vendredi, juin 27, 2008

Indulgentiae concessae pro Confraternitate Sancti Petri.

Le 13 juin 2008, Maison Générale, Fribourg

La Sacrée Pénitencerie Apostolique, en vertu des pouvoirs à elle conférée par le Pape Benoît XVI, a bien voulu concéder (par décret du 7 juin 2008, pour 7 ansad experimentum selon l’usage) aux membres de la Confraternité Saint-Pierre aux conditions habituelles (confession sacramentelle, communion eucharistique et prière aux intentions du Souverain Pontife):

1. une indulgence plénière:
a) Le jour de leur entrée dans la Confraternité ;
b) Le 22 février, fête de la Chaire de St Pierre et anniversaire de la fondation de la Confraternité ;
c) Le 29 juin, fête des Ss Apôtres Pierre et Paul ;

2. Une indulgence partielle :
Lorsqu’ils participent à une activité pieuse ou caritative en tant que membres de la Confraternité.

Ayons à cœur de prier avec reconnaissance pour notre Saint-Père le Pape Benoît XVI, qui a bien voulu permettre que la Confraternité Saint-Pierre soit utilisée comme moyen particulier de sanctification.

Signé : Abbé Armand de Malleray, FSSP
Chapelain Général de la Confraternité Saint-Pierre

On June 13, 2008, General House, Fribourg

The Apostolic Penitentiary, by virtue of the faculties granted to it by Pope Benedict XVI, has kindly willed to grant (by decree of June 7, 2008, for 7 years ad experimentum as is customary) to the members of the Confraternity of Saint Peter at the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer at the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff) :

1. A plenary indulgence:
a) On the day of their admission into the Confraternity;
b) On February 22nd, Feast of the Chair of St Peter and anniversary of the foundation of the Confraternity;
c) On June 29th, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul;

2. A partial indulgence:
Whenever they partake in pious or charitable activities as members of the Confraternity.

Let us pray with gratitude for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI who kindly permitted that the Confraternity of Saint Peter be used as a particular means of sanctification.

Signed: Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP,
General Chaplain of the Confraternity of St Peter

lundi, juin 09, 2008

Sermon for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost

The Mass of this 4th Sunday after Pentecost brings to my mind many memories. First, it was the first solemn Mass I offered, a week after my Ordination and such a day can never be forgotten by a priest. I remember the words of Father Gaudray, my spiritual director when I was a seminarian – Father Gaudray will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his Ordination in a few days, so please, pray for him. He spoke about the life of a priest as the accomplishment of the mysteries of the Rosary. I often think about what he said at the end: now you have to live the joyful and sorrowful mysteries, but the glorious mysteries will be later.
What he told me is true for each one of us. We received the life of Christ on the day of our Baptism. Now we still have to live the same life as Jesus did in order to be another Christ, as we are supposed to be. We do this when we renew in our own lives the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary that we meditate on when we pray our rosary.
Dear Brethren, the rosary is not only a devotion or a habit of prayer that we do every day. It should be what I dare to call an appropriation of the life of Jesus and Mary. In fact it is the true meaning of the word devotion which is the act of being totally devoted to a cause, and in our case this cause is someone: Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at the children! Our Lord says that we have to be like them in order to go to heaven. Children all have their heroes, someone they would like to be like. They like to be dressed like him – or like her, for the girls – and to imitate him. They play his character and become him in a certain way. Well, if Jesus and Mary are truly our heroes – and they are more than this – why don’t we imitate them? There is a book, one of the most known in the world, translated into many languages, called The Imitation of Christ. I would say that it is like the script of our character that we should play as actors, except that it is not cinema, but true life. When an actor has to play a character, he likes to know about him and reads a lot, trying to find the most information that he can, so that he can act as authentic as possible. When he is really good, he usually gains a reward for his performance.
Well, we have a reward to gain too, which is not an academy award but an imperishable crown as Saint Paul says. But for this, we have to do more than playing a role. We have to live a life, which has been well summarized in one sentence by Saint Paul: mihi vivere Christus est - For to me, to live is Christ. (Phil. 1:21)

The Disciples by Eugène Burnand

Praying the rosary is a very good work; living the rosary is much better. The Father does not want us to honor Him only with our lips. He wants to see the image of His Son in each one of us. This won’t be possible as long as we refuse to be totally transformed by His grace. We have to accept to living the sorrowful mysteries, which means to accept His cross. This is the supreme act of charity and charity supposes acts such as forgiving those who have trespassed against us, helping the poor and renouncing sin. Let us not allow Our Lord to say about us: This people honors me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7:6)

May Our Blessed Mother teach us how to be other Christs by living the life of Jesus day after day. This is truly the only thing that matters. The rest is just vanity!

lundi, juin 02, 2008

Sermon for the third Sunday after Pentecost

How astounding and unfortunate is our propensity to refuse the cross! Certainly, we do not refuse the idea and the principle of the cross, since we know by faith that it is the way chosen by God to redeem us, but when it is our turn to carry it, the beauty of the ideal often fades away. While we should rejoice for being able to suffer something for the love of Christ, we allow ourselves to complain or to lament. Other times, because we know a certain spiritual desolation, we give up our holy exercises and follow the inclination of our nature because we simply refuse to fight. It happens also that because we refuse to make the least effort, our spiritual life does not improve and we remain in a state of mediocrity in spite of regular confessions and communions which are more a routine than real acts of devotion.
Spiritual desolation is certainly an obstacle in our spiritual life, but we still have the possibility to overcome it with the grace of God and in no way can it be used as an excuse for our falls.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola explains what desolation is. It is a darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord. As he says, desolation is the contrary of consolation, which is an interior movement in the soul through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord; and when it can in consequence love no created thing on the face of the earth in itself, but in the Creator of them all. Likewise, when it sheds tears that move to love of its Lord, whether out of sorrow for one's sins, or for the Passion of Christ our Lord, or because of other things directly connected with His service and praise.

Now, dear brethren, we must understand – and this is fundamental for our spiritual life – that our holiness does not depend on the fact that we are in a state of consolation or in a state of desolation. Unfortunately, many believe this; especially women, even though it is not only a feminine defect and not all women are troubled by this. In other words, it is not because you are in a state of consolation that you are more holy, neither are you less holy because you are in desolation.
In fact, for you who have consolations, you might stop your spiritual progress because you are more attracted by them rather than by God. On the other hand, you can make great progress in spite of long periods of desolation, such as Saint Jeanne de Chantal who had terrible temptations for many years. She had no desire for prayer and as soon as she began to pray she felt distaste for it. She was tempted to leave her convent and to return to the world for a worldly and loose life. But she was at a good school with Saint Francis de Sales who told her that what matters were not her feelings, but her acts so, her will remained strong during all these terrible years. It is certainly during this time that she made the greatest progress in her spiritual life.
In fact, if you want to make progress in the spiritual life, you have to go through terrible hardships and face strong temptations. You had better be ready for this, as Saint Peter warns us in today’s epistle: Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same suffering befalls your brethren all over the world. (I Peter 5:8,9)
Resist him, steadfast in the faith! When you are under attack, Satan wants you to change your position, so that you are more vulnerable and become a better target. No! When you are in a time of desolation, do not move, and change nothing as Saint Ignatius says. This is the fifth rule of discernment of spirits of the spiritual exercises, which is extremely important. Many souls do not reach the states of perfection, or even worst, return to a state of sin, because they neglect this rule. Many also lose their vocation for not following it.
In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly.
So what do you have to do in times of desolation? Just wait, even if it is long. Wait and then you have to counter attack at the right time. At this point, the role of a good spiritual director is important. He is like a general who has a better sight on the whole battle field; while you are often blind by the fire of the enemy. So he can tell you how to act in order to be safe.
How do you counter-attack? Saint Ignatius says: agere contra! Act against your desolation. It is a wonderful way to change a temptation into a meritorious action. If you are tempted, make more acts of the opposite virtue: Do you have temptation of gluttony? Fast! ; Temptation of anger? Remain silent! ; Temptation of hatred? Pray for your enemy! ; Temptation of pride? Humble yourself! ; Temptation of sensuality? Do penance! The Saints are not those who do not have temptations. They even have more temptations than others, because they are the first targets of the evil spirits. The Saints are those who overcome their temptations with the grace of God.
Dear brethren, don’t expect to have a life without the cross. There would be something wrong if this were the case. The consolations of God are a gift that we should appreciate when they come. But they are not the most important thing and if God decides to not give such a gift, let us accept His Holy Will. We have to love Him for Himself, not for His gifts. And the fact is that the true love of God will lead us to Calvary, because it is there that God has expressed His love for us so much.

May Our Blessed Mother help us to understand the true love of God and sustain our faith, so that when the time of desolation comes we can remain firm and strong!

dimanche, juin 01, 2008

Tu es celui qui s'accomplit !

" Je veux qu'ils aiment les eaux vives des fontaines. Et la surface unie de l'orge verte recousue sur les craquelures de l'été. Je veux qu'ils glorifient le retour des saisons. Je veux qu'ils se nourrissent, pareils à des fruits qui s'achèvent, de silence et de lenteur. Je veux qu'ils pleurent longtemps leurs deuils et qu'ils honorent longtemps les morts, car l'héritage passe lentement d'une génération à l'autre et je ne veux pas qu'ils perdent leur miel sur le chemin. Je veux qu'ils soient semblables à la branche de l'olivier. Celle qui attend. Alors commencera de se faire sentir en eux le grand balancement de Dieu qui vient comme un souffle essayer l'arbre. Il les conduit puis les ramène de l'aube à la nuit, de l'été à l'hiver, des moissons qui lèvent aux moissons engrangées, de la jeunesse à la vieillesse, puis de la vieillesse aux enfants nouveaux.
Car ainsi que l'arbre, tu ne sais rien de l'homme si tu l'étales dans sa durée et le distribues dans ses différences. L'arbre n'est point semence, puis tige, puis tronc flexible, puis bois mort. Il ne faut point le diviser pour le connaître. L'arbre, c'est cette puissance qui lentement épouse le ciel. Ainsi de toi, mon petit d'homme. Dieu te fait naitre, te fait grandir, te remplit successivement de désirs, de regrets, de joies et de souffrances, de colères et de pardons, puis Il te rentre en Lui. Cependant, tu n'es ni cet écolier, ni cet époux, ni cet enfant, ni ce vieillard. Tu es celui qui s'accomplit. Et si tu sais te découvrir branche balancée, bien accrochée à l'olivier, tu goûteras dans tes mouvements l'éternité. Et tout autour de toi se fera éternel.

Éternelle la fontaine qui chante et a su abreuver tes pères, éternelle la lumière des yeux quand te sourira la bien-aimée, éternelle la fraicheur des nuits. Le temps n'est plus un sablier qui use son sable, mais un moissonneur qui noue sa gerbe."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Citadelle