Monday, 29 March 2021

To Lawrence Low, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Peel Region (and copied to every Catholic and protestant church there)

Vox Cantoris
'Loh, Lawrence'
'Lam-Bentley, Valerie'
'Cox, Kathy'
'Zember, Theresa'

Tue., Mar. 30 at 6:53 a.m.

I wasn’t interested in engaging, I was interested in telling you and Cruella de Villa off as a couple of stinking frauds!

Vox Man Only Two Genders The Rest is MENTAL ILLNESS

Hide original message
From: Loh, Lawrence []
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2021 6:50 PM
To: Vox Cantoris; Lam-Bentley, Valerie;; Cox, Kathy; Zember, Theresa
Subject: Re: Your letter to churches

Hi there, Public Health does not oversee the hospital system.

I encourage you to speak to Ontario Health should you have concerns.

Given the tone of your e-mails, I regret that I won't be able to engage with you further.

With best wishes.

Dear Lawrence Mengele, 

I have read your instruction to churches for Easter. How dare you insinuate yourself into our liturgical practices. You have no authority, no right to tell Christians what to do. The fact that the Cardinal has acquiesced to you “virtuous” public health officials, is repugnant to this writer. 

It is clear to me that doctors in public health were at the bottom of their classes. They chose not to go into the bloody mess of surgery, the sadness of oncology, the genius of research and the humble ongoing service of general practice. Clearly, you and your ilk preferred a bureaucratic 9-5 job, and to tell people what to do. Control freaks and communist diktats in the new Oath and Order while you murder the unborn in their mother’s wombs. 

We, the people, did not elect you. Get your dictatorship out of our churches. The fact that the majority of Catholic bishops and protestant pastors have gone along with this unconstitutional behaviour on your part is a bigger scandal than the junk science you push. Five months of lockdown has not worked. If only you followed the science. 

Vox Cantoris - the male of the two genders – that is science!

Date: March 25, 2021 4:44 PM

Subject: Celebrating Easter During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Instructions for Vaccination 

Good afternoon, 

Attached is information about celebrating Easter during the COVID pandemic and instructions for vaccination. 

With my best wishes, 


Lawrence C. Loh, MD, MPH, FCFP, FRCPC, FACPM (he/his)

Medical Officer of Health

Public Health, Health Services
Region of Peel
7120 Hurontario Street RPO 667 Streetsville
Mississauga, ON L5M 2C2

March 25, 2021

Dear Christian Faith Leaders of Peel,

Subject: Celebrating Easter During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Instructions

for Vaccination

On behalf of Peel Public Health, I would like to extend my best wishes to you and your

congregation during this Holy Season of Easter. We recognize this is the second year that

communities are being asked to make new traditions, in light of COVID-19 precautions.

I would like to personally thank you for the continued sacrifices both you and your

community have made throughout the pandemic to long-standing religious practices. Your

dedication, graciousness, compassion, and support for your community during the COVID-19

response is commendable. We plan to continue working with you as community leaders to

limit the spread of COVID-19 and to encourage the community to get vaccinated when it’s

their turn. Those who are 75 years and older are now eligible.

Vaccination for Faith Leaders

Faith Leaders who are eligible can now be vaccinated. More details concerning eligibility

and how to receive your vaccine can be found on page 3. If eligible, I urge you to get

vaccinated as soon as possible so you can be protected from COVID-19.

As a community role model, once you are vaccinated, I encourage you to share this good

news with your congregation and encourage them to do the same to protect themselves

and their loved ones. Consider taking a selfie at our vaccination clinic, using the hashtag

#gotmyvax and sharing it with others. The sooner our community gets vaccinated, the

sooner we get back to celebrating our faith together, side by side.

Please continue to encourage your community to remain vigilant against the risk of spread.

Let’s continue to take care of each other by practicing the actions we know are effective.

Changes to Gathering Limits at Places of Worship

As you are aware, on March 19 the province announced that Peel is currently in the Grey[1]Lockdown stage of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework. This means

that currently, weddings, funerals, religious services, and events should be celebrated

virtually whenever possible. If this is not possible, in-person religious services and events

must be limited to 15 per cent capacity indoors or 50 people outdoors. Services should only

be conducted if 2-metre physical distancing can be maintained. Should provincial guidance

change, Peel Public Health will update our Community Spaces web page with the latest


To keep your community safe this year, please consider offering virtual or live-streamed

services as the first choice, in order to allow your congregations to continue practicing

their faith. /2

Virtual services will prevent close contact between members of your congregation.

