The Symbolism of the Offertory - Part 1

Part I from the Angelus Press Conference (Oct 10 2014) by Fr. Daniel Couture

Dominus Vobiscum!

De Missa numquam satis! We can never have enough of the Holy Mass!

Archbishop Lefebvre gave his life, his reputation, his all, so that we may continue to have the privilege of being able to have the Holy Mass today.

For the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the love of the Church, for the salvation of the world, for the salvation of souls, keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep the Mass of All Time!  And you will see civilization reflourish, a civilization which is not of this world, but a civilization which leads to the Catholic City which is heaven..

How true!

When he urged us to keep the Holy Mass, it was not just the ritual of the Traditional Latin Mass, the prayers, actions, rites, sacred chant of this ‘most beautiful thing this side of Heaven’, it was certainly all that indeed, but all that and what all that means, represents, conveys: “our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification, our redemption” (I Cor 1, 30).

It may be good to quote here, as a profession of faith, a major text of the Council of Trent on the subject.

In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propitiatory and that by means thereof this is effected, that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid.

For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different.

Not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, according to a tradition of the apostles.  (Chapter 2)

The Holy Mass is first and foremost one of the seven Sacraments of our Holy Religion. It is a sacrament, a sacred sign, it sheds on us ex opere operato, by its own power, its own ritual, divine grace through these innumerable signs which constitute the material aspects of our Roman Liturgy.

The subject of this conference is the symbolism of the Offertory. Besides urging you to read the well-known commentaries on the Holy Mass, such as those by Dom Guéranger and Fr. Cochem, and those published by Angelus Press, my goal is chiefly to make you appreciate a little better this pearl of great price, and especially to help you understand better a fundamental aspect of its spirituality, to help you connect yourself, unite yourself to the Mass daily, and if I may dare say – I will try to show you how – constantly throughout your daily activities.  “Give us this day our daily Bread.”

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On Virginity (St. Agnes)

In an earlier bulletin, we spoke of the paradox of a Child-God and a Virgin Mother; that of all the religions of which history makes mention, none has exalted virginity in its ethics and has attached more value to chastity, considered a heroic virtue of victory over oneself and of renunciation.

At every Holy Mass, we do recall a list of these early Virgins, many of whom also gained the crown of martyrdom, whose lives marked the early Church to such a point that their names were inserted in the Canon of the Mass: Felicity, Perpetua, Lucia, Agatha, Agnes, Cecilia…  Today, is St Agnes’ feast day…  A young saint of 13 years old who has two churches in Rome itself, one where the home of her parents was, the other where she was buried, outside the walls. Here what Fr. Gihr in his book on the saints of the Canon of the Mass has to say about her:

“What is most to be admired in her: the charm of childhood, or virginal innocence, or manly heroism? Agnes, the child of wealthy and distinguished parents, was an elect child of grace; truly responding to her name (as St. Jerome writes), her childhood passed in spotless purity and lamblike innocence ( agnus  = lamb). A hundred years after her death, St. Ambrose said: ‘Even at the present day, many Roman maidens cherish the example of St. Agnes, as though she were still dwelling and living among us, animating themselves thereby to a perpetual preservation of purity.’ She gained the double crown of virginity and martyrdom at the tender age of thirteen. As is related in the history of her life, she was, ‘though a child in years, yet mature in mind; a girl in stature, but a matron in spirit; beautiful in appearance and figure, but still more charming in soul by piety and modesty.’ When asked in marriage by a young man in the imperial family, she described in animated, glorious words her espousals with the heavenly Bridegroom: ‘Depart from me; for already hath another Lover possession of my heart, who far surpasseth thee in nobility, and who hath given me incomparably more beautiful presents than those which thou hast  offered me. With unrivalled treasures He hath enriched me; His nobility is the highest, His power the greatest, His appearance the most beautiful, His love the sweetest. The angels serve Him; sun and moon admire His beauty; by the perfume of virtue that exhales from His person the dead are awakened; by His touch the sick are cured. He hath prepared for me His bridal-chamber, where music and song resound; for Him I preserve fidelity, to Him I give myself entirely and without reserve!’ She was taken to an abode of vice, but was protected by her guardian angel, who covered and shielded her with a garment of dazzling light. She was then thrown into a burning pile; but she made the Sign of the Cross over the flames and remained unharmed. Finally, she fell under the sword of the executioner (304 A.D.), and thus the tender victim hastened to the nuptials of the Divine Lamb.”

