Saturday, July 23, 2016

PRIESTS BEING TRUE

FLECTAMUS GENUA

The following extract is taken from a marvellous post at VULTUS CHRISTI BLOG:A Priest's One Necessary Sermon:http://vultus.stblogs.org. Please take the time to go there and read the whole post by Dom Mark Daniel Kirby.

A Priest's One Necessary Sermon

The Lamb who is adored in the glory of heaven is present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar here on earth. If a priest were to preach but one sermon from the day of his Ordination until his death, that one sermon could be this: 

Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi

Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29).


Disappear Into Adoration

The priest is but a herald. He announces the presence of the Immolated Lamb, and then annihilates himself in humble adoration. Adoration leads inexorably to self-effacement. The Lamb is exalted; the herald of the Lamb disappears. The Bridegroom shines forth in all His beauty; the friend of the Bridegroom withdraws, content to listen to the sound of his voice.


Praedicatio Prima

A priest's adoration -- be it expressed in the liturgical rites (and especially at Holy Mass) or in silence before the Blessed Sacrament -- a priest's adoration is his praedicatio prima, his primary preaching. Without the praedicatio prima of adoration, no other preaching has credibility or meaning.

Preparing for Heaven

The priest who adores does on earth, does what the angels and saints do in heaven. He is employed on earth in the worship of the Lamb that will be his everlasting employment, his rest, and his glory in heaven.

The Compass That Orients One's Priesthood

The priest who is not first an adorer has lost the compass that orients all the rest of his life. The priesthood is ordered to adoration, and the summit of adoration is sacrifice: the immolation of a victim to God. The loss of the spirit of adoration is the ruin of the priesthood.

The truth is here expressed with marvellous clarity.

Friday, July 22, 2016

" A WORLD OF ILLUSION "


I have to confess upfront that, five years ago I had not read George Bernanos' classic novel "Diary of a Country Priest"despite having lived 71 years plus. In my teens I saw it on bookshelves and assumed it was a bit of salacious anti-clerical propaganda. Later, when I realised from the comments of those I respect that it was a work of great quality, I simply did not get around to it.

But now, thanks to my marvellous Amazon KINDLE , I have been able to read it. What a joy !What I would like to share with you is an excerpt from the Foreword written by Remy Rougeau a monk . The entire Foreword is beautiful and insightful. This final paragraph distills its essential message :




"Saints have a difficult position in society not because they suffer. We all suffer. They, however, are ambassadors of truth in a world of illusion. Our world is more of an illusion than ever, a narcotic upon senses and judgment. Grace is perhaps more necessary than ever. And in this novel we can see it in mysterious but visible action.






Remy Rougeau "


"A world of illusion" how very true! So few things are as they are presented to us. From the absurdity of "Age defying" creams and lotions, to the multi-lifted faces of "forever young personalities and "beauty" that is no more than glamour, "love"that is no more than sex, all is illusion. When we move into the realm of ideas the same truth holds : "reform" that is nothing more than change, "rights" that are nothing but inventions of social engineers , "science" that is true to-day but not tomorrow, not to mention the "image"of public figures that is dismantled the moment they leave office - now the media will give us another truth.


Thank you, Brother Remy Rougeau.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PERSPECTIVE A SENSE OF HISTORY AND WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

This Post from 2011 is interesting for attempting to look into the future. It did not work out as it seemed it might   as Thomas A'Kempis wrote in "The Imitation of Christ"(Book 1 Ch. 19) "For Man proposes, but God disposes." What surprises does the near future hold for us?



CARDINAL GEORGE PELL 8TH ARCHBISHOP OF SYDNEY
We Australians sometimes need to pause for breath as we race ahead in pursuit of "progress" or even "reform"( have you noticed how Left inclined Governments always speak of reform when giving birth to mere change?) . A little more circumspection, might lead us to more careful reflection on where we have come from and what should be the way ahead, and how we might consolidate what we have.


Cardinal Moran - Statue outside St. Mary's Basilica

Archbishop Kelly - Statue outside St. Mary's Basilica



ST.MARY'S BASILICA SYDNEY, MOTHER CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA

Think of the Church in Australia. In 1842 Archbishop John Bede Polding became the first Archbishop of Sydney. He was succeeded by Archbishop Roger Bede Vaughan both men  were English Benedictines. Next came two Irishmen, Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran, who was succeeded by Archbishop Michael Kelly; then came the Australians Cardinal Norman Thomas Gilroy, Cardinal James Darcy Freeman, Cardinal Edward Bede Clancy and now Cardinal George Pell. This short paragraph outlines the history.

