The VerbumQUO (apr3quo.htm)

April 3, 2006
vol 17, no. 80

The Flowing Rivers of Living Water

The VerbumQUO for today is "Miserére" from today's Opening Introit from Psalm 55: 2 for God to "Have mercy." It is His infinite Mercy that He makes available to the Ninevites in today's Epistle and to the Jews in today's Gospel. Where the former complied and were rewarded, the latter stubbornly remain in their pride, eschewing the flowing rivers of living water.

Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: This is a new series the editor has launched in highlighting one word from the Proper of the day's Mass. Taking the Latin Verbum and Quotidianum, which mean respectively "Word" and "Daily", we have coined the word "Verbumquo" by contracting quotidianum to quo and running it together as VerbumQUO for this feature series, thus "The Daily Word," as in the sum of the message, the 'quotient', if you will. It is also our hope that in choosing the Latin word with its meaning and etimology more will be attuned to hearing the word read at the altar and better comprehend the beauty of the Mother tongue. Hopefully in this Time of Passiontide we can gain a higher appreciation and contemplation on how the Daily Proper of the Holy Mass applies in our lives in alignment with the will of Christ and His Blessed Immaculate Mother and His Mystical Bride, His Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    The VerbumQUO for today's Proper of Monday in Passion Week is "Miserére" and is taken from the Opening Introit of today's Mass from Psalm 55: 2 and embodies the Epistle and Gospel and entire Proper of the Mass for the English translation of Miserére is "Have mercy". We say every day, "Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us" - Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserére nobis. Let's look at today's Introit:
Miserére mihi, Domine, quoniam conculcavit me homo; tota die impugnans, tribulavit me. (Ps. 55: 3) Conculcaverunt me inimici mei tota die ; quoniam multi bellantes adverum me.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for man hath trodden me under foot; all the day long he hath afflicted me fighting against me. (Ps. 55: 3) My enemies have trodden on me all the day long; for they are many that make war against me.

    It is only through the mercy of God that we are saved. Without Jesus' death on the cross, we would be forever doomed to rest in the void of Limbo or worse. And how do we repay Him? By doubting the Incarnate Word, by flaunting sin - the very sins He endured in His agony and scourging, our sins - and by denying that He is the promised Messias and only through Him have we any hope. It was mercy which the Father showed to the Ninevites only after they displayed proof of their repentance. It was mercy that Christ offered to the Jews who flat-out refused His divine Mercy which He clearly identified in today's Gospel as the Font of divine Mercy with His words from John 7: 38 "He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." This is to show what one can do when one has been blessed to receive the living water of grace: share it with others. Also, this can be discerned as a precursor of His Own side being pierced with a lance, from which would pour forth water - merciful grace - since He had given every last drop of His most precious Blood. He offers us His mercy in His Spirit - the Holy Ghost Whom He has left for us and in the renewal of the continual sacrifice in an unbloody manner as a propitiatory sacrifice in which we can make expiation for our sins through the graces of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Oh! what Mercy!

    The Latin miserére - pronounced MEEZ-ER-AY-RAY - with the emphasis on the bold in the phonetics and accent on the word itself - comes from the Latin noun "pity, mercy" Miseréricordia, miserére mercy + cordis of heart" for it is the merciful Heart of God that has pity on His people. It is interesting that from this word comes the French merci which means "thanks." Let's look at Webster's definition of mercy:

    "mercy" - [From the Latin merces , mercedis, hire, pay, reward, equivalent to misericordia pity, mercy.] 1. Forbearance from inflicting harm, expecially as punishment; under provocation; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary. 2. Disposition to exercise compassion or forgiveness; willingness to spare or to help. 3. The power to be merciful; clemency; as, to throw oneself on the mercy of the court. 4. Any circumstance felt to be providential. 5. Compassionate treatment of the unfortunate. Syn. Mercy, charity, grace, clemency, lenity mean a showing compassion or kindness in dealing with others. Mercy implies compassion so great as to enable one to forbear punishing even when justice demands it; charity stresses benevolence and good will as manifest not only in giving but in broad understanding of others and kindly tolerance; grace implies benignancy and helpfulness to those dependent on one, especially on God; clemency implies a mild or merciful disposition, especially in a judge; lenity implies a lack of severity in punishing. - adjective merciful - Full of mercy; exercising mercy; compassionate. Administered, or acting, out of mercy, especially for putting a victim out of misery; as a mercy slaying or slayer. - adverb mercifully."

