samedi, juillet 28, 2007

Saint Eugène de Mazenod

Saint Eugène de Mazenod is one of my favorite Saints. As a priest in South of France and then Bishop of Marseille, he brought his zeal and his passion which generated a great religious fervour in Provence and in Corsica. As he was first a missionary, its works spread throughout the world, especially in North America where his sons performed a great work for the kingdom of Christ. I read his biography when I was in the seminary and since this time, Saint Eugene de Mazenod inspires me every day. I never miss to pray to him each time I go to Marseille, where he rests now in the Cathedral.

May Saint Eugène de Mazenod obtain for us the same zeal for the kingdom of Jesus Christ and the salvation of the souls.

The following text is from the website of the Vatican :

CHARLES JOSEPH EUGENE DE MAZENOD came into a world that was destined to change very quickly. Born in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France on August 1, 1782, he seemed assured of position and wealth from his family, who were of the minor nobility. However, the turmoil of the French Revolution changed all that forever. When Eugene was just eight years old his family fled France, leaving their possessions behind, and started a long and increasingly difficult eleven year exile.


The Years in Italy

The Mazenod family, political refugees, trailed through a succession of cities in Italy. His father, who had been President of the Court of Accounts, Aids and Finances in Aix, was forced to try his hand at trade to support his family. He proved to be a poor businessman, and as the years went on the family came close to destitution. Eugene studied briefly at the College of Nobles in Turin, but a move to Venice meant the end to formal schooling. A sympathetic priest, Don Bartolo Zinelli, living nearby, undertook to educate the young French emigre. Don Bartolo gave the adolescent Eugene a fundamental education, but with a lasting sense of God and a regimen of piety which was to stay with him always, despite the ups and downs of his life. A further move to Naples, because of financial problems, led to a time of boredom and helplessness. The family moved again, this time to Palermo where, thanks to the kindness of the Duke and Duchess of Cannizzaro, Eugene had his first taste of noble living and found it very much to his liking. He took to himself the title of "Count" de Mazenod, did all the courtly things, and dreamed of a bright future.

Return to France: the Priesthood

In 1802, at the age of 20, Eugene was able to return to his homeland - and all his dreams and illusions were quickly shattered. He was just plain "Citizen" de Mazenod, France was a changed world, his parents had separated, his mother was fighting to get back the family possessions. She was also intent on marrying off Eugene to the richest possible heiress. He sank into depression, seeing little real future for himself. But his natural qualities of concern for others, together with the faith fostered in Venice began to assert themselves. He was deeply affected by the disastrous situation of the French Church, which had been ridiculed, attacked and decimated by the Revolution. A calling to the priesthood began to manifest itself, and Eugene answered that call. Despite opposition from his mother, he entered the seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris, and on December 21, 1811, he was ordained a priest in Amiens.

Apostolic endeavours: Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Returning to Aix-en-Provence, he did not take up a normal parish appointment, but started to exercise his priesthood in the care of the truly spiritually needy-prisoners, youth, servants, country villagers. Often in the face of opposition from the local clergy, Eugene pursued his course. Soon he sought out other equally zealous priests who were prepared to step outside the old, even outmoded, structures. Eugene and his men preached in Provencal, the language of the common people, not in "educated" French. From village to village they went, instructing at the level of the people, spending amazingly long hours in the confessional. In between these parish missions the group joined in an intense community life of prayer, study and fellowship. They called themselves "Missionaries of Provence". However, so that there would be an assured continuity in the work, Eugene took the bold step of going directly to the Pope and asking that his group be recognized officially as a Religious Congregation of pontifical right. His faith and his persistence paid off-and on February 17d, 1826, Pope Leo XII approved the new Congregation, the "Oblates of Mary Immaculate". Eugene was elected Superior General, and continued to inspire and guide his men for 35 years, until his death. Together with their growing apostolic endeavours-preaching, youth work, care of shrines, prison chaplaincy, confessors, direction of seminaries, parishes - Eugene insisted on deep spiritual formation and a close community life. He was a man who loved Christ with passion and was always ready to take on any apostolate if he saw it answering the needs of the Church. The "glory of God, the good of the Church and the sanctification of souls" were impelling forces for him.

Bishop of Marseille

The Diocese of Marseille had been suppressed after the 1802 Concordat, and when it was re-established, Eugene's aged uncle, Canon Fortune de Mazenod, was named Bishop. He appointed Eugene Vicar General immediately, and most of the difficult work of re-building the Diocese fell to him. Within a few years, in 1832, Eugene himself was named auxiliary bishop. His Episcopal ordination took place in Rome, in defiance of the pretensions of the French Government that it had the right to sanction all such appointments. This caused a bitter diplomatic battle, and Eugene was caught in the middle, with accusations, misunderstandings, threats, and recriminations swirling around him. It was an especially devastating time for him, further complicated by the growing pains of his religious family. Though battered, Eugene steered ahead resolutely, and finally the impasse was broken. Five years later, he was appointed to the See of Marseille as its Bishop, when Bishop Fortune retired.

Bishop of Marseille

A heart as big as the world

Whilst he had founded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate primarily to serve the spiritually needy and deprived of the French countryside, Eugene's zeal for the Kingdom of God and his devotion to the Church moved the Oblates to the advancing edge of the apostolate. His men ventured into Switzerland, England, Ireland. Because of his zeal, Eugene had been dubbed "a second Paul," and bishops from the missions came to him asking for Oblates for their expanding mission fields. Eugene responded willingly despite small initial numbers, and sent his men out to Canada, to the United States, to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), to South Africa, to Basutoland (Lesotho). As missionaries in his mould, they fanned out preaching, baptising, caring. They frequently opened up previously uncharted lands, established and manned many new dioceses, and in a multitude of ways they "left nothing undared that the Kingdom of Christ might be advanced." In the years that followed, the Oblate mission thrust continued, so that today the impulse of Eugene de Mazenod is alive in his men in 68 different countries.

Pastor of his Diocese

During all this ferment of missionary activity, Eugene was an outstanding pastor of the Church of Marseille-ensuring the best seminary training for his priests, establishing new parishes, building the city's cathedral and the spectacular Shrine of Notre Dame de la Garde above the city, encouraging his priests to lives of holiness, introducing many Religious Congregations to work in the diocese, leading his fellow Bishops in support of the rights of the Pope. He grew into a towering figure in the French Church. In 1856, Napoleon III appointed him a Senator, and at his death he was the senior bishop of France.

Notre-Dame de la Garde

Legacy of a Saint

May 21, 1861, saw Eugene de Mazenod returning to his God, at the age of 79, after a life crowded with achievements, many of them born in suffering. For his religious family and for his diocese, he was a founding and life-giving source: for God and for the Church, he was a faithful and generous son. As he lay dying he left his Oblates a final testament, "Among yourselves-charity, charity, charity: in the world-zeal for souls." The Church in declaring him a saint on December 3, 1995, crowns these two pivots of his living-love and zeal. His life and his deeds remain for all a window unto God Himself. And that is the greatest gift that Eugene de Mazenod, Oblate of Mary Immaculate, can offer us.

vendredi, juillet 27, 2007

Bienheureux ceux qui pleurent !

"Le sourire optimiste devant la privation matérielle, l’effort moral de se réjouir devant le sacrifice, heureux de comprendre que le bonheur n’est pas fonction de bijoux ou de vêtements ; l’esprit qui chante son Magnificat pendant que de grosses larmes associent le pauvre corps à l’épreuve qui nous visite.
Heureux ceux qui pleurent, victimes des duretés implacables de la matière qui frappe ou qui se dérobe, mais radieux de se sentir supérieurs à ces corps par l’absolu de leur courage."
R.P. de Chivré

"The optimistic smile in the face of material deprivation, the moral effort to be delighted in the face of the sacrifice, content and satisfied to understand that happiness is not related to jewels or clothing; this is the spirit which sings its Magnificat while large tears accompany the poor body the test which visits us.
Happy those who cry, victims of the relentless difficulties of the matter which strikes in any manner or which are concealed, but radiant to feel , as if dwelling above, outside, of these bodies by their absolute courage." Father de Chivré
( Translated by S.P.B.... Thank you )

samedi, juillet 21, 2007

Bienheureux ceux qui sont doux

" La caractéristique des forts.
Ceux qu'aucune violence ou brutalité ne rend semblables aux machines de nos modernes progrès, car ils disposent d'une âme pour régir, gouverner, utiliser leurs muscles, leurs nerfs, leurs impressions, leurs sensations. Doux, de la douceur de Dieu, cette vertu de la Toute-Puissance spirituelle qui balance les univers, les mondes et les aurores dans le calme et avec l'insensible rapidité propre aux équilibres parfaits."
R.P. de Chivré
Blessed are the meek
" The characteristics of the strong

Those to which no violence nor brutality makes them similar to the machines of our modern progress, because they have a heart to govern, control, muscles to use, their nerves, their impressions, and their feelings.

