vendredi, novembre 30, 2007

Happy Men!

I would say happy men of English language, since a good soul had the courage to translate my little text of yesterday. In our secret vocabulary, we call this a profiterole! Enjoy it!

An evening thought

Human beings are often much more spoiled by our Good God than are the angels. After all, the Son of God assumed our nature, not the angelic nature. It is said that certain angels would have fallen from jealousy due to this alone. It is human , we would it not angelic too?
It is a thing indeed that the angels do not have, or at least, that we do not share with the angels in the same way. It is brought on by the intimacy which we can have with the Saviour, all the more greater intimacy because of the incarnation which is prolonged in the Eucharist. The poor angels!
They do not have the Holy Communion, the Holy Angels themselves! Admittedly, those which remained faithful - they did not succumb to the temptation of jealousy - now have the happiness of seeing their Creator. That is enough to give them an inalterable joy. Consequently, they do not have any reason to be jealous of us. And it is well thus, because we could, nevertheless, provide them other occasions for which they could envy us. What do we thus have that they do not have?
The great St. Francis de Sales has given us an answer: "If jealousy could penetrate the kingdom of the eternal love, the angels would envy the sufferings of God for man and those of man for God"
Ah, truly! We, poor fellows, will never comprehend well to what degree we are blessed!

Nota Bene: My brain works probably better this morning and I found a mistake in the translation which appears to be, if not a mistake, at leat a theological imprecision!

Here it is: the Son of God assumed our nature, not the angelic nature!

The French texte was: le Fils de Dieu a revetu notre nature, non une nature angélique !
Un or une is a in English while le or la is the. And here it is important to keep a, and not the, because there is not one angelic nature but many. In fact, each single angel has his own nature and there are as many angelic natures as there are angels.

Nevertheless, the translator will not be punished for this little distraction !

jeudi, novembre 29, 2007

In memoriam: Anne-Lorraine

The following text is the English translation of an article by Gérard Gachet about the murder of Anne-Lorraine last Sunday.

text found at

The author of this article, Gérard Gachet, begins by saying that he was shocked to hear of the stabbing death of a woman on the RER and relieved to learn that her killer was caught. Then he goes on:
But I learned the worst yesterday afternoon. The worst is that I knew this young woman. I had had time to judge and appreciate her during the two months as a student journalist that she spent last year at Valeurs Actuelles, where I was then editor-in-chief. Her name was Anne-Lorraine Schmitt, she was 23, and she seemed to have been one of those children who are born to fill their parents with joy and pride. The eldest of a family of five children - boys and girls - she had graduated high-school at La Maison de la Légion d'Honneur in Saint-Denis before enrolling at the Institute for Political Science in Lille. In the fall of 2006 she entered Celsa, the excellent school of information and communication dependent on the Sorbonne.
During her apprenticeship at Valeurs Actuelles, she impressed the editing staff by her general level of culture, her maturity, the demands she made on herself. Demands that probably were the result of her faith: she was profoundly religious and was deeply involved in the scout movement. None of which prevented her from being a young woman of her times, charming, brilliant and appreciated by all.
On Sunday morning, her parents were waiting for her at the Orry-la-Ville train station to go together to Mass. A repeat sexual-offender, of Turkish origin, already convicted in 1996 to five years for an armed rape committed on the same RER line, destroyed their lives and the life of their daughter. But Anne-Lorraine was courageous to the end: she defended herself and prevented the assailant from achieving his goal by wounding him with his own weapon. This helped lead to his subsequent arrest. When she congratulated the investigators for their fast work, Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie sent her profound compassion to the family of Anne-Lorraine.
A few hours later, a few kilometers from there, young Moushin, 15, and Larami, 16, speeding on an unregistered motor-bike, without helmets, were killed when they crashed head-on with a police car on patrol.
He then describes the rioting and property damage.
In an attempt to calm things down, the President may meet on Wednesday with the parents of the two boys. Would it be asking too much for him to show a fine gesture towards the family and loved ones of Anne-Lorraine? For example, sending a representative - or even going himself, as he has done before - to the funeral of this exemplary young woman, on Saturday, at 2:00 P.M. at the Cathedral of Senlis. It would be only fair, in truth, for the innocent victims in this country to have a right to more consideration than the delinquents who are responsible for their own misfortune.

mardi, novembre 27, 2007

Heureux hommes !

