Tag Archives: Sermons

Bishop Fellay on the four effects of the Mass

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/listen-bishop-fellays-sermon-4-effects-mass-ordinations-weekend

Bishop Fellay gives a thought provoking and beautiful sermon at the first Mass of Fr. Ian Palco, a newly ordaimed priest, on the importance of the Priesthood in relation to the Mass, the meaning of the Mass and why it’s important for us to have a great love for the Mass, the atonement which the priest makes to God on our behalf for the sins of mankind. There are four traditional ends of the Mass: adoration, atonement, thanksgiving and petition.  Read the summary provided by the Society and better yet, listen to the calming voice of the good Bishop expound upon these points and preach the doctrine of the Church.

~Damsel of the Faith

Bishop Fellay preached at the first Mass of Fr. Ian Palco, explaining the dignity of the priest and the mystery and value of the Mass.

The Lord expects from his priests a love that is infinite, ever-growing, and unlimited: not a mere human love. Christ wants the priest to adore God in a perfect way, to give thanks to God at all times, to make reparation for the sins man has committed, and to intercede for mankind in all their intentions. This sermon was delivered on Saturday, July 8, 2017, the day after the priestly ordinations at the new seminary in Dillwyn, VA.

The main points of His Excellency’s sermon are provided below – the video provides audio of his sermon explaining the four ends of the Mass.

The First Duty of Man is to Adore God

The act of adoration means that man recognizes the authority of God and that he freely accepts the rights God has over man. But, all men being sinners, and their acts being limited by their senses, they cannot go beyond this world on their own. Incapable of exceeding the sphere of the simply natural and to reach out to the infinite, man, by himself, cannot offer to God due adoration. Only Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, makes us understand the narrowness of human life. He offers himself in the Holy Mass and, through the priest, we can offer to God adoration that is fully acceptable to Him.

Justice, Thanksgiving, and Piety

Many times in life, man rejoices at important gifts which he is never able to give back in full: what we have received from our parents, our country, and God is invaluable. We are never truly able to thank our parents and adequately express what we owe them. It is the same with God. We owe him our life! He cares about us unceasingly, He gave His Son, and offered us the possibility of becoming His sons. Never could we thank God as we should if it was not for the Holy Mass. Being elevated to God’s instrument, the priest offering Mass can say thanks to God the way God desserves to be thanked.

The sacrifice the priest offers at the altar — “my sacrifice and your sacrifice” — “the sacrifice of the priest and the sacrifice of the faithful” (Offertory), united with the sacrifice of Christ, becomes a sacrifice with an infinite dimension, impossible to be understood by man, a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.

 

Satisfaction

The satisfaction that one Holy Mass gives to God, being an act of Christ, is sufficient to make reparation for all the sins of humanity. But this satisfaction must be allocated to man. The Holy Mass is the source of all graces that can easily fill a man’s heart. But the amount of graces to be received, and the forgiveness given to man, depends on how open he is to the action of grace. The more man is prepared to receive the graces, the more man will receive.

Prayer

The Prayer of Our Lord during the Holy Mass is infinite and infallible. Again, since man prays with Our Lord, since he has a part in this prayer, the act by itself and the fruits coming from it, is tainted by the imperfection of man. If we had the faith and we knew the plan of God, there would be no unanswered prayer. The most efficient prayer we can ever present to God happens at Mass, thanks to and through the priest.

Care for the Faithful

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre called prayer the essential apostolate of the priest. Any apostolate aims to bring his people closer to God, to help them avoid sin, and to make them progress in virtue. None of this can happen without the graces of the Mass. The graces of Christ in the Mass are universal and know no borders or limitations. Even the angels have less power than the priest! Celebrating Mass means is the essence of the priesthood.

How Does God Expect the Priest to Help the Faithful?

There is a short prayer in the breviary: “Fac ut sim sacerdos secundum Cor tuum.” “Make my heart like unto your heart!” Jesus wants to be one with the priest and he wants the priest to be one with him. He wants to pour into the heart of the priest the love of God and, through the heart of the priest, he wants to approach the faithful. The priest should look at Christ at all times and ask: What do you want me to do? To say? The life of the priest is about the love of Christ and the love for the sheep he has entrusted to the priest. Human nature is such that man loves what he finds to be good. A priest, like Christ, who dies for all people, has to open his heart to all men and must be ready to die for the sinner.

Charity Summarizes all the Commandments

“We must love God with all our heart with all our strength.” There can not be any limitation to our love. This charity, the union we have now with God, is the same as the saints have for God in heaven. As long as we live on earth, our charity has to increase every moment. No man can say at any moment that he is loving God and his neighbor as much as he should. The progress souls make from one Communion to the next, following St. Thomas Aquinas, is exponential. Only God knows how much progress we make at every Communion, and what marvels God works in our soul.

Source: SSPX US District

 

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An example of Bishop Fellay’s saintliness

Image result for bishop fellay

Bishop Fellay is such a saintly bishop and priest. Despite the pain of a broken foot, he keeps up his good cheer and is a saintly example of joyful suffering to all of the Faithful.  Read this story of a true shepherd of souls:

http://www.onepeterfive.com/bishop-bernard-fellays-authentic-catholic-witness/

On 4 November, 2016 – the day of the opening ceremony of the new seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in Dillwyn, Virginia – three little children were blessed to be confirmed by His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay. Everything surrounding this little ceremony – with some twenty priests, seminarians and different family members gathered around – turned an otherwise small event into something very big and holy. Each individual who was present there will no doubt count it as one of the great blessings of his life.

As with so many such blessings, it started with a cross. The confirmations were to start in the evening, at 6:30 pm, after the long opening ceremony for the seminary. The small group of families, sponsors, and seminarians was gathered around in the provisional chapel of the seminary (which shall one day be replaced by a larger, more beautiful church adjacent to the seminary) when suddenly a seminarian walked up the aisle, stood in front of the faithful, and told them that Bishop Fellay just had had an accident, and that he had injured his foot. Some medical experts were just then examining him, the seminarian said. We were to wait another thirty minutes in order to be further instructed. As it turned out, we waited an hour or so, not knowing whether the ceremony would take place at all.

It was around eight o’clock in the evening that the seminarian came one last time (after several updates) into the chapel. Since the bishop could not walk, we were invited upstairs to the private chambers of His Excellency so that he could help the Little Ones become Christian Soldiers. When all had gathered in a modest little room, Bishop Fellay came in to greet us. Nobody who was in that room is likely to forget what happened next: Bishop Fellay came in, with his as yet untreated foot – which turned out to have been seriously broken – on crutches, and with a big smile on his face! After first apologizing for the “inconvenience” (!) his injury had caused, Fellay then suddenly said, with an even bigger smile: “This is a very good sign! It is a very good sign, because it shows that the devil is very angry that these little children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation!”

The faithful present were astonished. How was it that this holy man smiled through the pain of a broken foot and yet rejoiced over obstacles put into his way? (One lady present said later that she had once had a broken foot; she confessed that she was not able to sleep all night because of how much it hurt.) And how was it that he ignored his suffering and did not allow such obstacles to hinder him from performing what might have otherwise be seen as only a small ceremony for just three children?

It was not much later that we were given a little more insight into Bishop Fellay’s deeply rooted conviction and principles. As soon as he was able to perform the ceremony – he had to be seated carefully – his eyes lit up even more. He completely focused his attention on the little children, looking only into their eyes – and quite intensely so – in order to explain to them the greatness of the Sacrament of Confirmation. His eyes were radiant and glowing when he explained to the children with words they could understand what they were about to receive. The warmth of his gaze toward the little ones was touching, as were his smile and tone of voice. It was quite a witness to us adults, seeing how a man of his stature paid no heed whatsoever to the adults around him, and how he gave his best to prepare the hearts of the little ones for the sacrament, and in a language that they might understand. Bishop Fellay had no prepared remarks, yet he cheerfully and with great concentration spoke for about twenty minutes or so, in what was for him a foreign language, and all without any sign of rushing or impatience. He was fully present for the children, acting as a supreme pastor for their souls.

Thankfully, I was able to record most of what His Excellency said. I received permission to make use of the transcript I have produced of those remarks in order to spread to as many Catholics as possible the radiant depiction of this channel of grace and a glimpse of the abundant graces we received that night in a bare room, in the twilight.  The words speak for themselves and will bring us all back to the foundations of our beloved Faith. Here now the transcript which I have produced to the best of my ability:

For the rest:  http://www.onepeterfive.com/bishop-bernard-fellays-authentic-catholic-witness/

~Damsel of the Faith

2016 Winona Ordinations Sermon

For my posts on the final Ordinations in Winona, go here and here.

Following up from my previous posts, here is the full transcript of Bishop Alfonso de Galaretta’s beautiful sermon for the final Ordinations in Winona, Minnesota.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/sermon-2016-ordinations-mass-16592

http://www.dici.org/en/documents/bishop-alfonso-de-galarreta-ordinations-sermon-winona-june-3-2016/

“Today is a day full of joy – of a noble, profound, Christian joy – as it brings us together around the altar and the sacrifice of Our Lord in order to confer the sacred orders of the priesthood and diaconate, on this feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our priestly ideal.

Sacerdos alter Christus – the priest is another Christ who, by means of the sacrament of the Eucharist, continues the presence and action of Our Lord, the Eternal High Priest. As a sacrament, the Eucharist perpetuates the Incarnation, the presence of Our Lord among us. As a sacrifice, it perpetuates the redemption, the cross of Our Lord.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the object of the preaching and apostolate of the priest. But it is also, at the same time, the form and model of priestly spirituality and activity. St. Paul wants us to know the inexhaustible treasures of wisdom, science, holiness, and charity that are hidden in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Priestly Heart of Jesus Tells us: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”

Our Lord Himself reveals to us these treasures of His priestly Heart when He says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”[1] Not one way, or one truth, or one life, but the way, the truth, the life.

St. Augustine says that Our Lord is the Way as Man, and the Truth and Life as God. For that reason, Our Lord is, at the same time, the fatherland and our way to the fatherland.

Our Lord is the Way because nobody can go to the Father unless it is through Him. He is the Way because He is the High Priest who reconciles men with God. He is the only Mediator. He is the Way through His Priesthood, His Kingship, and His Church, the only Bride and Mystical Body of Christ, and there is no other way to attain God.

Our Lord is also the Truth, Wisdom incarnate, Light without darkness, without error or lies: “For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”[2] Our Lord died on the cross to give testimony to this truth. He is the source of all truth.

He is also the Life – Resurrection and Life: “I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.”[3] Our Lord is the supernatural life of souls by His grace, His virtues and holiness, by His sacrifice, which is the source of all graces and holiness.

The proof that the priests is the apostle of the Heart of Jesus is given by the correspondence that exists between what Our Lord tells us and the powers received by the priest with the sacramental character and grace.

The priest has a triple power: potestas regendi, potestas docendi, potestas sanctificandi. The power to rule, to direct souls in the Way that is Our Lord Jesus Christ. The power to teach the truth, only the truth, the integral, supernatural truth. The power to communicate grace to souls and sanctify them in Our Lord Jesus Christ, the power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

At the same time, a reflection of these three powers and their relation to the treasures of the Sacred Heart proves and explains why the solution to the present crisis of the Church resides in the Catholic priesthood, in its sanctity and fidelity.

The liberal, modernist spirit that has penetrated into the Church opposes Our Lord and His action.

Our Lord is the Way – but religious freedom dissolves the social Kingship of Christ. The Church is the only way of salvation, but the modernist spirit relativizes this and leads to religious indifferentism.

Today: Doctrinal Relativism Leads to Moral Relativism

The situation in the Church is clear: there is a doctrinal, dogmatic relativism, which in turn leads to moral relativism and ends into the acceptance and promotion of sin and scandal.

A clear example of this is the question of Communion to the divorced and supposedly “remarried.” There is a new attitude in the Church regarding these de facto, and even unnatural, unions. An unconceivable situation, directly opposed to Our Lord as the Life, the Truth, and the Way.

If ecclesiastical authorities have reached the point of calling evil good, it is because they have first called error truth. All this holds together – between all these things there is coherence, logic, causality.

Our Lord taught us that the tree is recognized by its fruits, and the good tree produces good fruits [4]. Therefore, if the fruit is bitter, corrupted, an incitement to sin, then most certainly the tree from which it comes is a bad tree. And if the tree is bad, it is because the seed was bad.

The problem we live today in the Church is not only one of consequences, but everything after the Council is the bad tree, and all of it is virtually contained in its seed, the Second Vatican Council.

If today we are faced with the scandal of Communion to the divorced and “remarried,” it is on account of post-conciliar legislation and practice, which allowed the inversion of the ends of marriage, weakened its indissolubility, and introduced personalism into it by inventing a new good of marriage: the personal good of the spouses.

All these doctrines, which for years now have been entering the Church, are contained in the Council, in Gaudium et Spes, which establishes these principles. And when the present Pope permits all these things, we see there only the homogenous development of error.

“If we have to choose between faith and a compromise, the choice is already made – no compromise!”

At the same time, we are amazed that there is no general reaction in the Church against these measures, that there is no group of bishops or cardinals who publicly oppose this scandal. This shows the gravity of modernism, which firstly disarms, and then makes the antibodies disappear.

While there are some improvements and a certain dissolution of this spirit, regarding us it is always the same: to be recognized we will have to accept the conciliar novelties…

Not long ago, Pope Francis felt obliged to correct Archbishop Pozzo’s words, stating that the recognition of the SSPX is possible, but only with the previous acknowledgment of Vatican II because “it has its value.” [5]

The hierarchical superior of Archbishop Pozzo, Cardinal Müller, explains [6] that to be Catholic one has to accept the Pope and the Council – religious liberty, ecumenism, etc., are doctrine, common doctrine, that is, doctrine of faith. He compares this with the case of the resurrection of Our Lord, a truth of faith, but one that has not been explicitly defined. And he concludes by saying that to demand the acknowledgment of the Council is not unreasonable and should not be an unsurmountable obstacle for the SSPX. In fact, this acknowledgment is precisely what will lead us to “full communion” – a communion in error. It is clear, then, that the condition is the acceptance of the Council and what came after the Council..

Therefore, it is also clear that the combat continues. As our Superior General, Bishop Fellay, has said, if we have to choose between faith and a compromise, the choice is already made – no compromise! [7]

God may certainly change the circumstances and put us in a different situation. That is our firm hope. But the present reality is what it is.

The Sacred Heart, a Heart of Reparation

Lastly, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also, essentially, the Heart of the Redeemer, a Heart of reparation. St. Margaret Mary says that Our Lord showed her that there are two sanctities, the sanctity of love and the sanctity of justice, and both are demanding and strict, each in its own way.

There is a double holiness and reparation, to justice and charity, and the priest must offer himself together with Our Lord for the redemption of men and in reparation. Our Lord Himself gave to His apostles this golden rule when He said: “For them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in Truth.”[8]

That must be our attitude towards those who are of the family of the Church, the authorities. That is the solution for those errors and weaknesses that we denounce. We have the key in our true identification with the priestly Heart of Jesus.

As St. John says, we must believe in love, in the love of Our Lord. We must trust in the powerful aid of His grace. We have to answer love with love, gift with our own gift, sacrifice with our own sacrifice. That is the way of redemption and restoration.

Let us go to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the heart of a Mother, full of love, goodness, mercy, constancy, and patience, as the love of a mother is. And Her heart is the surest, most perfect and shortest way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Amen.

Source: FSSPX/USA – Translation, subtitles and notes by DICI June 13, 2016)


[1] John 14:6

[2] John 18:37

[3] John 10:10

[4] See Matt. 7:16-17

[5] Interview with Pope Francis in La Croix on May 16, 2016:
“Q. Would you be ready to grant them a personal prelature?
Pope Francis: It is a possible solution, but first we have to establish a fundamental agreement with them. The Second Vatican Council has its value. We are moving forward slowly, with patience.”

