Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double-minded
“O Lord… because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation” (“Collect” of today’s Holy Mass). Behold the position of man in respect to the spiritual life: he is like a child who finds himself at a crossroad: he cannot go on alone, and he does not know which road leads to his home. Two roads open up before the Christian: one leads to the kingdom of the Spirit – the kingdom of God; the other to the kingdom of the flesh – the kingdom of Mammon. Evidently, he wishes to give the preference to the one leading to the kingdom of God, the calm, peaceful kingdom described by the Lord and Savior in today’s Gospel (Mt. 6.24-33). Unfortunately, however, the kingdom of Mammon also has attractions and tries to seduce the heart. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another, so that you do not the things that you would, teaches today’s Epistle (Gal. 5.16-24).
The struggle is hard, even in souls that are decidedly advanced in the things of God. Why? Because the path that leads to the kingdom of God is rough and tiring; it is often shrouded in dense darkness, rendering it impossible for the soul to discern the progress already made. Then the soul must proceed in the night, believing and hoping. Meanwhile, its gaze falls on the other road, which is broader and more comfortable, strewn with sensible [perceivable to the senses] which can be seen and touched, gathered and enjoyed immediately, by merely stretching out one’s hand. The soul feels the temptation and realizes that alone it could not resist, but if it takes refuge in God, if it yields to the guidance of the Spirit, it will be saved, although not without sacrifice. I say then, walk in the Spirit, continues St. Paul, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh… fornication, uncleanness [that is, the act of bringing about the issu[ance] of seed – Num. 5.2, DRB; Cf., vv.16,18 and Dt. 23.10 – not for the purpose of producing offspring], immodesty, luxury, idolatrym witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like… Of the which… they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. It is always true: sensible goods present themselves like flowers; attractive, yes, but doomed to quickly vanish and decay; it is not worthwhile to stop to enjoy them. That is why they that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.
The Holy Gospel again puts us on guard against the attractiveness of earthly goods. First it affirms that no man can simultaneously serve two masters, God and Mammon, any more than one can follow two roads [as, per Msgr. Fellay’s, Superior General of the ‘institutional SSPX’, mind and heart, leading to integration with the Neo-Catholic Disorder “presided” by a ‘Pontifex’ or bishop; the other, to the traditional Catholic Order which is in “hierarchical subordination” (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis) to the SUMMUS Pontifex or the SOVEREIGN Pontiff crowned with the Papal tiara and functioning as Vicar of the King of kings] at the same time. Anyone giving himself to God must have the courage to give himself entirely, with no regrets, no backward glance! The soul who, after choosing the path of perfection, does not go forth generously, with its whole heart, will never be contented. It will neither experience the joy of knowing that it belongs entirely to God, nor will it have the satisfaction of being able to follow all the attractions of the world; the first will be impeded by the soul’s unfaithfulness, the second by the fear of God which it still possesses. Such a soul is unhappy, torn between the two and in continual struggle with itself.
But what keeps it from seeking the kingdom of God with its whole heart? The Lord and Savior gives us the answer in today’s Holy Gospel: too much solicitude about sensible things [as the ‘INSTITUTIONAL Church’ also of Msgr. Fellay and his henchmen], about ease and security [which the delusion of ‘officiality’ with Neo-Catholic Rome also holds out] in this present life. Even though we have the will to live according to the spirit, as long as we are militant pilgrims here below and in a corruptible mortal body, we shall always have to face the possibility of becoming engrossed in worldly cares: What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewith shall we be clothed? Precisely to relieve us of such anxieties, Jesus presents to us the marvelous picture of divine Providence. Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not of more value than they? These are words that give us wings and fill us with a desire to cast aside all vain preoccupations about earthly things and concentrate on seeking the kingdom of God and His justice: Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. If only we had greater faith in divine Providence, how much freer we would be to attend to the things of our soul: Take care of him (Lk. 10.35, from the Holy Gospel on the 12th Sunday after Pentecost). Although obliged to occupy ourselves with earthly affairs, we would not remain entrapped by them, but would know how to attend to them with complete liberty of spirit.
“O Lord my God… by the Holy Ghost, You have given me the possibility of
keeping my members under control;
therefore all my hope is in Thee.
Grant that I may do what You command, and then command what You will.
I do not want to be a friend of this world, O Lord,
for if I were, I should be Your enemy.
I want to make a ladder of all created things, by which I may mount to You,
for if I love creature more than You, I shall not possess You.
Of what benefit would an abundance of created things be to me,
if I did not have Thee, the Creator of all things?
Why do I work so much for the love of riches?
The desire for gain imposes fatigue, dangers, and tribulations;
and I, unhappy that I am, submit to them.
I accept them in order to fill my coffers, and so I lose my tranquility.
But Thee, what do you command me to do, my God? To love Thee.
If I love gold, I try to seek it but am not able to find it;
but You are always with those who seek for Thee.
I desire honor, and I may not receive it; but can anyone love Thee and not reach Thee?
All I have to do is to love Thee, and love itself will bring Thee near me.
Is there anything sweeter than such love?
You, O Lord, are my love! I love Thee will all the ardor of my heart,
and I trample underfoot all earthly attractions, resolving to pass them by.”