But now let us consider Cardinal Angel Scola, recently appointed Archbishop of Milan in Northern Italy, whom the Holy Father called to Castel Gandolfo  the Popes' Summer Residence to confer on him individually the Pallium - a special distinction - for this is normally done annually for the group of  Metropolitan Archbishops appointed during the preceding year. But the Archdiocese of Milan is hugely important, and, it just might be that Cardinal Scola himself  may in time be even more hugely important - even the successor to Benedict XVI.


The Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente , Milan, Italy


With 4,860,000 Catholics the Archdiocese of Milan is only 300,000 short of the entire Catholic population of Australia.

But, according to my addition of a very fine print list, there is a remarkable difference in the number of Archbishops and Bishops. For Cardinal Angelo Scola is the 150th Archbishop/Bishop of Milan ( which has been an Archbishopric since about A.D.400) and numerous of his predecessors have been Saints including the great Saint Ambrose ( who baptised Saint Augustine) and the great Saint Charles Borromeo. Milan preseves its own Rite of the Mass - the Ambrosian Rite- and its own distinctive Chant - a place of formidable antiquity in the Faith, achievement and privilege.

Cardinal Scola is himself a man of truly notable achievement. Born in 1941, the son of a truck driver, he was ordained Priest at age 28yrs and Bishop of Grosseto 21 yrs later. He became Rector of the Lateran University and held a number of offices in the Roman Curia before being made Patriarch of Venice by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2002. He had a long period of association with Catholic Youth Movements in his younger life and has gained a reputation not only for academic brilliance and achievement, but also for pastoral activity and accessibility.


Pope Benedict and Cardinal Scola at the Imposition of the Pallium
In appointing him to this great See, is Pope Benedict hoping not only to deliver a strong antidote to the liberal tendencies of his predecessors Tettamanzi and Martini and their remaining influence, but also hoping to elevate Cardinal Scola in the eyes of members of the next Conclave?

HORROR OF HERESY THE LATER DE LUBAC



From the Comment Box over at "RORATE CAELI" Blog the following gem from Father ( later Cardinal)  HENRI De LUBAC: 


Father(later Cardinal) Henri de Lubac

"If heretics no longer horrify us today, as the once did our forefathers, is it certain that it is because there is more charity in our hearts?

Or would it not too often be, perhaps, without our daring to say so, because the bone of contention, that is to say, the very substance of our faith, no longer interests us?


Men of too familiar and too passive a faith, perhaps for us dogmas are no longer the Mystery on which we live , the Mystery which is to be accomplished in us. Consequently then, heresy no longer shocks us; at least, it no longer convulses us like something trying to tear the soul of our souls away from us..... And this is why we have no trouble in being kind to heretics, and no repugnance in rubbing shoulders with them...


It is not always charity, alas, which has grown greater, or which has become more enlightened: it is often faith, the taste of things of eternity, which has grown less." 













Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME


In 2011 Pope Benedict XVI made an apostolic journey to his homeland Germany. The problems with the German church were already in evidence. Since the they have increased and multiplied as we have seen in the antics of Cardinals Marx and Kasper at the recent Synods and since. The Post has a timeless quality about it.



Pope Benedict XVI in Berlin just a few hours ago.


"To abide in Christ means, as we saw earlier, to abide in the Church as well. The whole communion of the faithful has been firmly incorporated into the vine, into Christ. In Christ we belong together. Within this communion he supports us, and at the same time all the members support one another. They stand firm together against the storm and they offer one another protection. Those who believe are not alone. We do not believe alone, but we believe with the whole Church.

The Church, as the herald of God’s word and dispenser of the sacraments, joins us to Christ, the true vine. The Church as "fullness and completion of the Redeemer" (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, AAS 35 [1943] p. 230: "plenitudo et complementum Redemptoris") is to us a pledge of divine life and mediator of those fruits of which the parable of the vine speaks. The Church is God’s most beautiful gift. Therefore Saint Augustine also says: "as much as any man loves the Church of Christ, so much has he the Holy Spirit" (In Ioan. Ev. Tract. 32:8 [PL 35:1646]). With and in the Church we may proclaim to all people that Christ is the source of life, that he exists, that he is the one for whom we long so much. He gives himself. Whoever believes in Christ has a future. For God has no desire for what is withered, dead, ersatz, and finally discarded: he wants what is fruitful and alive, he wants life in its fullness. "

To read the Holy Father's addresses and Homilies is a thorough and authentic refreshing  of our knowlege of the Catholic Faith - you won't get it in the mass media. Follow the Holy Father as he makes his way through his fatherland, poor, estranged and wounded Germany, calling her folk back to Christ.And to His holy Church. Follow the Apostolic Voyage and read the texts at :


http://www.romereports.com/palio/index.php?newlang=english


The Papal Flag at the historic Brandenburg Gate



And please pray for the Holy Father and for the success of his historic mission to Germany.