Pensée Vespérale
Les êtres humains sont souvent bien plus gâtes par le Bon Dieu que les anges. Apres tout, le Fils de Dieu a revêtu notre nature, non une nature angélique. On dit que certains anges en seraient tombés de jalousie. C’est humain, dirions-nous… à moins que ce ne soit angélique aussi ?
Il est une chose en effet que les anges n’ont pas, ou du moins, n’ont pas de la même façon que nous. Il s’agit de cette intimité que nous pouvons avoir avec le Sauveur, intimité d’autant plus grande du fait de l’Incarnation qui se prolonge dans l’Eucharistie. Pauvres anges ! Ils n’ont pas la Sainte Communion, eux. Certes, ceux qui sont demeurés fidèles – ceux-là n’ont pas succombé à la tentation de la jalousie – ont maintenant le bonheur de voir leur Créateur. Cela suffit à leur procurer une joie inaltérable. Ils n’ont par conséquent aucune raison de nous jalouser. Et c’est bien ainsi, car nous pourrions, bien malgré nous, leur fournir d’autres occasions de nous envier. Qu’avons-nous donc qu’ils n’ont pas ? Le grand saint François de Sales nous en donne la réponse : « Si la jalousie pouvait pénétrer dans le royaume de l’amour eternel, les anges envieraient les souffrances d’un Dieu pour l’homme et celles de l’homme pour Dieu. »

Ah, vraiment ! Nous, pauvres hommes, ne comprendrons jamais assez à quel point nous sommes bénis !

A fantastic technologic march

Drink your favorite wine at home with
the new
USB Wine
What a beautiful idea of Christmas gift for your Baptist friends!

dimanche, novembre 25, 2007

Sermon for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost

As the end of the Liturgical year comes, the Church, who always anticipates the end of time, turns to Her Lord and asks Him to stir up our wills, so that we can more earnestly seek the fruit of good works and consequently receive the gifts of God. (Collect of the day)
Saint Paul had no other desire when writing to the Colossians than to wish that they walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work.

Walk worthy of God (pilgrims toward Santiago de Compostella)

Being worthy of God and pleasing in all things requires a necessary condition, which is, being in the state of grace. Only Divine grace can make us agreeable to God and without it, our good works cannot bear fruit for eternal life. There is undeniably a natural goodness and we acknowledge with Saint Augustine and the Church, that man is able by himself to do good according to his nature. But we also affirm that our natural good acts are absolutely insufficient to procure eternal happiness without the grace of God.
In order to be fruitful in our works, we first have to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We need a spiritual understanding of God, which is not a mere natural knowledge. God is not an object of study as other things are. He is first a subject to be loved. Certainly, we have to use our natural faculty of intelligence to know God. We have to study, to learn our catechism and the teachings of the Church and not doing that would be sinful. But when you open a catechism or a book of theology, it is also, and probably first, an occasion to meet with God. It is like an anticipation of our future life in Heaven, where we will see God face to face and understand Him more and more during all the eternity. Now, our quest of the intelligence of God is hard and sometimes dry. We have to open our eyes to read or our ears to listen, but also we have to open our hearts so that our understanding of God will not only be a mere intellectual knowledge but a source of joy, because knowing God is good and beautiful. And goodness and beauty can only bring joy.
With joy, comes peace. God has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Think about this: we are members of a Kingdom of love, a Kingdom that has already triumphed over the powers of darkness. So, we have nothing to fear. We have only reasons to rejoice and to give thanks, even if the time is hard now. In fact, I guess that, for the good disciples of Christ, times are always hard. When the end of time comes, it will certainly be even harder. It will come with a lot of ordeals and many tribulations. But it will be the second coming of Our Lord, in His grandness and in His glory. It will be the triumph of justice over iniquity, of love over hate, of life over death. The Church of Jesus Christ will be exalted and physically united. The militant Church and the suffering Church will pass and only the triumphant Church will remain glorious for all eternity. Then, we will enter into the Holy of Holies and celebrate the eternal and perfect Liturgy to the glory of our God.
So, dear Brethren, the meditation of the end of time, should be nothing else for us, than an encouragement to persevere in doing good works, whatever are our tribulations. These, at the end of time, will just be more precious pearls added on our crowns for having fought the good battle with all the Saints.
May Our Blessed Mother keep us under her protection so that we can remain faithful until the end and progress in our good works with an authentic charity always renewed in her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of her Son.

vendredi, novembre 23, 2007

Un message de Notre-Dame de Chretiente

Rome vient à Versailles, accueillons Rome à Versailles

Le 8 décembre, soyons nombreux auprès du Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos, pour témoigner de notre gratitude pour le motu proprio !

Chers amis, comme vous le savez, nous invitons tous les pèlerins et amis du pèlerinage à venir rendre grâce et fêter les vingt-cinq pèlerinages le 8 décembre dans une grande fête de famille et d'amitié française. Cette réunion est importante en soi. Mais, du fait des circonstances, elle va revêtir une importance supérieure pour l'avenir de l'attachement au Saint Père et à la tradition liturgique et doctrinale que nous défendons.

En effet, il a plu au Ciel, au terme de ces 25 années, de nous faire deux cadeaux : le Motu proprio "Summorum pontificum" et la visite du Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos président de la commission Ecclesia Dei, proche collaborateur de notre très saint père le pape Benoît XVI. Au-delà de l'honneur et du plaisir de recevoir ces deux cadeaux bénis, ceux-ci nous obligent !

En effet, cette visite aura lieu cinq mois et un jour après la promulgation du motu proprio. Elle revêtira une ampleur nationale. Elle sera l'occasion pour son Eminence et par son intermédiaire, pour Benoît XVI, d'avoir un aperçu de l'accueil fait en France au motu proprio, par la communauté catholique attachée au rite extraordinaire, de l'esprit et de la détermination avec lequel il est reçu. Ce sera aussi l'occasion de leur exprimer notre joie et notre reconnaissance pour ce geste de gouvernement. Il est donc capital que nous soyons nombreux tant à la messe qu'au déjeuner de Villepreux. L’ambiance devra être calme et joyeuse, bon enfant.

C'est pourquoi nous nous tournons vers vous pour vous inviter à relayer ce message. Il faut que toute la France soit représentée. Il faut que nos amis des régions proches et d'Ile de France en priorité, se mobilisent en très grand nombre. Il reste peu de temps et pour cela nous avons besoin de votre aide pour les convaincre du caractère supérieur de ce rendez-vous avec Rome. Contactez votre réseau. Envoyez des courriels certes, mais de grâce appelez vos correspondants au téléphone pour les saisir de cet évènement …et les convaincre soit de venir et au moins de relayer l’information. Le train ne repassera pas de si tôt.

Rome vient à Versailles; accueillons Rome à Versailles.

Ce doit être un événement "extraordinaire", en ce grand jour de fête de l'Immaculée Conception.

Nous nous efforcerons de faire connaître au Cardinal les initiatives lancées depuis le 7 juillet dernier, d'illustrer la vigueur de notre famille, et de lui faire prendre conscience de l'accueil national qui lui aura été fait à l’occasion de cette journée.

Soyez assurés de notre fidèle amitié, en union de prières.

Olivier de Durat, président et abbé François Pozzetto, aumônier général.

Retrouvez tous les renseignements sur :

samedi, novembre 17, 2007

The success of integration in France

Yesterday evening France played against Marocco at le Stade de France, located in Saint-Denis. Saint Denis used to be - a long time ago - the heart of the Kingdom of France. Many of our Kings are still buried in the magnificent Cathedral.
I let you appreciate the reaction of the public during the National Anthem, la Marseillaise.
And many of our zealous Bishops are still happy to welcome in our country our "Muslim brothers". Some say that they are a chance for our country and the Church. Sure, they are !

dimanche, novembre 11, 2007

Sermon for 5th Sunday after Epiphany ( transferred)

The good seed and cockle are mixed together. When a farmer sees some cockles in his field, his first reaction is to remove them. He wants what is best for his crops in order to obtain the best quality, so that he can feed his family with good and healthy food and sell the best products on the market. Our Lord tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sows good seed in his field. But it happens that cockle appears. The servants spontaneously volunteer to remove it, but they are stopped by the Master. It is not yet the time because lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. They have to wait until the harvest. Today’s gospel, along with the epistle, is rich with teaching and we certainly need to take time to meditate on these texts.

