INSTRUCTION ON THE EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER
The Introit of
the Mass reads:
INTROIT We have received thy
mercy, O God, in the midst of thy temple: According to thy name, O
God, so also is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right
hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be
praised in the city of our God, in his mountain. (Ps. XLVII.) Glory
be to the Father, etc.
COLLECT Lord, we beseech Thee,
mercifully grant us the spirit to think and do always the things
that are right: that we, who can not subsist without Thee, may by
Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will. Through
EPISTLE (ROM. VIII. 12-17.) Brethren,
We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the
spirit you mortify the deed of the flesh, you shall live. For
whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but
you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry:
Abba (Father). For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our
spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs
indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.
Who live according to the flesh?
follow the evil pleasures and the desires of corrupt nature, rather
than the voice of faith and conscience. Such men are not guided by
the Spirit of God, for He dwells not in the sensual man, (Gen. VI.
3.) they are no children of God, and will not inherit heaven, but
eternal death. But he who is directed by the Spirit of God, and with
Him and through Him crucifies his flesh and its concupiscence, is
inspired with filial confidence in God. by the Holy Ghost, who
dwells in him, and by whom he cries: Abba (Father.) Prove yourself
well, Christian soul, that you may know whether you live according
to the flesh, and strive by prayer and fasting to mortify all carnal
and sensual desires that you may by such means become a child of God
and heir of heaven.
ASPIRATION Strengthen me, O Lord,
that I may not live according to the desires of the, flesh; but
resist them firmly by the power of Thy Spirit, that I may not die
the eternal death.
XVI. 1-9.) At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable:
There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was
accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him,
and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account
of thy stewardship; for now thou canst be steward no longer. And the
steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh
away from me my stewardship? To dig, I am not able: to beg I am
ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from
the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore
calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the
first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: A hundred
barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill, and sit down
quickly, and write fifty, Then he said to another: And how much dost
thou owe? Who said: A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him:
Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the Lord commended the unjust
steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this
world are wiser in their generations than the children of light. And
I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that
when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting
Who aye represented by the rich man and his
The rich man
represents God, the steward is man - to whom God has confided the
various goods of soul and body, of grace and nature: faith,
intellect, memory , free will; and five senses, health, stregth of
body, beauty, skill power over others, time and opportunity for
good, temporal riches, and other gifts. These various goods of soul
and body God gives us not as our own, but as things to be used for
His honor and the salvation of man. He will therefore demand the
strictest account of us if we use them for sin, luxury, seduction,
or oppression of others.
Why did Christ make use of this parable?
To teach us
that God requires of every man a strict account of whatever has been
given to him, and to urge us to works of charity, particularly
What friends do we make by alms giving?
St. Ambrose they are the poor, the saints and angels, even Christ
Himself: for that which we give to the poor, we give to Christ.
(Matt. XXV. 40.) And: He that hath mercy on the poor, lendeth to the
Lord, and he will repay him. (Prov. XIX. 17.) "The hands of the
poor," says Peter Chrysologus, "are the hands of Christ," through
whom we send our riches to heaven before us, and through whose
intercession we obtain the grace of salvation.
Why did his lord commend the
Because of his
prudence and foresight, but not for his injustice; for he adds: The
children of this world are wiser than the children of light: that
is, the worldly-minded understand better hove to obtain temporal
goods than do Christians to lay up treasures for themselves in
Why is wealth called unjust?
are often massed and retained unjustly, often lead man to injustice,
and because they are often squandered, or badly used.
SUPPLICATON Grant me the grace, O
my just God and Judge, that I may so use the goods of this earth
confided to me by The e, that I mad make friends, who at my death
will receive me into eternal joys.
ON THE SIN OF DETRACTION
And the same was
accused unto him. (Luke XVI. 1.)
The steward in
the gospel was justly accused on account of the goods he had wasted;
but there are many who lose their good name and honor by false
accusations, and malicious talk! Alas, what great wrongs do
detracting tongues cause in this world! How mean a vice is
detraction, how seldom attention is paid to its evil, how rarely the
injury is repaired!
When is our neighbor slandered?
When he is
accused of a vice of which he is not guilty; when a secret crime is
made known with the intention of hurting him, or when our duty does
not require us to mention it; when we attribute an evil intention to
him or entirely misconstrue his actions and omissions; when his good
qualities or commendable actions are denied or lessened, or his
merits underrated; when we remain silent, or speak ambiguously in
cases where praise is due him; when we lend a willing ear to
detractions, and make no effort to stop them; and lastly, when joy
is felt in the detraction.
