February 4, 2008
vol 19, no. 35

"Ohhh say can you see?"

The Verbumquo for Quinquagesima Sunday is "ut videam", which is the combination of the Latin verb videre "to see" with the preposition ut meaning "that" for those were the words of the blind man in today's Gospel who represents all of us. When Jesus passed near him, the blind man's senses of faith, hope and charity came alive and he asked for healing so that he could see the truth. "Domine, ut videam." and because of his motive and sincere heart, Jesus assured him: "Receive thy sight, thy faith hath made thee whole."

Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: This series, which the editor launched last year for Lent, is brought back by popular demand to help readers better reflect on each day during Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday. Today, we provide a hint of what to comes in this series which highlights 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 all 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.

    We have reached the last Sunday of Septuagesima with Quinquagesima Sunday; quinquagesima being the Latin for 50 as in 50 days until Easter. By now we should be in preparation for the penitential season of Lent just three days away. Because of our fallen human nature we are like blind sheep who must depend on a shepherd to lead us. Sadly, too many of these blind sheep will follow anyone. That is why the sheep need to see through the eyes of their hearts and souls where they are truly going. The devil can masquerade as a shepherd and often does, and that is the problem for the sheep, because they have been programmed to believe anything, will often fall prey to the false shepherds' siren.

    Today's Introit emphasizes the need to be protected and, like the blind man, asks God to restore the sight of our souls:
Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias : quoniam firmamentum meum, et refugium meum es tu: et propter nomen tuum dux mihi eris, et enutries me. (Ps. 30. 2). In te, Domine, speravit, non confundar in aeternum: in justitia tua libera me, et eripe me.
Be Thou unto me a God, a Protector, and a place of refuge, to save me; for Thou art my strength and my refuge: and for Thy Name's sake Thou wilt lead me, and nourish me. (Ps. 30. 2). In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded : deliver me in Thy justice, and save me.

    In asking our Lord to be our Protector, Refuge, Strength and Nourisher we are asking His charity. In order to see clearly the narrow path, so that we don't fall we ask God never to allow us to be confused. Wait a second, why did the conciliar church eliminate this Introit? Now we see! So also we can see in today's Epistle the Apostle Paul's entreaty for us to extend the same charity to others for without charity we "become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal", definitely not music to Heaven's ears. And the aberrations that have gone on over the past 50 years is definitely not charity to souls. We urge you to read Paul's powerful words in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 and you'll realize how charity has greatly been twisted to humanism while the soul is led astray, blinded by the world, the flesh and the devil.

    In the Collect we understand another of the senses - hearing as we ask God to "hear" our plea:
Preces nostras, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi : atque a peccatorum vinculis absolutos, ab omni nos adversitate custodi.
Do Thou, we beseech Thee, O Lord mercifully hear our prayers, that we being loosed from the bonds of our sins, may by Thee be defended against all adversity.

    In fact all the senses are proffered in today's liturgy. To hear in the Collect and Gospel, what we speak or sing is highlighted in the Epistle, Tract, and Offertory; touch is also the point of the Gospel for Jesus foretold how He would be scourged and offered up to death before He would rise again. Few heard what He really meant except for the blind man who heard and, because he heard, he wanted to see: ut videam. "Lord, that I may see - "Domine, ut videam".

    The Latin root for videam is videre "to see". Who can forget the words of Julius Caesar "Vici, vidi, vinci"? "I came, I saw, I conquered." From videre we get vision and from this is derived visual and visionary, as well as the English word taken directly from videre: "video" Webster's defines video:

        "TO SEE" - from the Latin videre - "Video. Television. Pertaining to or used in the transmission or reception of the image."

    We can see the transmission of our Lord's grace and power got through to the blind man who, unlike the others, was not fettered with the shackles of the world which so many then and now are weighed down with and dull their senses. Yet today we can also see how satan's lies and deception have gotten through to us modern blind men through television - the devil's tabernacle. Through the passive, subliminal power of television our senses are dulled, our hearts hardened and our souls vulnerable. Contrast that with the blind man in today's Gospel whose senses were much more astute because he could not see at the time - he had not been tainted by the world - and, when the opportunity presented itself, he took advantage of the sensitive nature of his senses to grasp and worthily receive what our Lord could give him: his sight so that he could not only physically see, but help others to see. That is what our duty as children of God, as heirs of Heaven, and members of the Church Militant must do. That is why this Gospel is so important at this time in the Church's Liturgical Year. We must be disciples to carry the Light of Truth so others may see. But we must be prepared. We cannot be without practice and that includes conditioning our bodies and souls. We see this petition to increase our senses for God's purposes in today's Secret:
Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditorum tibi corpora mentesque sanctificer.
May these sacrifices, we beseech Thee, O Lord, cleanse our offenses, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Thy servants for the celebration of this sacrifice.

