The Ultra Conservative Catholic

October 18, 2008

Daily Dovotions for October 19, 2008

Filed under: Religion-Catholicism — tobinatorstark @ 2:02 pm

Isaias 45:1, 4-6 (Douay-Rheims Challoner text)

Thus saith the Lord to my anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have made a likeness of thee, and thou hast not known me.  I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God, besides me: I girded thee, and thou hast not known me: That they may know who are from the rising of the sun, and they who are from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is none else:

Isaiae 45:1, 4-6 (Bibia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

Hæc dicit Dominus christo meo Cyro, cujus apprehendi dexteram, ut subjiciam ante faciem ejus gentes, et dorsa regum vertam, et aperiam coram eo januas, et portæ non claudentur :propter servum meum Jacob, et Isra¨el, electum meum ; et vocavi te nomine tuo : assimilavi te, et non cognovisti me. Ego Dominus, et non est amplius ; extra me non est deus ;accinxi te, et non cognovisti me : ut sciant hi qui ab ortu solis et qui ab occidente, quoniam absque me non est : ego Dominus, et non est alter :

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 (Douay-Rheims Challoner text)

Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy: to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all; making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,  Being mindful of the work of your faith, and labour, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father: Knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election:  For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.

1 Thessalonicennes 1:1-5 (Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

Paulus, et Silvanus, et Timotheus ecclesiæ Thessalonicensium in Deo Patre, et Domino Jesu Christo. Gratia vobis, et pax. Gratias agimus Deo semper pro omnibus vobis, memoriam vestri facientes in orationibus nostris sine intermissione, memores operis fidei vestræ, et laboris, et caritatis, et sustinentiæ spei Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ante Deum et Patrem nostrum :scientes, fratres dilecti a Deo, electionem vestram :quia Evangelium nostrum non fuit ad vos in sermone tantum, sed et in virtute, et in Spiritu Sancto, et in plenitudine multa, sicut scitis quales fuerimus in vobis propter vos.

Gospel According to St. Matthew 22:15-21 (Ronald Knox Translation)

After this the Pharisees withdrew, and plotted together, to make him betray himself in his talk. And they sent their own disciples to him, with those who were of Herod’s party, and said, Master, we know well that you are sincere, and teach in all sincerity the way of God; that you hold no one in awe, making no distinction between man and man; tell us, then, is it right to pay tribute to Caesar, or not? Jesus saw their malice; Hypocrites, he said, why do you thus put me to the test? Show me the coinage in which the tribute is paid. So they brought him a silver piece, and he asked them, Whose is this likeness? Whose name is inscribed on it? Caesar’s, they said; whereupon he answered. Why then, give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. And they went away and left him in peace, full of admiration at his words.

Evangelium Secundum Matthaeus 22:15-21 (Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

Aut non licet mihi quod volo, facere ? an oculus tuus nequam est, quia ego bonus sum ?  Sic erunt novissimi primi, et primi novissimi. Multi enim sunt vocati, pauci vero electi. Et ascendens Jesus Jerosolymam, assumpsit duodecim discipulos secreto, et ait illis :Ecce ascendimus Jerosolymam, et Filius hominis tradetur principibus sacerdotum, et scribis, et condemnabunt eum morte, et tradent eum gentibus ad illudendum, et flagellandum, et crucifigendum, et tertia die resurget. Tunc accessit ad eum mater filiorum Zebedæi cum
filiis suis, adorans et petens aliquid ab eo. Qui dixit ei : Quid vis ? Ait illi : Dic ut sedeant hi duo filii mei, unus ad dexteram tuam, et unus ad sinistram in regno tuo.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2242

The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” “We must obey God rather than men”:

When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.

Cathechismum Catholicae Ecclesiae 2242

Civis conscientia tenetur ne praescriptiones auctoritatum civilium sequatur, cum haec praecepta exigentiis ordinis moralis, iuribus fundamentalibus personarum vel doctrinis Evangelii contraria sunt. Recusatio oboedientiae auctoritatibus civilibus, cum earum exigentiae illis rectae conscientiae sunt contrariae, suam invenit iustificationem in distinctione inter servitium Dei et servitium politicae communitatis. « Reddite […], quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari et, quae sunt Dei, Deo » (Mt 22,21). « Oboedire oportet Deo magis quam hominibus » (Act 5,29):

« Ubi autem a publica auctoritate, suam competentiam excedente, cives premuntur, ipsi, quae a bono communi obiective postulantur, ne recusent; fas vero sit eis contra abusum huius auctoritatis sua conciviumque suorum iura defendere, illis servatis limitibus, quos Lex naturalis et evangelica delineat

