August 8, 2004
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
vol 15, no. 165
Taking the High Road to Heaven|
He who exalts himself will be humbled, while those who humble themselves will be exalted.
"Our Lady is still 'our life, our sweetness and our hope,' our shining Star of the Sea, upon whom we must often gaze in 'wondering contemplation,' hoping to find once more the path of innocence and holiness that leads to Heaven. With her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, she will bless us."
Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for the Tenth Sunday After Pentecost, he focuses on the Publican and Pharisee in today's Gospel, illustrating how the Publican best is represented in these times by the humble Traditional Catholic who seeks to please God no matter the sacrifice; while sacrifice is the farthest thing from the mind of today's Pharisees - Modernists all - who have disregarded God's signs and guide posts thinking they have a better roadmap than the Almighty. Foolish travelers, the haughty will fall just as the scriptures foretell the devil will fall while the those who humble themselves in emulating the Mother of God and calling upon her intercession will be assured of not missing the sure signs for they will follow the bright and Immaculate Star which God has placed for our help and which Pope Pius IX officially made dogma nearly 150 years ago. Our Lady is Stella Maris - Star of the Sea - safely guiding us to the refuge of her Son's Sacred Heart and her Immaculate Heart. It is and has long been the Catholic way of Taking the High Road to Heaven.
[bold and italics below are editor's emphasis.]
Jesus teaches us in the Gospel today about the terrible consequences of pride and self-righteousness, and about the wonderful power of humility. The Pharisee praises himself and boasts of his deeds, thanking God that he is not "as the rest of men." The Publican hardly dares to raise his eyes, acknowledging his sinfulness and calling upon the mercy of God. The Pharisee leaves the Temple still in his sins; the Publican leaves the Temple justified.
The greatest tragedy in this life is the loss of Sanctifying Grace through mortal sin. The pride of Lucifer cost him the loss of Sanctifying Grace and of Heaven for all eternity. In the prophecies of Isaiah we read about his horrible fate:
"How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? How art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations? And thou saidst in thy heart: 'I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds. I will be like the Most High.' But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit" (Is.14:12-15). Jesus Himself testifies, "I was watching Satan fall as lightning from Heaven" (Lk.10:18).
In the conciliar church, which is reeking with the heresy of Modernism, the whole teaching of the Church about Sanctifying Grace and its loss through Original Sin has been overthrown. Now all are viewed as conceived in grace, each of us a miniature "immaculate conception" in his own right. Where does that leave the Blessed Virgin Mary and her unique privilege of being conceived without sin, a doctrine solemnly defined by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854? Where does it leave the Sacrament of Baptism? Where does it leave Traditional Catholicism? To be sure, out in the cold!
Of course, the Novus Ordo Church continues to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception because most Catholics, clergy included, are no longer capable of rational thought, so confused are they by the new theology. If they accepted the consequences of their new way of thinking they would have to suppress that feast. And the New Church continues to baptize, because they say that's what we do in our "tradition", although it's not necessary for those in other "traditions" since they get saved anyway, Buddhists, Hindus or whatever. The bishops themselves are falling into this heresy, in effect denying the power and the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism. (Priest where is thy Mass; Mass where is thy Priest, Angelus Press, p.202). Thus in the conciliar church Baptism has become a meaningless ritual, and one would have to doubt the validity of baptisms performed in the new rite.
With eyes only for the things of this world, the present generation is steeped in sin and impurity. Innocence is hardly to be found. Our own St. Jude tells us of these times in his Epistle: "But these men deride whatever they do not know; and the dumb beasts, become for them a source of destruction. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain… But as for you, beloved, be mindful of the words that have been spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, who kept saying to you that at the end of time there will come scoffers, walking impiously according to their lusts. These are they who set themselves apart, sensual men, not having the Spirit" (Jude 10,11,17-19).
Perhaps because we have lost innocence and humility we have lost sight of our guiding star, Our Lady, Star of the Sea, to whom we once looked in hope of rising above the sinful attractions of this world and finding the straight way to the harbor of Heaven. Whenever the Blessed Virgin Mary is brought to our attention by the media it is only to rob her of her privileges and bring her down to the level of ordinary sinful humanity, just as they do with her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, the most pure and innocent Lamb of God. May His Holy Name be praised! But Mary is the opposite of Lucifer in her humility, not exalting herself, but giving all praise and thanksgiving to God Who bestowed such gifts of grace upon her:
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold, all generations shall call me blessed; because He Who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name…" (Lk.1:46-49).
Pope Pius IX says of Mary:
"Above all creatures did God so love her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully" (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, Dec. 8, 1854).
Our Lady is still "our life, our sweetness and our hope," our shining Star of the Sea, upon whom we must often gaze in "wondering contemplation," hoping to find once more the path of innocence and holiness that leads to Heaven. With her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, she will bless us. Let us close with the beautiful prayer the Church prays after Low Mass:
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae… Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
For the Sunday Proper for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, see "Cum clamarem"
August 8, 2004
vol 15, no. 165
"Qui legit, intelligat"
Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons