Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas sermon by Edward McDonald

 for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this
day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David

How blessed we are to live in the Christian era. From the day Adam sinned misery reigned
throughout the world. There was no joy, no peace, no hope and no charity. Man’s nature was fallen
with no hope of rising again. Adam’s sin had deprived mankind of every true good.

Tonight all that changed. A Saviour is born to us. This Child is true God. Holy Mary is indeed the
Mother of God. This Child is also true man. Holy Mary is His Mother. As God he is governing the
whole world; as man He is lying in the manger completely dependent on His Mother. The Son of
God became man; the Word was made flesh. God so loved His creatures that he condescended to
become one of them. He lowered Himself to our level. So that He might raise us to His level. We
say every day during the Offertory at Mass “grant that we made be made partakers of His Divinity,
Who has condescended to become partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord.”
This happens by the gift of Sanctifying Grace. What a great treasure is Sanctifying Grace! It
sanctifies us; it divinizes us; it makes us like God so that He is truly our Father and we are truly His
children. Every man is in one of two states: The State of Grace OR The State of Mortal Sin. The
difference in these two states is infinite. The State of Grace brings with it joy, peace, happiness and
eternal life. We are friends of God. The bliss of heaven forever. The State of Mortal Sin brings with
it misery, enmity with God, no true peace or happiness and eternal misery in Hell.

Moses brought the Law which made man aware of his misery. It explained to men what was
necessary to please God but did not give him the means to do it. “For the law was given by Moses;
grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Jesus made it easy for us to live in a manner pleasing to God
by bringing grace and truth into the world. How blessed we are! So much treasure is offered to us.
The wise man sells all he has to obtain it. The wise man teaches: “The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite.”

Fools trade this treasure for temporary earthly goods, honours, privileges. This is the world we live
in. We are surrounded by fools. We ourselves often behave foolishly. Whenever we sin we act
foolishly. We sacrifice the peace of Christ for the misery of the world. Only a fool would do that.
In the Midnight Mass Gospel we read “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of
good will.” Perverse men have deliberately mistranslated this to read: ‘Peace on earth and good will
to men.’ The Peace that the babe in the manger brings is to men of good will. Those who will accept
the treasure of Sanctifying Grace and give up their sins. The fools who prefer their sins remain
enemies of God and do not participate in this peace. The mistranslation is modernist. It gives the
appearance that all men are now at peace. This leads to the error or religious liberty and
independent morality taught by the Conciliar Popes. They teach that one can continue to sin and
still be at peace with God. It is a lie. Grace and Truth came with Jesus Christ; Satan invented the lie.
Those who teach this are children of their father the Devil. Many people have been led astray and
become fools because of lying teachers and false prophets.

The Saviour, Christ the Lord is born this day. Our Christmas resolution and Our Gift to Him must
be a clean heart. We must make determined resolutions to sin no more. To give up our foolish sins
and accept the treasure Jesus offers: sanctifying grace in this world and eternal life in heaven.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Sermon for Advent


 Advent means to come. During Advent we contemplate three comings of Our Lord. His coming as ababe in humility and poverty in Bethlehem. His coming in Power and Majesty at the end of the world. And uniting these two His coming in the souls of the Just. St. Paul tells us that now is the hour to arise from sleep because Our salvation is at hand.

We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ.We must be grateful that Our Lord came to the world. We must thank Him continuously for taking on our nature and becoming man. Because He also took upon Himself our sins and paid the price for them. Firstly for Original Sin, which is the sin of the world. And then for all of our personal sins, the ones we willingly committed.

Original Sin not only corrupted men making them children of wrath. It corrupted all of nature causing it to rebel against man and bring forth weeds and thorns and poisonous creatures; weather that is inconvenient and uncomfortable; animals that are wild and dangerous. Material Creation was corrupted by Original Sin. Our nature fell because of Original Sin. We need to struggle against ourselves to be good and live lives pleasing to God. To do this we must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. 

How do we do this? Firstly we need to be baptised. Those who are not baptised do not know Our Lord Jesus Christ. They do not please Him. They are not His brethren. Once we are baptised we must live according toour Baptismal vows. We have renounced Satan. We have renounced all of his works. We have renounced all of his pomps. Therefore we must stay far from them. We must not sin. We must not be complacent with our bad habits. We must live according to Christ. To put on Our Lord Jesus Christ means to live according to His life within us. He tells us “I am the vine you are the branches.” The branch lives by the life of the vine. This life within is Sanctifying Grace. Sanctifying Grace is the life of Christ in our soul. 

It is such a marvellous gift. It enables us toparticipate in the life of Christ; in the life of God. We are called and we really are children of God. We are like Him by sanctifying grace. This life must grow in us and bring forth fruit. If it stagnates it will wither and we will die. We will separate ourselves from the vine; from the source of life. Thus we must conquer our self and put to death the old man: the child of Adam. We must be children of the new Adam: Our Lord Jesus Christ. His life makes us like God our Father.  

Why do we not do this? It is because we don’t want to do it. We are afraid to do it. We are afraid to become too good. We want to be good but not too good. Yet Our Lord gave a command to everyoneof us. “Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Can we be perfect? Yes, each one of us is called to perfection. Parents have a duty to put their children on the path to perfection by helping them to conquer themselves. They do this by demanding order, disciple and obedience. But they also must set the example by disciplining themselves and keeping their own lives ordered toward God. Others must do so as well. We should acquire the habit of asking ourselves, “Is this what God wants me to be doing?” 

There is a story of a holy monk who during the monk’s recreation period was playing ball with his fellow monks. One asked him: Brother what would you do if we were toldthat the world was going to end in five minutes. He replied, I would continue to play ball because that is what I am supposed to be doing.The other problem is that we want to keep our vices. The seven capital sins are called that because the word capital means head. These vices are the source or head of all of our sins. They are all encouraged in the world. Pope St. Gregory the Great listed them as: Pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth. 

Our anti-Catholic society encourages all these sins. And we get to like them and want to keep them. Thus we are the ones who prevent ourselves from becoming perfect. Ifwe do not conquer our vices we cannot blame our parents; we cannot blame our family; we cannot blame the government; we cannot blame society; we cannot blame the TV or the internet; we cannotblame our phone; we cannot blame the pope, the bishops, the priests and the nuns; we cannot blame our neighbours; we cannot blame the schools; we cannot blame our companions. WE CAN ONLY BLAME OURSELVES. 

We do not want to give up our vices so we keep them. We keep ourselves from becoming holy. I am guilty of Pride. The school and my parents taught me that I needed “self-esteem”. It is their fault. They did put you on the wrong path, but you chose to stay on that path. I am guilty of Avarice. I was taught that I have to provide for myself both now and for the future. I need things. I need the goods of this world. Yes, you have accumulated many assets in this world. Our Lord told us to build our treasure in heaven. The only way worldly assets are beneficial is if weuse them for the benefit of others. 

 I am guilty of Lust. Immodesty, impurity and all uncleanness are normal. Everyone is doing it. Yes, but you are guilty because you don’t want to be chaste. You think that if you life a chaste life you will be missing out on something. You get curious about these things and fall into sin and refuse to turn firmly away from it. St. Mary Magdalen hated the sins of her wicked youth. She realised that she could not truly love God and be attached to her sins. She conquered herself for the love of God. You could do the same. 

 I am guilty of Envy. This is a terrible sin. Cain killed Abel because of envy; the Jews killed Christ because of envy. All good comes from God. We need to acquire the habit of rejoicing in the good fortune of our neighbour. If he is blessed with goods we should thank God for that. The worst form of envy is to envy the spiritual goods of my neighbour. He is holy; I am envious of him. Instead of blaming myself that I am not holy. I prefer to blame God. God doesn’t bless me as He blesses others. Wrong. God is desirous that you become Holy and pleasing to Him. You don’t want to do that. How many of His blessings do you refuse?

 I am guilty of gluttony. This is a sin of intemperance. I cannot be moderate. Like those guilty of lust of the flesh dominates the spirit. They often go together the lustful is also gluttonous. Our age has accepted these vices and made them into virtues. By discipling our flesh at the table we can also overcome lust. Fasting and abstinence are the virtues that conquer gluttony and lust. The love of food and drink prevents prayer, and holiness. We must conquer this vice. The world wants us to livelike cows, constantly grazing, rather than the traditional life of men, eating at certain times and having a family meal. 

Anger is when we are offended and want revenge, often when the other has no intention to offend us. The vice of anger gives us a foretaste of life in Hell. The damned are eternally angry. There is just anger which is not a sin. Our Lord was justly angry at the money-changers. We can be justly angry at the Covid lock downs and other restrictions. But we must temper our anger by considering that God has permitted these evils for our own good. The vice of anger must be overcome by patience in adversity, remembering that all the evils of this life will pass away and that to be Our Lord’s disciples we must take up a daily cross.Sloth is especially laziness with regard to our duties to God. We do not want to pray or go to Mass. We hurriedly say our rosary to get it over with. It cause lukewarmness which prevents us from fleeing occasions of sin and leads to our downfall.  

All of our sins are serious. Each and everyone of them prevents us from putting on Our Lord Jesus Christ as we should This Advent we should resolve to give up our faults. We should pick two or three of them and promise Our Lady that we will avoid them for Advent and then for the rest of our lives. God’s intention is that we live in union with Our Lord Jesus Christ. He desires to raise us to the supernatural life and have us live according to this life. This is already the beginning of heaven on earth, but in a dark, cloudy manner. St. Paul teaches that now we see as looking in a cloudy mirror. This is because the Light of Faith which illuminates our mind so that we can know supernatural truth is incapable of enabling us to see God as He is. To do this is to share in the inheritance of Our Lord Jesus Christ and requires the Light of Glory which is reserved to the Saints in heaven. God promises us so much. We will share in His own bliss and happiness as does Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints. God wants to give us a great share of this bliss, but we prevent Him from by insisting on having our goods and treasures in this world. We will not sacrifice the rewards of this world for the Kingdom of heaven because we are much more foolish than the saints.Already God is permitting the goods of this world to be taken away. We are being deprived of our natural liberties and associations. But how few turn to God to remedy these injustices. How few accept these sacrifices in reparation for their sin. 

This Advent let us think what Our Lord did for us. He left the happiness of heaven for a hard life in this world where the good He did was rewarded with scorn and mocking. All so that He might take away Our sins and give us the Kingdom of Heaven. Living for Christ and in union with Christ prepares us for His third coming in glory and majesty to judge the living and the dead. And to hear those happy words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”I pray that you all have a Holy Advent and that you are able to get to Christmas Mass to offer yourself to the Christ child. If you cannot visit the crib and offer yourself to Our Lord and ask Him for the blessing from the Church this next year. 

God bless one and all, 

Fr. MacDonald