The retreat for the members of the Society of St. Pius X who will participate in the General Chapter has begun. Following the conclusion of the retreat next week, the participants will elect a Superior General and Assistants and will consider important issues relating to the SSPX. Father Yves le Roux, rector of the SSPX seminary in Virginia, has penned an excellent letter on this topic. Father’s letter contains important reflections for us as we strive to maintain the right spirit in these times of great crisis in the Church.
On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 7, 2018.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
My Father and your Father. In just a few words, Our Lord Jesus Christ reveals to us the intimate nature of God and our divine adoption.
Nonetheless, this revelation does not mean that man is free from the laws that govern human nature and dictate the balance he must keep. Man must respect and submit to the law of the Incarnation, by which God Himself assumed human nature without losing anything of His dignity, so that man could participate in God’s intimate life – but still according to the limits of human nature.
It is essential to be reminded of our human condition because since original sin man is constantly attracted by excess. Although the infinite nature of God allows Him to be beyond measure, man, a finite creature, cannot exceed due measure without deviating from his own nature.
This deviation is particularly seen during periods of crisis, when points of reference are blurred and foundations waver. Little by little, blinded and disorientated by the whirlwind of the errors that surround him, man is led to judge and act only in response to the crisis. But since crisis is only the negation and destruction of order, it cannot constitute the basis for right judgement and right action; first it is necessary to return to order. This return becomes even more pressing when the crisis not only disrupts one individual, but calls into question the very foundations of a society.
The history of the Church shows that all the religious orders were born from crises. But crisis cannot constitute the essence of the consecrated life: it is only the providential occasion for its blossoming. The essence of order is obviously of a very different nature. Thus, as the order of St. Dominic cannot be defined only by its fight against the Cathar heresy, the Society of St. Pius X cannot be reduced to its necessary fight against the errors of the present time. If, by misfortune, the crisis were to become the only reason for its existence, the Society of St. Pius X would soon disappear, without having worked for the establishment of the Reign of Christ by means of the holiness of priests. This is, in fact, the essence of the life of this Priestly Society: the immolation of its priests to the glory of God the Father upon the altar of the Holy Mass. Regnavit a ligno Deus, “God reigns by the Cross” as the Vexilla Regis affirms.
The more that the crisis of the Church intensifies, the more that its doctrinal bases are shaken, the more that Satan works to disorient men by previously unimaginable disruptions in the Church, so much the more must the Society of St. Pius X remain faithful to the vocation it received from its founder, Msgr. Lefebvre: to guard the holiness of the priest, the man of the Mass and, thus, of Calvary. It would be a serious and disastrous error to claim that, because born in the progressive crisis, the judgments and actions of the Society of St. Pius X must be determined according to the developments of this crisis.
Judging from the wave of panic that has seized some of us during these last months, it would seem that some of us have lost our grasp of reason and balance on the eve of the upcoming elective Chapter of our Religious Society. Everyone gives his opinion, insists on what “must” be done, forecasts, criticizes left and right, goes around shouting about how dreadful everything is. Wouldn’t this be the time to recover a little sanity?
These extremes have the satanic mark of the egalitarian spirit of Revolution, by which everyone sets himself up as a sovereign authority. This crisis of authority is, in fact, nothing more than the frenzied refusal of any paternity and particularly of the divine Paternity. It is also the denial of the nature of man: a dependent being, subject to God.
It is necessary not to allow ourselves to be carried away by this imbalance and to keep our course in this storm. It is enough to face reality: in a time when the Church and the world are going through a deep and lasting crisis, our young Religious Society is not yet fifty years old. For a religious order, that is the age of adolescence; a particularly fragile age, when growth can happen in imbalanced and awkward ways. Thus, we should not be astonished by certain disharmonies, but strive to remedy them. And there is not another remedy than to go back to the sources of the spirit that guided the foundation of our work.
When the current crisis threatens to engulf us in its whirlwind, it is indeed necessary to combat it in an orderly manner, by resorting to principles and, particularly, by respecting the supreme rule of paternity, which is the keystone of any society. By living as sons, rooted in the divine paternity, we all – priests and faithful, each in his place – will work for the fidelity of the Society of St. Pius X to its vocation.
Let us pray for the priests, so that they may keep their place, living in obedience, without assuming powers that do not belong to them, particularly that of passing wholesale judgment about everything. Let us pray that, on the contrary, they develop an intense priestly life consisting of fidelity to prayer, renouncement, and dedication to the service of souls.
Let us hope that, for their part, the faithful strengthen their prayer life and that they do not omit to say a daily prayer for our upcoming Chapter. Let us hope that they listen to the message of Our Lady of Fatima regarding the necessity of doing penance by fidelity to the duty of state. Let us pray that they also develop a spirit of devotion towards their priests and their parishes.
An elective Chapter in a religious society is an important moment that cannot be treated as a horse race open for betting. This event is a solemn occasion for a religious society because it is a particular moment of grace during which the fidelity to the Statutes must be renewed. It allows for a greater union of the members dependent upon the hierarchy and a re-organization in preparation for new battles.
Let us pray for the grace to avoid the imbalance of which we have spoken, to avoid abuses and insults, to avoid rash judgment of intentions and the formation of parties. Let us pray, quite simply, for the grace of remaining faithful to our Rule.
It is a question of resolutely committing ourselves, so that the Social Reign of Christ may be established by the Priestly Reign of Christ.
We entrust to your habitual benevolence and, particularly, to your prayers, our Society, which we love with a filial heart, so that it can be totally dedicated to the service of the Kingship of Christ in the Church, in the world and in families and that it may be guarded by its Founder, our Father in the Faith, our venerated Msgr. Lefebvre.
In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,
– Fr. Yves le Roux, Rector, St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary
The original posting of this letter may be found at https://fsspx.news/en/content/38446