July 01, 2009
Saint Bernard, in a concise formula, did not hesitate to say that man is only a "mass of corruption". But the holy liturgy seems to contradict such a peremptory assertion. In the Offertory, the priest pours a drop of water into the chalice of salvation while saying: "God, who in an admirable way hast created the nobility of human nature and hast restored it in an even more marvelous way... ".
May 01, 2009
The recent papal decree, justly restoring the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, caused a media frenzy which you cannot have failed to notice. Skillfully orchestrated, this heinous campaign spread quickly, even in the halls of some episcopates always ready to follow the chaotic promptings of the media. It seems, however, that the furor has somewhat calmed down. This lull gives us the opportunity to reconsider, with less agitation, certain aspects of the decree of last 21 January.
April 01, 2009
In the midst of our daily struggle, we must be on our guard against the blows aimed at us from every side by the enemy of mankind. Thus, every night at Compline we sing: "Fratres, sobrii estote et vigilate, " "Brethren, be sober and watch."
March 01, 2009
We have a visceral dread regarding Lent. As a living oyster touched by a drop of lemon juice, we close up tightly when our comforts are threatened, our greatest fear being to have to give them up. We instinctively hate all that opposes our ease.
February 01, 2009
Weather forecast: heavy weather with strong waves! Peter's ship is in the midst of a great tempest. It is prey to the attacks and deceptions of its enemies, who go after Christ's Vicar with a ferocious glee, describing him as an old, senile man who has lost any contact with reality, a recluse lost in his dreams, lost in his intellectual musings and in the sonatas that he plays on his piano.
January 01, 2009
The patient transmission of ancestral knowledge, the priceless wisdom accumulated through the generations, has broken down - or, more precisely, it was voluntarily broken, as we have said in previous letters. The sacred authority of the parents, which should naturally have been a model for the child, was cruelly lacking. The child easily criticizes authority under any form and, involuntarily, develops a marked inclination to isolate and turn upon himself, thus contradicting his very nature, since man is a social being.
December 01, 2008
Paternity and maternity did not survive the assault of the Revolution. We heard their death-knell in our previous letter. The times are over when one could see a father endowed with a sacred authority and a mother haloed by affection, leaning over on the infant's cradle and taking care of his education. We could from now on write upon many of these cradles the extremely sad words, "father and mother unknown."
November 01, 2008
The world, as far as the human eye can see, has always been prey to violent upheavals. Wars, injustices, natural disasters, famines and other catastrophes, natural or provoked, weave the sad history of mankind. However, the world continues to turn: people marry, raise their children, plow their ground, build their homes, all involved in the beautiful occupation of being men, in spite of their weaknesses and the obstacles in life.
November 01, 2008
Childhood is a time of sowing.
Raised within a family that takes care of him, the child receives from his parents an intellectual, psychological and moral structure that forges the man he will be tomorrow. A man is no more than the ripe fruit of all the seeds sown in his heart during his youth. Sheltered from the changing winds of the world, his intelligence learns to judge, his heart to love and his senses to discern beauty. Those uniquely important years leave an indelible mark upon his soul.
September 02, 2008
Saint Theresa of Avila used to compare the devil with a hidden file that silently, imperceptibly blunts the soul. Living habitually in a world of impressions and images, we indeed have great difficulty in paying attention to this pernicious action of our most frightening enemy — an enemy who attacks us, with all impunity, without risking failure, because we are not ready to avoid his fearsome assault. The best weapon of the devil still is his silence and it pleases him to remain in the shadows, cunningly working there, as there is no greater trap for man than Satan's apparent absence. Isn't our greatest danger today that we hardly ever hear news of the devil? Everyone, or almost everyone, declares himself a believer! But the simple mention of the existence of the devil and of his action on men brings a smile of condescension and pity to the lips of our interlocutors - that is, if we have dared to confront human respect and timidly talk about the possibility of a habitual intervention of the supernatural order in our world.