[6] See Cardinal Müller’s interview in the June 2016 edition of Herder Korrespondenz, republished by the Austrian website Kathpress on Mai 24, and quoted by Edward Pentin in the National Catholic Register on the same day: “…Cardinal Müller, whose insistence on the SSPX adhering to the Council’s teaching is clearly more pronounced than that of the Holy Father, told Herder Korrespondenz that one cannot discount the Council as ‘only pastoral chatter’ just because it adopted no binding dogmas. The CDF prefect said that no pope has ever proclaimed Christ’s Resurrection as an ex cathedra [infallible] dogma, and yet it ‘belongs in the center of the creed, it is the foundation.’ ‘Key statements, even if they are not proclaimed ex cathedra [and thus infallible], are, for us Catholics, still essential,’ he said, adding that it is ‘not acceptable to take one and reject the other.’
“Cardinal Müller also said in the interview that one must not be fascinated by every homily from a bishop or pope. Only the magisterium, which is a declaration of faith, needs to be accepted, the cardinal stressed, according to the Kathpress report.
“‘Religious freedom as a fundamental human right and freedom to protect religion regarding the supernatural revelation in Jesus Christ are recognized by every Catholic without reservation’, he said in reference to the relevant Council declarations.
“The recognition of the Second Vatican Council is ‘not an unreasonably high hurdle’ to overcome, he said, adding that it was rather ‘the adequate remedy to enter into full communion with the Pope and the bishops in communion with him.’
“The CDF prefect further asserted that Pope Francis’ relationship to the SSPX does not differ from that of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. ‘He sees this and similar groups as Catholic, but still on the way towards full Catholic unity’.”

[7] Bishop Fellay’s interview in National Catholic Register, May 13, 2016:
“I do not seek this canonical regularization as an absolute. For me it is a given, a right to have it, but we’re not going to compromise, to hurt the faith, the discipline of the Church, to get that. We consider it as an injustice not to give it to us, and so we claim our point of view. That’s all. And so if we are put in a choice, let’s say, of between keeping the faith or making a compromise, it’s clear what we’re going to do. We’re not going to compromise.”

[8] John 17:19


God bless our new Priests and keep them steadfast in the Faith and Mass of All Time!

~Damsel of the Faith

The Good Shepherd

Our Lord is the Shepherd of our souls. He it is who watches over us and tends to our every spiritual need. Remember what a great and loving Saviour it is that we have.

Sermon from Fr. Francis Cuthbert Doyle, 1879

“I am the good Shepherd.”–St. John X. 11.

The allegory under which Our Lord represents to us His undying love and never-wearying care, was drawn from a picture which is often looked upon, and may be seen in all its minutest particulars in the East, even at the present day. The shepherd in Palestine is a very different character from the shepherds we are accustomed to see among ourselves. He does not, as with us, drive his sheep before him; to do so would in many instances be to urge them on to certain destruction. He goes before them, to see that the mountain-paths are practicable, to remove obstructions, and to find suitable pastures for them. The sheep are so well trained by him that they know his voice; for if he sees them straying from the flock, or loitering behind, or climbing into dangerous places, he calls to them and rebukes them, and they know his voice; for if a stranger call to them they at once lift up their heads, stand for a moment irresolute, and then perhaps rush off in alarm, and with headlong speed. The shepherd goes before them, wellarmed and prepared to defend them from harm, whether that threaten them either from wild beasts, or from robbers. Often he himself is in peril of death, and at times the shepherd is actually overpowered and slain by the wild Arabs of the desert, who rush in upon him and kill him. His tenderness and gentle care are shown, both by the way in which he accommodates his speed to the condition of the flock, and from the love with which he lifts the weak and tender lambs into his arms, and bears them in his bosom. And should he miss one, which has strayed, or climbed into danger, he goes at once, and often at the peril of his own life, bears back the wanderer upon his shoulders to the fold.

In each of these qualities of a good shepherd, you have a most faithful picture of Jesus Christ, the true Shepherd of your soul. Each one of you is intimately known to Him, as intimately as if you were His only child. All your failings and shortcomings are before His eyes. All your necessities, your struggles, your difficulties, your aspirations, lie open before Him. All your past, whether it has been good or bad, is to Him as an open book, upon whose pages are traced the thoughts which have passed through your minds, the desires you have conceived in your hearts, the words you have spoken, the actions you have done. There is no secret corner veiled from His sight. There is no depth into which His eyes do not penetrate. He is well aware of all the difficulties which stand in your way, and prevent you from being virtuous. He knows that it is mostly up-hill work for you, with many a tangled, thorny thicket to be passed through, and many a slippery path to be carefully trodden, before you can stand in safety. But remember, He goes before you, to clear a passage through the thorns, and to make firm the uncertain foothold. Whatever may cause you pain in your upward journey, has first of all pained Him. You are the little ones of His flock. Oh, how tenderly does He love the young–the young boy whose soul is just looking out into the world of sense, and, finding it so fair, so attractive–and the world of the spirit, so hard and so wearisome! Like the shepherd, He carries you in His very bosom, and shelters you there from the storm, and beguiles the weariness of the journey. The wolves which prowl about to tear and to destroy, He keeps at a safe distance. He sustains your feeble life with His own body and blood, and should you unhappily stray, and become entangled in the briars and thorns of sin, He goes forth to seek you and draws you thence, more tenderly than the tenderest mother, and, bearing you back in His bosom, restores you to the fold where alone safety and true happiness are to be found.

In return for this unutterable love, you owe to your Shepherd a very deep debt of gratitude. But how are you to pay it? You cannot give anything to God, which He will accept more graciously, than the entire and undivided love of your heart. If you love Him, you will keep near to Him by extreme purity of life, fearing to offend Him even in such matters as most people would esteem trivial. You will hearken to His voice, by following the inward promptings and inspirations of His Holy Spirit, Who will secretly draw you after Him into yet more perfect ways. You will close your eyes to the tempting pastures which lie on either side of you, almost within your reach; you will turn away from them, be they never so fair, and press onward, treading in the footsteps of Him Who goes before you. But if you love Him not, you will stray away and put yourself beyond His reach, you will fall away from the body of the flock, and then the prowling robber or the lurking wolf will seize upon, slay, and devour you. Jesus, your Shepherd, has put a visible shepherd in His place, who must be obeyed and followed with the same docility, as if He Himself were present and called you with His divine voice. This shepherd is your prefect or your master. He has at times to make you walk in hard, and difficult ways–ways very displeasing to flesh and blood. Hearken to his voice, for the Good Shepherd has said: “He that heareth you, heareth Me.” Follow his counsels. Shun what he bids you avoid. Forego those pastures which seem to you so pleasant, so far removed from danger. Remember, your shepherd stands on the mountain-top. He commands the whole situation. He can see danger where you see none. Therefore trust him, be obedient to him and very docile, and he will guide you safely to the fold of the Good Shepherd, into which no robber can enter to steal, nor prowling wolf leap over to kill and to destroy.

Feast of the Purification

On this Candlemas Day, here is a meditation from Fr. Francis Xavier Weinger:

“Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace!”–Luke 2. 

These were the words of holy Simeon as he received the divine Child from the arms of its mother. Who would not congratulate him that the Lord fulfilled his ardent longing, and that, too, in so perfect a manner, by look upon the Infant God?

To behold the promised Redeemer, and then depart from this world to his eternal home, had been the suppliant prayer of Simeon from the days of his youth to his venerable old age; and this silent but intense desire of his heart was gratified on the Feast of the Purification, which we celebrate today.

Mary, with the divine Child in her arms, entered the temple with Joseph, her virginal spouse. Simeon looked upon the Child and, the Holy Spirit illuminating his soul, recognized in Him the Saviour of the world; and not only that, but he glanced with prophetic vision into the future, and God permitted him to behold the consequences of His advent into the world,–the Church so gloriously founded by Him. He thanked God for the happiness and grace when he saw himself among the number of those for whom Christ was to become a sign of resurrection and glorification for eternal life. The Lord granted his ardent desire, and surely in a more perfect manner than he anticipated, from which arose his prayer: “Now, O Lord, dismiss Thy servant in peace!”

The example of Simeon indicates, in the most explicit manner, what is required that we may also bid adieu to life, consoled and strengthened in the Lord. O Mary, sweet consoler of the dying, obtain for us the grace of a happy death! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater honor of God!

Simeon longed to depart from this world. Unlike so many, even among those who have received the light of faith, death held nothing terrible for him. Why is it, beloved in Christ, that the approach of death is generally regarded with such apprehension, and even terror? Because the human heart is entirely too much engrossed by the things of this world–its goods and treasures. Men toil on as long as their energies will permit, to acquire what they deem a sufficient competency to enable them to spend their declining years in comfort, ease, or luxury; and when the grim monarch of the tomb bids them leave it all, their whole interior undergoes a fearful struggle. Men pass their lives in enjoyment, they are happy in the love and affection of the family circle, or their days pass on in dissipation and forbidden amusements, when suddenly death appears and bids them go. Ah! then what trouble, what misery, what resistance on the part of those whose prayer is not: “Now, O Lord, dismiss Thy servant in peace;” but a very different one: “Now, O Lord, let Thy creature enjoy the goods of earth, and grant unto me still many days with my family, relations, and friends. Ah! let me taste still longer the joys of earth.”

Simeon longed for death; not so the child of the world. Simeon held the Child Jesus in his arms, and pressed Him to his heart, hoping ere long to embrace Him in the kingdom of His eternal love; which circumstance refers to another fact, from which we learn the reason why every Christian does not long to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.

Man, indeed, believes in Christ, adores Him, and is resolved to live as a child of His Holy Church, but by all this he does not attain to the personal knowledge of the Lord, whom he loves, so to say only in name. Hence the weakness of his love, and desire, and longing for God. We are satisfied to live in His grace, but Jesus is not the principal thought, the principal wish, the principal desire of our hearts. Man lives near Him, but in spirit he is more engrossed with other men and objects than with God, and all that concerns His empire.

Therefore, he does not feel the ardent longing to leave this world, to haste to his Creator, and to abide with Him in the full possession of His superabundant love, and to sigh with St. Paul: “I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.” How very different would this be did we but follow the admonition contained in the example of the venerable Simeon, holding in his arms the Infant Saviour. This should remind us of the presence of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament, and of the happiness of being permitted to have intercourse with Him therein. It should remind us of the great privilege we enjoy of speaking to Him, of laying before Him each wish of our hearts, and even of receiving His precious Body and Blood,–a happiness which was not granted to Simeon.

Indeed, generally speaking, what Christ was to do for us, was not so well known to him as to us. While Christ has already lived and accomplished the work of redemption in us, Simeon enjoyed but for a few moments the opportunity of remaining with Him in person; for Mary and Joseph left the temple, and took the little Infant away. But now, Christ abides among us in the tabernacle, and never for a moment ceases to invite and entreat us to come to Him. Oh, that we might fully comprehend how to appreciate and make use of this immeasurably great gift!–this gift of the perpetual presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament! Only through the perfect application of this precious gift will the meaning of all the relations of Christ become clear to us. When we call Him our Father–Brother–Friend–the Spouse of our souls, we begin to anticipate what our hearts will feel for Him when we behold Him unveiled–freed from the sacramental forms–when we look upon His glory in heaven, and embrace Him there.

In the measure that the personal love and knowledge of Jesus Christ increases in us by our intercourse with Him, in the same degree the desire grows evermore intense to fly to Him from this world of sin to a home of eternal bliss. For what would be the possession of the whole earth, with its riches and its pleasures, compared to that possession into which we enter, if we depart this life in the grace of God, and hear from His divine lips the blessed words: “Enter into the joys, the glory, and the delights of thy Lord.” “The conqueror I let sit with Me on My throne.” Oh, what are all the fleeting honors of this world compared with the brilliant luster of the crown which Christ will put upon our heads, when we shall have reached the refuge of His love in heaven! and what are earthly joys compared to those which He has prepared for His own, beyond the skies!

We may, it is true, enjoy the delights of the happy family circle–our parents, children, friends–and it will be a bitter pang to part with them by death; but the pain of that separation will be repaid a thousand fold by the bliss which a union with Christ in heaven will bring to us. Through Him we enter into the communion and beatitude of the saints, of His blessed mother, St. Joseph, and all the celestial host. Ah! then, may we not indeed, with the holy Simeon, and the venerable Apostle of nations, desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ?

One circumstance which intensifies that desire is this: What a joy it will be to leave the world, and with it the many, the innumerable offenses by which in every hour of the day and night Jesus Christ is insulted and crucified anew, even by those who call themselves children of His Church! And we, ourselves, alas! are not free from reproach in this regard; for we offend Him, if not by mortal sins, at least by innumerable venial faults and imperfections, from which we can not keep ourselves free without a special grace of God. What a motive to desire heaven, and to sigh from the deepest depths of the heart: “I long to be dissolved, and to be with Christ;” where I will be confirmed in grace, and forever free from the fear of displeasing my Lord and God; where I will be purified from every stain of sin, and will become an object of His pleasure and love for all eternity.

The holy Simeon was endowed with the spirit of prophecy. He penetrated the secrets of the ages yet hidden in the mystic veil of futurity; and the destinies of the Church were revealed to him. He beheld the combat which the Church of Christ would have to enter upon, and the different manner in which the children of men would apply or reject the priceless gift of redemption. When Simeon held the Infant Jesus in his arms, the massive gates of heaven were yet closed, and his soul must descend to Limbo, and wait until Christ would enter His kingdom of glory, and take with Him the souls saved through His passion and death.

Look in spirit upon your own dying bed. How different will it be! Christ has entered His kingdom, and there awaits the just soul with a heavenly crown. Now, if during life, our whole desire was to be with Him, a desire which displayed itself by our aspiration after the perfection and fidelity of the saints in imitating Him, then we will, after death, fly immediately to Him, and enter into His beatitude and love. God grant to us all, beloved in the Lord Jesus, through the intercession of the blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, and St. Anna, the grace of a happy death, full of an ardent longing after Christ, our dearest Saviour! Amen!

“A light to the revelation of the Gentiles.”–Luke 2.

The feast which Holy Church celebrates today in honor of the Blessed Virgin has a twofold name. It is called the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin. This name relates to the historical event, which took place when Mary presented herself in the temple, with the divine Child, that she might there fulfill the precept of a law which, properly speaking, did not regard her in the least.

The name “Candlemas Day” refers to the rite of blessing the candles to be used by the faithful, which is observed with proper solemnity by the Church. In regard to these blessed candles, there are three special periods of life when the Church places those candles, enriched by her benediction, in the hands of her children, and these are: First, at their entrance into this world–when they receive the sacranient of baptism; secondly, when, for the first time, they approach the altar, and from the hands of God’s minister receive the Body and Blood of Christ; and, thirdly, when, at the close of life, the soul is about to go forth and meet the Judge of the living and the dead.

Let us consider today what relation the lighted blessed candle bears to our conduct as children of God in imitating Christ, at the baptismal font, at first holy communion, and at the bed of death. O Mary, who becamest, through Christ, a light to guide mankind, obtain for us the light of grace clearly to discern our vocation as children of God, and to walk therein with unfaltering steps! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater glory of God!

Our Holy Mother Church places a lighted blessed candle in the hands of each one of her children, first, when they enter this world,–or, to speak with more exactness, on their entrance into the visible kingdom of Jesus Christ by the sacrament of baptism. Her intention in doing this is shown by the words which the priest, in her name, directs to the newly baptized infant: “Receive this burning light, and keep thy baptism so as to be without blame. Observe the commandments of God, that when our Lord shall come to His nuptials, thou mayest meet Him, together with all the saints, in the heavenly court, and mayest have life everlasting, and live forever and ever. Amen!”

What an admonition is contained in these words! Preserve pure and unspotted your baptismal robe; preserve the remembrance of the promises made by you; forget not your baptismal vows; observe all that you have so solemnly taken upon yourselves before the Lord. As Christians, you have renounced the devil with all his works and pomps; try, then, ever to live as true servants of Christ. And what is meant by a truly Christian life? Beloved in Christ, one glance at Him, who is the Light of the world, will teach us this.

