mardi, février 28, 2006

Septuagesima Sunday

I would like to thank Suzanna, the Mother of my dear little Goddaughter, who helps me by correcting my sermons so that they can be in a better English!

I give her too much works, but this is for the glory of God. So now, I can put online this sermon she has just corrected!

Septuagesima Sunday

The kingdom of Heaven is like a vineyard!

Today’s gospel, behind the simplicity of its words, is very rich and tells us a lot about the Kingdom of Heaven. And Our Lord tells us that this Kingdom is like a vineyard. This image is very well chosen by Jesus who knows how to speak to men with simple words, so they will understand well.
Coming from the country that produces the best wine in the world, I can tell you what a vineyard is about, especially in South of France, just 15 miles from Spain, where my first parish was.
First you might think about sunny slopes, which are like the spurs of the Pyrenees Mountains. The bright blue sky in the Mediterranean, which is reflected by the sea gives a particular brilliance to the nature and if you go there during November, you will be charmed by the palette of colors offered for the pleasure of eyes. The vines with their red and yellows leaves stand out between the azure of the sea and the snow-covered tops of the mountains. Here and there, an old village, a church from the middle-ages or a castle comes into view and adds charm to the exquisite beauty of the scenery, which can help us imagine how Heaven will be beautiful.
But in order to obtain a good wine, men have to work hard. A day of vintage is not without pains, when you have to pick the grapes for many hours over the course of one or two weeks. And the wine growers have to work the entire year to maintain their vineyards, protect the vine plants and then make the wine.
Such is the Kingdom of heaven on earth. Before we may enjoy the wine of the eternal wedding, we have to work hard in the vineyard of God.
The master of the vineyard first calls his workers. We can have, at least, two interpretations of this. God, by his grace, predisposes us to work for his Kingdom. And that starts with our justification. If someone is in state of mortal sin, God gives him actual graces which move him towards contrition and then to confession. For a non Catholic, the grace pushes him towards conversion. Some arrive at the first hour of their life, some others at the second hour and so forth, but in all cases the grace of God was first. We would commit a serious sin by resisting those graces and persevering in our sins. And the temptation is easy to think: I can wait for a while. I will confess tomorrow.. later… But later could be never ! It happens that some non-baptized persons know what they must do to be saved and to please the true God, and yet they postpone the day of their Baptism. Their intelligences have grasped the truth about God and his Church but their wills are not yet ready to take the step. They hear and they know the master of the vineyard’s call, but they don’t dare to come and work. Some 'hooks' of the world still hold them and keep them from following Our Lord Jesus Christ. They perceive the beauty of the vineyard but don’t want to leave their comfortable life for the hard labour. They will say, as the disciples hearing the words of Jesus about the bread of life: This saying is hard and who can hear it ?
Dear Brethren, let us pray for those persons. Maybe they need just a grace that we can obtain, on their behalf, for them to convert. If they knew the gift of God, they would not refuse it.

The second interpretation of this call to work in the vineyard is about a vocation to priesthood or a religious vocation. The care of the vineyard needs some specialists and people who are totally devoted. It will be this group of elite that will push and encourage the other workers towards the time of harvest. Here too, some are called at the first hour, the second or the third, but whatever is the time of their calls, let them not ignore it. Refusing such a grace is, perhaps, not a sin in itself, but it is the refusal of a special gift from God. That means the refusal of the special graces that God has prepared for you, for your salvation and the salvation of many others; and would you not accept those graces? Look at the young man in the Gospel. A good man who worships God. But when Jesus asks him to follow Him, the young man says 'no'. No, because he is wealthy and doesn’t want to give up his material goods.
And you, dear brethren, is there anything that you don't want to give up for Christ?

So let us pray to Mary and ask her to help us to work in the vineyard in order to make it more beautiful. It is hard! But Christ shows us the way and gives us the grace. And then, if he finds us faithful, we will one day appreciate the beauty of His Kingdom and will not suffer any more pain. We could enjoy the wine of the eternal wedding with Jesus, Mary and all the Saints of Heaven.

lundi, février 27, 2006

Pilgrimage to Chartres

24th Pilgrimage of Chartres

June 2006
For the second time, the Chapter Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, from Mableton GA, will participate in the pilgrimage of Chartres in June.
We will fly from Atlanta on June 1st and return on June 10th.
If you are interested, let me know. You can contact me :
or by phone : 770 - 313 - 5232
You can also help us by a donation to help pilgrims who cannot pay the whole price. I will say Mass every day during the pilgrimage for all our benefactors.
God bless you
Father Demets

jeudi, février 23, 2006

History : Louis the XVI, a Catholic going to death !

I would like to share with you two documents that the French Traditionalist Catholics know well. The first one is the Testament of the King Louis XVI, written on Christmas day, December 25 1792, while he was prisoner and waiting for his execution. It is a beautiful testimony of Faith.
The second is the testimony of Father Henry Edgeworth, the priest who assisted the King during his last moments.
Far from the official History, these two documents show us another reality about the personality of the King-martyr.
Pro Deo et Rege
Father Demets

In the name of the Very holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Today, the 25th day of December, 1792, I, Louis XVI King of France, being for more than four months imprisoned with my family in the tower of the Temple at Paris, by those who were my subjects, and deprived of all communication whatsoever, even with my family, since the eleventh instant; moreover, involved in a trial the end of which it is impossible to foresee, on account of the passions of men, and for which one can find neither pretext nor means in any existing law, and having no other witnesses, for my thoughts than God to whom I can address myself,
I hereby declare, in His presence, my last wishes and feelings.

I leave my soul to God, my creator; I pray Him to receive it in His mercy, not to judge it according to its merits but according to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has offered Himself as a sacrifice to God His Father for us other men, no matter how hardened, and for me first.
I die in communion with our Holy Mother, the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church, which holds authority by an uninterrupted succession, from St. Peter, to whom Jesus Christ entrusted it; I believe firmly and I confess all that is contained in the creed and the commandments of God and the Church, the sacraments and the mysteries, those which the Catholic Church teaches and has always taught. I never pretend to set myself up as a judge of the various way of expounding the dogma which rend the church of Jesus Christ, but I agree and will always agree, if God grant me life the decisions which the ecclesiastical superiors of the Holy Catholic Church give and will always give, in conformity with the disciplines which the Church has followed since Jesus Christ.
I pity with all my heart our brothers who may be in error but I do not claim to judge them, and I do not love them less in Christ, as our Christian charity teaches us, and I pray to God to pardon all my sins. I have sought scrupulously to know them, to detest them and to humiliate myself in His presence. Not being able to obtain the ministration of a Catholic priest, I pray God to receive the confession which I feel in having put my name (although this was against my will) to acts which might be contrary to the discipline and the belief of the Catholic Church, to which I have always remained sincerely attached. I pray God to receive my firm resolution, if He grants me life, to have the ministrations of a Catholic priest, as soon as I can, in order to confess my sins and to receive the sacrament of penance.
I beg all those whom I might have offended inadvertently (for I do not recall having knowingly offended any one), or those whom I may have given bad examples or scandals, to pardon the evil which they believe I could have done them.
I beseech those who have the kindness to join their prayers to mine, to obtain pardon from God for my sins.
I pardon with all my heart those who made themselves my enemies, without my have given them any cause, and I pray God to pardon them, as well as those who, through false or misunderstood zeal, did me much harm.
I commend to God my wife and my children, my sister, my aunts, my brothers, and all those who are attached to me by ties of blood or by whatever other means. I pray God particularly to cast eyes of compassion upon my wife, my children, and my sister, who suffered with me for so long a time, to sustain them with His mercy if they shall lose me, and as long as they remain in his mortal world.
I commend my children to my wife; I have never doubted her maternal tenderness for them. I enjoin her above all to make them good Christians and honest individuals; to make them view the grandeurs of this world (if they are condemned to experience them) as very dangerous and transient goods, and turn their attention towards the one solid and enduring glory, eternity. I beseech my sister to kindly continue her tenderness for my children and to take the place of a mother, should they have the misfortune of losing theirs.
I beg my wife to forgive all the pain which she suffered for me, and the sorrows which I may have caused her in the course of our union; and she may feel sure that I hold nothing against her, if she has anything with which to reproach herself.
I most warmly enjoin my children that, after what they owe to God, which should come first, they should remain forever united among themselves, submissive and obedient to their mother, and grateful for all the care and trouble which she has taken with them, as well as in memory of me. I beg them to regard my sister as their second mother.
I exhort my son, should he have the misfortune of becoming king, to remember he owes himself wholly to the happiness of his fellow citizens; that he should forget all hates and all grudges, particularly those connected with the misfortunes and sorrows which I am experiencing; that he can make the people happy only by ruling according to laws: but at the same time to remember that a king cannot make himself respected and do the good that is in his heart unless he has the necessary authority, and that otherwise, being tangled up in his activities and not inspiring respect, he is more harmful than useful.
I exhort my son to care for all the persons who are attached to me, as much as his circumstances will allow, to remember that it is a sacred debt which I have contracted towards the children and relatives of those who have perished for me and also those who are wretched for my sake. I know that there are many persons, among those who were near me, who did not conduct themselves towards me as they should have and who have even shown ingratitude, but I pardon them (often in moments of trouble and turmoil one is not master of oneself), and I beg my son that, if he finds an occasion, he should think only of their misfortunes.
I should have wanted here to show my gratitude to those who have given me a true and disinterested affection; if, on the one hand, I was keenly hurt by the ingratitude and disloyalty of those to whom I have always, shown kindness, as well as to their relatives and friends, on the other hand I have had the consolation of seeing the affection and voluntary interest which many persons have shown me. I beg them to receive my thanks.
In the situation in which matters still are, I fear to compromise them if I should speak more explicitly, but I especially enjoin my son to seek occasion to recognize them.
I should, nevertheless, consider it a calumny on the nation if I did not openly recommend to my son MM. De Chamilly and Hue, whose genuine attachment for me led them to imprison themselves with me in this sad abode. I also recommend Clery, for whose attentiveness I have nothing but praise ever since he has been with me. Since it is he who has remained with me until the end, I beg the gentlemen of the commune to hand over to him my clothes, my books, my watch, my purse, and all other small effects which have been deposited with the council of the commune.
I pardon again very readily those who guard me, the ill treatment and the vexations which they thought it necessary to impose upon me. I found a few sensitive and compassionate souls among them - may they in their hearts enjoy the tranquility which their way of thinking gives them.
I beg MM. De Malesherbes, Tronchet and De Seze to receive all my thanks and the expressions of my feelings for all the cares and troubles they took for me.
I finish by declaring before God, and ready to appear before Him, that I do not reproach myself with any of the crimes with which I am charged.
Made in duplicate in the Tower of the Temple, the 25th of December 1792.

(Archives Nationales, Paris, dated 25 Dec 1792; given by the King to M. Baudrais, a municipal officer, on 21 Jan 1793, a few moments for he left for his place of execution. Baudrais immediately signed his name to authenticate it and deposited it with the commune, where it was signed and certified by Coulomneau, the secretary, and Drouel, the vice-president).
Procession to eternity

On January 20, 1793, the National Convention condemned Louis XVI to death, his execution scheduled for the next day. Louis spent that evening saying goodbye to his wife and children. The following day dawned cold and wet. Louis arose at five. At eight o'clock a guard of 1,200 horsemen arrived to escort the former king on a two-hour carriage ride to his place of execution. Accompanying Louis, at his invitation, was a priest, Henry Essex Edgeworth, an Englishman living in France. Edgeworth recorded the event and we join his narrative as he and the fated King enter the carriage to begin their journey:

"The King, finding himself seated in the carriage, where he could neither speak to me nor be spoken to without witness, kept a profound silence. I presented him with my breviary, the only book I had with me, and he seemed to accept it with pleasure: he appeared anxious that I should point out to him the psalms that were most suited to his situation, and he recited them attentively with me. The gendarmes, without speaking, seemed astonished and confounded at the tranquil piety of their monarch, to whom they doubtless never had before approached so near.
The procession lasted almost two hours; the streets were lined with citizens, all armed, some with pikes and some with guns, and the carriage was surrounded by a body of troops, formed of the most desperate people of Paris. As another precaution, they had placed before the horses a number of drums, intended to drown any noise or murmur in favour of the King; but how could they be heard? Nobody appeared either at the doors or windows, and in the street nothing was to be seen, but armed citizens - citizens, all rushing towards the commission of a crime, which perhaps they detested in their hearts.
The carriage proceeded thus in silence to the Place de Louis XV, and stopped in the middle of a large space that had been left round the scaffold: this space was surrounded with cannon, and beyond, an armed multitude extended as far as the eye could reach. As soon as the King perceived that the carriage stopped, he turned and whispered to me, 'We are arrived, if I mistake not.' My silence answered that we were. One of the guards came to open the carriage door, and the gendarmes would have jumped out, but the King stopped them, and leaning his arm on my knee, 'Gentlemen,' said he, with the tone of majesty, 'I recommend to you this good man; take care that after my death no insult be offered to him - I charge you to prevent it.'… As soon as the King had left the carriage, three guards surrounded him, and would have taken off his clothes, but he repulsed them with haughtiness- he undressed himself, untied his neckcloth, opened his shirt, and arranged it himself. The guards, whom the determined countenance of the King had for a moment disconcerted, seemed to recover their audacity. They surrounded him again, and would have seized his hands. 'What are you attempting?' said the King, drawing back his hands. 'To bind you,' answered the wretches. 'To bind me,' said the King, with an indignant air. 'No! I shall never consent to that: do what you have been ordered, but you shall never bind me. . .'
The path leading to the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to pass; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and from the slowness with which he proceeded, I feared for a moment that his courage might fail; but what was my astonishment, when arrived at the last step, I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole scaffold; silence, by his look alone, fifteen or twenty drums that were placed opposite to me; and in a voice so loud, that it must have been heard it the Pont Tournant, I heard him pronounce distinctly these memorable words: 'I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.'
He was proceeding, when a man on horseback, in the national uniform, and with a ferocious cry, ordered the drums to beat. Many voices were at the same time heard encouraging the executioners. They seemed reanimated themselves, in seizing with violence the most virtuous of Kings, they dragged him under the axe of the guillotine, which with one stroke severed his head from his body. All this passed in a moment. The youngest of the guards, who seemed about eighteen, immediately seized the head, and showed it to the people as he walked round the scaffold; he accompanied this monstrous ceremony with the most atrocious and indecent gestures. At first an awful silence prevailed; at length some cries of 'Vive la Republique!' were heard. By degrees the voices multiplied and in less than ten minutes this cry, a thousand times repeated became the universal shout of the multitude, and every hat was in the air."

References: Cronin, Vincent, Louis and Antoinete (1975); Edgeworth, Henry in Thompson, J.M., English Witnesses of the French Revolution (1938, Memoirs originally published 1815).

mercredi, février 22, 2006

Question !! What is a priest for you ??

A friend of mine, priest of the Fraternity of Saint Peter asked this question on the Forum Catholique, a french website.
The answers were very interresting. This priest told me: why don't you do the same thing in English?
There we go!
So, dear friends, you can answer. What is a priest? What do you expect from your priest? How do you consider priesthood?
Feel free to speak and to share your ideas and experiences.
Thank you and God bless you.

For me, I like this sentence by Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity :
"The life of a priest is an Advent that prepares Incarnation in the souls."

mardi, février 21, 2006

Sexagesima Sunday

( Sermon - Sunday Feb 19th 2006 )

Saint John Chrysostom was one of the greatest admirers of the Apostle Saint Paul. He wrote about him: we shouldn’t be wrong by comparing Paul’s personality to a grassland where all the virtues grow or to the garden of the Holy Ghost, so much so that the grace abundantly blossomed in him; and he put in all his acts a divine wisdom worthy of the grace received.
The vibrant words of Saint Paul heard in today’s epistle show us his nobility of soul. What a Apostle! What a Saint! And what an example for us! We, who have too often the habit of complaining when something annoys us, can only fall silent after hearing the works of Saint Paul. What have we done for the kingdom of Heaven in comparison to this great Saint? Almost nothing!
And be sure, dear Brethren, that Saint Paul doesn’t list his actions in order to get personal satisfaction or the praises of his fellows. His only concern is the glory of God, and in recognizing his own weakness he gives thanks to God from whom he receives the strength to do all these things.
By acting this way, the Apostle gives us an example, Him who says: Be imitators of me! So, considering this, we have two pitfalls to avoid, these are laziness and pride.
The first one could easily be based on a false humility: “Well I am too weak, it’s not for me! I cannot do that, I don’t have the strength for it.” But do you forget that God wants us do be the workers in his vineyard as we read last Sunday? And all members of the Church, whatever their ranks or states of life, are asked to work in God’s vineyard. So, concretely, what do you do every day for the building up of the Kingdom? Oh, God certainly doesn’t ask you to do the same things he asked for Saint Paul. But He certainly doesn’t want you to remain passive.
Here, we would be well advised to follow the Saint Theresa of Avila’s Advice. Christian life is like a great adventure with its nobility, its passions and its charms but also with its difficulties, its pains and its dangers. The issue is our salvation or our damnation. So, you have to embark on this adventure. If you don’t start one day, there is no chance that you will arrive safe and sound. Ant then, you have to summon up your courage and your patience, because the road is hard. Laziness has no place on this trip. And there are many obstacles you have to overcome. Listen to Jesus’ words in the gospel : Some people hear the words of God; but going their way, they are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit.
So, we must be strong, but once again, this strength we need is not ours but God’s. And God doesn’t refuse to give his strength to those who want to follow him with a real and sincere desire. Saint Therese of Avila tells us that we have to go forward every day, contemplating Our Lord and praying to Him constantly. Then we can obtain the strength we need, like Saint Theresa herself, like Saint Paul, like all the Saints who are now in Heaven. But if you give up your prayers, how can you imagine to be able to avoid sin and to remain in state of grace?
There are some Christians who don’t pray or only a little bit and then they become discouraged because they fall regularly in the same sins they have to confess again and again. I would say that is normal. You cannot persevere in good works if you cut yourself off from The One who is the source of all goods. You can still do a natural good, because we have this ability in us, in our nature, but there is no way to do supernatural good, the only type of good meritorious for eternal life. And Our Lord is very clear on this subject: I am the vine: you the branches: he that abides in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If any one abides not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and case him into the fire, and be burned.
So, it is true: we are weak, as Saint Paul was. But let this be a reason of glory for us as it was for Saint Paul: If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. And don’t find any pretexts in your weaknesses to justify your laziness.
The second pitfall is pride. Pride, in fact, is the root of all sins. And pride is so pernicious that it can change even our best works into a motive of condemnation. Because a proud person is a kind of thief, a thief who steals the most precious good that exists, which is the glory of God. Saint Paul had many reasons to glorify himself, but he didn’t. He knew that all his works were not from him, but from God who gave him the ability, the power and the grace to do that. He was certainly tempted, because the enemy is crafty and knows how to interfere between a soul and God. He tries to fill us with pride, so that we can loose the benefit of our good works and turn away from God.
And the materiality of the good works of proud persons could not save them, because their wills change the goodness of these works into malice. Even their communions instead of giving them life, become an object of reproof. They steal the glory of God and God is very jealous of it. He wants to share his glory with us, but we have to humble ourselves first.
Dear brethren, give thanks to God for the good you do. That’s all. Don’t expect consideration from others, don’t expect any rewards on earth. But just act for the love and the glory of God. I know that is not easy. We like to show our good works. But they are not ours, bud God’s. Whatever I do, I do it with God’s gifts, with the talents He gave me. And they are for the common good, not for my personal glory. We are not the owners of our talents, but just the managers.

Let us pray to Our Lady so that she can help us to avoid these to pitfalls and obtain for us the zeal and the humility we need.

vendredi, février 17, 2006

In Honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Mass in honor of the Immaculate heart of Mary
( Cathedral Christ the King, Atlanta, October the 8th )

Dear Brethren,

It is a great honor for me and a real pleasure to celebrate this Mass in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the mother-church of our Archdiocese, the Cathedral Christ the King. I would like, first, to thank the pastor, Monsignor Thomas Kenny who allows me to offer the Sacrifice of Our Lord according to the ancient and venerable Liturgy, “ canonized ” – so to speak – by Pope Saint Pius V and, about which Pope John Paul II said few years ago, that it is a treasure of our Church.

I also would like you to pray with me for our Archbishop, her Excellency Wilton Gregory, now in Rome to participate with about 200 bishops from all the world in a Synod led by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The stake of this Synod is important since the Pope desires to restore the devotion and the love for the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, which presupposes first the respect that, has unfortunately disappeared from so many churches and so many souls. Under the fallacious pretext to make Jesus a friend – that he is truly, we don’t deny this truth – and to celebrate the congregation, we have forgotten the vertical dimension of the Liturgy that connects men to God.
One of the different meanings, relayed by Saint Thomas, of the word “ religion ” in Latin is re-ligare, which signifies: to bind again, to tie again. An authentic Liturgy has to connect us to God, especially today in our world, which is more and more dechristianized. If it is only the celebration of the congregation, the cult of man by man, it is absolutely unable to save us and can only give a false hope that will be finally deceived. Benedict XVI said last Sunday for the opening of the Synod that Without understanding and living the Eucharist, Christian communities would lose their authentic nature.
This statement of the Pope appears to be true. Look how so many Catholics have lost their identity of Catholics. They don’t know who they are and what the Church truly is. Is it not because so many priests have lost their identity of priest? And is it not because these priests have lost the sense of the Eucharist? Forgetting they are first and mainly the men of the Eucharist, they made themselves community workers in social or cultural activities, reducing their priesthood to a natural and horizontal dimension.
The lack of faith of priests in their priesthood and the Eucharist marks the decline of the Church. No other result is possible from this set of circumstances, because the Church lives and grows on the Eucharist and the Priesthood and the two go hand in hand. The Church will recover her identity, her health and her radiance only if She first restores holiness in her clergy and a true understanding and love of the Eucharist in her faithful. And those are two goals of the Holy Father.

Archbishop Jose Mario Bergoglio from Buenos Aires said during the Synod that the faithful link together their love for the Eucharist and their love for Our Lady. It is not surprising that our protestant brothers abandoned the belief in the Eucharist and the devotion for Mary.
The conception of Christ in his human nature took place in the womb of Mary. That was a generation. The Incarnation is a generation that happened thanks to Mary who accepted God’s will. Transubstantiation, that is the change of bread and wine into the body, the soul, the divinity and the humanity of Jesus Christ is another kind of generation. And this one could not happen if the first one didn’t happen 2000 years ago. It is true that, in the absolute, God doesn’t need the help of creatures to operate our salvation, but in the present situation, it appeared that God requested the participation of Mary for this work. And theology, as a true science, doesn’t consider what could be possible but what it is, in fact reality. The fact is that we can benefit today from the fruits of the sacrifice of Jesus because Mary said yes to God.
Stabat juxta Crucem Jesu Mater ejus ! Saint John says. There stood by the Cross of Jesus his mother! She was there, standing despite her terrible sadness at this most dreadful time of the History. She was there, standing in a gesture of offering while she could have been weighed down with sorrows of the agony of her Son. She was there, standing in silence with a perfect submission to God’s will, because she knew with a firm confidence that God’s will is always good, sovereign, infallible and efficient. Didn’t her Son say that he came into the world precisely for this hour? And Mary, by her pressing charity hurried the accomplishment of this hour as it appears at the wedding of Cana.
The Cross and the wedding of Cana refer to Genesis III: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head. According to Saint Maximilian Kolbe, this sentence marks the beginning of a fight in which the woman, who is Our Lady, is engaged. This is the missionary work given by God to The Immaculate. For Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the mission of The Immaculate refers directly to the words of Saint Paul in the epistle to the Ephesians: Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.
And Father Kolbe observed that we are in the front of evil. By contemplating the splendor of The Immaculate, he saw better the devastation caused by sins. So the consecration to The Immaculate makes us more available for the fight to save souls. Our Saint explains that we have to fight on 3 front lines : ourselves, our circles and the whole world. They are focuses where Our Lady is waiting for us and where we can give her the opportunity to work for the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven is definitively the state of perfection in love, but the earth is still the battle field where nothing is stable and all is to be conquered.
Dear brethren, if you are here now, in the middle of the night, I guess it is because you love Our Lady and you want to be dedicated to Her Immaculate Heart. This dedication is the best way to work for the kingdom of Jesus Christ. But it has to be a true and total dedication, the consecration of your entire person up to the point to become a slave of Mary according to Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort. He said that the Apostle of the last times will be recognizable since they will have the crucifix in one hand and the rosary in the other.

The Cross won over the world and Mary stood by it. Let us stand up after her and follow her until the final victory of her Son. Our weapons are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrifice of the Cross so hated by the enemies of God and the rosary. Let us confide our communions especially this one to, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that she can introduce us into the mystery of love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in whom only we can find salvation.


L'origine du mal ( Post publié sur le Forum Catholique )

Au sujet du mal

Voici le post promis suite à la question posée il y a quelques jours sur le mal.

