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The glory of the purity September 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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From Fr. Nicholas Gihr’s The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Ascetically Explained, a nice little exegesis on the great need for – and glory of – purity.  Purity is especially important for priests, who approach the most incredible, Holy Altar of Sacrifice, and literally come into contact with both Heaven, and the Almighty. I modify it a bit, but the point remains the same, and beautiful.

Brilliantly white, that is, perfectly pure, chaste and holy does the soul become only by many austerities, much self-denial and mortification, also only by the heavenly dew and bright rays of grace. In the form of a servant, amid untold hardships, by a bloody sweat the Son of God acquired for us the jewel of holiness ; He shed all His blood to cleanse us from sin; therefore, it is but just, that we should endeavor by prayer and tears, by works of penance and self-denial, to preserve unspotted or to regain the perfect purity, innocence and beauty of the soul. No labor should be deemed too difficult, no struggle too painful, no sacrifice too great to cleanse ourselves more and more “in the blood of the Lamb,” until our soul becomes “more spotless than the snow, whiter than milk, fairer than the sapphire” (Lam. 4, 7). For “blessed are they that wash their robes white in the blood of the Lamb, that they may have a right to the tree of life (that is, to the Beatific Vision of God), and enter in by the gates into the (heaven- ly) city” (Apoc. 22, 14).

The need for a spotless, white soul, therefore, daily admonishes the priest so to live, to watch and pray, that he may each time approach the holy altar with a pure mind, with an unblemished heart, with an untrammelled spirit, with holy joy and a secret longing. To ascend the mountain of the Lord and to stand in the holy place, where even the heavenly spirits tremble, the priest must be “innocent in hands and clean of heart” (Ps. 23,3 4), “holy in body and in spirit” (i Cor. 7, 34); then will he receive at the altar most abundant blessings from the Lord and mercy from God his Saviour (Ps. 23, 5). Therefore, should he earnestly and indefatigably strive by exercises of piety and works of charity, by self-denial and a penitential spirit, by watchfulness and humility to persevere and advance in the grace of God, to make progress in virtue and holiness, and purify his heart more and more not only from sin, but also from worldly, faulty and dangerous inclinations and attachments.

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Yes, such is very important not only for priests, but for all of us!  But how much more important for priests, who daily enter into the Holy of Holies and literally not only confect Christ and hold Him in their hands, but also, through Christ acting through them, become alter Christus – another Christ!  How deplorable to think that any priest – like those many who tried to satisfy their putrid lusts on innocent young boys  – could approach this Sacred Altar with a sodden, dirty soul!  No wonder such men seek to redefine the Church and the most august Sacrament down to something symbolic, to something low and earthly!  Still, it is unthinkable!  And think of all those who receive the Blessed Sacrament into mouths or hands still filthy with sin!  I weep for them (and me!) and tremble for the justice the Almighty has in store for those who sully and blaspheme His Sacred place of Sacrifice and the Sacrifice itself!  Lord, have mercy on them, and us!

May we all have the sincerest contrition, the firmest purpose of amendment, and an absolute resolution never to sin again when next we receive the Sacrament of Confessoin. We know we shall always fail, but by God’s Grace, may we at least get better each time.

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h/t JLG for the photo

Comments

1. Don - September 21, 2013

Off topic I know but –

From Rorate Caeli

Pope Francis: strong words against abortion

Each one of us is invited to recognize in the fragile human being the face of the Lord, who, in his human flesh, experienced the indifference and loneliness to which we often condemn the poorest, either in the developing nations, or in the developed societies. Each child who is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. And also each old person and – I spoke of the child, let us also speak of the elderly, another point! And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “culture of waste” proposes! They cannot be discarded!

Franciscus
Meeting with Catholic Gynecologists (Italian)
September 20, 2013

2. Agellius - September 21, 2013

I got a 100-odd year old copy of Fr. Gihr’s book at a parish library liquidation. I had never heard of him but it’s a wonderful book, a truly exhaustive treatment of virtually every aspect of the Mass.

3. skeinster - September 22, 2013

You always have the best excerpts- there’s a lot of good stuff out there. Our to-read lists are all growing. Thanks for sharing this.

May I use you for a bulletin board for one second?
Steve B.- lost Mrs. Steve B’s e-mail. Here’s the link we were discussing Thursday: http://www.sensustraditionis.org/multimedia.html
The series on Tradition is a must-listen. Thanks!

4. Don - September 23, 2013

Oh my. From Rorate Caeli.

This is so very, very sad. I think we know the interview he is referring to. Read the article. Prayers are needed for this man.

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The Nests of Yesteryear

Juan Manuel de Prada

ABC [Spanish], Sep. 21, 2013

I am unaware if I was insane before;
but today, reading a certain interview,
I felt that I played the fool all these years.

5. Don - September 23, 2013

Also from Rorate Caeli.

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Cardinal Piacenza, 69, the most dedicated Prefect of Clergy since Card. Castrillón Hoyos – and who fought for and got the competence over Seminaries as part of the general competence of his Congregation – is moved to the mostly ineffectual position of Penitentiary. Spanish daily El Mundo, quoted by blogger Francisco de la Cigoña (one of the most popular in the Spanish-speaking Catholic world), implied yesterday that the replacement of Piacenza would signal an open season against “Conservatives” in the Curia by the new dominant “Progressives”. That seems to be a reasonable view.

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JMJ


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