This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Sunday 24 June 2018

5th Sunday after Pentecost

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

This Sunday's liturgy is concerned with the forgiveness of injuries and like last Sunday, is made up of two elements, i.e. the reading of the history of David which is continued in the Breviary and that of a passage of one of the epistles of St. Peter the Apostle whose feast is kept about this time. In fact the week beginning with the seventh Sunday after Pentecost was called the week after the feast of the Apostles.

[According to an ancient source the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost having been transferred to the Mass of the first Sunday, a general displacement would have followed affecting all the Sundays from the fifth to the twenty-third, so that the Gospel for the fifth Sunday which dealt with St. Peter would have become that of the fourth, and so on. And then the Epistle and Gospel of the fifth Sunday would have called attention to St. Peter. But other sources weaken the testimony for the universality of this use. The present order of the Roman Missal goes back to St. Gregory the Great.]

When David had gained his victory over Goliath the Israelites went back victorious to their towns and villages singing to the accompaniment of instruments, "Saul slew his thousands and David his ten thousands."

Angered at this and with jealousy eating into his heart, Saul exclaimed: "They have given David ten thousands, and to me they have given but a thousand, what can he have more than the kingdom?" "And Saul did not look on David with a good eye from that day forward" as if he guessed that David had been chosen by God. And jealousy turned him into a criminal. Twice while David was playing the harp to calm Saul's fit of madness he threw his javelin at him and twice David nimbly stepped aside while the javelin stuck quivering in the wall. Then Saul sent him into the battle, hoping that he would be killed, but David returned at the head of his armies, victorious, safe and sound (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Postcommunion).

After this Saul became desperate and hunted David up and down the kingdom and one night he went into a cave, very deep and dark, in the recesses of which David happened to lie concealed. One of David's companions told him that it was the king; that the Lord was about to deliver him from his enemy's hand and that the moment had come to strike him dead with his spear. David, however replied that he would never lay his hand upon the Lord's anointed, and contented himself with secretly cutting off the hem of Saul's robe, after which he left the cave.

At sunrise, from a safe distance, he showed Saul the piece he had cut off and Saul wept and cried: "My son David, you are better than I." Again, on another occasion, David came across Saul fast asleep at night with his spear stuck in the earth close to his pillow and did no more than take the spear and Saul's drinking vessel with it. And Saul blessed him again, however, without slackening in his pursuit.

Later on the Philistines recommenced the war and Israel being defeated, Saul killed himself by "throwing himself on his sword ". When David learned of Saul's decease, far from rejoicing, he rent his garments and had the Amalekite killed who brought the news while carrying Saul's crown and claiming for himself the fictitious merit of having slain David's enemy. David sang a dirge for Saul: "Ye mountains of Gelboe, let neither dew nor rain come upon you, neither be they fields of first-fruits: for there was cast away the shield of the valiant, the shield of Saul as though he had not been anointed with oil. ... Saul and Jonathan, lovely and comely in their life, even in death they were not divided."

"Why," asks St. Gregory, "did David, who had not even rendered evil for evil, utter this curse upon the mountains of Gelboe, when he learned that Saul and Jonathan had fallen in the fight? In what sense have the mountains of Gelboe been guilty of the death of Saul, that receiving neither dew nor rain, all their verdant vegetation should be turned into barrenness, in accordance with this imprecation?"

Saul whose anointing in no way prevented his death is a type of our Mediator in His death, and the mountains of Gelboe, whose name means watercourses, stand for the Jews with their proud hearts who dissipate themselves in a stream of worldly ambitions The King the true anointed one, lost the life of his body among them, wherefore wholly deprived of the dew of grace they remain in a state of barrenness. These proud souls bring forth no fruit, for they remain faithless to the Redeemer's coming, and while the Church, from the beginning, has shown herself prematurely fertile by the multitude of nations she has brought forth, it is with difficulty that in the last days she will garner some Jews, gathered like a late harvest or like fruit out of season (2nd Nocturn).