N.B. I find it difficult to credit the obstructions, mysterious malfunctions and errors which have blighted my efforts to complete this short post, but it is done despite them all . Thank you Lord for the gift of perseverance.




















Sunday, July 17, 2016

IT IS THE MASS THAT MATTERS - 2002 PILGRIMAGE IN BRISBANE

SAINT BRIDGET'S CHURCH, RED HILL
"AS OFTEN AS YOU DO THIS........"

It took an encounter in a car workshop to set me on my pilgrim way.


I had been saddened and confused  by recent events. Two weeks earlier it had been announced that no public Masses were to be celebrated whilst the Diocesan clergy attended from 3rd to 7th June,2002,  a Retreat at Banyo Seminary. A truncated version of the Divine Office Morning Prayer was proposed to take the place of Daily Mass.




In a Northern Suburbs car workshop I was handed a photocopied slip of paper by a salesman who received one  from his boss, who had received one from ......It detailed "Daily Masses celebrated during the month of the Sacred Heart from 3rd June to 7th.". Poorly typed and far from being an aid from the Archdiocese to the Faithful, it was simply Christ's Faithful co-operating to get round their abandonment.


This simple slip of paper set me on a 5 day Pilgrimage around the Archdiocese.


"......YOU SHALL DO IT IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"


Yes, I had been saddened and confused. Saddened by the calculated decision of the Archdiocesan Authorities not to organise the large numbers of retired clergy, religious clergy, and/or visiting clergy from surrounding Dioceses to provide daily Mass at strategic centres. Indeed, they went further, and made no effort to publicise the many Masses celebrated by the Religious Order clergy they knew would be available.A friend had suggested a specific solution for one church but had been put off with an incoherent and embarrassed response from the  relevant authority.


I had been confused too - how to react? How to cry out against this wrong, this example of contradiction of official duty? I firstly distributed copies of this slip of paper to others in my Parish. They received them with keen gratitude. Then I determined to continue my custom of assisting at Daily Mass by pilgrimage to some of the churches listed.


SIGNS OF THE TIMES


The central controllers of "pastoral planning", carefully shaped by documents brought back from Milwaukee, where they had been developed to suit Archbishop Rembert Weakland (who was about to be deposed by the Holy See for his homosexual liaison and more, disclosed days before), and which had been given a dose of localising process, had begun to have their effect. Even tenured Priests who were not judged "politically correct"could expect to have their responsibilities either swept away or impossibly increased unless they conformed. Their offence might be doctrinal orthodoxy, devotion to the Mother of God, love of the liturgy, failure to use "newspeak", or fidelity to the Holy Father or even calling heresy "heresy".


As I spoke to Priest friends and friends of other Priests I began to learn how reluctant many Priests were to attend the Retreat. Several previous mass clergy gatherings had an unhappy history in the Archdiocese. They had led  to those not "politically correct"being badly treated and being thoroughly alienated, many returning to their Parishes and having little more to do with what went on in the Archdiocese. Some had died years later beloved by their people but virtual strangers to their fellow Priests; some remain.


Many Priests were reluctant to attend, not only because of this unhappy history, but because of the compulsory abandonment of public Masses for the period of the Retreat.


".......WHO COME TO YOU IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING"


Grey and humourless, the group of pastoral planners and their Milwaukee influenced collaborators, had arranged that daily public Masses should be suppressed during the Retreat. Why? No doubt the Rockhampton rationale was put forward to the Archbishop - the people have to get used to Priestless Parishes. But not a few have suggested it was not to prepare for such a disaster, but to help engineer it. The same administrators had recently taken control of all of the communications apparatus of the Archdiocese.


It was appropriate that authority should be used to secure maximum attendance at a Priests' Retreat. But there was a perverse twist to this policing - in at least one case - and no doubt others. Very heavy pressure was brought to bear to ensure that a Priest did not celebrate a public Mass during the Retreat even though his accommodation arrangements made it easy to do so. Many were in the same situation.