Soft, of the softness of God, this virtue of the spiritual Absolute power which balances the universes, the worlds and the dawns in calm and with the insensitive speed specific to perfect balance. “
R.P. de Chivré

vendredi, juillet 20, 2007

Méditations de vacances

« Jésus voyant tout ce peuple, monta sur une montagne, et s'étant assis, ses disciples s'approchèrent de Lui. »

Evangile selon saint Matthieu, chapitre V, verset 1.

Selon saint Jean Chrysostome, "Jésus nous apprend par cet exemple à ne rien faire par vanité, et à nous retirer du bruit et du tumulte du monde, principalement lorsque nous voulons nous appliquer à la contemplation de la Vérité, et nous entretenir des choses saintes et éternelles."

Jesus teaches us by His example to make nothing out of the vanity of the world, and to withdraw ourselves from the noise and tumult of the world, mainly when we want to apply ourselves to the contemplation of the Truth and to maintain within ourselves things holy and eternal."

Les Béatitudes selon le Révérend Père de Chivré

Bienheureux les pauvres en esprit !

"Les volontés assez humaines et assez sublimes pour se passer du superflu, se contenter du nécessaire, se détacher du trop.
Les volontés assez fortes pour vivre le meilleur de leur vie en elles-mêmes, dans le royaume du devoir et de la charité, sans s’inquiéter des pleurnicheries de leur sensibilité égratignée par le manque de confort et crucifié par l’absolu de l’amour."
Blessed are the poor in spirit!
Rather the human wills which are sublime enough to do without
superfluity, to be satisfied with what is necessary, and to be detached from excess.
Enough strong wills to live the best of their life in themselves, in the kingdom of the duty and charity, without worrying or
whining about their sensitivity which has been wounded by the lack of comfort and crucified by the absolute of Love."

dimanche, juillet 15, 2007

Lex orandi, Lex credendi.... Lex vivendi !

Sermon for 7th Sunday after Pentecost

This month of July 2007 is definitively a great time in the History of the Catholic Church. The Motu Proprio finally came and now the highest Authority of the Church recognizes and says that the Tridentine Mass has never been abrogated and that every priest of the Latin Rite can celebrate it. It was already the case before the Motu Proprio, but it is good that it is now officially proclaimed. As Bishop Fellay points out, the Motu Proprio shows that the constancy to defend the Lex orandi has been taken into account. Then he adds that we must continue the combat for the Lex credendi.
We can rejoice for the Motu Proprio because it is something good, but we have to be aware that it does not signify the end of our combat. The crisis that the Church knows is deep and did not start with the Novus Ordo, which is more a consequence of the crisis rather than a cause. A reading of the Encyclical letter, Pascendi, of Saint Pius X would easily convince you of this truth. By the way, it must be noted that not only did Pius X describe the modernism in this document, but he also gave the remedy against it. I think these remedies would still be effective today, if only they were used. First it depends on the authorities of the Church, the Pope and the Bishops.

For us, let us continue what we have done. In fact, the Motu proprio should not change our lives, except that we now have another reason to be missionaries to a greater extent. The beauty of the Latin Mass is not something that we have to keep for ourselves, but it is a treasure of the Church that we have to spread and share. If the Motu proprio has to change something in our Christian lives, it should be our reverence toward the holy Liturgy as the most excellent way to worship God and an expression of the Faith of the Church. Lex orandi, lex credendi: both are tied together.
After the Motu Proprio, many Catholics will probably turn toward us, traditionalist Catholics, maybe just to observe. The newspapers and televisions in America and in Europe already have come into our churches to see who we are and what we do. So, dear brethren, more than ever, we have the duty to give a good testimony. Our Liturgy is not a show, but the expression of our Faith and of our Charity.
For this reason, on our part, for the priests and congregation, it requires a necessary preparation before Mass and a certain attention during Mass. Thus we should leave the church, after Mass and after a suitable time of thanksgiving, with feelings and thoughts of gratitude and joy toward our God and live consequently as good disciples of Jesus.