From all these considerations there stands out a great lesson of charity, for as David spared his enemy Saul and rendered him good for evil, so God forgives the Jews, since in spite of their unfaithfulness, He is always ready to welcome them into the kingdom of which Christ their Victim is King. Hence we can understand the reason for the choice of to-day's Epistle and Gospel, which proclaim the great duty of the forgiveness of injuries, "Be ye all of one mind in prayer, not rendering evil fo evil, not railing for railing," says the Epistle. And the Gospel adds: "If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar and there, thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother and then coming, thou shalt offer thy gift."

David, having been anointed king by the elders of Hebron, took the citadel of Sion, which thus became his city, and put the Ark of God in the sanctuary there (Communion). This was the reward for his great charity, a virtue indispensable if the worship offered by men in the holy places is to be acceptable to God (Ibid.). It is for this, reason that the Epistle and Gospel call our attention to the fact that it is especially when we meet in prayer that we must be unite in heart. [It is the Liturgy which has added the words "in oratione" (in prayer), which are not found in St. Peter, at the beginning of the Epistle, to explain the last words of the Gospel and to connect these two parts of the Mass with each other.]

Certainly, as the history of Saul and to-day's Mass show, divine Justice has its rights, but if it utter a final sentence, it is only after almighty God has exhausted in vain, all the means suggested by His love.

The best way to come to the possession of charity is to love God, to desire the good things of eternity (Collect), and the possession of happiness in heavenly places (Communion), where entrance is only to be had through the continual practice of this fair virtue.

Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad te: adjutor meus esto, ne derelinquas me, neque despicias me, Deus salutaris meus. * Dominus illuminatio mea, et salus mea, quem timebo?
Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to Thee: be Thou my helper, forsake me not, nor do Thou despise me, O God my Saviour. * The Lord is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I fear.
(Psalm 36:7,9,2. from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui diligentibus te bona invisibilia praeparasti: infunde cordibus nostris tui amoris affectum: ut te in omnibus et super omnia diligentes, promissiones tuas, quae omne desiderium superant, consequamur.
O God, who hast prepared for those who love Thee such good things as eye hath not seen; pour into our hearts such love towards Thee, that we loving Thee above all things, may , obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples : Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the. kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgement. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother: Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say: Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother ; and then gift.
(St Matthew 5:20-24)

Sunday 17 June 2018

4th Sunday after Pentecost

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

The leading thought in to-day's liturgy is again that of trust in God in the midst of struggles and trials. This thought springs from the reading of the story of David in the Breviary as well as from an incident in the life of St. Peter whose feast is close at hand, these being the two elements very different in themselves, from which are drawn the various parts of the Mass.

When almighty God had rejected Saul because of his pride, He told Samuel to anoint as king, the youngest son of Jesse, still a young boy. Samuel anointed him in the midst of his family, while from that day the spirit of God departed from Saul and descended upon David.

Soon after, the Philistines wishing to renew the war, assembled their army on the slope of a mountain while Saul drew up his in a similar position, in such a way that they were separated only by a valley with a mountain stream. From out of the Philistines' camp came the giant, Goliath, having "a helmet of brass upon his head and he was clothed with a coat of mail. And he had greaves of brass on his legs and a buckler of brass covered his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred sides of iron. And standing he cried out to the bands of Israel and said to them: "Am I not a Philistine and you the servants of Saul? Choose out a man of you and let him come down and fight hand to hand. If he be able to fight with me and kill me we will be servants to you; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, you shall be servants, and shall serve us." And Saul and all the Israelites hearing these' words of the Philistines were dismayed and greatly afraid."

For forty days the Philistine came forward morning and evening, renewing his challenge which not one had the courage to accept. At this juncture young David visited Saul's camp, where his brothers were, and hearing Goliath and witnessing the terror of Israel cried out full of faith: "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, who hath dared to curse the army of the living God?" Let not any man's heart be dismayed in him. I, thy servant, will go and will fight against the Philistine." And Saul said to David: "Go, and the Lord be with thee."
Then David, taking his staff and sling, crossed the bed of the stream and choosing five smooth stones went boldly forward to meet the Philistine Goliath, who seeing a mere lad coming towards him exclaimed with great contempt: "Am I a dog that thou comest to me with a staff?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And David said to the Philistine: "I came to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel which thou hast defied. And all this assembly shall know, that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear; for it is His battle and He will deliver you into our hands."

