Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Within the Octave of the Ascension

Ave Maria!

Wednesday before the Ascension is the Vigil.  The Ascension of our Lord is celebrated on the Thursday after the Fifth Sunday after Easter and during the octave following.  In locations where the feasts of the Saints are celebrated, each day of the Octave is commemorated with the collects of the Ascension, the Credo, and the Preface of the Ascension (in Masses lacking a proper preface).  In the Divine Office the commemoration is as follows

Ant. I ascend to my Father * and to your Father: to my God and your God, alleluia.

V. The Lord in heaven, alleluia.
R. Hath prepared his throne, alleluia.

Let us pray:
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Saviour, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.
 

In those locations where the Ascension is celebrated throughout the Octave, the Mass is celebrated as it is on the Ascension, except that on Saturday, the Mass is of the Blessed Mother as Queen of Apostles, and the Sunday Within the Octave has a proper Mass.  The Vigil is not part of the Octave but is given below for completeness.  From Thursday to Thursday, the Psalms of the Office are those of Ascension Thursday. The readings for the Divine Office of the Octave follow:

WednesdayVigil of the Ascension
Lesson i
The continuation of the Holy Gospel accordiong to John
John 17:1-11
X

    At that time Jesus lifted up His Eyes to heaven, and spoke these words: "Father, the hour is come glorify thy Son." Etc.     In illo tempore: Sublevatis Jesus oculis in caelum, dixit: Pater, venit hora, clarifica Filium tuum. Et reliqua.

A homily of Saint Augustine, Bishop.
104th Tract on John (about half way through).

     Our Lord, the Only-begotten and coeternal Son of the Father, was able, if need were, in and from the form of a servant, to pray in silence but He thus manifested Himself in prayer, remembering that He is our Teacher. Thus He made known unto us the prayer which He made for us since He was so great a Master that, not only His discourse to them, but His prayer to the Father for them, is an up-building to His disciples. And if it was so for them who were there to hear, truly it is so for us also for whose instruction it hath been written down.

Homilia sancti Augustini Episcopi
Tractatus 104 in Joanni, sub med.

Poterat Dominus noster, unigenitus et coaeternus Patri, in forma servi, et ex forma servi, si hoc opus esset, orare silentio: sed ita se Patri exhibere voluit precatorem, ut meminisset nostrum se esse doctorem. Proinde eam, quam fecit orationem pro nobis, notam fecit et nobis: quoniam tanti magistri non solum ad ipsos sermocinatio, sed etiam pro ipsis ad Patrem oratio discipulorum est aedificatio: et si illorum, qui haec dicta aderant audituri, profecto et nostra, qui fueramus conscripta lecturi.

Lesson ii
     Wherefore, by these words: "Father, the hour is come glorify thy Son," He shows that all time, and all whatsoever He does, or allows to be done, and the season wherein He will do or allow it, is likewise ordained of Him Who is Himself not subject to time. Yea, all things which were then to come, or are yet to come now, have their raison d'tre in the Wisdom of God, Which is Itself independent of all time. "The hour is come." We must not believe that that hour was brought on by the march of destiny, but was by ordination of God. No stars decreed irresistibly that the time was come for Christ to suffer. God forbid that the stars could decree death for the Creator of the stars,      Quapropter hoc quod ait: Pater, venit hora, clarifica Filium tuum: ostendit, omne tempus, et quid, quando faceret, vel fieri sineret, ab illo esse dispositum, qui tempori subditus non est: quoniam quae futura erant per singula tempora, in Dei sapientia causas efficientes habent, in qua nulla sunt tempora. Non ergo credatur haec hora fato urgente venisse, sed Deo potius ordinante. Nec siderea necessitas Christi connexuit passionem: absit enim ut sidera mori cogerent siderum Conditorem.
Lesson iii
     There are some who think that the glorification of the Son by the Father was that "He spared Him not, but delivered Him up for us all."   But if we say that He was glorified by suffering, how much more shall we say that He was glorified by rising again. While He suffered, His humbleness was more manifested than His glory, as witnessed the Apostle, where he says "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."  Then Paul continues, concerning His glorification, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth and that every tongue should confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."  This is the glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ, that glorification whose first rays dawned on the Resurrection morning.      Clarificatum a Patre Filium nonnulli accipiunt in hoc quod ei non pepercit, sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit eum. Sed si passione clarificatus dicitur, quanto magis resurrectione? Nam in passione magis ejus humilitas, quam claritas commendatur, Apostolo teste, qui dicit: Humiliavit semetipsum, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Deinde sequitur, et de ejus clarificatione jam dicit: Propter quod et Deus illum exaltavit, et donavit ei nomen, quod est super omne nomen: ut in nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, caelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum. Et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. Haec est clarificatio Domini nostri Jesu Christi, quae ab ejus resurrectione sumpsit exordium.

Oration:

Let us pray:
     O God, from Whom all good things do come, grant to us thy humble servants that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Orémus:
     Deus, a quo bona cuncta procédunt, largíre supplícibus tuis: ut cogitémus, te inspiránte, quæ recta sunt; et, te gubernánte, éadem fáciamus. Per Dóminum.
 

Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
Here begins the Acts of the Apostles
Acts 1:1-5

    The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, Until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up.  To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God.   And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth.   For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.     Primum quidem sermonem feci de omnibus, o Theophile, quae cœpit Jesus facere et docere   Usque in diem qua praecipiens Apostolis per Spiritum Sanctum, quos elegit, assumptus est:  Quibus et praebuit seipsum vivum post passionem suam in multis argumentis, per dies quadraginta apparens eis, et loquens de regno Dei.   Et convescens, praecepit eis ab Jerosolymis ne discederent, sed exspectarent promissionem Patris, quam audistis (inquit) per os meum:   Quia Joannes quidem baptizavit aqua, vos autem baptizabimini Spiritu Sancto non post multos hos dies.
Lesson ii
Acts 1:6-9
    They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?   But he said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power:   But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.   And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight.     Igitur qui convenerant, interrogabant eum, dicentes: Domine, si in tempore hoc restitues regnum Israël?   Dixit autem eis: Non est vestrum nosse tempora vel momenta quae Pater posuit in sua potestate:   Sed accipietis virtutem supervenientis Spiritus Sancti in vos, et eritis mihi testes in Jerusalem, et in omni Judaea, et Samaria, et usque ad ultimum terrae.   Et cum haec dixisset, videntibus illis, elevatus est: et nubes suscepit eum ab oculis eorum.
Lesson iii
Act. 1:10-14
    And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is nigh Jerusalem, within a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.     Cumque intuerentur in caelum euntem illum, ecce duo viri astiterunt juxta illos in vestibus albis,   Qui et dixerunt: Viri Galilaei, quid statis aspicientes in caelum? Hic Jesus, qui assumptus est a vobis in caelum, sic veniet quemadmodum vidistis eum euntem in caelum.   Tunc reversi sunt Jerosolymam a monte qui vocatur Oliveti, qui est juxta Jerusalem, sabbati habens iter.   Et cum introissent in cœnaculum, ascenderunt ubi manebant Petrus, et Joannes, Jacobus, et Andreas, Philippus, et Thomas, Bartholomaeus, et Matthaeus, Jacobus Alphaei, et Simon Zelotes, et Judas Jacobi.   Hi omnes erant perseverantes unanimiter in oratione cum mulieribus, et Maria Matre Jesu, et fratribus ejus.
Lesson iv
From the Sermons of Pope St. Leo the Great.
First on the Lord's Ascension.
    After the blessed and glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein the Divine Power raised up in three days the true Temple of God Which the iniquity of the Jews had destroyed  God was pleased to ordain, by His Most Sacred Will, and in His Providence for our instruction and the profit of our souls, a season of forty days which season, dearly beloved brethren, doth end on this day. During that season the bodily Presence of the Lord still lingered on earth, that the reality of the fact of His having risen again from the dead might be armed with all needful proofs. The death of Christ had troubled the hearts of many of His disciples their thoughts were sad when they remembered His agony upon the Cross, His giving up of the Ghost, and the laying in the grave of His lifeless Body, and a sort of hesitation had begun to weigh on them.     Post beatam et gloriosam resurrectionem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qua verum Dei templum Judaica impietate resolutum, divina in triduo potentia suscitavit, quadragenarius hodie, dilectissimi, sanctorum dierum expletus est numerus, sacratissima ordinatione dispositus, et ad utilitatem nostrae eruditionis impensus: ut, dum a Domino in hoc spatio mora praesentiae corporalis extenditur, fides resurrectionis documentis necessariis muniretur. Mors enim Christi multum discipulorum corda turbaverat: et de supplicio crucis, de emissione spiritus, de exanimati corporis sepultura gravatis maestitudine mentibus, quidam diffidentiae torpor obrepserat.
Lesson v
    Hence the most blessed Apostles and all the disciples, who had been fearful at the finishing on the Cross, and doubtful of the trustworthiness of the rising again, were so strengthened by the clear demonstration of the fact, that, when they saw the Lord going up into the height of heaven, they sorrowed not, nay they were even filled with great joy And, in all verity, it was a great an unspeakable cause for joy to see the Manhood, in the presence of that the multitude of believers, exalted above all creatures even heavenly, rising above the ranks of the angelic armies and speeding Its glorious way where the most noble of the Archangels lie far behind, to rest no lower than that place where high above all principality and power, It takes Its seat at the right hand of the Eternal Father, Sharer of His throne, and Partaker of His glory, and still of the very man's nature which the Son hath taken upon Him.     Unde beatissimi Apostoli, omnesque discipuli, qui et de exitu crucis fuerant trepidi, et de fide resurrectionis ambigui, ita sunt veritate perspicua roborati, ut, Domino in caelorum eunte sublimia, non solum nulla afficerentur tristitia, sed etiam magno gaudio replerentur. Et revera magna et ineffabilis erat causa gaudendi, cum in conspectu sanctae multitudinis super omnium creaturarum caelestium dignitatem humani generis natura conscenderet, supergressura Angelicos ordines, et ultra Archangelorum altitudines elevanda: nec ullis sublimitatibus modum suae provectionis habitura, nisi aeterni Patris recepta consessu, illius gloriae sociaretur in throno, cujus naturae copulabatur in Filio.
Lesson vi
    Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us also rejoice with worthy joy, for the Ascension of Christ is exaltation for us, and whither the glory of the Head of the Church is passed in, thither is the hope of the body of the Church called on to follow. Let us rejoice with exceeding great joy, and give God glad thanks. This day is not only the possession of Paradise made sure unto us, but in the Person of our Head we are actually begun to enter into the heavenly mansions above. Through the unspeakable goodness of Christ we have gained more than ever we lost by the envy of the devil. We, whom our venomous enemy thrust from our first happy home, we, being made of one body with the Son of God, have by Him been given a place at the right hand of the Father with Whom He lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.     Quia igitur Christi ascensio, nostra provectio est; et quo praecessit gloria capitis, eo spes vocatur et corporis: dignis, dilectissimi, exsultemus gaudiis, et pia gratiarum actione laetemur. Hodie enim non solum paradisi possessores firmati sumus, sed etiam caelorum in Christo superna penetravimus; ampliora adepti per ineffabilem Christi gratiam, quam per diaboli amiseramus invidiam. Nam quos virulentus inimicus primi habitaculi felicitate dejecit, eos sibi concorporatos Dei Filius ad dexteram Patris collocavit: cum quo vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20

X
    At that time, Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

A Homily by Pope Saint Gregory the Great
29th on the Gospels

    I may be allowed to say that the disciples' slowness to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, was not so much their weakness as our strength. In consequence of their doubts, the fact of the Resurrection was demonstrated by many infallible proofs. These proofs we read and acknowledge. What then assures our faith, if not their doubt? For my part, I put my trust in Thomas, who doubted long, much more than in Mary Magdalene, who believed at once. Through his doubting, he came actually to handle the holes of the Wounds, and thereby closed up any wound of doubt in our hearts.

