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제목 The Distinctions Between St. Pius X and Today's Popes
작성자 관리자 작성일 2014-10-22

 




The distinctions between St. Pius X and today's popes(31th August 2014) 


Last week, on the 20th August, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of St Pius X’s death. It is the occasion to reflect on his life, so full of instruction very suitable for our troubled times.


St Pius X was born poor, lived poor and died poor. He was called Joseph at his baptism, in Italian: Giuseppe Sarto. His father was a post-office employee in a small village, which was a very poor job. When he went to school, the young Giuseppe Sarto took off his shoes on the road lest they be used too fast, because he knew his parents could not afford to buy him new ones. When he was a priest, he would always be very generous to the poor. He continued as a bishop, going so far as to put his own episcopal ring as a guarantee in order to borrow from a Jew something to give to a poor family. The Jew, who had a great esteem for Bishop Sarto, was so touched by the generosity of the bishop that he himself gave him back the ring the next day, as a gift, dispensing with the loan. Later on, even as Pope, his own private quarters were kept very simple, and he gave instructions for his burial to be without any of the embalmment usual for Popes, out of a spirit of poverty.


Yet when he was a priest at the altar, he wanted worthy vestments; when he was a bishop, a Cardinal and even more as a Pope, he always behaved in a manner worthy of the dignity of the office he had received, worthy of Christ Whom he represented. Now that is quite important for our times: it is a great contrast with the present Pope who seems quite concerned about the poor, yet wastes money in cancelled appointments, and dislikes proper ornaments for the Liturgy and decorum due to his position.


St Pius X’s care for the needy was particularly manifest when an earthquake hit south Italy: he gave orders to provide needed help bypassing all the state’s bureaucracy, thus providing immediate help very efficiently. Yet, while caring efficiently for the poor, he knew that his mission was at a much higher level; he knew that the poor needed even more a higher food than material food: the food for their soul. So he set clearly at the very beginning of his pontificate this marvellous goal: to restore all things in Christ! The people need our Lord Jesus Christ much more than earthly things; social work is good, but this is not the first, nor the main purpose of the Church: eternal salvation is the purpose and main good work of the Church. Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ came “to save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21). Again this is in great contrast with today’s pontificate which seems to have put social work as primary goal of the church.


After this inaugural encyclical, in which he set that goal to restore all things in Christ, St Pius X’s next encyclical is on the Liturgy. God deserves the first place in our life. St Pius X gave him the first place in his Pontificate. He wanted that the worship of God be worthy of God, and that it lifts the people towards God. He wanted the people to pray with beautiful liturgy, and especially with the Gregorian chant. Later on, in 1912, he did a very important reform of the Breviary, amending the rubrics in order to restore the weekly recitation of the 150 psalms. Indeed this was the antique custom of the clergy, and is the heart of the Divine Office, recited by the monks, nuns and priests and some devout faithful. Now that was broken by Vatican II, which reduced it to a monthly recitation of the 150 psalms – not even completely since some verses have been completely taken out: the Holy Ghost has been censured!


Another very important work of St Pius X was the restoration of frequent Communion. For more than two centuries Jansenism had kept people away from frequent communion, even in religious communities. St Pius X encouraged frequent communion (in 1905), and even communion of little children (in 1910), so long as they were properly disposed. He had great faith in the innumerable graces that would flow from fervent and frequent communions: when our Lord Jesus Christ Himself comes into a soul at Communion, He fills it with graces, really helping to grow in the knowledge, love and fidelity to God. However today, there is the opposite habit: many people receive communion frequently but without proper disposition, in particular without being in the state of grace, i.e. with mortal sin on their conscience. Many receive communion at every Mass but almost never go to Confession. Though it is not necessary to go to Confession before every Communion, yet it is necessary to be in the state of grace, and frequent confession is very useful for that (the absolute minimum is once a year, but it is strongly recommended to go at least every month). Now communion in the state of sinis really bad, it is sacrilegious: St Paul says: “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment [=condemnation] to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:29). Now this verse was read at every Mass in honour of the Blessed Sacrament in the Traditional Liturgy, but today it is… NEVER read in the New Mass. It is one of those verses of the Scriptures that have been “censured” by the modern reformers.


Then St Pius X addressed one essential duty of the successor of Peter: to be the defender of the Faith, to protect the “Faith of Peter”. Indeed the primacy had been conferred on Peter just after he had confessed: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). That is when Our Lord answered him and said: “That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” (Mt. 16:19-20). And later at the Last Supper, our Lord Jesus Christ said to him: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Lk. 22:32).


St Pius X had been aware of the novel ideas in his time, the modernist ideas. When he arrived on the See of Peter, first of all he tried to correct the wayward priests such as Loisy or Tyrell who were promoting these ideas. But when he saw their pertinacity and perversity, then he used his supreme authority to solemnly condemn Modernism, thereby protecting the faith of the simple souls, who can be impressed by the erudition of such faithless priests (Loisy was a scholar priest). Many such simple souls corrected themselves, but some “went into hiding” and 20 years after his death started again to spread their ideas, first in a very covert way, secretly in seminaries, but then wider and wider. Pope Pius XII was very keen to canonise St Pius X in order to fight against these neo-modernists, but after his death they have made a “push” at Vatican II and have spread their errors almost everywhere today, being promoted sometimes even by the Popes themselves. We need to heed St Pius X’s teaching, to hold the Faith of all times unchanged.


Indeed the faith is the foundation of the whole spiritual life: to undermine the faith as the Modernists did and are doing has an immediate consequence on the spiritual life: it is also undermined and many are thus led to a sinful life. Today’s situation, where so many people claim to be Catholic and yet practice contraception or other such immorality, makes it very clear. There is need to return to the full profession of the Faith of all times, the faith of the Saints, and this is done in particular in the Liturgy of all times, the Liturgy of the Saints; and then the morals of the Saints will flourish again. The three are inseparable: the faith of the Saints, the liturgy of the Saints and the morals of the Saints.


St Pius X knew that the best way to work for the restoration of all things in Christ was through a holy clergy: so he wrote the beautiful encyclical on his 50th anniversary of ordination, Haerent animo, on the sanctification of the clergy. Already as a bishop, his main concern had been for his seminary; and as a Pope he took care for the Roman seminaries and Catholic universities, and all the clergy of Rome. He corrected some abuses among the clergy in Rome, and made of his roman diocese a model diocese.


One would not be just to St Pius X if one would not mention the great work of preparing the Code of Canon Law. St Pius X was truly a leader; he organised everything in an efficient way in the light of faith. This Code of Canon Law, promulgated by his successor in 1917, had been prepared mainly under his pontificate and is replete with the wisdom of the Saints. All the principles for each section are beautifully traditional.


In the midst of all his occupations, St Pius X remained a man of prayer. We too, we need to pray, we need to pray for the Church, for our country, for our families, for ourselves. We need to pray in order to keep the faith and to profess it without human respect. We need to pray so that many souls be converted to the faith. And all these prayers, we should offer them through the Immaculate Hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her Divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!” St Pius wrote a beautiful encyclical for the 50th anniversary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.


May St Pius X protect the Church, and especially the Society of St Pius X, which Archbishop Lefebvre put under his special care, so that he may be a model and a powerful intercessor for us in heaven! May he obtain many holy vocations, not only to the priesthood but also to the religious life! May he help  us to be men of faith and men of prayer, filled with the burning charity for which he was called “ignis ardens = burning fire” in the prophecy of Malachy. Amen. 

 

Fr.Laisney(sspxasia)