The VerbumQUO (4lenaquo.htm)

Font of Truth and Tradition


The VerbumQUO for today is "Sitiéntes" from today's Opening Introit translated "All you that thirst." The theme of being quenched is carried throughout today's Proper with the promise of the Lord to Sion in the Epistle and the truth of Christ's testimony in today's Gospel, soundly rejected by the Jews then and still today. We can only quench our thirst at the Font of divine Mercy.

by
Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: This series highlights one word from the Proper of the day's Mass. Taking the Latin Verbum and Quotidianum, which mean respectively "Word" and "Daily", we have coined the word "Verbumquo" by contracting quotidianum to quo and running it together as VerbumQUO for this feature series, thus "The Daily Word," as in the sum of the message, the 'quotient', if you will. It is also our hope that in choosing the Latin word with its meaning and etimology more will be attuned to hearing the word read at the altar and better comprehend the beauty of the Mother tongue. Hopefully in this Time of Lent we can gain a higher appreciation and contemplation on how the Daily Proper of the Holy Mass applies in our lives in alignment with the will of Christ and His Blessed Immaculate Mother and His Mystical Bride, His Holy Roman Catholic Church.


    The VerbumQUO for today's Proper of Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent is Sitiéntes, from the Latin verb sitiere "to thirst" and utilized in today's Opening Introit from Isaias 55: 1:

      Sitiéntes, veníte ad aquas, dicit Dóminus: et qui non habétis prétium, veníte, et bibite cum lætítia. (Ps. 77: 1)Atténdite, pópule Meus, legem Meam: inclináte aurem vestram in verba oris Mei.
      All you that thirst come to the waters, saith the Lord; and you that have no money, come and drink with joy. (Ps. 77: 1) Attend, O My people, to My law: incline your ears to the words of My mouth.

    The Latin Sitiéntes - pronounced SEAT-SEE-EN-TEZ - with the emphasis on the bold in the phonetics and accent on the word itself - comes from the Latin verb "to thirst" sitiere. Again, the word "thirst" is an Anglo Saxon derivation of the word thurst, meaning "dryness of mouth, parched. There really is no English derivation of sitiere or sitient except "desiccated" which is the adjective meaning "needing to drink." We see our Lord's word from the Cross, His next to last: "Sitio" (John 19: 28). In researching the word, there were two ways we could go: "satiate" means to be filled and could be a derivation from sitient but we couldn't verify it for it comes from the Latin satiare meaning "to satisfy" but, considering there is no English equivalent to sitiere, satiate would best fill the bill as Webster's defines:

    "satiate" - [From the Latin adjective satiatus, past participle of satiare, "to satisfy", from satis, enough. 1. Filled to satiety; sated. 1. Now Rare. To sate; satisfy fully. "satiety", noun [From Latin satietas, again from satis, enough.] State of being satiated."

    There is another word which is interesting in that what was offered to Christ on the Cross was a vinegar, which in effect, was bitter cider. Therefore, let us look at this form of the word as defined in Webster's for cider:

    "cider" - [From the Greek sikera strong drink, and from Old French sidre carried to the French cidre. Also sicera in Italian. [Here it is possible where the "k" of the Greek became a "d" in the French, and a "c" in the Italian, thus, as the root of the Romance Languages, the Latin could very well have been "t" - thus sitera becomes sitiere which has a tse sound.] The expressed juice of apples, used for drinking and for making vinegar. Cider that has fermented is called hard cider and contains 2-8 per cent alcohol."

    Putting aside etimology and semantics, let's proceed with the essence of today's VerbumQUO. For centuries, this final Saturday of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which is the portal to Passion Week with tomorrow being Passion Sunday, was called the Sitiéntes because the Church has, for this past week especially, been grooming the catechumens for the Sacrament of Baptism which they will receive on Easter. Holy Mother Church wants to instill in the catechumens a thirst for sanctifying grace that will wash over them and quench that thirst. This is the promise made in the Epistle today from Isaias 49: 8-15:

      Hæc, dicit Dóminus: In témpore plácito exaudivi te,et in die salútis auxiliátus sum tui: et servávi te, et dedi te in fœdus pópuli, ut suscitáres terram, et possidéres hereditátes dissipátas: ut díceres his, qui vincti sunt: Exíte: et his, qui in ténebris: Revelámini. Super vias pascéntur, et in ómnibus planis páscua eórum. Non esúrient, neque sítient, et non percútiet eos æstus et sol: quia miserátor eórum reget eos, et ad fontes aquárum potábit eos. Et ponam omnes montes meos in viam, et sémita: meæ exaltabúntur. Ecce isti de longe vénient, et ecce illi ab Aquilóne et mari, et isti de terra austráli. Laudate, cæli, et exsúlta, terra, jubiláte, montes, laudem: quia consolátus est Dóminus pópulum suum, et páuperum suórum miserébitur. Et dixit Sion: Derelíquit me Dóminus, et Dóminus oblítus est mei. Numquid oblivísci potest múlier infántem suum, ut non misereátur fílio úteri sui? et si illa oblíta fúerit, ego tamen non oblivíscar tui, dicit Dóminus omnípotens.
      Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee: and I have preserved thee, and given thee to be a covenant of the people that thou mightest raise up the earth, and possess the inheritances that were destroyed; that thou mightest say to them that are bound. Come forth; and to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in every plain. They shall not hunger, nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them; for He that is merciful to them shall be their shepherd, and at the fountains of waters He shall give them drink. And I will make all My mountains a way, and My paths shall be exalted. Behold these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north and from the sea, and these from the south country. Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains give praise with jubilation: because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy on His poor ones. And Sion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee: saith the Lord almighty.

    We can see in Isaias the promise to the Gentiles and the tableau painted is of a never-ending paradise that will satiate the hunger and thirst of those who have been bound. We turn to the venerable Benedictine Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger for more insight into today's Epistle in light of Holy Mother Church's liturgy leading to this day:

       "How these words of love must have consoled the hearts of our catechumens! Never did our heavenly Father express His tender mercy towards us in more glowing terms; and He bade His prophet deliver them to us. He gives the whole earth to His Son, Jesus Christ, our Incarnate Lord, not that He may judge and condemn it, as it deserves, but that He may save it (St. John 3: 17). This divine Ambassador, having come on the earth, tells all that are galled by the fetters, or that sit in the gloomy shadow of death, to come to Him, promising them liberty and light. Their hunger shall be appeased, and their thirst quenched. They shall no longer pant under the scorching rays of the sun, but shall be led by their merciful Shepherd to the cool shades on the banks of the water of life. They came from every nation under Heaven: the fountain, the font, shall be the center where all the human race is to meet. The Gentile world is to be henceforth called Sion, and the Lord loveth the gates of this new Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob (Psalm 86: 2). God had not forgotten her during the long ages of her idol worship; His love is tender as that of the fondest mother; yea, and though a mother's heart may forget her child, God never will forget His Sion."

    Here we see the neverending mercy extended by the Triune Divinity and it is the Font of divine Mercy that keeps us nourished, never thirsting if we but partake of the rich flow of grace available through the Sacrament of Penance. Dom Gueranger continues as he now addresses not so much the catechumens, but those who, one might say, are cradle Catholics who have wandered and wondered:

    "You, then, who received Baptism at your very entrance into the world, but have, since then, served another master besides Him to Whom you swore perpetual allegiance at the font, be of good heart! If the grace of God has found you submissive, if the holy exercises of Lent and the prayers offered for you by the Church have had their effect, and you are now preparing to make your peace with God, read these words of your heavenly Father, and fear not! How can you fear? He has given you to His Own Son; He has told Him to save, heal, and comfort you. Are you in the bonds of sin? Jesus can break them. Are you in spiritual darkness? He is the light of the world, and can dispel the thickest gloom. Are you hungry? He is the Bread of life. Are you thirsty? He is the fountain of the living water. Are you scorched, are you burnt to the very core, by the heat of concupiscence? Even so, poor sufferers! you must not lose courage; there is a cool fountain ready to refresh you, and heal all your wounds; not indeed the first font, which gave you, the life you have lost; but the second Baptism, the divine Sacrament of Penance, which can restore you to grace and purity!"

    What encouraging words for the worst sinners as well those who are lukewarm; for those who are going through the motions but not fully committed to living their Faith; for those who accept anything that comes down the pike from the fruitless hierarchs and the compromised swill they pass off as 'Catholic.' One need only read Dom Gueranger's words to realize the black and white difference between conciliarism and traditional Catholicism. The latter is clear and concise and based on the Scriptures and Catholic truth, the other is cloaked in ambiguity and relativism that has caved to the world, the flesh and the devil while trying its level best to put on the mask of being Catholic. It is not and those, we pray, who during this Lent have been praying for discernment and are fed up with the poison peddled in the Novus Ordinarian lodges, free yourselves from bondage and return to the font of truth.

