Outstanding in his field!

The VerbumQUO for today is "fructum" which in English is the noun "fruit" taken from today's Gospel for the Mass of Saint Isidore the Farmer on Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent. How appropriate considering he tilled the earth and produced fruits galore both from the soil and souls.
Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      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 feast of Saint Isidore the Farmer is fructum which means "fruit" of which our Lord speaks of considerably in today's Gospel from John 15: 1-7 on the Vine and the branches and the good fruit borne through that combination.
      In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: "Ego sum vitis vera et Pater Meus agricola est omnem palmitem in me non ferentem fructum tollet eum et omnem qui fert fructum purgabit eum ut fructum plus adferat iam vos mundi estis propter sermonem quem locutus sum vobis manete in me et ego in vobis sicut palmes non potest ferre fructum a semet ipso nisi manserit in vite sic nec vos nisi in me manseritis ego sum vitis vos palmites qui manet in me et ego in eo hic fert fructum multum quia sine me nihil potestis facere si quis in me non manserit mittetur foras sicut palmes et aruit et colligent eos et in ignem mittunt et ardent si manseritis in me et verba mea in vobis manserint quodcumque volueritis petetis et fiet vobis."
      At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "I am the true vine; and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me, that beareth not fruit, He will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, He will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and be burneth. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you."

    This same analogy of Christ and His Mystical Body - His Church - is brought to life here as He reaffirms what He asserts in Saint Matthew 7: 15-20, Saint Mark 4: 3-32, Saint Luke 3: 9; 6: 43-45; 13: 5-9; 20: 9-18, and again in Saint John 4: 35-38; 12: 24-26; and 15: 16. The analogy of tilling the earth fits so perfectly with St. Isidore whose life was dedicated to agriculture.

   From fructum comes the English noun "fruit" Phonetically it is pronounced FROOCK-TOOM. Let us look at Webster's definition:

    "fruit" - noun, [From the Latin fructus enjoyment, product, fruit, from fructus, to enjoy.] 1. Any product of plant growth useful to man or animals, as grain, vegetables, cotton, etc; - commonly in plural; as, the fruits of the earth. 2. The edible, more or less succulent product of a perennial or wooly plant, consisting of the ripened seeds and adjacent tissues, or of the latter alone. In popular usage there is no exact distinction between a fruit and a vegetable, except where the latter consists of the stem, leaves, or root of the plant. 3. Archaic. Offspring. 4. Product or result, as of work, training, idleness, etc.; reward; outcome; consequence. 5. Botany a In general, any product of fertilization with its modified envelopes or appendages. b Specifically, the ripened ovary of a seed plant, and its contents, as the pod of a pea, a nut, grain, berry, grape, etc. - v.t. & i. To bear or cause to bear fruit; develop fruit on. fructify, verb [From Latin fructificare from fructus fruit + ficare to make.] Thus: To bear fruit. To make fruitful; fertilize. fructose" Chem. A sugar C6 H12 06, occurring in three optically different forms, the best known being levulose, or fruit sugar. Fruitful, fructuous, adj. fruitful. 1. Full of fruit; producing fruit abundantly; bearing results; prolific. 2. Beneficial; productive; as, his studies proved fruitful. Syn. See FERTILE. fruitfully, adv. - fruitfulness, noun."

    You'll note, over the course of these VerbumQUO's, how the etymology of the Latin verb ficare - "to make" - has become such a mainstay in transferring nouns into verbs and has so readily been adapted into the English language. The fruitfulness of Isidore's labors are manifest in the miracles attributed to him both while he was alive and after his death. Placing priority on beginning his day at Holy Mass, he was habitually late for work in the fields as a farm laborer. It brings to mind our Lord's parable of the workers in the field and those receiving equal pay no matter how long they worked. Yet, Isidore never shrank from hardwork and it is said that while he was at Mass, the angels ploughed the fields for him, accomplishing more than the others in the field could. These visions convinced his fellow workers of his holiness and they eventually joined him at Holy Mass, bearing much fruit in Spain which, through their prayers and dedication, helped drive the Moors from Spain's shores.

    Today? Spain has fallen to the crescent moon and the hammer and sickle because most of the laborers have demanded more and abandoned Christ and His Church. The fruits that were so abundant in Isidore's time - those dark age medieval times that are so frowned upon by modernists in this age - have withered up and are destined to be ploughed under and cast into the fire. Oh, we can learn so much from the simple laborer Isidore and his work ethic. That is something else lost on not only Spain, but the rest of Europe and our own United States, a nation steeped in slothfulness and the quest for ease today. We see, in the daily headlines and news, concern about immigration, especially in California where undocumented immigrant Hispanics are willing to do the same kind of work Isidore did and often times, for the most part, are most dependable and have large families in trying to live the Faith handed down. But hardships, resentments, prejudice, and unfair wages and living conditions tip the scale and the greater majority do not have the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to begin their day as Isidore had.

    It has always amazed me that we proud Americans who, for the most part, know only one language - and then can't speak it very well (or, as they say in today's lexicon: "they can't speak good") - look down on, as inferior and less intelligent, those who know more than one language, especially the Hispanic descendants who can master two languages. It is the pride of America that will be her downfall by not admitting she must be dependent upon God and adhere to His commandments. The great democracy may be bringing others in the world up-to-date on modern conveniences and thought, but they are today doing little to bring God to them. In fact, just the opposite, as they rush into ravaged areas such as Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, the Philippines, South and Central America and other countries with a fistful of dollars, condoms and abortifacients. Ah, yes, progress!

    The fruits of so many saints have seemed to be lost due to man's neglect of what God demands. The holy Abbot Dom Gueranger writes in today's commentary for Wednesday in the Third Week of Lent from Volume 5 of The Liturgical Year the following observation:

       "The Church reminds us today of the divine commandments which relate to our duties towards our neighbor, beginning with that which enjoins respect to parents. Now that the faithful are are intent on the great work of the conversion and amendment of their lives, it is well that they should be reminded that their duties towards their fellow-men are prescribed by God Himself. Hence, it is God Whom we offended, when we sinned against our neighbor. God first tells us what He Himself has a right to receive from our hands. He bids us adore and serve Him; He forbids the worship of idols; He enjoins the observance of the Sabbath, and prescribes sacrifices and ceremonies: but, at the same time, He commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and assures us that He will be their avenger when we have wronged them, unless we repair the injury. The voice of Jehovah on Sinai is not less commanding when it proclaims what our duties are to our neighbor, than when it tells us our obligations to our Creator. Thus enlightened as to the origin of our duties, we shall have a clearer view of the state of our conscience, and of the atonement required of us by divine justice."

    St. Isidore would have shuddered at the total neglect of He Who was the very reason for Isidore's existence. While Isidore was a poor man, he was so rich in graces. Today so many are rich in temporal things, and so poverty stricken when it comes to graces. Gueranger adds this contemplation as food for thought:

    "From this, that the sins into which a man falls by his use of material things are sins only on account of the malice of the will, which is spiritual, it does not follow that therefore man may, without any sin, make use of material things, when God or His Church forbids their use. God forbade our first parents, under pain of death, to eat the fruit of a certain tree; they ate it, and sin was the result of their eating. Was the fruit unclean of its own nature? No; it was a creature of God as well as the other fruits of Eden; but our first parents sinned by eating it, because their doing so was an act of disobedience."

    So we see God is not condemning the material things we use, it is only in our abuse of them in not using them for God's purpose and for our neighbor, that the fruit is spoiled and the consequence becomes serious. So the question comes down to: Which would you rather reap: the fruits that Isidore and those "ignorant medievalists" who placed God first and worked with their neighbors, or those who don't have time for "such superstitions" and take advantage of those less fortunate neighbors? I know my answer, I would take in a "New York minute" the man whose fruits were considered on a par with the great saints he was canonized with by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622 - saints like Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Saint Philip Neri. Giants all! and Isidore belongs in that group because of his simple obedience, dedication to work by the sweat of his brow while never resenting it, and adherence to all Holy Mother Church has always taught. How sweet the heavenly dividends. Thank you, holy Isidore for the fruits of your labors. Keep on ploughing and harvesting for us in intercession before the great Lord of the Vineyard and let those today who demean the poor and the migrant worker, the ones who work by the sweat of their brow, to examine the fruits of their labor and tell me it is not worthwhile. You want success stories? Isidore is it! He was outstanding in his field!

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

VerbumQUO for the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer