influence in Rome which he so zealously turns to the advantage of the Christian religion, that the holy Pope Caius calls him, the Defender of the Church.

Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Feast of St. Sebastian

 

The eleventh century gave to the Church and various States of Europe a great number of saintly Kings.  Among them St. Canute IV of Denmark stands pre-eminent by reason of the aureole of his martyrdom.  He had every quality which forms a Christian prince: he was a zealous propagator of the faith of Christ, he was a brave warrior, he was pious, and he was charitable to the poor.  His zeal for the Church (and in those days her rights were counted as the rights of the people) was made the pretext for putting him to death: he died in the midst of a sedition as a victim sacrificed for his people’s sake.  His offering to the new-born King was that of his blood; and in exchange for the perishable crown he lost, he received that which the Church gives to her Martyrs, and which can never be taken away. 

Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, St. Canute of Denmark

 

 

INSTRUCTION FOR SUPERIORS

Those have to expect a severe sentence from God, who merely for temporal gain, seek profitable offices, and thrust themselves therein whether capable or not, and if capable care very little whether they fulfill the duties required, or perhaps make the fulfillment of them depend upon bribes. Of such God makes terrible complaint: Thy princes (judges) are faithless, companions of thieves: they all love bribes, they run after rewards. They judge not for the fatherless; and the widow's cause comes not into them (Is. 1:23). A most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule (Wisd. 6:6).

ASPIRATION Grant us, O Lord, Thy grace, that according to Thy will, we may follow the instructions of St. Paul in regard to humility and love, have compassion upon all suffering and needy, think little of ourselves, and descend to the lowest, that we may, one day, be elevated with them in heaven.

 

 

Having resolved to write a book on virginity, I think myself happy in being able to begin it on the feast we are keeping of the Virgin Agnes.  It is the feast of a virgin; let us walk in the path of purity.  It is the feast of a martyr; let us offer up our Sacrifice.  It is the feast of St. Agnes; let men admire and children not despair; let the married wonder, and the unmarried imitate.  But what can we speak worthy of this Saint, whose very name is not void of praise?  As her devotedness is beyond her years, and her virtue superhuman so, as it seems to me, her name is not an appellation, but a prophecy, presaging that she was to be a martyr.

St. Ambrose on St. Agnes

 

O my soul, be humble and forget not that the more thou art exalted in thy own esteem the more wilt thou be shamed and confounded at the judgment day. For then, as says the prophet, "Man shall be humbled" (Isa. 5, 15), and only the humble will be able to glory "in his exultation" (Jas 1, 9). Remember that according to the saying of Isaias, the day of judgment has been appointed especially to humble the proud: "Because the day of the Lord of hosts shall be on every one that is proud and high-minded, and he shall be humbled" (Isa. 2, 12), and thou shouldest regard as though specially directed to thyself that prophetic voice from God which says: "Behold I come against thee, O proud one, saith the Lord, for thy day is come, the time of thy visitation. And the proud one shall fall, he shall fall down, and there shall be none to lift him up" (Isa. 1, 31). 

Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo, Humility of Heart

 

“He that hath the Son hath life.  He that hath not the Son, hath not life” (1 Jn. 5,12). 

The grace which sanctifies our souls is, in its essence, identically the same as that which adorns the sacred soul of Jesus (St. Thomas, IIIa, q.8, a.5).  Of course, they differ immensely in measure and perfection, but the nature of the grace is the very same.  Hence grace in us has the same sanctifying power, the same tendencies as it has in the soul of Jesus.  Thus it can sanctify us, making us live in union with God and for His glory.  By giving us grace, Jesus has truly communicated His life to us; He has planted in us the seed of His sanctity, so that we can live a life similar to His own. 

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., Divine Intimacy

 

 

INSTRUCTION ON THE HOLY SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

What is Matrimony?

Matrimony is the perfect, indissoluble union of two free persons of different sex, for the purpose of propagating the human race, mutually to bear the burdens of life and to prevent sin (I Cor. 7:2).

Who instituted Matrimony?

God Himself, the Creator of all things (Gen. 1:27-28). He brought to man the helpmate, whom He formed from one of the ribs of Adam, that she who came from his heart, might never depart therefrom, but cling to him in the indissoluble bond of love (Gen. 2:18, 24). To this original, divine institution Christ refers (Mt. 19:4-6), and the Church declares the bond of marriage perpetual and indissoluble.

Is Matrimony a Sacrament?