Man, left to himself, knows but little of all that regards his ultimate destiny and last end; he can not realize the malice and horror of sin, for his spirit is shrouded in dark night, and he dwelleth in the shadow of death. But let him become well instructed in the truths of faith; let him look at Christ, the Light of the world, and consider what He,–through His word and example, from the moment of His advent into the world, through His life and death upon the cross,–teaches us by His Church.

Christ, the Son of God, assumes our flesh to free us from the evil of sin, which quenches in us the light of grace. Besides this, we learn from the lips of the prophets–from Christ Himself, through the teachings of the Apostles and their successors–that all are saved who here in the state of grace participate in the fruits of the Redemption. We are clearly instructed in all that is calculated to fill our hearts with hatred and horror of sin; we are told what we must do in order to be cleansed from it, if, after baptism, we have had the misfortune to offend God thereby, and fall once more into the power of Satan.

The Christian who, in this regard, permits himself to be thoroughly illuminated by the light of faith which Christ brought into this world, will become also thoroughly in earnest in his resolution to amend his life. “No more sin!” Such a one avoids the occasion of sin; yes, in the first moment of temptation, he cries out against Satan, in the most holy name of Jesus, “Depart,” and thus conquers the tempter, which, through his knowledge of Christ, and the study of His divine example and doctrines, but, above all, through his ardent love, he can easily accomplish.

If this be so, what then is the reason that so very few retain their baptismal innocence, and that by far the greater number lose it so soon? I answer by saying that it is because we forget to glance at Christ, Who, through sin, was crucified for us.

The second occasion on which the Church presents her children with a blessed candle, is on the occasion of their first communion. She admonishes them by this not to be satisfied merely to avoid sin, but with unwavering footsteps to walk after Christ in the way of Christian perfection. He is the brilliant Light which makes of this darksome earth a glorious way to heaven.

In our lives as true children of the Church we must strive ever to know, in as distinct a manner as possible, the most holy will of God, and pray always for the strength and will to fulfill it perfectly. And what is, in general, the will of God in our regard? To this question St. Paul replies: “This is the will of God: your sanctification.” Through what? This question also the great Apostle of nations answers with equal certainty: “Those also whom He has elected, He has predestined to become conformable to Himself;” and he says of himself: “Be ye my imitators, as I am an imitator of Christ,” and each true Christian should be enabled to say the same to the rest of mankind. But, alas, what darkness envelops that portion of the human race who know nothing of Christ; while the halo, as it were, of a brilliant sunlight encircles those who look at His bright example and obey His admonition: “Learn of Me;” and again: “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice.”

To what heights of perfection can those Christians attain who glance at Christ and imitate His example! This we may learn by the lives of the saints; and, as this symbolical light sparkles in our hand at Holy Communion, Mother Church points at the same time to the source of all grace by which we are enabled to live in the imitation of Christ after the manner of the saints.

This, beloved in the Lord Jesus, is our intercourse with Christ in the most Holy Sacrament, which is the only way to attain, to His personal knowledge, to the perfect love of Jesus Christ, and to follow His example until we attain to the highest degree of virtue.

If the illuminative light–as it shines through Christ into the hearts of the innocent ones, who are united with Him for the first time through a worthy communion–is never permitted to burn dimly; but, by frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist, is always enlivened anew, then indeed there is an unequivocal assurance that the fervor which characterized their first Holy Communion remains ever the same, and that their endeavors after Christian perfection in following the Lord will be crowned with success.

The third period of life when the Church places the blessed candle in the hands of her children, is at the moment when the soul is about to leave the body, and its flickering beams cast their uncertain light on the pallid countenance and fading eyes of the dying Christian.

If we would that our zeal should grow constantly greater, and our fervor increase as children of light, let us keep ever in view the remembrance of the powerful word–Eternity–united with the abiding thought of the certainty of death and its approach, which comes nearer each moment. It is, as the Apostle styles it, the answer of death within us.

Happy for us, my dearest Christians, if this threefold relation of the blessed candle burns with ever increasing brightness around our spirits, for then indeed Christ will surely remain for us the Light to guide our steps to the empire of His glory! Amen!

He did his duty and kept the Faith. Merci, Monsignor!

The following is Archbishop Lefebvre’s 40th Episcopal Ordination sermon given on October 3, 1987:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

I am very grateful to you for having come in great numbers on the occasion of this anniversary of my episcopacy, to give thanks to God, to take part in our acts of thanksgiving, and also to ask of the Good Lord to have mercy on me for everything that, in the course of these forty years, may not have been accomplished according to His holy Will.

I am also happy to thank the members of my family for being here, and likewise to thank our dear sisters who have come in numbers to participate in this ceremony. I thank all the members of the associations who have determined to travel in order to participate in this Mass of thanksgiving.

My very dear brethren, what will be the main idea of these few words that I am happy to address to you during this Mass? Well, I would like you to imagine that, in the course of these forty years, all my episcopacy has been directed by a light. And then what is that light? It is summed up both in the motto which I wanted inscribed on my coat of arms when I was named Bishop of Dakar and in the motto of St. Pius X: “Credidimus Caritati – We have believed in charity”; and “To Restore All in Christ Jesus.Credimus Caritati. What is this charity then if not the Incarnation of the Word of God, the mission that God has willed to accomplish among us, a mission of charity, a mission of love, a mission of mercy, by the Redemption, by the Cross, by His Holy Sacrifice? That is the Love in which we believe! We believe in Jesus Christ born, dead on the Cross, resurrected for the redemption of our souls. And we want to set up the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is the motto of St. Pius X, our holy Patron, the holy Patron of our Society. It is by this Light, my very dear brethren that these forty years of my episcopacy have unfolded.

Obviously, during these forty years, the circumstances have been very different according as I found myself at Dakar for fifteen years and at the same time Apostolic Delegate for French Africa, and then the years that have followed. The fifteen years at Dakar were, I can say, marvelous, marvelous years because they were filled with graces. During these years after the war, calm having returned, peace having returned, there was an atmosphere very favorable to the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the missions. The governments generally did not make any opposition, even as a whole rather favored our schools, our works and therefore our apostolate.

And it is thus that in those dioceses, which went from forty-five to sixty-four during the eleven years that I spent as Apostolic Delegate in Africa, in those dioceses an immense development was brought about by the zeal of the missionaries, by the zeal of the bishops, by the multiplication of the seminaries, multiplication of the religious works, abundance of vocations, seminaries full, sisters coming from Europe, coming from Canada to help in the evangelization, indigenous African sisters. It was truly very consoling on the occasion of my visits with this immense marvelous development in peace, in the union of all, and in the Faith, in the Catholic Faith. There were no problems, no disputes, no division.

But after those fifteen years spent at Dakar and at the end of those years, it is then that I was called by Pope John XXIII to participate in the preparatory commission of the Council. I went up many a time to Rome to be in that imposing assembly of seventy Cardinals, of twenty Archbishops and Bishops, and of four Generals of Orders, often in meetings presided over by Pope John XXIII himself, to prepare the council. And I admit that that ideal and that light which illuminated my episcopacy was then profoundly troubled. I felt on the occasion of the meetings, on the occasion of the discussions, on the occasion – it must be said – of the oppositions sometimes between the Cardinals, I felt that a new wind was passing through the Church, a wind that seemed to me truly not to be the breath of the Holy Ghost.

What I experienced in 1962, precisely during the preparation of the Council that opened in October 1962, I felt also that in the diocese of Tulle; for I had ended my functions as Archbishop of Dakar on the request of the Holy See in order to take the See of Tulle in 1962. A different atmosphere from that which I had felt at Dakar was blowing and was clearly revealing some grave difficulties in holy Church. In that diocese a certain discouragement was appearing, the contrary of what I had seen in Africa: a lessening of vocations, closing of the seminary.

“Every year now for the past several years, ” my predecessor, Bishop Chassagne, said to me, “religious houses close, Catholic schools close, the Sisters leave the hospitals.” A great sorrow, a great confusion was affecting those good priests; for the priests were very pious and very fervent, but they felt a kind of fatality that was coming down onto that diocese and moreover onto the other dioceses also, in the face of this lessening of the workers in the Lord’s vineyard.

