Joseph Stefanelli, SM
Monograph Series - Document No. 53; Volume 3 - Notes for Conferences and Sermons, Part Two.

Monograph Series - Document No. 53
Volume 3 - Notes for Conferences and Sermons, Part Two
620 pgs

Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of The Chaminade Legacy gather together Father Chaminade’s notes for conferences and sermons. They may be dated between 1800 and 1809, and almost all were intended for lay people. Volume three (620 pages) includes four notebooks covering the following subjects, according to the AGMAR classification.

  • Mysteries of Christ: birth, passion, resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, and Eucharist.
  • Moral life. Preparation for death. Love of God and the spiritual, theological, and penitential life. Prayer.
  • Respect for God and neighbor. Seven privileges of Virtue. Confirmation and Baptism. Faith. Witness and hypocrisy. Marriage. Virtues and gifts of the Spirit. Retreats. Family Life. The Word of God. Demons. The Creed.
  • The Final ends: death, particular and general judgment, the end of the world, heaven, hell.

Document 63:
Fourth Sunday of Advent

[37] Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. . . .All flesh shall see the salvation of God [Lk 3:4, 6].

Throughout the entire course of Advent, the Church never stops inviting her children to the feast of her bridegroom’s birth. . . . On the first Sunday, it is by the fear which is the beginning of wisdom. They shall see it, etc. On the second, John the Baptist, who from the depths of his imprisonment recognizes Jesus Christ as sent, etc. On the third, John the Baptist, who complains of the blindness, etc. In your midst, etc. Today, prepare, etc. The Lord is near [Phil 4:5]. Go forth to meet him [Mt 25:6].

Division. (1) Obligation to prepare ourselves. (2) Preparing ourselves means removing from our hearts whatever displeases God.

First Part. Obligation to prepare ourselves to . . . to receive—that is to say, in our souls by the communication of God’s grace—this God of mercy and goodness who came formerly, etc.

Two Motives. (1) The greatness of the mystery itself. (2) The abundance of graces which we receive there, in proportion to the dispositions we bring to this mystery.

First Motive. If you consider who is coming, see what great majesty; if you consider to whom he is descending, see what dignity; if you consider why he is coming, see how immense is his love (Saint Bernard).

We may paraphrase. Evidently great is the mystery of godliness which was manifested in the flesh, was recognized as just by the Spirit, appeared to the angels, has been preached to the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory [1Tim 3:16].

Second Motive. Abundance of graces, communicated in proportion to dispositions. It is not the same with these graces as with those of creation or Baptism. [38] To every one who has shall be given . . . and from those who have not, even what they have shall be taken from them [Lk 19:26].

The birth is the first of all the mysteries of Jesus Christ, as to sequence. It is so, also, as to the grace which it embodies—that of our birth and spiritual regeneration.

1. All the other mysteries depend on this one. . . . Faith in the other mysteries depends on it. If I believe this article of my religion, I will believe Jesus Christ was a man of sorrow, etc.

2. If we climb to heaven through participation in the glory of Jesus Christ, if we resurrect, etc. . . . This is why when Saint John speaks of the Incarnation and birth, he says, “full of grace and truth.”

Saint Bernard says the stable is open on all sides, etc. But these graces, like the gospel seed, must find a well-prepared soil. If after so many years I have not profited . . . received . . . I must attribute this to my own negligence. Otherwise, we would be saying our mysteries are without grace, or these graces are without effect. Blasphemies. . . .

Second Point. When Saint John the Baptist says, “All flesh shall see the salvation of God,” he immediately adds, “The crooked ways shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth” [Lk 3:6, 5]. Whatever may be our preparations, our practices . . . we must be without mortal sin. This is especially where the crooked ways lie. . . . For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, or dwell in a body subject to sin [Wis 1:4].

Three things happened before the Blessed Virgin conceived the Son of God. (1) The angel Gabriel was sent. (2) Behold the handmaid [39] of the Lord. Let it be with me according to your word [Lk 1:26, 38]. (3) The Holy Spirit came upon her.

Saint Ambrose says some wonderful things about this fiat. See how she obeys, as a servant; see how she consents, as a young girl; see how she approves, as queen; see how she judges, as mistress of the situation.

Application of these three things. (1) A grace which chases away sin. (2) Consenting to this grace. (3) The Holy Spirit, not only an actual grace but indwelling, by an indwelling grace (Council of Trent).