Le magistère s’est exprimé à plusieurs reprises pour nous éclairer sur la question du mal.
Nous avons ici un document du Pape Léon Ier au Vème siècle. Réfutant certaines erreurs manichéennes au sujet de l’origine et de la nature des démons, Léon Ier enseigne :
La vraie foi professe que la substance de toutes les créatures spirituelles ou corporelles est bonne, et que le mal n’a pas de nature parce que Dieu, qui est le créateur de l’univers n’a rien fait que de bon. De ce fait le diable serait bon s’il était resté dans l’état ou il a été fait. Mais ayant usé de son excellence naturelle et « n’étant pas demeuré dans la vérité » ( Jn 8,44), il n’est pas passé à une substance contraire, mais il s’est séparé du souverain bien auquel il devait rester uni, de même que ceux qui affirment cela se précipitent eux-mêmes de ce qui est vrai dans ce qui est faux, et s’en prennent à la nature pour ce qu’ils ont commis intentionnellement, et sont condamnés du fait de leur perversité volontaire. Le mal sera d’ailleurs en eux-mêmes, et le mal lui-même ne sera pas la substance mais le châtiment pour la substance.

Le Concile de Braga en 561, sous le Pontificat de Jean III, condamne ceux qui affirment que le diable a émergé des ténèbres et qu’il est lui même le principe et la substance du mal.

Au sujet de l’origine du mal, l’Église affirme qu’en aucun cas Dieu ne peut en être l’auteur. Son origine est bien dans la volonté des créatures rationnelles, anges ou hommes.
Le Concile de Valence en 855, sous le Pontificat de Léon IV apporte quelques précisions, liées à la question de la prédestination :
Par la prédestination, Dieu a seulement déterminé ce que lui-même ferait soit par miséricorde, soit par juste jugement, selon l’Ecriture qui dit : « Il a fait ce qui sera » ( Es 45, 11). Chez les méchants cependant Il a su par avance leur malice, parce qu’elle provient d’eux ; Il ne l’a pas prédestinée, parce qu’elle ne vient pas de Lui.

Attention, la prescience de Dieu ne signifie pas qu’il y ait une nécessité au mal. Cela est difficile pour nous de le comprendre, mais ce n’est pas parce que Dieu voit par avance qu’il y aurait une sorte de fatalisme. Dieu voit par avance nos actes libres. Ainsi, en 483 le Pape Simplicius condamnait ceux qui affirment que la prescience de Dieu pousse violemment l’homme à la mort ou que ceux qui sont perdus le sont par la volonté de Dieu.
Il n’existe donc aucune prédestination au mal, mais seulement à la peine pour ceux qui commettent le mal.

A propos de l’origine des démons, je voudrais m’arrêter sur quelques pensées de Saint Augustin. Saint Augustin fait en effet remarquer que le récit de la Genèse ne mentionne pas la création des anges, bons ou mauvais. Ainsi les manichéens ont pu s’appuyer sur ce fait pour dire qu’ils avaient une autre origine que Dieu. Saint Augustin répond que la Bible en d’autres endroits mentionne les anges comme les œuvres créées de Dieu. Ainsi dans le livre du prophète Daniel dans le Cantique des trois enfants, sont énumérés les anges dans les ouvrages qui doivent bénir le Seigneur : « Ouvrages du Seigneur, bénissez tous le Seigneur… Anges du Seigneur, bénissez le Seigneur… » Idem dans les Psaumes ! Il faudrait ici lire tout le Livre 11 de la Cité de Dieu, tant il est passionnant et instructif. Disons pour résumer que Saint Augustin place la création des anges avec celle de la lumière car « ils ont certainement été créés participants de cette lumière éternelle, qui est la sagesse même de Dieu, sagesse immuable, créatrice de toutes choses que nous appelons le Fils Unique de Dieu. Illuminés de cette lumière qui les crée, ils deviennent lumière et sont appelés jour par la participation de cette lumière et de ce jour immuable, le Verbe de Dieu, leur créateur et le créateur de l’univers. Car la vraie lumière qui éclaire tout homme venant au monde, éclaire aussi tout ange pur afin qu’il soit lumière, non en lui-même, mais en Dieu dont il ne saurait se détourner sans devenir impur, à l’exemple de ces esprits déréglés qui, retranchés de la participation de l’éternelle lumière, cessent d’être lumière dans le Seigneur, pour devenir ténèbres en eux-mêmes ; le mal en effet n’est point une substance : c’est la privation du bien qui s’appelle mal.»
Donc les démons ont été créés bons à l’origine – « Dieu vit que cela était bon » -mais ils se sont ensuite détournés de la lumière. Mais quelle est la cause de la chute des mauvais anges ? Le prophète Isaïe s’interroge : « Comment est tombé Lucifer, qui se levait le matin ? »
La Genèse nous dit ensuite que Dieu sépara la lumière et les ténèbres. Et Saint Augustin commente : « il faut reconnaître ici les deux sociétés angéliques, l’une jouissant de Dieu, l’autre enflée d’orgueil (…) ; l’une brûlant du saint amour de Dieu, l’autre consumée de l’amour impur de sa propre grandeur (…) ; l’une habitant les cieux des cieux, l’autre précipitée d’en haut et refoulée tumultueusement dans les plus basses régions de l’air ; l’une environnée du paisible rayon de sa piété, l’autre troublée de ses ténébreuses convoitises ; l’une, au gré de Dieu, secourant avec clémence et sévissant avec justice, l’autre, que son orgueil livre à sa passion turbulente de dominer et de nuire ; l’une ministre de la bonté de Dieu pour satisfaire à tout son amour du bien, l’autre enchaînée par la puissance de Dieu dans sa funeste passion du mal ; l’une jouet de l’autre, qu’elle sert involontairement par ses fureurs mêmes, et envieuse de sa rivale, quand celle-ci recrute, sur les chemins de la vie, sa glorieuse élite : ces deux sociétés angéliques que d’autres témoignages de la Sainte Ecriture nous montrent différentes et contraires ; l’une de bonne nature et de volonté, l’autre mauvaise de volonté et de nature. »

