Your cross! Don't leave home without it! |
The Verbumquo for today is "periculis", the Latin word for "perils" or "dangers." This is something St. Paul faced all too often in his missionary work. But armed with the armor of God and willingly, even joyously, carrying his cross through it all, he emerged victorious for Christ with a heavenly crown. How can we not emulate that kind of ideal?
Editor, The Daily Catholic
Editor's Note: This is a new series the editor is launching 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 Latin read at the altar and better comprehend the beauty of the Mother tongue. Hopefully in this Time of Septuagesima and Lent 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.
Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic
In the Epistle for Sexagesima Sunday and these Feria days, we read Paul's harrowing escapes in his words to the Corinthians in his Second Book, Chapter eleven and twelve. As our pastor said Sunday in his sermon, this was Paul's "bragging day", so to speak, in which he laid out all the perils and dangers he had faced in bringing the Seed - the Word of God (cf. the Gospel, Luke 8: 11)to the Corinthians, as well as the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, not to mention the Lyconians, Macedonians, and, of course, the Hebrews, of which Paul was a Jew.
Imagine one of their own returning and telling the people that all they had believed was now caput. Just think of how vicious the Novus Ordinarians, especially the elect of the lodges, treat traditional Catholics and you can get a glimpse that this is but a mere inkling of what Paul experienced for his name was known far and wide from the sudden turnaround of the feared and powerful Saul to the fiery, but loving Paul. Surely there were many who had to be curious what happened, how, why, etc. It had to also be a great opening for the Apostle to preach the word - to plant the seed which Christ identifies as the Word of God - Semen est Verbum Dei (Luke 8: 11).
The Latin root for peril is periculum. Webster's defines it as:
"Exposure to risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost; a position of jeopardy; danger."
In reading the specific passage of 2 Corinthians 11: 23-33 in Sunday's, yesterday's and today's Epistle, we can hopefully understand why Paul went through the perils of lashings, starvation, shipwreck, storms, drought, sickness, nakedness, and ostracization when the leaders or people did not want to hear the word. They indeed are the very ones our Lord speaks of in the corresponding Gospel - those who hear the word and fall away.
When those such fall away where do they fall? Right into satan's lap. And there is no greater peril or danger than that! When we read Paul's ensuing words we better understand as should the Corinthians what the real perils were and are. They are not the physical trials he underwent in his travels for the True Faith, they are not the persecutions he suffered, no they are the perils we fall into when we reject the truth of what Christ preached, when we think we have a better idea than the Spirit He left to discern and guide His holy Church. That is when we become the bad seed and ripe for the picking for the devil.
Below is the perils Paul faced as recorded in 2 Corinthians 11: 23-33:
Fratres: Libenter suffertis insipientes : cum sitis ipsi sapientes. Sustinetis enim si quis vos in servitutem redigit, quis vos in servitutem redigit, si uis devorat, si quis accipit, si quis extollitur, si quis in faciem vos caedit. Secundum ignobiliatatem dico, quasi nos infirmi fuermus in hac parte. In quo quis audet (in insipientia dico) audio et ego. Hebraei sunt, et ego : Israeli-sunt, et ego : Semen Abrahae sunt, et ego : Ministri Christi sunt (ut minus sapiens dico) plus ego : in laboribus plurimis, in carceribus abundantius, in plagis supra modum, in mortibus frequenter. A Judaeis quinquies quadragenas, una minus, accepi. Ter virgis caesus sum, semel lapidatus sum, ter naufragium feci, nocte et die in profundo maris fui : in itinerbus saepe periculis fluminum, periculis latorum, periculis ex genere, periculis ex gentibus, periculis in civitate, periculis in solitudine, periculis in mari, periculis in falsis fratribus : in abore et aerumma, in vigiliis multis, in fame et siti, in jejuniis multis, in frigore et nuditate : praeter illa quae extrinsecus sunt, instantia mea quotidiana,, sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum. Quis infirmatur, et ego non infirmor? quis scandalizatur, et ego non uror? Si gloriari Oportet: quae infirmiatis meae sunt, gloriabor. Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui est benedictus in saecula, scit quod non mentior. Damasci praepositus gentis. Aretae regi, custodiebatr civitatem Damascenorum, ut me comprehenderet : et per fenestram in sporta dimissus sum per murum, et sic effugi manus ejus.
Brethren: you gladly suffer the foolish : whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonor, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. They are Hebrews, so am I. They are Israelites, so am I. They are the seed of Abraham, so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise), I am more: in many more labors, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one. Thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea : in journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren : in labor and painfulness, in much watching, in hunger and cold and nakedness; : besides those thing which are without, my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is scandalized, and I am not on fire? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus the governor of the nation under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me : and through a window in a basked was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands.
Paul is not only warning us all of this very real danger that remains ever present, but tells us how to avoid that peril and that is to follow the blueprint he has laid out in his Epistles - priceless treasures that form the reinforcement of the Gospels of Christ.
In the next Chapter, continued in today's Epistle, Paul reveals his own conviction for fear of being boasting he must tell the story but so carefully he describes it for such a mystical experience as he had on the way to Damascus must be impossible to put into words. That is why he refers to it as being "caught up to the third Heaven" which is a way of describing his outer-world encounter with Christ Himself during his three days of blindness when, in effect, he was himself in the tomb from the death of Saul and the rebirth of Paul.
Paul tells us of his greatest peril and that was being buffeted by satan. I dare say the perils of Paul could well surpass the escapades and narrow escapes of the fictional Indiana Jones and before that the Perils of Pauline. These indeed were the Perils of Paul. While we cannot give the devil too much credit or acknowledgment, we should never underestimate his power for he is as powerful as the gloried Archangels Saint Michael, Gabriel and Raphael except now as the fallen angel he, and those foolish ones who followed him, use their powers to destroy. They create peril and danger. Lucifer will torment and twist, deceive with half truths and he is oh so clever as we can see from the way so many millions have been duped over the past 50 years. Divide and conquer is satan's mantra and we must be on our guard. That is why Paul emphasizes the cross as the weapon of faith for that is the weapon Jesus constantly reinforced - "And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth Me, is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10: 38, Luke 14: 27) and "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16: 24, Mark 8: 34, Luke 9: 23) and "One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, follow Me" (Mark 10: 21).
Paul himself identifies the why to the Corinthians right at the outset in 1 Corinthians 1: 17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish is foolishness; but to them who are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God."
Ah yes, the power of God and the engine that runs that power originates at the cross. To think otherwise is total foolishness as Paul states for foolishness he would gladly suffer but being faithful and carrying his cross as God so wills, that is our fuel to move us forward for like Paul, we realize that "My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity" (2 Corinthians 12: 9). Gladly will we also suffer whatever God chooses for us for in adhering to His will and willingly carrying our own daily crosses we can be assured His grace will be sufficent for us. Such power no human can harness no matter what periculis we are subjected to for God is steering souls toward that heavenly port of Paradise. Our mast to hoist our sails and souls: what else? It is your cross! Don't leave home without it!