Let us see first the reason of the cockle. From where does it come? It comes from the enemy when the man is asleep. According to Saint John Chrysostom, this concerns the bishops who are overseers of the flock. If they are asleep, which means, if they are not vigilant, the enemy comes and spreads his pernicious teaching. It is really a huge task which is required from the Shepherds of the Church. Their vigilance has to be constant and alert, because the enemy never stops. As soon as he glimpses a little failure, he penetrates into the edifice and then, little by little, he extends his influence. We may not see him immediately, but then, when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle.
It is what happens in the Church when the good principles which insure the teaching of the authentic faith are not kept. With time, the good doctrine dissolves itself among the errors. Even the most faithful finish by blurting out blunders on such or such points of doctrine if they don’t firmly hold the good principles. Just to give an example, we hear so many times, even among Catholics who are supposedly conservative, that aborted babies can only be in heaven because God is so good that He can only have mercy on them. This is touching, but what about the reality of original sin and the necessity of baptism?
I do not pretend that there is no way of salvation for these souls who are victims of the most terrible genocide of all times, but we have absolutely no certitude of their eternal destiny. What is sure is that we are all marked by original sin and that baptism is necessary. Faith is not a matter of feelings or emotions but it is a firm assent of our intelligence enlightened by the light of God to the truths revealed by God and taught by the Church. It is a science and as such, it is something precise and well defined. The Bishops have the grave obligation to be vigilant in order to protect and to promote it, in order to impede the enemy to sow his cockle that leads to perdition of souls.
Now, the reaction of the disciples would be to remove the cockle as we said. But Jesus says: no, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. As Saint John Chrysostom explains, our Lord is saying that He wants to prevent wars, murders and bloodshed, because many innocent could be included in such acts. It happens also that the cockle can turn into good seed. Saint Francis de Sales gives us a beautiful example of what we can obtain through patience and love as he brought many Protestants back to the true faith, who were mislead in their errors. We may have a desire for an expeditious justice but we should rather consider the sweetness of Jesus, as Saint John Chrysostom invites us. It does not impede the Church to judge and condemn but it also allows the heretics to convert.
And finally, if they persevere in their malice, they will be judged by God himself and will necessarily fall into the inevitable justice. “In the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn.”
Now, we can apply this parable to ourselves. The man who is asleep could be you or me. If I am not vigilant, if I neglect my spiritual life and my doctrinal formation, the enemy will easily sow cockle in my life. But we recognize a tree by its fruits.
What are the fruits of my life? Saint Paul tells us, that as elected of God, we have to put on the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty and patience. My first reaction would be to check on my neighbor to see if he or she really has the qualities asked for by Saint Paul. It is always easier to find the defects of others, but I should rather check on myself. Am I merciful? Am I humble, modest and patient?
Then Saint Paul wishes that the word of Christ dwell in us abundantly. Well, it is not something that happens by magic without us doing anything. It supposes a constant and regular life of prayer and daily reading of the Scriptures which leads toward meditation. Then, if the word of God dwells in me, it will affect my heart and give me peace. It will make me recognize in my fellow parishionners some brothers in Christ. It will push me to sing with my them, psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles. As Saint Paul says, it will be an instruction for us.
And where is the best place to sing to the Lord if not at church? We should sing with our whole heart and with our most beautiful voice at church, especially Sunday Mass. Saint John Chrysostom, commenting on this passage from Saint Paul, says that we must not content ourselves by singing with our lips, but also with our heart. But if you even do not sing with your lips, how can you pretend that you sing with you heart, unless you are a kind of ventriloquist. And singing is not only rendering glory to God; it is also teaching the people. You can teach good by singing psalms and spiritual canticles. You can also teach evil and I don’t have to give any examples, we already have a lot on TV and radio. For this reason, Saint John Chrysostom warns us to: Teach children how to sing the Psalms full of wisdom. Then we have to teach them the hymns, composed by the Church. Saint John Chrysostom mentions for example the Gloria in excelsis Deo well known by the faithful.

Then, came a little story, but you had to be in North Little Rock this morning to hear it!

Sunday entertainment

Pastoral care : the art of refinement!

The battle for the social reign of Our Lord is also on football (the real one) fields

Ce que siginifie " se faire sonner les cloches "

samedi, novembre 10, 2007

The Fraternity of Saint Peter in pictures

Father Berg in Nigeria
(September 2007)
Father Bisig celebrates Live EWTN Mass
(September 14 2007)

Pilgrimage in Verdun
(September 15 2007)

Father Berg celebrates Mass in Einsideln (Switerland)
(October 21 2007)

And many other pictures here :

Abbey Notre-Dame de Fontgombault

vendredi, novembre 09, 2007

Dédicace de la Basilique du Très Saint Sauveur

Dom Prosper Gueranger
L'année liturgique: 9 novembre

Au quatrième siècle de notre ère, la fin des persécutions sembla au monde un avant-goût de sa future entrée dans la cité de la paix sans fin. « Gloire au Tout-Puissant ! gloire au Rédempteur de nos âmes ! » s'écrie, en tête du dixième et dernier livre de son Histoire, le contemporain Eusèbe. Et témoin du triomphe, il décrit l'admirable spectacle auquel donna lieu partout la dédicace des sanctuaires nouveaux. De villes en villes, s'assemblaient les évêques et s'empressaient les foules. De peuples à peuples, une telle bienveillance de mutuelle charité, de commune foi, d'allégresse recueillie harmonisait les cœurs, que l'unité du corps du Christ apparaissait aux yeux, dans cette multitude animée d'un même souffle de l'Esprit-Saint ; c'était l'accomplissement des anciennes prophéties: cité vivante du Dieu vivant où tout sexe et tout âge exaltaient l'auteur de tous biens. Combien augustes apparurent alors les rites de notre Eglise ! la perfection achevée qu'y déployaient les Pontifes, l'élan de la psalmodie, les lectures inspirées, la célébration des ineffables Mystères formaient un ensemble divin.

Constantin avait mis les trésors du fisc à la disposition des évêques, et lui-même stimulait leur zèle pour ce qu'il appelait dans ses édits impériaux l'œuvre des églises. Rome surtout, lieu de sa victoire par la Croix et capitale du monde devenu chrétien, bénéficia de la munificence du prince. Dans une série de dédicaces à la gloire des Apôtres et des saints Martyrs, Silvestre, Pontife de la paix, prit possession de la Ville éternelle pour le vrai Dieu.

Aujourd'hui fut le jour natal de l'Eglise Maîtresse et Mère, dite du Sauveur, Aula Dei, Basilique d'or ; nouveau Sinaï, d'où les oracles apostoliques et tant de conciles notifièrent au monde la loi du salut. Qu'on ne s'étonne pas d'en voir célébrer la fête en tous lieux.

Si depuis des siècles les Papes n'habitent plus le palais du Latran, la primauté de sa Basilique survit dans la solitude à tout abandon. Comme au temps de saint Pierre Damien, il est toujours vrai de dire qu' « en la manière où le Sauveur est le chef des élus, l'Eglise qui porte son nom est la tête des églises; que celles de Pierre et de Paul sont, à sa droite et à sa gauche, les deux bras par lesquels cette souveraine et universelle Eglise embrasse toute la terre, sauvant tous ceux qui désirent le salut, les réchauffant, les protégeant dans son sein maternel. » Et Pierre Damien appliquait conjointement au Sauveur et à la Basilique, sacrement de l’unité, les paroles du prophète Zacharie : Voici l’ homme dont le nom est Orient ;il germera de lui-même, et il bâtira un temple au Seigneur ; il bâtira, dis-je, un temple au Seigneur, et il aura la gloire, et il s'assiéra : et sur son trône il sera Roi, et sur son trône il sera Pontife. (Zach. VI, 12, 13)

C'est au Latran que, de nos jours encore, a lieu la prise de possession officielle des Pontifes romains. Là s'accomplissent chaque année en leur nom, comme Evêques de Rome, les fonctions cathédrales delà bénédiction des saintes Huiles au Jeudi saint et, le surlendemain, de la bénédiction des fonts, du baptême solennel, de la confirmation, de l'ordination générale. Prudence, le grand poète de l'âge du triomphe, reviendrait en nos temps qu'il dirait toujours : « A flots pressés le peuple romain court à la demeure de Latran, d'où l'on revient marqué du signe sacré, du chrême royal ; et il faudrait douter encore, ô Christ, que Rome te fût consacrée ! »Prudent. Lib. I contra Symmachum, 586-588.