What was it God did in favor of the small number of chosen people who received him? To as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the children of God, to those who believe in his name [Jn 1:12]. (1) A light and a grace by which they discovered the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word. (2) They consented and believed. (3) The Holy Spirit united himself to them and by animating them, led them into a participation in the life of God. This is the meaning which the holy Fathers gave to the words of Saint John. To as many as . . . the world did not know him. . . . He came into his own, and his own did not receive him [Jn 1:12, 10, 11].


Translator's Note
A Word to the Reader

Notes for Conferences and Sermons
Notebook Number 3

The Nativity of Jesus Christ

1. Jesus Christ on the Cross. Poverty and Humility
2. Jesus Christ, the Word of God to the Human Race
3. Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd
4. For the Feast of Christmas
5. Second Sermon for the Feast of Christmas
6. Another Sermon for Christmas
7. Outline for Two Christmas Sermons
8. Fruits of the Birth of Jesus Christ
9. Outline for Two Conferences for Christmas Day
    and the Day After

The Circumcision. The Magi

10. [The Circumcision of Jesus]
11. The Circumcision
12. The Holy Name of Jesus and the Circumcision
13. Outline of Two Conferences for the Sunday
       within the Octave of Christmas and the
       Feast of the Circumcision
14. On Mortification of the Passions
15. On the Necessity of Salvation
16. Appearance of the Star. Actual Grace
17. [Parallel between the Star and Grace]
18. Conference for the Feast of the Epiphany
19. The Flight into Egypt and the Massacre
       of the Innocents
20. Conference on the Flight into Egypt
21. Sermon on the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The Passion of Jesus Christ

22. The Insults Inflicted on Jesus Christ
23. On the Scourging
24. The Crowning with Thorns
25. The Pain Inflicted upon the Head of Jesus Christ
26. The Blessed Sacrament
27. Jesus Christ Carrying His Cross
28. Jesus on the Cross

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

29. Sermon on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
30. Second Sermon on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
31. Sermon for the Feast of the Resurrection
32. [The Sepulcher of Jesus Christ Is a Mother]
33. Questions on the Resurrection
34. Conference on the Resurrection
35. The Resurrection of the Just on the Occasion
       of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
36. The Resurrection of Christ, Cause and Model
       of Our Resurrection
37. The Resurrection of the Just
38. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Ascension of Jesus Christ

39. Sermon for the Ascension
40. The Eternal Priesthood Exercised by Jesus in Heaven
41. Sermon for the Ascension
42. Sermon for the Ascension of Jesus Christ
43. [Continuation of the Sermon for the Ascension]


44. Sermon for Pentecost Day
45. Attractiveness of God's Law
46. Second Sermon for the Day after Pentecost
47. Sermon. The Christian, a Temple of God
48. Some Explanations Concerning the Christian as
      God's Temple

The Eucharist

49. Twenty-seven Meditations on Holy Communion
50. The Eucharist
51. On Bad and Good Communions
52. Mystical Death of the "Old Self"
53. The Paschal Meal and the Last Supper. Institution
       of the Eucharist
54. Feast of the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi)

Notes for Conferences and Sermons
Notebook Number Four

Moral Life

55. Concerning Human Respect
56. Instruction. The Cross of Jesus Christ
57. Fruits of the Cross
58. A "Normal" Natural Life
59. Uneasiness of a Half-hearted Life
60. On Good Example
61. On the Presence of God
62. Sermon. False Desires for Salvation
63. Fourth Sunday of Advent
64. Meditation on Intemperance of the Tongue

Preparation for Death. Contrition

65. Meditations To Prepare for Death
66. Contrition

Life Based on God
Vie Theologale

67. On the Love of God
68. Conference on Keeping Sunday Holy
69. Sermon on Keeping Sunday Holy
70. Another Conference on Keeping Sunday Holy
71. Witnessing to Jesus Christ as a Model
72. On Being Unfaithful to Grace
73. The Beatitudes
74. On Curiosity
75. Instruction on Grace
76. Saint Peter's Repentance
77. Conferences on Faith
78. Conferences on Hope
79. Conferences. Love of God
80. Conferences. Love of Neighbor

Sin and Penance

81. Conferences on the Sacrament of Penance
82. Conferences on Indulgences
83. On Temptations. A Meditation
84. Fruits of the Passion

Spiritual Life. Prayer

85. The Life of Faith
86. Paraphrase of Psalm 50/51, Miserere
87. Grace
88. The "Science" of the Saints
89. God Proposes the Saints as Models and Exemplars
90. Sermon on Relationships of the Just with Sinners
91. Conference for the First Sunday of Advent
92. Seminary Retreat
93. Parables. The Grain of Wheat, the Yeast
94. On Friendship
95. Mental Prayer
96. Conference. Witness with the Blood of Martyrs

Notes for Conferences and Sermons
Notebook Number Five

Respect for God and Neighbor

97. Respect in Church Buildings
98. On Slander
99. On Rash Judgment

The Seven Privileges of Virtue

100. Instruction on General Rewards for Virtue
101. First Privilege of Virtue. Special Providence
        over the Just
102. Second Privilege of Virtue. Grace of the Holy Spirit
103. Third Privilege of Virtue. Spiritual Light as
         Opposed to Spiritual Blindness
104. Fourth Privilege of Virtue. Consolations which the
        Holy Spirit Communicates to People of Good Will
105. Fifth Privilege of Virtue. The Clear Conscience
        Experienced by Virtuous People
106. Sixth Privilege of Virtue. Confidence in God
107. Seventh Privilege of Virtue. True Freedom as
        Opposed to the Slavery of the Wicked

Confirmation and Baptism

108. Instruction for Confirmation
109. Instruction for Confirmation
110. Instruction for Confirmation
111. Confirmation Ceremonial
112. Instruction for Baptism

Faith, Witness, Hypocrisy

113. Sermon. God Is Our Sovereign Lord
114. Concerning Saint Peter's Faith
115. On Saint Peter's Fall
116. Sermon for the Feast of Saint John
117. On Frequenting Good and Bad Companions
118. Sermon against Hypocrisy
119. On Public Penance
120. On Intruders

Marriage, Virtues and Gifts. Retreat

121. Marriage
122. Conference on Marriage
123. Various Outlines and Summaries
124. On Human Destiny
125. On the End of the Christian
126. On Retreat
127. The Character of a Christian

Family. Word of God. Demons

128. Conference. Duties of Parents and of Children
129. On the Word of God
130. On Demons


131. Usury
132. Usury
133. Usury

The Christian Life. Duties and Dangers

134. Questions for Conferences on a Divine Call to a
        State of Life. In Particular, to Marriage
135. Concerning Novels
136. Conference. Dancing, Balls
137. Conference. Confession
138. Hope. Its Various Names
139. Charity
140. Concerning Love of Styles and Luxurious Apparel
141. The State of Grace
142. Hope
143. Flight from the World
144. On the Various States of Life
145. Examen on the Commandments of God

Christian Faith

146. Instruction on the Necessity of Faith
147. On the Darkness of Faith
148. Faith
149. Sermon on the Happiness of Believing
150. Characteristics of Faith
151. Martyrs
152. The Firmness of Our Faith
153. Conferences on Faith
154. Conferences on Faith
155. Doubts about Faith
156. Observations and Explanations of the
        Conferences on Faith

Notes for Conferences and Sermons
Notebook Number Six


157. On Death
158. Neglecting the Thought of Death
159. Death

Death of the Sinner

160. Horrors of the Grave. Meditation
161. Sermon on the Uncertainties of Death
162. The Death of the Sinner
163. Horrors of the Death of a Sinner

Death of the Just, of the Half-hearted

164. Of the Death of the Just
165. The Death of the Just
166. [Death of the Just, a Good Death]
167. Death of the Just
168. Death of the Half-hearted

Judgment. End of the World

169. Instruction on Preparation for Death and Judgment
170. The General Judgment
171. The Particular Judgment
172. Particular Judgment
173. End of the World and General Judgment
174. The General Resurrection. End of the World
175. Conflagration at the End of the World

Judgment as Examination

176. General Judgment. Severity of the Examination
177. Last Judgment. Second Examination of
         Good Works
178. Examnation of Sins of Bad Example or
         Sins of Others

Christians at Judgment Time

179. The Last Judgment
180. The Sinner's Shame at the General Judgement
181. Fear of God's Judgment
182. God's Judgment without Mercy
183. Another Sermon on the Last Judgment
184. Then They Shall See the son of Man
185. The General Judgment
186. Sermon on the General Judgement


187. Heaven
188. The Joys of Heaven in and through Jesus Christ
189. [The Heavenly Jerusalem]
190. Paradise
191. Second Conference on Heaven. The Love
         of the Blessed
192. Third Conference on Heaven. Union of the
         Blessed with God
193. Fourth Conference on Heaven. The Joys
         of the Blessed
194. An Eternity of Happiness


195. Hell
196. Judgment
197. Immutablity of God's Designs
198. Hell

Eternity of Hell

203. Hell Considered as Eternal
204. The Eternity of Hell
205. The Eternity of Hell
206. The Small Number of the Elect
207. Eternity
208. Eternity

Immutablity of Hell

209. Of Eternity and especially of Its Immutablity
210. The Road to Hell

Biblical Index
Index of Proper Names