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On Curiosity

Curiosity killed the cat…

And unfortunately today it kills many … Cat..holics!  

We often speak and read about various harmful consequences of the social media.  Let me add a word on what is the vice instrumental to most of these consequences: the vice of curiosity, which St Thomas (2a2ae, q.166) assigns against the virtue of studiousness, a part of the virtue of modesty, which itself is a part of the great virtue of temperance.

“It belongs to temperance to moderate the movement of the appetite, lest it tend excessively to that which is desired naturally. Now just as in respect of his corporeal nature man naturally desires the pleasures of food and of the flesh, so, in respect of his soul, he naturally desires to know something.  ‘All men have a natural desire for knowledge.’ The moderation of this desire pertains to the virtue of studiousness.”

When we hear ‘temperance’, we often think first of moderation in bodily matters. Let us not forget that there must be temperance, or moderation in matters pertaining to the soul as well. Humility, for instance moderates the movements of the mind towards some excellence. Studiousness, as said above, moderates the desire to know.  To this virtue is opposed the vice of curiosity, which does not control the desire to know.  “The knowledge of truth, strictly speaking, is good, but it may be evil by accident” teaches St Thomas, and he gives a list of how this can happen:

·         by taking pride in knowing the truth, according to 1 Cor. 8:1, ‘Knowledge puffeth up’;

·         if we use the knowledge of truth in order to sin, such as for lust or detraction (e.g. malicious blogs…);

·         if the pursuit of knowledge distracts us from or harms our duty of state (e.g. business, housework, studies, prayers);

·         if there is superstition mixed with it (e.g. fortune tellers);

·         if the knowledge turns us away from our last end, “by empty and perishable curiosity”;

·         if it is something above the capacity of our intelligence.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, well known Russian writer, who spent 11 years in labor camps, dealt with that vice of curiosity, a major problem in our Western world, in his Harvard address in 1978. There is great wisdom in his words:

“ ‘Everyone is entitled to know everything.’ But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era. People also have the right not to know and it's a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls [stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk.] A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.”

Another part of this virtue of moderation is called eutrapelia, that is the moderation of pleasures in games (cf. 2a2ae, q.160, a.2).  Obviously here too the cyberworld with its games causes incredible damages.

I would dare suggest that just as we need a driver’s license to drive a car safely on public roads, so there should be a ‘cyber-licence’ for those using the internet, issued only to those who have proven excellence in the practice of virtue, especially that of prudence and temperance!

On New Year's Resolutions

In the spiritual life not to seek to advance is to go back. This is one of the consequences of original sin that we carry with us: the wound of weakness which makes us drag our feet in front of any effort, especially a spiritual effort. This goes against the virtue of fortitude which does not hesitate to tackle anything good that is difficult. This weakness is a particular laziness in doing spiritual effort.

As the Good Lord has brought us to the start of another year, let us “redeem the time” as St Paul says, let us examine the areas which need to be tightened up if we are to make a better use of the time lent to us by Divine Providence.

I will give herewith a list of points (it is not exhaustive): choose one or two only and work seriously at improving it in the coming weeks and months. To make it simple, we can divide the fields of our efforts in two general parts: something negative which needs to stop, something positive which needs to improve.

The negative resolution has to do with a bad habit we may have developed over time and that needs to stop. It can be the habit of wasting time (time is something so precious for a fervent Catholic!), particularly in the use of technology (internet, social media, films, just surfing for no reason…); it can be bad eating and drinking habits (not only detrimental to health, but also to the virtue of temperance); it can be some worldliness (vanity in dress, in showing off, in wasting money); it can be in my dealing with others at home, at work: lack of patience, of respect, of obedience, of charity…  These are ideas of areas that need to be looked at.