Notes on Isaias 45:1, 4-6

Ver. 1. Anointed, often implies one chosen for some great work. Cyrus was to ruin the empire of Babylon, and to set the nations at liberty. He was a proof of the Deity by executing his decrees. — Cyrus. Some copies of the Septuagint seem to have read Greek: kurio, “to the Lord,” incorrectly. (St. Jerome) — Though Cyrus was not anointed, he is styled thus, in allusion to the custom of the Jewish kings. (Worthington)

Ver. 4. Likeness of Christ. — Known me. Before the Jews had shewn Cyrus the prophecies, he did not attribute his success to the Lord, and even afterwards he seems not to have left the superstitions of his country, as his sacrifices to idols are described. He resembled Nabuchodonosor and the philosophers, who did not glorify God according to their knowledge, Daniel ii. 47., and Romans i. 21. Cyrus even revoked the decree for building the temple, 1 Esdras iv. 5. (Calmet) — He believed there was one God; (1 Esdras i.) yet he did not embrace the truth entirely. (Worthington)

Notes on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 (Haydock Bible Commentary)

Ver. 1. Paul. It is observed that St. Paul never calls himself an apostle in either of the epistles to the Thessalonians. The reason why he deviates from his ordinary custom on this occasion, probably is, that joining his name with the other two, he did not like to assume a title, though his due, which the others did not possess. (Estius) — Such condescension to your neighbours’ feelings, even in trifles, is highly delicate and praiseworthy. (Haydock)

Ver. 3. The apostle praises the Thessalonians for the progress they had made in the theological virtues [of faith, hope, and charity], and enumerates the profit they had derived from each. Their faith had produced works; their charity rendered their labour light and easy, and their patience was the fruit of their future hopes, in confidence of which they bore what they had to suffer from their unconverted countrymen. (Estius)

Ver. 5. In power. The sense is, I have preached the gospel to you, not only in words of persuasion, but have proved it by the power of miracles, in much fulness, or in great abundance. I have also taught you the gospel not by my words only, but by my actions; for you know what kind of a life I led among you. I had no interest but in gaining your souls. And I rejoice to hear you have received it in much power, by the Holy Ghost working within you. (Haydock) — And in much fulness.[1] Some would have the Greek word to signify in a full assurance; but in the style of the New Testament, it may as well signify a fulness, or plentitude. (Witham)

[1] Ver. 5. In plenitudine multa, Greek: en plerophria polle. See Luke i.

Notes on St. Matthew 22:15-21 (Haydock Bible Commentary)

Ver. 15. This is the third conference which Jesus Christ had with the Jews. It relates to the civil conduct of mankind, as directed and influenced by religion.

Ver. 16. The Herodians. That is, some that belonged to Herod, and that joined with him in standing up for the necessity of paying tribute to Cæsar; that is, to the Roman emperor. Some are of opinion that there was a sect among the Jews called Herodians, from their maintaining that Herod was the Messias. (Challoner) — These soldiers had come to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, which was to take place in a very few days. The Pharisees sent their disciples with these soldiers, that immediately as the former ensnared him in his discourse, the latter might apprehend him. It is worthy of remark, that these blood-thirsty miscreants sought to ensnare him in his words, not able to discover a fault in any action of his whole life. (Nicholas of Lyra. and St. Chrysostom) — Master, we know. The Pharisees had instructed their disciples and the Herodians to speak in this seemingly friendly manner to our Saviour, that they might put him off his guard, and thereby ensnare him; thinking that Jesus, like other men, could be led away by flattery. Thus do all hypocrites act. They first praise those they want to destroy; and thus by their deceitful words, lead them aside from the true path, into all kinds of evils and miseries. Ita St. Chrysostom, Tostatus, &c.

Ver. 17. Is it lawful, reasonable and just, to give tribute to Cæsar? It was at that time a question much agitated among the Jews, whether they, being the peculiar people of God, ought to be subject and pay taxes to Cæsar, or to any prince whatsoever, or be exempt from them. (Witham) — Judas Galilæus, about the time of Christ’s birth, stirred up the people to a revolt, which though suppressed by violent measures, and himself slain by the Romans, yet the doctrine he broached did not expire with him. Some even among the Pharisees were of opinion, that it was unlawful for the people of God to serve strangers and idolater, as we learn from Josephus. The question, therefore, proposed to our Saviour was insidious in the extreme, and not easy to be answered, without incurring the displeasure of one or other of the parties. For, if he answered that it was lawful, he would expose himself to the hatred of the Jews, who were aggrieved with what generally thought an unjust extortion, and a mark of servitude injurious to God; if he denied the legality of this hated capitation-tax, he would incur the displeasure of the Herodians, and be denounced to Cæsar. This latter appears to have been their wish; as, in that case, it would have been very easy to persuade Pilate, that Christ and his disciples coming from Galilee, were favourers of that sect, who, from the name of their founder, Judas Galilæus, were called Galilæans; and some of whom, as we read in St. Luke (chap. xiii. 1,) Pilate put to death, whose blood he mingled with their sacrifices. Indeed so determined were the enemies of Christ to injure him with Pilate on this subject, that notwithstanding his answer was plainly in favour of the tribute, yet they blushed not a few days after to accuse him to Pilate of teaching it to be unlawful to pay tribute; we have found him, say they, forbidding tribute to be paid to Cæsar. (Tirinus and Denis the Carthusian)

Ver. 18. Ye hypocrites? Our divine Saviour knowing their malice, and that it was their wish in proposing this question, to render him odious to the people, or a suspicious character to the prince, answers them in these severe words. … Another motive was, to let them see that the secrets of their inmost heart were open to him, and thus induce them to be converted from their wickedness; for, certainly, if they perceived that he could read their hearts, they must thence concluded that he was something more than human. This severe reprehension, according to St. Chrysostom, shews, that it is better for man that God should chastise him here in this life, than spare him here to chastise him hereafter. (Tostatus)

Ver. 21. Render therefore to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s. He neither directly decided the question, nor offended the Herodians. They admired his wisdom, were quite disappointed, and retired with confusion. (Witham) — The reasoning of Christ appears to be this: As you are the subjects of Cæsar, which you plainly acknowledge by admitting his coin, upon which he inscribes himself lord of Asia, Syria, and Judæa, &c. it is but just you pay him the tribute due from subjects to their sovereign; nor have you any reason to object on the plea of religion, since he demands of you for the exigencies of the public service only temporal things, and such as are in some respects already his own, by being stamped with his own image and superscription. But spiritual things, which belong to God alone, as your souls, stamped with his image, divine worship, religious homage, &c. God, not Cæsar, demands of you. “Give therefore to Cæsar what belongeth to Cæsar, and to God what belongeth to God.” (Tirinus) — What our Saviour here commands us to give to God, is nothing else but our heart and affections. Here our divine Lord likewise shews us, how we are to steer the middle course between the two extremes, into which some persons fall. Some say that all must be given to God, and nothing to Cæsar, i.e. all our time must be given to the care of our soul, and none to the care of the body; but Christ teaches that some must be given to the one, and part to the other. (Origen) — Although Christ clearly establishes here the strict obligation of paying to Cæsar what belongs to Cæsar, yet he is afterwards accused, as we have mentioned above, (see note on ver. 17) as if he forbade tribute to be paid to Cæsar. In like manner, in spite of the most explicit declarations of the Catholic Church, respecting her loyalty and subjection to temporal powers, her enemies fail not to calumniate her doctrine as inimical to the state, and subversive of due subordination. But let our opponents attend to the following authority and public declaration of Pope Clement XIV. addressed to all Catholic bishops in the Christian world. “Be careful,” says he, “that those whose instruction in the law of the gospel is committed to your charge, be made sensible from their very infancy of their sacred obligation of loyalty to their kings, of respect to their authority, and of submission to their laws, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake.” — But princes should not exact, and subjects should not affect to give them ecclesiastical jurisdiction. St. Athanasius quotes the following strong words from an epistle of the famous confessor Hosius, to Constantius, the Arian emperor: “Cease, I beseech thee, and remember that thou art mortal. Fear the day of judgment, and meddle not with ecclesiastical matters; neither do thou command us in this kind, but rather learn them of us. To thee God hath committed the empire; to us he hath committed what belongs to the Church. And as he who, with a malicious eye, hath designs upon thine empire, opposeth the ordinance of God; so do thou also beware lest, by an improper interference in ecclesiastical matters, thou be made guilty of a great crime. For it is written, Give to Cæsar, &c. Therefore, neither is it lawful for us on earth to hold the empire, neither hast thou, O emperor, power over incense and sacred things.” (St. Athansius, ep. ad solit. vitam agentes.) — And St. Ambrose to Valentinian, the emperor, (who by the ill counsel of his mother Justina, an Arian, required of St. Ambrose to have one church in Milan made over to the Arian heretics) saith: “We pay that which is Cæsar’s to Cæsar, and that which is God’s to God. Tribute is Cæsar’s; it is not denied. The Church is God’s; it cannot verily be yielded to Cæsar; because the temple of God cannot be Cæsar’s right. Be it said, as all must allow to the honour of the emperor, for what is more honourable than that the emperor be said to be the son of the Church? A good emperor is within the Church, but not above the Church.” (St. Ambrose, lib. v. epist. Orat. de Basil, trad.)


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