EMBER FRIDAY IN LENT

Why we should never forget the "ick" of "iniquity."


The VerbumQUO for today is "iniquitatem", Latin for "iniquity" which isn't a far stretch, especially when the point is hammered home in today's Epistle from Ezechiel for Ember Friday in Lent.

by
Michael Cain
Editor, DailyCatholic

      Editor's Note: This special series during Lent highlights one word from the Proper of the day's Mass. Taking the Latin Verbum and Quotidianum, which mean respectively "Word" and "Daily", we 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 the Holy Mass for Ember Friday in Lent is iniquitatem, the Latin word for "iniquity" which is another word for sin and transgressions against God. In today's Epistle taken from the Lesson from the Prophet Ezechiel Chapter 18: 20-28, we see this point repeated over and over:
      Hæc dicit Dóminus Deus Anima, quæ peccáverit, ipsa moriétur: fílius non portábit iniquitátem patris, et pater non portábit iniquitátem fílii: justítia justi super eum erit, et impíetas ímpii erit super eum. Si autem ímpius égerit pÅ“niténtiam ab ómnibus peccátis suis, quæ operátus est, et custodíerit ómnia præcépta mea, et fécerit judícium et justítiam: vita vivet, et non moriétur. Omnium iniquitátum ejus, quas operátus est, non recordábor: in justítia sua, quam operátus est, vivet. Numquid voluntátis meæ, est mors ímpii dicit Dóminus Deus, et non ut convertátur a viis suis, et vivat? Si autem avérterit se justus a justítia sua, et fécerit iniquitátem secúndum omnes abominatiónes, quas operári solet ímpius, numquid vivet? omnes justítiæ ejus, quas fécerat non recordabúntur: in prævaricatióne, qua prævaricátus est, et in peccáta suo, quod peccávit, in ipsis moriétur Et dixistis: Non est æqua via Dómini. Audíte ergo domus Israël: Numquid via mea non est æqua, et non magis viæ vestræ pravæ sunt? Cum enim avérterit se justus a justítia sua, et fécerit iniquitátem, moriétur in eis: in injustítia, quam operátus est moriétur. Et cum avérterit se ímpius ab impietáte sua, quam operátus est, et fécerit judícium et justítiam: ipse ánimam suam vivificábit. Consíderans enim, et avértens se ab ómnibus iniquitátibus suis, quas operátus est, vita vivet, et non moriétur, ait Dóminus omnípotens.
      Thus saith the Lord God: The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed,and keep all My commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live. Is it My will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should, be converted from his ways, and live? But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? All his justices which he hath done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die. And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Isræl: Is it My way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse? For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein; in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die. And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment, and justice: he shall save his soul alive.Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die, saith the Lord almighty.

   We can readily see how God hates iniquity and the eternal punishments due these transgressions. Do we not see these sins magnified today with the perversions that God notes in Ezechiel? Read Griff Ruby's column of how sin is spread through satan's recruiters in his column Homosexuality's Dirty Secret; read the headlines or watch the "entertainment" on television (on second thought, don't) and it is evident that iniquity has taken prominence in today's society and God is not only being shoved in the corner, but efforts are underway to eliminate the Almighty Creator so that the prince of iniquity can have free reign to rein in souls with no opposition or reminder of the consequences of iniquity.

   And yet, amidst this omen of gloom and doom for those workers of iniquity, God, in His infinite mercy, offers to clean the slate if they would just turn from these iniquities of sodomy, abortion, lust, pride, and all the other sins committed both in the time of Ezechiel and our time. But it takes commitment, honesty and a determination to do penance for their sins. It is a contradiction to those of the Protestant persuasion who say "Jesus, I believe. You are my Savior" and then continue in their ways. No, it takes good works as well as prayer and the sacraments to produce the necessary graces for salvation. That is why Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance: "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose you shall retain, they are retained" (John 20: 23) and the Apostle Paul tells the Romans "Blessed are they, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man, to whom the Lord hath not imputed sin" (Romans 4: 7-8).

   This forgiveness of iniquity is brought to light by the noted Benedictine Abbot Dom Gueranger in Volume 5 of The Liturgical Year for Ember Friday in Lent:

