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제목 On St Pius X (2017-09-09 )
작성자 관리자 작성일 2017-09-11

 




On St Pius X– 2017-09-09 (instruction Osaka)


My dear brethren,


Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of St Pius X, the last truly holy Pope. He is of such importance that we remain under his influence even today: the path to Heaven is not new, all the Saints have walked on it, and we would be fools if we would depart from it, deceiving our own selves and wandering away as lost sheep. The whole diabolical disorientation that happened in the Church since Vatican II obliges us to search for a sure guide, and we find such sure guide in St Pius X. He was truly a worthy successor of St Peter, truly a solid rock of Faith and sure guide on the path to Heaven.

First of all, St Pius X was a man of Faith. St Paul tells us: “the just man liveth by faith” (Rom. 1:17). The true faith is the foundation of the whole spiritual edifice, both for the individual and for the whole society: Christian civilisation is based on the true Faith; destroy the faith and the whole civilisation collapses, as we can see in Europe today. So, St Pius X considered his first duty as Pope to defend the Faith, especially against modernism. In this he is a worthy successor of Peter. Indeed, this was the very command of our Lord Jesus Christ to Peter: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Lk. 22:32).

Modernism destroys the faith by making it subjective, as if it were founded on some kind of personal experience of God in each individual, and not on the objective reality of the public Revelation of God. For modernist, any religious experience is fine, whatever it is. This is the complete destruction of Faith, since its object is no longer the Truth, the objective truth about God and about God’s work.

On the contrary, it is evident that when we open our eyes, we do not make the things that we see: these things were there before we opened our eyes, we simply get to know them: we do not make the truth, we learn the truth. Similarly, when by Faith we open our eyes onto the supernatural mysteries of God, we do not make these divine realities, we learn them from God. The Revelation is an objective fact, certified by prophecies and miracles. The fact that God spoke with men, entering into our human history, is a fact that we do not make up as we please: we learn it when we open our eyes to human history; we learn from it the divine mysteries that God has revealed: we do not make them up.

Revelation has been brought to its perfection by the Incarnation of the Son of God Himself. When the very Son of God, the Eternal Word of the Father, Word of Divine Truth, comes and speaks with men, Revelation is perfect; nothing that can be added to it. We can deepen our understanding of it, clarify its content, but we can never add new content, nor change what it contains. Divine Truth is eternal; it does not change. “The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:25). Thus, St Pius X teaches that Revelation is closed at the death of the last Apostle, St John, through whom we have the Apocalypse, the last book of the Bible.

In the Old Testament, God had established an authority in the High Priest to receive the growing revelation, and the prophets were thus acknowledged and added to the Canon of the Scriptures through the Old Testament; God was revealing more and more about the coming of His Son to “save us from our sins” (Mt. 1:21, see Ps. 129:8). But in the New Testament, the authority which God, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ has established in His Church is not there to teach new doctrines, but rather “the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you” (Jn. 14:26). In other words, the fullness of truth (“all things”) is not new, but is rather all whatsoever our Lord Jesus Christ Himself had already taught. Thus, the First Vatican Council teaches, in the very chapter in which Papal infallibility is defined: “Neither was the Holy Ghost promised to Peter's successors so that, by his revelation, they would make known a new doctrine, but rather so that by His assistance they would religiously keep and faithfully expose the Revelation transmitted by the Apostles, that is, the deposit of Faith.” (DB 1836)
on St Pius X– 2017-09-09


Thus, St Pius X, in the Anti-modernist oath, required all clergy to swear that:
I sincerely receive the doctrine of Faith transmitted to us from the Apostles through the orthodox Fathers in the same sense and the same expression, and therefore I reject the heretical notion of evolution of dogmas, changing from one meaning into another meaning, different from the one which the Church previously held... Therefore, I most firmly hold the Faith of the Fathers and will hold it until the end of my life, fully certain of the charisma of truth which is, was and always shall be in the succession of the episcopate from the Apostles, not so that one would hold what would seem better and more apt according to the culture of each age, but so that the absolute and immutable truth preached from the beginning by the Apostles would never be believed in a different way nor be understood in a different way.

No one, not Luther, not even the Pope, can change that deposit of Faith! We need today more than ever to hear those words of St Pius X, and to fully adhere to them. They set us on the Rock of Christ, Who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn. 6:14), and Who is “yesterday, and today, and the same for ever” (Heb. 13:8). There is no new Jesus Christ, there cannot be a new Gospel. It is the Eternal Word of God, the unchangeable Divine Truth.

Because of his zeal for the Faith, he also insisted on the teaching of Christian doctrine, especially the knowledge of catechism. He published what is called “St Pius X Catechism”, which is a summary of the Catechism of the Council of Trent for school children, beautifully providing for the education of the Faith. He encouraged much that teaching, saying that the greatest cause of the evils of our days was religious ignorance, ignorance of the truths about God, our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.

Thus, St Pius X was a man of Faith, and gave a tremendous service to the Church by condemning modernism. Upon that rock of Faith, one can build a solid spiritual life. And St Pius X was also a man of prayer. In particular he loved and promoted the official prayer of the Church, i.e. the Liturgy, and the most sublime prayer which is the Mass. His very second encyclical was on the restoration of the Gregorian Chant, being the proper Church music, a music that comes from prayer and leads to prayer. Gregorian Chant is a truly spiritual music, where the melody dominates and leads the mind to heavenly contemplation. Moreover, Gregorian Chant is not reserved for professional choirs: the common of the faithful can easily learn much of it, not only the kyriale, i.e. those songs that are found in each Mass, but also quite a few hymns and even some propers.

St Pius X also restored the proper balance between the sanctoral and the temporal in the liturgy, i.e. between the honour given to the Saints each day of the year and the annual cycle of the liturgical “times” such as Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter time and time after Pentecost. The liturgy for these “times” came from the very antique years in the Church, but the canonisation of more and more saints as time was passing had somehow hidden these treasures: though they were still in the books, they were rarely used on Sundays. This was particularly acute for the “Divine Office”, i.e. the prayers for all the clergy and also monks and nuns. So, St Pius X beautifully restored these antique treasures to proper use. He loved to say his breviary, and remained a man of prayer even in the multitude of his grave occupations as Pope. One day, he had invited Cardinal Merry del Val to offer Mass in his own papal chapel, but as there were no altar boy around, he himself served the Cardinal’s Mass. Upon the surprised of this one, he said: do you think I no longer know how to serve Mass? This shows both his humility and his love of the Mass.

Above all, St Pius X is the Pope of the Holy Eucharist. He had a great love and appreciation of this most divine gift. Already as a young boy, he longed for his first Communion. Later as Pope, he opened the way for young children to receive Holy Communion, as soon as their knowledge of the catechism was sufficient for them to appreciate the great gift of Jesus, giving His own self totally in holy Communion. He also encouraged frequent and devout communion, putting an end to the left-overs of Jansenism. However, in this matter, one must note that he insisted on proper disposition for a worthy communion, and would be appalled to see today so many always going to communion but never to confession. Though it is not necessary for someone who lives in the state of grace to go to confession every time before communion, yet frequent communion goes with frequent confession, both being the sign of true fervour and love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

St Pius X is less known by the faithful for his work as a legislator, but one of his greatest achievements was the preparation of the Canon Law, which was published by his successor, but the work had been started by him and most of the work had been achieved during his pontificate, so much so that his name has been attached to this canon law. Before him, there were local laws but they had not yet been gathered in one Code of Canon Law for the whole Church. He beautifully set the everlasting principles of Church law together with wise application, so well that his Canon Law is even a model for secular lawyers. The modernists could not stand his Canon Law, so they tried to change it by publishing a new Canon Law, as they did a new Mass. But the principles of St Pius X are not his: they come from the early Church and cannot be changed, so the Society of St Pius X remains attached to those principles of Canon Law as expressed by St Pius X’s Canon Law.

