March/April 2017 - The Protestant Revolution, Part 3
The motivation for all human rebellion flows from the original rebellion in Heaven: Lucifer's non serviam. Martin Luther, perhaps more than any other, held high the banner of rebellion against God by casting off the sweet yoke of His Church and proclaiming himself master and king of his own religion. We must reject this diabolical spirit of rebellion and cling ever more closely to God's mercy, never abandoning the battle for holiness.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
God alone is perfectly independent.
In spite of this sovereign truth, and because of his raging pride, the archangel Lucifer refused to submit himself to God and to acknowledge that he owed his own original elevation to God. Dazzled by his own excel-lence, he considered the divine light – of which he was only the bearer – to be his own. This was the crime of treason par excellence. From that moment on, fixed in his hatred of God, the devil has not ceased to spread his bile. His cry of Non Serviam, “I will not serve,” keeps resounding.
That same Non Serviam is found at the beginning of all the rebellions of men, starting with original sin, which is, in the end, nothing but the pale human echo of Lucifer’s cry. Subsequently, this spirit of rebellion has been incarnated in many movements and figures throughout the ages. The Renaissance is a particularly emblem-atic example. Indeed, from that time onwards, a new era has opened in which man refuses to hear about submis-sion and has made “domination” his key word.
Shaking off any form of dependence, man claims to be the absolute master, not seeing the never-ending trap of the demonic lie promising him a higher condition: “You will be like God”. The sad history of man’s fall is repeated then in a minor key: fleeing the sure grounds of submission to reality, man claims to take in hand his own destiny by following his own rules.
Luther is the perfect incarnation of the individual who refuses both what is and what he himself is. He prefers to create a world to his image and likeness. The harmful influence of the Renaissance spirit is found par-ticularly in the rejection of man’s condition as sinner.
Carried by his lively sensitivity and his pride, Luther savagely refuses to recognize his fundamental poverty and his share of responsibility in sin – and even less his own culpability. It is enough for him to exag-gerate the effects of Adam’s sin by claiming that human nature from then on was destroyed.
According to him, man can do nothing but sin at every step. Free will has disappeared in this shipwreck of nature and does not play any part anymore. Man is nothing but a dislocated puppet that sins unrelentingly. Any human act is an insult to God since man can only sin. He is the slave of sin. For Luther, justification is far from being a divine friendship offered and shared; on the contrary, it is reduced to a legal fiction, arbitrarily ap-plied to man who receives the cloak of Christ to cover his turpitude – to cover it, but not to heal it.
However, if human nature is destroyed, man can use neither his intelligence nor his will and conse-quently becomes unable to perform any free acts. He can only sink into evil and wallow in it. Thus, evil remains victorious even after the redemptive work of Christ and, consequently, appears to be more powerful than God. In this demonic system, man is no longer guilty of his sins – it is God who becomes culpable in his place. Here we witness an appalling, diabolic reversal.
In this system, created by Luther’s proud refusal, arising from the humiliation of his own falls, we wit-ness the shameful and apparent victory of sin over grace – because God Himself is seen as impotent. In a word, Protestantism, issuing from this pride, is nothing else but the orchestrated, codified continuation of original sin, a dogmatic echo of the luciferian Non Serviam.
However, this radical refusal is opposed to the whole of Christian tradition and particularly to the teach-ings of Saint Paul. This saint, gifted as Luther was with a very great sensitivity, simply acknowledged his state as accountable sinner, guilty of the sufferings of Christ, and entrusted himself to God’s mercy. The example of the great Apostle is rich in lessons: he did not deny his misery, but neither did he show himself dejected for all that. He knew that his wounded nature made him yield to his weakness and guilelessly confessed that he did not do the good he would like to, but the evil which he wished to avoid. He then turned to Our Lord with humble confidence, received His forgiveness and, endowed by His grace, took up the weapons and helmet of a soldier to fight, well determined not to yield again to his acknowledged weaknesses.
As any other creature, man has to submit to reality, recognizing in it the expression of a higher order which shapes him and offers him a framework and boundaries in which to flourish.
The truth is that original sin did not destroy nature, but cruelly wounded it; a deadly wound, it is true, since to be healed it needed no less than the death of the Son of God on the Cross. Grace is not, as Luther outra-geously claims, a cloak covering putrefaction, but, quite to the contrary, a purification of the soul, a divinization of the sinner into another Christ. In the Catholic faith, the fight against original sin and its disastrous conse-quences is the lot of the faithful soul.
Faced with the Non Serviam of Luther, we thus oppose an energetic and radical Non Possumus: we re-ject such rebellion. We want to remain resolutely Catholic. We are conscious of our native misery, but we also know that our souls were rescued and transformed by the redemptive Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. If this Blood shed by Love is received with faith, respect and love, we know that our sinful souls will receive divine grace and that we will become children of God, living in His intimacy.
Our religion is that of the living and true God, not a deadly religion that leads souls to hell by sterilizing them by a foolish doctrine.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria.
Fr. le Roux
A NOTE CONCERNING THE ORDINATIONS
We are very happy to announce the ordination of nine seminarians to the Holy Priesthood this year on July 7th, as well six more seminarians being ordained to the Diaconate. We hope that the inaugural ordinations here in Virginia will be attended by many of our Faithful testifying their traditional Catholic Faith and support of the traditional Priesthood.
As in Winona, we will welcome the faithful to camp on the Seminary grounds in a specially designated area which happily includes a public bath house with showers. If someone wishes to camp on the property, they may do so from July 5th to the 9th. We ask that they follow the camping courtesy regulations that will be posted, out of respect for the religious house and property, as well as fellow campers. The camping and use of the bath house will be free of charge, but donations will be very gratefully accepted to cover the cost of the facilities.
Also, as for past ordinations, the Seminary will be renting a large tent for the ceremony. Unknown to most, this has become a major financial burden in the recent years, as the cost of the tent rental and other ordination prepa-rations is around $22,000! That amount in fact is after deductions and as inexpensive as possible! This year we must call upon the help of the Faithful to aid us in preparing this great event, so unique and important in our times and in our Society. Please consider making an extra contribution for the tent rental and other preparations, which we have never been able to cover sufficiently, so that we may continue to provide these great ceremonies at the seminary.