Lisons le récit liturgique attribué à ce jour.

Ce fut le bienheureux Pape Silvestre qui établit le premier les rites observés par l'Eglise romaine dans la consécration des églises et des autels. Il y avait bien dès le temps des Apôtres, en effet, certains lieux voués à Dieu, et nommés Oratoires par les uns, Eglises par d'autres ; on y tenait l'assemblée le premier jour de la semaine, et le peuple chrétien avait la coutume d'y prier, d'y entendre la parole de Dieu, d'y recevoir l'Eucharistie : cependant on ne les consacrait pas avec autant de solennité ; on n'y élevait pas d'autel fixe qui, oint du chrême, exprimât le symbole de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, pour nous autel, hostie et pontife.

Mais lorsque l'empereur Constantin eut par le sacrement du baptême obtenu la santé du corps et le salut de l'Ame, une loi émanant de lui fut portée qui pour la première fois permettait dans tout l'univers aux chrétiens de bâtir des églises. Non content de cet édit, le prince voulut même leur donner l'exemple et inaugurer les saints travaux. C'est ainsi que dans son propre palais de Latran, il dédia une église au Sauveur, et fonda le baptistère contigu sous le nom de saint Jean-Baptiste, dans le lieu où lui-même, baptisé par saint Silvestre, avait été guéri de la lèpre. C'est cette église que le Pontife consacra le cinq des ides de novembre ; et nous en célébrons la mémoire en ce même jour où pour la première fois à Rome une église fut ainsi publiquement consacrée, où l'image du Sauveur apparut visible sur la muraille aux yeux du peuple romain.

Plus tard, ayant à consacrer l'autel du Prince des Apôtres, le bienheureux Silvestre ordonna que les autels ne fussent plus désormais que de pierre. Si cependant l'autel de la basilique de Latran fut de bois, on ne doit pas s'en étonner : de saint Pierre à Silvestre, en effet, les persécutions ne laissaient pas aux Pontifes de demeure stable ; partout donc où les amenait la nécessité, soit dans les cryptes ou les cimetières, soit dans les maisons des chrétiens, c'était sur cet autel de bois, creux en forme de coffre, qu'ils offraient le Sacrifice. Quand la paix fut rendue à l'Eglise, par honneur pour le Prince des Apôtres qu'on dit avoir célébré sur cet autel, et les autres Pontifes qui jusqu'alors s'en étaient servis de même dans les Mystères sacrés, saint Silvestre le plaça dans la première église, au Latran, défendant que nul autre n'y célébrât par la suite, si ce n'est le Pontife romain. Ebranlée et ruinée par les incendies, les incursions ennemies, les tremblements de terre, cette église fut toujours réparée avec grand zèle parles Souverains Pontifes ; à la suite d'une nouvelle restauration, le Pape Benoît XIII, de l'Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs, la consacra derechef en grande pompe, le vingt-huitième jour d'avril de l'an mil sept cent vingt-six, assignant à la mémoire de cette solennité le présent jour. De grands travaux que Pie IX avait entrepris furent menés à bonne fin par Léon XIII; à savoir : l'agrandissement et le prolongement de l'abside qui tombait de vétusté ; la réfection sur le modèle primitif de l'antique mosaïque déjà précédemment renouvelée dans beaucoup de ses parties, et son transfert dans ta nouvelle abside magnifiquement et à grands frais décorée ; le renouvellement delà charpente et des lambris du transept embelli ; œuvre complétée, l'an mil huit cent quatre-vingt-quatre, d'une sacristie, d'habitations pour les chanoines et d'un portique rejoignant les nouvelles constructions au baptistère de Constantin.