    In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Homilia 29. in Evangelia.

    Quod resurrectionem Dominicam discipuli tarde crediderunt, non tam illorum infirmitas, quam nostra, ut ita dicam, futura firmitas fuit. Ipsa namque resurrectio illis dubitantibus per multa argumenta monstrata est: quae dum nos legentes agnoscimus, quid aliud quam de illorum dubitatione solidamur? Minus enim mihi Maria Magdalene praestitit, quae citius credidit, quam Thomas, qui diu dubitavit. Ille etenim dubitando, vulnerum cicatrices tetigit, et de nostro pectore dubitationis vulnus amputavit.

Lesson viii
     Now confirm to our minds the trustworthiness of the fact that our Lord did indeed rise again from the dead, it is well for us to remark one of the statements of Luke "Eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem" and a little afterward: "While they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Consider these words, note well these mysteries. After "eating together with them He was taken up." He ate and ascended: that the fact of His eating might show the reality of the Body in Which He went up. But Mark tells us that before the Lord ascended into heaven, He upbraided His disciples; with their unbelief and hardness of heart. From this I know not why we should gather, but that the Lord then upbraided His disciples, for whom He was about to be parted in the body, to the end that the words which He spoke unto them as He left them might be the deeper imprinted on their hearts.      Ad insinuandam quoque veritatem Dominicae resurrectionis, notandum nobis est quid Lucas referat, dicens: Convescens praecepit eis ab Jerosolymis ne discederent. Et post pauca: Videntibus illis elevatus est, et nubes suscepit eum ab oculis eorum.Notate verba, signate mysteria. Convescens elevatus est. Comedit, et ascendit: ut videlicet per effectum comestionis, veritas patesceret carnis. Marcus vero, priusquam caelum Dominus ascendat, eum de cordis atque infidelitatis duritia increpasse discipulos memorat. Qua in re quid considerandum est, nisi quod idcirco Dominus tunc discipulos increpavit, cum eos corporaliter reliquit, ut verba, quae recedens diceret, in corde audientium arctius impressa remanerent?
Lesson ix
    When then, He had rebuked the hardness of their heart, what command did He give them? Let us hear. "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." Was the Holy Gospel, then my brethren, to be preached to thing insensate, or to brute beasts, that the Lord said to His disciples: "Preach the Gospel to every creature"? Nay, but by the words "every creature" we must understand man, in whom are combined qualities of all creatures. Being he hath in common with stones, life in common with trees, feeling in common with beasts, understanding in common with angels. If, then, man hath something in common with every creature, man is to a certain extent every creature. The Gospel, then, if it be preached to man only, is preached to every creature.     Increpata igitur eorum duritia, quid admonendo dicat, audiamus: Euntes in mundum universum, praedicate Evangelium omni creaturae. Numquid, fratres mei, sanctum Evangelium vel insensatis rebus, vel brutis animalibus fuerat praedicandum, ut de eo discipulis dicatur: Praedicate omni creaturae? Sed omnis creaturae nomine signatur homo.  Omnis autem creaturae aliquid habet homo. Habet namque commune esse cum lapidibus, vivere cum arboribus, sentire cum animalibus, intelligere cum Angelis. Si ergo commune habet aliquid cum omni creatura homo, juxta aliquid omnis creatura est homo. Omni ergo creaturae praedicatur Evangelium, cum soli homini praedicatur.
Oration:
Let us pray:
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Savior, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.    Through the same.
Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.  Per eúmdem.

Friday after Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
Here begins the second Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle

2 Peter 1:1-4

     Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained equal faith with us in the justice of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.   Grace to you and peace be accomplished in the knowledge of God and of Christ Jesus our Lord:   As all things of his divine power which appertain to life and godliness, are given us, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own proper glory and virtue.   By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world.

     Simon Petrus, servus et Apostolus Jesu Christi, iis qui coaequalem nobiscum sortiti sunt fidem in justitia Dei nostri, et Salvatoris Jesu Christi.   Gratia vobis, et pax adimpleatur in cognitione Dei, et Christi Jesu Domini nostri:   Quomodo omnia nobis divinae virtutis suae, quae ad vitam et pietatem donata sunt, per cognitionem ejus, qui vocavit nos propria gloria, et virtute,   Per quem maxima, et pretiosa nobis promissa donavit: ut per haec efficiamini divinae consortes naturae: fugientes ejus, quae in mundo est, concupiscentiae corruptionem.
Lesson ii
2 Pet 1:5-9
     And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge;   And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness;   And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity.   For if these things be with you and abound, they will make you to be neither empty nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.   For he that hath not these things with him, is blind, and groping, having forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.      Vos autem curam omnem subinferentes, ministrate in fide vestra virtutem, in virtute autem scientiam,   In scientia autem abstinentiam, in abstinentia autem patientiam, in patientia autem pietatem,   In pietate autem amorem fraternitatis, in amore autem fraternitatis caritatem.   Haec enim si vobiscum adsint, et superent, non vacuos nec sine fructu vos constituent in Domini nostri Jesu Christi cognitione.   Cui enim non praesto sunt haec, caecus est, et manu tentans, oblivionem accipiens purgationis veterum suorum delictorum.

Lesson iii
2 Pet 1:10-15

     Wherefore, brethren, labor the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.   For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   For which cause I will begin to put you always in remembrance of these things: though indeed you know them, and are confirmed in the present truth.   But I think it meet as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.   Being assured that the laying away of this my tabernacle is at hand, according as our Lord Jesus Christ also hath signified to me.   And I will endeavor, that you frequently have after my decease, whereby you may keep a memory of these things.      Quapropter fratres, magis satagite ut per bona opera certam vestram vocationem, et electionem faciatis: haec enim facientes, non peccabitis aliquando.  Sic enim abundanter ministrabitur vobis introitus in aeternum regnum Domini nostri et Salvatoris Jesu Christi.   Propter quod incipiam vos semper commonere de his: et quidem scientes et confirmatos vos in praesenti veritate.   Justum autem arbitror quamdiu sum in hoc tabernaculo, suscitare vos in commonitione:   Certus quod velox est depositio tabernaculi mei secundum quod et Dominus noster Jesus Christus significavit mihi.   Dabo autem operam et frequenter habere vos post obitum meum, ut horum memoriam faciatis.

Lesson iv
From the Sermons of Pope Saint Leo the Great.
2nd for the Lord's Ascension.

     Dearly beloved brethren, that mysterious thing, our salvation, which the Maker of the universe thought worth purchasing with His Own Precious Blood, was aimed at by Him, in the dispensation of His humility, from the hour wherein He was born as touching the flesh, till the moment when, at the end of the Passion, He cried on the Cross: "It is finished." Although from under the form of a servant many marks of His Godhead shone forth, yet, as a whole, the work of those three-and-thirty years was to manifest the verity of the Manhood Which the Son of God had taken into Himself. But when the suffering was all over, and the bands of death were broken, (that death which had lost all his power by seeking to bind Him Who knew no sin,) then was weakness changed into strength, mortality into immortality, insult into that glory which the Lord Jesus Christ, on so many occasions, made manifest by so many and infallible proofs, until the day came when that triumphant procession of victory, which He had led from the realms of shattered death, followed Him with unimaginable pomp into the heavens.      Sacramentum, dilectissimi salutis nostrae, quam pretio sanguinis sui universitatis Conditor aestimavit, a die corporalis ortus usque ad exitum passionis, per dispensationem humilitatis impletum est. Et licet multa, etiam in forma servi, divinitatis signa radiaverint: proprie tamen illius temporis actio ad demonstrandam suscepti hominis pertinuit veritatem. Post passionem vero ruptis mortis vinculis, quae vim suam in eum, qui peccati erat nescius, incedendo perdiderat; infirmitas in virtutem, mortalitas in immortalitatem, contumelia transivit in gloriam: quam Dominus Jesus Christus in multis manifestisque documentis, multorum declaravit aspectibus, donec triumphum victoriae, quem reportarat a mortuis, inferret et caelis.
Lesson v
      On the solemn Feast of the Passover the cause of our joy was that Christ was risen again. This day we rejoice because that He is ascended up into heaven. We call to mind and justly celebrate that day whereon our lowly nature was, in the Person of Christ, borne up high above all the heavenly armies, above all the circles of Angels, beyond the heights of all the Powers, even to where Christ is sitting on the right hand of the Father. Our foundations are laid, and our house is built upon this succession of the works of God and His grace is made more wonderful by this, that, though the visible Object of worship is removed from among men, the faith of the Church doth not grow weak, nor her hope wavering, nor her love cold.       Sicut ergo in solemnitate paschali resurrectio Domini fuit nobis causa laetandi: ita ascensio ejus in caelos praesentium nobis est materia gaudiorum, recolentibus illum diem, et rite venerantibus, quo naturae nostrae humilitas in Christo super omnem caeli militiam, super omnes ordines Angelorum, et ultra omnium altitudinem potestatum, ad Dei Patris est provecta consessum. Quo ordine operum divinorum nos fundati, nos aedificati sumus: ut mirabilior fieret gratia Dei, cum remotis a conspectu hominum, quae merito reverentiam sui sentiebantur indicere, fides non deficeret, spes non fluctuaret, caritas non teperet.

Lesson vi

      It is the back-bone of a strong mind and the eye of a trusty soul, to believe unhesitatingly that which is not seen with the bodily eyes, and to centre all love where there can be no experimental knowledge. This it is which is the only thing we can have of godliness for how could a man be justified through faith, if the saving objects were objects of sight There was a man who would not believe in the Resurrection of Christ until he had examined by sight, and touched the marks of the Passion in the Divine Body, and the Lord said to him Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."      Magnarum hic vigor est mentium, et valde fidelium lumen est animarum, incunctanter credere, quae corporeo non videntur intuitu, et ibi figere desiderium, quo nequeas inferre conspectum. Haec autem pietas unde in nostris cordibus nasceretur, aut quomodo quisquam justificaretur per fidem, si in iis tantum salus nostra consisteret, quae obtutibus subjacerent? Unde et illi viro, qui de resurrectione Christi videbatur ambigere, nisi in ipsius carne vestigia passionis et visu explorasset et tactu: Quia vidisti me, inquit Dominus, credidisti: beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20

X

     At that time: Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great.
From the same Homily 29.

     "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be damned." Perchance some man will say within himself: "I have already believed, and therefore I shall be saved." Thou hast well said, if thou showest thy faith by thy works. He only hath a true faith whose life doth not give the lie to his confession. Hence it is that Paul said, touching some who were falsely faithful: "They profess that they know God but in works they deny Him."  And John likewise said: "He that says, I know Him and keep not His commandments, is a liar."

     In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

De Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Ex eadem Homilia 29.