And then a new spirit was breathing: we have to go to the world, we must come out of our sacristies, we have to change our liturgy, if we want to be up-to-date, if we want to be heard, we have to be wed to the ideas of this world, of this world of work. From this began the priest workers. Then for the first time, in a bishops’ meeting in Bordeaux, which I attended because the Archbishop of Bordeaux was the president of the meeting of the Southwest, in this assembly for the first time someone posed the question which seemed to me bewildering, improbable: “Is it necessary that the priests still wear the cassock?” As all our priests still wore the cassock, it was not a question of some priests having already abandoned it, but of the bishops posing the question and the Archbishop saying, “Oh, I think really that it would be quite preferable to give up the cassock.” I felt a new spirit, a spirit of abandonment of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For in short the cassock is a symbol. Certainly one can be a good priest without the cassock; but it is a symbol’ a symbol of the spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the spirit of poverty, of the spirit of renouncement, of the spirit of chastity! And what do we preach, we priests, if not these virtues – the virtue of poverty, of obedience, of chastity, of humility, of renouncement, of which the cassock is the model and the symbol? To abandon the cassock, that was in some way with regard to our people, to abandon the ideal of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which our faithful need in order to keep themselves in virtue! All that was ominous.

And indeed it was necessary to state that at the Council there were deep divisions. Then I was named Superior General of the Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Ghost. Why did they put their trust in me, when I was already known for my traditionalist ideas? Nevertheless my confreres decided to elect me as Superior General of a congregation that counted 5,300 members and sixty bishops, sixty dioceses in the diverse countries in the African and American worlds. Then the Council took place, with its new spirit, with a spirit of listening, of a favorable listening in on the world, on the spirit of liberty, on the spirit of demagogy, which has been interpreted, by a collegial spirit, which destroyed the notion of authority. Authority could no longer be exercised without being obliged to ask all one’s subjects what their opinion was. And these subjects, as it is noted on the decree on religion – among the religious! – have a right to participate in the exercise of authority. This is the destruction of authority! How can authority act if it has to ask all the members to participate in the exercise of authority? That was one of the characteristics of the Council: the bishops rose up against the authority of the Pope – against the authority of the bishops, against all authority, even against the authority of the father in the family, against the authority of the superiors of religious congregations. I felt it in my congregation; it was difficult for me to direct the congregation because of this wind of liberty and of inquisition as it were that was rising up among the members. It was a revolutionary spirit that was breathing then in the Council.


And then came the post-conciliar reforms, reforms of the congregations, reforms of the seminaries, reforms of the Roman Curia, reforms of the religious congregations. And next came the order that the religious congregations had to adapt themselves to the new spirit, to what was then already called the spirit of the Council, a worldly spirit, a spirit that is no longer the truly Christian spirit, that is no more the spirit of humility, of obedience, of dependence on God. Everyone wanted his independence. And then, on the occasion of the General Chapter, when I reported specifically that the effects of the Council were completely destroying the authority of the congregation of which I had now been the superior for six years, (it was 1968) and since I was appointed until 1974, I preferred to hand in my resignation. I did not want to sign the acts of that General Chapter that was demolishing our Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Ghost. And it is a fact that it is ruined; there is no more novitiate, there are no more missionaries to send to Africa; this is the destruction of our dear congregation. It is thus in this climate, my very dear brethren, that my episcopacy unfolded. After the fifteen years at Dakar, a painful atmosphere followed. We felt a spirit, which was no longer the spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which was no more the truly Christian spirit.

And then, as the years passed, there came those manifestations of ecumenism, which is contrary to the spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ, contrary to the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And next, because of the reforms, which were being set up everywhere and particularly in the seminaries, there came to me from the French Seminary some seminarians while I was making a retreat in the house of the Lithuanians in Rome. Some young men from the French Seminary came to me to insist that I do something for them because in the seminary there was disorder, there was also revolution, there was no discipline, there was no spirit of study, there was no longer a spirit of prayer, and there was a new liturgy that was being set up. Every week there was a liturgy committee appointed which changed the liturgy. Faced with this confusion, this disorder, they came to ask me to help them to keep the Faith, to preserve Tradition, to conserve what they had been taught in their youth!

Then urged on by these youths, I came here to Switzerland; and I came to see Bishop Charriere, whom I already knew, who had come to Dakar to spend two weeks because there were some young Swiss people who were in the diocese of Dakar. I asked the Good Lord that this might be the sign of Providence: either Bishop Charriere accepted this foundation or he refused it – that would be the sign from the Good Lord. And when I came to see him, dear Bishop Charriere said to me, “But of course Your Excellency, do it! Do it, I implore you! We are in a serious, tragic situation.” He said to me, “I perceive it in my diocese also. Where are we going? Where are we going? We are going towards the destruction of the Faith. Do it, do it, I beseech you. Do something here. Rent an apartment for your seminarians; look after this. I give you all authorization!” And it was a year afterwards that he signed for us the decree of recognition of the foundation of the Society of St. Pius X. Therefore we were perfectly in order with the authorities of the Church.

But, obviously now, Tradition is contrary to that wind which was blowing against it, and which was breathing in the highest authorities in the Church. Since the purge was already accomplished – the traditionalists, Cardinal traditionalists, Archbishop traditionalists in the important posts like that of Dublin, like that of Madrid, well, they were eliminated very simply. And the Cardinals who were traditionalists and conservative men in Rome were also immediately replaced. Cardinal Ottaviani and other Cardinals like him were certainly at once dismissed. It was evident that my initiative could not please the Roman authorities, and the French authorities particularly, who were afraid of seeing priests who kept Tradition, who retained the cassock, who held on to the liturgy of old come back among them. And this is why the persecution came, the persecution of which you, my dear Swiss friends who gathered around Econe were the witnesses; and you, very dear priests, who now have been priests for ten years or so, you were at that time witnesses from 1974 to 1977 of all the difficulties that we had with Rome, because we kept the Holy Mass of All Times, because we held on to the Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, and because this Mass expresses precisely the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ by that respect that is expressed in those ceremonies, you can verify this, a deep respect for the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the Body, the Blood, the Soul and the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and the respect that is expressed to those who represent Our Lord Jesus Christ in these ceremonies. The true liturgy is a school of Faith and a school of respect, of adoration towards God, and of respect toward those who participate in the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an entire school, it is a whole education that is given from our infancy: when we verify that as children, we realize this in growing up that there is in this a great mystery, the Mystery of God, on whom we depend at every moment of our life, which is expressed in this mystery of the Cross that is realized on our altars. It is the whole attitude of the Church with regard to Our Lord Jesus Christ. And that is how it is with us also.

Then they have tried, right up to the present, to make us understand that we have to follow the
new current. And I repeated without ceasing, “If I follow the current that you yourselves are following, well, I will have the same results; that is to say, your seminaries are closing, your seminaries are being sold, and the priests whom you are forming do not have any longer the priestly spirit. The best proof is that a good number of them, three or four years after ordination, get married and abandon the priesthood. I do not want to arrive at that situation with my seminarians! I want authentic priests, priests of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who believe, who have the Faith, and who are ready to suffer for their Faith, who are ready to renounce all those worldly habits that have been introduced into the interior of the Church and that have invaded even the sacristies and the priesthood! “That is where I find myself now at the time of my fortieth year as a bishop.

