lundi, janvier 28, 2008

The word of God

Sermon for Sexuagesima Sunday

Today’s gospel brings us back to a subject that I have already spoken about at different times: the necessity of mental prayer. It is necessary because it is the only way to keep the word of God. Hearing the word of God is necessary and good, but still insufficient. Many have heard the word of God and are now in hell. We know at least Judas. He had certainly heard the word of God even more than many other people because of having followed the Master, and served Him closely for three years. He certainly had received the confidences of the Incarnate Word on the occasions of intimate dialogues which would make many other people die of jealousy. Imagine for one second that instead of Father John or Father Paul, you have for your confessor or spiritual director Jesus Himself. Judas had this wonderful opportunity. Apparently, it did not make his eternity happy.
By the way, it shows that the human qualities of your confessor or spiritual director are finally secondary, even though we do not deny their importance; but it is really a secondary importance. Now let us go to the point and to the primary importance, which is you.
If you are here today, I guess it is because you have heard the word of God, at least once, and certainly more than this. You certainly all have a different background. Some of you have always heard the word of God because you grew up in a Catholic family that was faithful to the authentic teachings of the Church. Others might have heard the word of God too since their youth, but this word was distorted because it was not told by the authentic Church founded by Jesus-Christ, and therefore, was submitted to the personal interpretation of persons who did not receive the divine mandate for this mission. Others might have never heard the word of God until recently or have rediscovered it after a long time.

But whatever your past life has been until today, what is important for each one of you is: How do you now receive the word of God?
Receiving the word of God is certainly first hearing it, but it is not enough. It is not enough because it is not a light Word, but a deep and serious one that we have to consider seriously. We can read in the Epistle to the Hebrews that the word of God is living and effectual and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow: and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb.4:12) So, sometimes it hurts, like a sword, and we know that it hurts. Since we do not want to be hurt, we do not listen to it. The word of God may reach our ears but it does not affect our souls.
The word of God is effectual too, which means that if we accept it, it has some effects on us. It has the power to renew us, but only if we accept and collaborate with this work of renovation. On a practical level, that means a change of life. This change can be radical in the case of a sinner that converts to God, but it also has to be a constant and perpetual change that extends even after the first great conversion. The old man is tough and our nature is rebellious. We have to submit it in order to make it docile to God. Here comes the work of mortification, which is putting to death the old man so that we can be born again and be a new creature.
This program is not really joyful if we consider it only in its materiality. The world offers apparently more charms and pleasures than the word and if you do not go beyond the appearances, you might certainly choose the first one.
But how can you go beyond the appearances? This is precisely the point. We cannot go beyond the appearances of the world if we do not withdraw from it regularly in order to meet the word. We can meet the word and then assimilate it by meditating on it. There is a similarity between the Incarnate Word made bread of life that we eat, and the word, written or spoken that we hear or read. In fact, this one is just an expression in human language of the Incarnate Word, who is Himself the eternal expression of the Father.
When we receive Holy Communion, we receive the Incarnate Word and it is the more perfect mode of union on earth. The Sacraments are efficient by themselves, but their effects depend on our dispositions. Our Communions have to be well prepared by prayer and meditation, and well followed by another time of prayer of thanksgiving; otherwise it might be a kind mechanical action without any deep marks of affection and love. Assimilating the written word of God is necessary in order to assimilate well the Eucharistic bread.

The monastic tradition has forged a ladder with four rungs that leads from earth to heaven. These four rungs are lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplation – reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. The sermon of next Sunday will explain each one of them if God permits it.

Now, let us turn to Our Lady and ask her to help us to dispose our hearts so that we can hear the word of God and accept it in our lives.

lundi, janvier 21, 2008

March for Life

Coverage of the March for Life in Little Rock
Today's THV
And in Paris

Marche pour la vie 2008 - Reportage CEC


Septuagesima Sunday

We just left the Christmas season and our minds are still filled with the serenity and peacefulness of Christmas. Now, in an abrupt manner, comes the time of Septuagesima which the liturgy contrasts by its austerity with the previous liturgical season. We shall not hear the Alleluia again, until the night of the Resurrection. The violet color of the vestments are here to recall to us, that it is now a time of penance even though our holy exercises of Lent will begin in a few weeks. It is as if the liturgy wants to remind us that there is no permanent happiness on earth. In fact, it is truly the case. True happiness is not from this world. It is not yet for now.
Today’s liturgy brings us back to the sharp reality of our condition: The sorrows of death surrounded me; the sorrows of hell encompassed me. (Ps.17:5,6) Saint Cyprian of Carthage describes our life: Does the world offer us anything else than an every day fight against the devil and a constant resistance to his assaults and strokes? We have to face cupidity, impudicity, anger, ambition; we are engaged in a permanent and rough fight against carnal vices and the temptations of the world. Human soul, invested and aggressed by the devil, has a lot of troubles to face in each of these provocations. If cupidity is overcome then comes right away desire; if passion is controlled, then it is ambition that succeeds to it; if ambition is disregarded, then anger irritates us, pride inflates us, drunkenness solicits us, hatred breaks up the harmony of our relations and jealousy hobbles our friendships. Then you are pushed to say unsound words, which are prohibited by Divine law, and you are brought to swear, which is neither authorized.

At the origin of our present condition: an act of disobedience!

The picture depicted by Saint Cyprian does not seem to be delightful and is even quite dark, but who can truly say that he does not recognize himself in this portrait? This is simply the crude reality of our condition, which even the Saints have to face. Our Lady once told Saint Bernadette: I do not promise you happiness in this world. In fact, it appears that the Saints have even more trials to endure, which made Saint Teresa of Avila say to God: if that’s the way You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few of them.

The Saints, like each one of us, are surrounded by the sorrows of death and of hell. They know, like each one of us, the power of the flesh. They are victims, like each one of us or even certainly more than us, of the assaults of Satan and the evil spirits. They struggle, like each one of us, against the revolt of the passions. The Saints are really men and not angels, and we should keep that in mind if we want to be like them.
So, they are submitted to the laws of nature and to what Saint Paul calls the law of sin that we feel in ourselves. They are surrounded by the sorrows of death and of hell, but there is one thing that differentiates them from the rest of men. They do not capitulate! They will never surrender to the enemy of mankind. It is what makes them true heroes of the world. They are the heroes of the Gospel, those whom love never fails, friends and faithful servants of the Victor over death and hell. They show us that even though life on earth is a constant battle, it can also be a beautiful adventure with a beautiful end, if we take the good way. But it is up to us.
Men have many options but only one is good and saving. You can realize that life is not so good on earth and try to forget this. But the truth of life will not forget you. You can try to make most of your life enjoyable and look for pleasures. After all, it seems to be legitimate. Money will certainly help you, but it can not protect you against everything and sooner or later you will understand this. You can lapse into despair or gloominess because you think that there is no salvation anyway. But you can also take the way showed by Jesus two thousand years ago which so many have already taken. On this way we do not run away from the sorrows of death and of hell, but we face them, armed with the weapons of virtues and regenerated by the grace of God. It is a way of joy, because it is the way of victory. Even in the midst of turmoil and trials, we can taste the joy of God. It is a fruit of charity. When you love God it is impossible to not be joyful.
There is no permanent happiness on earth, but you can already feel the joy of God nourished by your hope. Yes, you have to struggle now, but you know that it is for a while. You know that the Cross is the anticipation of the glory. You know that one day, you will sing with the angels and all of those who have preceded us in the eternal Gloria in excelsis Deo. And you will be part of this glory. This is the reward promised to the faithful servants of God.

May Our Lady help us and encourage us toward the eternal glory.

dimanche, janvier 20, 2008

Arkansas Remains One Of Few States To Honor Lee On MLK Day

Article from Today's THV - Website :

State employees will have Monday off, thanks to either a slain civil rights leader or the commanding officer of the Confederate Army. Every year, state offices are closed the third Monday of January to honor Martin Luther King Junior and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Arkansas is one of three states to commemorate both men with a state holiday. The others are Alabama and Mississippi.

Commemorating Lee's birth dates to 1943, when Arkansas legislators declared it one of several "memorial days" the governor would commemorate by a proclamation. In 1947, legislators amended the law to name January 19th a legal holiday in honor of the Confederate general.

In 1983, lawmakers voted to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official state holiday, but required state employees to choose which two holidays they wanted off -- either King's birthday on January 15, Lee's birthday on January 19 or the employee's birthday. During the next regular legislative session in 1985, they voted to combine King and Lee's holiday commemorations for the third Monday in January. Employees got to keep their birthdays as a holiday. Arkansas also has another combination commemoration. On President's Day, the third Monday in February, the state recognizes Daisy Gaston Bates, who mentored the nine black students who integrated Little Rock Central High School under Army guard in 1957.

samedi, janvier 19, 2008

A precious advice

From Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, o.c.s.o in the Soul of the Apostolate.

Base your interior life on its absolutely necessary element: morning mental prayer. St. Theresa said that, “The person who is fully determined to make a half hour’s mental prayer every morning, cost what it may, has already traveled half his journey.” Without mental prayer, the day will almost unavoidably be a tepid one.”

mercredi, janvier 16, 2008

March for life

The diocese's Mass for Life will be January 20 at noon in the Statehouse Convention Center Ballroom in Little Rock. Msgr. J. Gaston Hebert, diocesan administrator, is the main celebrant. Thirty-five years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalized abortion in the United States. Catholics statewide participate in this Mass annually to pray for those decisions to be reversed.
The March for Life, sponsored by the Arkansas Right to Life, will follow the Mass. It will be begin at 2 p.m. at the intersection of Louisiana and Capitol streets and end on the State Capitol steps.

"People of faith who stand for life -- you -- are often looked upon with distain as being backward, uneducated and even perceived, ironically enough, as being unloving by those whose moral values are derived by either pragmatism or humanism. Those favoring embryonic stem-cell research are appalled by our position and our opposition to experimentation that would sacrifice human life for possible progress in the elimination of various diseases.

The weight of Golgotha is arduous and we must be willing to carry that cross as long as it takes to change the culture of death in which we live into one that promotes, and protects and celebrates life." (Msgr Hebert, Jan. 21 2007)

The creed of genetics by Professor Jerome Lejeune

"In the beginning is a message, and the message is in life, and the message is life!"

lundi, janvier 14, 2008

La Troupe des Coeurs de Chouans

Qui sont-ils?

* Une Troupe costumée composée de combattants des guerres de l'Ouest. (Paysans Vendéens et Chouans, Généraux et Officiers de la Grande Armée Catholique et Royale, Amazones etc ...)
* La mémoire de nos ancêtres Vendéens et Chouans qui se sont levés voilà plus de deux cent ans pour défendre l'Autel et le Trône.
* Perpétuer le souvenir de l'épopée Chouanne et Vendéenne par l'impact visuel produit par la Troupe costumée.

* Promenades culturelles et historiques sur les traces de nos ancêtres à travers la Vendée Militaire, la Bretagne de la Chouannerie, et les régions traversées lors de la "Virée de Galerne."

* Faire descendre l'Histoire dans la rue à la demande de toutes les municipalités,
par le biais de la reconstitution historique.
* De ce fait, nous pouvons animer des manifestations en collaboration avec des groupes professionnels de la reconstitution historique.

Vendéen mon fils.

lundi, janvier 07, 2008

Sermon for the feast of the Epiphany

The Messiah had been promised to the Jews many centuries earlier and the Prophets had not ceased to recall His coming. One day would come when Jerusalem would see the Glory of God and would become a light for the Nations. The beautiful words of Isaiah that we have just heard tell it. And the glory of the Holy City would bring joy into hearts.
Yet, for a Jew of the sixth century before Christ, the accomplishment of the prophecy seemed to be jeopardized. In 587 before Christ, King Sedecias who did not listen to the prophet Jeremy began a revolt against the Babylonian invader. It was not this year that Jerusalem would see the promised glory. The King was killed, the population deported, and, as an ultimate affront resounding like a bell toll which announced the end of everything, the Temple was destroyed. Where was the glory of Jerusalem? Where was the peace and the abundance promised? Believing in God and His Prophets might sometimes be a challenge and keeping faith and hope when you are down, might be heroic. But it has been said that the glory of the Lord will rise upon Jerusalem. So it will! And it will come at the proper time, the time decided from all eternity by God.
Now the time had come to achievement, but things had changed. God’s chosen people were waiting for the The King of the Jews to accomplish their deliverance, but now Herod wants to kill the Messiah. Would He take his power from him? But what power? Herod is nothing more than a puppet King and his kingdom a province of the Roman Empire. The light is coming over Jerusalem, but not in the way expected by many.
The light of the Lord shines now in the poverty and the dispossession of the crèche. It shines in the lowering of the Son of God and in the simplicity of Mary and Joseph who face such a mystery with such humility. It also shines in the sacrifice of the Holy Innocents, the first martyrs of Christ, whose blood will soon be the first live-giving seed of the young Church. And the light of the Lord shines in the star that leads the three Kings toward Bethlehem. This star, as Bossuet says, is the inspiration which is in the hearts. You are in the darkness and the amusements or even maybe in the corruption of the world. Then turn toward the orient where the stars rise; turn toward Jesus-Christ who is the Orient where the love of virtue and of truth rises like a beautiful star. Like the wise men, you do not know yet what it is. Go, walk and imitate them: ‘For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ Go to Jerusalem and receive the lights of the Church. You will find there the doctors who will explain to you the prophecies and will make you hear the plans of God; you will walk safely under their guidance.
The light of the Lord shines now in His Church, the New Jerusalem whose members are not constituted by the flesh nor by the blood but by the Spirit who has renewed them and made them members of the City of God. It shines in her holiness received directly from her Founder and Spouse. It shines in her teaching which is still a beautiful light for the minds infatuated with the love of the truth. It shines in her liturgy which stirs us from time and introduces us already to eternity in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. It shines in her works which emanate from her creative charity which pushes men to always walk toward Jesus Christ.
Finally, the light of the Lord shines in every single soul which has accepted it and therefore has become a little Jerusalem, a new temple where God likes to dwell. It is the light of the pure hearts and of the little ones who are ready to leave everything to follow the star which leads them toward Jesus.
Dear Brethren, the glory of the Lord is first within ourselves. The world probably does not see it. It does not want to recognize it, or if it does, it is often to eliminate it. Why do you think that there are so many Christian persecuted today and even in the so-called free countries, so many anti-Christian laws? The world is like Herod who did not want to lose his privileges even though they were vain. They were vain because every thing is vain if it is not for God. The Book of Ecclesiastes says: “When I turned myself to all the works which my hands had wrought, and to the labors wherein I had labored in vain, I saw in all things vanity, and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun.” On the other hand every thing is grace, as Thérèse of Lisieux said. Every thing is grace when every thing is done for God.
So, let us follow the star which is in our hearts with no hesitation and no doubt. Let us walk to the light and offer to the Lord the humble present of ourselves. The smile on the face of Mary will show us that our little present would have been accepted by her Son. May she help us and encourage us to keep moving toward the Orient where the Sun of Justice rises.

vendredi, janvier 04, 2008


"In Cathedral and other principal Churches, after the Gospel has been sung, the approaching Feast of Easter Sunday is solemnly announced to the people. This custom, which dates from the earliest ages of the Church, shows both the mysterious connection which unites the great Solemnities of the year one with another, and the importance the Faithful ought to attach to the celebration of that which is the greatest of all, and the centre of all Religion. After having honoured the King of the universe on the Epiphany, we shall have to celebrate him on the day which is now announced to us, as the conqueror of death. The following is the formula used for this solemn announcement."
(Dom Prosper Guéranger, on the feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord)
Noveritis, fratres carissimi, quod annuente Dei misericordia, sicut de Nativitate Domini nostri Jesu Christi gavisi sumus, ita et de Resurrectione ejusdem Salvatoris nostri gaudium vobis annuntiamus. Die vigesima Januarii erit Dominica in Septuagesima. Sexta Februarii Dies cinerum, et initium jejunii sacratissimæ Quadrageimæ. Vigesima tertia Martii Sanctum Pascha Domini nostri Jesu Christi cum gaudio celebrabimus. Dies prima Maii erit Ascensio Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Die undecima ejusdem Festum Pentecostes. Vigesima secunda Maii Festum sacratissimi Corporis Christi. Die trigesima Novembriis Dominica prima Adventus Domini nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Know, dearly beloved Brethren, that by the mercy of God, as we have been rejoicing in the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so also do we announce unto you the joy of the Resurrection of the same our Saviour. Septuagesima Sunday will be on the 20th day of January. Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the fast of most holy Lent will be on the 6th of February. On the 23rd of March we shall celebrate with joy the holy Pasch of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ will be on the 1st of May. The Feast of Pentecost on the 11th of May. The Feast of Corpus Christi on the 22nd of May. On the 30th of November will occur the first Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom are honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

jeudi, janvier 03, 2008

Lecture on the Motu Proprio

Lecture on the Motu Proprio

Summorum Pontificum

Given to the priests of the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas

October 16th 2007

mardi, janvier 01, 2008

Speech of President Sarkozy to the US Congress

The election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President of the French Republic constitutes certainly a new step in the relations between France and The United States of America. I cannot say that I am a supporter of President Sarkozy and I do not share the Democratic values, fruits of the Revolution. The values of Washington and Lafayette are not mine. But as a Frenchman living in the United States, I just want to share this video with you. It is the speech of President Sarkozy to the U.S. Congress during his recent visit in the United States.
The true liberty is given by God; men and Nations can enjoy it only when they turn to Him. Yet it is still interesting to know what our leaders say and do. Catholics must be involved in politics for the Reign of Our Lord. At the beginning of this new year, we can pray for our political leaders so that they can acknowledge the supremacy of Christ the King.