I heard of one such case on the Sunday evening before the Retreat, and of the grievous hurt and scandal rightly felt by the Priest. He was sickened by the thought of it. He slept badly, his mind refusing to let go of consideration of this perversity, this great wrong; the frustration of a good Priest's natural wish to make his Lord present to His people in the daily Mass.


"...I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU DESOLATE".


After a night of tossing and turning ,I was up earlier than usual to attend 7.00 am Mass at Red Hill. The great red brick pile of St.Brigid's - based on the fortress-like Cathedral of Laon in France- stood starkly on its steep hilltop against the Winter morning's sky. 


The Parish Priest was a legend in the Archdiocese - even he was attending the Retreat. But he determined to say one last Public Mass for his people before departing. The congregation of about 50 or so was devout and the liturgy meticulously celebrated. St, Brigid's is one of the finest churches in Brisbane with its austere soaring walls, the beautiful, but restrained, marble altar and altar rails. At Communion time - in simple but ever appropriate reverence, those receiving Our Lord did so kneeling at the altar rails as the Celebrant moved back and forth in the time - honoured way.




ST JAMES 'COORPAROO
On the Tuesday and the Wednesday I attended the 8.30 am Mass at St. James Coorparoo, which was convenient to the days' work.Under the care of the Augustinians, the church was built on a hill overlooking the city in the mid 1920's. In classical basilica style, its architecture is quite pleasing despite the modest materials. Efforts at morning prayer were obliterated by a vigorously-led recitation of the Rosary - which I very much prefer to recite in private.Mass was celebrated on both occasions with appropriate quiet dignity. The familiar face of one of my regular Daily Mass companions at the Cathedral, now at his own Parish church, was  pleasing. On the second day I arrived earlier still, in an effort to beat the Rosary reciters. No luck - they were in force and engaged in reciting a VERY long collection of prayers for every conceivable intention and remembering by name every member of the faithful departed and every retired Bishop, Priest and Religious for generations back ! For all their efforts frustrating my personal prayer, I had to say to myself "God love them"- and I'm sure he does.

Thursday of that week took me into the Northern Suburbs. High on its own hill stands the larger, modern fan shaped church of Saint Therese, in the care of the Franciscans.Indeed the hill at Kedron is a powerhouse of Franciscan spirituality including major colleges. The church is far larger than it seems from outside. It is one of the more successful examples of its type ( which I generally loath) - even providing a dignified and substantial Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The only discordant note is a HUGE wooden crucifix at least twice the size that any reasonable sense of proportion would suggest.


What a pleasure it was to find the beautiful and powerful Novena in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi in use. Prepared by the great Father Christopher Sharah of the Reformed Capuchin Brothers of Saint Francis, based in NSW it is a spiritual Treasury. The church contained about 100 people and Mass was celebrated with loving and gentle dignity.Again I recognised a friend and two acquaintances in the congregation - no doubt others in the congregation were also part of the Retreat Diaspora.


On the Friday morning, mists shrouded the river below as once again ,high on its own hill, the beautiful Mission-style Church of Our Lady of Victories, which commands a 270 degrees view to the horizon , welcomed us in.The Polish clergy here provide Masses in both English and Polish. The congregation of 30 included a solicitor and his son, from my regular Mass congregation and a regular interstate visitor I know. The reverence of the Celebrant was exemplary and humbling. The church is full of reminders of its Polish associations and is lovingly decorated and maintained.



OUR LADY OF VICTORIES, BOWEN HILLS


".........AND SOWED WEEDS AMONG THE WHEAT"


I reflected on the week, wondered how anyone charged with the care of Christ's Faithful could plan to isolate  them from the daily Mass. I felt sickened by all that.


I also took note of the controversy surrounding the Retreat leader - U.S. Bishop Morneau of the troubled Green Bay Diocese- whose associations with Milwaukee and the notorious Father McBrien, whose writings have been twice condemned by the American Catholic Bishops, speak volumes. What could one help but conclude?


Whilst the Clergy had their Retreat - forced to leave their flocks without organised Masses - I had been on pilgrimage. I prayed for the true success of the Retreat, but loathed and feared the alien attitudes to the Mass - and, no doubt, much else- revealed in the measures adopted.


How terrible the guilt of those who would plan, then manipulate clerics, to leave as many as possible of Christ's flock without the opportunity for daily Mass. I reflected on the times of anguish when my morning Mass and Communion had been the anchor of my sanity. 