Now it happens that, in the face of these two orientations which in practice are incompatible, – it is what I was saying to Cardinal Ratzinger last July 14th: “Eminence, you see, it is very hard for us to agree, because you are for the lessening of the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the idea that no one speak of it, that silence be kept on it, that in civil society no one speak of the reign of Our Lord so that all the religions can be at ease in our societies, and so that there will not be only Our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore the Catholic religion. We must not insist on this social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ so that the Jews, the Moslems, the Buddhists will not be offended by the Cross and by the Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ – that is your attitude! Well, for us, it is exactly the opposite! We want Our Lord Jesus Christ to reign, because He is the only God, because there is no other God, because when we die and find ourselves in eternity, there will be no other God who will present Himself to us than Our Lord Jesus Christ, who will be our Judge. “Tu solus Dominus! Tu solus altissimus! We sang it again, a moment ago, in the Gloria. “There is no other God! It is not Buddha who will receive us in heaven, it is not Mohammed, it is not Luther; it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, He who created us, He who has lived on earth, He who redeemed us, and He who waits for us in eternity. Therefore we desire that He reign. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, – on earth as in heaven; and God knows whether the will of the Good Lord is done in heaven! If it is done in heaven, it must be done on the earth also: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Thykingdom come! That is what I teach,” I said to the Cardinal; “That is what I teach my seminarians and that is what they have in their hearts. They have only one care, only one desire, which is to make an apostolate for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the families, in souls, in society; that Jesus reign everywhere; that is it! And that is why it is indeed difficult for us to agree. Your ecumenism is ruining the social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ; and this is why the book that I have written recently has as its title They Have Uncrowned Him, they have uncrowned Our Lord Jesus Christ, and gives the explanation of this situation that we are living in today.”

But on this occasion, it seems that by a particular circumstance, I think perhaps by the entreaties that have been made by certain Cardinals, by certain bishops to the Holy Father, to say, “But now we have to finish with this business of Tradition, with this affair of Econe, we have to finish. They are not, just the same, enemies of the Church! We have to profit from these living forces, which are found in this Priestly Society of St. Pius X for the good of the Church. You cannot let that go indefinitely because everything is collapsing everywhere! When we see and hear the echoes of the Holy Father’s trip to the United States, and the situation of the immorality in the United States, which is bewildering, even in Catholic spheres, even in the seminaries, it is unimaginable! Absolutely unimaginable!

So where are we going to find the renaissance of the Church? Not in those seminaries where homosexuality is advocated, in the seminaries! So then? We have to know where we are going to regain the true essence of the Faith and the true virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ!”

Now I think that there is a new dialogue that is being set up. And pray, my very dear brethren, pray that this dialogue will lead to a solution that will be for the good of the Church. We are not seeking anything else; we are not looking for the good of the society; it is not a question of the Society, it concerns the good of the Church. It is a question of the salvation of souls, of the salvation of Christian families, of the salvation of Christian societies. So we hope that in this new climate, which has been established for some weeks, well, some new solutions will be able to spring up. It is a small hope. Oh, I do not have an exaggerated optimism, because, concisely, those two currents that are opposed are indeed difficult to reconcile. But if Rome really wants to give us true autonomy, the one that we have now, but with submission, we would want this, we have always desired to be subject to the Holy Father. It is not a question of despising the authority of the Holy Father; on the contrary.

But we have been as if thrown outside because we were traditionalists. Well, if, as I have often asked, Rome agrees to have us make the experiment of Tradition, well then, there will be no more problems. We will be free to continue the work that we are doing, as we are doing it now, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff. Obviously that calls for solutions that must be looked at, that must be discussed, which are not easy to settle in their details. But with the grace of the Good Lord, it is possible that we will find a solution that will permit us to continue our work without abandoning our Faith, without abandoning that light of which I was speaking to you, which has been that of my forty years as a bishop, which is the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We want, I would say, to live heaven a little already; since we are made to go to heaven, it is indeed necessary for us to prepare ourselves here below. Thus it is necessary to create this climate of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for we are going to find Him when we die, hoping that we will be among the members of that realm of Jesus Christ. That is the whole situation such as it presents itself.

And since today this Holy Mass is taking place under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, since we have taken this votive Mass of the first Saturday of the month, well then, let us ask the Most Holy virgin, my very dear friends, my very dear brethren, let us ask that the Good Lord make it possible for us to contribute in an official, free, public manner to the building up of the Church, to the salvation of souls, for the honor of God, for the honor of Jesus Christ, for the honor of the Church, for the honor of Rome, of Catholic Rome.

My very dear seminarians, who have indeed determined to come here from Zaitzkofen and from Flavigny, and you, dear confreres, who have also made a long trip to come and attend this ceremony, promise before God, before the Church, not to have any other goal but to restore all in Our Lord Jesus Christ! This motto of our dear patron, of our Holy Patron St. Pius X, this is the way and the solution of all the problems; economic problems, political problems, moral problems, spiritual problems of every kind, all problems depend on the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are created to live in Our Lord Jesus Christ, with Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Our Lord Jesus Christ, to end in Him; for He is God and God is heaven. Thus I desire that you be this army. And, thanks be to God, you are already 315 priests that I have ordained from Econe, and then you are, I think, 208 seminarians, which makes a small army of six hundred; six hundred soldiers of Our Lord Jesus Christ. You will be a ferment in the world which will make Holy Church revive, which will give it back that fervor, which will return its Faith, which will restore its catechism, which will gave back to it its sacraments, which will restore grace to those who desire it and to those who ask for it. How I desire that you be faithful to your commitments!

And I acknowledge that you are, as St. Paul said, “Corona mea – You are my crown!” It is I who, for almost all of you, have ordained you, and have given you the grace of the priesthood. I cannot have any more beautiful reward: to make priests, to make good priests, to make holy priests. I think that for a bishop there is nothing more beautiful, more touching, and more deeply satisfying before the Good Lord, before the Holy Church!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Archbishop Lefebvre on the Assumption

With the passing of the Feast of the Assumption, I had completely forgotten about this great sermon from Archbishop Lefebvre. What beautiful words from a saintly man.  Without further ado, I re-produce it here:

Twenty fifth Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Dogma of
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15, 1975 Ecône, Switzerland

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My dear brethren,

We celebrate today the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary by our Holy Father Pope Pius XII. It was November 1, 1950. I had the joy and pleasure of being present at Rome in St. Peter’s Square on this holy day and I still hear the words of our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, proclaiming the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary as dogma of our Faith.

Did the Holy Church of God hear about the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for the first time on November 1, 1950? Certainly not! One needs just to read the text by which Our Holy Father Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to see that since the most ancient times of the Church, the faithful already professed faith in the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Whether in ikons, whether in stained glass windows, whether in the writings of the Fathers, already everywhere, faith in the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was professed, but it was not yet solemnly defined by Holy Church.

These dogmas, indeed, we must remember, cannot be new truths. The Revelation was wholly completed at the death of the last Apostle. One must therefore look before the death of the last Apostle in the Deposit of Tradition, of Revelation, bequeathed to us, given to us by the Apostles, to find there the truths which we must still believe today. No Pope can invent a new truth which he would like to submit to our Faith. He can only find this truth in the course of centuries, signifying that this truth was already implicitly contained in that Revelation and Faith which the Apostles have given us. This is the teaching of the Church.

Thus when we believe in the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, that is, when we believe that the Good Lord granted that the body of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary be already glorified now, we do nothing else than unite ourselves to the faith of the whole Church, to the Church of all the centuries. And this must be for us a great joy, a great consolation, to think that our Faith today, stronger than ever, more solid than ever, is in union with that of the Catholics of all the centuries.

There is in this dogma of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary a very precious truth, very useful for our times, for our days. In these days, some want to deny miracles; in our days, some want to deny all supernatural realities. This word “supernatural” contains something somehow mysterious; the supernatural state may be difficult to understand for some faithful, it may be difficult to grasp. Yet it is present in the whole teaching of the Church.

In our catechisms we have learned that we became the sons of God, that the Good Lord has deigned not only to give us a human nature, a human soul, but that He wanted to make of us His privileged sons, sharing His Divine Nature, and thus being able to know God, to love God and to love our neighbor infinitely more than if we had only our natural state. We must always remember that: the Good Lord has called us to be His children, though we should have been merely His servants. If we had only had our nature, we would have never been able to know God directly, we would have known God only indirectly through creatures, through the effects of His almighty power, ascending from them to the Almighty Cause which made all these things that surround us, and even ourselves. We climb from the effect to the cause and naturally we think there is a Being extraordinarily powerful, a Being that can only be God for He made all these things by His almighty power. And our knowledge of Him would have remained there, without going further.