Also, very important was the action of St Pius X for France: he resisted the French government who wanted to put the Church’s hierarchy under the civil government. He preferred that the civil government would steal all Church property rather than see the Church’s constitution being altered by a civil government. The Church had already been stolen all her property during the French Revolution, and a second time in 1905 with the laws of separation of Church and State. But the Church came out of this more free to pursue her role to save souls: the civil government had lost its influence on it.

In this he showed his great love of the Church. St Paul teaches us that “Christ is the head of the church” (Eph. 5:23), “which is his body, and the fulness of him who filled all in all” (Eph. 1:23). Thus, since the Church is the body of Christ, the “Mystical Body of Christ”, it is not possible to love our Lord Jesus Christ without loving the Church; one cannot separate the one from the other. One may not put asunder what God has united (Mt. 19:6). Whether the Church has a holy Pope as St Pius X or not, it remains the Mystical Body of Christ: our Lord Jesus Christ is the same whether glorious on Mount Tabor or despised and suffering on Mount Calvary. We must remain with Him as St John both on Mount Tabor and on Mount Calvary, not like Peter who ran away and denied Christ in His Passion. But even then, he remained Peter.

In the aftermath of Vatican II, when some seminarians came to Archbishop Lefebvre asking him to help them to become good priests, he chose St Pius X as the Patron of the religious society he was founding, because of all these virtues of the holy Pope. At a time when many priests – and even bishops – were confused as to the nature and purpose of their priesthood, Archbishop Lefebvre gave as purpose of his Society to serve the priesthood “as our Lord Jesus Christ instituted it when He said: Do this in commemoration of me” (Lk. 22:19), thus giving them power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrifice of the New Testament, to be the continuation of the very Sacrifice He was about to offer on the Cross. Thus, Archbishop Lefebvre put the priest as the man of the Holy Eucharist under the protection of the Pope of the Holy Eucharist.

St Paul said: “Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:1-2). So, this very simple principle of fidelity has been the guiding principle of Archbishop Lefebvre and of the Society of St Pius X from the beginning and is still now our guiding principle. We want to be faithful to the faith of all times, adhering fully to the immutable Truth revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ. We want to be faithful to the morals of the Saints, following them who followed our Lord Jesus Christ on the Royal Way of the Cross, the sure road to Heaven. We want to be faithful to the Liturgy of all times, which the Church has transmitted to us as her dearest treasure. We do not change: these are values of eternity; our union with the past of the Church is the best guarantee for our union with the present and the future of the Church. But we want to remain faithful to the Church too, and therefore the Society of St Pius X has always rejected sedevacantism because there cannot be true fidelity outside the Church. 
 
The Society of St Pius X has been persecuted, by those who wanted to change everything; we have been accused of disobedience. But if what we do is what the Saints have done, what they have loved and cherished, and someone with authority in the Church commands us not to do it, the wrong is not on our side, but rather on his side! As Archbishop Lefebvre said: no authority on earth, not even the Pope, can command us to change our Faith; the Catholic Faith cannot be changed! As St Pius X said, “the absolute and immutable truth preached from the beginning by the Apostles would never be believed in a different way nor be understood in a different way.” No one can command us to change it, neither to change its traditional expression in the Liturgy.

We remain at peace, knowing that the Saints such as St Pius X have taught what we believe, had cherished the liturgy that we cherish, have practiced the moral that we strive to practice. They will be our protectors and advocates at the Last Judgement against those who try to make us change.

My dear brethren, I ask to you pray for good and holy vocations for priests in the Society of St Pius X and also for brothers and sisters. It is a great grace that we can count four Korean seminarians at Holy Cross plus one pre-seminarian at Iloilo and by the grace of God we hope for more. But you must keep your prayers: good vocations often come from good families. St Pius X came from a good Catholic family; his mother was a holy woman who passed on to him her simple but solid faith. Where holiness reigns in families, there holy vocations can blossom. So let us also pray for good and holy Catholic families, where the charity of Christ reigns, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen.


Fr. F. Laisney