     Qui crediderit, et baptizatus fuerit, salvus erit: qui vero non crediderit, condemnabitur. Fortasse unusquisque apud semetipsum dicat: Ego jam credidi, salvus ero. Verum dicit, si fidem operibus tenet. Vera etenim fides est, quae in hoc, quod verbis dicit, moribus non contradicit. Hinc est enim quod de quibusdam falsis fidelibus Paulus dicit: Qui confitentur se nosse Deum, factis autem negant. Hinc Joannes ait: Qui dicit se nosse Deum, et mandata ejus non custodit, mendax est.

Lesson viii
     It is to our lives, then, that we must look for proof of the reality of our faith. Then only are we truly Christ's faithful people when our works are the fulfillment of our profession. The day when we were baptized we bound ourselves to renounce all the works of the old enemy, and all his pomps. Therefore let every one of you now turn his inward eye upon his own behavior, and if, since his baptism, he hath kept that promise which he made before it, let him know that he is in very truth one of Christ's faithful ones and let him rejoice. Quod cum ita sit, fidei nostrae veritatem in vitae nostrae consideratione debemus agnoscere. Tunc enim veraciter fideles sumus, si quod verbis promittimus, operibus complemus. In die quippe baptismatis, omnibus nos antiqui hostis operibus, atque omnibus pompis abrenuntiare promisimus. Itaque unusquisque vestrum ad considerationem suam mentis oculos reducat; et si servat post baptismum, quod ante baptismum spopondit, certus jam, quia fidelis est, gaudeat.
Lesson ix
     But if he hath utterly broken his promise, if he hath fallen away to work iniquity, and to lust after the pomps of the world, let us see if he now knows how to weep over his backsliding. By the merciful Judge that man is not punished as a perjurer who in the end tells the truth, even though he hath first lied. Because Almighty God doth, in His tender kindness, so receive our contrition, that, in His judgment, He declares us not guilty of that which we have done amiss.      Sed ecce, si quod promisit, minime servavit, si ad exercenda prava opera, ad concupiscendas mundi pompas dilapsus est: videamus, si jam scit plangere, quod erravit. Apud misericordem namque judicem nec ille fallax habetur, qui ad veritatem revertitur, etiam postquam mentitur: quia omnipotens Deus, dum libenter nostram poenitentiam suscipit, ipse suo judicio hoc, quod erravimus, abscondit.
Oration:

Let us pray.
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Saviour, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.  Through the same.

Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.  Per eúmdem.

 

Saturday after Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
From the second Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle
2 Peter 3:1-7
     Behold this second epistle I write to you, my dearly beloved, in which I stir up by way of admonition your sincere mind:   That you may be mindful of those words which I told you before from the holy prophets, and of your apostles, of the precepts of the Lord and Savior.   Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts,   Saying: Where is his promise or his coming? for since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.   For this they are willfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God.   Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.   But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men.      Hanc ecce vobis, carissimi, secundam scribo epistolam, in quibus vestram excito in commonitione sinceram mentem:   Ut memores sitis eorum, quae praedixi, verborum, a sanctis prophetis et apostolorum vestrorum, praeceptorum Domini et Salvatoris.   Hoc primum scientes, quod venient in novissimis diebus in deceptione illusores, juxta proprias concupiscentias ambulantes,   Dicentes: Ubi est promissio, aut adventus ejus? ex quo enim patres dormierunt, omnia sic perseverant ab initio creaturae.   Latet enim eos hoc volentes, quod caeli erant prius, et terra de aqua, et per aquam consistens Dei verbo:   Per quae, ille tunc mundus aqua inundatus, periit.   Caeli autem, qui nunc sunt, et terra eodem verbo repositi sunt, igni reservati in diem judicii, et perditionis impiorum hominum.

Lesson ii
2 Pet 3:8-13

     But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.   The Lord delays not his promise, as some imagine, but deals patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.   But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up.  Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness?   Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat?   But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwells.      Unum vero hoc non lateat vos, carissimi, quia unus dies apud Dominum sicut mille anni, et mille anni sicut dies unus.   Non tardat Dominus promissionem suam, sicut quidam existimant: sed patienter agit propter vos, nolens aliquos perire, sed omnes ad pœnitentiam reverti.  Adveniet autem dies Domini ut fur: in quo caeli magno impetu transient, elementa vero calore solventur, terra autem et quae in ipsa sunt opera, exurentur.  Cum igitur haec omnia dissolvenda sint, quales oportet vos esse in sanctis conversationibus, et pietatibus,  Exspectantes, et properantes in adventum diei Domini, per quem caeli ardentes solventur, et elementa ignis ardore tabescent?  Novos vero caelos, et novam terram secundum promissa ipsius exspectamus, in quibus justitia habitat.
Lesson iii
2 Pet 3:14-18
     Wherefore, dearly beloved, waiting for these things, be diligent that you may be found before him unspotted and blameless in peace.   And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you:   As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.   You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and unto the day of eternity. Amen.      Propter quod, carissimi, haec exspectantes, satagite immaculati, et inviolati ei inveniri in pace:   Et Domini nostri longanimitatem, salutem arbitremini: sicut et carissimus frater noster Paulus secundum datam sibi sapientiam scripsit vobis,   Sicut et omnibus epistolis, loquens in eis de his in quibus sunt quaedam difficilia intellectu, quae indocti et instabiles depravant, sicut et ceteras Scripturas, ad suam ipsorum perditionem.   Vos igitur fratres, praescientes custodite, ne insipientium errore traducti excidatis a propria firmitate:   Crescite vero in gratia, et in cognitione Domini nostri, et Salvatoris Jesu Christi. Ipsi gloria et nunc, et in diem aeternitatis. Amen.
Lesson iv
From the Sermons of Pope St Leo the Great.
2nd on the Ascension.
     And so the seen Presence of our Redeemer in the Body was changed for an unseen Presence in the Sacraments, and hearing was given to the Church in place of seeing, that her faith, rightly so called, might be the more victorious and steadfast and that teaching, which the hearts of all her children are called on to hear, is a teaching enlightened by rays from heaven. This faith, strengthened by the Ascension of the Lord, and established by the gift of the Holy Ghost, neither bonds, nor imprisonment, nor exile, nor famine, nor fire, nor savage beasts, nor those forms of death, fine wrought in cruelty, wherein they that persecute us are well skilled, have been able to scare. For this faith there have striven throughout the whole world, even unto the out-pouring of their blood, not men only, but women also, not little lads only, but tender maidens. This is the faith which hath cast out devils, healed diseases, raised the dead.      Quod itaque Redemptoris nostri conspicuum fuit, in sacramenta transivit: et ut fides excellentior esset ac firmior, visioni doctrina successit, cujus auctoritatem supernis illuminata radiis credentium corda sequerentur. Hanc fidem ascensione Domini auctam, et Spiritus Sancti munere roboratam, non vincula, non carceres, non exsilia, non fames, non ignis, non laniatus ferarum, nec exquisita persequentium crudelitatibus supplicia terruerunt. Pro hac fide per universum mundum non solum viri, sed etiam feminae: nec tantum impubes pueri, sed etiam tenerae virgines usque ad effusionem sui sanguinis decertarunt. Haec fides daemonia ejecit, aegritudines depulit, mortuos suscitavit.
Lesson v
     Hence even the blessed Apostles themselves, who had been comforted by so many miracles and taught by so many discourses, were sickened by the horrors of their Lord's Passion, and received but doubtfully the assurance of His Resurrection, till after the Lord's Ascension and then fared on so bravely, that all that had been fearful to them before became joyful then. The reason was that they had lifted up all their mind to think of the Godhead of Him Who sits at the right hand of the Father. They asked no longer for a seen Presence, when their spiritual eye had caught the fact that, even as, when He had come down to earth, He had not left His Father, so now that He was gone up into heaven, He had not left His disciples. So then it was, dearly beloved brethren, that the Son of man more excellently and more sacredly revealed Himself as the Son of God, when He had withdrawn Himself again into that glory which He had with the Father before the world was. In some unspeakable way He began to be more present, as touching His Godhead, when He removed Himself farther from us, as touching His Manhood.      Unde et ipsi beati Apostoli, qui tot miraculis confirmati, tot sermonibus eruditi atrocitatem tamen Dominicae passionis expaverant, et veritatem resurrectionis ejus non sine haesitatione susceperant, tantum de ascensione Domini profecerunt, ut quidquid illis prius intulerat metum, verteretur in gaudium. Totam enim contemplationem animi in divinitatem ad Patris dexteram considentis erexerant: nec jam corporeae visionis tardabantur objectu, quo minus in id aciem mentis intenderent, quod nec a Patre descendendo abfuerat, nec a discipulis ascendendo discesserat. Tunc igitur, dilectissimi, filius hominis, Dei Filius excellentius sacratiusque innotuit, cum in Paternae majestatis gloriam se recepit: et ineffabili modo coepit esse divinitate praesentior, qui factus est humanitate longinquior.
Lesson vi
     Then it was that a better instructed faith began intellectually to approach the idea of a Son equal to the Father, and no longer to need to handle in Christ the bodily Matter, Which is of a nature as touching which He is inferior to the Father since, Its nature still remaining in the glorified Body, the faith of believers was summoned to that place where the Only-Begotten Son, Who is equal to the Father, is felt, not by the application of a bodily hand, but by the effort of a spiritually minded intellect. Hence it was that after His Resurrection, when Mary Magdalene, (in whom was there represented the Person of the whole Church,) wished to handle the Lord, He said " Touch Me not for I am not yet ascended to My Father" that is 'I will no more that thy nearness to Me should be a nearness of body to Body, nor that thine experience of Me should henceforward be one proceeding from fleshly experiment for that, I appoint thee an higher world, I make ready for thee a nobler form of it than this after that I have ascended to My Father, a time will come when thou shall indeed touch Me, but after a manner more perfect, more real than this, even a time when thou shall lay hold on that which thou touch not now, and believe that which thou see not now.'      Tunc ad aequalem Patri Filium eruditior fides gressu mentis coepit accedere, et contrectatione in Christo corporeae substantiae, qua Patre minor est, non egere: quoniam glorificati corporis manente natura, eo fides credentium vocabatur, ubi non carnali manu, sed spiritali intellectu par Genitori Unigenitus tangeretur. Hinc illud est, quod post resurrectionem suam Dominus Mariae Magdalenae, personam Ecclesiae gerenti, cum ad contactum ipsius properaret accedere, dicit: Noli me tangere, nondum enim ascendi ad Patrem meum: hoc est, Nolo ut ad me corporaliter venias, nec ut me sensu carnis agnoscas: ad sublimiora te differo, majora tibi praeparo: cum ad Patrem ascendero, tunc me perfectius veriusque palpabis, apprehensura quod non tangis, et creditura quod non cernis.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20
X
     At that time Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

A homily of Pope Saint Gregory the Great.
From the same Homily 29

     "And these signs shall follow them that believe In My Name they shall cast out devils they shall speak with new tongues they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." My brethren, these signs do not follow us. Do we, then, not believe Nay. The truth is, these things were needful when the Church was young. That she might grow by the increase of the faithful, she needed to be nourished with miracles. Even so we, when we plant a young tree, continually water and tend it till we see that it hath taken firm root in the earth but when once it hath taken firm root, it can grow of itself. Hence, Paul says of tongues " Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not."

     In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

De Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Ex eadem Homilia 29.

