December 2004 - The Immaculata, Oasis of God #2

The world seems a desert where all traces of the Divine Presence have been ruthlessly swept away by the parching winds of Materialism – a desert in which men do not know where to find the salutary waters of grace. Spiritually dehydrated and trying to extinguish the internal fires that torment them, men rush off in vain spiritual quests that are no more than mirages.

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The world seems a desert where all traces of the Divine Presence have been ruthlessly swept away by the parching winds of Materialism – a desert in which men do not know where to find the salutary waters of grace. Spiritually dehydrated and trying to extinguish the internal fires that torment them, men rush off in vain spiritual quests that are no more than mirages.

Such is not the Immaculata. In the splendor of her virginal purity, She is the Oasis of God. In her our thirst can be quenched, because in her God dwells and reigns supreme. By going to Our Lady, by addressing ourselves to her and living under her tutelage, we are assured of drinking directly at the source of grace, avoiding polluted waters.

The Immaculate Virgin lives only for her Son, and all else is foreign to her. She perfectly reflects Christ: Our Lady draws her unrivalled beauty from the presence of Christ in her soul. If Christ is truly the light of the world, She is the candleholder upon which He rests and from which He exercises His influence over souls.

The Immaculate Virgin is the sanctuary of Our Lord. He loves dwelling in her and receiving the homage of her unblemished heart. The soul of the Most Blessed Virgin pulsates as one with that of her Son, and She perfectly embraces His will. Who would have words to describe the beauty of the prayer of Our Lady?

Confronted by so much beauty, perhaps our own wretchedness will overwhelm and hold us back. How could we dare to approach the Immaculata? We do not belong to the same world, and an abyss separates us from this divine mirror. Her heart – zealously guarded and unblemished – belongs only to God, while we have sullied ours and our love for Him has been polluted by our innumerable and culpable self-gratifications.

But such a fear is not truly filial. It is provoked by the subtle cunning of the devil, who tries to make us shy away from his adversary whose power he knows well. True humility does not keep us away from Our Lady. On the contrary, true humility urges us to have recourse to the Most Blessed Virgin, for who better than She to succor us in our moral wretchedness? With motherly concern, She only desires to pour the unction of divine mercy over the purulent wounds of our sins.

Our Lady has received the unique privilege of being exempt from the stain of sin because of her divine maternity, but her maternity goes even beyond the sacred Person of Our Savior. By consenting to conceive Our Lord, the "first-born of a multitude of brothers," Our Lady has really become our Mother, bringing us forth into the life of grace. She not only has the privilege of being immaculate, but, as our Mother, She has also received the power to make us partakers of her grace - a power that St. Maximilien Kolbe called her privilege of "immaculization."

The Most Blessed Virgin is always the inviolate Sanctuary of God. By the grace of our adoption we have come to dwell with Him in this sanctuary. It would be gravely spiteful to go back, even only in thought, to our past turpitude. On the contrary, we must imitate our Mother's

virtues and turn our lives into a perpetual adoration of God. The best way to do so is to live in the very spirit of Our Lady, a spirit summarized in her own words: "Ecce – Fiat – Magnificat."

"Ecce ancilla Domini" – the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is the Handmaid of God, totally surrendered to His will, knowing well that nothing is important unless it allows us to be united to God. The soul that pronounces such words engages itself never again to choose its own course, but surrenders itself to the guidance of God, to be led by the unknown paths that He has chosen but that He does not reveal in advance. Nonetheless, we do know that His ways are not ours, and that they painfully upset our sensuality. Those words of abandonment to His will are an echo of the prayer of Our Lord Himself in the womb of the Virgin Mother at the moment of His conception, and they manifest an unwavering faith in the Divine Paternity.

"Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum" – the Immaculate Virgin is truly God's masterpiece! Who can claim to be capable of fully living the demand of the Pater, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"? Realizing perfectly this prayer, Our Lady shows us what holiness truly is. It is so easy to be deluded in this matter and forget that holiness consists above all in the practical and constant union of our will with the will of God, leaving aside our own plans, decisions and aspirations. We must love God with a preferential love and show it by accepting the fact that charity implies a very concrete realism – we must undertake to will only what God wills, as He wills it and because He wills it. To love God consists essentially in letting ourselves be loved by Him. The fundamental attitude of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is to abandon herself totally to the will of God. Imitating her, let us give God and His will access to our souls, allowing Him to love us through the multitude of minute, daily details through which we are crucified.

"Magnificat" – the triumphal song of the Immaculata, praising God, rejoicing in belonging to Him, in being the faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost and in letting herself be led according to the Divine Will. Only a soul profoundly abandoned to God can know the joy promised by Our Lord on the eve of His Passion. Truly, Catholicism is, above all, "justice and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom XIV, 17). It is therefore necessary for our souls to accept being seized by the Holy Ghost through the renouncements implied in our own "Fiat."

At Christmas we go to the crèche to adore the Divine Infant, Savior of the world. As the Wise Men did, we will find both the Infant and His Mother, because they are inseparable. We will then ask the Immaculate Virgin to keep us close to her so that we may live, like her, drinking from the source of grace, the gushing spring of living waters that lead us to eternal Life.

In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,

Fr. Yves le Roux

NEWS FROM THE SEMINARY

• Dear Friends and Benefactors, the seminary has successfully completed another calendar year, with your support. We have at present 60 seminarians, including 13 who became members of the Society of St. Pius X on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and three who should be ordained priests this coming June. We are always grateful for your support. To express that gratitude is the purpose of these letters, even if they do not always say so.

• Professors and seminarians will be praying for you to have a most holy Christmas and a happy New Year.