Tant de détails courent le risque de sembler superflus aux profanes. En la manière cependant que le Pape est notre premier et propre pasteur à tous, son Eglise de Latran est aussi notre Eglise; rien de ce qui la concerne ne saurait, ne devrait du moins, laisser le fidèle indifférent. Inspirons-nous à son endroit des belles formules qui suivent, et que nous donne le Pontifical romain au jour de la consécration des Eglises ; elles ne sauraient s'appliquer mieux qu'à l'Eglise Mère.

lundi, novembre 05, 2007

Sermon for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

With November, comes the end of the liturgical year and the liturgy invites us to anticipate the end of the great cycle of life. The liturgy of the dead, a couple of days ago, reminded us that this life has a term, which will come soon for each one of us. It is just a matter of years, of months or perhaps just days. Then, will come the time of our death, which is not an end but rather a change, as the preface of the requiem Mass says. This change will be for the best or for the worst, according to the life we have lived. For each one of us, there will be only one alternative: eternal happiness with God in heaven or eternal pain in hell. There is no other option. Hell or heaven, that’s all! And our eternity will be definitively fixed at the time of our death.
This is something which is not said too often from the pulpit today and it is a shame because people need to know this truth. They need to know in order to make the good choice and conform their lives to their faith. They need to know that there is only one Savior, who is Our Lord Jesus Christ and that there is only one means of salvation which is the Church that He has founded, namely the Catholic Church. They need to know that baptism is necessary for salvation as it has always been preached since our Lord made it a condition of redemption. They need to know that confession is necessary to recover the Divine grace if it has been lost by a mortal sin. They need to know what a mortal sin is and what its consequences are. All of these are elementary truths that every one should know and that should be taught in catechism.
Throughout the liturgical year, we had the opportunity to meditate on these truths. We have heard Jesus preaching to the crowds about His Kingdom and performing miracles, manifesting His mission. He is the One that we have to listen to and follow, because He is the only one who can lead us to heaven and free us from sin.
Today we can hear in the gospel that He has power over death. The resurrection of the little girl is a symbol of the resurrection of our souls. The Church, acknowledging the power of her Founder, turns to Him and asks in today’s collect: Absolve, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the sins of Thy people; that we may be delivered by Thy goodness from the bonds of sins, which by our frailty we have committed.

Our sins are obstacles on our journey toward heaven. The most terrible thing is that we ourselves put these obstacles in our way. Certainly, there are temptations and we have to take into consideration our weaknesses, but they do not excuse ours sins which are always acts of our will. If you have committed a sin, it is because you wanted to do it. At one point you had a choice between God and a creature and you chose the creature rather than God. This was an act of your will and you do not have to find any excuse to justify your bad choice or to lessen your responsibility. We often try to justify ourselves, even in front of God. Look at Adam: The woman whom thou gavest me to be my companion gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And then Eve: The serpent deceived me and I did eat.
Like Adam and Eve you can find many excuses: because of temptations, bad examples around you or because of pressures. But ultimately, your sins are yours. Nothing can force you to sin. You should even be ready to give your life rather than to commit one mortal sin under pressure. Just as Queen Blanche de Castille used to teach her son Louis, who would become King Saint Louis. I love you my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin. She understood that the life of the soul is more important than the life of the body.
This life will have an end soon anyway. This insight of wisdom should push us to consider what will happen after death and help us to prepare ourselves now for this important moment. Saint Paul says that our conversation is in heaven! We should already anticipate the glory of heaven by being one mind in the Lord. But it is not possible to do this as long as we do not renounce to sin. Jesus has the power to free us from sin, but we still have to want to be free. The choice is ours. Let us make the good one and let us prepare ourselves now for our eternity.