     Signa autem eos qui credituri sunt, haec sequentur. In nomine meo daemonia ejicient, linguis loquentur novis, serpentes tollent: et si mortiferum quid biberint, non eis nocebit: super aegros manus imponent, et bene habebunt. Numquidnam, fratres mei, quia ista signa non facitis, minime creditis? Sed haec necessaria in exordio Ecclesiae fuerunt. Ut enim ad fidem cresceret multitudo credentium, miraculis fuerat nutrienda: quia et nos, cum arbusta plantamus, tamdiu eis aquam infundimus, quousque ea in terra jam coaluisse videamus: et si semel radicem fixerint, irrigatio cessabit. Hinc est enim, quod Paulus dicit: Linguae in signum sunt non fidelibus, sed infidelibus.

Lesson viii
     We have a deeper matter of thought touching these signs and mighty works. It is the work of the holy Church to do every day spiritually that which the Apostles then did carnally. When her Priests, armed with the power of exorcism, lay their hands upon believers, and command evil spirits to dwell no longer in their souls, what is it they do but cast out devils When Christ's faithful people themselves give up the language of their old life, and speak the wonderful works of God, the glory and power of their Maker, telling of them with all their strength, what is it they do then but speak with new tongues When either the one or the other doth by his exhortation charm the wickedness out of his neighbor's heart, what is it he doth but take up serpents      Habemus de his signis atque virtutibus, quae adhuc subtilius considerare debeamus. Sancta quippe Ecclesia quotidie spiritaliter facit, quod tunc per Apostolos corporaliter faciebat. Nam sacerdotes ejus cum per exorcismi gratiam manum credentibus imponunt, et habitare malignos spiritus in eorum mente contradicunt, quid aliud faciunt, nisi daemonia ejiciunt? Et fideles quique, qui jam vitae veteris saecularia verba derelinquunt, sancta autem mysteria insonant, Conditoris sui laudes et potentiam quantum praevalent, narrant: quid aliud faciunt, nisi novis linguis loquuntur? Qui dum bonis suis exhortationibus malitiam de alienis cordibus auferunt, serpentes tollunt.
Lesson ix
     When they hear the voice of temptation inviting to deadly sin, but are not drawn thereby to work iniquity, do they not then drink a deadly thing, and it doth not hurt them As often as they see their neighbor fainting in well-doing, and run to help him with all their might, so that their example braces the feeble life of the waverer, what do they but lay hands on the sick and they recover And indeed, such miracles as these are the greatest miracles, which are spiritual the greatest, for they bring health, not to the dying body, but to the immortal soul.      Et dum pestiferas suasiones audiunt, sed tamen ad operationem pravam minime pertrahuntur, mortiferum quidem est quod bibunt, sed non eis nocebit. Qui quoties proximos suos in bono opere infirmari conspiciunt, dum eis tota virtute concurrunt, et exemplo suae operationis illorum vitam roborant, qui in propria actione titubant: quid aliud faciunt, nisi super aegros manus imponunt, ut bene habeant? Quae nimirum miracula tanto majora sunt, quanto spiritalia: tanto majora sunt, quanto per haec non corpora, sed animae suscitantur.
Oration:
Let us pray.
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Saviour, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.  Through the same.
Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.  Per eúmdem.
 

Sunday after Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
From the first Epistle of blessed John the Apostle
1 John 1:1-5
     That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life:  For the life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and has appeared to us:   That which we have seen and have heard, we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship may be with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.   And these things we write to you, that you may rejoice, and your joy may be full.   And this is the declaration which we have heard from Him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in Him there is no darkness.      Quod fuit ab initio, quod audivimus, quod vidimus oculis nostris, quod perspeximus, et manus nostrae contrectaverunt de verbo vitae: Et vita manifestata est, et vidimus, et testamur, et annuntiamus vobis vitam aeternam, quae erat apud Patrem, et apparuit nobis: Quod vidimus et audivimus, annuntiamus vobis, ut et vos societatem habeatis nobiscum, et societas nostra sit cum Patre, et cum Filio ejus Jesu Christo.   Et haec scribimus vobis ut gaudeatis, et gaudium vestrum sit plenum.   Et haec est annuntiatio, quam audivimus ab eo, et annuntiamus vobis: Quoniam Deus lux est, et tenebrae in eo non sunt ullae.

Lesson ii
John 1:6-10

     If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.   But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.   If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.      Si dixerimus quoniam societatem habemus cum eo, et in tenebris ambulamus, mentimur, et veritatem non facimus.   Si autem in luce ambulamus sicut et ipse est in luce, societatem habemus ad invicem, et sanguis Jesu Christi, Filii ejus, emundat nos ab omni peccato.   Si dixerimus quoniam peccatum non habemus, ipsi nos seducimus, et veritas in nobis non est.   Si confiteamur peccata nostra: fidelis est, et justus, ut remittat nobis peccata nostra, et emundet nos ab omni iniquitate.  Si dixerimus quoniam non peccavimus, mendacem facimus eum, et verbum ejus non est in nobis.

Lesson iii
1 John 2:1-6

     My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just:   And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.   And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments.   He who says that he knows Him, and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.   But he that keeps His word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected; and by this we know that we are in Him.   He that says that he abides in Him, ought himself also to walk, even as He walked. Filioli mei, haec scribo vobis, ut non peccetis. Sed et si quis peccaverit, advocatum habemus apud Patrem, Jesum Christum justum:   Et ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris: non pro nostris autem tantum, sed etiam pro totius mundi.   Et in hoc scimus quoniam cognovimus eum, si mandata ejus observemus.   Qui dicit se nosse eum, et mandata ejus non custodit, mendax est, et in hoc veritas non est.   Qui autem servat verbum ejus, vere in hoc caritas Dei perfecta est: et in hoc scimus quoniam in ipso sumus.   Qui dicit se in ipso manere, debet, sicut ille ambulavit, et ipse ambulare.

Lesson iv
From the Sermons of St. Augustine, Bishop.
2nd on the Ascension.

     Dearly beloved brethren, our Savior is gone up from us into heaven, but let us not be troubled on earth. Let only our heart be there with Him, and we shall have peace here. Let us in heart thither ascend with Christ in the meanwhile, and when that glad day which He hath promised comes, our body will follow. But we must know, my brethren, that there are some things that cannot ascend with Christ. Pride cannot, nor covetousness, nor brutishness, no one of our diseases can ascend thither where our Healer is. And, therefore, if we would follow our Healer, we must leave our diseases and sins behind us. All such things tie us down, as it were, with bands, and hamper us in the meshes of a net of sins but, with God's help, we will say with the Psalmist: "Let us break their bands asunder," that we may be able honestly to say to the Lord: "Thou hast loosed my bonds, I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving.”      Salvator noster, dilectissimi fratres, ascendit in caelum: non ergo turbemur in terra. Ibi sit mens, et hic erit requies. Ascendamus cum Christo interim corde: cum dies ejus promissus advenerit, sequemur et corpore. Scire tamen debemus, fratres, quia cum Christo non ascendit superbia, non avaritia, non luxuria: nullum vitium nostrum ascendit cum medico nostro. Et ideo si post medicum desideramus ascendere, debemus vitia et peccata deponere. Omnes enim quasi quibusdam compedibus nos premunt, et peccatorum nos retibus ligare contendunt: et ideo cum Dei adjutorio, secundum quod ait Psalmista: Dirumpamus vincula eorum: ut securi possimus dicere Domino: Dirupisti vincula mea, tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis.
Lesson v
     The Resurrection of the Lord is our hope, the Ascension of the Lord is our glorification. Today we keep the solemn holiday of the Ascension. If, therefore, our keeping of this holiday is to be a right, faithful, earnest, holy, godly keeping, we must in mind likewise ascend, and lift up our hearts unto the Lord. When we ascend we must not be high-minded, nor flatter ourselves with our good works, as though they were our own. We must lift up our hearts unto the Lord. When man's heart is lifted up, but not unto the Lord, such lifting-up is pride to lift up the heart unto the Lord, is to make the Most High our Refuge. Behold, my brethren, a great wonder. God is high, but if thou art lifted up He flees from thee, whereas, if thou humblest thyself, He cometh down to thee. Wherefore? "The Lord is high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly but the proud He knows from afar."  To the lowly He has respect, that He may raise them up; the proud He knows from afar, that He may thrust them down.      Resurrectio Domini spes nostra est: ascensio Domini glorificatio nostra est. Ascensionis hodie solemnia celebramus. Si ergo recte, si fideliter, si devote, si sancte, si pie ascensionem Domini celebramus, ascendamus cum illo, et sursum corda habeamus. Ascendentes autem non extollamur, nec de nostris, quasi de propriis meritis praesumamus. Sursum autem corda habere debemus ad Dominum. Sursum enim cor non ad Dominum, superbia vocatur: sursum autem cor ad Dominum, refugium vocatur. Videte, fratres, magnum miraculum. Altus est Deus, erigis te, et fugit a te humilias te, et descendit ad te. Quare hoc? Quia excelsus est, et humilia respicit, et alta de longe cognoscit. Humilia de proximo respicit, ut attollat: alta, id est, superba, de longe cognoscit, ut deprimat.
Lesson vi
     Christ arose again, to give us hope that this mortal will yet put on immortality. He hath assured against hopeless death, and against the thought that death ends life. We were troubled, eyen as touching the soul but Christ, arising from the grave, has assured to us the resurrection of the body also. Believe therefore, that thou may be made pure. First it behoves thee to believe, if by faith thou would in the end worthily see God. And would thou see God, give ear to His own words " Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."  Think first, then, how to purify thine heart; take from it whatsoever thou see in it which displeases God.      Resurrexit enim Christus ut spem nobis daret, quia surgit homo, qui moritur; ne moriendo desperaremus, et vitam nostram in morte finitam putaremus, securos nos fecit. Solliciti enim eramus de ipsa anima: et ille nobis resurgendo, de carnis resurrectione fiduciam dedit. Crede ergo, ut munderis. Prius te oportet credere, ut postea per fidem Deum merearis aspicere. Deum enim videre vis? Audi ipsum: Beati mundo corde: quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Prius ergo cogita de corde mundando: quidquid ibi vides, quod displicet Deo, tolle. Venire ad te vult Deus, audi ipsum dicentem: Ego et Pater veniemus, et mansionem apud eum faciemus.

Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
John 15:26-27; 16:1-4
X

     At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: When the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. Etc..

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
Tract 92 John.

     The Lord Jesus, in that discourse which He addressed to His disciples after the Last Supper, when He was on the very eve of the Passion, when He was, as it were, about to go away and leave them as touching His bodily Presence, albeit as touching His spiritual Presence, He is with us always even unto the end of the world, in that discourse He exhorted them to bear patiently the persecution of wicked men, of whom He speaks as "the world", out of which world, nevertheless, He said that He had chosen even His disciples themselves, that they might know that it was by the grace of God that they were what they were,  whereas it was by their own sins that they had been what they had been.

      In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Cum venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me. Et reliqua.

Homilia sancti Augustini Episcopi
Tractatus 92. in Joannem.

     Dominus Jesus in sermone, quem locutus est discipulis suis post coenam, proximus passioni, tamquam iturus, et relicturus eos praesentia corporali, cum omnibus autem suis usque in consummationem saeculi futurus praesentia spiritali, exhortatus est eos ad perferendas persecutiones impiorum, quos mundi nomine nuncupavit: Ex quo tamen mundo etiam ipsos discipulos se elegisse dixit: ut scirent se Dei gratia esse, quod sunt; suis autem vitiis fuisse, quod fuerunt.

