An extract from Bishop Bernard Fellay’s recent sermon for the consecration of the Church of Saint-Joseph in Montreal-de-l’Aude (France) on Sunday, May 1, 2016:
“We must always return to God, to supernatural means, to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, to the saints who are there and who have won. They have won; they dominate the battle, the war in which we find ourselves. They are victorious. If we stay close to them, to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, if we seek her protection, the protection of the saints, then we are on the winning side. Obviously that does not relieve us of our obligations, the obligation to fight, the obligation to nourish our faith. But he who remains attached to God has this consolation, and even this certitude that comes from the virtue of hope: he will not be confounded. At the end of the ceremony, we will sing the Te Deum, whose last words are: “I have hoped in thee, I shall not be in confusion forever.” If we trust in God, we can be sure we will make it to heaven. Of course, we have to follow the commandments, we have to obey Him, but we can be sure we will make it to Heaven. For God has promised us His help, He has promised us His grace, and anyone who wants this grace and asks God for it will receive it.
We are not on earth with a fifty-fifty chance of winning or losing! That is not true: fifty per cent chance of going to Heaven, fifty per cent risk of going to hell. Absolutely not! God absolutely does not want us to be lost. He is the one who allows all these sufferings, these trials, not to make us fall, but to make us go to heaven, so that through these trials we may grow in virtue. Every time He allows a trial, He gives you the grace you need to be victorious. He wants you to be victorious; He does not want you to lose. Do not give in to defeatist, fearful visions that come from the devil. He is the only one who wishes to try to discourage you, by showing you your weaknesses – and we all have them! But God gives us His grace to make us strong and victorious.
So today let us lift up our eyes to heaven; the Church is not only on earth. When we consecrate this church, we think of the Church of heaven that we call the Heavenly Jerusalem. So let us raise our eyes to heaven. We are on earth for this and only for this: to go to heaven. And there is already a myriad of men who were here on earth like us and who are now in heaven; and they are our friends, and our fate is anything but indifferent to them. Let us ask their help, again, and especially that of the Virgin Mary. If she bothers to come down to earth to remind her children of the urgent need for prayer and penance, it is so that they can go to heaven. May this place that is now consecrated be a place that truly opens the gates of heaven, that leads you, all you who come into this church, to heaven where you will admire for all eternity the glory of God, the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, in union with all the angels and saints in heaven. Amen.”