INSTRUCTION ON THE SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER
The Introit the
Church invites us to give praise to God in the following
INTROIT Oh, clap your hands, all
ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy. For the Lord is
most high, he is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
(Ps. XLVI.) Glory etc.
COLLECT O God, whose providence is
unerring in what it ordains, we humbly beseech Thee to put away from
us all hurtful things, and to give us all things which will profit
EPISTLE (ROM. VI., 19-23.) Brethren, I
speak a human thing, because of the infirmity of your, flesh: for as
you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity unto
iniquity, so now yield your members to serve justice unto
sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free
from justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of
which you are now ashamed? For the end of them, is death. But now,
being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your
fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the
wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
EXPLANATION St. Paul here admonishes
the Romans who had been converted to Christianity, but were still
sensual and weak, that they ought to be much more zealous in serving
God and mastering their passions. He demands of them that they
should at least strive, now as hard to save their souls as they once
did to destroy them. This certainly is but right, for many a man
would become just and holy if he would do as much for heaven, as he
does for sin and hell. But to know how wholesome it is to consecrate
themselves to justice and sanctity, he wishes them to consider what
advantage they derived from sin. Nothing is gained from it but
shame, confusion, sorrow, and death, but by a pious life, God's
grace and eternal life. - Often consider this, Christian soul, and
do not defile yourself by sins, which profit nothing, but?bring
shame, grief, and the retributive wrath of God.
VII. 15-21.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: Beware of
false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves: by their fruits you shall know
them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so
every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree
bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil
fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree
that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be
cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
Not every one that saith to me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in
heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Who are the false Prophets?
who under an appearance of virtue and honesty lure innocent, simple
souls from the right path, and lead them to vice and shame; who by
sweet words, such as: "God , is full of love, and will not be severe
on sin, He does not require so very much of us, He knows we are
weak, and if a person sins, he can be converted," seek to steal from
souls all modesty and fear, of God. Guard against such hypocrites,
for they have the poison of vipers on their tongues. By the false
prophets are also understood those who propagate error, who by
superficial words fade the true faith, who speak always of love and
liberty, and who under the pretence of making people free and happy
bring many a soul to doubt and error, depriving it of true faith and
peace of heart.
How can we know the false prophets?
By their works;
for evil, corrupted men can produce only bad fruit. If we look into
their life we will find that at heart they are immoral hypocrites
who observe external propriety only that they may the more easily
spread their poison. The false teachers and messengers of error may
be known by their lives, but especially by their intentions, Which
are to subvert all divine order, and to put the unrestrained lust of
the flesh and tyranny in its place.
Who else are understood by the false
Those who under
pretence of making men happy and rich, induce the credulous to make
use of superstition, of wicked arts, deceit, and injustice;
especially those who under he deceiving appearance of liberty and
equality, independence and public good, incite them to open or
secret revolt against civil and ecclesiastical authority.
Be not deceived
by these so-called public benefactors who look always to their own
advantage, but trust in God, support yourself honestly, live like a
Christian, and you will find true liberty and happiness here and
Why does Christ say: "Every tree that bringeth not forth
good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the
He warns us
that faith without good works is not sufficient for salvation; and
he therefore adds; Not every one that saith: Lord, Lord (who
outwardly professes himself my servant, but is not really such)
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who, (by the
fulfilment of the duties of his state of life and by the practice
`of good works), does the will of my Father, merits heaven. Strive
then, Christian soul, to fulfil God's will in all things, perform
your daily duties with a good intention, and you will certainly
obtain the kingdom of heaven.
INSTRUCTION ON GOOD
What are good works?
All the actions
of man which are performed according to the will of God, while in
the state of grace, for the love of God.
Which are the principal good works?
fasting, and alms deeds. These are especially inculcated in holy
Scripture. (Tob. XIII. 8.) By prayer is here understood all
religious services; by fasting all mortification of soul and body;
by alms?deeds all works of charity.
How many kinds of charitable works are
spiritual and corporal.
Which are the spiratual works of mercy?
Those that are
performed for the good of the soul: to admonish sinners; to teach
the ignorant; to counsel the doubtful; to console the afflicted; to
suffer injustice patiently; to forgive all injuries, and to pray for
the living and the dead.
Which are the corporal works?
Those which are
performed for the good of the body: to feed the hungry; to give
drink to the thirsty; to clothe the naked; to visit and ransom the
captives; to harbor the harborless; to visit the sick; and to bury
Can we be saved without good works?
No, for Christ
expressly, says: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit,
shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. The servant in
the gospel who did not even waste the talent received, but only hid
it in the ground, was therefore cast into outer darkness. How
greatly do those err who hope to reach heaven, simply because they
do no evil! Of this great mistake St. Chrysostom plainly says: "If
you had a servant who was in truth no robber, no glutton or
drunkard, but who sat at home idle, neglecting everything for which
you had employed him, would you not pay him with the whip and send
him off? Is it not bad enough to neglect that which duty demands?"
Such a servant is the Christian who, doing neither good nor evil,
makes himself thereby unfit for heaven which is the reward of work
performed, and if no work has been done, no reward is to be
SUPPLICATION O Lord, guard me from
false prophets, heretics, and seducers, and grant me the grace, that
according to St. Paul's instructions I may become fruitful in all
good works. Inflame my heart, that I may adorn my , faith with them,
thus do the will of the Heavenly Father, and render myself worthy of