Ainsi donc le mal n’est pas dans la nature, mais dans la volonté. A ce stade, on peut encore s’interroger. La volonté est une puissance naturelle offerte par Dieu aux créatures rationnelles, donc Dieu ne serait-il pas, au moins indirectement cause du mal, lui qui est cause de notre volonté ? Saint Thomas d’Aquin va ici nous venir en aide. Dans le De Malo ( questions disputées sur le mal ), il s’interroge à la question 3, sur l’origine du péché, qui est le mal moral. Et la 4ème objection est la suivante :
« Tout ce qui est cause d’une autre cause est aussi cause de ce qui est causé par elle. Or le libre arbitre qui est la cause du péché, a Dieu pour cause. Donc Dieu est cause du péché. »
Notons que Saint Thomas donne ici 18 objections…. Vous me pardonnerez d’abréger et de ne vous en livrer qu’une seule ! Voyons comment Saint Thomas répond ( je résume ).
Le péché provient de ce que la volonté déchoit de la fin requise, du fait qu’elle se porte sur une fin indue. Ainsi Dieu ne peut pécher lui-même, sa volonté étant identique à sa nature qui est la Bonté souveraine et qui est la fin ultime et la règle première de toutes les volontés.. Dieu ne peut être cause du péché en péchant lui-même.
Peut-Il être cause de péché en faisant pécher autrui ? Cela voudrait dire qu’Il fasse en sorte qu’une volonté créée se détourne de la fin pour laquelle Il l’a créée, fin qu’Il est lui-même. Or Dieu, souverain bien, tourne tous les êtres vers Lui-même et ne les en détourne pas. En aucun cas Dieu ne peut être cause du péché, même s’Il est cause de la volonté qui est elle-même cause du péché. Voici le texte de la réponse à l’objection :
« L’effet de ce qui est causé se rapporte à sa cause dans la mesure où il est causé. Mais si quelque chose procède de ce qui est causé sans que ce soit sous le rapport précis où il est causé, il n’est pas nécessaire de le rapporter à la cause. » Cela s’embrouille ? Ne paniquez pas, l’exemple suivant nous fera mieux comprendre de quoi il s’agit !
« Ainsi le mouvement de la jambe est causé par la puissance motrice de l’animal qui la meut, mais la déviation de la démarche ne vient pas de la jambe en tant qu’elle est mue par la puissance motrice, mais en tant que son défaut l’empêche de recevoir comme il faut l’influx de sa puissance motrice ; et c’est la raison pour laquelle la claudication n’est pas causée par la puissance motrice. Le péché est donc, d’une semblable manière, causé par le libre arbitre, précisément en tant qu’il s’écarte de Dieu. De la sorte, Dieu n’en est pas la cause, bien qu’il soit cause du libre arbitre.

D’ou l’importance du bon usage de la liberté…. Mais cela est une autre question…. Intimement liée à celle du mal…. Mais dont je ne parlerai pas aujourd’hui.

Bonne méditation et bonne réflexion

In Christo Rege

Abbé Laurent Demets

Requiem Mass for Pope John Paul II ( Sermon )

Requiem for Pope John Paul II

For 26 years, his face has become so familiar. We got accustomed to his voice that we have heard for more than a quarter of century preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in so many languages. Since October 16th 1978, day of his election when he immediately won over the Italian public with his allusion to his Italian language:
Non so se posso bene spiegarmi nella vostra... nostra lingua italiana – I don’t know if I can speak well in your… in our Italian language. And the first non-Italian Pope after many centuries was made Italian just in few seconds.
During his last days, he couldn’t even more speak, but his spirit so lively, I’m sure, was still alert to carry the cross until the end. His departure from this life will remain for a long time a beautiful testimony of the sense of life and of the human dignity, a great example of the acceptance of suffering and finally of death. Pope John Paul II has truly lived what he had always preached, and that made him a true apostle of Jesus Christ. As Saint Paul he could say: I don’t want to preach anything else but Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ crucified! It is what he did, all over the world, with an extreme courage and strength despite a bad physical health throughout his last years. For many years, the media have been waiting in vain for a possible renunciation. Yet the Pope has always said that he would remain in charge until the end. And Karol Wojtyla, for anyone who knows his life, was not the kind of man who easily changed his mind. Once again, he did what he said he would, and remain faithful to his duty until the very last moment.
The Pontificate and the life of Pope John Paul II were so intense, so rich and so long that it may be almost impossible to evoke all now. We will have time to recall the moments of his life, as we do for a close friend or a member of our family who has just passed away. Indeed, he was truly a member of our family, as the visible head of the mystical body of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And when the head is sick, the entire body feels pain. When the head is away, all the members feel this absence. That is the reason for which we miss him. It’s like if Christ were hidden, and in a certain way, He is, actually because His Vicar on earth has just passed away. One of his predecessor, Pius XII, had written well about the unity that exists in this mystical body. You know that I am far from being a charismatic. Faith is not a matter of feeling. Nevertheless, it happens sometimes that faith becomes sensible. Personally, every time I have seen the Pope, I felt something. And today, since he is no longer among us, I feel something.