Lasson viii
     If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." Here He clearly points to the Jews, the persecutors both of Himself and of His disciples, so that we see that they which persecute His holy ones are as much citizens of the world of damnation as they which persecuted Himself. He said: "They know not Him That sent Me,"  and yet again,  "They have hated both Me and My Father,"  that is to say, both the Sender and the Sent, the meaning of which words we have already treated in other discourses and with that He cometh to the words "That the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law They hated Me without a cause."      Deinde persecutores et suos et ipsorum, Judaeos evidenter expressit: ut omnino appareret etiam ipsos mundi damnabilis appellatione conclusos, qui persequuntur sanctos. Cumque de illis diceret, quod ignorarent eum, a quo missus est; et tamen odissent et Filium, et Patrem, hoc est, et eum qui missus est, et eum a quo missus est: (de quibus omnibus in aliis sermonibus jam disseruimus) ad hoc pervenit, ubi ait: Ut adimpleatur sermo, qui in lege eorum scriptus est: Quia odio habuerunt me gratis.
Lesson ix
     Then says the Lord, as though in continuation "But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning." What connection hath this with the words: "Now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father but that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law They hated Me without a cause.” Is it that when the Comforter is come, even the Spirit of truth, He will confound by irrefragable testimony them who have both seen and hated both God the Son and God the Father? Yea, indeed, some there were who had seen and still hated, whom the testimony of the Comforter converted to the faith which works by love.      Deinde tamquam consequenter adjunxit, unde modo disputare suscepimus: Cum autem venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me: et vos testimonium perhibebitis, quia ab initio mecum estis. Quid hoc pertinet ad illud quod dixerat: Nunc autem et viderunt, et oderunt et me, et Patrem meum; sed ut impleatur sermo, qui in lege eorum scriptus est: Quia odio habuerunt me gratis? An quia Paraclitus quando venit Spiritus veritatis, eos, qui viderunt, et oderunt, testimonio manifestiore convicit? Immo vero etiam aliquos ex illis qui viderunt, et adhuc oderant, ad fidem, quae per dilectionem operatur, sui manifestatione convertit.
Oration:
Let us pray.
     O Almighty and everlasting God, grant that our will be ever meekly subject unto thy will, and our heart ever honestly ready to serve thy majesty.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ
Orémus
     
Omnípotens sempitérne Deus: fac nos tibi semper et devótam gérere voluntátem; et majestáti tuæ sincéro corde servíre.
Per Dóminum
Commemoratio Octavæ Ascensionis.

Ant. I ascend to my Father * and to your Father: to my God and your God, alleluia.

V. The Lord in heaven, alleluia.
R. Hath prepared his throne, alleluia.

Oratio
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Saviour, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.
Through the same
Commemoratio Octavæ Ascensionis.

Ant. Ascendo ad Patrem meum, * et Patrem vestrum: Deum meum, et Deum vestrum, alleluia.

V. Dominus in caelo, alleluia.
R. Paravit sedem suam, alleluia.

Oratio
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.
Per eúmdem

 

Monday after Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
From the first Epistle of blessed John the Apostle
1 John 3:1-6
     Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knows us not, because it knew not Him.  Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it has not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to Him: because we shall see him as he is.   And every one that hath this hope in Him, sanctifies himself, as He also is holy.   Whosoever commits sin commits also iniquity; and sin is iniquity.   And you know that he appeared to take away our sins, and in him there is no sin.   Whosoever abides in him, sins not; and whosoever sins, hath not seen him, nor known him.      Videte qualem caritatem dedit nobis Pater, ut filii Dei nominemur et simus. Propter hoc mundus non novit nos: quia non novit eum.  Carissimi, nunc filii Dei sumus: et nondum apparuit quid erimus. Scimus quoniam cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus: quoniam videbimus eum sicuti est.   Et omnis qui habet hanc spem in eo, sanctificat se, sicut et ille sanctus est.   Omnis qui facit peccatum, et iniquitatem facit: et peccatum est iniquitas.   Et scitis quia ille apparuit ut peccata nostra tolleret: et peccatum in eo non est.   Omnis qui in eo manet, non peccat: et omnis qui peccat, non vidit eum, nec cognovit eum.

Lesson ii
John 3:7-12.

     Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doth justice is just, even as he is just.   He that commits sin is of the devil: for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the devil.   Whosoever is born of God, commits not sin: for his seed abides in him, and he can not sin, because he is born of God.   In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loves not his brother.   For this is the declaration, which you have heard from the beginning, that you should love one another.  Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one, and killed his brother. And wherefore did he kill him? Because his own works were wicked: and his brother's just      Filioli, nemo vos seducat. Qui facit justitiam, justus est, sicut et ille justus est.   Qui facit peccatum, ex diabolo est: quoniam ab initio diabolus peccat. In hoc apparuit Filius Dei, ut dissolvat opera diaboli.   Omnis qui natus est ex Deo, peccatum non facit: quoniam semen ipsius in eo manet, et non potest peccare, quoniam ex Deo natus est.   In hoc manifesti sunt filii Dei, et filii diaboli. Omnis qui non est justus, non est ex Deo, et qui non diligit fratrem suum:   Quoniam haec est annuntiatio, quam audistis ab initio, ut diligatis alterutrum.   Non sicut Cain, qui ex maligno erat, et occidit fratrem suum. Et propter quid occidit eum? Quoniam opera ejus maligna erant: fratris autem ejus, justa.

Lesson iii
1 John 3:13-18

     Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you.   We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not, abides in death.   Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself.   In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.   He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth.      Nolite mirari, fratres, si odit vos mundus.   Nos scimus quoniam translati sumus de morte ad vitam, quoniam diligimus fratres. Qui non diligit, manet in morte:   Omnis qui odit fratrem suum, homicida est, et scitis quoniam omnis homicida non habet vitam aeternam in semetipso manentem.   In hoc cognovimus caritatem Dei, quoniam ille animam suam pro nobis posuit: et nos debemus pro fratribus animas ponere.   Qui habúerit substántiam hujus mundi, et víderit fratrem suum necessitátem habére, et cláuserit víscera sua ab eo: quómodo cáritas Dei manet in eo?   Filíoli mei, non diligámus verbo neque lingua, sed ópere et veritáte.
Lesson iv
From the Sermons of Saint John Chrysostom, Patriarch.
On the Ascension, book III
     Then Christ went up into heaven, He offered unto the Father the First-fruits of our nature, and the Father marveled at the offering, seeing the majesty of the Priest and the spotlessness of the Oblation. He received the Sacrifice into His Own hands, He made It to sit upon His Throne, nay, more, He gave It a place at His Own Right Hand. Let us ask what nature was His Who heard the words: "Sit Thou at My right hand,” what nature was His to Whom God said " Be Thou Partaker of My Throne?" It was the same nature as was his who heard the sentence " Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Archangels beheld our nature upon the Throne of the Lord, refulgent with eternal glory.      Christus ascendens in caelum, nostrae naturae primitias obtulit Patri, et oblatum donum miratus est Pater, quod et tanta dignitas offerebat; et quod offerebatur, nulla macula foedabatur. Nam et suis manibus suscepit oblatum, et suae sedis fecit esse participem, et quod plus est, ad partem suae dexterae collocavit. Cognoscamus, quis est ille qui audivit, Sede ad dexteram meam: quae natura est, cui Deus dixit, Esto meae particeps sedis. Illa natura est, quae audivit: Terra es, et in terram ibis.

Lesson v

     It was not enough of glory for Him to be exalted above the heavens, nor to be ranked with angels but He was exalted above the heavens, He went up above the Cherubim, He ascended beyond the Seraphim, neither found He His rank beneath the Throne of the Lord of lords. Behold how high the heaven is above the earth, and the earth above hell, how high above the heaven is the heaven of heavens, how high above the heaven of heavens the Angels, above the Angels the Higher Powers, and above the Higher Powers the Throne of the Lord. Above all these has One of our nature been exalted, so that man, which had fallen so low that there was no farther fall for him, is now in place so high, that there is thence no ascending.      Non enim ad omnem gloriam caelos transisse suffecerat, non cum Angelis stare: sed caelos transivit, supra Cherubim ascendit, ultra Seraphim elevatur, nec ante stetit, nisi sedem Dominicam meruisset. Vide quo spatio caelum separatur a terra, immo terra quanto ab inferis abest, et ipsum caelum quanto ab altiore caelo separatur, et de altiore caelo ad Angelos quantum spatii est, ad superiores etiam Potestates. ad ipsam quoque Dominicam sedem. Super haec omnia natura nostra elevata est, ut homo, qui loco tam humili tenebatur, ut descendere non posset ulterius, ad tam excelsam sedem elevaretur, ut altius non posset ascendere.

Lesson vi

     Paul also, dwelling on this, says: "He That descended is the Same also That ascended up far above all heavens," even as he had said: "Now, that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth."  Learn hence Who it was That ascended, and with what nature He was exalted. And with this thought I wish to bring my sermon to an end. From the thought of that glorified Manhood let us learn with amazement what the goodness of God is that goodness which hath crowned with an honor, higher than which is none, and a glory, greater than which is none, a Person sharing our nature, even that Person Who this day has taken the place which is His of right, above all things other than Himself.      Et haec ostendens Paulus dicebat: Qui descendit, ipse est qui ascendit. Et iterum: Descendit ad inferiora terrae, et ascendit super omnes caelos. Discite igitur quisnam ascendit, et quae natura elevata est. In hoc enim cupio remorari sermone, ut humani generis commemoratione, divinam clementiam cum omni admiratione discamus, quae summum honorem, magnamque gloriam nostrae naturae largita est, quae omnibus hodierna die meruit excelsior reperiri. Hodie Angeli atque Archangeli naturam nostram in sede Dominica immortali gloria fulgentem viderunt.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20

X
     At that time, Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great.
From the same Homily 29

     "So then, after the Lord Jesus had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." We learn in the Old Testament, that Elijah was taken up into heaven. But this word "heaven" may mean either the terrestrial atmosphere, or the space external to the sphere of this planet. Of these the atmosphere closely surrounds the earth, and we call the birds "the fowls of the heaven," because we see them fly therein. It was only up into this that Elijah was taken, that he might be carried off suddenly into some part of the earth, to us unknown, and there live in profound peace of body and soul, until the end of the world, when he will return and pay the debt of nature. For him, therefore, death waiteth, but is not escaped. But our Redeemer made it not to wait for Him, but conquered it, and by rising again shattered it, and by His Ascension showed forth the glory of His Again-rising.

     In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

De Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Ex eadem Homilia 29.

     Et Dominus quidem Jesus, postquam locutus est eis, assumptus est in caelum, et sedet a dextris Dei. In veteri testamento cognovimus quod Elias sit raptus in caelum. Sed aliud est caelum aereum, aliud aethereum. Caelum quippe aereum terrae est proximum: unde et aves caeli dicimus, quia eas volitare in aëre videmus. In caelum itaque aereum Elias sublevatus est, ut in secretam quamdam terrae regionem repente duceretur, ubi in magna jam carnis et spiritus quiete viveret, quousque ad finem mundi redeat, et mortis debitum solvat. Ille etenim mortem distulit, non evasit: Redemptor autem noster, quia non distulit, superavit, eamque resurgendo consumpsit, et resurrectionis suae gloriam ascendendo declaravit.