But the Good Lord did not want that. He wanted us to enter into His intimacy, He wanted us to enter somehow in Him, to know Him better, to love Him better. And this is a grace, a gift – the word “grace” signifies precisely this – an extraordinary, unbelievable gift to which we could not pretend ourselves.

We might be tempted to say, “But why did the Good Lord love us so much, why did He not leave us with our poor human nature? Did we need to enter into the very nature of God, to be so close to God? This gives us greater responsibilities!”

Yes, indeed, indeed! It gives us greater responsibilities. It changes completely our spirituality. It changes our interior life. It must change our whole interior life. And it does!

Our spiritual life is changed right from the beginning, as soon as we receive Baptism. As soon as we receive this grace of divine filiation in Baptism, and original sin is washed away from our soul, we become God’s privileged adopted children.

And today, this Feast of the Assumption shows us the very crowning of the work of God, of the supernatural work of God. God wants it for us too, as He did for the Most Blessed Virgin. He wants to “assume” our body, to spiritualize our body in a certain way and to give us all the joys of the spirit and all the joys of our divine filiation.

And how does that change our daily life? How must this supernatural life, this divine adoption, change our daily life?

Because we must not see things as we would have seen them if we had merely had our human nature! To know that we are called to live for God, to live in God, to know Him directly, Him Who has created all things, must arouse in our hearts, in our intelligences, a desire of God, a longing to love God, through this divine nature, which is in us by grace, by sanctifying grace, a longing as those aroused throughout all the centuries of the Church from the very beginning of the Christian era.

It has raised up countless acts of heroism, souls so much drawn by God, so much drawn by the desire to know God, to live with God, that they secluded themselves in deserts, in monasteries, in the religious life. And even in lay life they gave themselves completely: all these families were so Catholic that they lived in God. They prayed from morning to evening, they recited their daily family prayer, they had devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, they lived a Christian life! And thus they had a certain contempt, they esteemed in a lesser way, the things of nature, created things, material things.

But now we are reproached for this, the Church is reproached for this! And now, within the Church itself, those who, in the Church, should continue to teach us these things, reproach the Church for them. They should use as models those who were detached from the things of this world, so that they might already here below give themselves completely to God. They should exalt Christian families who are detached, Christian homes where the family prays, where the idea of a religious vocation, of a priestly vocation in the family is held in esteem, is desired so that in a certain way the whole family is consecrated to God, out of love for God.

This is grace! This is supernatural grace. It is the divine filiation which is in your heart which must make you ask for this, which must make you desire this, long for this, so that your family might be totally consecrated to God, that nothing in your family might become a scandal leading souls away from God. This ought to be your main concern.

How much more this ought to be the main concern of those who give themselves to God, of future priests, of those who want to be united to God in the bonds of religious profession.

And see today how they have under-esteemed religious life, how they have under-esteemed Christian life in Catholic families, to such a point that they ceaselessly repeat the esteem that they have for the values of this world, for human values, the values of our reason, for the values of science. All this is false. All this is rooted in the contempt for the supernatural order, in the negation of the grace of the Good Lord, in the negation of all that Our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring us. This amounts to a denial of Our Lord Jesus. Continually insisting upon the human values, the values of this world, the values of science, one ends up denying Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Indeed, for what did Our Lord Jesus Christ come? For what purpose did He die on the cross? Why did He become incarnate? “Propter nos et nostram salutem – For us and for our salvation!” To give us His grace, to restore this Divine filiation. Our Lord is God, He is the True Son of God, the only Son of God, First-born of all creatures; He came to give us His Blood, His life, and to communicate to us His Divine Life already here below. Thus, by participation in Our Lord Jesus Christ, we truly participate in the Divine Nature.

Therefore, if we are truly conscious of this, we must despise the things of this world, despise the goods of the body, despise the good of our senses, as centuries of Christendom have done in the past. But today they desire to satisfy all their natural desires. Our Lord Jesus Christ never taught us this! Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us precisely to despise the things of this world because we are called to a life infinitely greater, infinitely higher.

This has been the whole spirituality of Christian life for all the centuries before us. The example of all those faithful who withdrew from the world and enclosed themselves for their whole life in a monastery was admirable, it was an encouragement for all Catholics.

But now see these deserted monasteries, these broken grilles in the convents of Franciscan nuns, of Carmelites. These nuns had a very strict enclosure, to be with God, to become more aware of their Divine filiation, to live already with heaven before being in heaven. Knowing that the few years they had to live on earth had to prepare them for heavenly life, they took refuge far from the world, far from the pleasures of this world, in order to live this life they received at Baptism, that was confirmed by the Sacrament of Confirmation and vivified by the Holy Eucharist and Penance. Those elite souls wanted to be enclosed! But what happened? The [Modernists] have broken the enclosures, they have broken the grilles, they have asked the nuns to leave; Our Lord Jesus Christ too left the convent!

And this is why there are no more vocations, this is why there is no more contemplative life. What shall draw souls to this contemplative life if one does not speak of the life of God which we have in us? What shall draw Christian families to live in a more Christian way, if they are not taught that through marriage they receive the special grace where the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is honored, where the crucifix is in a place of honor, where the Blessed Virgin Mary reigns, a family which is the beloved kingdom of Jesus and Mary. If this is no longer taught, there shall be no more Catholic families, there shall be no more vocations, and souls will be lost!

This is what the mystery of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us today. And there shall be a similar crowning for us too. We must expect this, we must hope for this. This is the great virtue of Hope. Now, this virtue of Hope is disappearing today precisely because all hope is here below. Now social progress, social justice, material progress, the equal distribution of goods of this world: these are the great themes of today’s sermons!

But we were not made for this. We are made, first of all, to be the children of God, to live with God. It does not matter whether we have lived in poverty or at ease, all that matters is the love that we have had for God, how we have spent these years which the Good Lord has given us to live here below with Him. How did we spend them in regard to this hope of heaven? How did we hand on this hope of heaven to our children, these heavenly realities? This is what the Good Lord shall ask of us.

Thus, my very dear friends, who in a few moments are going to pronounce your Profession of Faith and to repeat the Anti-Modernist Oath, you shall notice that this Anti-Modernist Oath is precisely almost in each one of its points a profession of the supernatural realities, against those who want to destroy the grace of the Good Lord, to destroy the Divine reality of the grace of God and of Our Divine filiation. Doing this they reduce to naught their very own intelligence. They pretend that their intelligence is incapable to know God, this is the first part [of the oath].

These people despise the Divine intelligence, the Divine life in which we somehow partake; despising the grace which the Good Lord has given us, the light which the Good Lord has put in our hearts and in our minds, they lose at the same time their own reason. They themselves say that they are no longer capable of knowing God. Thus according to them man is radically, definitively cut off from God, incapable of knowing Him. As a consequence they despise all the goods that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us – Divine grace, the Sacraments, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – all this is reduced to a natural state.

But you, on the contrary, you shall profess your faith in the grace of the Good Lord, in the supernatural life which the Good Lord has given us and in which He enables us to participate. And this on the Feast of the Assumption; you could not do this on a better day, all these blessings which the Good Lord has given us, this great charity which the Good Lord has had for us.

Indeed, it is a blasphemy to say what the Modernists say. It is to blaspheme against Our Lord Jesus Christ because they deny all that Our Lord Jesus Christ came to do here below: they deny His Church, they deny His Sacrifice, they deny His Sacraments, they deny everything and nothing is left. And this is what the modern catechisms teach today. For this reason these catechisms are very harmful because they reduce to nought the entire life of grace, the entire Divine Life, which is what is most precious to us.

Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary on this day of her Assumption to help us truly understand what our supernatural life is, a participation in the Divine Life. God knows that She knows it, this participation in the Divine Life, She who has given natural life to Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the grace of the Holy Ghost. How much did the Good Lord flood her with spiritual graces! And how much is She capable of making us understand how beautiful, how good, how sweet it is to be united with Our Lord, to know the Good Lord and to live with God!

Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to put in our souls, in our hearts, this immense desire, this unquenchable desire, of all the moments of our life, of our whole life, of each week, month and year, to be with God for all eternity.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.