Yes; according to the testimony of the Fathers, the Church has held it such from the times of the apostles, which she could not do, had Christ not raised it to the dignity of a Sacrament. St. Paul even calls it a great Sacrament, because it is symbolical of the perpetual union of Christ with His Church; and the Council of Trent declares: "If any one says that Matrimony is not really and truly one of the seven Sacraments of the Church instituted by Christ, but an invention of men that imparts no grace, let him be anathema" (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXIV, can. 1).

What graces does this Sacrament impart?

The grace of preserving matrimonial fidelity inviolate: the grace of educating children as Christians; of patiently enduring the unavoidable difficulties of married life, and of living peaceably with each other. Married people are indeed greatly in need of these graces, in order to fulfill their mutual obligations.

What is the external sign in the Sacrament of Matrimony?

The union of two single persons in Matrimony, which according to the regulations of the Council of Trent (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXIV, can. 1), must be formed publicly in the presence of the pastor, or with his permission before another priest, and two witnesses.

What preparations are to be made to receive the grace of this Sacrament?

1. The first and best preparation is a pure and pious life. 2. The light of the Holy Ghost should be invoked to know whether one is called to this state of life. 3. The parents and the father-confessor should be asked for advice. 4. The choice should be made in regard to a Christian heart, and a gentle disposition rather than to beauty and wealth. 5. The immediate preparation is, to purify the conscience, if it has not already been done, by a good general confession, and by the reception of the most holy Sacrament of the Altar. Before their marriage the young couple should ask their parents' blessing, should hear the nuptial Mass with devotion, with the intention of obtaining God's grace to begin their new state of life well, and finally they should commend themselves with confidence to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her spouse St. Joseph.

Why are there so many unhappy marriages?

Because so many people prepare the way by sins and vices, and continue to sin without interruption, and without true amendment until marriage, therefore always make sacrilegious confessions, even perhaps immediately before marriage. Besides this many enter the married life on account of carnal intentions, or other earthly motives; in many cases they do not even ask God for His grace; without any proper preparation for such an important, sacred act, on their marriage day they go to church with levity and afterwards celebrate their wedding with but little modesty. Is it any wonder that such married people receive no blessing, no grace, when they render themselves so unworthy?

Why did God institute married life?

That children might be brought up honestly and as Christians, and that they should be instructed especially in matters of faith; that married people should sustain each other in the difficulties of life, and mutually exhort one another to a pious life; and lastly, that the sin of impurity might be avoided. For they who in such manner receive matrimony as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power (Tob. 6:17).

With what intentions should the married state be entered?

With such intentions as the young Tobias and his bride had, who before the marriage ceremony, ardently prayed God for His grace, and took their wedding breakfast in the fear of the Lord (Tob. 14:15). Hence God's blessing was with them until death. If all young people would enter the married state thus, it would certainly be holy, God-pleasing and blessed, and the words of St. Paul, spoken to wives, would come true unto them: Yet she shall be saved by bearing children, if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification with sobriety (I Tim. 2:15).

Why are the bans of marriage published three times in Church?

That all impediments which would render the marriage unlawful may be made known. Such impediments are: consanguinity, clandestine marriages, etc. Therefore, any one who is aware of such impediments is bound to make them known to the pastor.

Why is the marriage performed in the presence of the parish priest?

Because the Catholic Church expressly declares that those marriages which are not performed in presence of the pastor, or with his permission before another priest, and two witnesses, are null and void (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXIV can. 1); and because the blessing of the priest, which he imparts in the name of the Church, gives the couple, if they are in a state of grace, strength, fortitude and grace to be faithful to each other, to endure all trials patiently, and to be safe from all the influences of the evil enemy."

Why do they join hands before the priest, and two witnesses?

By this they bind themselves before God and His Church to remain true to each other, and to be ready to assist each other in all adversities. The bridegroom puts a ring on the bride's finger which should remind her of her duty of inviolable fidelity; to this end the priest signs and seals this holy union with the unbloody Sacrifice of the New Law.

Can the bond of marriage be dissolved in the Catholic Church?

A valid marriage, contracted with the free consent of each of the parties, can according to the plain doctrine of the Scriptures, the constant teaching and practice of the Church, be dissolved only by the death of one of the parties. If the pope or a bishop, for important reasons, gives a divorce, this is only partial, and neither can marry again while the other lives. Such a marriage would not be valid. How pure and holy are the doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church in this the most important and sacred of all human relations, preserving its inviolability and sanctity; while, on the contrary, by means of the wanton doctrine of the heretics, which for trivial reasons entirely dissolves the marriage contract, this sacred union is made the deepest ignominy of mankind, and the play-ball of human passions and caprice!

What is thought of mixed marriages, or marriages between Catholics and Protestants?

The Catholic Church has always condemned such marriages, because of the great dangers to which the Catholic party is unavoidably exposed as well as the offspring. Such marriages promote indifference in matters of religion, by which the spiritual life of the soul is destroyed; they are a hindrance to domestic peace, cause mutual aversion, quarrels, and confusion; they give scandal to servants; they interfere with the Christian education of the children, even render it impossible, and they frequently lead to apostasy and despair. But the Catholic Church condemns especially those mixed marriages, in which either all or a number of the children are brought up in heresy, and she can never bless and look upon those as her children who do not fear to withdraw themselves and their own children from the only saving faith, and expose them to the danger of eternal ruin. Therefore, those Catholics who enter the matrimonial union with Protestants, although the marriage if lawfully contracted is valid, commit a mortal sin if they permit their children to be brought up in heresy, and should it not be their full intention to bring up their children in the Catholic faith at the time of their marriage, they would commit a sacrilege.

What should the newly married couple do immediately after the ceremony is performed?

They should kneel and thank God for the graces received in this holy Sacrament, in such or similar words: "Ratify, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that which by Thy grace Thou hast wrought in us, that we may keep that which in Thy presence we have promised unto the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." That they may keep their promise made at the altar, they should always remember the duties laid down to them by the priest at the time of their marriage, and the exhortations which are taken from the epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Eph. 5: 29, 31), wherein he instructs married people how they should comport themselves towards each other, and recalls to them as an example the union of Christ with His Church, and His love for her. To the husbands he says, they should love their wives as Christ loved His Church, for which He even gave Himself up to death; from this is seen, that men should assist their wives even unto death, in all need, and not treat them as servants. To the wives St. Paul says, that they as the weaker should be in all reasonable things obedient to their husbands, as the Church is obedient to Christ; for as Christ is the head of the Church, so is the husband the head of the wife. Experience proves there is no better way for women to win the hearts of their husbands than by amiable obedience and ready love, while, on the contrary, a querulous, imperative deportment robs them of their husbands' affections, and even causes them to be regarded with aversion. St. Paul says further; that husbands should love their wives (and consequently wives their husbands) as their own bodies, because married people are, as it were, one. They shall be two in one flesh; no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the Church (Eph. 5:29, 31). How unjustly and barbarously do those act, who, instead of loving one another, rather hate and outrage each other, and cause the loss of their property, and by detraction steal their honor! These do not consider that he who hates and disgraces his partner in life, hates and disgraces himself; while according to the words of St. Paul he who loves her, loves himself. If married people would remain in constant love and unity, it is most necessary that they should patiently bear with each other's infirmities, wrongs, and defects, exhort one another with mildness and affection, keep their adversities, trials, and sufferings as much as possible to themselves, and complain in prayer only to God, who alone can aid them. By impatience, quarrels, and complaints the cross becomes only heavier and the evil worse. Finally, not only on their wedding day, but often through life, they should earnestly consider that they have not entered the married state that they may inordinately serve the pleasures of the body, but to have children who will one day inhabit heaven according to the will of God; as the angel said to Tobias: "For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power" (Tob. 6:17).

PRAYER Most merciful Jesus! who didst work Thy first miracle at the wedding in Cana by changing water into wine, thereby revealing Thy divine power and majesty, and honoring matrimony: grant we beseech Thee, that Thy faithful may ever keep sacred and inviolate the holy sacrament of Matrimony, and that they may so live in it truthfully, in the fear of the Lord, that they may not put an obstacle in the way of obtaining heaven for themselves, and their children.

 

 

God wills only our good; God loves us more than anybody else can or does love us. His will is that no one should lose his soul, that everyone should save and sanctify his soul: “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance." "This is the will of God, your sanctification." God has made the attainment of our happiness, His glory. Since He is by His nature infinite goodness, and since as St. Leo says goodness is diffusive of itself, God has a supreme desire to make us sharers of His goods and of His happiness. If then He sends us suffering in this life, it is for our own good: "All things work together unto good." Even chastisements come to us, not to crush us, but to make us mend our ways and save our souls: "Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord have happened for our amendment and not for our destruction." 

Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri, Uniformity with God's Will

 

 

THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS              SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

PRESENCE OF GOD ‑ O Jesus, transform my soul as You once transformed the water for the bride and bridegroom at Cana.

MEDITATION:

    I. Now that the cycle of Jesus' childhood has ended, the liturgy begins to speak of His public life. During the days following the Epiphany, it recalled Our Lord's baptism in the Jordan, the event which marked the beginning of His apostolate. Today it tells us about His first miracle, destined, like the Epiphany and His baptism, to manifest to the world His glory as the Son of God.