    We can see how the definitions all apply to God and His infinite Mercy. We can also see how grace kills sin in one's soul and there is no greater mercy than that. In today's Epistle from Jonas 3: 1-10, we see how God was merciful to the Ninevites because they complied with what the prophet Jonas had been instructed by the Lord to preach to them. By making amends, they showed their sincerity and God had mercy on "His people" which shows that even in the Old Testament the Almighty Yahweh was merciful to others than just the Jews who thought they had a monopoly on God. So also today, Catholics, particularly traditional Catholics think they've got it made in the shade and keep it to themselves rather than inviting others to partake in the same font of Mercy they have been given. Too often an isolationist mentality pervades and they are content to just go about their own way without seeking to convert others. They are not showing charity towards their neighbor by their silent condoning of their neighbor's error in false worship. This is where ecumenism has been an ugly monster, preventing so many would-be converts from refreshing themselves at the Font of divine Mercy because the modern conciliar church applauds them in their rut of non-Catholicism. We cannot forget the apostle Saint Paul's words to seek converts and preserve the Faith by passing it on. We can only do that if we truly know our Faith and sharing it with others. Be not afraid, as Paul says in 1 Timothy 5: 20, "Them that sin reprove before all: that the rest also may have fear." That's right, we must, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 4: 2, "Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and doctrine." This is what Jonas did; this is what the Apostles did; this is what the saints did; this is what past reliable Pontiffs, Bishops and Priests did; and what Traditional Bishops and Priests, and Religious do today and which we must do as well. One who was a master at this was the venerable Benedictine Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger who composed the magnificent, invaluable 15-volume work The Liturgical Year. For today's Proper in Volume 6, he weighs in with these insights:

        "The Church's intention in this day's lesson is to encourage us to earnestness and perseverance in our penance. Here we have an idoltrous city, a haughty and debauched capital, whose crimes have merited the anger of Heaven. God threatens it with His vengeance: yet forty days, and Ninive and its inhabitants shall be destroyed. How came it, that the threat was not carried into effect? What was it that caused Ninive to be spared? Its people returned to the God they had left; they sued for mercy; they humbled themselves, and fasted; and the Church concludes the prophet's account by these touching words of her own: 'And the Lord our God had mercy on His people' They are Gentiles, but they became His people, because they did penance at the preaching of the prophet. God had made a covenant with one only nation, the Jews; but He rejected not the Gentiles as often as they renounced their false gods, confessed His holy name and desired to serve Him. We are taught the efficacy of corporal mortification; when united with spiritual penance, that is, with the repentance of the heart, it has power to appease God's anger. How highly, then, should we prize the holy exercises of penance, put upon us by the Church during this holy season! Let us also learn to dread that false spirituality, which tells us that exterior mortification is of little value: such doctrine is the result of rationalism and cowardice."

    This very false spirituality the Abbot speaks of here at the end is the very false doctrine promulgated by the conciliar church in abandoning the very essence of fasting and abstinence and the concept that we must do penance to make expiation for our sins. The new modernist church of Vatican II has subscribed to the "subsists in" fallacy of universal salvation which was introduced by the very man some traditionalists are counting on to turn things around. The only way that will happen is if Father Joseph Ratzinger follows the example of the king of Ninive and casts away his ermine and Gucchi shoes, puts on sackcloth and ashes and commands that all in his kingdom - every potentate of the Novus Ordo lodges and all the lodge-goers do the same and its leaders make expiation for leading countless souls into the desert of apostasy and desertion from the True Faith. Then, prayerfully, God would be merciful and spare His children who, like the Jews, have veered from the path of His holy Will. That, and abolishing the horrific sacrilege of the Novus Ordo, which is the very "abomination of desolation" Christ warned of in Matthew 24: 15, would show there is sincerity in their repentance and conversion. Just as God warned that 40 days and Ninive would be destroyed, how much longer do you think the Almighty will allow the devastation of His people to continue without being avenged? Today Christ is cursed and profaned everywhere in society, and this blasphemy is running amok today, not only in speech, but in the elimination of Christian icons such as the cross and creche, and in the promotion of blasphemy from The DaVinci Code to The Jesus Papers and worse, and few who will speak out against such anathema. In fact, anathema is something lost on the modern world which has become far, far more evil than Ninive ever was.

    And it will continue to be even more subservient to the prince of the world, shackled to the beast unless it break its fetters by putting on sackcloth and ashes and repent of the evil ways that have imprisoned billions of souls who seek freedom through sin without realizing they are only incarcerating themselves further in the everlasting dungeon of hell. Only through sincere repentance can this be turned around, can the world convert and experience the "rivers of living water" which our Lord identifies as the Font of divine Mercy in today's Gospel. In truth, as pointed out in yesterday's VerbumQUO and the Proper for Passion Sunday, there is only one sacrifice that can expiate for the sins and that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is summed up in today's Secret, which, by the way, has been sacked in the new order 'mass' for it is too hard to hear. Too hard to hear? "The most beautiful thing this side of Heaven," as the esteemed Father Faber called the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the Traditional Latin Mass - is too hard a thing to hear? The conciliarists must be stone deaf then. Pray that today's Secret will whisper to their conscience what is necessary to make amends:
Concede nobis, Domine Deus noster : ut haec hostia salutaris, et nostrorum fiat purgation delictorum, et tuae propitiation majestatis.
Grant us, O Lord our God, that this saving victim may become the expiation of our sins, and a propitiation with Thy majesty.