Then Goliath rushed on David, who hastily loading his sling with one of the stones he had brought, swung it round so that the stone buried itself in the giant's forehead, while he fell like a log, face downwards, on the earth. David leapt towards him and drawing his victim's sword from its sheath gave him his death blow, cutting off his head and holding it up for the Philistines to see; the result being that the latter fled in confusion, while the Israelites, raising a war cry, pursued them with great slaughter.

"The Children of Israel," says St. Augustine, "had been for forty days face to face with the enemy. By these forty days, because of the four seasons and four quarters of the world, is represented this present life during which the Lord's people are never without the necessity of fighting a Goliath and his army, that is the devil and his angels. None the less, they would never gain the victory, if Christ, the true David, had not come down to earth with His staff, i.e. the mystery of His Cross. For David, a type of Christ, stepped from the ranks, took his staff in his hand and went forth against the giant so that in his person we see prefigured what came to pass later on in the case of our Lord Himself. For Christ, the true David, who came to fight the spiritual Goliath, that is the devil, Himself carried His cross. Observe, my dear brethren, the precise spot where Goliath was struck by David. It was on his forehead where he had not the sign of the cross. In the same way that the staff represented the cross, so the stone which struck Goliath was a figure of Christ, our Lord" (2nd Nocturn).

The army of Israel is the Church who endures the humiliations inflicted upon her by her enemies. She groans while waiting for her deliverance (Epistle). She asks the Lord who is "a refuge of the poor in tribulation" (Alleluia), and who is "a refuge" and "deliverer " (Communion) to come to her assistance, lest the enemy say: "I have prevailed against her" (Offertory). With confidence she cries: "Help us O Lord our Saviour, and for the honour of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us" (Gradual). "The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen" (Introit).

It is that under the guidance of Providence, that the Church renders "glad service" to God "in peace" (Collect). This is also clear from the Gospel, chosen because of the near approach of the feast kept on the twenty-ninth of June; in fact a Gospel book (Evangeliarium) of Wurtzburg actually calls this Dominica ante natalem Apostolorum (Sunday before the heavenly birth-day of the Apostles).

It was from Peter's boat that our Lord chose to preach; it was Simon Peter that He told to launch out into the deep, and it was he who, at the Master's word of command, laid down the nets which became so full that they broke. Finally, it was Peter who overcome with astonishment and fear, adored His Master and was chosen by Him as a fisher of men.

"St. Matthew," St. Ambrose tells us, "describes this boat as tossed by the waves, while St Luke describes it as full of fish; here we have a picture of the Church's vicissitudes in her early days and of her wonderful prosperity later on. The vessel which carries divine Wisdom and which is wafted by the wind of Faith runs no danger. What indeed can it fear, when for its pilot it has Him who is the very strength of the Church? Peril is encoutered when Faith is rare; but here there is safety since love is perfect (3rd Nocturn).

Commenting on a Gospel which is very similar to this, in which St, John records a miraculous draught of fishes which took place after our Lord's resurrection, St. Gregory writes: "What does the sea represent, if not the present age in which the changes and chances of this mortal life are like waves which unceasingly dash and break against each other? Of what is the firm ground of the shore a figure if not the permanence of eternal rest? Because the disciples were still surrounded by the waves of this mortal life, they toiled on the sea; and as our Redeemer had put off the corruptibility of the flesh after His resurrection, He stood on the shore."

Again in St. Matthew, our Lord compares the Kingdom of heaven to "a net cast into the sea and gathering together all kinds of fishes. Which, when it was filled they drew out; and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good fishes but the bad they cast forth.