    There is also, in today's Gospel from John 8: 12-20, the parallel between the the Pharisees of Christ's time and the modern potentates today who question and alter Catholic truth to fit their humanistic agenda at all echelons of the modernist hierarchy. Because the lies and deception have permeated the entire structure of the Vatican II church, there is not one bishop who truly knows his faith or is willing to die for Christ; not one bishop who is willing to study the Holy Mass and see how inferior and sacrilegeous the rite he offers is compared to the Immemorial Mass of All Ages - the Traditional Latin Mass. Rather than being honest with themselves or being willing to discuss the doctrines with the traditional Catholics, they seek to persecute, demean, libel, and lie through their teeth, all the while scandalize so many more in their actions and words; rather than being willing to study previous reliable Pontiffs' decrees, they hide behind the non-authority of Vatican II which, if it was a pastoral-only council, holds no weight whatsoever and must bow to Trent and Vatican I in all things; if it was, as some claim, a 'dogmatic' council, then it is evident it was an apostate council which renounced Catholic truth by deviating even one iota from The True Faith. Either way, they're up the creek without a paddle, but they won't admit it and thus we have today every single one of these pompous purple-clad prelates preening for the public and pandering to Christ's adversary while countless souls are sold out to the New Order. Talk about thirsting? The Novus Ordinarians have got to be totally parched in their arid desert where they have wandered, wondered and wallowed. Christ has the answer in today's Epistle and Gospel, but that, too, is muted, because the new order has sacked the magnificent one year cycle which, in her wisdom, Holy Mother Church fashioned for the salvation of souls. Ironic that, watering down the liturgy and ritual of the Church, that everything has dried up. That's the cost of turning one's back on the true everlasting font of life. Let's look now at the Abbot's thought-provoking words on today's Gospel:

       "What a contrast between the tender mercy of God, Who invites all men to receive His Son as their Redeemer, and the obduracy of heart wherewith the Jews receive the heavenly Ambassador! Jesus has proclaimed Himself to be the Son of God, and, in proof of His divine origin, has, for three long years, wrought the most astounding miracles. Many of the Jews have believed in Him, because they argued that God could never have authorized falsity by miracles; and they therefore accepted the doctrine of Jesus as coming from Heaven. The pharisees hate the light, and love darkness; their pride will not yield even to the evidence of facts. At one time they denied the genuineness of Jesus' miracles; at another, they pretended to explain them by the agency of the devil. Then, too, they put questions to Him of such a captious nature, that, in what way soever Jesus answered, they might accuse Him of blasphemy, or contempt for the Law. Today, they have the audacity to make this objection to Jesus' being the Messias: that He gives testimony in His Own favor! Our blessed Lord, Who knows the malice of their hearts, deigns to refute their impious sarcasm; but He avoids giving them an explicit answer. It is evident that the light is passing from Jerusalem, and is to bless other lands. How terrible is this punishment of a soul that abuses the truth, and rejects it by an instinctive hatred! Her crime is that sin against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come (St. Matthew 12: 32). Happy he that loves the truth, though it condemns his evil passions, and troubles his conscience! Such a one proves that he reveres the wisdom of God; and if it do not altogether rule his conduct it does not abandon him. But happier far he that yield himself wholly to the truth, and, as a humble disciple, follows Jesus. He walketh not in darkness; he shall have the light of life. Let us, then, lose no time, but take at once that happy path marked out for us by Him Who is our light and our life. Keeping close to His footsteps, we went up the rugged hill of Quarantana, and there we witnessed His rigid fast; but now that the time of His Passion is at hand, He invites us to follow Him up another mount, that of Calvary, there to contemplate His sufferings and death. Let us not hesitate; we shall be repaid: we shall have the light of life."

    Nearly 2000 years before our day, Christ clearly identified the state of those today whose malice of heart has parched so many souls of the font of truth; nearly 200 years before today, Dom Gueranger clearly nails the hierarchs of today whose pride prevents them from yielding in humility to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church. Stubbornly they persecute those who seek to follow the light our Lord affirms is Him. Think of the souls, because of the fat cats who they've been weaned to obey, how parched those souls are because they have not been fed the true Bread of Life which can only be confected in the True Latin Mass of the Apostles Peter and Paul; no wonder those still attending the Novus Ordo are so famished and gaunt. Think of how thirsty they are for the Truth which, as we have seen over the past 45 years has been buried beneath the sands of modernism, ecumenism, humanism, and every other ism that slithers through the desert known as the conciliar church. When will these parched souls realize the church of Vatican II is a mirage that mirrors the obduracy of heart of the pharisees. Flee from them and refresh yourself in the only Church which has the fullness of the Font of Truth and Tradition.

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic




VerbumQUO for Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent