Liturgy/Lex Orandi

The Traditional Latin Mass


Sunday after Pentecost

What may be understood by leprosy in a spiritual sense?
Sin, particularly impurity, by which the soul of man is stained
much more than is the body by the most horrid leprosy: In the
Jewish law (Lev. XIII. ) three kinds of leprosy are enumerated,
viz: the leprosy of the flesh, of garments, and of houses.
Spiritually, the impure are af
flicted with the, leprosy of the flesh,
who easily infect others, and are therefore to be most carefully
avoided. The leprosy of garments consists in extravagance of dress and scandalous fashions, whereby not only
individuals, but also whole communities are brought to poverty, and many lose their innocence. The leprosy of
houses, finally, is to be found in those places, where scandalous servants are retained, where nocturnal gatherings
of both sexes are en
couraged, where, obscenities are indulged in, where unbe
coming dances and plays are held,
and filthy actions per
formed; where married people allow themselves liberties in presence of others, and give
scandal to their household, where they take their small children and even such as al
ready have the use of reason,
with themselves to bed, where they permit children of different sexes to sleep together, &c. Such houses are to
be avoided, since they are infected with the pestilential leprosy of sin, and woe to them who vol
untarily remain
in them.
Why did Christ send the lepers to the priests?

Why did Christ send the lepers to the priests?

This He did to show the honor due to the sacerdotal dignity and to the law of God: for it was commanded, (Lev.
XIV.) that the lepers should show themselves to the priests, in order to be declared by them clean or unclean; He
did it to try the faith, the confidence, and the obedience of these lepers: for Christ did not wish to heal them upon
their mere prayer, but their cure was to cost them something, and they were to merit it by their cooperation. Their
purification, therefore, was the reward of their obedience and faith. Further, Christ sent these lepers to the priests
to show figuratively, as it were, that he who wishes to be freed from the leprosy of sin, must contritely approach
the priest, sincerely confess his sins, and be cleansed by him by means of absolution.
Why did Christ ask for the others, who were also made clean?
To show how much ingratitude displeases Him. Although He silently bore all other injuries, yet He could not
permit this ingratitude to pass unresented. So great, therefore, is the sin of ingratitude, hateful alike to God and
man! “Ingratitude,” says St. Bernard,” is an enemy of the soul, which destroys merits, corrupts virtues, and
impedes graces: it is a heavy wind, which dries up the fountain of goodness, the dew of mercy, and the stream of
the grace of God.” “The best means,” says St. Chrysostom, “of preserving benefits, is the remembrance of them
and gratitude for them, and nothing is more acceptable to God than a grateful soul; for, while He daily overloads
us with innumerable benefits, He asks nothing for them, but that we thank Him.” Therefore, my dear Christian,
by no means forget to thank God in the morning and evening, before and after meals. As often as you experience
the blessing of God in your house, in your children, and your whole property, thank God, but particularly when
you take in the fruits of the earth; (Lev. XXIII. 10.) by this you will always bring upon yourself new blessings
and new graces. “We cannot think, say, or write anything better or more pleasing to God,” says St. Augustine,
“than: Thanks be to God.”


Sunday after Pentecost

What are ceremonies?
Religious ceremonies are certain forms and usages, prescribed for divine service,
for the increase of devotion, and the edification of our fellow-men; they
represent externally and visibly the interior feelings of man.
Why do we make use of ceremonies in our service?
That we may serve God not only inwardly with the soul, but outwardly with the
body by external devotion; that we may keep our attention fixed, increase our
devotion, and edify others; that by these external things we may be raised to the
contemplation of divine, inward things.
(Trid. .Sess. 22.
Are ceremonies founded on Scripture?
They are; for besides those which Christ used, as related in this day’s gospel, in regard to the deaf and dumb
man, He has also made use of other and different ceremonies: as, when He blessed bread and fishes; (
. xv.
36.) when He spread clay upon the eyes of a blind man;
6.) when He prayed on bended
xxii. q.i.) when He fell upon His face to pray; (
xxvi, 39.) when He breathed upon His
disciples, imparting to them the Holy Ghost;
(John xx.
22.) and finally, when He blessed them with uplifted
hands before ascending into heaven. (
xxiv. 30.) Likewise in the Old Law various ceremonies were
prescribed for the Jews, of which indeed in the New Law the greater number have been abolished; others,
however, have been retained, and new ones added. If, therefore, the enemies of the Church contend that
ceremonies are superfluous, since Christ Himself reproached the Jews for their ceremonial observances, and
said: God must be adored in spirit and in truth, we may, without mentioning that Christ Himself made use of
certain ceremonies, answer, that He did not find fault with their use, but only with the intention of the Jews. They
observed every ceremony most scrupulously, without at the same time entertaining pious sentiments in the heart,
and whilst they dared not under any circumstances omit even the least ceremony, they scrupled not to oppress
and defraud their neighbor. Therefore Christ says: God must be adored in spirit and in truth, that is, in the
innermost heart, and not in external appearances only. -Do not, therefore, let the objections, nor the scoffs and
sneers of the enemies of our Church confound you, but seek to know the spirit and meaning of each ceremony,
and impress them on your heart, and then make use of them to inflame your piety, to glorify God, and to edify
your neighbor.
There is no member of the body more dangerous and pernicious than the tongue. The tongue, says the Apostle
St. James, is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole
body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by
hell. (James iii. 5. 6.) The tongue no man can
tame: an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison. By it we bless God and the Father; and by it we curse men, who are
made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. (ibid. iii. 8-10.) There is
no country, no city, scarcely a house, in which evil tongues do not cause quarrel and strife, discord and enmity,
ealousy and slander, seduction and debauchery. An impious tongue reviles God and His saints, corrupts the
divine word, causes heresy and schism, makes one intemperate, unchaste, envious, and malevolent; in a word, it
is according to the apostle a fire, a world of
iniquity. The tongue of the serpent seduced our first parents, and
brought misery and death into the world.
The tongue of Judas betrayed Jesus. (Matt. xxvi. 49.) And
what is the chief cause of war among princes, revolts among nations, if it is not the tongue of ambitious, restless
men, who seek their fortune in war and revolution? How many, in fine, have plunged themselves into the
greatest misery by means of their unguarded tongue? How can we secure ourselves against this dangerous,
domestic enemy? Only by being slow to speak according to the advice of St. James, (i. 19.) to speak very few,
sensible, and well-considered words. In this way we will not offend, but will become perfect. (
iii. 2.:) As
this cannot happen without a special grace of God, we must according to the advice of
St. Augustine beg divine
assistance, in the following or
similar words:
O Lord, set a watch before my mouth,
and a door round
about my lips, that I may not fall and my tongue destroy me. (Ps. Cxl. 3.)
The Church’s Year