In the same way Baptism was represented in the Catacombs by a fisher drawing a fish out of the water. Here then, is the function of the Church whose head is Peter, "to fish for men", to free souls from the dangers they encounter in the world represented by the sea. "Certainly a new method of fishing", says St. John Chrysostom. "For fishers drew their fish from the water to kill them, but we cast our nets into the water and those whom we take are made alive." And St. Gregory says, in to-day's homily: "The apostles' nets do not destroy those whom they catch, but preserve them, bringing them from the bottom of the abyss to the light; raising to the heights those who are tossed about in the lowest depths."

In St Peter's bark, tossed by the angry waves and the storms of this world, let us put all our trust in Christ. Through His Church He will save us from the attacks of "the strong man armed", who is the devil, and as by David He saved the hosts of Israel, when they defied the giant Goliath.

Dominus illuminatio mea, et salus mea, quem timebo? Dominus defensor vitae meae, a quo trepidabo? qui tribulant me inimici mei, ipsi infirmati sunt, et ceciderunt. * Si consistent adversum me castra: non timebit cor meum.
The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. * If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. 
(Psalm 26:1-3 from the introit of mass)

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine: ut et mundi cursus pacifice nobis tuo ordine dirigatur; et Ecclesia tua tranquilla devotione laetetur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Thee, that Thy Church may joyfully serve Thee in quiet devotion.

Continuation of the Holy Gospel, according to St. Luke.
At that time, when the multitude pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Genesareth. And He saw two ships standing by the lake; but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one of the ships that was Simon's, He desired him to draw back a little from the land: and sitting He taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when He had ceased to speak, He said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon, answering, said to Him: Master, we have laboured all the night, and have taken nothing, but at Thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes; and their net broke: and they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them; and they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus's knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken: and so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things they followed him. 
(St Luke 5:1-11)

Sunday 10 June 2018

3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Third Sunday after Pentecost

To-day's liturgy proclaims God's mercy to men. Like our Lord, who came "not to call the just, but sinners", the Holy Ghost who carries on Christ's work in our hearts comes to set up the kingdom of God in sinful souls. This is the Church's teaching in breviary and missal to-day.

The breviary lessons are concerned with the history of Saul. After Heli's death the Israelites obeyed Samuel like a new Moses but when he became old they asked for a king. There was living, at that time, in the tribe of Benjamin a man named Cis, who had a son called Saul. No boy in Israel was his equal in appearance. His father's asses having gone astray, Saul went to look for them and coming to Ramatha, where Samuel lived, he said to himself: " The man of God will tell me where I shall find them". No sooner was he in Samuel's presence, than God told the latter that this was the man whom He had chosen to reign over His people. Samuel told Saul that the asses he had lost three days ago had been found. The next day Samuel took a horn of oil and having poured it on Saul's head, kissed him and said: "Behold the Lord hath anointed thee to be prince over His inheritance : and thou shalt deliver His people out of the hands of their enemies that are round about them." "Saul," says St. Gregory, "was only anointed with a little vessel of oil because lie was to be rejected in the end." For since the vessel contained but a little oil, Saul received little, and he adds elsewhere: "In every respect Saul represents the obstinate and the proud." St. Gregory says that Saul, who was sent by his father "to look for the lost asses, is a type of our Lord whom His Father sent to seek lost souls". He goes on to say that enemies are round about as blessed Peter said: "Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about." Saul was anointed to deliver his people from the enemies who were attacking them, but Christ the Anointed in the highest sense, came to deliver us from the devils who seek our destruction. This enables us to understand the choice of the epistle and Gospel of this Mass. The gospel shows us the lost sheep and the Good Shepherd seeking it, placing it on His shoulders and returning with it to the fold. It is one of the oldest representations in Christian iconography found in the catacombs. The epistle explains the dangers to which men, expressed by the lost sheep, are exposed. "Watch because your adversary whom resist ye, strong in faith" (Epistle). He will shelter you from the attack of your enemies (Gradual), who is the protector of all who hope in Him (Collect), and who never forsakes them that seek Him (Offertory) Remembering Saul's fate who, at first little in his own eyes, afterwards became puffed up with pride on account of his royal dignity, disobeyed God and would not acknowledge his faults, let us "humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God" (Epistle), saying: "O my God, look upon me and have mercy ... in Thee I put my trust; let me be not ashamed (Introit): and since without Thee nothing is strong, nothing is holy, make us in such manner to use temporal goods, that we lose not those which are eternal (Collect). Give us, then, an immovable constancy in the midst of temptation of every kind (Epistle).


