A Spotless Victim

The VerbumQUO for today is "sanctifica", Latin for "sanctify" which is so pertinent to today's Proper and the reason for the Proper and Ordinary of the Holy Mass for without the propitiatory sacrifice there is no way to sanctify.
Michael Cain
Editor, DailyCatholic

      Editor's Note: This is a new series the editor has launched in highlighting 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.

    Today the VerbumQUO for the Holy Mass for Ember Saturday in Lent could be a plethora of various VerbumQUO's for many things come to mind since this is a special Saturday when traditionally Holy Mother Church has set aside for ordinations. The Gospel for today and tomorrow are the same: from Matthew 17: 1-9 on the Transfiguration. Montem could be the word for it was to a mountain - Mt. Thabor - where our Lord took His chosen three Apostles with Him to behold the mystical vision they beheld of Christ with Moses and Elias. Mandata is another word that populates the scriptural readings for today's Holy Mass, meaning commandment, command or mandatum. But for today, I've chosen as the VerbumQUO a word that encapsulates what a priest's main duty of the Order of Melchisedech is and that is to "sanctify" as in "sanctifica". Sanctify is the central theme of the entire Proper of today's Mass, not to mention the Ordinary of the Mass.

    From the Latin word sanctifica we get the English "sanctify" which Webster's defines thusly:

    "sanctify" - verb, "[From the Latin sanctificare from sanctus holy + ficare (in comp.) to make.] 1. To make sacred or holy; specif., to set apart to a sacred office or to religious use or observance; to hallow. 2. To make free from sin; to purify, as the affection of men. 3. To impart or impute sacredness or inviolability to; to give sanction to; as, the intention sanctifies the deed. 4. To render productive of holiness or piety. - sanctification, noun, - sanctifier, noun."

    We see this in The Lord's Prayer which we pray every day in the Holy Rosary and the priest prays the Pater Noster after the Minor Elevation and before the Libera nos when the alter Christus prays "Sanctificetur nomen Tuum" - "Hallowed be Thy name." There are many other such salutations to the Almighty throughout the Ordinary and Propers of the Holy Mass. Suffice today, however, that we stay with sanctificare.

    It is vital for the sake of our souls to realize that without a validly ordained and authentic priest, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the main vehicle to sanctify - is not possible. This is one reason why there has been such a dirge of holiness today and an embrace of worldy things because there are so few who are confecting the True Sacrament per the infrangible canonical, scriptural and divinely ordained words at the Consecration as set in stone by the infallible dogmatic Council of Trent and codified by His Holiness Pope Saint Pius V in his infallible decree Quo Primum. The very fact that Paul VI not only incurred the "wrath of God and the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" by eschewing the holy and sanctifying wisdom of 1900 years by Holy Mother Church guided by the Sanctifier Who is the Holy Ghost - promised and sent by the Second Person of the Trinity to always be with us - gives evidence why the means of sanctifying has been greatly, greatly depleted. Add to that that this man from Milan dared to also alter what the Son of God divinely ordained in the sacraments including the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which is the focus of today's liturgy on this Ember Saturday. For those doubting this last statement, I refer you to Pope Pius XII's decree Sacramentum Ordinis in which the Pope established once and for all the essential rites of Ordination for the Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopacy with the valid and only words and form for Ordination, without which one is not ordained either a deacon, a priest or a bishop. His Holiness' most certain words give credence to this and he concluded with the no-nonsense assertive words:

    " These things We proclaim, declare, and decree, all things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those worthy of special mention, and accordingly We will and order that in the Roman Pontifical they be clearly indicated. Let no man therefore infringe this Constitution which We have enacted, nor dare to contravene the same."

    In light of this, are all cardinals entering the conclave who were ordained after 1968 actually ordained priests? If not, then they could not only not be cardinals and are therefore legally ineligible to vote, but hold no authority whatsoever in the Church Christ founded. This, my dear friends, includes a man named Joseph Ratzinger if we are to have proclaimed undying fidelity to the Holy Roman Catholic Church in our youth for to say that Ratzinger is a bishop today, let alone a pope, would be to disobey a direct order of an authentic Catholic Pope. So you see, the modernists have twisted so many things and, thanks to the ambiguity of Vatican II, the liberal masonic element from the Rhine, Seine and Holland, and Paul VI's total sell-out of Truth and Tradition, not to mention the continuation of this aberration under John Paul II and now Benedict XVI one would have to flee from this institute which has embraced what Christ clearly warned against in Matthew 24: 15, "the abomination of desolation"Novus Ordo and "celebrated" for the most part by men who are not officially ordained priests according to the Order of Melchisedech. No wonder sanctification is downplayed in the New Order.

    The first "abomination of desolation" occurred at the time of the Machabees and were it not for the resistance and perseverance of Judas Machabeus and his family, the entire sacrifice of the Old Covenant would have been abolished. The sacrifice which he preserved was the precursor to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Jesus established and perpetuates to this day. So also today were it not for men like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Archbishop Castro de Meyer, Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dihn Thuc, Father Gommar de Pauw, and countless other dedicated authentically ordained men, I dare say the True Sacrifice may well have been totally abolished. Because of these men and many other unsung heroes known only in the heavenly courts, the Traditional Catholic movement is regaining strength and making it known what is truly Catholic and what is not, and to speak out against those who would dare compromise the holy Faith, the only Faith which has been empowered to sanctify.

    And speaking of "sanctify" we are reminded today of the beauty of ordination and why it is that "many are called, but few chosen" We see this in the first Lesson taken from Deuteronomomy 26: 12-19, in which we see our total dependence on God and the necessity to obey Him in all things in order to be sanctified. Verses 15-19 bring home the very fact that we must keep "His ceremonies":

      Hódie Dóminus Deus tuus præcépit tibi, ut fácias mandáta hæc atque judícia: et custódias, et ímpleas ex toto corde tuo, et ex tota ánima tua. Dóminum elegísti hódie, ut sit tibi Deus, et ámbules in viís ejus, et custódias ceremónias illius, et mandáta atque judícia, et obédias ejus império. Et Dóminus elégit te hódie, ut sis ei pópulus peculiáris, sicut locútus est tibi, et custódias ómnia præcépta illíus: et fáciat to excelsiórum cunctis géntíbus, quas creávit in laudem, et nomen, et glóriam suam: ut sís pópulus sanctus Dómine Dei tui, sicut locútus est.
      This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee to do these commandments and judgments; and to keep and fulfill them with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Thou hast chosen the Lord this day to be thy God and to walk in His ways, and keep His ceremonies, and precepts and judgments, and obey His command. And the Lord hath chosen thee this day, to be His peculiar people, as He hath spoken to thee, and to keep all His commandments; and to make thee higher than all nations which He hath created, to His own praise, and name, and glory: that thou mayest be a holy people of the Lord thy God; as He hath spoken

    Those preceding words of Holy Writ were spoken by Moses whom we see as one of those who appears in the vision on Mt. Thabor in today's and tomorrow's Gospel. In the Third Lesson from 2 Machabees 1: 23-27 we see the purpose of the Holy Sacrifice and that is to offer adoration, repentance, thanksgiving and petition to God Almighty:

      In diébus illis: Oratiónem faciébant omnes sacerdótes, dum consummarétur sacrifícium, Jónatha inchoánte, céteris autem respondéntibus. Et Nehemáíae erat orátio hunc habens modum: Dómine, Deus ómnium creátor, terríbilis, et fortis, justus et miséricors, qui solus es bonus rex, solus præstans, solus justus, et omnípotens, et ætérnus, qui líberas Israël de omni malo, qui fecísti patres eléctos, et sanctificásti eos: áccipe sacrifícium pro univérso pópulo tuo Israël, et custódi partem tuam, et sanctífica: ut sciant gentes, quia tu es Deus noster.
      In those days all the priests made prayer, while the sacrifice was consuming, Jonathan beginning, and the rest answering. And the prayer of Nehemias was after this manner: O Lord God, creator of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, Who alone art the good King, Who alone art gracious, Who alone art just, and almighty, and eternal, Who deliverest Israel from all evil, Who didst choose the fathers, and didst sanctify them; receive the sacrifice for all Thy people Israel, and preserve Thy own portion, and sanctify it; that the gentiles may know that Thou art our God.

    Throughout this Mass we praise God for providing us the means to be sanctified, ask God to sanctify our offerings, sanctify us in our adherence to His laws and ceremonies, forgive us for our iniquities, and thank Him profusely for His blessings if we adhere to all He has asked. That is the contingency: we must abide by everything He has conveyed to us through the Sacred Deposit of the Faith. We cannot pick and choose what we want to obey and still expect Him to sanctify us. It is a two-way street, something the conciliar church has forgotten in focusing on man in a horizontal mindset rather than the vertical for we cannot love our neighbor and then love God. It works the other way, just as Christ has said: First we must love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, then our neighbor as ourselves. Today humanism has overshadowed and greatly clouded the infrangible Truths that have been handed down.

    The Apostle Paul provides counsels in the Epistle whose continuous and regular practice of will sanctify us increasingly and, as the St. Andrew Daily Missal states "enable him (man) without fear to avail the Lord's coming to judgment, when He will render to each man according to his works. Note it takes both faith and good works. We see what St. Paul means in 1 Thessalonians 5: 14-28:

      Fratres: Rogámus vos, corrípite inquiétos, consolámini pusillánimes, suscípite infirmos, patiéntes estóte ad omnes. Vidéte ne quis mal­um pro malo alícui reddat: sed semper quod bonum est sectámini in invícem, et in omnes. Semper gaudéte. Sine intermissióne oráte. In ómnibus grátias ágite: hæc est enim volúntas Dei in Christo Jesu in ómnibus vobis. Spíritum nolite exstínguere. Prophetías nolíte spérnere. Omnia autem probáte: quod bonum est tenéte. Ab omni spécie mala abstinéte vos. Ipse autem Deus pacis sanctíficet vos per ómnia: ut integer spíritus vester, et ánima, et corpus sine queréla, in advéntu Dómini nostri Jesu Christi servétur.
      Brethren, we beseech you, rebuke the unquiet, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men. See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good toward each other, and toward all men. Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good. From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves. And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you in all things that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless, for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    In referencing what we said above about the "abomination of desolation" and the altering of the divinely ordained sacraments, the renowned Abbot Dom Gueranger penned in the fifth volume of The Liturgical Year for Saturday in Ember Week:

    "Of all the nations which have fallen, there is not one that has not brought the chastisement upon itself by its neglect of the Law of God. At times, the Almighty delays to strike; but it is only that the chastisement may be the more evident and produce a more salutary effect upon mankind. When we would know the future of a country, we need only observe how it comports itself with regard to the laws of the Church. If its own laws are based on the principles and practices of Christianity, that country is sound, in spite of certain weaknesses here and there: revolutions may disturb its peace, but it will triumph over all. If the bulk of its people is faithful in the observance of external practices prescribed by the Church: for example, if they observe the Lord's day and the holy fast of Lent; there is a fund of morality in that country, which is sure to draw down upon it the blessings of Heaven. Irreligious men will scoff at all this, and call it superstition, prejudice of weak minds, and out of date for an age of progress like ours, which up to this time had been practically catholic, were to seek progress by infringing the law of Christian ritual, it would, in less than a hundred years, find that public and private morality had lost ground, and its own security would be menaced. Man may talk and write as he likes: God wishes to be served and honored by His people, and it is for Him to prescribe what are to be the forms of this service and adoration. Every injury offered to external worship, which is the great social link, is an injury to the interests of mankind. Even were there not the word of God for it, it is but just that such a consequence should follow."

    The Abbot said "one hundred years" but we have seen the very devastation he refers to has happened today in the span of under 50 years both for the faith and nations who abandoned the Social Kingship of Christ and the precepts and teachings of the One True Church. Nation after nation, conciliar cleric after conciliar cleric are opening their arms wide to ecumenism and modernism from John XXIII to Benedict XVI. Just yesterday the curia head of the quasi-Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace 'cardinal' Renato Martino, he who vehemently opposes any reconnect to the Traditional Latin Mass, was quoted as saying about Italian schools where up until present day teachings have been based in Italy on Catholic beliefs: "If in a school there are 100 Muslim children, I don't see why their religion should not be taught. This is simply respect for human beings." But of course, what else would you expect from these faux-cardinal wolves but heresy? Forget respect for God! Human respect is one of the most offensive things against God because it denies the action of grace in the soul and diminishes almost any chance of sanctifying or being sanctified in their works. And we wonder why Italy and the rest of Europe are fast becoming Eurabia and Canada is on the verge of collapse with the United States soon to follow? Dom Gueranger clearly provides the causes and effects of the fall of civilization when man turns away from God and no longer seeks to sanctify his works before God. How can God sanctify man if he does not will to be sanctified. Grace, especially Sanctifying Grace is a rare precious commodity these days.

    And the chief reason is because God's ceremonies have been abandoned for the profane. The Abbot, in writing about today's Gospel, points out the necessity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the true propitiatory sacrifice:

    "The Church would have us think upon the sublime dignity which has been conferred upon the newly ordained priests this day. They are represented by the three apostles, who were taken by Jesus to the high mountain, and favored with the sight of His glory. The rest of the disciples were left below; Peter, James, and John were the only ones permitted to ascend to Thabor, and they, when the time should come, were to tell their fellow apostles, and the whole world, how they had seen the glory of their Master, and heard the words of the Father declaring the Divinity of the Son of Man. 'This voice,' says St. Peter, 'coming down to Him from the excellent glory: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I have pleased Myself; hear ye Him. And this voice we heard, brought from Heaven, when we were with Him in the holy mount' (2 St. Peter 1: 17-18). I like manner, these priests who have just been ordained, and for whom you have been offering up your prayers and fast, will enter into the cloud with the Lord. They will offer up the Sacrifice of your salvation in the silence of the sacred Canon. God will descend into their hands, for your sake; and though they are mortal and sinners, yet will they, each day, be in closest communication with the Divinity. The forgiveness of your sins, which you are now preparing to receive from your heavenly Father, is to come to you through their hands; their superhuman power will bring it down from Heaven upon your souls. It is thus that God has cured our pride. The serpent said to us, through our first parents: 'Eat of this fruit, and you shall be as gods.' We unfortunately believed the tempter, and the fruit of our transgression was death. God took pity on us, and resolved to save us; but it is by the hands of men that He would save us, and this in order to humble our haughtiness. His Own eternal Son became Man, and He left other men after Him, to whom He said: 'As the Father, hath sent Me, I also send you' (St. John 20: 21). Let us, then, show honor to these men, who have, this very day, been raised to so high a dignity. One of the duties imposed on us by our holy religion is respect to the priesthood."

    One of the attributes of a Traditional Catholic is his utmost respect for the priest who has, as Supra quae in the Ordinary of the Holy Mass says, is elevated to the status of the consecrated, sanctified state:

      Supra quae propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris: et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui iusti Abel, et sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abrahae: et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam.
      Upon which vouchsafe to look with a propitious and serene countenance, and to accept them, as Thou wert graciously pleased to accept the gifts of Thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham, and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered to Thee, -- a holy Sacrifice, and unspotted Victim.

    We can see how precious our priests are for they are God's gift to us to sanctify us. Now can you see how important having true, authentic priests are for the sanctification of the faithful? Pray for priests, pray for many, many holy and valid priests to minister the True Sacraments and to restore Holy Mother Church so that once again we can celebrate this day with the abundant fruit of grace and blessings of many priests giving Holy Communion to the grace-filled faithful who through attendance at the holy propitiatory sacrifice appease the divine justice and obtain deliverance of souls from Purgatory, and through the worthy Confiteors and absolutions, cleanse away venial sins and remit whatever temporal punishment may still remain due. That is the means for sanctity - the only true means for Salvation. Without true priests, we cannot be sanctified nor can we sanctify our works. As you can see, sanctify means everything! That is why, when validly ordained, one is a priest forever and our only hope to continue to offer to the Father the Son through the alter Christus: Immaculatam Hostiam - a Spotless Victim.

Michael Cain, editor, DailyCatholic