1600 years ago ...
St. Augustine of Hippo - Doctor of the Church, Author of "Confessions":
New Side Link (please view side link for picture):"Our Hearts were made for Thee, O Lord, and it finds no rest
till it rests in Thee."-St. Augustine, d.430 A.D.
St. Andrew Corsini - Bishop, Confessor
The Rector's Letter
"QUO VADIS, DOMINE?"
CHASTISEMENT AND PERSECUTION, CONFIDENCE AND GRACE
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The state of the Church, of the world and men's minds cannot be described.Public and private sins cry to Heaven for justice and the arm of the divine Son of Our Lady of La Salette (please see the post before this post) becomes heavier. Ignominy has become the rule, vulgarity reigns as master, perversion is taught officially. Intelligence has become sterile, the will weak, leaders renegades, families disrupted and man is nothing more than an avid consumer of pleasures.
But God is not to be mocked. His justice scorns the tricks of its enemies and He uses their own intrigues to bring them down. The Cross of our Savior is the majestic proof: the instrument of torment was the means of victory and Satan lost his dominion just when his foolish pride seemed to assure him of the final victory.
The history of the Church is that of the faithful Bride who follows her royal Spouse on the way to Calvary. Darkness covers the earth and the lamentations of Jeremias resound again in the slow and painful agony of Holy Mother Church.
On the day of the Passion, another chorus rose to pity the Man of sorrows, who had "neither form, nor beauty to attract our eyes," stripped of His clothes, as today the Church is whipped by an odious modernist doctrine and stripped of Her liturgy. Then, the women of Jerusalem were that chorus.
Today another such chorus exists: it consists of those who react too naturally before the imposing mystery of the redemptive Passion, being renewed in the Church, which requires the death of the Just and His descent to the tomb. The Church follows the steps of Her Master and Her way is identical. Our hearts, crushed by pain, keep the Hope of faith. In our hearts, charity tells us - against all probability - that victory is near, because the pains of the Agony are already come upon the Church and Her members.
We must avoid any natural reaction because it is contrary to our Christian life. Our vocation is not to be women crying by the roadside: we are called to nobly engage our lives in the mystery of the Cross. Any reaction that is not supernatural is sterile and must be firmly rejected as opposed to Faith.
Today's excessive concern with chastisement and punishment is just such a natural reaction, providing an excellent ground for the action of the Devil, who manages to ape God. There are some who - forgetting that Our Lord Himself knew neither the day nor the hour - even dare to give the precise year, month and duration of such chastisement. Fine precision! Too fine, in fact, as the years run by, the months and the days pass, and nothing happens. Doesn't matter! Unrepentant, they postpone the expiration date, hustle the years and manhandle the months, giving again other dates, once ... and a thousand times! Such a spirit is not from God. It takes root in the understandable fear aroused by the spectacle of our world, but it is not supernatural at all. The supernatural does not destroy nature, and common sense still must guide our actions. We should compare the attitude of such modern prophets with that of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, telling to someone announcing to him the imminent end of the world that, if that was the case, he had to remain faithful to his duty of state, which in that moment was to take his recreation.
Even more, some propose infallible means to get through the times of persecution without suffering any evil. How can those who utter such words still claim to be Catholic and embrace the Cross of Christ? The essence of Christianity is the Cross. Christ Himself desired only to drink His bitter chalice, and following Him all the martyrs have repeated the cry of joy of Saint Andrew at the sight of the cross raised for his torment. "I greet you, worthy cross, for a long time desired and ardently loved, that I sought without respite."
The whole of Christianity is found in the hope of Saint Ignatius of Antioch demanding from Heaven that he be ground by the teeth of wild beasts to become "the wheat of Christ." Christianity is not found in a sterile search for strange practices whose only goal is to spare us sufferings. Where would we be if the martyrs had not shed their blood?
Saint Peter, in Rome, also experienced this temptation and decided to flee persecution. Shouldn't he be careful, as he was the visible head of the young Church? What would happen if he were suddenly to die? Down the Appian way he went, silent in his thoughts, leaving behind the Eternal City set ablaze by the fires of Nero and empurpled by the blood of Christians, to seek shelter. Suddenly, he met Christ.
Amazed, he stopped and asked Him: "Domine, quo vadis? Where are you going, Lord?"
The answer of our Savior resounds still today as a beautiful lesson of supernatural life: "I go to Rome to be there crucified again."
Saint Peter, without a word, turned back to Rome and, by offering his life, testified to his love for his Master: his blood still makes the Church fruitful.
In our age of apostasy, let us not give Our Lord the opportunity to repeat these grave words. Let us remain in our place, where the will of Christ has put us, trusting in His grace.Of course our human hearts tremble and we cannot avoid the fear that rises in us at the thought of the sufferings which could strike us; but we must offer to Our Lord the homage of our trust, and rest on His grace. We must not count upon our own forces - what is nothing must not be taken into account - but upon His word: "Do not fear, my little flock."
May Heaven grant you the understanding of our words! We do not belong to that impious generation that mocked Noah: we also, even more than any others, believe in the chastisement. But we refuse to approach it with a naturalistic spirit that throws souls into distress and paves the way for Satan.We believe in it so much that we claim that the punishments are not to come, but are already present. What is this, if not a punishment - and one of the most terrible - this massive apostasy of men of the Church, this blindness of the faithful, this unrestrained race towards pleasures, a race whose end is the abyss of hell? How wouldn't our priestly heart be upset when faithful Christians compromise with the world and slowly inhale the mortal poisons of its perfidious spirit? And some want us to believe that the punishments are to come! They are present and they are all the worse as they are unnoticeable.
Could we be against the ways of God because we protest against predictions born of a natural fear and that vainly throw souls into distress? No, because we also affirm, together with Our Lady of La Salette and of Fatima, that serious events will happen. But we do not know either the day or the hour, and far from fearing them, we hope for them to happen soon, with all our faith, because grave as they will be, they are the trumpets that announce the triumph of God. Of our God, who does not change and reigns by the Cross, and invites His children to participate in His sufferings in peace: "When these things begin to happen, raise your heads, because your liberation is at hand."The "old man" in us trembles; but His will be done, and not ours! On our part, we listen to Fatima and we prepare ourselves, in imitation of Our Lady, in prayer and penance, to live those hours of crucifixion and redemption.
In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,
Fr. Yves le Roux
FROM A LETTER FROM SISTER LUCY TO FR. A.M. MARTINS, FEBRUARY 28, 1943.
"This is the penance that our good God asks today: that everyone imposes upon himself the sacrifice of living a life of justice in the observance of His law. And He wishes that this way should be made known clearly to the souls, because many give to the word "penance" the sense of great austerities, and as they feel they have neither the forces nor the generosity for that, they are discouraged and fall into a life of lukewarmness and of sin.During the night from Thursday to Friday, being at the chapel with permission of my superiors, Our Lord told me: 'The penance that I ask and that now I demand is the sacrifice that generates fidelity to the duty of state and to the observance of My law.'"