The positive resolutions can be divided in three zones: my spiritual life, study and apostolate. In what regards my spiritual life, a simple check list is: am I faithful to my morning and evening prayers, to prayers before and after meals, to my daily rosary? Do I have a fixed time to go to bed and to rise? Can I make it to one or more extra masses during the week? Do I find time for a 10-15 minutes of spiritual reading every day?

A good Catholic knows he needs to continue to study all his life.  By study, here we mean to deepen some points of the Catholic faith, eg., on the Holy Mass, the Angels, the Blessed Virgin Mary, points of Church history, of apologetics, matters concerning the present crisis of the Church, writings of Archbishop Lefebvre, the problems with the New Mass and Vatican II.

Finally, we must not keep the treasure of our faith to ourselves but make them fructify. Thus we need to be apostolic, we must do good to others, starting at home (have we done the enthronement of the Sacred Heart, are we regular at family prayers…); are we trying to promote the traditional Mass, do we ever visit the sick in hospital, have we thought of joining the M.I., the SSPX Third Order, of attending an Ignatian retreat and bringing our friends to it?

Let us examine ourselves in front of the Blessed Sacrament as we begin this New Year and choose one or another point that will be our annual resolution that will help us grow spiritually and give greater glory to God.

The Birth of the Christ Child, the Birth of Christianity

Christianity is the paradox of a Child-God, of a Virgin Mother. This mystery we celebrate each year becomes more and more refreshing as the corruption of morals advances.

What most distinguishes Christianity from all the religious theories of all times, and this in a striking way, is its morality. Of all the religions of which history makes mention, none has exalted virginity in its ethics and has attached more value to chastity, considered a heroic virtue of victory over oneself and of renunciation.

Never, at the same time, more than the Church, has a religious institution granted a more moving and reverent respect to marriage and the love of the spouses, which it compares to its own union with Christ. This is what makes, more than any other, the difference between Christian civilization and all other civilizations. Between all the moral data of antiquity, for example of Rome as well as elsewhere, and the Sermon on the Mount, there is an abyss on which it is not possible to establish a connecting bridge. These religious data are extremely important since they provide the foundation of public morality and its legislation in every civilization.

At the two most advanced periods of the Olympian civilization, the classical epochs of Athens and Rome, flourished a morality that Christianity could only describe as depravity with prostitution erected at the height of a religious cult and a governmental service.

That is why, when the message of purity and renunciation of Christianity arrived in conquered Greece and in Rome then at its pinnacle, it was in the crowds eaten away by the bitterness of disgust and shame like a refreshing dew, a message of beauty, consolation, recovery and hope. Above all, girls and women, till then simple animals of amusement, felt the truth and the reality of their souls, the nobility of their new consideration. It was they who, by their number and influence, by their new ideal and their sacrifices, made the rising force and finally the triumph of Christianity. This in turn exalted to a degree utterly unknown the beauty of pure youth, of virginity, of the sublime greatness of motherhood, and emancipated woman as the Marian cult developed.

All these beauties are drawn from this mystery of Christmas which returns for the two-thousandth and-seventeenth time. This is where the victory over the world lies. This is where we will draw strength to fight time and time against this exaltation of impurity, of adultery, against this filthy river out of the mouth of the infernal dragon, which is now unfortunately spread even by men from whose mouth, because they are the angels of the Lord, one should find knowledge of the law (cf. Mal., 2:7).

But for virginity and marriage to be exalted and protected as God wills, Christian leaders are needed, like the Magi, who come to prostrate themselves before the manger of the Savior of which they are the lieutenants. Leaders who will offer to the divine new-born King, the gold of their authority and their laws, the incense of their faith and their charity, and the myrrh of their mortified life united with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. History shows us that there have been such leaders; let us pray that the Child-God will raise more in our own days.

Gloria in excelsis Deo, and in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis!

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The Call of God (part 2)

When, during Advent, we beg Heaven to “rain down the Just”, to send the Savior, let us understand these words of Sacred Scripture and of the Liturgy. Of course, Our Lord has already come 2017 years ago.  So, what are we asking? These words also mean that we are storming Heaven for vocations, for priests, brothers and nuns. They are the instruments of the Savior: the priests sacramentally give us the Savior, the brothers and the sisters help us to know Him and prepare us to receive Him.