Lesson viii

     We must mark also, how that Elijah was taken up in a chariot, as though to show plainly that for a mere man some outward help was needful. This help was given to him by Angels, as plainly appears, since it was impossible for one whom a weak nature yet weighed down earthward, to fly up even into the atmosphere. But of our Redeemer we read not that He was borne up in a chariot, or by Angels, since He by Whom all things were made, clearly rose above all things by His Own Power. He returned unto Him with Whom He was, and whither He returned, there He abode, for albeit as touching His Manhood He ascended up into heaven, yet, as touching His Godhead, He still comprehended both heaven and earth.      Notandum quoque est, quod Elias in curru legitur ascendisse: ut videlicet aperte demonstraretur, quia homo purus adjutorio indigebat alieno. Per Angelos quippe facta illa et ostensa sunt adjumenta: quia nec in caelum quidem aereum per se ascendere poterat, quem naturae suae infirmitas gravabat. Redemptor autem noster non curru, non Angelis sublevatus legitur: quia is, qui fecerat omnia, nimirum super omnia sua virtute ferebatur. Illo etenim revertebatur, ubi erat: et inde redibat, ubi remanebat: quia cum per humanitatem ascenderet in caelum, per divinitatem suam et terram pariter continebat et caelum.
Lesson ix
     But as the sale of Joseph by his brethren was a type of the sale of Christ, so were the translations of Enoch and Elijah types of His Ascension. The Lord therefore had had forerunners and witnesses of His Ascension, the one before the Law, the other under the Law, that Himself might one day come, Who was able indeed to pass into the heavens. Hence also there is some difference to be observed in the manner wherein each was translated. Enoch was seen no more, for God took him Elijah was carried up by a whirlwind into heaven He That came after them was not taken up, nor carried up, but went up through space by His Own Power.      Sicut autem Joseph a fratribus venditus venditionem Redemptoris nostri figuravit: sic Henoch translatus, atque ad caelum aereum Elias sublevatus, ascensionem Dominicam uterque designavit. Ascensionis ergo suae Dominus praenuntios et testes habuit, unum ante legem, alium sub lege: ut quandoque veniret ipse, qui veraciter caelos penetrare potuisset. Unde et ipse ordo in eorum quoque utrorumque sublevatione per quaedam incrementa distinguitur. Nam Henoch translatus, Elias vero ad caelum subvectus esse memoratur: ut veniret postmodum. qui nec translatus, nec subvectus, caelum aethereum sua virtute penetraret.
Oration:
Let us pray.
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Saviour, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.  Through the same.
Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.  Per eúmdem.
 

Tuesday after Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
From the first Epistle of blessed John the Apostle
1 John 4:1-6
     Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.   By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God:   And every spirit that dissolves Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world.   You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.   They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world hears them.   We are of God. He that knows God, hears us. He that is not of God, hears us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.      Carissimi, nolite omni spiritui credere, sed probate spiritus si ex Deo sint: quoniam multi pseudoprophetae exierunt in mundum.   In hoc cognoscitur spiritus Dei: omnis spiritus qui confitetur Jesum Christum in carne venisse, ex Deo est:   Et omnis spiritus qui solvit Jesum, ex Deo non est, et hic est antichristus, de quo audistis quoniam venit, et nunc jam in mundo est.   Vos ex Deo estis filioli, et vicistis eum, quoniam major est qui in vobis est, quam qui in mundo.   Ipsi de mundo sunt: ideo de mundo loquuntur, et mundus eos audit.   Nos ex Deo sumus. Qui novit Deum, audit nos; qui non est ex Deo, non audit nos: in hoc cognoscimus spiritum veritatis, et spiritum erroris.
Lesson ii
1 John 4:7-14
     Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. And every one that loves, is born of God, and knows God.   He that loves not, knows not God: for God is charity.  By this has the charity of God appeared towards us, because God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we may live by him.   In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because he hath first loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.  My dearest, if God hath so loved us; we also ought to love one another.   No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and his charity is perfected in us.   In this we know that we abide in him, and he in us: because he hath given us of his spirit.   And we have seen, and do testify, that the Father hath sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.      Carissimi, diligamus nos invicem: quia caritas ex Deo est: et omnis qui diligit, ex Deo natus est, et cognoscit Deum.   Qui non diligit, non novit Deum: quoniam Deus caritas est.   In hoc apparuit caritas Dei in nobis, quoniam Filium suum unigenitum misit Deus in mundum, ut vivamus per eum.  In hoc est caritas: non quasi nos dilexerimus Deum, sed quoniam ipse prior dilexit nos, et misit Filium suum propitiationem pro peccatis nostris.  Carissimi, si sic Deus dilexit nos: et nos debemus alterutrum diligere.   Deum nemo vidit umquam. Si diligamus invicem, Deus in nobis manet, et caritas ejus in nobis perfecta est.   In hoc cognoscimus quoniam in eo manemus, et ipse in nobis: quoniam de Spiritu suo dedit nobis.   Et nos vidimus, et testificamur quoniam Pater misit Filium suum Salvatorem mundi.
Lesson iii
1 John 4:15-21

     Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.   And we have known, and have believed the charity, which God hath to us. God is charity: and he that abides in charity, abides in God, and God in him.  In this is the charity of God perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment: because as he is, we also are in this world.   Fear is not in charity: but perfect charity castes out fear, because fear hath pain. And he that fears, is not perfected in charity.   Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us.  If any man say, I love God, and hates his brother; he is a liar. For he that loves not his brother, whom he sees, how can he love God, Whom he sees not?   And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loves God, love also his brother.

     Quisquis confessus fuerit quoniam Jesus est Filius Dei, Deus in eo manet, et ipse in Deo.   Et nos cognovimus, et credidimus caritati, quam habet Deus in nobis. Deus caritas est: et qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo.   In hoc perfecta est caritas Dei nobiscum, ut fiduciam habeamus in die judicii: quia sicut ille est, et nos sumus in hoc mundo.   Timor non est in caritate: sed perfecta caritas foras mittit timorem, quoniam timor poenam habet: qui autem timet, non est perfectus in caritate.   Nos ergo diligamus Deum, quoniam Deus prior dilexit nos.   Si quis dixerit: Quoniam diligo Deum, et fratrem suum oderit, mendax est. Qui enim non diligit fratrem suum quem videt, Deum, quem non videt, quomodo potest diligere?  Et hoc mandatum habemus a Deo: ut qui diligit Deum, diligat et fratrem suum.
Lesson iv
From the Sermons of St Maximus, Bishop.
43rd, 2nd on Pentecost.
     My holy brethren, ye remember that I have likened the Savior to that eagle, touching which it is written in the Book of Psalms,  "thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." There are many points of likeness. The eagle rises above ground, wings his way aloft, and mounts skyward even so did the Savior rise from the depth of the grave, mount up unto the exalted mansions of Paradise, and enter the heights of heaven. The eagle leaves below him the foul mists of earth, flies above, and drinks in health from a purer air even so did the Lord leave below Him the filthy slough of sinners on earth, and rejoice Himself with the honesty of a purer life, when He soared again into His Own holy home.      Meminit sanctitas vestra, quod aquilae illi de Psalterio, cujus innovatam juventutem legimus, comparaverim Salvatorem. Est enim similitudo non parva. Sicut enim aquila humilia deserit, alta petit, caelorum vicina conscendit: ita et Salvator humilia inferni deseruit, paradisi altiora petiit, caelorum fastigia penetravit Et sicut aquila relictis terrenis sordibus, sublime volans, purioris aëris salubritate perfruitur: ita et Dominus terrenorum faecem deserens peccatorum, in Sanctis suis volitans, purioris vitae simplicitate laetatur.
 
     In all ways, therefore, is the Savior aptly likened to an eagle. But what can we make of this, that the eagle is a bird of prey, oft-times a plunderer Even in this he is like to the Savior. He bore off His prey, when He carried off from the jaws of hell to heaven the Manhood Which He had swooped to take to Himself, yea, when He led captive to an higher home him whom He had delivered from the mastership of another lord, namely the devil, even as it is written in the Prophet, "Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, Thou hast received gifts among men."      Per omnia igitur aquilae comparatio convenit Salvatori. Sed quid facimus, quod aquila praedam frequenter diripit, tollit frequenter alienum? Nec in hoc tamen dissimilis est Salvator. Praedam enim quodammodo sustulit, cum hominem, quem suscepit, inferni raptum faucibus portavit ad caelum, et alienae dominationis id est, diabolicae potestatis servum de captivitate erutum, duxit ad altiora captivum, sicut scriptum est in propheta: Ascendens in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem, dedit dona hominibus.
 
     "Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive." O how nobly doth the Prophet paint the Triumph of the Lord We hear how that of old time, when kings marched in triumph, the procession of prisoners walked before the chariot of their conqueror. Lo, the Lord entereth the heavens, not after, but amid a most glorious band of captives. That band are not led before His chariot, but themselves bear up their Saviour. In some mystic sense, when the Son of God bore to heaven the Son of man, captivity both led and was led.      Ascendit, inquit, in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem. Quam bene triumphum Domini propheta describit! Solebat, sicut dicunt, regum triumphantium currus captivorum pompa praecedere. Ecce Dominum euntem ad caelos non praecedit, sed comitatur gloriosa captivitas, non ante vehiculum ducitur, sed ipsa evehit Salvatorem. Quodam enim mysterio, dum Filius Dei filium hominis sustulit ad caelum, ipsa captivitas portatur, et portat.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20

X
    At that time Jesus appeared unto  the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

A Homily of Pope St Gregory the Great.
From the s
ame Homily 29

     We must ponder the meaning of these words of Mark, "He sat on the right hand of God," and how that Stephen said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Wherefore doth Mark say that He sat, whereas Stephen testifies that he saw Him standing But ye know, my brethren, that to sit is for him that judges, to stand, for him that fights or helps.

     In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

De Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Ex eadem Homilia 29.

     Considerandum nobis est, quid est quod Marcus ait: Sedet a dextris Dei: et Stephanus dicit: Video caelos apertos, et Filium hominis stantem a dextris Dei. Quid est quod hunc Marcus sedentem, Stephanus vero stantem se videre testatur? Sed scitis, fratres, quia sedere judicantis est, stare vero pugnantis, vel adjuvantis.

Lesson viii
     Since therefore, our Redeemer is ascended up into heaven, and even now is Judge of all, beside that at the end of the world He will so come, therefore doth Mark say that He sits where He hath gone up, because we look for Him, after that His glorious Ascension, that He will come again at the end to be our Judge. But Stephen, while yet he was in the throes of the battle, saw Him That was helping him standing. Stephen on earth was overcoming the unbelief of his persecutors, but it was the grace of Him That is in heaven that fought in him all the while.      Quia ergo Redemptor noster assumptus in caelum, et nunc omnia judicat, et ad extremum judex omnium veniet; hunc post assumptionem Marcus sedere describit, quia post ascensionis suae gloriam judex in fine videbitur. Stephanus vero hunc in labore certaminis positus stantem vidit, quem adjutorem habuit: quia ut iste in terra persecutorum infidelitatem vinceret, pro illo de caelo illius gratia pugnavit.
Lesson ix

     "And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." What are we to see in this, what are we to remember, but that obedience followed commandment, and signs obedience But now, since, by the will of God, we have lightly run over our reading from the Gospel, it remains that we should say somewhat by way of reflection on this great Festival.