Respice in me, et miserere mei, Domine: quoniam unicus, et pauper sum ego: vide humilitatem meam, et laborem meum: et dimitte omnia peccata mea, Deus meus. * Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam.
Look Thou upon me, O Lord, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labour; and forgive me all my sins, O my God. * To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed.
(Introit: Psalm 24:16-18,1-2)

Protector in te sperantium, Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut, te rectore, te duce, sic transeamus per bona temporalia, ut non amittamus aeterna.
O God, the protector of all that trust in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, multiply Thy mercies upon us; that having Thee for our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not those which are eternal.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
In illo tempore: Erant appropinquantes ad Jesum publicani, et peccatores, ut audirent illum. Et murmurabant pharisaei et scribae, dicentes: Quia hic peccatores recipit, et manducat cum illis. Et ait ad illos parabolam istam, dicens: Quis ex vobis homo, qui habet centum oves: et si perdiderit unam ex illis, nonne dimittit nonagintanovem in deserto, et vadit ad illam, quae perierat, donec inveniat eam? Et cum invenerit eam, imponit in humeros suos gaudens: et veniens domum, convocat amicos, et vicinos, dicens illis: Congratulamini mihi, quia inveni ovem meam, quae perierat? Dico vobis, quod ita gaudium erit in caelo super uno peccatore poenitentiam agente, quam super nonagintanovem justis, qui non indigent poenitentia. Aut quae mulier habens drachmas decem, si perdiderit drachmam unam, nonne accendit lucernam, et everrit domum, et quaerit diligenter, donee inveniat ? Et cum invenerit, convocat arnicas et vicinas, dicens: Congratulamini mihi, quia inveni drachmam, quam perdideram? Ita dico vobis: gaudium erit coram Angelis Dei super uno peccatore poenitentiam agente.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, the publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear Him: and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. And He spoke to them this parable, saying: What man is there of you that hath a hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing, and coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost? So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.
(Gospel: Luke 15:1-10)

Quae mulier * habens drachmas decern, et si perdiderit drachmam unam, nonne accendit lucernam, et everrit domum, et quaerit diligenter donec inveniat?
What woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?
(Antiphon at the Magnificat, St Luke 15:8)

Sunday 3 June 2018

Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi

Second Sunday after Pentecost

(Wherever the solemn celebration of Corpus Christi is observed on the Sunday, one high Mass is celebrated as on the feast itself, with commemoration and last Gospel of the second Sunday. After this Mass the procession takes place.)

For the feast of Corpus Christi, the Church has chosen the Thursday between the Sunday on which she speaks of God's mercy towards men and the consequent duty of fraternal charity among Christians (First Sunday after Pentecost), and this Sunday when she resumes the same thread of thought (Epistle) and presents the Kingdom of Heaven in the form of the Parable of the Supper (Gospel). (This Mass was in existence, composed of its present parts before Corpus Christi was instituted.)

Nothing could be more appropriate to the Blessed Eucharist, as the banquet where all souls are united by love to Christ their Spouse and to all the members of His mystical body; no time could have been chosen better than when the history of Samuel is being read in the breviary; Samuel who was consecrated to God from his earliest childhood to dwell near the Ark of the Lord and to become priest in the sanctuary of the Most High.

In the liturgy for this season we see how this young child, offered to God by his mother, served the Lord in the Temple with a pure heart and nurtured himself on God's truth.

