Fifteenth Sunday of Pentecost
Introit Incline Thine ear, O Lord, to me and hear me: save Thy servant, O my God, that trusteth in Thee: have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day. Ps. ibid. 4. Give joy to the soul of Thy Servant; for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul. ℣. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. — Incline Thine ear, O Lord …
Collect Let Thy continual pity, O Lord, cleanse and defend Thy Church: and because it cannot continue in safety without Thee, may it ever be governed by Thy goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Epistle (Galatians, 5. 25-26; 6. 1-10.) Brethren: If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be made desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so you shall fulfil the law of Christ. For if any man think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let everyone prove his own work, and so he shall have glory in himself only, and not in another. For every one shall bear his own burden. And let him that is instructed in the word, communicate to him that instructs him, in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that sows in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption: but he that sows in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. And in doing good, let us not fail; for in due time we shall reap, not failing. Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Gradual (Ps. 91. 2-3) It is good to give praise to the Lord; and to sing to Thy Name, O most High. To show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and Thy truth in the night. Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 94. 3.) For the Lord is a great God, and a great King over all the earth. Alleluia.
Gospel (Luke, 7. 11-16.) At that time, Jesus went into a city called Naim: and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, He said to her: “Weep not.” And He came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still.
Then He said: “Young man, I say to thee, Arise.” And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying: “A great Prophet is risen up amongst us, and God hath visited His people.”
Offertory (Ps. 39. 2, 3, 4) With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and He had regard to me; and He heard my prayer, and He put a new canticle into my mouth, a song to our God.
Secret May Thy Sacraments, O Lord, safeguard us, and ever defend us against the assaults of the devil. Through our Lord …
Communion (John 6. 52) The bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world.
Postcommunion May the efficacy of the heavenly Gift, we beseech Thee, O Lord, possess our minds and bodies: so that its effects, and not our own impulses, may ever prevail in us. Through our Lord …
Fundamentals of the Faith: Part X
We have been discussing the mystery of Grace. Fr Ludwig Ott speaks of The Grace of God, also known as The Grace of the Creator, which “is the grace which God, from the sole motive of love, bestowed on the angels and on our first parents in Paradise, who in consequence of their sinlessness, were only negatively unworthy of the reception of grace …” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 221)
Two short comments: first, we never usually think of the angels receiving grace, because we tend to think of it as being an aid in the ongoing war between our desire for holiness, and the sins and weaknesses to which we are too liable. But since grace is the life of God in a soul, and it is that life which allows us to stand in the divine presence (so to speak), then it follows that the angels must have a share of grace. Therefore, in so far as we rely upon and can receive grace, we are something a little like the angels. Second, when we say that Adam and Eve “were only negatively unworthy of the reception of grace …” we mean not that they were in a bad way, or that their souls were at all repugnant to God. No, it is a neutral way of speaking: we cannot say that they were worthy of the gift of God – that is entirely His prerogative. But there was nothing sinful in them which was antagonistic to grace – so they were simply in the condition of not having something in them positively deserving.
Fr Ott contrasts this Grace of the Creator to those who were not worthy, with the Grace of Christ the Redeemer to we men who are, “in consequence of the Fall … positively unworthy” of receiving grace. This grace is bestowed not only out of love, as is the Grace of the Creator, but out of both love and mercy for fallen man. The Grace of Christ the Redeemer is given “in view of the merits of Christ’s Redemption.” (p. 221) At the same page, Ott adds the important note:
Both the Grace of God and the Grace of Christ elevate the receiver into the supernatural order of being and activity (gratia elevans). In addition, the Grace of Christ has the task of curing the wounds inflicted by sin …
This not only provides us with a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Redemption, it also reminds us that we are in need of the supernatural help which God alone can give us. Reverently attending the sacraments in humility is not a sort of option available to us among us, such as watching t.v., or playing computer games – just one way to pass the time. It is, rather, an activity of entirely higher type than any which the world can provide to us: it heals the wounded soul, and raises us to “the supernatural order of being and activity.” We must never forget this, and to be able to remember it, we must first of all know it.
Finally, let us note the distinction between external and internal grace. External grace is “any benevolent deed of God for the salvation of men … which affects meditation in a moral way only … e.g. Christ’s teaching and example; sermons; the Liturgy; the Sacraments, the example of the saints.” While internal grace “affects the soul and its powers intrinsically, and operates physically on it … e.g. sanctifying grace; the infused virtues; actual grace.” (p. 221)