     Sequitur: Illi autem profecti praedicaverunt ubique Domino cooperante, et sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis. Quid in his considerandum est, quid memoriae commendandum: nisi quod praeceptum obedientia, obedientiam vero signa secuta sunt? Sed quia auctore Deo breviter lectionem evangelicam exponendo transcurrimus: restat, ut aliquid de ipsa tantae consideratione solemnitatis dicamus.

Oration
Let us pray.
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Savior, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.  Through the same,
Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.  Per eúmdem.

 

Wednesday after Ascension Thursday
Lesson i
From the second Epistle of blessed John the Apostle
2 John 1:1-5
     The ancient to the lady Elect, and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth,  For the sake of the truth which dwells in us, and shall be with us for ever.   Grace be with you, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus the Son of the Father; in truth and charity.   I was exceeding glad, that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.   And now I beseech thee, lady, not as writing a new commandment to thee, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.      Senior Electae dominae, et natis ejus, quos ego diligo in veritate, et non ego solus, sed et omnes qui cognoverunt veritatem,  Propter veritatem, quae permanet in nobis, et nobiscum erit in aeternum.   Sit vobiscum gratia, misericordia, pax a Deo Patre, et a Christo Jesu Filio Patris in veritate, et caritate.  Gavisus sum valde, quoniam inveni de filiis tuis ambulantes in veritate, sicut mandatum accepimus a Patre.   Et nunc rogo te domina, non tamquam mandatum novum scribens tibi, sed quod habuimus ab initio, ut diligamus alterutrum.
Lesson ii
2 John 1:6-9
     And this is charity, that we walk according to his commandments. For this is the commandment, that, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in the same:  For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a seducer and an antichrist.  Look to yourselves, that you lose not the things which you have wrought: but that you may receive a full reward.  Whosoever revolts, and continues not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that continues in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son.      Et haec est caritas, ut ambulemus secundum mandata ejus. Hoc est enim mandatum, ut quemadmodum audistis ab initio, in eo ambuletis.  Quoniam multi seductores exierunt in mundum, qui non confitentur Jesum Christum venisse in carnem: hic est seductor, et antichristus.   Videte vosmetipsos, ne perdatis quae operati estis: sed ut mercedem plenam accipiatis.   Omnis qui recedit, et non permanet in doctrina Christi, Deum non habet: qui permanet in doctrina, hic et Patrem et Filium habet.
Lesson iii
2 John 1:10-13
     If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you.  For he that says unto him, "God speed you," communicates with his wicked works.   Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full.   The children of thy sister Elect salute thee.      Si quis venit ad vos, et hanc doctrinam non affert, nolite recipere eum in domum, nec Ave ei dixeritis.   Qui enim dicit illi Ave, communicat operibus ejus malignis.   Plura habens vobis scribere, nolui per chartam et atramentum: spero enim me futurum apud vos, et os ad os loqui: ut gaudium vestrum plenum sit.   Salutant te filii sororis tuae Electae.
Lesson iv
From the Sermons of St Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa.
Discourse on the Lords Ascension.
     The very thought of this day's Festival is great enough in itself, but the Prophet David hath much inflamed our joyful enthusiasm by the Psalms. This noble Prophet has, as it were, gone out of himself, as though the body were a weight duller than his spirit could bear he joins company with the Powers of heaven, and tells what they said when they went with the Lord heavenward, and cried in tones of command to those Angels who work on earth, and by whose heralding the Birth of the Incarnate One had been proclaimed "Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in."      Hodiernam celebritatem satis per se magnam, propheta David majorem efficit, dum illi gaudium e Psalmis adjungit. Hic enim excelsus Propheta supra seipsum egrediens, tamquam corporis onere nihil prematur, infert se caelestibus potestatibus, et voces earum nobis exponit, cum in caelum redeuntem Dominum ipsae comitantes, Angelis, qui versantur in terris, quibusque in humanam vitam ingressus commissus est, imperant ad hunc modum: Tollite portas principes vestras, et elevamini portae aeternales, et introibit Rex gloriae.
Lesson v
     He, Who contains all things, is everywhere, but for the sake of them which receive Him, He is pleased to make Himself a local Presence which hath bounds. Not only did He become a Man among men, but when conversing among Angels, He allows that title also to be given Him. The gatekeepers therefore ask "Who is this King of glory?" and it is answered them that He is "The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle," the Lord, Whose work it had been to fight him who held mankind in bondage, and to "destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil"  that now that dark enemy was trampled down, and man had had won for him freedom and peace.      Et quoniam ubicumque fuerit ille, qui in seipso omnia continet, pro suscipientium captu seipsum dimetitur (neque enim solum inter homines homo fit, verum etiam dum inter Angelos versatur, ad illorum vocem sese demittit) idcirco janitores interrogant: Quis est iste Rex gloriae? Respondent ipsis, demonstrantque fortem et potentem in praelio, qui pugnaturus erat contra illum, qui naturam humanam in servitute captivam detinebat, et eversurus eum qui mortis habebat imperium: ut gravissimo hoste superato, genus hominum in libertatem et pacem vindicaret.
Lesson vi
     The keepers run to the gates, and bid the doors unfold, that the Lord may enter in, to take again the glory which He had there among them before. But when they see Him, clad in the likeness of sinful flesh, they know Him not, even Him Who is red in His apparel, because that He hath trodden Alone the winepress of human pain, and the blood is sprinkled upon His garments. Therefore they cry again to their fellows that bear Him company: "Who is this King of glory?" And they answer them no more: "The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle" but "The Lord of hosts the Lord, Whose Own are become the kingdoms of the world the Lord, Who hath made Himself the Head of all things the Lord, Who hath made all things new " He is the King of glory!      Occurrunt ei custodes, et portas jubent recludi, ut in ipsis rursum gloriam assequatur. Verum non agnoscunt eum, qui sordidam vitae nostrae stolam indutus est: cujus rubra sunt vestimenta ex humanorum malorum torculari. Itaque rursus comites ejus vocibus illis interrogantur Quis est iste Rex gloriae? Respondetur autem non amplius, Fortis et potens in praelio; sed, Dominus virtutum, qui mundi principatum obtinuit, qui summatim omnia in se collegit, qui pristinum in statum cuncta restituit: ipse est Rex gloriae.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20

X
     At that time, Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great.
From the same Homily 29.

     The first question we have to ask is why we read that Angels appeared at the time of the Birth of the Lord, but we read not that they appeared in white apparel whereas, when the Lord ascended into heaven, it is written that the angels which appeared were clad in white. "While they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven, as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,"  White raiment is an outward sign of solemn inward joy. That the occasion of God-made-Man entering into heaven was a great Festival for Angels, is the reason which we see why angels are specially named as robed in white at His Ascension, and not at His Birth. At the Birth of the Lord the Godhead was manifested veiled under the form of a servant, but at His Ascension the Manhood was seen exalted and white vestments are more apt to exaltation than humiliation.

     In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

De Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Ex eadem Homilia 29.

     Hoc autem nobis primum quaerendum est, quidnam sit, quod, nato Domino, apparuerunt Angeli, et tamen non leguntur in albis vestibus apparuisse: ascendente autem Domino, missi Angeli in albis leguntur vestibus apparuisse. Sic etenim scriptum est: Videntibus illis elevatus est, et nubes suscepit eum ab oculis eorum. Cumque intuerentur in caelum euntem illum, ecce duo viri steterunt juxta illos in vestibus albis. In albis autem vestibus gaudium et solemnitas mentis ostenditur. Quid est ergo, quod, nato Domino, non in albis vestibus, ascendente autem Domino, in albis vestibus Angeli apparent: nisi quod tunc magna solemnitas Angelis facta est, cum caelum Deus homo penetravit? Quia nascente Domino videbatur divinitas humiliata, ascendente vero Domino est humanitas exaltata. Albae etenim vestes exaltationi magis congruunt, quam humiliationi.

Lesson viii
     Therefore were the angels bound to appear in white apparel at the Ascension at His Birth He Who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, was seen in the form in which He had humbled Himself; at His Ascension the Manhood Which He had taken into God was seen glorified. Again, dearly beloved brethren, we must remember today, how that Christ hath "blotted out the hand-writing that was against us," and reversed the sentence which doomed us to corruption. That same nature to which it was said, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," that same nature is His Who hath this day ascended up into heaven. It is because of this up-lifting of our flesh that blessed Job, by a figure, calls the Lord a bird. The Jews could not understand the Mystery of the Ascension, and in view of this their unbelief, blessed Job said mystically "He knew not the path of the bird."      In ascensione ergo ejus Angeli in albis vestibus videri debuerunt: quia qui in nativitate sua apparuit Deus humilis, in ascensione sua ostensus est homo sublimis. Sed hoc nobis magnopere, fratres carissimi, in hac solemnitate pensandum est: quia deletum est hodierna die chirographum damnationis nostrae, mutata est sententia corruptionis nostrae. Illa enim natura, cui dictum est: Terra es, et in terram ibis; hodie in caelum ivit. Pro hac ipsa namque carnis nostrae sublevatione, per figuram beatus Job Dominum avem vocat. Quia enim ascensionis ejus mysterium Judaeam non intelligere conspexit, de infidelitate ejus per figuram beatus Job sententiam protulit, dicens: Semitam ignoravit avis.
Lesson ix
     The name of a bird is well given to the Lord, Who bodily soared up into heaven. And the path of that Bird  no man knows, who believeth not in the Ascension into heaven. It is of this glorious occasion that the Psalmist says: "Who hast set thy glory above the heavens,"  and again "God is gone up with a shout, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet,"  And yet again he saith "Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive,"  "When Christ ascended up on high, He led captivity captive," because by His Own incorruptibility He swallowed up our corruptibility. "He gave gifts unto men," because by sending the Spirit from above, He gave "to one, the word of wisdom to another, the word of knowledge to another, the working of miracles to another, the gifts of healing; to another, divers kinds of tongues to another, the interpretation of tongues,"      Avis enim recte appellatus est Dominus, quia corpus carneum ad aethera libravit. Cujus avis semitam ignoravit, quisquis eum ad caelum ascendisse non credidit. De hac solemnitate per Psalmistam dicitur: Elevata est magnificentia tua super caelos. De hac rursus ait: Ascendit Deus in jubilatione, et Dominus in voce tubae. De hac iterum dicit: Ascendens in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem, dedit dona hominibus. Ascendens quippe in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem: quia corruptionem nostram virtute suae incorruptionis absorbuit. Dedit vero dona hominibus, quia misso desuper Spiritu, alii sermonem sapientiae, alii sermonem scientiae alii gratiam virtutum, alii gratiam curationum, alii genera linguarum, alii interpretationem tribuit sermonum.
 
Let us pray.
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Savior, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.
Through the same
Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.
Per eúmdem
 

 ThursdayOctave of the  Ascension
Lesson i
From the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians
Ephesians 4:1-8

     I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called,   With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity.   Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.   One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling.   One Lord, one faith, one baptism.   One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.   But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.   Wherefore he says: "Ascending on high, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men."