"In those days," the breviary tells us, "the word of the Lord was precious ... there was no manifest vision"; for Heli was at the same time proud and weak; and his two sons Ophni and Phinees were faithless to God and slack in His service. Yet at that very moment the Lord revealed Himself to the child Samuel, for as our Lord tells us, He reveals Himself to "little ones", and hides Himself from the proud.

"It is to the humble," says St. Gregory, "that the secrets of the divine plan have been revealed, and that is why Samuel was called as a child." (Commentary on Kings.) God foretold to Samuel the punishment which would fall on Heli and his house, and as a matter of fact soon after, the Ark was taken by the Philistines, Heli's two sons were killed and Heli himself died. Moreover almighty God had withheld his revelations from the high priest, because he and his sons made too little of heavenly joys, symbolized by "the great supper" spoken of in to-day's Gospel, and were more attached to the delights of the body than of the soul.

Applying to them a passage from St. Gregory in to-day's homily we may say that they "had reached a state in which they had lost all appetite for interior joys, for the very reason that they had held aloof from them and had long lost the habit of relishing them. Since they were not willing to enjoy interiorly the sweetness offered them, they loved the hunger that came upon them from without."

Heli's sons had in fact been taking the meats offered to God and eating them themselves and Heli, their father had let them go their own way. It was in divine consolations alone that Samuel, who had always lived with Heli in the Temple, found his delight. The food of which he partook was that supplied by God Himself, When He told him His secrets in contemplation and prayer. "The child slept, which means," says St. Gregory, "that his soul was at rest without care for earthly things." The saint explains in his commentary on to-day's Gospel that "the joys of the body which kindle in us beforehand an ardent desire for their possession, soon bring disgust upon him who tastes them, by the very fact of his satiating himself with them, while on the contrary, spiritual joys arouse contempt before they are possessed, but stir up desire for them when once they have been obtained; so that he who has tasted them is the hungrier, the more he is fed."

And this explains how souls who find all their delight in the pleasures of this world refuse to share in the banquet of the Christian Faith, wherein the church nourishes all with the teaching of the Gospel. "Taste and see," continues St. Gregory, "that the Lord is sweet. By these words the Psalmist expressly tells us: You do not know His sweetness if you do not taste it, but touch the food of life with the palate of your heart, that experiencing His graciousness you may be able to love Him.

"Man lost these delights when he sinned in paradise, out of which he came when he had closed his lips to the food of eternal sweetness. It follows from this that having been born in the pains of this exile, we reach such a state of disgust with our life here below, that we no longer know what we ought to desire." (Matins).

But by the grace of the Holy Ghost, "we have passed from death unto life", (Epistle), so that, like humble little Samuel, we, the weak, the poor and the lame of the Gospel should seek our joys near our Lord's tabernacle and in intimate communion with Him. We must avoid pride and earthly things that we may be instructed in the fear and love of Gods Holy Name (Collect), and thus constantly directed by Him "our life on earth may more and more be likened to that of heaven," that "it may be vouchsafed to us who have received the sacred gifts, that the more often we assist at the celebration of these divine mysteries, the more surely they may avail to the salvation of our souls" (Postcommunion).

Factus est Dominus protector meus, et eduxit me in latitudinem: salvum me fecit, quoniam voluit me. * Diligam te, Domine, virtus mea : Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.
The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because He was well pleased with me. * I will love Thee, O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer.
(Psalm 17:19-20,2 from the introit of Mass)

Sancti nominis tui, Domine, timorem pariter et amorem fac nos habere perpetuum: quia numquam tua gubernatione destituis, quos in soliditate tuae dilectionis instituis. 
Grant, O Lord, that we may have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name; for Thou never failest to direct and govern by Thy grace, those whom Thou bringest up in the steadfastness of Thy love.

Second Collect of Corpus Christi: Deus qui nobis.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable : A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of supper, to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him, I have bought a farm, and must needs go out, and see it, I pray thee hold me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind and the lame. And the servant said : Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper.
(St Luke 14:16-24)