But beyond the sadness of the present moment there is so much joy. The joy for what the Pope has been doing for 26 years. I remember personally some great moments with him, in my country when he came in 1996 for the 15th centenary of the Baptism of Clovis, event that has made France the Elder daughter of the Church. I was at this time a seminarian, and the retreat of the beginning of the year was almost finished in our seminary in Germany. Someone knocked on my door and an older seminarian asked me if I wanted to go to France. I answered: “Yes of course.” I haven’t seen my country for 5 days – that is a long time! – and I was so excited about going back to home, especially to see the Holy Father in Reims, place of the Coronation of our Kings. “Ok, says the seminarian. You have been chosen by the rector of the seminary to be in the delegation that will represent the seminary of Wigratzbad. We leave in two hour, be ready!” I packed in ten minutes! Then a 10 hours drive to arrive on the bivouac place, just at time for the night procession. The night was short and cold, and the whole time we could hear hundreds of buses driving into the military airbase where the Pope would arrive for the Mass on the morning.
What an atmosphere in this place on this day! While the Masonic lodges were making their poisonous remarks about the arrival of the Pope in a country that is supposed to be the model of laity, while the leftists, homosexuals, free thinkers, and all the people claiming the so called right of men were expressing their hatred throughout the country, we were here a few thousand to pray with the Holy Father in peace and joy. My country was discovering again its roots buried in the darkness of the Satanic Revolution. The light of Christ was still shining. The Pope asked us in 1980, during his first visit: “France, elder daughter of the Church, what have you done with the promises of your Baptism?” And we were here 16 years later to answer : “ Look, Holy Father, there is still some faith in this country. There is still some hope, and still some charity. There are still many young people who have no other desire that to build a new Christian society. There are still volunteers to join the seminary or a religious community or to create authentic Catholic families. Look Holy Father, Christ has still some disciples in this country.” I could never forget this day.

I have many other memories that I cannot tell now, but I have to recognize that because of the Pope John Paul II, I had in my life the chance to live great moments of faith. And he is the Pope who recognized us by creating the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in 1988. We should be grateful for that. Too often we consider that what we have is due to us. And it’s true that there is a right to the Tridentine mass. It is not merely a concession given to us for a kind of goodness. It’s a real right, and thanks be to God this right is officially and publicly recognized in the Church because of Pope John Paul the II. But not all is due to us and this assertion can be heard at all the levels, don’t forget that. You should give thanks for what you have already received rather than to claim and ask always more. He that has ears to hear, let him hear!
Now I can hear some objections. “But this Pope was the Pope of Assisi. He kissed the Koran etc…” We can draw up a list of what the Pope did wrong. In fact it’s easy to find the defects and errors of other people. Why do we have so many difficulties to find ours? So the Pope did some good things and he did others that are not up to us to judge, because the Pope cannot be judged by anyone on earth. “Prima sedes non judicatur a quoquam!” No one can pass judgment on the Pope. This old saying, back to Pope Saint Marcellinus in the III century became an established principle. The Pope is the highest authority on earth whoever he is. And this authority comes from Christ. It was given to Peter in order to feed the sheep of the Lord. That happened after the Resurrection when Jesus appeared to Peter and asked him: “Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?” And Peter would hear this question three times. After the third answer, Christ confirmed him in his mission: Feed my sheep! Peter can fail, Peter can be wrong, but Peter remains the Shepard that feeds the sheep of Christ. Christ told him: “ Follow me! ”
Pope John Paul II was a man of flesh as Peter was, as we all are. He could fail and could be wrong in matters not pertaining to the teaching of faith and morals. But I’m sure that he has always loved his Lord and followed Him. We don’t have to judge him. Our duty was rather to support him and pray for him, as we will have to do for his successor. The white cassock is heavy to wear, and the Pope needs our support and prayers.
Tonight our parish wants to pay tribute to Pope John Paul II and we offer this sacrifice and our prayers for the repose of his soul. This humble and modest tribute is a mark of love and gratitude for him. The Pope has spent his life for the service of God and of others, for the sheep of God, for us. He was at the end of his life exhausted for having worked for the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray now for him, for that he finally can find peace and rest.
And let us turn toward Our Lady. Pope John Paul II has loved her so much. As a disciple of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, he was totally consecrated and devoted to the mother of Jesus. Totus tuus! It was certainly not a coincidence if the attempt to murder him was precisely on May 13th in 1981, date anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima. There is a disconcerting connection between this Pope and Fatima. And it is certainly not a coincidence too, if he died just few weeks after sister Lucia. Both have done what they had to do. Now, Our Lady brings together her children.

I would like to conclude with this prayer of the Pope that he wrote in his encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor:
O Mary, mother of mercy, watch over all people so that Christ’s cross was not in vain, so that man does not stray from the path of the good or become blind to sin, but so that he puts his hope ever more fully in God who is rich in mercy. May he carry out generously the good works prepared by God beforehand, and so live completely in praise of his glory.