Thursday, June 30, 2016

The two reasons Jesus established His One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church

Salvation and Sanctification


John 3: 16  For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him.

This is said by way of anticipation, lest Nicodemus should object, “If thou art the Son of God, how will God suffer Thee to be suspended and exalted upon the cross?”

Christ meets this by implying that God will permit it in order to show forth His burning love to men, which was typified by the serpent of brass, which is called in Hebrew saraph, which means fiery, and setting on fire. So S. Chrysostom and Theophylact.


Observe that every word of Christ in this sentence has a great and special emphasis, in order to magnify to the utmost the love of God. For (i.) He says, So, with such vehemence, such excess of love. 2. Not a king, or an angel, loved, but God. 3. Loved, i e., first and as it were gratuitously; without merit, yea, even without desire on our part. 4. The world, His enemy, and under the sentence of damnation. 5. Gave not another man, not a. angel, not another world, but His Son; and that not an adopted Son, but His own Son; and again not one Son of many, but His only Son, His Only Begotten Son. 6. He did not sell, or lend, but gave freely; and not to a kingdom and triumphs, but to death and the Cross. 7. Christ did not do it for Himself, to gain any advantage for Himself, but that He, the Creator, might give life to us His creatures by His own death, that by His humility He might exalt us, that by His emptying Himself He might heap upon us eternal glory, and an infinite weight of wealth and goodness. This is the love of God towards man, which the Apostle celebrates (Titus iii. 5).


You may say, it would have been greater love if God the Father had given Himself for us, and taken our flesh, than that He sent His Son. For he gives more who gives himself than he who sends another.


But I reply that this is true of those who are of a different essence, but not of God: for the Father and the Son have the same Divine Essence, and are consubstantial. Wherefore the Father, in giving us His Son, with Him gave us His own Essence, than which nothing greater can exist, or be given. This gift of the Father was therefore the greatest possible, and infinite. So S. Cyril on this passage.


You may further urge, God gave not His own Person, but His Essence only: and that He would have given more if He had given His Person also. I answer by denying the conclusion. 1. Because Person is God is in reality the same as Essence; for it adds nothing to His Essence except relatively, and the idea of distinction from the other Persons: also because the Person of the Son is as worthy a the Person of the Father. For all the three Divine Persons are co-equal in all things, as the Athanasian Creed saith. Besides, the Father in giving the Person of His Son, gave us also His own Person, as well as the Person of the Holy Ghost. Because the Father is in the Son, and both are in the Holy Ghost. And again the Son is in the Father, and the Holy Ghost in the Father and the Son, of which I will speak more fully on chapter xiv. 10.

Moreover S. Thomas (3 part, qu. 3) gives several reasons why God the Father gave not proximately His own Person, but the Person of His Son; or why the Son alone took upon Him our flesh. Among which the primary is, because the Father willed to adopt us and our nature, and to make us His sons, and so heirs. For He made His Son to be our brother, that by Him we might become sons of God, and so heirs, as Christ here intimates.


Ver. 17.—For God sent not, &c. He confirms and intensifies the assertion of the infinite love of God to men, as proved by Christ’s being crucified. For God might justly have sent His Son into the world to destroy it for its great wickedness. For this was what His justice demanded, but the infinite love of God overcame justice in that it bestowed the highest blessing upon the world, which deserved the utmost extremity of punishment, in giving it salvation through Him.


Observe: the expression judge the world, as it is in the Vulgate, means to condemn, and destroy it in hell. It is opposed to the word saved. Hence S. Augustine observes that this was the end of Christ’s Incarnation, that all men might be saved, and that He earnestly desired and willed this. Wherefore it is of themselves, through their own fault, and not Christ’s, that many of them will be damned.



1 Cor. 1 But of him you are in Christ Jesus, who is made to us wisdom from God, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption: That, as it is written: He that glorieth, may glory in the Lord.

This righteousness, say our modern innovators, is imputed, because it is ours, not substantially and inherently, but is merely the external righteousness of Christ imputed to us; before God we seem righteous. But I reply: If this be true, then in the same way the active redemption wrought by Christ, which S. Paul here joins with righteousness, will be imputed to us, and consequently we shell be redeemers of ourselves, which is absurd. In the second place, wisdom is infused into us, and so is faith, and so therefore is righteousness; for the Apostle classes together the righteousness and wisdom of Christ as both alike ours. I say, then, with Chrysostom, Theophylact, Anselm, Ambrose, and S. Thomas, that the sense of this passage is this: Christ is made unto us the author and cause of real Christian wisdom, redemption, sanctification, and righteousness.

1. By way of satisfaction and meritoriously; and this is what the Apostle specially has in his mind here: because Christ paid man’s debt with the most precious price of His own Blood, and so made sanctification for man, and merited for us righteousness, wisdom, and sanctification. In this way He was made for us righteousness, because the righteousness, i.e., the satisfaction of Christ, is ours, just as much as if we had ourselves made satisfaction to God. And hence it is that theologians teach that the satisfaction of Christ is applied to us in justification through the Sacraments, as if naturally first, and that then as a natural consequence our sins are forgiven through that satisfaction, and grace is infused. 