    The noted Abbot Dom Gueranger writes about Paul's meaning of charity in truly seeing what God wills when he says in part in Volume 4 of The Liturgical Year for Quinquagesima Sunday the following regarding the Epistle:

    "Faith will then give place, for we shall be face to face with all truth [once in Heaven]; hope will have no object, for we shall possess all good; charity alone will continue, and, for this reason, is greater than faith and hope, which must needs accompany her in this present life. This being the glorious destiny reserved for man when redeemed and enlightened by Jesus, is it to be wondered at that we should leave all things, in order to follow such a Master? What should surprise us, and what proves how degraded is our nature by sin, is to see Christians, who have been baptized in this faith and this hope, and have received the first-fruits of this love, indulging, during these days, in every sort of worldliness, which is only the more dangerous because it is fashionable. It would seem as though they were making it their occupation to extinguish within their souls the last ray of heavenly light, like man that had made a covenant with darkness. If there be charity within our souls, it will make us feel these offenses that are committed against our God, and inspire us to pray to Him to have mercy on these poor blind sinners, for they are our brethren."

    Yes, they are our brethren: men like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Abe Foxman, Ted Kennedy, Dan Brown, Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Jane Fonda, Roger Mahony, William Levada, Joseph Ratzinger and Walter Kasper. Speaking of the latter, we wonder how Dom Gueranger's words - so beautiful and Catholic - can be so obscured and twisted, just look at Kasper's words documented in the February 23, 2006 Zenit report:

      The cardinal said that, thanks to the new means of communications, peoples are now closer and "like it or not, in the same boat."

      Separated Christians, noted Cardinal Kasper, "in general no longer consider themselves foreign" or "in competition."

      Rather, they see themselves as "brothers and sisters"; they have realized that "what unites them is much greater than what divides them," he said.

      Cardinal Kasper went on to mention, however, that after a "certain euphoria, as a consequence of the Second Vatican Council, in the last decade there have been signs of exhaustion, disillusion and stagnation" in the ecumenical movement.

      Some observers even talk about "a new ecumenical winter," the cardinal said. The cause of this crisis must be sought above all in the "current questions about identity," because "no one wants to be absorbed by a faceless whole."

      He noted that Vatican II's dogmatic constitution, "Lumen Gentium," and its decree on ecumenism, "Unitatis Redintegratio," declared that "the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church."

      This does not, however, exclude that "beyond the visible structures of the Catholic Church, exist, not only Christians taken individually, but also ecclesial elements that push for unity," Cardinal Kasper said.

      He cited Pope John Paul II's encyclical "Ut Unum Sint": "It is not that beyond the boundaries of the Catholic community there is an ecclesial vacuum."

      "The Holy Spirit is hard at work in the other Churches and ecclesial communities," explained the cardinal.

      "The Catholic Church has been wounded by the divisions of Christianity," he added. What is needed, he said, is an ecumenism that is not "a one-way street but a process of reciprocal learning."

      "The issue is not only the conversion of others but the conversion of everyone to Jesus Christ. Conversion always begins with ourselves," the cardinal said.

      It is not simply the turning of others to the sheepfold of the Catholic Church, but of a common growth, he added, because the "closer we come to Christ, the closer we come to one another."

    What a cavalier attitude about the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. No wonder so many are confused. Can you hear the hiss in Kasper's doublespeak bafflegab? This is definitely not the charity the Apostle Paul speaks of in his Epistle, but rather the lack of charity for souls for in Kasper's words he is eschewing any true love for our neighbor by empowering them in their rejection of the only sure path to Heaven by saying we can all mosey along on the wide path strewn with roses. Let's all get to know one another and who cares about truth. It all depends on what love loves. No, we must, in all charity speak out against these false prophets for the good of their souls and pray for them, friend and foe, that they will hear Christ's words, understand them and be given the vision of truth through the grace God gives to those who seek His holy will. Kasper says "no one wants to be absorbed by a faceless whole", while Jesus our Lord and Redeemer says: "Receive thy sight, thy faith hath made thee whole." Definitely not faceless unless one is void of what God truly wills. In Kasper's words we can see the problem. He cannot see! And yet there it is and has been for the past 40 years: the blind leading the blind!

    The wise Dom Gueranger emphasizes this point in his commentary on the Gospel:

    "God has given us His light; but He gave it to us in order to excite within us the desire of seeing more and more clearly. He promised Abraham, that He would show him the place He had destined for him; may He grant us, also, to see the land of the living! But our first prayer must be, that He show us Himself, as St. Augustine has so beautifully expressed it, that we may love Him, and show us ourselves that we may cease to love ourselves."

    These next three days after Quinquagesima Sunday: Monday in Quinquagesima, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday are the first bookend of Lent leading to the other bookend - the Easter Triduum. These three days are for us our intense preparation time for the holy season of Lent. Are we ready? While the modern church denudes us of the ways to prepare, exposing us to the devil, and while the conciliar church compromises doctrine and worship, de-emphasizing fasting, penance and sacrifice, we who are faithful must seek to decrease so that Christ can increase. Only in that way can we be effective in increasing graces for ourselves and helping others to see. That is true charity. One way to never forget that is to remember that vital fact every time you hear the anthem of the United States, it will serve as a wake up call to remind you to help our fellow man see the truth and convert to the true Faith; a reminder of why there is a Lent, a Holy Thursday, a Good Friday and Easter Sunday. When we intone the first words of our national anthem let it remind us always of the blind man and what we all need to do to increase Faith and make us whole. Pray that those first five words of our anthem will trigger that reminder: "Ohhhh say can you see?"

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

    February 4, 2008
    vol 18, no. 35