 "And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited . . . to the marriage" (Gosp: Jn 2, 1‑11).  For the first time, we see the Blessed Virgin in her mater­nal function as mediatrix of all graces. The Cana miracle, Jesus' first, was worked precisely because of her intercession which was so powerful that it made Jesus anticipate His hour. "My hour is not yet come," the Savior had answered His Mother, and Mary was neither dismayed by this apparent refusal nor did she insist on her request. Secure in the knowledge of her Son and full of loving confidence in Him, she says to the servants, "Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye." Her humility, consideration for others, faith, and trustful abandonment with Jesus, and to show us the greatness of her power over His divine heart, He grants her wish; the miracle takes place.

    Mary's faith is admirable; and also worthy of admiration is the faith and prompt obedience of the servants who, following Mary's advice, immediately carry out the orders of Jesus; they fill the water pots with water and then pour from them. Not a moment of doubt, not a protest‑ they simply obey. May we not learn from them how to believe, how to obey? Shall we not have recourse to Mary's powerful intercession?

    2. "The water was made wine." A miracle much more wonderful than the one which Jesus performed at Cana is repeated daily on our altars; a little bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and given to us as the Food of our souls. The Communion antiphon of today's Mass repeats the passage in the Gospel which speaks of the water made wine. Yes, for us preeminently, Jesus has "kept the good wine until now." It is the precious wine of the Holy Eucharist, inebriating our souls with His Body and Blood.

    There is another wonderful transformation which Jesus accomplishes in our souls by means of grace; the water of our poor human nature becomes a sharer in God's divine nature; it is transformed into the sacred wine of the life of Christ Himself. Man becomes a member of Christ, the adopted child of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Today our Lady tells us how we can and should foster this precious transformation; she says to us as she once did to the servants at the Cana feast, "Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye." In these words, Mary invites us to that complete transformation in Christ which is effected by the generous practice of all that He teaches and commands. Let us, then, with humble, docile hearts, with lively faith and perfect abandonment, entrust ourselves to Jesus through Mary's hands.

COLLOQUY:

    How encouraging it is, O Lord, for me to find Your sweet Mother beside You today! Everything becomes simple and easy near Mary, beneath her maternal eye, under the protection of her powerful intercession. How good You were, O Jesus, to give us Your dear Mother to be the Mother of our spiritual life! I will follow Mary's precious advice and do everything You tell me, everything You wish me to do.

    I want to imitate the blind, prompt obedience of the servants at the wedding feast: to obey You as they did, always and in everything, Your instructions, counsels, and precepts‑ to obey You likewise in the person of my superiors, even when I do not see the reason for their orders and arrangements, even when they expect difficult things of me or something which seems to me absurd. Furthermore, I want to imitate Your Mother's complete abandonment when, in her great thoughtfulness, she confided to You her wish to help the bride and bridegroom in their difficulty. Your apparent refusal did not trouble her; she did not persist in her request, but she was sure, absolutely sure, that Your infinitely good and tender heart would provide, and provide abundantly.

    O Lord, with a like confidence and trust, I lay my needs before You today. Do You see them? My soul is like the water pots at the feast: full of water, the cold, insipid water of my frailty and weakness, which I never seem to overcome completely. I can say with the Psalmist: "The waters have come even unto my soul" (Ps 60, 1), and they submerge me and I am as one drowned in incompetence and weakness. O Lord, I believe that, if You will, You can change all this water into the precious wine of Your love, Your grace, and Your life. You are so powerful, so merciful, that my wretchedness, great as it is, does not astonish You, because in comparison with You, who are infinite, it is always very small. Just as in the Mass the few drops of water which are poured into the chalice are changed with the wine into Your Blood, O Lord, take my wretchedness, plunge it into Your heart, make it disappear in You.

 

The decadence which exists in the world is without any doubt the consequence of the lack of the spirit of prayer.  Foreseeing this disorientation, the Blessed Virgin recommended recitation of the Rosary with such insistence, and since the Rosary is, after the Eucharistic liturgy, the prayer most apt for preserving faith in souls, the devil has unchained his struggle against it… The Rosary is the most powerful weapon for defending ourselves on the field of battle. 

Sr. Lucy of Fatima on the Rosary

 

All mischief, every scandal, comes from the clergy.  We black robes are to blame for everything.... A priest without the spirit of penitence is Satan's toy. 

St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

 

 

He who does not contemplate My littleness upon earth will not behold My greatness in heaven. 

Our Lord to St. Angela of Foligno

 

 

 

 

The Church of Ss. Vincent & Anastasius:

First, “put off the light” and, “then commit crimes.”