This condemns the error of Peter Abélard, in which he is followed by the Socinians, who teach that Christ was the teacher of the world, not its redeemer—nay more, that He was sent by the Father to give to man an example of perfect virtue, but not to free him from sin or to redeem him. S. Bernard refutes this in Ep. 190, to Pope Innocent, where he says: “Christ is the end of the law to every one that believeth. In short, S. Paul says that He was made to us righteousness by God the Father. Is not then that righteousness mine which was made for me? If my guilt is brought against me, why am I not given the benefit of my righteousness? And indeed what is given me is safer than what is innate. For this has whereof it may glory, but not before God. But the former, since it is effectual to salvation, has no ground of glorying, except in the Lord. ‘For if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head,’ says Job, lest the answer come, ‘What hast thou that thou didst not receive? But if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hast not received it?’ 

This is the righteousness of man in the blood of his Redeemer, which Abélard, that man of perdition, scoffs and sneers at, and so tries to empty of its force, that he holds and argues that all that the Lord of Glory did in emptying Himself . . . in suffering indignities . . . is to be reduced to this, that it was all done that He might by His life and teaching give to man a rule of life, and by His suffering and death set up a goal of charity.” Abélard’s argument was fallacious and frivolous: the devil, he said, had no right over man; therefore man needed no liberator. The premiss is doubtless true when understood of lawful right, but not of usurped right, under which man through sin by his own free will had submitted himself to the power of the devil, of sin, and of hell.

2. By way of example; because the righteousness of Christ is the most perfect example, to which all our righteousness ought to be conformed. In this sense S. Paul’s meaning is, Christ is an example and mirror of righteousness.


3. Efficiently; because Christ effects and produces this righteousness in us through His Sacraments, and because He teaches the Saints true wisdom and understanding; as, e.g., how to live a good and Christian life, by what road to attain to heaven, and how we must strive after bliss.


4. As our end; because Christ Himself and His glory are the end of our righteousness and sanctification. S. Bernard, in his 22nd Sermon on the Canticles, deals with these four, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, symbolically. In the first place, he adapts them to the four works of Christ. He says, “Christ was made for us wisdom in His preaching, righteousness in the forgiveness of our sins, sanctification in the life that He spent with sinners, redemption in the sufferings that He bore for sinners.” And again further on he says, “Christ was made for us by God wisdom by teaching prudence, righteousness by forgiving our trespasses, sanctification by the example He set of temperance and of chaste life, redemption by the example He left of patience and of fortitude in dying. Where, I ask, is true wisdom, except in the teaching of Christ? Whence comes true righteousness but from the mercy of Christ? Where is there true temperance but in the life of Christ? Where true fortitude save in the Passion of Christ?” 


In the second place, S. Bernard naturally adapts these four to the four virtues, prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, which Christ imparts to us. He goes in to say: “Only those, then, who have been imbued with His doctrine are to be called prudent; only those, who by His mercy have obtained forgiveness of their sins, are to be called righteous; only those are to be called temperate who strive to imitate His life; only those are to be called brave who bravely bear adversity and show patience like His. In vain surely does any one strive to acquire virtues, if he thinks that they are to be obtained from any other source but the Lord of virtues, whose teaching is the school of prudence, whose mercy the working of righteousness, whose life the mirror of temperance, whose death the pattern of fortitude.” 


Ver. 31.—That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. He is quoting not the words but the sense of Jeremiah ix. 23. So Ambrose, Theophylact, Anselm, St, Thomas. In Jeremiah the passage runs: “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches, but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me.” This it is to glory in the Lord. Jeremiah is speaking of liberation from the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, and from the slaughter of the Chaldeans, which were then threatening the Jews. In other words, then, he says: The Jews glory in counsels of their wise men, in the strength of their soldiers, in the riches of Jerusalem, as though these would make them secure against the Chaldeans; but they err, for their true glory is to know and understand God, that is, His Providence, an that it is He alone who worketh mercy, and mercifully sets free whom He will, and not the wisdom, might, or riches of man. 


Moreover, He alone inflicts just punishment on whom He will, and no wise, mighty, or rich man can set free from this—even as, O Jews, He will inflict it on you, and will bring it to pass, that death (that is, the Chaldeans, shall bring death upon you) shall climb up into your houses, though your windows, and slay all your little ones.

The Apostles rightly adapts this passage to those who were calling others, or who had been called to Christianity, that no one may attribute the grace of Christ to himself, his virtues, or the gifts of nature, but only to Christ, and consequently his tacit exhortation is: “Do not, O Corinthians, glory in yourselves, or in Paul, or in Apollos, your teachers, but in the Lord alone.” For this is what in the beginning he proposed to prove, and therefore all that is here said must be referred to it. Anselm says: “That man glories in the Lord only who knows that it is not of himself, but of Him, not only that he is, but also that it is well with him.” Again that glories in the Lord who, if he has anything which makes him pleasing to God, holds that he has received it, not because of his own wisdom, power, good works, talent, or merits, but merely through the grace of God. Thirdly, he who in all that he does seeks not his own glory, but that of the Lord.

