November 2014 - To Serve God is to Reign
In this month's letter, the Rector reflects on the important role of the Brotherhood of the Society of St. Pius X as a true calling to the religious life. One should remember that the calling to the religious life is not only limited to the priesthood.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The Society of St. Pius X is essentially a priestly work, but this does not mean that all its members are priests. Indeed, the call addressed by God to souls to devote themselves entirely to His service is not necessarily a priestly call. There are many souls thirsting for God for whom to remain in the world would imply risking the loss of their souls but who are not called to become priests. By the silent offering of their lives to God, their vocation is to make it possible for the priests to remain faithful.
Some of these souls, animated by a great love for the priesthood, are called by God to devote their lives to serve Him in His priests. So it was among those who surrounded Our Lord and who were divided into apostles and disciples. The latter served the Savior and assisted the apostles. The same applies in our Society, where our Brothers serve Christ in His priesthood by consecrating themselves to God by the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. This vocation of Brother in our Priestly Fraternity is essential for the life of our congregation. The Brother guards the priesthood of the priests who live with him in the same house by his prayers and sacrifices, by the example of his hidden and consecrated life and, more simply, by his supernatural and fraternal affection. Thus, the Brother helps the priests to live their priesthood in accordance with the expectations of Christ, the Church and souls.
A priest, obliged by his functions to live in the world and to be in close relation with it in order to look after wounded souls, is indeed in danger of losing his internal balance and letting himself be poisoned by the spirit of this spellbinding world. Thanks to their religious life, which gives them a simple and firm framework, the Brothers living in the priory assure a presence that creates an atmosphere of supernatural life which, in turn, makes it possible for the priests to restore themselves by being immersed in a life of prayer and silence.
The vocation of the Brother in our Fraternity is to offer, in a hidden but very real way, his own life of prayer and sacrifice for the holiness of the priest. In this sacred mission he finds the strength to carry his daily cross and knows, by experience, that from this offering the priest receives graces of fidelity whose value will be known only in Heaven.
Often the Brother is noticed mainly for his activity and the multiple charges that fall to him and in which he truly excels. Thus, in the very first place, the Brothers devote themselves to liturgical tasks, taking care of the sacristy and the good order of the ceremonies, but it is not rare to see them also teaching catechism, visiting the sick, taking up the post of secretaries or cooks, or assuring the maintenance of the house, thus becoming in turn carpenters, masons, gardeners, landscape designers, etc. It is certain that the task of the priest is thus lightened, allowing him a greater freedom to dedicate himself to souls.
But it would be a serious error to reduce the role of the Brother to these various tasks, noble and necessary as they are. The image of the Brother as odd-job man is erroneous. He is, above all, a man who serves God through his religious life, a man who, by his prayer and consecrated life, unites to God those of whose souls he has charge, the priests.
While arriving at a priory, it is not rare to see the Brother perched on his tractor or occupied with some other work, but usually it is not noticed that his hand passes the beads of his rosary and that, even if he is repairing a gutter or collecting tomatoes, he remains in God by his rosary, asking Our Lady to take care on the priestly souls, to bless their labors, to preserve their souls in peace and joy, to keep them from the evil that roams around.
The Brother lives in the silence of God, knowing that the secret of happiness is to be in the shadow of the Divine Presence, ignored by men but loved by God. This life of humility and simplicity greatly helps the priest to return himself to what is essential, far from the illusions that the apostolate may cause. Thanks to the Brothers present at the priory, a true life of community is possible. This family life gives to the priest a fraternal encouragement that enables him to be all to all, without exceptions.
The life of our Brothers is not well known and the sense of their consecration is badly misunderstood. It is time to honor their beautiful vocation which is, after all, nothing else than a life offered to God in the spirit of the invocation that we say at the end of our rosaries: “Oh, Lord, grant us many holy priests.”
Nothing is more urgent today than to obtain from Heaven the priests that are necessary for the Church and souls. Our Brothers deserve our prayers and our gratitude for bringing their lives in conformity with their prayers.
Obtain for us, O Lord, holy priests and, in order to keep them in their vocation, obtain for us also holy Brothers who will take care of Thy priests by helping them to live their priesthood according to Thy desires. Amen.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria.
Fr. Yves le Roux
Notes from the Seminary
The Brothers’ Novitiate is located, as you know, at the Seminary. Under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Kenneth Dean, the Brothers live and work alongside the seminarians, thus beginning a common life, a life of fraternal charity and mutual support, which later on, after their ordinations and vows, will be continued in the SSPX priories and houses. Although Seminary and Novitiate are two different entities, in view of their future of mutual collaboration, the Seminary assumes the financial burden of the Novitiate’s operation and of the personal needs of the Brothers. We both, Seminary and Novitiate, live by your generosity, by your prayers and material support, for which we are always grateful and of which, unfortunately, we are in constant need. Please, do not forget us.
Neither forget, as Christmas approaches, to send us your intentions for the Christmas Novena of Masses that the Seminary offers for you.
Remember also that the Seminary will be shortly publishing a massive, 500-pages long compilation of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s writings on the spiritual life, at the cost of US$ 36.00. All pre-orders received until December 1st, 2014, will receive free shipping (within the US).