The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Introit   Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day; for Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee. Psalm. Incline Thine ear to me, O Lord, and hear me; for I am needy and poor. ℣. 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. — Have mercy …

Collect May Thy grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord, ever go before us and follow us: and make us continually intent upon good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ …

Epistle (Ephesians 3 : 13–21) Brethren, I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man. That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts; that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length, and height, and depth. To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge; that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that works in us: to Him be glory in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, unto all generations, world without end. Amen.

Gradual   (Psalm 101:16 – 17) The Gentiles shall fear Thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and He shall be seen in His majesty. Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 97:1.) Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle, because the Lord hath done wonderful things. Alleluia.

Gospel (Luke 14:1 – 11) At that time, At that time, when Jesus went into the house of one of the chief of the Pharisees on the Sabbath day to eat bread, they watched Him. And behold, there was a certain man before Him that had the dropsy: and Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” But they held their peace: but He taking him, healed him, and sent him away.

Answering them, He said: “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him to these things. And He spoke a parable also to them that were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them: “When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honourable than thou be invited by him; and he that invited thee and him, come and say to thee: Give this man place: and then thou begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when thou art invited, go, sit down in the lowest place: that when he who invited thee, comes, he may say to thee: Friend, go up higher. Then shalt thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee: because every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted.”

Offertory   (Psalm 39 : 14, 15) Look down, O Lord, to help me; let them be confounded and ashamed that seek after my soul to take it away; look down O Lord, to help me.

Secret  Complete the purifying effect of this Sacrifice, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by mercifully making us worthy partakers thereof. Through our Lord …

Communion (Psalm 70 : 16, 18) O Lord, I will be mindful of Thy justice alone: Thou hast taught me, O God, from my youth, and unto old age and grey hairs, O God, forsake me not.

Postcommunion In Thy goodness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, purify and renew our minds by these heavenly Sacraments: and as a result, may we also receive help for our bodies, both now and in time to come. Through …


Fundamentals of the Faith: Part XI

Fr Ludwig Ott explains, at p.221 of Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, that the great mystery of grace may also be understood according to yet other categories than those we have discussed. There is a distinction between Gratia Gratis Data and Gratia Gratum Faciens, that is “Grace Given Freely” and “Grace Making Pleasing”). It is good to know about these concepts, because understanding them makes us more attentive to the work of God among us.

First of all, “Grace Given Freely” refers to “every grace which is conferred on particular persons for the salvation of others. To this class belong such extraordinary gifts as charismata (prophecy, gift of miracles, gift of tongues …), the priestly power of consecration, the hierarchical power of jurisdiction. The possession of these gifts is independent of the personal moral composition of their possessor …” This is helpful, because we often tend to think that when anyone does any good, or shows evidence of some kind of grace, the person must be all good. We give them too much credit, forgetting that God will make use of whomsoever He graciously wills, and that in every case it is God who is the ultimate source of the good.

Second, “Grace Making Pleasing” is also known as the grace of sanctification. Ott states that “its purpose is the personal sanctification of him who receives it. It makes the receiver pleasing to God either by formally sanctifying him (sanctifying grace) or by preparing him for sanctification or by preserving and increasing his sanctification (actual grace).” pp.221-222. He concludes this section by saying that grace given freely is “given to secure for men” the wonderful gift of “grace making pleasing,” and so the latter grace “is more sublime and valuable than the former.” (p. 222) “Grace Making Pleasing” includes both habitual grace, and actual (or “active,” a “temporary supernatural intervention by God by which the powers of the soul are stirred up to perform a salutary act … directed to … sanctifying grace.”)

It is necessary to make clear that we are only speaking of different ways of thinking about the work of God. It is not as if the Almighty has a pharmacy, and sends out this tablet for that condition or that elixir for another illness. Grace is a mystery, and we are not suggesting that there are different graces. What is meant is that the way grace works is suited to the different conditions, states, and needs of humanity. Imagine we were speaking about how the sun helps us: we could say that there are sunbeams that help the crops to grow, sunbeams that allow us to see, sunbeams that cause our bodies to produce vitamin D, and so on. It is like that with grace: it is the sunbeam of God the Sun and Centre of all the universe. If we use different names for different workings of grace, this is for our benefit in understanding – not to draw attention to different graces of various types. There are some controversies about grace, but we shall not explore them as they do not help us understand the fundamentals of the faith.

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