We have the Lex credendi, which tells us what we have to believe and the Lex orandi, which teaches us how to pray. I think that in order to complete this painting of the Christian life, we need to add the third part of this fine art, which we can name Lex vivendi. It tells us how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. As I was preparing this sermon, some words of Father Jerome came to my mind. Father Jerome wrote a beautiful book entitled "The Art of Being a Disciple."
I like this idea that being a disciple is an art. This means that being disciples of Jesus makes us artists. We are the artists of God! In fact we are just apprentice-artists. Our Master is the Father; His masterpiece is the Son. The Franciscan tradition in the Middle-Ages came to call Him: “Ars Patris” “The Art of the Father.” What a beautiful name for Our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Art of the Father!
Our task as apprentice-artists is now to reproduce the “Art of our Father.” We have to reproduce Jesus in our lives and the more we are open to the grace of God, the more our piece of art will be conformed to the model.
Now, what is an art? It is usually admitted that an art is the use of skills, talent and imagination in order to produce something aesthetic. We also use in English the term “fine art” which comes from Aristotle. For Aristotle, the final cause of a thing is the purpose for its existence, and the term "fine art" is derived from this notion. If the final cause of an artwork is simply the artwork itself, "art for art's sake," and not a means to another end, then that artwork could appropriately be called "fine." The closely related concept of beauty is classically defined as "that which when seen, pleases." Pleasure is the final cause of beauty and thus is not a means to another end, but an end in itself.
If we consider, as the scholastic thinkers of the Middle-Ages and more recently as Maritain, that beauty is a transcendental, this concept of beauty works well when we apply it to God. The Incarnate Word is the most fine art we can find and when we see Him, He pleases. God is being; He is goodness. He is beauty too. By our nature we already share these attributes with Him. When we are in the state of grace, it is on a higher level, for a higher purpose.

So, dear brethren, if we are artists, we should make beauty around us. This is our lex vivendi: spreading the beauty of God, by our actions and by our lives. Dostoievski said that “Beauty will save the world.” He was right, because the true beauty is Jesus-Christ, the way, the truth and the life.

Let us ask this of the most beautiful woman, a great artist too, to teach us the beauty of God. Then, we will love it and reproduce it in our lives, not only at church during Mass, but always and everywhere. The Tridentine Mass is an excellent expression of this beauty, but it supposes that we celebrate it with beautiful souls. Making beautiful souls is precisely the work of God. May Our Lady help us to realize it.

vendredi, juillet 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary

July 14th is not only Bastille Day

July 14th 1570



Pius Bishop Servant of the Servants of God For a Perpetual Memorial of the Matter
Pope St. Pius V - July 14, 1570

From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God's help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God's help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper - for its most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass - We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.
Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.
Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women - even of military orders - and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.
This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.
All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.
Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription - except, however, if more than two hundred years' standing.
It is Our will, therefore, and by the same authority, We decree that, after We publish this constitution and the edition of the Missal, the priests of the Roman Curia are, after thirty days, obliged to chant or read the Mass according to it; all others south of the Alps, after three months; and those beyond the Alps either within six months or whenever the Missal is available for sale. Wherefore, in order that the Missal be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole world and kept free of flaws and errors, the penalty for nonobservance for printers, whether mediately or immediately subject to Our dominion, and that of the Holy Roman Church, will be the forfeiting of their books and a fine of one hundred gold ducats, payable ipso facto to the Apostolic Treasury. Further, as for those located in other parts of the world, the penalty is excommunication latae sententiae, and such other penalties as may in Our judgment be imposed; and We decree by this law that they must not dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in any way to accept books of this nature without Our approval and consent, or without the express consent of the Apostolic Commissaries of those places, who will be appointed by Us. Said printer must receive a standard Missal and agree faithfully with it and in no wise vary from the Roman Missal of the large type (secundum magnum impressionem).
Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there. Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at St. Peter's in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 1570, on the 14th of July of the Fifth year of Our Pontificate.

mardi, juillet 10, 2007

Saint Bonaventure

Nous fêterons le 14 juillet la fête de Saint Bonaventure, né en 1221 à Bagnorea, Italie. Jean de Fidenza part pour Paris et entre au noviciat des Frères Franciscains où il prend le nom de Bonaventure. Il deviendra rapidement l’un des grands maitres de l’Université de Paris. Nous lui devons de nombreuses œuvres dont son Breviloquium. Gerson y voit l’un des joyaux de la théologie médiévale. L’Itinerarium mérite aussi notre attention. Il s’agit d’une méditation philosophique et théologique qui nous permet de saisir comment l’âme s’achemine vers son Dieu.
Elu Général de l’Ordre des Frères Mineurs en 1257, il travaillera sans relâche à maintenir l’Ordre dans sa ferveur originelle. Le Pape Grégoire X le crée Cardinal et le nomme Evêque d’Albano en 1271. Bonaventure meurt quelques années plus tard alors qu’il participe au Concile de Lyon en 1274. Il est canonisé en 1482 et connu sous le nom de docteur séraphique.

