INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER
INTROIT The Lord is my light and
my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my
life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have
themselves been weakened and have fallen. If armies in camp should
stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. (Ps. XXVI. 1-3.)
Glory be to the Father, etc.
COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord,
that both the course of the world may be peaceably ordered for us by
Thy governance, and that Thy Church may rejoice in tranquil
devotion. Through etc.
EPISTLE (Rom. VIII. 18-23). Brethren,
The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared
glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of
the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For the
creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly; but by reason of
him that made it subject, in hope: because the creature also itself
shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the
liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every
creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain, even till now. Arid not
only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the
spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the
adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body: in Jesus
Christ our Lord.
INSTRUCTION There is no greater
consolation under crosses and afflictions, no more powerful support
in the adversities of a pious and virtuous life, than the thought
that all sufferings are as nothing when compared with the coming
glory of heaven, and that by a slight and momentary suffering in
this life is obtained a superabundant happiness in the next. (II
Cor, IV. 17.) Thus St. Augustine says: "Were we daily to suffer all
torments, even for a short time the pains of hell, in order to see
Christ and be numbered among His saints, would it not be worth all
this misery to obtain so great a good, so great a glory?"
ASPIRATION Ah Lord, when shall we
be delivered from the miserable bondage of this life, and
participate in that indescribable glory which Thou hast prepared for
Thy children, where free from the misery and many temptations of
this life, they enjoy eternal bliss. Enable us to see more and more
into the misery of this life that we may thus be urged to strive for
freedom and glory in Thy kingdom. Amen.
V. 1-11.) At that time, When the multitude pressed upon Jesus, to
hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth. And he saw
two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of
them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one of the
ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from
the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now
when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the
deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon, answering,
said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken
nothing, but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had
done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their
net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the
other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and
filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when
Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus's knees, saying: Depart from
me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and
all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had
taken; and so were also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who
were Simon's Partners. And Jesus with to Simon: Fear not: from
henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to
land, leaving all things, they followed him.
What are we to learn from the people who came to Christ to
hear the word of God?
listen with great zeal to the word of God, because from it man
receives the life of the soul, (Matt. IV. 4.) and eternal happiness.
(Luke XI. 28.)
Why did Christ teach from Peter's ship?
By this He
showed that the true doctrine is preached only from that Church of
which Peter is the head, (John. XXI. 15.) which is here represented
by his ship. Amid storms of persecution Jesus has preserved arid
will preserve this ship, His Church, until the end of time. (Matt.
XVI. 18). Peter still guides the bark in the unbroken line of his
successors, and Jesus still teaches from this ship the same doctrine
through the bishops and priests, as His cooperators, with whom He
has promised to remain to the end of the world. Matt. XXVII.
Why was it that Peter and his assistants took in such a
draught of fishes after they had labored all night in
first they trusted in themselves, and did not throw out their nets
in the name of the Lord, relying on His blessing and assistance.
"This example," says St. Ambrose, "proves how vain and fruitless is
presumptuous confidence, and how powerful, on the contrary, is
humility, since those who had previously labored without success,
filled their nets at the word of the Redeemer." Let us learn from
this our inability, that we begin our work only with God, that is,
with confidence in His help, and with the intention of working only
for love of Him, and for His honor. If we do this, the blessing of
the Lord will not be wanting.
What is represented by the nets and the draught of
"The word of
truth which, so to speaks forms the net?work of gospel preaching,"
says St. Ambrose, "with which the successors of the apostles, the
bishops and priests, draw souls from the darkness of error to the
light of truth, and from the depths of the abyss to raise them to
What is meant by the apostles' calling, to their partners
instructed by this that we should assist the preachers of the
gospel, the priests, in the conversion of sinners, by prayer,
fasting, alms-deeds, and other good works, especially by good
example, for this is a most meritorious work. (James V.
Why did Jesus choose poor and illiterate fishermen to
be His apostles?
To show that
the founding and propagating of the holy Catholic Church is not the
work of man, but of God; for how could it be possible, without the
evident assistance of God, that poor, illiterate fishermen could
overthrow proud paganism, and bring nations to receive the doctrine
of the crucified God-Man Jesus, who to the Jews was an abomination,
to the Gentiles a folly!
INSTRUCTION ON A GOOD INTENTION
Master, we have
labored all the night, and have taken nothing, but at thy word I
will let down the net. (Luke V. 5.)
There are many
people who by a special, but loving decree of God, seem to be born
only for a miserable life, and who, with all this, can have no hope
of a reward in the next world, because they, do not avail themselves
(by a good intention) of the miseries which God gives them as a
ladder to heaven.
In what does a good intention consist?
all our works, even the smallest, and in offering all our thoughts
and words in the name of God, that is, for His honor and in
accordance with His most holy will; that we receive all sufferings
and afflictions cheerfully from His hand, and offer them in union
with the passion of Jesus.
How should we make a good intention?
In the morning
we should offer to the Lord all our thoughts, words, and deeds, all
our crosses and afflictions, and all our steps during the day:
- as a
sacrifice of homage, to pay to Him the service, honor and
adoration due Him;
- a sacrifice
of thanksgiving for graces received;
- a sacrifice
of propitiation to render some satisfaction to divine justice for
our own sins and the sins of others;
- a sacrifice
of impetration to obtain, through the merits of Christ, new graces
and gifts for ourselves and others.
We must not
forget, however, in making a good intention, to unite all our works
with the merits of Jesus, by which alone they acquire worth and
merit before God,
and we must guard against impatience or sinful
deeds by which we lose the merit of the good intention made in the
morning, for a good intention cannot exist with. sin. It is also
very useful to place all our actions into the wounds of Jesus,
offering them to Him by the hands of His Blessed Mother, and it is
advisable frequently to renew our good intention during t the day,
by making use of these or similar words: "For the love of Thee, O
Lord! For Thy sake! All in honor of God! With the intention I made
this morning!" Endeavor to instruct the ignorant, how to make a good
intention, and thus share in their good works.
What benefit is derived from a good
says: "It renders all works, even the smallest golden and divine;"
and St. Gregory: "It makes all thoughts, words and deeds
meritorious, and causes us to expect in the hour of death, like the
wise virgins, the heavenly bridegroom, Jesus, and be richly rewarded
ASPIRATION Incline my heart, O God,
to Thy holy commandments. Guard me, that I work not in the night of
sin, and thus gain nothing by my works. Assist all pastors that by
Thy divine will, they may win souls for Thy kingdom, and bring them