     Obsecro itaque vos ego vinctus in Domino, ut digne ambuletis vocatione, qua vocati estis,   Cum omni humilitate, et mansuetudine, cum patientia, supportantes invicem in caritate,   Solliciti servare unitatem Spiritus in vinculo pacis.   Unum corpus, et unus spiritus, sicut vocati estis in una spe vocationis vestrae.   Unus Dominus, una fides, unum baptisma.   Unus Deus et Pater omnium, qui est super omnes, et per omnia, et in omnibus nobis.   Unicuique autem nostrum data est gratia secundum mensuram donationis Christi.   Propter quod dicit: Ascendens in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem: dedit dona hominibus.

Lesson ii
Ephesians 4:9-14
     Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?   He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.   And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors,   For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:   Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ;   That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive.      Quod autem ascendit, quid est, nisi quia et descendit primum in inferiores partes terrae?   Qui descendit, ipse est et qui ascendit super omnes caelos, ut impleret omnia.   Et ipse dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam autem prophetas, alios vero evangelistas, alios autem pastores et doctores,   Ad consummationem sanctorum in opus ministerii, in aedificationem corporis Christi:   Donec occurramus omnes in unitatem fidei, et agnitionis Filii Dei, in virum perfectum, in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi:   Ut jam non simus parvuli fluctuantes, et circumferamur omni vento doctrinae in nequitia hominum, in astutia ad circumventionem erroris.
Lesson iii
Ephesians 4:15-21
     But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ:   From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplies, according to the operation in the measure of every part, makes an increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity.   This then I say and testify in the Lord: That henceforward you walk not as also the Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind,   Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts.   Who despairing, have given themselves up to lasciviousness, unto the working of all uncleanness, unto the working of all uncleanness, unto covetousness.   But you have not so learned Christ;   If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught in him.      Veritatem autem facientes in caritate, crescamus in illo per omnia, qui est caput Christus:   Ex quo totum corpus compactum et connexum per omnem juncturam subministrationis, secundum operationem in mensuram uniuscujusque membri, augmentum corporis facit in aedificationem sui in caritate.   Hoc igitur dico, et testificor in Domino, ut jam non ambuletis, sicut et gentes ambulant in vanitate sensus sui,   Tenebris obscuratum habentes intellectum, alienati a vita Dei per ignorantiam, quae est in illis, propter caecitatem cordis ipsorum,   Qui desperantes, semetipsos tradiderunt impudicitiae, in operationem immunditiae omnis in avaritiam.   Vos autem non ita didicistis Christum,   Si tamen illum audistis, et in ipso edocti estis.
Lesson iv
From the Sermons of St Austin, Bishop of Hippo.
Third sermon on the Ascension, 176th on the Season.
      Dearly beloved brethren, all the wonderful works which our Lord Jesus Christ did in this world, under the weakness of our nature, are profitable for us when He exalted His Manhood above the stars, He showed that heaven may open for a believer and while He, the Conqueror of death, went up into the heavenly mansions, He showed to him that overcomes, whither he also may follow. Therefore, the ascension of the Lord is the seal of the Catholic Faith, which assures in us the hope of the gift which is yet to come to us, from a miracle whereof we already feel the fruits. Thus let every one that is faithful, having already received so much, learn to hope for that which is promised, on the ground of that which he knows to have been given, and hold the goodness of God in times which have been, and times which now are, as a sure pledge of the same in times to come.      Omnia, carissimi, quae Dominus Jesus Christus in hoc mundo sub fragilitate nostra miracula edidit, nobis proficiunt: qui dum humanam conditionem sideribus importavit, credentibus caelum patere posse monstravit: et dum victorem mortis in caelestia elevavit, victoribus quo sequantur ostendit. Ascensio ergo Domini catholicae fidei confirmatio fuit: ut securi in posterum crederemus miraculi illius donum, cujus jam in praesenti percepissemus effectum: et fidelis quisque cum jam tanta perceperit, per ea, quas cognoscit praestita, discat sperare promissa, ac Dei sui praeteritam praesentemque bonitatem, quasi futurorum teneat cautionem.
Lesson v
     An earthly Body, then, is now lifted up above the heights of heaven the Bones, Which but a little while before had lain within the narrow walls of the grave, have made their entry among the angelic hosts human nature hath been given a place in the lap of immortality and therefore the Apostle whose account we have heard read, says "When He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up."  When thou hear these words, " taken up," thou must understand thereby the ministry of the angelic army whereby this Festival reveals to us the Mystery of Him who is both God and Man. United in One Person, we see in Him who lifted up, Divine Power, and in Him Who was lifted up, true Man.      Super excelsa ergo caeli terranum corpus imponitur: ossa intra sepulcri angustias paulo ante conclusa, Angelorum caelibus inferuntur: in gremium immortalitatis mortalis natura transfunditur: et ideo sacra apostolicae lectionis testatur historia: Cum haec dixisset, inquit, videntibus illis, elevatus est Dum audis elevatum, agnosce militiae caelestis obsequium: unde hodierna festivitas hominis nobis et Dei sacramenta manifestavit. Sub una eademque persona, in eo qui elevat, divinam potentiam; in eo autem, qui elevatur, humanam cognosce substantiam.
Lesson vi
     Therefore are utterly to be loathed those pestiferous teachings of Eastern falsehood, those brand new inventions of ungodliness which dare to assert that He Who in One Person is both Son of God and Son of Man, hath but one nature. On the one hand, if a man say that Christ is not Partaker of the Divine nature, he hath denied the glory of his Maker on the other, he who says that the Manhood is not of the nature of man, hath denied the mercy of his Savior. As touching these points, it is nearly impossible for an Arian to believe that the Gospel writers are any better than liars, since they distinctly assert in some places that the Son of God is equal, and, in others, that He is inferior, to the Father. Farther, if a man be given over to this soul-slaying delusion of believing that our Savior hath only one nature, he must of necessity admit either that it was only God, or that it was only man who was crucified. But it was not so. If He had been of no nature but the Divine, He could not have suffered, and if He had been of no nature but the human, He could not have conquered death.      Ideoque omnimodis detestanda sunt venena Orientalis erroris, qui impia novitate praesumit asserere Filium Dei ac filium hominis unius esse naturae. In alterutra enim parte, vel qui solum hominem fuisse dixerit, negabit Conditoris gloriam: vel qui solum Deum, negabit misericordiam Redemptoris. Quo genere non facile Arianus evangelicam poterit habere veritatem, ubi Filium Dei nunc aequalem legimus, nunc minorem. Qui enim unius naturae Salvatorem nostrum mortifera persuasione crediderit, solum hominem, aut solum Deum cogetur dicere crucifixum. Sed non ita est. Mortem enim nec solus Deus sentire, nec solus homo superare potuisset.
Lesson vii
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:14-20

X
     At that time Jesus appeared unto the eleven disciples as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. Etc.

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great.
From the same Homily 29.

     The Prophet Habakkuk also hath spoken of the glory of Christ's Ascension in the words "The sun was lifted up on high, and the moon stood still in her habitation," Who is here signified by the Sun, if not the Savior or by the Moon, if not the Church? Until the Lord was withdrawn from her sight, (that is, by His Ascension,) His Holy Church was pale before the hostile glare of the world, but after He was ascended, she waxed stronger, and distinctly shed forth the beams of that faith which had hitherto dwelt hidden in her. "The sun was lifted up, and the moon stood still in her habitation" when the Lord was gone away into heaven, His holy Church waxed stronger in her enlightening power.

     In illo tempore: Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus: et exprobavit incredulitatem eorum, et duritiam cordis: quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et reliqua.

De Homilia sancti Gregorii Papae.
Ex eadem Homilia 29.

     De hac ascensionis ejus gloria etiam Habacuc ait: Elevatus est sol, et luna stetit in ordine suo. Quis enim solis nomine, nisi Dominus; et quae lunae nomine, nisi Ecclesia designatur? Quousque enim Dominus ascendit ad caelos, sancta ejus Ecclesia adversa mundi omnimodo formidavit: at postquam ejus ascensione roborata est, aperte praedicavit, quod occulte credidit. Elevatus est ergo sol, et luna stetit in ordine suo: quia cum Dominus caelum petiit, sancta ejus Ecclesia in auctoritate praedicationis exercuit. Hinc eiusdem Ecclesiae voce per Salomonem dicitur: Ecce iste venit saliens in montibus, et transiliens colles. Consideravit namque tantorum operum culmina, et ait: Ecce iste venit saliens in montibus. Veniendo quippe ad redemptionem nostram, quosdam, ut ita dicam, saltus dedit.

Lesson viii
     Hence it is that Solomon hath put into the mouth of the, (same) Church the words: "Behold,; He cometh! leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills These hills are his lofty and; noble achievements. "Behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains" When He came to redeem us, He came, if I may so say, in leaps. My dearly beloved brethren, would you know what His leaps were? From heaven he leapt into the womb' of the Virgin, from the womb into the manger, from the manger on to the Cross, from the Cross into the grave, and from the grave up to heaven. Lo, how the Truth made manifest in the Flesh did leap for our sakes, that He might draw us to run after Him for this end did He " rejoice, as a strong man to run a race,      Hinc eiusdem Ecclesiae voce per Salomonem dicitur: Ecce iste venit saliens in montibus, et transiliens colles. Consideravit namque tantorum operum culmina, et ait: Ecce iste venit saliens in montibus. Veniendo quippe ad redemptionem nostram, quosdam, ut ita dicam, saltus dedit. Vultis, fratres carissimi, ipsos ejus saltus agnoscere? De caelo venit in uterum, de utero venit in praesepe, de praesepe venit in crucem, de cruce venit in sepulcrum, de sepulcro rediit in caelum. Ecce ut nos post se currere faceret, quosdam pro nobis saltus manifestata per carnem Veritas dedit: quia exsultavit ut gigas ad currendam viam suam, ut nos ei diceremus ex corde: Trahe nos: post te curremus in odorem unguentorum tuorum.
Lesson ix
     Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, it behoves us in heart and mind thither to ascend, where we believe Him to have already ascended bodily. Let us fly earthly lusts for us, who have a Father in heaven, let nothing be sweet below And very much must we keep in our minds this thought, that He Which ascended up in peace, will return in dreadful Majesty and will require from us with justice an account of our keeping of those commandments which He gave us in mercy. Let no man therefore reckon lightly this season which is given unto us that we may repent ourselves, nor be reckless touching the state of his soul; our Redeemer will be all the sterner, when He cometh to judgment, as He hath been wondrously long-suffering before.       Unde, fratres carissimi, oportet ut illuc sequamur corde, ubi eum corpore ascendisse credimus. Desideria terrena fugiamus: nihil nos jam delectet in infimis, qui Patrem habemus in caelis. Et hoc nobis est magnopere perpendendum: quia is qui placidus ascendit, terribilis redibit: et quidquid nobis cum mansuetudine praecepit, hoc a nobis cum districtione exiget. Nemo ergo indulta poenitentiae tempora parvipendat, nemo curam sui, dum valet, agere negligat: quia Redemptor noster tanto tunc in judicium districtior veniet, quanto nobis ante judicium magnam patientiam praerogavit.
Oration
Let us pray.
     Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that just as we do believe thine Only-Begotten Son, our Savior, to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell.  Through the same.
Orémus
     Concéde, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum, Redemptórem nostrum, ad coelos ascendísse crédimus; ipsi quoque mente in coeléstibus habitémus.  Per eúmdem.

 

 


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