    "Let us not forget the ancient discipline of the Church, during Lent. We should frequently be at a loss to understand her liturgy of this season, unless we picture her to ourselves as preparing the public penitents for a renewed participation in the mysteries. But first they must be reconciled with God, Whom they have offended.Their soul is dead by sin; can it be restored to life? Yes; we have God's word for it. The lesson from the prophet Ezechiel, which the Church began yesterday for the catechumens, is continued today for the benefit of the public penitents. If the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all My commandments, and do judgment and justice; living he shall live, and shall not die. But his iniquities are upon him, and rise up against him, crying to Heaven for eternal vengeance! And yet, God, Who knows all things, and forgets nothing, assures us that He will not remember iniquities which have been redeemed by penance. Such is the affection of His fatherly Heart, that He will forget the outrage offered Him by His son, if this son will but return to his duty. Thus, then, our penitents are to be reconciled; and on the feast of the Resurrection they will be associated with the just, because God will have forgotten their iniquities; they themselves will be just men. Thus it is that the liturgy, which never changes, brings frequently before us the ancient discipline of public penance. Nowadays, sinners are not visibly separated from the faithful; the Church doors are not closed against them; thy frequently stand near the holy altar, in the company of the just; and when God's pardon descends upon them, the faithful are not made cognizant of the grace by any special and solemn rite. Let us here admire the wonderful mercy of our heavenly Father, and profit by the indulgent discipline of our holy mother the Church. The lost sheep may enter the fold at any hour and without any display; let him take advantage of the condescension thus shown him, and never more wander from the Shepherd, Who thus mercifully receives him. Neither let the just man be puffed up with self-complacency, by preferring himself to the lost sheep; let him rather reflect on those words of today's lesson: If the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity...the justices which he hath done shall not be remembered. Let us, therefore, tremble for ourselves, and have compassion on sinners. One of the great means on which the Church rests her hopes for the reconciliation of sinners is the fervent prayers offered up for them by the faithful during Lent."

   Note, the Abbot pointed out "the liturgy, which never changes" and that was written in the mid nineteenth century, well before the revolution of Vatican II which has not only changed the liturgy, but altered the very essence of the Holy Sacrifice. Today the Confiteor has been eliminated and in the Indult Mass, only at the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and not before Holy Communion as has always been mandated in the Holy Mass. This is an affront to God that we do not have the humility to ask His forgiveness and are not willing to do penance. This might not be necessary if we were constantly in the state of Sanctifying Grace and had paid our penance so to speak, but realistically that is not possible because of man's fallen human nature and his propensity for iniquity. In fact, in the Offertory, the priest himself, during the Lavabo, taken from Psalm 25: 6-12 to assure he is worthy to confect the Most Blessed Sacrament from the bread and wine that he has just offered:

      Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas: et circumdabo altare tuum, Domine. Ut audiam vocem laudis: et enarrem universa mirabilia tua. Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuae: et locum habitationis gloriae tuae. Ne perdas cum impiis, Deus, animam meam: et cum viris sanguinum citam meam. In quorum manibus iniquitates sunt: dextera eorum repleta est muneribus. Ego autem in innocentia mea ingressus sum: redime me, et miserere mei. Pes meus stetit in directo: in ecclesiis benedicam te, Domine.
      I will wash my hands among the innocent: and I will compass Thine altar, O Lord. That I may hear the voice of praise: and tell of all Thy wonderous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with blood-thirsty men. In whose hands are iniquities, their right hand is filled with gifts. But I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way, in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord.

   From the Latin word iniquitatem we get the English "iniquity" which Webster's defines thusly:

    "iniquity" - noun, plural -TIES "[From the Latin iniquitas inequality, injustice from in not + aequus, even, equal.] 1. Absence of, or deviation from, just dealing; gross injustice; wickedness. 2. An iniquitous act or thing; an offence; a heinous sin." "iniquitous" adj. "Characterized by iniquity; unjust; wicked - Syn. See VICIOUS. - iniquitously adv. - iniquitousness noun."

   We can see why "iniquity" is the word used here for it is "wickedness" and a "heinous sin." It is so sad that today sin is so fluffed over and iniquity and wickedness are aimed at social mores and virtues as in "bigotry" against sodomy or abortion. If one speaks out against or judges a sin, they are being judgmental, intolerant and puffed-up. They would be if their intent was to pose that they are better than others and not because of the grace of God go them but by their own will. But it is humility that Holy Mother Church has always stressed, something downplayed along with penance and sacrifice in the conciliar church today.

   This very prayer above at the Lavabo has been entirely eliminated in the Novus Ordo Missae. All reference to sin and the propitiatory sacrifice with the priest as the alter Christus has been shelved. He is merely a presider today with the people being the "priests" for they pronounce (illegally and in direct violation of the infallible, dogmatic Council of Trent and Pope Saint Pius V's Quo Primum, I might add) the words "Mystery of Faith" which has been decreed can only be said by the priest and in concert with the EXACT WORDS OF THE CONSECRATION for Transubstantiation to take place! Because so many have been deprived of the graces of the True Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, satan has had his way.

   Because of this lack of vigilance and adherence to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church, iniquity has multiplied ten-fold, possibly one-hundred-fold, and more in these times. That can partly be laid to the fact that penance is no longer practiced today for everyone is supposedly going to Heaven. Though they won't say so, it is the heresy of "universal salvation" and it has been promulgated by the conciliar popes, which has only supported the loss of Faith and the subsequent loss of souls for the priest is no longer the key sacramental component in forgiving sins since general absolution and holding hands take precedence in many Novus Ordo lodges for the sake of tolerance and diversity, and not offending anyone except God. All hail the "unity of community" mantra. Can you say "ick"? I hope so, for we must cling to what Holy Mother Church has always taught and ordained as handed down by Christ Himself and a lesson learned well from Holy Writ - both Old and New Testaments - that should never be forgotten, and that is why we should never forget the "ick" of "iniquity."

Michael Cain, editor, DailyCatholic



VerbumQUO for Ember Friday in Lent