Il a composé un petit Psautier de la Sainte Vierge dont Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort en recommande la récitation. « Il est si tendre et si dévot qu'on ne peut le réciter sans en être attendri » écrit-il dans le traité de la vrai dévotion. Nous vous en livrons la première partie.

Salut, ô Vierge, arbre de vie, qui , toujours fidèle au vœu de votre cœur, avez donné au monde un fruit digne de louanges éternelles!
Salut, vous que les rois et les reines de la terre vénèrent en tout temps, vous la Reine des siècles, la dominatrice des royaumes et des rois !
Salut, fille de David, fille pleine de justice! Rendez le ciel propice à nos vœux, afin que nous puissions goûter les biens vivifiants du Seigneur.
Salut, Vierge digne de Dieu! veillez sur ceux qui vous servent; gravez sur eux la lumière de votre front et la splendeur de la face de Dieu.
Salut, Mère unique entre les mères! Ombragée du bouclier de Dieu, vous avez conçu le Rédempteur du monde, et sa naissance vous laissa pure et sans tache.
Salut, ô Vierge dont la beauté changea en amour l'indignation du Créateur, et dont les vœux mirent un terme à sa colère!
Salut, ô Vierge que le Sauveur a trouvée en tout digne de louange, lui que la nuit de l’erreur ne saurait égarer, lui qui sonde nos cœurs et scrute le secret de nos pensées!
Salut, ô Vierge comblée de biens, riche des dons de la grâce, ouvrage ineffable et glorieux de la main du Seigneur!
Salut, Vierge avant et après avoir conçu ! Combattez en tout temps pour ma défense; que mon ennemi prenne la fuite et qu'il se tienne toujours loin de moi.
Salut, porte de la liberté, demeure de la Trinité suprême, temple auguste du Seigneur, ressource et exemple du monde !
Salut, Vierge fleur vraiment royale, femme unique entre les femmes, vous dont les paroles l'emportent sur tout prix, vous dont la langue est l'instrument par excellence qui sert à louer Dieu!
Salut, ô Vierge objet de mes transports! A vous mes chants, à vous mes louanges en souvenir de vos bienfaits ; ô Vierge, conservez celui qui aime à célébrer votre nom !
Salut, ô Vierge chérie de Dieu, Vierge pleine de beauté, de prudence, de splendeur et de suavité, Vierge seule digne de donner au monde le salut de Dieu!
Salut, ô Vierge qui êtes ma force! O ma Souveraine! suppliez votre Fils qu'il nous accorde d'habiter un jour dans la gloire de la sainte Sion.
Salut, Vierge modèle du monde, vous à qui le Christ, le Roi des siècles, fit connaître les voies de la vie, les voies libres des embarras de la terre!
Salut, ô Vierge dont la voix, les paroles, les accents et les cris inclinent l'oreille de Dieu, et la portent à répandre ses bienfaits!
Salut, Vierge digne de notre autour, Vierge que nos louanges doivent exalter par-dessus toute créature, tige sainte, plante véritable, vous la fleur et la gloire de votre sexe !
Salut, Vierge dont la beauté attira le Dieu engendré de son Père! Il s'avança sans crainte aux combats qui l'attendaient; il accomplit sa course comme un géant.
Salut, ô échelle qui touchez les cieux ! C'est vers vous que j'élève mes soupirs en gémissant; c'est vous, étoile de la mer, que j'appelle des célestes hauteurs pour me défendre des dangers qui m'environnent.
Salut, ô Vierge, fille bienheureuse de Jessé ! Tous vos vœux se sont accomplis, et les désirs de votre cœur, les désirs exprimés par vos lèvres n'ont point été trompés.
Salut, ô vous dont les peuples à venir célébreront la grandeur, vous dont la gloire ne saurait s'affaiblir, dont la puissance ne finira jamais!
Salut, Vierge digne de toute louange! Chaste Mère de Dieu, réjouissez-vous, agréez les vœux que je vous offre, et daignez être toujours avec moi.
Salut, ô vous dont les mains sont demeurées étrangères à tout acte inutile et se sont conservées pure de toute iniquité!
Salut, Vierge glorieuse! Votre chair exhale un parfum comme la rose qui s'épanouit; votre cœur est dans l'allégresse, et votre âme a fixé son séjour dans l'abondance de tout bien.

dimanche, juillet 08, 2007

Sermon for 6th Sunday after Pentecost

It is a fact that Baptism has changed our beings and printed Christ’s character in our souls. Saint Paul tells us in today’s reading that we became one with Jesus Christ. It is another fact that this transformation is not effective enough to make us live consequently as another Christ as we are supposed to do. The reason is not a defect of the Sacrament of Baptism, but a defect of our own will. God has given to us a great gift, but we have this "treasure in earthen vessels."(II Cor. 4:7) For a mysterious reason, we have the amazing ability to resist the grace of God.

I am talking now about us, Christians who have been baptized, who have received many times the grace of the Sacrament of Penance, who know what our duties are toward God and how much God loves us, but yet, we are still putting obstacles before the work of divine grace. The French writer Leon Bloy once said: "There is but one sadness, and that is for us not to be saints." It is really a sadness, because if we are not a Saint, it is our fault. God wants us to be saints and He gives us the sufficient means for this. But we don’t accept them, because they come to disturb our habits of life. We don’t see them, because the eyes of our souls are not open to the Divine realities, which are invisible to the eyes of our bodies. Yes, dear brethren, we can be sad for not being saints, because we are so careless concerning the graces that God gives everyday. How many occasions lost! How many graces missed!

Baptism made us saints, but once we have reached the age of reason, it is definitively not sufficient to keep us in a state of holiness. And God knows this. And He has mercy on us. And He comes to make up for our deficiencies. "I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat." (Mark 8:2) Then he would feed his disciples Himself. Saint Ambrose explains that the Prophet Elias walked during 40 days, fed by an angel, but if Jesus feeds you, you will walk until you arrive into the homeland populated by the saints.
In other words, those who receive Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist can reach heaven, because this Sacrament makes them saints and only the saints go to heaven.

Baptism is a beginning. Beatific vision is the end. Between our Baptism, birth to the supernatural life, and our birth in heaven, we need to be encouraged, improved, sustained and strengthened, because the road is hard and long. But we have Jesus with us and for us, so that we can walk the long road toward our eternal homeland.
So dear Brethren, we have no excuse for not being saints. We just have to use the good means, and to use them well. Do not neglect what you have received the day of your Baptism. Keep the precious gift of God preciously. As the queen Blanche de Castille used to say to her young son, the future King Saint Louis, that it is better to die rather than to commit a mortal sin. And the best way to avoid mortal sin is frequent communions, in good disposition, which means, frequent confessions.

May Our Lady help us to understand this and to keep the grace of God in our souls.

samedi, juillet 07, 2007

Communiqué de la Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint Pierre

FSSP International Headquarters Communiqué (on 7.VII.2007)

We rejoice at the publication of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In reaffirming the essential place of the liturgy itself in the transmission of the faith, in stating that the Missal of Blessed John XXIII may be used by all priests, and especially in encouraging the use of all four liturgical books in force in 1962, the text opens to the whole Church the treasures of these rites.

We unite our prayers with all the Church that, the document having been received with generous and pastoral hearts, those who prefer this usage might have access to the full Catholic life according to this ‘extraordinary form’ of the Roman Rite.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter will continue to look to serve the needs of the Church, and hopes that the success of the chapels and parishes already erected in the last 19 years in so many dioceses will provide encouraging examples for the document’s implementation.

Our deepest gratitude to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum.

Communiqué de la FSSP (le 7.VII.2007, Maison Généralice)

Nous nous réjouissons de la publication du Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. En réaffirmant le rôle essentiel de la liturgie elle-même dans la transmission de la foi, en indiquant que le Missel du Bienheureux Jean XXIII peut être utilisé par tous les prêtres, et particulièrement en encourageant l'utilisation de chacun des quatre livres liturgiques en vigueur en 1962, le texte ouvre à toute l'Eglise les trésors de ces rites.

Nous unissons nos prières à celles de toute l’Eglise afin que, ce document ayant été reçu avec des cœurs généreux et pastoraux, ceux qui préfèrent cet usage puissent avoir accès à une vie catholique complète selon cette « forme extraordinaire » du rite romain.

La Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre continuera de se rendre disponible pour servir les besoins de l'Eglise, et espère que le succès des chapelles et des paroisses déjà érigées au cours des 19 dernières années dans tant de diocèses fournira des exemples encourageants pour l’application de ce document.

Nous exprimons notre très profonde gratitude à Sa Sainteté le Pape Benoît XVI. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum.

lundi, juillet 02, 2007

From the New Liturgical Movement Blog
A Modern Roman Rite Priest reports on Classical Roman Rite Training posted by Shawn Tribe

[One of the Father's who visits the NLM recently attended the FSSP "boot camp" for priests wishing training from them as regards the classical Roman rite. The following is his report, both of what occurred and, even more interestingly, his personal experience. I've chosen to eliminate his name for the sake of anonymity. If he chooses to reveal himself in the comments, I shall leave that to him.]
"I would characterize my experience as frankly stunning, and even life changing. I must admit that the experience has recast my understanding of the priesthood to some degree."by a Diocesan Priest
I. Summary of the Training
This past week I returned from what one priest called the Traditional Mass Boot Camp, hosted and taught by the fine priests, deacons and seminarians of the Fraternity of Saint Peter at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton NE. Being a “Novus Ordo” priest and having little exposure or opportunity to experience the traditional Rite, this weekend was nothing short of amazing.
Arriving on Monday we jumped right in with an introductory session on the Mass covering various basic principles such as the attitude and composure of the priest, and the centrality of the Mass as a sacrifice. Wasting no time we began our practicum, our class was broken up into small groups of three, according to experience with the traditional Mass and Latin skills. Over the course of the five day we had workshops on the vesting prayers, the Low Mass, the Requiem Mass, Gregorian Chant, the sung Mass, and Exposition and Benediction. These were covered in depth in class and the practicum sessions, which were and hour and a half to two hours long.
The daily schedule began with private Mass from 6:00 to 8:00 AM and ended with Compline at 9:00 PM. The resources and materials that the Fraternity provided was copious and pedagogically geared for a priest to learn the traditional Mass. Any priest who is willing to learn and take the time necessary can confidently know that he will be able to offer the Mass with the proper reverence and confidence that the Rite demands. On our final day on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul we were privileged to pray the Solemn High Mass in choir with the Nuns the Carmelite Monastery of Mary Jesus and Joseph in Valparaiso, NE a short drive from the seminary, this was absolutely the crowing event of the week, beautify offered by Fr. James Fryar FSSP, accompanied by the Deacons and seminarians of the seminary and the angelic chants sung by the Carmelite Nuns.
II. Personal Observations
Being a priest of the modern Roman rite I was admittedly nervous and lacking confidence due to my lack of experience, I felt that I perhaps had got into something that was over my head, but the graciousness and patience of the members of the Fraternity of Saint Peter quickly overcame any misgivings I had.
I must confess that I was worried that there might be some looking down upon a "Novus Ordo" priest such as myself in a “Traditionalist” environment such as this, but the respect and genuine affection and gratitude that was shown me by the priests, deacons and seminarians of the FSSP was most edifying and humbling. I cannot speak highly enough about these excellent and truly humble men, who most joyfully offer themselves for the life of the Church. One of the many remarkable things that struck me about my experience this past week was that these men of the FSSP and others like them have preserved for the entire Latin Rite the living memory and tradition of the Church in a unique way. I would characterize my experience as frankly stunning, and even life changing.
I must admit that the experience has recast my understanding of the priesthood to some degree. Also, by this intensive introduction to the ancient Roman liturgical tradition, I now more fully understand the paradigm shift and rupture that Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has spoken of. I can’t help but feel that once the adolescent rebellion of liturgical abuse and rejection of our living heritage subsides, they will be there to help all of us reclaim and reinvigorate the Latin Rite in a way that is truly organic and faithful to our roots, strengthening and in some areas reestablishing a vibrant Catholic identity.
I wish to thank my benefactors who enabled me to attend this workshop; it was a profound privilege for me to go. I will remember you in my prayers and my intentions at the Sacrifice of the Mass.