Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Sixth Sunday after Easter—14 May AD 2020
Sunday Within the Octave of the Ascension
Ave Maria!



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Our Lady Queen of the Apostles

Ordinary of the Mass
Sunday Mass Text - Latin
Sunday Mass Text - English



    Today's Gospel describes the decent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles at Pentecost, an annual Jewish harvest festival fifty days after Easter, known in Hebrew as Shavuot.  “When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.”[1]  “Paraclete” means an advocate—but the Holy Ghost did more than testify about Jesus, and far more than advocating for the Apostles.  The Holy Ghost positively energized them, and gave them a great gift of persuasion.  Very shortly thereafter the began to preach to the crowd in Jerusalem “the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue.”[2]  Primarily through Saint Peter's preaching,  ‘They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.”[3]

    Three thousand was a pretty good number of converts for a day’s work.  In the days that followed, the Holy Ghost continued to energize the Apostles, was occasionally visibly active to new converts:  “many of them who had heard the word, believed; and the number of the men was made five thousand.”[4]  Somewhat later the Apostles laid hands on some who had already been baptized, and they visibly saw that they had received the Holy Ghost.  This reception must have been impressive, for “when Simon [the magician] saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,”[5] (Simon, trying to buy the power to  confer the Holy Ghost, contributed his name to the word “simony,” the sin of trying to buy a Sacrament.)

    A few days ago, on Ascension Thursday we heard: “these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.”[6] In modern times, believers are rarely this fortunate—we rarely see these outward miracles, as they were seen in the early Church.

    With the passage of time, the Apostles all died, and eventually the visible work of the Holy Ghost nearly ceased—miracles became very rare.  But as the Church became well established, miracles became less and less necessary for It to be credible.  Pope Saint Gregory the Great (r. 590-604) wrote:

    “Signs ... were necessary at the beginning of the Church; in order that the faith might grow, it required miracles to cherish it withal; just as when we plant shrubs, we water them until we see them thrive in the ground, and as soon as they are well rooted we cease our irrigation.”[7]

    In the middle ages the Church gained credibility by acting as a peace broker between the kings and nation's of Europe.  The Popes organized the Crusades to repel Moslem invasions of Europe and the holy Land.  This political credibility of the Church lasted until about 1648 and the treaty of Westphalia, when secular leaders began to make their own treaties and negotiations.

     Even before Westphalia, a major factor in preserving the belief of the faithful was the coherent and consistent teaching of the Church.  As early as the year 48 AD, the bishops of the Church gathered in council whenever there was any question of what we were to believe or what disciplinary laws we were to observe.  Early on, emperors like Constantine urged the Popes to call such ecumenical councils when needed. (The proper meaning of the words “ecumenical council” is a council of the entire Catholic Church, in which the Pope and bishops define the teachings of the Faith by applying rigorous logic to what is known through Divine revelation.  It is not a session for introducing innovations, personal opinions, illogical “dialogue,” false worship, or outright heresy to the body of Catholic belief.)

As “the law of prayer is the law of belief,” the worship of the Catholic Church must reflect the beliefs of the Church.  While absolute uniformity of the Liturgy is not required, every Catholic rite of Mass should convey the truth that the Mass is one with the sacrifice of the Cross, that Jesus Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament under the appearances of bread and wine, and express appropriate worship and reverence for our Lord.  Absent any of these attributes, the liturgy will be a source of scandal, and possibly of sin.

    In modern times, the Church has lost a great deal of Its “coherent and consistent teaching” in faith, morals, and liturgy.  Some of these losses have been at the highest levels, but many of the innovations were produced by university theologians, and spread through the more liberal religious orders.  Altogether too many priests and bishops have advanced in their careers in spite of grave moral failings. Many of the clergy and laity hold that the Church must keep up to date, changing Its teachings to reflect the society of the modern world—they utterly fail to realize that Catholics and the Church “must be in the world, but not of the world.”  They do not understand that you can't make morality out of immorality; that you cannot make truth out of error.

    “With God … the Father of lights …” Saint James tells us,  “there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”[8]  God is perfect—it is insane to think of God adapting Himself to modern human society or to its ever changing pseudo-morality.  God never changes, nor can our beliefs or our moral code, if they are grounded in His revelation.


Yet, there are good bishops, priests, and deacons out there. 
What can we do to help them in the practice of the true Catholic Faith?


    Well, I believe that this parish is doing a good job of keeping our liturgy Catholic.  In 1570, Pope Saint Pius V assured us that no priest would ever be required to use any other missal than the one Saint Pius issued in that year.  This guarantee was made “in perpetuity” by this saintly Pope, so we are fully justified in retaining this Catholic rite.[9]

    What is lacking is a way to make all those “coherent and consistent teachings” well known to the members of society.  Since so much misinformation is produced every year, l am going to suggest a reading program for all of us—sort of a “Great Books” program to make us all familiar with those writings which clearly put forth the actual teachings of our Catholic Faith.  I already have a reading list online [ ] and will spend the coming week insuring that all of its links are up to date.  I'll make printed copies of the list for those who do not have Internet access, and will gather the books that are in our physical possession on the shelves with the Catholic Encyclopedia, so they can be borrowed by our people.  Some of the books are available to read online, so have a look on line if you have access to the Internet.


“I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me:
and you shall give testimony, [of Me].”


    The Spirit of Truth is embodied in good Catholic literature.  We can absorb that truth in our reading—and then we can give testimony of He who sent us the Spirit of Truth!



Dei via est íntegra


Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!