The VerbumQUO (feb27quo.htm)

February 27, 2006
vol 17, no. 45

Windows of the soul

The Verbumquo for today is "Oculus", the Latin word for "Eye" as in the Introit for today's Mass of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows Oculus Dei.

Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: This is a new series the editor is launching 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 Septuagesima and 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 is the feast of the young Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows who is an excellent role model for young men everywhere. In "the Eye of God" he was pleasing to the Almighty because he kept his eye on God and not the world. The Introit taken from Ecclesiasticus 11: 13 enhances the rewards of this virtue:
Oculus Dei respéxit illum in bono, et eréxit eum ab humilitáte ipsíus, et exaltávit caput ejus: et miráti sunt in illo multi, et honoravérunt Deum. (Ps. 72: 1) Quam bonus Israël Deus his, qui recto sunt corde.
The Eye of God looked upon him for good, and He raised him from his humility, and exalted his head: and many wondered at him, and gave honor to God. (Ps. 72: 1) How good is God to Israel, to those who are right of heart!

    Do we give honor to God? Saint John in his Epistle for today's Proper in 1 John 2: 14-17, provides a beautiful lesson that all young men should take to heart:
Caríssimi: Scribo vobis, a júvenes, quóniam fortes estis, et verbum Dei manet in vobis, et vicístis malígnum. Nolíte dilígere mundum, neque ca quæ in mundo sunt. Si quis díligit mundum, non est cáritas Patris in eo: quóniam omne quod est in mundo, concupiscéntia carnis est, et concupiscéntia oculórum, et supérbia vitæ: quæ non est ex Patre, sed ex mundo est. Et mundus transit, et concupiscéntia ejus. Qui autem facit voluntátem Dei, manet in ætérnum.
Dearly beloved : I write unto you, young men because you are strong, and the word of God remaineth in you, and you have overcome the evil. Love not the world nor the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him: for all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life: which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth, and its concupiscence. But he who doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    St. Gabriel took those words to heart. Do young men today? With the plethora of temptations bombarding society today the one thing we must guard more than anything else to avoid these certain near occasions of sin is our eyes. Custody of the eyes is the pathway to purity for the eyes are the window of the soul. The beloved disciple clearly tells us of the pitfalls of the world - the "concupiscence of the flesh" begins with the "concupiscence of the eyes" oculorum which leads to pride and a hardening of heart and a softening of virtue, a letting down of our guard. When we let down our guard, satan is prime to pounce. St. John assures us that the temporal things are fleeting and will not last. He who rejects this will rise above it all and truly see through the Eye of God in the beauty of the Beatific Vision for that is the Eye of God.

    The word for eye is oculus. This noun is of course capitalized when the possessor is God Himself. Therefore it would be Oculus Dei - "the Eye of God." For us humans eyes would be oculi. From this root word we get "oculist" and "ocular"

    "EYE" - The word per se is an Anglo Saxon word spelled aige but in Latin it remains oculus from which we have: "ocular - 1. pertaining to, connected with, or used for or by the eye; also, eyelike. 2. Obtainsed, or received by the sight; visual; as, ocular proof. Optics. The eyepiece of an optical instrument." and "oculist - 1. A specialist in diseases of the eye: an opthalmalogist."

    We all hear about the escapades of Saint Augustine in his own writings Confessions, but few realize that St. Gabriel followed in the footsteps and very town of another saint - Saint Francis of Assisi. Like Francis, Gabriel had the good life. Unlike Francis, Gabriel wanted to taste the temporal banquet of worldly things and he did for a few years, proud and rebellious. But he was not fulfilled for St. Augustine reminds us our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Gabriel could very well have gone the way of most young men who play with fire; he could have been burned were it not for the intercession and guidance of the Blessed Mother of Sorrows who imparted the graces to practice the virtues of humility and self-denial or perish. That was Gabriel's choice and, having a free will, he chose wisely. What an example for today's youth. He exemplifies what can be accomplished by letting go of that youthful, rebellious spirit and submitting to a greater Power Who will provide our greatest hopes and desires. Too many are blinded by the bling-bling and ka-ching of the world, the flesh and the devil and cannot see that it will all evaporate and soon. Then they are left with nothing; a total void that could be ever-ending. Do the youth really want that?

