April 2018 - To Walk With Open Eyes

It is one of the effects of Original Sin that man is blind to his own misery. Not only does he fall victim to even the smallest obstacles and temptations, but all the while he imagines that he can be master of his own destiny. However, such a man is doomed to walk in darkness. Christ is our Light, and He desires to heal our blindness that we might hope entirely in the Redemption through His Cross.

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

“Know thyself.”

The wisdom of these words written at the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delphi resonates across the centuries. It is an invitation to keep the right measure, which is so important – and so rare – in human affairs. It is a safeguard which helps man avoid being caught between two great temptations that constantly threaten him: to take himself too seriously or to live like an animal by giving way to his inclinations.

Greek antiquity pondered questions regarding man, asking whether he was only the toy of very powerful deities or truly master of his own destiny; they brilliantly concluded that man is a composite of soul and body, a free but limited being.

But the Greeks could not solve the painful question of evil. They ran into an enigma insoluble for them, that of original sin and its consequences. We cannot blame them for this, as only revelation gives the light that makes it possible to understand the mystery of man, at once endowed with astonishing qualities and still able to use them for the worst.

Original sin is such a catastrophe that it has blinded man. He has lost his fundamental orientation and now must grope his way forward. Fascinated by his own excellence, with no regard for that of God, he advances in the dark. When he runs up against the smallest obstacle, he wavers and very often falls. Man without God is a disorientated being, sailing on the whim of his passions, propelled by gusts of circumstance. He does not have a guiding light any more.

Fortunately, Christ came and acted as a doctor, bringing a healing balsam for sick souls infected by this grotesque self-conceit.

For each one of us, He desired to undergo His cruel Passion and pour out His Blood to the last drop.

He offered to God, His Father, His life in a holocaust – a pleasing odor to repair the divine honor offended by our odious crimes. By this holy offering, He restored the communion of life between God and man by obtaining the forgiveness of God and by distributing His grace in profusion.

The sacrifice of Christ makes it possible for man to really know himself and, by that very fact, to acknowledge that his native fragility must necessarily rest on God’s strength.

Holy Week should not be a beautiful parenthesis which, once closed, has changed nothing in our souls. It must be a grace of conversion, a constant call to abandon our blindness and to live according to the burning desires of the Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Indeed, it invites man to follow Christ on the way to Calvary by keeping his eyes open. Man has thus found his way of ascent back to God.

Fr. Yves le Roux