lundi, décembre 18, 2006

In nothing be solicitous

Nihil soliciti sitis! In nothing be solicitous!

This recommendation of Saint Paul seems to be quite appropriate on this Gaudete Sunday since our parish is full of worries and rumors. Now you know the reason: there is not enough money to pay for everyone and everything. The virtue of prudence requests that we should take care of this real problem and it is, perhaps, the occasion for us to think about the purpose of our parish and our raison d’etre.

The priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter was founded in 1988 in order to train seminarians to be priests for the service of the Catholic Church. Those priests must observe faithfully the liturgical and spiritual traditions according to the dispositions of the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei. This is the purpose. Then the means are various: parochial ministry, schools, preaching of retreats, missions and anything else this purpose may demand.

We also have to remember that our Fraternity has been created and still continues to grow up in the midst of a very serious crisis within the Church. The fact is that the great majority of parishes, monasteries and other churches dispense a poor liturgy and bad doctrine which divert the souls from the worship in spirit and in truth. By the grace of God, our Fraternity is faithful to the authentic principles of the Catholic Faith and allows the faithful who come to our churches to be sanctified through the Sacraments performed in the ancient rite and through the good doctrine of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God, we are not the only ones to offer this opportunity but finally the places in the world where you can fin a good church are very few. Many of you have to drive many miles to come here because you cannot find a real substantial and spiritual food in your local parishes, but at least you have this parish, which is a great grace.

I think it is very important to not forget our background and the circumstances in which the traditional movement continues to develop. We are on the battlefield. We must fight for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for the true doctrine of Jesus Christ, which means for Jesus-Christ Himself. We are attacked and attacked on every side and there are many frontlines.

We, and mainly our predecessors, had to fight to defend the Latin Mass and to continue the work of the Church as it has been done for many centuries. In the early Seventies, the situation didn’t look very good. Archbishop Lefebvre started the Society of Saint Pius X with a few priests and few material means. Some good diocesan priests had to oppose their Bishops and some religious priests their superiors, just for being able to continue what the Church has done from the beginning. A priest, who is now in our Fraternity, was arrested while celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He had taken a church by force and the Bishop called the police for this. Without the great work and the courage of our elders, there would be almost no Latin Mass today and the Fraternity of Saint Peter would probably not exist. But they kept persevered in fighting the good fight and keeping the Faith, as Saint Paul did. I cannot tell you in a sermon all the details of the fight for the Latin Mass in the 70’s and 80’s, but it was a great and very difficult task. Then, in 1988, it was necessary to start again from scratch. It was a great challenge for our founders because nobody knew what would happen.

Now, the situation is certainly more comfortable. We still have to fight, but at least we are recognized by the highest authorities of the Church. This doesn’t mean that things are easier everywhere. Here, in Atlanta, I can say that we are lucky and blessed. The situation is quite comfortable: a personal parish with two priests who give the Sacrament and solid doctrine, a nice church, full every Sunday, a polyphonic choir and a Gregorian Schola, a Scout troop and many other activities. Thanks be to God! But I hope that comfort would not make us forgot the fact that everything is not due to us. I hope we would not fall asleep in a kind a routine. I hope we would not loose and miss our goal.

A comfortable and easy life has never been conducive to the spiritual life. A minimum of austerity is required, according to each person’s individual disposition. I come from a country where the Catholic Church is poor, at least today. With no support from the State and only 10% of churchgoers among the Catholic population, it goes without saying that it is difficult for the Church to provide for all her needs. Many dioceses and religious communities have no other choice than to sell their properties. So, when I arrived in the U.S. three years ago, I was very impressed by the money that the Church has here. Even our own small parish, which is probably one the poorest in the diocese, is definitively more prosperous than my two previous parishes in France where I used to serve with another Fraternity priest. The possibility of losing a priest due to financial difficulty has never even been a possibility in these parishes of France.
So, dear Brethren, I just want to reassure you. There is no reason that your priests will leave as long as we remain faithful to our goals and to the purpose of the Fraternity of Saint Peter. We are here to give you Our Lord Jesus Christ and we can continue to do this even with less money. At least, I can assure you that I will not leave just because of a lack of money. That would be an abandonment and a defeat after the 40 years of battle for the Latin Mass and I don’t want to give Satan this pleasure.

Listen again to the words of Saint Paul: “In nothing be solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

This trial is for us an occasion to turn to God and to ask for His grace and His help. Then, everyone will do in conscience what he must do. We have already received many graces from God in this parish. Let us give thanks to God. Now, perhaps God wants to purify us and remind us of what is most important and useful for our souls. Let us accept the warning and the lesson and let us keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We are in good hands.

May Our Lady quieten our hearts and encourage us in the practice of a true charity. May she helps us to prepare our souls for the Feast of the Nativity and to welcome Our Lord Jesus Christ. God is good, and we will continue to work for Him !

1 commentaire:

Anonyme a dit…

The question is, who ordained you, and who has been ordaining the priests of the "Fraternity" since 1988? Are they the same bishops who were ordained in the Novus Ordo rite -- a rite which was, along with all other "updated" sacraments and rites of the Church, based upon the principles of Protestantism which deny the idea of the sacrificing priesthood? If so, then you can offer all the traditional Latin rite Masses you wish, they are invalid and so are your "orders." Only a bishop validly ordained can ordain a validly ordained priest.