Is detraction a great sin?
Yes, for it is
directly opposed to the love of our neighbor, therefore to the love
of God, hence it is, as St. Ambrose says, hateful to God and man. By
it we rob our neighbor of a possession greater than riches, (Prov.
XXII. 1.) and often he is plunged by it into want and misery, even
into the greatest vices; St. Ambrose says: "Let us fly from the vice
of detraction, for it is altogether a satanic abyss, full of
deceit." Finally, detraction is a great sin, because it can seldom
be recalled, and the injury done by it is very great, and often
What should we do when we have committed this
retract the calumny as soon as possible and repair the injury done
to our neighbor in regard to his name or temporal goods; we should
detest this sin, regret it, and be cleansed from it by penance, we
should daily pray for him whom we have injured, and in future guard
against the like fault.
Are we ever allowed to reveal the wrongs of our
To make public
the faults of our neighbor only for the entertainment of idle
people, or for the sake of news, and to satisfy the curiosity of
others, is always sinful. But if after having reproached or advised
our neighbor fraternally, without obtaining our end, we make known
his faults to his parents or superiors for the sake of punishment
and reformation, far from being a sin it is rather a duty, against
which those err who are silent about the sins of their neighbor,
when by speaking they could prevent the sin and save him much
Is it a sin to listen willingly to
Yes, for we
thus give the detractors occasion and encouragement. Therefore St.
Bernard says: "Whether to detract is a greater sin than to listen to
detraction, I will not decide. The devil sits on the tongue of the
detractor as he does on the ear of the listener." In such cases we
must strive to interrupt, to prevent the detracting words, or else
withdraw; or if we can do none of these, we must show in our
countenance our displeasure, for the Holy Ghost says: The northwind
driveth away rain, so doth a sad countenance a backbiting tongue.
(Prov. XXV. 23.) The same demeanor is to be observed in regard to
What varieties of detraction are there?
There is a
certain detestable kind of detraction which degrades and ridicules
others by witty and sneering words. Still worse is that detraction
which carries the faults of others from one place to another, thus
exciting those who are on good terms to hard feeling, or making
those who are living in enmity more opposed to each other. The
whisperer and the double tongued, says the Holy Ghost, is accursed,
for he bath troubled many that were at peace.
What should deter us from detraction?
The thought of
the enormity of this sin; of the difficulty, even impossibility of
repairing the injury caused; of the punishment it incurs, for St.
Paul expressly says: Calumniators shall not possess the kingdom of
God, (I Cor. VI. 10.). and Solomon writes: My son, fear the Lord,
and the king: and have nothing to do with detractors; for their
destruction shall rise suddenly. (Prov. XXIV 22.)
SUPPLICATON Guard me, O most loving
Jesus, that I may not be so blinded, either by hatred or, envy, as
to rob my neighbor of his good name, or make myself guilty of such a
CONSOLATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED FROM
If your good
name has been taken away by evil tongues, you may be consoled by
knowing that God permitted this to humble you, to exercise you in
patience and free you from pride and vain self-complacency. Turn
your eyes to the saints of the Old and the New Law, to the chaste
Joseph who was cast into prison on a false charge of adultery, (Gen.
XXXIX.) to the meek David publicly accused by Semei as a man of
blood, (II Kings XVI. 7.) to the chaste Susanna who was also accused
of adultery, tried and condemned to death. (Dan, XIII.) Jesus, the
king of saints, was called a drunkard, accused and condemned as a
blasphemer, a friend of the devil, an inciter of sedition among the
people, and like the greatest criminal was nailed to the cross
between two thieves. Remember besides that it does not injure you in
the sight of God, if all possible evil is said of you, and that He,
at all times, cares for those who trust in Him; for he who touches
the honor of those who fear God, touches, as it were, the pupil of
His eye, (Zach. II. 8.) and shall not go unpunished. St. Chrysostom
says: "If you are guilty, be converted; if you are innocent, think
PRAYER O most innocent Jesus, who wert
thus calumniated, I submit myself wholly to Thy divine will, and am,
ready like Thee, to bear all slanders and detractions, as with
perfect confidence I yield to land care my good name, convinced that
Thou at Thy pleasure wilt defend and protect it, and save me from
the hands of my enemies.