    As pointed out yesterday, there is only one Church, only one Faith, only one Sacrifice. No other religion, no other belief, no other offering will appease God. Only by the Blood of the Lamb are we saved and only by participation in the continual sacrifice can we receive the graces merited for us by Jesus Christ. We talked yesterday of the VerbumQUO for "hid" abscóndit; in today's Gospel we see He refers to that and further confounds the proud as Dom Gueranger illustrates:

        "The enemies of Jesus sought to stone Him to death, as we were told in yesterday's Gospel; today they are bent on making Him a prisoner, and send soldiers to sieze Him. This time Jesus does not hide Himself; but how awful are the words He speaks: I go to Him that sent Me: you shall seek Me, and shall not find Me! The sinner, then, who has long abused the grace of God, may have his ingratitude and contempt punished in this just but terrific way - that he shall not be able to find the Jesus he has despised: he shall seek, and shall not find. Antiochus, when humbled under the hand of God, prayed, yet obtained not mercy (2 Machabees 9: 13). After the death and resurrection of Jesus, whilst the Church was casting her roots in the world, the Jews, who had crucified the just One, were seeking the Messias in each of the many imposters, who were then rising up in Judea, and fomenting rebellions, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem. Surrounded on all sides by the Roman legions, with their temples and palaces a prey to flames, they sent up their cries to Heaven, and besought the God of their fathers to send, as He had promised, the Deliverer! It never occurred to them that this Deliverer had shown Himself to their fathers, to many even of themselves; that they had put Him to death, and that the apostles had already carried His name to the ends of the earth. They went on looking for Him, even to the very day when the deicide city fell, burying beneath its ruin them that the sword had spared. Had they been asked what it was they were awaiting, they would have replied that they were expecting the Messias! He had come, and gone. You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me! Let those, too, think of these terrible words of Jesus, who intend to neglect the graces offered to them during this Easter. Let us pray, let us make intercession for them, lest they fall into that awful threat, of a repentance that seeks mercy when it is too late to find aught save an inexorable justice."

    We see how the Jews of today still seek the Messias, waiting for Him, stubbornly refusing to accept that He has come and gone. Yet they persist in their error and are aided by the weak-kneed, pandering conciliar church which has gone so far as to publish and pronounce that "the Jews' wait for the Messiah is not in vain." This, in and of itself, is anathema, but the church of Vatican II is riddled with anathema and, were the Council of Trent fathers to reconvene, be condemned instantly according to the infallible tenets decreed as part of the Counter-Reformation. And speaking of reformation, it is the very Protestant evangelicals who are embracing the anathema of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, thinking in their erroneous way, that is the fulfillment of Scripture with the "rebuilding of the Temple" in the "New Jerusalem." They fail to see that the Temple is Christ and the New Jerusalem is the Church He established on earth - the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - the True Church their ancestors bolted from because they felt they had a better idea than God!

    The holy Abbot concludes with these comments on today's Gospel:

       "But what consoling thoughts are suggested by the concluding words of our Gospel! Faithful souls, and you that have repented! listen to what your Jesus says, for it is to you that He speaks: If any many thirst, let him come to Me and drink. Remember the prayer of the Samaritan woman: Give me, O Lord, to drink of this water! This water is divine grace: come and drink your fill at the fountains of your Savior, as the prophet Isaias bids you (Isaias 12: 3). This water gives purity to the souls that are defiled, strength to them that are weak, and love to them that have no fervor. Nay, our Savior assures us that he who believes in Him shall himself become as a fountain of living water, for the Holy Ghost will come upon him, and he shall pour out upon others of the fullness that he himself has received. With what joy must the catechumen have listened to these words, which promised him that his thirst should soon be quenched at the holy font! Jesus has made Himself everything to the world He has come to save: Light to guide us, Bread to nourish us, a Vine to gladden our hearts with its fruit, and, lastly, a Fountain of living water to quench our thirst."

    Wow! All this! What more could one want? And yet so many reject these abundant gifts and choose the swine over the pearls. It makes no sense. Just as the Jews vainly continue their search for the One Who has come and gone, so also so many today search for treasure, using every method at their disposal, often unethical and sinful, to grub for that "gold ring" while failing to realize the greatest treasure is theirs for the asking, if only they, like the king of Ninive, will repent and figuratively put on the proverbial garments of sackcloth and ashes, by partaking of the infirmary of divine Mercy: the confessional, wearing the cloak of humility. That cloak is buoyant by grace and the only way to stay steadily afloat in the flowing rivers of living water.

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

    April 3, 2006
    vol 17, no. 80