There is an article written in America in the fifties for a periodical destined for priests.  It was about a survey among 2,000 students in eight minor seminaries (age 13-18).  They were given a questionnaire about their vocation to the priesthood.  It is very interesting to study the reasons these young men gave for their entrance in the seminary:  “I wanted to say Mass”:  1326 out of 2000 gave this as their main attraction.  “I wanted to help others” came in on a close second with 1306 checks.  “I like the life of the priest” got 1186 checks.  “I wanted to be like a certain priest” was fourth with 828 checks. 

One question was about the influence received. 669 young men said that their mothers influenced them very much in making the choice to go to the seminary.  Only 407 stated having not been influenced at all by them.  The rest admitted various degrees of influence.  It means therefore that in 1593 cases out of 2000, the mother was one of the determining factors in the shaping of vocations. Mothers need to receive spiritual direction on how to be good mothers.  A truly Catholic mother with a strong interior life has more chance to receive the grace of vocations in her family than a worldly one.

I think that these data point out in what direction our efforts should bear.  If we could give young men an attraction towards the priesthood, this hopefully would lead them to ponder on a possible vocation, and then to receive the grace moving them to make the final decision to give themselves to God.   

Pope Pius XI said that “the first and most natural garden” where vocations should blossom is the family.  He even adds that:  “Exceptions to the rule are rare and do nothing but confirm the rule itself”.  This is why the same pope was imploring priests to use every means, by words and writings, to instruct parents about their obligations.  Good books on the family should be put in the hands of parents (see our bookstores for these!).  The “Talks to Parents” by the Dominican sisters which we have been printing for many weeks on p. 4 of this Bulletin are extremely wise and helpful to prepare the ground to receive the seed and produce 30, 60, 100 times.

When the spirit of sacrifice reigns in a family, when the parents show a great love for the Holy Mass, souls are more generous and therefore more disposed to receive the divine calling.

Yes, during Advent and at the foot of the crib during Christmas, let us beg for vocations, that many of our youth will hear and answer the call.

Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant Justum!

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The Call of God

Our Lord started His public life by calling His first apostles, as we read in the gospel of St John, chapter one. Our Lord is the best manager: He loves to delegate tasks, to entrust all kind of duties to souls who are willing to help Him. First it was twelve Apostles, then 72 disciples, and He has not ceased ever since, up to this day to call souls at His service. “Come to me, and I will make you fishers of men!”

At what age does a young man hears that call for the first time? The answers throws important light on the importance of the family life and on the education of the young.

Fr. Patrick Troadec, the rector of our French seminary, did a survey among his seminarians over a period of 30 years.  Here are his findings:

Seminary Study

The seminarians coming from our schools are on average 20 years old and the others between 22 and 23 years old. They come from families of almost 6 children on average. 80% of them have their mothers at home.

Finally, as for the education received in addition to that provided by their parents, nearly ¾ of the French seminarians went through a school of the Society of Saint Pius X.

By way of comparison, between 1986 (the opening year of the Flavigny seminary) and 1995, the seminarians were on average 23 years old, they came from families of 4 children on average, 60% of them had their mother in the home and only 32% among the French had passed by a school of the Society.

The seminarians are today younger at their entrance than in the years 1986-1995, they come from families more numerous. They are more likely to have their mother at home and more likely to have gone through schools that are basically Catholic. These few figures show the vitality of the families of Tradition and the generosity that results from it. They also reveal that fully Catholic schools form a fertile ground for the emergence of vocations.

Although it is sometimes difficult to discern the age of God's first call, some seminarians have been able to determine it very accurately. First of all, with regard to age, more than half of the seminarians who entered the seminary thought of vocation before the age of 12.

Many of them have been touched by grace by serving Mass or fulfilling the function of sacristan. 12 felt the calling of the vocation on the day of their first communion. A large number of seminarians saw the quality of education received in their families as a triggering element of their vocation, and others, in almost equal numbers, the fine example given by a priest around them or by a religious.