S. Bernard wrote a noteworthy sermon on these words of the Apostle; see also Sermon 25 on Canticles. He says: “Moreover, the whole glorying of the Saints is within and not without, that is, not in the flower of grass, or the mouth of the vulgar, but in the Lord; for God alone is the sole judge of their conscience, Him alone they desire to please, and to please Him is their only real and chief glory.” And Sermon 13 on Canticles: “Brothers, let none of you desire to be praised in this life. For whatever favour you gain for yourselves here which you do not refer to Him, you steal from Him. For whence, thou dust that perishest, whence comes thy glory?” And in his Sentences: “The Apostles knew that glory properly belongs to the Creator, and not to the creature. But he also knew that the rational creature so seeks after glory that it can scarcely or perhaps never overcome this desire, just because it was made in the image of the Creator. Therefore he gave the most wholesome advice when he said: ‘Since you cannot be persuaded not to glory, let him that glorieth glory in the Lord.’” Let us, too, say in company with the Psalmist, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give the praise,” and with the four and twenty elders who cast their crowns before the throne, “Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever” (Rev. v. 13).

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Text from Douay and commentary, of course, from Cornelius a Lapide.




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Dies Irae/Day of Wrath

   DIES irae, dies illa,
   solvet saeculum in favilla,
   teste David cum Sibylla.

   Day of wrath and doom impending,
   David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
   Heaven and earth in ashes ending.

   Quantus tremor est futurus,
   quando iudex est venturus,
   cuncta stricte discussurus!

   O what fear man’s bosom rendeth,
   When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
   On whose sentence all dependeth.

   Tuba mirum spargens sonum
   per sepulcra regionum,
   coget omnes ante thronum.

   Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,
   Through earth’s sepulchers it ringeth,
   All before the throne it bringeth.

   Mors stupebit et natura,
   cum resurget creatura,
   iudicanti responsura.

   Death is struck, and nature quaking,
   All creation is awaking,
   To its Judge an answer making.

   Liber scriptus proferetur,
   in quo totum continetur,
   unde mundus iudicetur.

   Lo, the book exactly worded,
   Wherein all hath been recorded,
   Thence shall judgment be awarded.

   Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
   quidquid latet apparebit:
   nil inultum remanebit.

   When the Judge His seat attaineth,
   And each hidden deed arraigneth,
   Nothing unavenged remaineth.

   Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
   quem patronum rogaturus?
   cum vix iustus sit securus.

   What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
   Who for me be interceding
   When the just are mercy needing?

   Rex tremendae maiestatis,
   qui salvandos salvas gratis,
   salva me, fons pietatis.

   King of majesty tremendous,
   Who dost free salvation send us,
   Fount of pity, then befriend us.

   Recordare Iesu pie,
   quod sum causa tuae viae:
   ne me perdas illa die.

   Think, kind Jesus, my salvation
   Caused Thy wondrous Incarnation,
   Leave me not to reprobation.
   
   Quarens me, sedisti lassus:
   redemisti crucem passus:
   tantus labor non sit cassus.

   Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,
   On the Cross of suffering bought me,
   Shall such grace be vainly brought me?

   Iuste iudex ultionis,
   donum fac remissionis,
   ante diem rationis.

   Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution
   Grant Thy gift of absolution,
   Ere that day of retribution.

   Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
   culpa rubet vultus meus:
   supplicanti parce Deus.

   Guilty now I pour my moaning,
   All my shame with anguish owning,
   Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning.

   Qui Mariam absolvisti,
   et latronem exaudisti,
   mihi quoque spem dedisti.

   Through the sinful woman shriven,
   Through the dying thief forgiven,
   Thou to me a hope hast given.

   Preces meae non sunt dignae:
   sed tu bonus fac benigne,
   ne perenni cremer igne.

   Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
   Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
   Rescue me from fires undying.

   Inter oves locum praesta,
   et ab haedis me sequestra,
   statuens in parte dextera.

   With Thy sheep a place provide me,
   From the goats afar divide me,
   To Thy right hand do Thou guide me.

   Confutatis maledictis,
   flammis acribus addictis.
   voca me cum benedictis.

   When the wicked are confounded,
   Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
   Call me with Thy Saints surrounded.

   Oro supplex et acclinis,
   cor contritum quasi cinis:
   gere curam mei finis.

   Low I kneel with heart’s submission,
   See, like ashes, my contrition,
   Help me in my last condition.

   Lacrimosa dies illa,
   qua resurget ex favilla.
   iudicandus homo reus:
   huic ergo parce Deus.

   Ah! That day of tears and mourning,
   From the dust of earth returning,
   Man for judgment must prepare him,
   Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.

   Pie Iesu Domine,
   dona eis requiem. Amen.

   Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
   Grant them Thine eternal rest.  Amen.