    I would hope and pray they don't, but we know man's fallen nature and we ourselves have two young men as loved sons who still have not received the graces St. Gabriel received. How can they when they continue to opt for worldly things and gage their lives on the opinions of the world? Since they are both above 18, we have no authority over them but to pray exceedingly that, like Gabriel, Our Lady of Sorrows will protect them until they finally realize the hopelessness in striving to please man. When we do that, we more often than not displease God.

    We get the tired, hackneyed feedback from our sons and their friends that "times are different today, that the Church doesn't preach that any more." Oh how saturated the heresy of modernism has penetrated because even my 90-year old dad believes that same lie that satan has managed to spread in the conciliar church. That is the great tragedy today that so many hierarchs will have to answer to God for as the Apostle Mark writes in chapter 10: 14-15 of the Gospel for today's Mass:
"Sínite parvulos veníre ad Me, et ne prohibuéritis eos: tálium enim est regnum Dei. Amen dico vobis: Quisquis non receperit regnum Dei velut párvulus, non intrábit in illud."
"Suffer little children to come to Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it."

    St. Gabriel realized before it was too late that unless he was like a humble little child, he could not attain Heaven. If only our youth today and adults of every age as well from 7 to 99 realized that and realized pride is the great stumbling block that prevents so many from taking that step. Pride blinds us to this truth and only by asking God for the grace to see as we did in yesterday's Gospel with the blind man, will we begin to be made whole.

    In Mark 10: 19-21, we see what is necessary just as St. Gabriel realized what he must do. Unfortunately few today realize that if we can't do all our Lord asks, we can't hope to attain His graces or His approval. Would you be willing to give someone everything you could if they were not willing to abide by all you asked? Unlikely. And if you were willing, how many chances would you give them? One, two, seventy-times seven? How many times do you hear someone say, "Fool me once, okay, but fool me twice, look out."? Or three strikes and you're out! Yet, God gives us unlimited number of chances and we still take it for granted. We think we can skate by in just doing the necessary just as the young man in Mark's Gospel, Chapter 10: 19-21:
"Præcépta nosti: Ne adúlteres, Ne occidas, Ne furéris, Ne falsum testimónium dixeris, Ne fraudem féceris, Honóra patrem tuum et matrem." At ille respóndens, ait ills: Magíster, haec ómnia observávi a juventúte mea. Jesus autem intúitus eum, diléxit eum, et dixit ei: "Unum tibi deest: vade, quæcúmque habes vende, et da paupéribus, et habétis thesáurum in cælo: et veni, séquere Me."
"Thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, bear false witness, do no fraud, honor thy father and mother." But he answering, said to Him: Master, all these things I have observed from my youth. And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: "One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me."

    What we don't see in today's Gospel is the next verse of Mark 10: 22 where the young man went away sorrowful because he placed more value on worldly things than heavenly things. Immediately following that verse is Christ's stern reality that a camel can more readily pass through the minutest space of a knitting needle than for a rich man to achieve Heaven. Does that mean all rich men are destined for hell? No, by no means for Lazarus had wealth and he is in Heaven. But there are far, far fewer wealthy ones in Heaven than the poor because, for the most part, like the young man in the Gospel, their eyes have been blinded by the bling-bling and ka-ching and they go away sorrowful.

    Our Lady feels the pangs of sorrow at their exodus for when we walk away from her divine Son we are rejecting her divine Son. No mother likes that, but with Mary it is not as much the slight on her Son as much as the sorrow that they cannot see the Obvious. This is something St. Gabriel learned to understand after the trials and tribulations of experimenting with what the world offered. We can only ask our Lady and St. Gabriel to intercede for our children, for those who are blinded by the glitter and mediocrity of the world and conciliar church, to come and plant the seeds of true humility so that their eyes and hearts will be open to Christ's invitation so that they can behold the Eye of God - the Beatific Vision. Their ayes will tell for, as St. Gabriel and countless saints have proven, humble submission to God's will opens the windows to the soul.

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

    February 27, 2006
    vol 17, no. 45