The VerbumQUO (mar6quo.htm)

The measure of your treasure

The Verbumquo for today is "thesauro", Latin for "treasure" which is, in Heavenly terms, Heaven itself. To attain this everlasting treasure we have been given many spiritual treasures beginning with our Faith which contains Divine Revelation - Sacred Scripture and Tradition. It is what motivated today's saints Perpetua and Felicitas to give their lives for Christ.

Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: This series for 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 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.

    The VerbumQUO is taken from today's Gospel - Matthew 13: 44-52 in which our Lord speaks of a "treasure" which in Latin is thesauro from thesaurus, the noun for "treasure", which Webster's defines as follows:

    "treasure" - noun "[From Latin thesaurus, from Greek thesaouros a store laid up, treasure.] Money, jewels, or the like hoarded up; esp., a store of money in reserve. 2. A thing of great worth; something rare or precious - v.t. To collect and deposit as valuables, for future use; hoard; hence, to cherish; prize Syn. See APPRECIATE." From this we get the verb "to treasure" as well as "treasurer" and "treasury." We also have the direct word "thesaurus" which means "A treasury or storeroom; hence, a respository, especially of words as a dictionary."

    From this latter we get that treasured book of synonyms, Roget's Thesaurus which every writer considers a treasure for their vocabulary use. But these treasures are temporal , and though we gain much from being able to express the written word, it is the Word which is the true treasure for it comes from the Treasure: God Himself and what treasure He offers us: eternal salvation. There is no greater treasure. This "treasure" to attain is evident throughout Sacred Scripture and in the Gospels, especially today's Gospel of Matthew 13: 44-52 where Jesus uses parables to convey this message. Here it is most concise:

      In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus discípulis suis parábolam hanc: "Símile est regnum Cœlórum thesáuro abscóndito in agro: quem qui invénit homo, abscóndit, et præ gáudio illíus vadit, et vendit univérsa, quæ habet, et emit agrum illum. Iterum símile est regnum cœlórum hómini negotiatóri, quærénti bonas margarítas. Invénta autem una pretiósa margaríta, abiit, et véndidit ómnia quæ hábuit, et emit eam. Iterum símile est regnum Cœlórum sagénæ missæ in mare, et ex omni génere píscium congregánti. Quam, cum impléta esset, educéntes, et secus littus sedéntes, elegérunt bonos in vasa, malos autem foras misérunt. Sic erit in consummatióne sæculi: exíbunt Angeli, et separábunt malos de médio justórum, et mittent eos in camínum ignis: ibi erit fletus, et stridor déntium. Intellexístis hæc ómnia?" Dicunt ei: "Etiam." Ait illis: "Ideo omnis scriba doctus in regno Cœlórum símilis, est hómini patrifamilias, qui profert de thesáuro suo nova et vétera."
      At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: "The kingdom of Heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field; which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kinds of fishes; which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things?" They say to Him, "Yes." He said unto them,"Therefore, every scribe instructed in the kingdom of Heaven, is like to a man who is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old."

    This passage is applied for today's feast of the holy martyrs Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicitas. These two women were mothers who left the most prized treasure they had on this earth, their own children, to give their lives for Christ and the True Faith. In fact, Felicitas, servant to the wealthy matron Perpetua, was able to wait out her persecution until she delivered her baby, then willingly went to her death. So great was this Treasure of everlasting life, that mother was able to save her own child while giving herself freely to Christ. The sanctity and the nobility which these two women exhibited by eschewing the world for a greater treasure is truly a treasure in itself. So great was their love for God that their names were added to the prayer of the Holy Mass following the Consecration which is known as the Nobis quoque peccatoribus:

      Nobis quoque peccatoribus famulis tuis, de multitudine miserationum tuarum sperantibus partem aliquam, et societatem donare digneris, cum tuis sanctis Apostolis et Martyribus: cum Ioanne, Stephano, Matthia, Barnaba, Ignatio, Alexandro, Marcellino, Petro, Felicitate, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucia, Agnete, Caecilia, Anastasia, et omnibus Sanctis suis: intra quorum nos consortium, non aestimator meriti, sed veniae, quaesumus, largitor admitte. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
      To us also, Thy sinful servants, confiding in the multitude of Thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with Thy holy Apostles and Martyrs, with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and with all Thy Saints, into whose company we beseech Thee to admit us, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses. Through Christ our Lord.

    As we can see these two martyrs whom we honor today are treasures themselves in Heaven alongside the likes of the great martyrs of the Church listed above. So great were there sacrifices and we are reaping their actions to this day if we only see in their act where our true Treasure lies. In volume 4 of The Liturgical Year the holy Benedictine Abbot Dom Gueranger provides a prayer that we can treasure on how these two heroic women can continue to be a treasure to us.

    "And now, dear saints, Perpetua and Felicitas, intercede for us during this season of grace. Go with your palms in your hands, to the throne of God, and beseech Him to pour down His mercy upon us. It is true, the days of paganism are gone by; and there are no persecutors clamoring for our blood. You, and countless other martyrs have won victory for faith; and that faith is now ours; we are Christians. But there is a second paganism, which has taken deep root among us. It is the source of that corruption which now pervades every rank of society, and its own two sources are indifference, which chills the heart, and sensuality, which induces cowardice. Holy martyrs! pray for us that we may profit by the example of your virtues, and that the thoughts of your heroic devotedness may urge us to be courageous in the sacrifices which God claims at our hands. Pray, too, for the Churches which are now being established on that very spot of Africa, which was the scene of your glorious martyrdom: bless them, and obtain for them, by your powerful intercession, firmness of faith and purity of morals."

    As we can see, this moving prayer has been abandoned as the Muslims overrun Africa and Europe, and the modern church turns a deaf ear to the souls crying out, for the church of Vatican II has been consumed in those two paganistic fallouts: indifferentism and sensuality - both leading to cowardice. That is only too evident and sad for that very treasure Jesus speaks of in the Gospel has been hidden in that field and not allowed to grow and reap dividends in souls. Were Perpetua and Felicitas alive today, would they still give up their lives or would they claim political correctness and condone the sinful actions of the shepherds in wolves clothing who have led the sheep astray? No, we know they would not have for they were Catholic in every sense, possessing a treasure that could not be taken away from them, no matter how hard the pagans tried. The question is, are you Catholic enough to follow in their footsteps or will you chicken out? In that answer is the measure of your treasure.

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

VerbumQUO for the Feast of Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas