On August 28th we celebrated the Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo, an early Church Father and Doctor of the Church. His life continues to fascinate us even though he died in 430 A.D. Every educated person, Christian or otherwise, should read his classic book The Confessions as well as his City of God. These are listed among the Great Books of all time. In addition, we have over five-hundred of his sermons to educate and inspire us in the Faith.
Perhaps the reason that St. Augustine intrigues us is that before his conversion he reminds us of many of the people of our present world. Augustine was not a saint from the beginning. Into his thirties he dabbled in the trendy, seductive, but ultimately deceptive and false views of the popular writers and thinkers of his generation. He became caught up with sins of impurity, the sexual sins, that in recent history have been celebrated as part of the sexual revolution since the 1960’s. At one point it seemed that he would never become a Christian, let alone a bishop and profound preacher and teacher in matters of faith and morals. He seemed like a lost soul.
Fortunately, he had a holy mother, St. Monica, who never ceased to pray and to sacrifice for him. She would not give up on her wayward son. She refused to accept that he was a lost soul. Finally, the grace of God triumphs in Augustine’s profound and dramatic conversion, recorded in his Confessions. He sees the light. He is touched and transformed by love, the God of love, the Lord Jesus Christ. He writes: “Late have I loved you. Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!” This is what St. Paul means when he writes in Ephesians: “To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge.” A genuinely educated person is a good, holy, person, a Godly person. Such people will be given the key to open the door to eternal life in heaven.
On September 8th we also commemorate the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Mother of Mothers was born without any stain of sin on her soul since she is the Immaculate Conception. In the traditional liturgy it is possible to commemorate the feasts of Our Lady and the saints even on Sundays in the orations. Though the Sunday orations are said first, those of the feast day follow second.
Mary as our heavenly Mother leads us to her Son, the Lord of Love. She intercedes on our behalf lest we be lost forever. We turn to her with confidence that we will receive all the graces available to us. Mary shows what happens when the grace of Christ is duly received producing within faith, hope, and love. We want the same for us and all souls. Let us beg Mary to intensify our personal conversions and bring about the conversion of souls most in need. At Fatima Mary taught us to pray at the end of each decade of the rosary: “O, my Jesus, save us from the fires of hell! Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of thy mercy!”
You are also reminded of the Traditional Latin High Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on Saturday, September 14th at 10:00 A.M. After Mass we will have an Italian Luncheon. Tickets are only $15.00 now, but $20.00 at the door. This is a fundraiser. Please try to come or at least buy one ticket. Proceeds will benefit the Traditional Latin Mass Society.
In Domino Dominaque,
Fr. Mark G. Mazza