Who would dare deprive those in great need of the means which Christ has used "from Age to Age"to nurture His flock? Who would dare!


"....I KNOW MINE AND MINE KNOW ME."


Within weeks my Parish Priest and a distinguished doctor would remind me that a British parliamentarian of the Nineteenth Century, advocating measures to suppress the Catholic religion by suppressing its Clergy, had said : "They act as if it is the Mass that matters!"


Those who love the Mass have, ever since turned his cry against his purpose.


What had I found on my pilgrimage? Marvellous orthodox Faith, devotion, prayerfulness, good humour and above all devout Celebrants of the Mass, most of them members of Religious Orders. Truly Christ's Faithful pleasing the Lord and frustrating the so-called "pastoral "planners!


Pray for the Church in Brisbane which has remained a victim of their ministration ever since , and pray for Archbishop Bathersby whose Retirement is due in just 7 and a half weeks.


And spare a prayer for all those responsible for this planning scandal.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

OUT OF TURMOIL - A NEW POPE - TRIED BY FIRE



To-day we lament the present turmoil in the Church and we are scandalised by its source. God has a way of drawing good out of turmoil in the most dramatic ways. Such was the case in 1978.
"HABEMUS PAPAM"
It had been a long and trying path to the See of St. Peter, for the little boy from a small provincial Polish town. In fact it had been so improbable and dramatic that one would hesitate to invent its like as fiction.

His father was a retired military officer become civil servant a devout man - whose wife had died when their son Karol was not yet 10 yrs old. The gentlemanly father saw his son become the finest student in the town of Wadowice - an ancient town : the Parish had been established in 1325 . Not only that, but he was a keen athlete and an enthusiastic and talented actor.

Later Karol moves to Krakow with his pensioner Father and enrolls at the famed Jagiellonian University. But before long the Nazis had invaded Poland and occupied it. The ailing Wojtyla Snr. and Karol endeavoured to escape with streams of refugees to the East. But 120 miles from Krakow they learn that the Russian Red Army has invaded Poland too from the East and they are forced to turn back and endure Nazi occupation rather than the Russian Gulags. The University's Professorial staff are shipped off to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp , very many Bishops and Priests are also sent to  Dachau Concentration Camp. The University's closure means that Karol has to seek work which brings him to the quarry of a large chemical plant, working in the freezing Winter.He helps create an" underground"Theatre company performing idealistic material . His Father dies and, after a period Karol seeks and gains admittance to the "underground"seminary to train for the Diocesan Priesthood.In time the Nazis are defeated and poor Poland is "liberated"by the Russian Red Army. Karol is ordained and his Bishop sends him to Rome for further study in theology.In time he returns to Krakow and works among the students of the city.A particular ministry for him is the hearing of Confessions for many thousands of hours.At 38 years of age he is appointed and consecrated Bishop and becomes Administrator of the Diocese of Krakow.He attends all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965 in which he is a very active participant. Totally mis-reading him , the Communist regime supports the idea of him succeeding to the See of Krakow, which is just what the Holy See desires. He implements in Krakow Diocese a most thorough and authentic reform consistent with the letter of the Council ( no false "spirit of the Council"for him) and at age 47 years, he is made a Cardinal. His life is very full and vigorously active - he travels extensively delivering scholarly papers, and continuing the reform of his Diocese and keeps fit skiing and kayaking with groups of Catholic young people.

But it is not only personal experience of turmoil that he came through.

Far from it.For in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, which the Church had so joyfully entered upon at the direction of Pope John XXIII, had come discord, desertion, disruption and dereliction of responsibilities , liturgical abuse and false teaching in many places -  to such an extent that in great distress, Pope Paul VI, in his homily on the 29th June, 1972, publicly bewailed the fact that " "from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God." In various countries false theologies had taken hold, and some countries appeared to be on the brink of schism.

And the Faith of Europe continued to be menaced by the Communist forces of Soviet Russia.When on 6th August, 1978 Pope Paul VI died he was succeeded by the election on 25th AUGUST, 1978 of another Italian,  Albino Luciani who, aware of these problems, took the unprecedented step of adopting the name John Paul I.But, just over one month later, during the night of 28-29 September, 1978 the Pope died.

Cardinal Wojtyla preached at a Memorial Mass in Rome for the late Pope on 8th October, 1978 on the theme that love for Christ is the first requirement for anyone called to be Pope. He and the other Cardinals entered the Conclave on 14th October, 1978 and on 16th October, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected Pope and took the name John Paul Il .He was the first non-Italian in over 400 years to be elected Pope.The choice stunned the world and most of the Church.