May Our Lady intercede for us and help us make the right choice so that we could join her to sing the glory of God for all eternity.

jeudi, novembre 01, 2007

Sermon for the Feast of All Saints

Throughout the liturgical year, we celebrate many Saints who have been raised by the Church to the glory of the altar. The reason of their canonizations is that the Church, by a solemn judgment and decree, has recognized and proclaimed the heroic character of their virtues. The Saints have not been canonized because they performed miracles or did extraordinary things, but because they have practiced virtues in a high degree.
Many people like extraordinary things, because for them it is a kind of entertainment. They would like to see a miracle, as you like to go to a show. Remember how happy Herod was when he saw Jesus. Saint Luke reports that he was desirous of a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things of Him and he hoped to see some sign wrought by Him. The world wants miracles for themselves and for the pleasure of the eyes, but it does not want to recognize the power and the authority of the One who is the author of miracles. With outrage, it defies God Himself: If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross.
It would have been easy for Jesus to come down from the Cross. But He did not. He did not, because, first, our Redemption had to come from the Cross, and then, Jesus also wanted to give us the perfect example of the Christian life, which is a total renouncement and abandonment into the hands of the Father. This is truly what holiness is all about.
The world is more attracted by extraordinary facts than by holiness. At least, I wish it could be more attracted by the extraordinary form of the Roman Missal, which is, one example, of a precious source of holiness. But it is not the kind of extraordinary thing that the world likes, because this one reminds it of the Sacrifice of Jesus. The world does not accept this Sacrifice. It does not accept the message of the Cross because it is a message hard to receive. As the disciples who left Jesus, the world says: This saying is hard; and who can hear it?
As you see, even some disciples do not want to hear the message of Jesus. They accept Jesus as a friend, but they do not want Him as a Redeemer who teaches them to carry the Cross. And today, many Catholics, and even many priests, want to hear only about a ‘happy Jesus’ who is friends with all men. These Catholics have put the Cross away from their lives. No wonder, with this impression, that they consider the Mass as a happy gathering. They like extraordinary things during Mass like dances, worldly music or anything else according to their imaginative sense of creation. Finally, they change the Sacrifice of Jesus into a show.
Dear Brethren, we are not here to judge or to criticize them, but to tell them, with charity, that they are wrong. We have to tell them that there is another way to worship God, which is the way of all the Saints. It is the way of the Cross.
All the Saints, without any exception, have walked by the way of the Cross during their lives. All of them! There are the great Saints that we know, because they have been canonized by the Church. And there are so many others that we do not know, because they just lived an ordinary life. It was an ordinary life according to the world: a humble, and sometimes a hidden life. Apparently there was nothing extraordinary, for the world is always fond of sensational things. But in the Heart of Jesus, they were really extraordinary people. Today, in Heaven, the good Lord can tell them, face to face, how much He loves them and how very happy He is that His Sacrifice was not useless. And for them, all the Saints of Heaven, they can now see their Savior, and it is enough to give them an extraordinary joy. After having served Him in the darkness of faith, now they enjoy Him in a clear vision.
Our extraordinary form of the Mass, maybe has nothing extraordinary for the world, but it allows us to anticipate the glory of Heaven, by making us participate in the Sacrifice of Jesus. For this reason, it is our treasure and the glorious heritage of our elders in faith. This Mass, which has known an organic development since the time of the Apostles, is the Mass of the Saints of all times. We come now at the foot of the altar to receive the fruits of the Sacrifice of Jesus, just as generations of Christians before us. Therefore, it is truly an extraordinary thing. And if we really understand it, as much as our limited intelligence allows us to understand, it can truly be a source of holiness for us. But there is a condition: we do not just have to attend Mass, but we still have to live it, so that it can impregnate our whole lives. Living the Mass means following Jesus to Calvary. Living the Mass means keeping the commandments of God, especially the most important one which is the commandment of love. Living the Mass means recognizing our condition as sinners and to consider seriously the means of Redemption given by the Lord through His Church. In other words, living the Mass means living as a Saint. If we do not do this, our attachment to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite would just be an ordinary vanity. I guess Our Lord expects more from us.

May all the Saints that we honor today, help us to realize and achieve our Christian lives so that we can join them one day for the most beautiful liturgy that no one can imagine. Among them, Our Lady stands at the place of honor and as a Queen. But before this, she stood near the Cross of her Son. For the world, it was an ordinary thing. But we know the value of her extraordinary Sacrifice. It is a value that puts her above all the Saints of Heaven.

An extraordinary means of holiness for ordinary people