Gathering virtually enables congregants to practice their faith with one another with the

confidence that they are also doing all they can do reduce the risk of spread.

If you have some in-person services or allow individuals to attend the church, please

ensure the following public health measures are in place.

• Ask your congregation to screen for COVID-19 before attending any in-person


• Keep a log of visitors, in case public health contact tracing is required.

• Post material related to COVID-19 safety, symptoms and screening at the entrance.

• Implement processes to ensure physical distancing at all times (for example, entry

and exit times).

• Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer at all entrances and in each room.

• Ensure masks are worn at all times while indoors.

• Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection practices for high-touch surfaces.

• Limit the sharing or distributing materials or objects, such as hymn books,

microphones, water, etc.:

o Ensure that hand hygiene is performed prior to distribution or sharing;

o Consider leaving objects or materials to be distributed on a table for

individuals to pick up; and/or

o Limit the number of individuals who have contact with materials or objects.

o Ensure any materials or objects that are returned or accessed within the

setting are disinfected or not re-used immediately.

• Suspend singing, playing wind or brass instruments, and choirs due to the nature of

high transmission.

• Seat members of the same household together with 2-metre distance between


If you or your community have any questions related to COVID-19, please call Peel Public

Health at 905-799-7700 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday) or visit our website at:

Information about vaccines and how to book an appointment can be found at

For assistance, call the Vaccination Line at 905-791-5202, open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

7 days a week.

Many thanks to you for your ongoing contribution, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Lawrence C. Loh, MD, MPH, FCFP, FRCPC, FACPM (he/his)

Medical Officer of Health


Catholic Church promotes NIKE and its Satanic shoes

I'm not going to get into a debate on whether Carlo Acutis is a saint. Frankly, I leave all these modern saint declarations up to God. I don't believe the Church is infallible in these declarations anymore - simply based upon many of those, particularly popes, whom it has canonized and the claims made on their alleged miracles. None for John XXIII and a dubious one for Paul VI. There are exceptions for any age, St. Pio, St. Charbel and St. John Henry Newman and a few others amongst them. They are Saints, notwithstanding. As for the rest? Well, if they are, I don't need to maintain a particular devotion, 

We need to be harshly critical of the Church for promoting an image of a "saint" with a corporate logo.

As much as it might offend, I have always found these "coffin" images macabre to say nothing of the digging up of their resting bones. One can think of Cadfael - A Morbid Taste For Bones!

NIKE has just announced the production of 666 numbered pairs of Satanic shoes containing blood in the souls. I won't post the pictures, just the link here to Breitbart. Caution: disturbing. 

If Carlo Accutis is a Saint, may he intercede by begging God to send down lighting to destroy these corporate images everywhere they have been placed where the logo defiles the sacred space reserved for God.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Improperium - Orlandus Lassus

Victoria: Pueri Hebraeorum

Palm Sunday 2021: Is there a Mass for you?

When Palm Sunday came in 2020, we had no Mass. In our home, we set up an altar with a crucifix and candles and read and sang the Mass and the Passion. We had a blest palm from the day before from a Mass in secret, in a locked church with paper covering the windows. Can you imagine that?

If you are in the Archdiocese of Toronto, your parish may be at thirty percent or fifteen percent capacity. Sheer lunacy when Costco and Walmart are at fifty percent. 

For many of you, there is still

After doing nothing for a year, Thomas Cardinal Collins succeeded in pushing Ontario Premier Doug Ford to change the occupancy restriction from ten persons to fifteen percent in the most extreme diktat control measures. The Cardinal is now quiet. Mass is open for you if you can get a ticket.

Will there be a Triduum for you? Unlikely. In an effort to serve as many people as possible you will probably be registered to attend one of Holy Thursday, Good Friday's Service or Holy Saturday's Easter Vigil. this is understandable given the circumstances. It is hardly acceptable given that the Triduum liturgies are really three parts of one great event. There is no blessing after Holy Thursday, it has been stripped away. There is no Mass on Good Friday and no rejoicing until the Alleluia of Holy Saturday. We are in mourning and this year, we continue to be as we were in 2020. 

