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제목 Looking for the True Church- Tradition is the Vioce of the Church
작성자 관리자 작성일 2015-08-17



Looking for the True Church -Tradition is the Vioce of the Holy Church

(Assumption Day. 15th Aug. 2015)


           My dear brethren,


 Today we celebrate the triumph of the Blessed Virgin Mary, just after celebrating a baptism. You just heard these very first questions of the priest and the answers: “–What do you ask of the Church of God? – Faith. – What does Faith offer you? – Eternal Life! – If you want to enter life, keep the Commandments!” These questions and answers are very important; they have become optional in the new rite of baptism, but are essential in the traditional rite.

 Indeed the whole purpose of the Christian life is there: eternal life, to go to Heaven, to find God and enjoy Him for all eternity! This is why you wanted to be baptised: to find God, to be united with Him, to live eternally with Him, in Him, of Him! That is true beatitude, true blessedness, the highest joy and happiness possible for men and angels.


 We see the beauty of this eternal life and glory in the Blessed Virgin Mary today: to her our Lord Jesus Christ has already given what is promised to the Saints at the end of the world: “we … shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). Our Lady received that glory on the day of her Assumption at the end of her earthly life but at the beginning of the Church’s history as a guarantee of the promise to the Saints; she is the greatest of all of them.
 
 Now in order to find God and attain eternal life, you need Faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6). The reason is very simple: eternal life is to participate in the very life of God Himself. Now what is the life of God? God is a pure spirit. A spirit is endowed with intelligence and will: thus his life is a life of loving contemplation of the truth.


 God’s life is a life of eternal contemplation of the infinite Truth and Goodness that He Himself is. Thus our Lord Jesus Christ said: “this is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3): to contemplate the Father, the Son and necessarily with them the Holy Ghost and be enkindled with their divine charity, this is eternal life.


 Hence the preparation for this eternal life necessarily requires the true knowledge of God, as He revealed Himself to men, and that is the true Faith. “What does faith offer you? Eternal Life!” Hence St Elisabeth said to our Lady: “blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord” (Lk. 1:45). We see today in the Assumption the fulfilment of this word.
 
 Now in order to obtain the true faith, one asks for it from the true Church: “what do you ask of the Church of God? Faith!” Our Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted to His Apostles this deposit of Faith; thus St Paul says to Timothy: “Keep the good deposit committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in us” (2 Tim. 1:14). And the Apostles faithfully transmitted that deposit: “I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received” (1 Cor. 15:3).


 This deposit of Faith has been transmitted through the history in the Church which our Lord Jesus Christ has founded, the holy Catholic Church. And if at times some clergy are not faithful to that deposit, this deposit is recognisable by the very fact that it is that which is faithfully transmitted, not the novelties, but the Tradition. One can distinguish the private opinion of clergymen from the Church’s doctrine precisely by that mark: novelties is the sure mark that a doctrine does not come from Christ; fidelity to tradition is in the Church the guarantee of authenticity, the sign that a doctrine comes from Christ.


 This is the “original sin” of all Protestant sects: none of them come from Christ; their origin clearly comes from this man, Luther, Calvin or whoever else, who lived hundreds of years after Christ; there is a huge historical gap between them and Christ: thus how could their doctrine come from Christ?

 So you did the right thing in coming to the true Church, the Catholic Church, in order to find the true faith; and in the Church you searched for the Tradition of the Church, not the modernist novelties, because Tradition is the voice of the Church.

 Then, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, “going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Mt. 28:20), the Church has given you the Sacrament of Baptism. By Baptism you were born again of the water and the Holy Ghost, born to a new life, the life of the spirit, the beginning of everlasting life. “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). By baptism you were “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13).


 The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas from the Blessed Virgin Mary was also “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”; it was the pattern of all those to be reborn by Baptism. Now as Christ was born of God and of Mary, so by baptism also you became children of God and children of Mary, being members of Christ: she gave birth to the whole Christ, head and members.
 
 Baptism gives sanctifying grace, which is a participation in the life of Christ, Christ living in us. With sanctifying grace come the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity, not faith alone, but “faith that worketh by charity” (Gal. 5:6). And this is what you heard in your baptism just after: “if you wish to enter life, keep the commandments!” The first Commandment is that of charity towards God, and the second is that of charity towards the neighbour. It is not sufficient to believe; one must put the faith in practice by the obedience to the Commandments, loving obedience of a child of God to his heavenly Father, obedience that makes him advance on the path that leads to Heaven, to eternal life.

 “If thou didst know the gift of God” (Jn. 4:10): if we could know the greatness of this gift of sanctifying grace, received at Baptism, we would appreciate it so much that we would never lose it, never depart from the right path, never fall into mortal sin. Only in Heaven shall we understand the value of that participation in the Divine Life, the beauty of a soul in the state of grace. But we see it when we contemplate the beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because she was so faithful to the grace of God, so humble, gentle, chaste, generous and loving, so faithful, that she has never – absolutely never – offended God even by the least venial sin. So in her we see sanctifying grace unsullied, untarnished, shining in all its beauty, especially on this day of her glorification in Heaven, the day of her Assumption.

 Baptism is a beginning, the beginning of a true Christian life, of a life of friendship with God, of a life of a child of God, an adoptive child of God, not by nature but by grace. The Assumption shows us the goal, the end of the Christian life in everlasting life in Heaven. Each day in between ought to be a step forward, closer to God, relying on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to advance, to practice the Commandments of God.
 
 There are some enemies on the way, that do not want us to reach Heaven: the devils are jealous of us; the world is full of deceits and snares, full of sin; and within ourselves, there is an enemy, the evil inclinations which are the “wounds of original sins”. Sin itself is blotted out at baptism, its punishment is remitted, but there remains a wound: our nature is no longer as beautiful as God had created it; it has been wounded by Adam, deprived of its original justice.


 Grace is restored to us by the New Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ; the healing process of the wound is started but will be complete only in Heaven: in the meantime, our nature is weak, ignorant, inclined to selfishness and malice, and inclined to earthly pleasures; we need to resist these evil inclinations and for this we need the constant help of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not only do we need that help at the beginning of the Christian life in Baptism, but we need that grace all the way. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us: “Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”(Mk. 14:38).

 The Blessed Virgin Mary did not have this wound: she did not even have the original sin, because she had been preserved in a unique way, by a unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the grace of the Immaculate Conception. This does not mean that she did not need any more the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; on the contrary, she needed a greater grace because she had been called to a greater vocation: to become the mother of God, the mother of the Word of God incarnate, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lady was perfectly faithful to that initial grace and to all those graces along the way, and she will help you to be faithful to the daily graces of God; she will help you to progress each day in the knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, in prayer and in good deeds.

  I would like to warn about two particular enemies of the Christian life: in the world impurity, and in the church modernism. “The life of man upon earth is a warfare,” told us the holy man Job (Job 7:1). Entering into the Church is entering into the battle, in the camp of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we are surrounded by the enemy. St John warned us: “the whole world is seated in wickedness” (1 Jn. 5:19)


 This is particularly visible in the modern world by the spread of impurities in all its kinds, even the most perverse. And millions of souls fall into hell because of that. At Baptism you renounced the devil and all its allurements: these are the allurements of the devils! So let this renouncing to them be complete, and uncompromising!


 Today we see in the Blessed Virgin Mary the greatest model of purity, the shining beauty of purity and how much it pleases God: the attribute of our Lady that the Church most often mentions is that she is “Virgin”, totally virgin, that is uncorrupted by any sin, especially by any sin of impurity. Virgin in her body, virgin in her soul, virgin in her affections, virgin in her thoughts, uncorrupted by sin. And God loves virginity. You might say: “but nobody approaches to that perfection”.


 That is true. But we must tend towards it, and do our best to keep our soul away from anything that could corrupt it, away from any impurity. Modesty is the guardian of purity. May the Blessed Virgin Mary protect you, protect your purity! At baptism you received a white garment, symbol of purity, which you ought “to keep until the Judgement Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ”, as the prayer says.

 There is another enemy, more insidious because it is within the Church itself: modernism. Its characteristic is in the desire to please the world, to go along the worldly ways, and thus to avoid sacrifice, and that which displeases the world. Thus it adopts the philosophy of the world, the morals of the world, using the language of the world, giving new meanings to the Church vocabulary to hide their thinking in ambiguity. For instance, they no longer speak of mortification but of self-control; words like mercy are given a new meaning, stripped of conversion. In the second Vatican Council the modernists have seized the position of authority in the Church and have persecuted those who wanted to remain truly faithful. Do not be scandalised by this.


 Our Lord Jesus Christ had warned us that there would be cockle in the field (Mt. 13:25-40), bad fishes together with the good in the Lord’s nets (Mt. 13:48). St Paul warned us: “I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30).

 In this crisis of the Church you must remain faithful, faithful to what the Church has always taught: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, do manfully, and be strengthened” (1 Cor. 16:13). “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle” (2 Thess. 2:15). “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8-9).


 Our Lady will help you: she is the “Virgin most faithful.” “Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life” (Apoc. 2:10). This is exemplified in the Assumption of our Lady, and this is the great encouragement to all of us: there is indeed a beautiful reward for virtue, for fidelity, for purity, for faith working through charity!

 It is particularly necessary to remain faithful to the holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Traditional rite: this rite has its roots in the antique Church, in the very first centuries when there were so many saints and holy bishops; this rite has sanctified generations and generations of faithful; this rite has been somehow “canonised” by St Pius V, in his bulla Quo Primum, in which he said that no bishop could ever forbid it; he gave an indult in perpetuity, i.e. permission for ever for priests to say this Mass.


 Why? Because it is holy and sanctifies the priests who offer it and the faithful who attend it. It is the “Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ” as the early Church called it, the very Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ which He gave to His Church as its greatest treasure. We must all remain faithful to it and keep it, and not change it. It is a protection against heresy; it is the great means by which the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ which He acquired by His Sacrifice are applied to our souls.


 This is why you are going to receive your first Communion today, the fruit of the Sacrifice, the very Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ really and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine. Our Lord said it: “This is my body … this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins” (Mt. 26:26, 28). He could not give us more than His own Self, totally. O marvel of Divine Charity! O wonder of the love of God, who feeds the servant by the flesh of the Lord! O “bread of angels” (Ps. 77:25), “food of angels … having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste” (Wis. 16:20). By it more than ever, Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20). That is why we adore the Blessed Sacrament and you will kneel to receive Him on the tongue: because it is truly and substantially the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, it is Jesus, “it is the Lord!” (Jn. 21:7).

 As our Lady received Jesus in her most pure womb on the day of the Annunciation and devoutly carried Him for nine month, so you will receive the same Lord and carry Him with a similar devotion. She will help you to receive him with humility and fervour, thus receiving all the abundant graces which He wants to give you.

 May the Immaculate Virgin help you and help all of us to be faithful throughout our life on earth until we reach that beautiful reward in Heaven for all eternity! Amen.


Fr. F. Laisney (sspxasia))