Finally on 16th October, 1978, the Holy Spirit had His way and Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was the man for the times. Clearly, without the premature death of Pope John Paul I, he would never have been elected. God does repeatedly show that His ways are not our ways!


The new Pope retained the modernistic Pastoral Staff of Pope Paul VI

Thursday, July 14, 2016

THE INFALLIBLE SPIRIT



THE HOLY SPIRIT

(b) The Infallible Spirit
.
Such is the first introduction of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete. He is the Spirit of Truth beyond every other,Who will abide with His own forever.A little later in the Discourse Jesus gives His disciples more. In the first place he had simply said:

"If you love Me
Keep My commandments,"

and in return the promise had followed. Now He expands the form of His appeal:

"If any man love me
He will keep my word
And My Father will love him
And We will come to him
And will make Our abode with him;"

and at once, as if the two were inevitably connected, the promise is likewise expanded:

"These things I have spoken to you
Abiding with you
But the Paraclete
The Holy Ghost
Whom the Father will send
In my Name
He will teach you all things
And bring all things to your mind
Whatsoever I shall have said to you".

The Spirit of Truth is real, is present, is abiding; by His presence He opens up a new horizon, a new life, to those who can and will receive Him; thus much we have already been told. Now we hear of a special, an all - important function which He will perform for all time. For the Twelve had been chosen,

" That they should be with Him
And that He might send them to preach",
(Mark III:14)

and the day would come when He would extend that commission:

"Go ye into the whole world
And preach the Gospel to every creature."
(Mark XVI:15)

They were to preach with an authority, an infallibility, equal to His own:

"He that heareth you
Heareth Me
And he that despiseth you
Despiseth Me
And he that despiseth Me
Despiseth Him that sent Me."
( Luke X:16)

and this for a very plain reason :
"For it is not you that speak
But the Spirit of your Father
That speaketh in you."
( Matthew X:20)

To the Twelve then, had been given, or was to be given, the commission to teach whatsoever He had taught them to "all nations", not only to this nation or that.There was to be nothing national or circumscribed in their mission; it was to be for all the world alike. That they should receive the teaching aright, that they should hand it on to their successors untarnished, could not but have been a matter of deep moment for the Twelve; how deeply they cherished it, how they clung to the truth of their tradition, may be seen in the epistles of S.Peter, S. Paul, and S.John.
In those first days, having as yet, as they thought, only their human light to guide them, they must often have wondered, and discussed among themselves, how they could keep it all in mind. They would ask themselves how they could be sure they understood aright, for often they were bewildered, how they could hand it on, unspoilt by anything of their own, to those who would come after them, and had not had the advantage of having known the Lord. There was much they had not understood, and yet had not ventured to enquire; so much they had mistaken and He had been obliged to correct them; So much they had ignored and set aside, so much they had already forgotten.Often enough He had complained to them that they did not see, that they were "without understanding", that they had not yet known Him, that they were slow of heart to believe.Moreover, when their turn for teaching came,when they came into contact with men of learning and experience,with subtle Pharisees, and learned scribes, and practised exponents of the Law, how could they hope to speak as Jesus spoke "with authority", or teach without a flaw, or a compromise, or a surrender,what He had entrusted to them?
Such thoughts and fears, human and natural, must often have made them wonder; now they are given an assurance which would allay all their doubts. On a former occasion, when he had sent them out with a commission to teach, He had looked far into the distant future and had encouraged them :

"When they shall deliver you up
Take no thought how or what to speak
For it shall be given to you in that hour
What to speak
For it is not you that speak
But the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you."
(Matthew X:19,20)

Or as another Evangelist puts it :

"And when they shall bring you into the synagogues
And to the magistrates and powers
Be not solicitous
How or what you shall answer
Or what you shall say
 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you
In the same hour
What you must say."
( LUKE XII, 11-12)

But now, they are assured of much more. The Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, will always be with them He Himself will teach them; He will help them remember; He will see to it that nothing essential is forgotten, or misinterpreted, or falsely taught, by those whom Jesus has chosen, and who "love Him and keep His Word". In the first promise we have been given the foundations of the spiritual life, the Holy Ghost living in the soul; here we are given the foundations of the Church, the Holy Spirit living in its members, making all one, speaking with the infallible voice which is His own.

Next Time : The Witness to Jesus