The post-Covid Church in Toronto is going to look a lot different. Collins retires in January and the search is already on for his replacement. My sources are clear - the next Archbishop is going to deal with the crisis that has been long avoided but which will be brought to the fore post-Covid. The closing of many parishes. It will be a crisis brought on and accelerated by Thomas Collins. 

That will be his legacy.

The Mass of Palm Sunday pre-1955

The Mass of Palm Sunday 1955/1962

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Ave Maria - Robert Parsons

I've sung and heard many Ave Maria's in my time as a member of the Toronto Oratory Choir, Sacred Music Society and the award-winning Victoria Scholars. If there is a more sublime setting of the Ave Maria, I do not know it. Schubert? Bach- Gounod? They can't touch this. Victoria? Yes, comes close, but this is by far, the best!

A blessed Feast of the Annunciation to all.

Most Blessed Mary, ever-virgin, intercede for this writer and his readers. Amen.


(Ps. 44:13, 15, 16)All the rich among the people shall seek your favor. Behind her the virgins shall be led to the king, her friends shall be brought to you with gladness and joy. Ps. 44:2. My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king. V. Glory be . . . 


O God, by Your divine decree the Word was made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the announcement of the angel. May the prayers of the Virgin help us, for we believe that she is truly the Mother of God. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . . 


O Almighty God, the dignity of our human nature has been undermined by self-indulgence. Strengthen it again through the practice of salutary self-denial. through Our Lord . . . 

LESSON (Isa. 7:10-15)

In those days, the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: "Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above." And Achaz said: "I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord." And he said: "Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good." 

GRADUAL (Ps. 44:3, 5)

Grace is poured out on your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever and for all ages. V. For the sake of truth and meekness and justice, may your right hand lead you on wonderfully. 

TRACT (Ps. 44:11, 12, 13, 10 15-16)

Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, for the king greatly desires your beauty. V. All the rich among the people seek your favor, the daughters of the king wish to be held in honor by you. V. Behind her the virgins shall be led to the king; her friends shall be brought to you. V. They shall be brought in with gladness and joy, they shall be led into the temple of the king. 

GOSPEL (Luke 1:26-38)

At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end."

And Mary said to the angel: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?" And the angel answering, said to her: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God." And Mary said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word." 


Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 


O Lord, fix deeply in our minds the mysteries of our true faith. We profess that Your Son who was conceived of a virgin is true God and true man. May His life-giving resurrection bring us the reward of eternal happiness. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . . 


O Lord our God, You created these material things to support our weak human bodies, and chose that we should offer these same things to You in sacrifice to Your name. May they nourish us in this life and be a pledge of our eternal happiness. Through Our Lord . . . 


Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. 


Pour forth Your grace into our hearts, O Lord, so that we who learned of the Incarnation of Your Son Christ through the message of an angel, may be brought to the glory of Jesus' resurrection by His passion and cross. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

 Commemoration of THURSDAY OF PASSION WEEK O Lord, may we cherish with pure hearts this spiritual Food that we have taken with our lips, and may this Gift that we received on earth become for us an everlasting remedy. Through Our Lord .

Chanticleer performs Biebl's 'Ave Maria' at the Cathedral of St. Paul

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Canadian Jesuits endorse sin!

There are times that a blog post writes itself. This is one of those times. 

With apologies to the two good, faithful Jesuit priests in Canada that read this blog, but seriously Fathers, when is too much, too much?

About the joint review of Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace's international partner organizations - Canada Province (


So just who is this Jose Sanchez in the communications branch of the Canadian Jesuits?

Jose Sanchez, Author at All Inclusive Ministries | A Group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Catholics in Toronto, Canada

Canada's First LGBTQA+ Technology Conference Venture Out Returns to Toronto ('

Development and Peach logoMontreal, March 22, 2021.– On 25 February 2021, a joint press release from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) announced that, after a review of 63 D&P partners, 24 of them would no longer receive funding from CCODP, while 19 others would not be renewed. This follows the announcement months earlier of changes made to the organisation’s governance and partner selection process. 

The Jesuits of Canada have been privileged to collaborate with the CCODP in furthering the social mission of the Church and look forward to many more years of the same. Over its long history, CCODP has accompanied people working for social change in the Global South, often making the difference between life and death for people who are marginalized. 

We are deeply saddened to learn that so many CCODP partners are losing this vital support from CCODP. We regret that the process to arrive to this decision was not marked by the transparency and collaboration that the Church knows are key virtues to witnessing to the Good News and to becoming a synodal Church.  

This process has harmed the reputation of some people and organizations, many supported by the local Church, who often risk their lives to defend poor and marginalized people.  The impact of this decision may have widespread and long-term consequences for partner organizations in the Global South, threatening their very existence. This would represent a profound loss of the prophetic witness of the Church.  

It appears that a review was undertaken with the purpose of judging the partners on their adherence to the Church’s teachings on sexual matters.  We believe,  however that the partners should be viewed with gratitude for their demonstrated and consistent commitment to the core richness of the Church’s social teachings. If consulted, lay people and the Religious of Canada, many of whom have worked in the Global South and who personally know many of these organizations and their contexts, could have provided more accurate information on the partners under review. 

We also acknowledge with gratitude and hope the many signs of openness to international solidarity that we see emerging among the people of God in Canada. These seem to be signs of the Spirit at work. Along with the rest of the Church, we are being called to healing and transformation, especially with our brothers and sisters in the Global South. We wish to work with groups like CCODP in order to be transformed for the Kingdom of God.  

Erik Oland

Provincial Superior
Jesuits of Canada 


For more information:  
José Sánchez  
Director of Communications  

Sunday, 21 March 2021

But Jesus Hid Himself

I wrote this post four years ago and republish it each 5th Sunday of Lent. It highlights a most profound Gospel not to be found today in the new Missal. It also explains the veiling of statues. On March 29, 2020, I wrote, "Our churches are closed, we will miss the veiling and one wonders if anyone even bothered to do it?" Now, a year later, many are still closed or kept to ridiculous limits imposed by power-mad public health officials, ignorant and evil politicians and cowardly, spineless episcopal leaders. 

For most of you in the Archdiocese of Toronto, there is, thanks to the cowardly Thomas Collins Collins, still, "No Mass For You." At a niggardly occupancy of fifteen-percent in the largest population centres of this Archdiocese, you are in the cold. They have forced a complete veiling upon our churches, these evil men and women.

Jesus hid from those who would seize him before his time. Let us all remember today that he has not hidden from us. Let us never hide from him.

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent which begins Passiontide. If one attends Mass strictly in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite it is not generally apparent having been done away with as a time within Lent. In the traditional calendar, it is called the First Sunday of the Passion with the colloquial Palm Sunday being the Second Sunday of the Passion. There is a further stripping away of liturgical elements and embellishments which began in Septuagesima, 

From First Vespers last night until the Paschal Vigil, the Gloria Patri is not said after the Asperges on Passion Sunday or the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, Introit, Lavabo and Communion Antiphonal Psalms. In the Office, it is eliminated from some of the Verses and Short Responsories. Jesus is losing his earthly glory. The readings and psalm antiphons reflect this in the Mass and Office. Those who hate him are now plentiful, as plentiful now, as when he walked. Those who seek his death are now coming to the fore. Those who seek the death of His Church are coming to the fore and are also within Her. Lent now takes a change in focus; -- while our penance continues, we now shift towards the passion of Our Blessed Lord and his saving work of redemption.

Abbot Gueranger writes that:
"During the preceding four weeks, we have noticed how the malice of Jesus' enemies has been gradually increasing. His very presence irritates them; and it is evident that any little circumstance will suffice to bring the deep and long-nurtured hatred to a head."
His passion then has begun. His glory is no longer apparent.

There is one element that remains in the modernist liturgy depending on the parish's own tradition. While it was once obligatory it is now optional and that is the veiling of the Crucifix and statues, though not Stations of the Cross or the imagery in windows. 

Veiling of ImagesBut why? From whence does this tradition come? 

It is thought to have begun around the 9th century in Germany. When Lent began (which in most languages is a derivative of Quadregesimae, the Latin for forty days), a cloth called a hungertuch or hunger cloth, was used to cover the altar. It was removed on the Tuesday of Holy Week during the reading of the Passion according to St. Mark when “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” The Gospels in the three-year cycle in the New Lectionary do not reflect the symbolism and beauty of Passiontide and the veiling. They are all from St. John’s Gospel and are in sequence – “I am the Resurrection and the Life;” … “If a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it bears much fruit;” and, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The change from the one-year Lectionary, in place from St. Gregory the Great, was a grievous error. The desires of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council could have been achieved without the assault on the whole Church tradition of readings. A Lesson could have been added to the Sunday liturgy. Weekdays could have had their own Mass texts whilst still acknowledging the Sanctoral cycle. Advent could have had its own lectionary as in Lent in the traditional rite, with the Advent readings in the Novus Ordo is about the only good that can be said of it. The three-year Lectionary remains a problem. Mass is not a bible study.

For the Mass on the Fifth Sunday according to the Roman Missal of 1962, the Gospel is what it has been for 1600 years and it explains the veiling.

GOSPEL ¤ John 8. 46-59 † A continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe Me? He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered and said to Him: Do not we say well, that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honor My Father, and you have dishonored Me. But I seek not My own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep My word, he shall not see death for ever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the Prophets: and Thou sayest: If any man keep My word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost Thou make Thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing: it is My Father that glorifieth Me, of whom you say that He is your God, and you have not known Him: but I know Him: and if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it and was glad. The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou art not yet fifty years old: and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

“But Jesus hid Himself.”

St. Augustine said that at this moment by virtue of His divine nature, Jesus became literally invisible.
“He hides not himself in a corner of the temple as if afraid or running into a cottage or turning aside behind a wall or column; but by His Divine Power making Himself invisible he passed through their midst.”

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read the following:
205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that burns without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."9 God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.

"I Am who Am"
Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."

Moses and the Burning Bush DBouts.jpg

CCC 206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.
CCC 207 By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your father"), as for the future ("I will be with you").12 God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.
CCC 208 Faced with God's fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God's holiness.13 Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: "Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips."14 Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."15 But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: "I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst."16 The apostle John says likewise: "We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."

Jesus revealed to the Temple authorities, the leadership of Israel, who He was. He knew Abraham and did so in such a way that they would know with clarity who He was. 

Now, he is hidden in our churches and chapels only to be unveiled when we recall His Crucifixion -- "Ecce lignum Crucis," -- "Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the Saviour of the world, come let us adore him." If we hide Him we cannot abide the glory of His saints, therefore, they are also hidden. Christ is shamed. He is humiliated by those whom he came to save. The Jewish "deep state" betrayed Him, we continue to betray Him today.

He declared Himself before all Israel to be the I AM of the Burning Bush; and for this, they would kill Him. They knew what He said, they knew what He meant. 
He confessed to them that he was the very Son of God, the very God Himself come to earth.

In the sermon below from 1846, we find an incredible dissertation on Jesus hiding Himself.  
It is a sermon by an Anglican, but one would be hard-pressed to find a better sermon or homily said today on the subject from a typical Catholic pulpit. This was a period that led Saint John-Henry Newman home.

Would that we could hear preaching like this today.


+ + +


Second Series.  VOL. I.

Then took they up stones to cast at Him."

Thus are we brought down from the whole Gospel for the day to that portion of it which will engage our chief attention during the brief remainder of this morning's service. "But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

1. Jesus "hid Himself," as man, in prudence: according to the will of His Heavenly Father. As He had been born in "the fullness of time," so it was at an appointed hour that He was to die. But "His hour was not yet come ": and He therefore avoided whatever might unduly quicken the course of events, or put forward the grand horologe of time. And this He did in obedience to the Will of His Heavenly Father. This obedience was the mainspring of His conduct throughout His earthly sojourn. "Lo I come to do Thy will, O God," was His motto from first to last; and never was it more fully translated into action than in all He did with regard to His final suffering and departure.

When that hour of mingled humiliation and glory, which compressed eternal interests within the compass of a few passing minutes; when that everlasting hour arrived, the holy and obedient Jesus yielded Himself at once into the power of His enemies. Thus, when Satan had entered into Judas Iscariot, Jesus said to the traitor, "What thou doest, do quickly." When Judas came to Him in the garden with men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, "Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them, I am He." And when the impetuous Peter—the first to defend, the first to deny his Master—drew his sword and cut oft" the right ear of Malchus, the High Priest's servant, "then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" When Pilate would fain have released Him, and sought for some pretext for so doing in the replies of Jesus to his interrogatories, "Jesus gave him no answer." And at the last, when He saw that all was "finished,"—prophecy fulfilled, types realised, the preparations for His sacrificial Death complete, His Father's will wrought out,—He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost."

But until the arrival of that hour, His conduct was marked throughout by unexampled prudence. While He wrought His miracles before the multitude, and taught openly in the Temple, and in secret did nothing; while He boldly confuted and reproved the Pharisee, the Sadducee, and the Herodian, regardless of the enmity He thereby incurred; He carefully shunned the precipitation of His end. He had a mission of vast pregnancy and moment to discharge; and until this was done, He would not lay down that life which the Father had put into His power. Whenever danger became imminent, He withdrew Himself from the presence of those who sought to lay hands on Him and destroy Him. Thus, on the occasion immediately before us, when the infuriated Jews took up stones to cast at Him, "Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." 

On a previous occasion, when the Pharisees held a council how they might destroy Him,
Jesus “withdrew Himself from thence." On a subsequent occasion, similar to that of the text, when the Jews again sought to take Him, "he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan." When the Sanhedrim, after the official prophecy of the unconscious Caiaphas, took counsel together to put Him to death, "Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples." Thus, throughout His whole earthly career, our Blessed Lord exercised a prudence of the highest order; enforcing by His own example the precepts He gave to His first disciples: "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves ;"—" When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another ." And these precepts, supported by this supreme example, and adapted to the exigencies of Christians at the present day, apply also to us. "As men may not be too tenacious, so neither may they be too profuse and lavish of life and the comforts of it," says Dean Stanhope; "lest, besides their present hardships, they find at last an indiscreet zeal returned, with a 'Who hath required these things at your hands?' Love indeed is apt and desirous to give over-measure, where it can: but still this must not be the effect of passion alone. Prudence should temper and direct it." 

"It is an office of prudence," says Bishop Taylor, "to serve God So that we may at the same time preserve our lives and our estates, our interest and reputation, for ourselves and our relations, so far as they can consist together. For Christian religion, carrying us to heaven, does it by the ways of a man; and by the body it serves the soul, as by the soul it serves God; and therefore it endeavours to secure the body and its interest, that it may continue the opportunities of a crown, and prolong the stage in which we are to run for the mighty prize of our salvation; and this is that part of prudence which is the defensative and guard of a Christian in the time of persecution: and it hath in it much of duty."

Thus far we have endeavoured to consider the conduct of our Blessed Lord, on the occasion under review, on its human side; as an exhibition of prudence and discretion. But it has a sublimer aspect than this; to which we now with reverence will turn.

Jesus “hid Himself," as God, in majesty; the majesty of displeasure. "He did not hide Himself," says St. Augustine, "in a corner of the Temple, as if He were afraid; or take refuge in a house, or run behind a wall, or a pillar; but, by His heavenly power making Himself invisible to His enemies, He went through the midst of them." Just before, He had said, "Before Abraham was I Am"; with evident reference to the Name revealed by the Lord to Moses, as recorded in the First Lesson for this morning's service; when He appeared to him in the burning but unconsumed bush, as he was keeping the flock of Jethro, the Priest of Midian, near the base of Mount Horeb. On that occasion, when Moses would have drawn nigh to see that great sight, the Lord forbad his nearer approach, and commanded him to unsandal his feet, because they were standing on holy ground. He, who required this reverence towards an inferior manifestation of Himself, would not permit the rude hand of violence to invade His incarnate glory. He "hid Himself" in the secret depths of His invisible Godhead.

There is, doubtless, a mystery in this; and we cannot fully understand why He, who submitted on so many occasions to endure the contradiction of sinners against Himself, refused on other occasions to undergo the indignities that wicked hands would have put upon Him. But a like mystery invested the whole of His earthly career. The darkest shades of humiliation were never permitted altogether to obscure His glory; while yet, that glory was so far hidden, that men despised Him and esteemed Him not. Great, however, as was the mystery of His commingling of glory and shame, the mystery of the manifestation of His glory alone was greater. He might have flashed forth devouring lightnings from the dark and surcharged cloud. He might have kindled into supernatural and overwhelming brightness the splendours of His Divine and resistless Presence. But He did none of these things. He manifested forth His glory by hiding Himself. When the Lord, in the days of old, would preserve righteous Lot and His prophet Elisha from the hand of violence, He smote their enemies with blindness; and so He might have done on this occasion: but, as the threatened indignity was greater, so was the punishment wherewith He visited it. "He hid Himself."

Awful are the exhibitions of Divine glory, when the Lord is raised up out of His holy habitation, and comes forth from His unseen depths to punish the ungodly. But these are as nothing when compared with the hidings of His face. When the Lord would denounce the severest judgments against Israel of old, He said to Moses, "Mine anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?" And when, on the other hand, He would confer upon His repentant people the greatest possible blessing, He said by the mouth of Ezekiel, "Neither will I hide My face from them any more: for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel."

The hidings of Jesus, in the days of His flesh, were yet more majestic and awful. He came into the world for the express purpose, among others, of manifesting the glory and the grace of God: so that to hide Himself was, as it were, to revoke His mission with regard to those from whom He thus withdrew. He abandoned them to the evil of their own hardened and unbelieving hearts, and left them to be filled with their own ways.

It is impossible to conceive anything more dreadful than the condition of the man from whom Jesus has hid Himself. Such a man sinks at once into a state of moral stupidity: he sins on without aim or purpose. Until Jesus hid Himself, the unbelieving Jews had an object against which to direct their malignant attacks; but when He could be no longer seen, their malice, though as virulent as ever, became wholly impotent and senseless. And so, when Jesus hides Himself from sinners of the present day,—who insult His majesty because it is concealed to the-eye of sense or mere reason (though not to the eye of faith), beneath mean and simple accidents,—He leaves them to perish as brute beasts. The force of argument and moral suasion having been tried upon them in vain, together with all other manifestations of the true and holy Jesus, He will no longer expose Himself to the rash temerity and blinded insolence of their invasions, but hides Himself, going through the midst of them, and so passes by.

The abstract contemplation of such a subject is too awful for man to dwell upon at any length; and we will therefore now consider it, (so hastening to a conclusion,) under its practical aspects and bearings.

But is it possible, men may ask, for persons at the present day to commit acts of insult and injury towards the Divine Jesus, akin to that of the blaspheming Jews when they took up stones to cast at Him? Alas, it is but too possible. "Certainly we cannot commit such open blasphemy; but it is another matter whether we cannot commit as great. For, often sins are greater, which are less startling; insults more bitter, which are not so loud; and evils deeper, which are more subtle." Although Christ is no longer on earth in bodily presence, He is here by His Spirit: and it is quite possible for men to repeat the offence of the blaspheming Jews by casting stones, so to speak, against either the Church, which is His Body; or the Sacraments, which are His Presence; or the Poor, who are His Brethren.

The Church is the Body of Christ, "the fullness of Him That filleth all in all:" and they who resist or blaspheme or persecute Her, do in effect resist and blaspheme and persecute Him. And such are not only, nor even chiefly, the openly wicked and profane; whose offences are of a different description: but those who deny the Divine authority of the Church, rejecting her principles for the opinions of men and the maxims of the world; those who deny her Apostolicity, treating her as a merely human and secular institution; those who invade her constitution, legislating for her on grounds of political expediency, and not according to the laws of Christ. "Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward." They refuse to acknowledge the Body of Christ in His corporate members; and He hides it from them. They are no longer permitted to behold the tokens of her presence. She becomes to them what they would have her be. In their eyes she has no form nor comeliness, although she is all-glorious within. But with these hidings of her beauty and this withdrawal of her presence, there comes not only an apparent abdication of her authority; leaving men to live as they list, according to the broad measures of the world, instead of the straight and narrow lines of eternity: but also the utter loss of her intercession and benediction. She no longer stands between the living and the dead. A silent curse spreads over the land she has abandoned to itself. The rulers have forsaken Christ, and Christ has forsaken them. The people would have it so, and their house is left unto them desolate.

"Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings:
Be learned, ye that judges of the earth.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And so ye perish from the right way,
If His wrath be kindled, yea but a little.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."

Again, the Sacraments are the Presence of Christ. In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, He is present by His Spirit, Who, in answer to the prayers of the congregation, is given by our Heavenly Father to infants, when baptized, that they may be born again and be made heirs of everlasting salvation. In the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, He is really and spiritually present, being taken and received by the faithful as their heavenly food and divine life. 

Whoever, therefore, despises the Sacraments, despises Christ. Whoever denies their saving power, denies the Presence of the Saviour in them. Whoever in effect casts stones at these, as by cavils or contumely or neglect, does in reality thus cast stones at Christ. And then does the Son of God hide Himself from them in the majesty of displeasure; and Sacraments become to these persons what, in their rationalistic unbelief, they would have them be. 

Baptism, when administered by schismatics and pretenders to Holy Orders, fails to regenerate; and their own theory, that Baptism admits only to an outward union with a nominal church, is, in their own case, verified. The Communion is reduced to a formal commemoration of an absent Saviour. In both cases, as regards their own mere outward show of Sacraments, they are right. They have taken up stones to cast at the spiritually-present Jesus; and He has hidden Himself, going through the midst of them, and so passing by.

Lastly: the Poor are the Brethren of Jesus. They are so even in respect of their mere poverty; although it must not be concealed that the poor man who is a wilful sinner is severed from this communion and fellowship. But he, who is at once poor in this world and poor in spirit, is united by the closest bonds to the lowly Son of Mary. This is strikingly shown in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, wherein the Judge declares that whatsoever is done unto the least of the Hungry, the Thirsty, the Stranger, the Naked, the Sick, the Imprisoned,—being "the poor of this world," but " rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom," —is done unto Himself. Now, we all know how apt men are to "despise the poor." "There are kinds of distress founded on the passions, which, if not applauded, are at least admired in their excess, as implying a peculiar refinement of sensibility in the mind of the sufferer. 

Embellished by taste, and wrought by the magic of genius into innumerable forms, they turn grief into a luxury, and draw from the eyes of millions delicious tears. But no muse ever ventured to adorn the distresses of poverty or the sorrows of hunger. Disgusting taste and delicacy, and presenting nothing pleasing to the imagination, they are mere misery in all its nakedness and deformity." And therefore the many "despise the Poor." But in so doing, they despise Christ; and what is their punishment in consequence? Jesus might rend aside the veil of His humanity, and reveal Himself as God. He might put off the sordid dress of poverty, and clothe Himself with light as with a garment. But He inflicts a severer punishment than this—He hides Himself. The Poor no longer visibly bear upon them "the marks of the Lord Jesus "; and secular legislation, at once blind and self-confident, sets itself to relieve their distress by increasing their degradation. It brands the Poor Man as a Pauper, and consigns him to contempt and shame. Jesus has hidden Himself in majestic displeasure: and men of the world little dream that He will reveal Himself again at the Last Day, and avenge the cause of the poor and the oppressed!

"Oh, how much are they to be pitied, in whatever sphere they move, who live to themselves, unmindful of the coming of their Lord. When He shall come, and shall not keep silence; when a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him; every thing, it is true, will combine to fill them with consternation: yet, methinks, neither the voice of the Archangel, nor the trump of God, nor the dissolution of the elements, nor the face of the Judge itself, from which the heavens will flee away, will be so dismaying and terrible to these men as the sight of the poor members of Christ; whom, having spurned and neglected in the days of their humiliation, they will then behold with amazement united to their Lord, covered with His glory, and seated on His throne! How will they be astonished to see them surrounded with so much majesty! How will they cast down their eyes in their presence! How will they curse that gold, which will then eat their flesh as with fire, and that avarice, that indolence, that voluptuousness, which will entitle them to so much misery! You will then learn that the imitation of Christ is the only wisdom: you will then be convinced it is better to be endeared to the cottage than admired in the palace; when to have wiped the tears of the afflicted, and inherited the prayers of the widow and the fatherless, shall be found a richer patrimony than the favour of princes."

H. H.