Many seminarians experience a period of hesitation during adolescence, during which the idea of total consecration to God fades away, and this later returns to their spirit. It is at around 19 years old on average that the second call appears. Nearly half of them felt it during a retreat and a significant number also thanks to the help of a priest.

The Miraculous Medal and the Militia Immaculatae (M.I.) - Part TWO

1917 was also the 200th anniversary of the foundation of freemasonry, this secret society that tries to “de-catholicize” the world, and that has been condemned by the Church ever since Pope Clement XII in 1738.

To celebrate their bicentenary, everywhere in Rome itself the freemasons put flags and posters depicting St Michael the Archangel being conquered and trampled upon by Lucifer. Long processions winded their way through the Eternal City towards St Peter’s Square singing blasphemous songs, and right under the pope’s windows carried banners with slogan such as: “Satan will reign in the Vatican and the Pope will be his servant”.

Young Franciscan brother Maximilian Maria Kolbe, studying in Rome, was compelled to witness all this. “Is it possible that our enemies should make such a display of force in order to defeat us, while we fold our hands on our laps and do nothing? After all, do we not have much more powerful weapons: can we not count on all of Heaven, and especially on the Immaculata?”

“The essence of the M.I. consists of belonging to the Immaculata un-conditionally, irrevocably, unreservedly, and entirely. That is why anyone who joins the M.I. becomes entirely Her property. And in precisely this way he belongs to Jesus, just as She belongs to Jesus, and the more he is Her property, the more he belongs to Jesus.”

“The M.I. calls itself a militia, a knighthood, because anyone who belongs to Her does not limit himself to consecrating himself totally to the Immaculata, but he also strives, as much as he can, to win the hearts of others for Her, so that others, too, may consecrate their hearts to Her, just as he has consecrated himself to Her.”

“The object of the M.I. is to strive for the conversion of sinners, heretics, schismatics, etc., and especially of Freemasons, as well as for the sanctification of all, under the protection and through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin.”

Fr. Maximilian Kolbe distinguishes three degrees in the M.I., depending upon the members’ zeal, their capabilities and their state in life.

1. “In the first degree of the M.I. each one consecrates himself to the Immaculata and endeavors to realize the purpose of the Militia individually, according to his own circumstances and the rules of prudence.” This degree is the basis, the foundation of the Militia: in his individual, personal life, the Knight of the Immaculata prays, sacrifices and works like a soldier in single combat.

2. “In the second degree of the M.I., the Knights bind themselves by special statutes and programs. they unite their forces, in order to reach their declared goal more quickly and effectively.”

3. “The third degree of the M.I. consists in an unlimited devotion to the Immaculata. Thus She can do with us what She wills and as She wills. This is, so to speak, the summit of the M.I.: the consecrated state. the Knight dedicates himself completely and exclusively to the apostolate of the Immaculata and seals this consecration by taking religious vows. “

In this way, the first degree is restricted to individual action, the second degree, to the public and social apostolate, whereas the third degree goes beyond all limits and aims at heroism.” (From a letter dated May 25, 1920).

NB: Second solemn enrollment in the M.I.: December 8th after evening Mass. Give your name at the M.I. Corner and prepare yourself !

The Miraculous Medal and the Militia Immaculatae (known as the M.I.) [PART 1]

The last two hundred years, or thereabout, have clearly been marked by the sign of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. As we are celebrating this Monday November 27, the 187th anniversary of the Miraculous Medal, and plan to do a public enrollment in the M.I. this coming December 8, after the evening Mass, let me show how the Immaculate is clearly taking commands of these End Times. This will be a very brief survey of some dates, places and people, and as a preparation to enroll into the army of the Immaculate

Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labourée on November 27, 1830 on a Paris street called La Rue du Bac. Within a mere fifteen years, with more than ten million medals circulating, the medal had earned the name Miraculous because of the incredible graces and miracles obtained through it.

A few hundred yards away from the chapel of the apparition of the Miraculous Medal, on the same street, stands the seminary of the Mission Étrangères de Paris, famous for great martyrs and missionaries who were sent to the Far East. The priest in charge of that chapel, in 1830, was Father Charles Desgenettes. Two years later he was re-assigned to the small parish of Notre-Dame Des Victoires, on the North side of Paris, the district of banks, prostitution and freemasonry. There Our Lady inspired him ‘loudly and clearly’ during a mass on December 3, 1836, to consecrate his parish to her Immaculate Heart. This seems to be the first ever public consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in history. He did perform this consecration a few days later and that church became the most visited Marian Shrine in France until Lourdes. Devotion to Our Lady of Victories, which is Our Lady of the Rosary, which is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, spread all over the world like wild fire.

On January 21, 1842, a rich Jew who had accepted from a friend, as a challenge, to wear the Miraculous Medal around his neck was miraculously converted “à la Saint Paul” in the church of Saint’ Andrea delle Fratte, in Rome.  His name is Alphonse Ratisbonne, and he later became a priest and the founder of a religious community working for the conversion of Jews. It just happens that his brother who was already a priest had become Fr. Desgenettes’s assistant just a few months before in 1841 !

1858 is the year of Lourdes where Our Lady said : “I am the Immaculate Conception!”

1917 is Fatima but also the year of the birth of the M.I. The first of the two main events that brought about this foundation is the following. On the morning of January 20, 1917, the superior of the Franciscan convent in Rome reminded the brothers that this day was the 75th anniversary of the famous conversion of Ratisbonne. Hearing this moving story, Friar Maximilian Kolbe, who was studying for the priesthood in Rome resolved there and then to use the Miraculous Medal as a powerful means of his future apostolate. The second event that led to the foundation of the M.I. was the bold masonic procession that took place in the streets of Rome to commemorate the 200th anniversary of freemasonry. (To be continued…)

"...he who does not give up his surplus possessions steals from God.”

“I declare that he who does not give up his surplus possessions steals from God.”

Conference of Don Bosco to the Lucca Cooperators, April 8, 1882

So, let’s be practical: one might have an income of one thousand francs and live very decently on eight hundred; the command “Give alms” applies to the two hundred which are left over.

“But what about an unforeseen need, a crop failure, a setback in business?” Are you sure you will still be alive then? And furthermore, will not God, who at this very moment takes care of you, help you all the more for having given for His sake? I say that he who does not give up his unnecessary possessions steals from God and, quoting Saint Paul, “he will not possess the Kingdom of Heaven.i

You will say: “But my house needs attention, some old outmoded furniture must be replaced!”

Well then, if you will allow me to enter your house with you now, I will see valuable decorations—a table covered with precious dinnerware over here, a carpet still in good condition over there. Could these things not be retained rather than changed? Could not the funds for redecorating walls and floors clothe many poor boys who are in dire need, though they too are brothers of Jesus Christ and temples of God? I will also see there shining silver and gold and ornaments studded with precious jewels.

“But they are heirlooms”, you will say; and my answer is: “Are you waiting for thieves to come and steal them? You are not using them nor do you need them. If you take these objects, sell them, and give the proceeds to the poor, you will be giving to Jesus Christ, and you will merit a crown in Heaven. Thus, you will not lose your possessions, nor will you be deprived of what is necessary.”

And what about that locked chest? “Oh, it is nothing”, you will say. Nothing? Let me see! Here then, are a few thousand gold Napoleons. “I am saving them for possible illness”, you say, “and besides, there is a very annoying neighbor next door; I would like to buy his property and thus add to my estate”. But, I will answer, all this is surplus; it is your duty to take that money, which at present does not help anyone, and use it the way Jesus Christ commands. Do you want to save it? By all means keep it, but listen: The devil will come, and he will cast a key from that gold to open the gates of hell for you. If you want to avoid such misfortune, do as Saint Lawrence did: Go and help the poor. By giving to them of your possessions, you put them in the hands of the angels who will make a key to open the gates of Heaven for you the day you die.

MB XV, 525-26

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i Will not possess the Kingdom of God.” It is a reference to St. Paul’s words: “The unjust will not possess the Kingdom of God. Do not err;... nor thieves, nor the covetous ... nor the greedy will possess the Kingdom of God” (1 Co 6:9-10).