Beheading of St John the Baptist, August 29th

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose
forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but
only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: “I am the
truth”? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.
Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ,
and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.
Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood
after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly
men. He was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and
deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.
To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was
easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.
Since death was ever near at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of
eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: “You have been granted the
privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.” He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his
chosen ones should suffer for him: “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the
glory that is to be revealed in us.”
Saint Bede the Venerable
or St. Zephyrinus
4th class
4th class
St. Joseph Calasance
3rd class
St. Augustine
3rd class
Beheading of St. John the Baptist
3rd class
St. Rose of Lima
3rd class
St. Raymond Nonnatus



Sunday after Pentecost

In the epistle of this day the Apostle St. Paul speaks of the different gifts of the
Holy Ghost which He distributes as He pleases. These extraordinary graces which
the apostle mentions, are not necessary for salvation. But the Church teaches, that
the grace of the Holy Ghost is
necessary for salvation, because without it we could
neither properly believe, nor faithfully observe the commandments of God. For the
holy religion of Jesus teaches, and experience confirms, that since the fall of our
first parents we are weak and miserable, and of ourselves, and by our own
strength, we cannot know or perform the good necessary for our salvation. We
need a higher aid, a higher, assistance, and this assistance is called grace.
What, then, is grace?
Grace is an inward, supernatural gift which God through finite goodness, and in
consideration of Christ’s merits, ants us to enable us to work out our salvation.
Grace is a gift, that is, a present, a favor, a benefit. t is an inward and supernatural gift; an inward gift, Because it
is bestowed upon man’s soul to distinguish it tom external gifts and benefits of God, such as: food, clothing,
health; grace is a supernatural gift, because it is above nature. In creating our souls God gives us a certain degree
of light which enables us to think, reflect, judge, to acquire more or less knowledge: this is called natural light. In
the same way He gives our souls the power in some measure to overcome sensual, vicious inclinations; this
power is called natural power (virtue). To this natural light and power must be added a higher light and a higher
power, if ‘man would be sanctified and saved. This higher light and higher power is grace. It is, therefore, called
a supernatural gift, because it surpasses the natural power of man, and produces in his understanding and in his
will wholesome effects, which he could not produce without it. For example, divine faith, divine love is a
supernatural gift or grace of God, because man of his own power could never receive as certain God’s revelations
and His incomprehensible mysteries with so great a joy and so firm a conviction, and could never love God
above all things and for His own sake, unless God assisted him by His grace.
God grants us grace also through pure benevolence without our assistance, without our having any right to it; He
grants it without cost, and to whom He pleases; but He gives it in consideration of the infinite merits of Christ
Jesus, in consideration of Christ’s death on the cross, and of the infinite price of our redemption. Finally, grace is
a gift of God, by which to work out our salvation, ,that is, it is only by the grace of God that we can perform
meritorious works which aid us in reaching heaven. Without grace it is impossible for us to perform any good
action, even to have a good thought by which to gain heaven.
From this it follows that with the grace of God we can accomplish all things necessary for our salvation, fulfil all
the commandments of God, but without it we can do nothing meritorious. God gives His grace to all, and if the
wicked perish, it is because they do not cooperate with its divine promptings
St. John Eudes
3rd class
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
3rd class
St. Jane Frances de Chantal
3rd class
Immaculate Heart of Mary
2nd class
St. Philip Benizi
3rd class
St. Bartholomew