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Our Advent 2023 newsletter is published at this link.
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Notre lettre aux amis pour l'Avent 2023 est maintenant publiée sur ce lien.
Soutenir le monastere ici.
Our Advent 2023 newsletter is published at this link.
Support the monastery here.
+ Levate capita vestra: quoniam appropinquat redemptio vestra! “Lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!” If there is a simple and straightforward message for each of us on every increasingly poignant day of Advent, it is this: Raise your head! Redemption is coming!
And how we need to hear this cry! For we spend day after day with our heads down, buried in our own preoccupations and plans, burdened by our imperfections, soiled by our sins, absorbed in our self-will, weighed down by illness and suffering, concerned by the inadequacies of others, fretting about our future, anxious about our material survival, etc. Life in this world is full of worries. Even those who enter the cloister or who seek to serve the Church in active ministry do not escape such stress—particularly when ecclesiastical authorities lack integrity and themselves become the purveyors of injustice and persecution—bishops can be sacked or marginalised, even Cardinals can be rendered unemployed and homeless at a whim it seems!
It is natural enough to focus on ourselves and our needs and our ambitions: we must survive in a material world and in the Church as it is. We must think about and plan for the future. And if our vocation gives us responsibility for others, we must attend to the exigent duty duly to provide for their needs, as any parent knows only too well.
But this beautiful season of Advent reminds us that so too must we lift up our heads in joyful hope and in profound trust, for something—someone!—greater than all our concerns is at hand: our Redeemer, Jesus, the Christ of God, born of a humble Virgin in Nazareth, God-made-man for our Salvation. And His coming, His Incarnation, shall both inform and transform us. It shall give us a supernatural perspective and the grace with which to deal with all our burdens and worries and indeed to put them into a perspective in which they no longer dominate us and crush the life out of us—as the lives of the saints, and most particularly the lives of the martyrs, teach us.
If we persevere, if we continue to lift up our heads and encounter His loving and saving gaze and persevere in living in the light that radiates from His Holy Face, we shall become that man or woman whom He calls us to be—and thereby find the salvation of our souls and be able to do much good for the salvation of others.
Whereas, if we look down again—or worse, if we look (or walk) away from our Redeemer and all that He asks of us—we shall find ourselves back in the descending spiral of ego-centric self-will that leads further and further away from Christ and the Redemption He brings. We shall be at risk of that eternal hell where all I have is the narrow and selfish path that I have chosen, despite all that Almighty God has done for me and has called me to discover and become in His service.
St Paul knew this only too well, which is why He addressed the Romans (and why the Church addresses us through her Sacred Liturgy this morning) with this clear exhortation:
“You know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
It may come as a surprise for our contemporaries to learn that Advent is not a time for drunkenness and gratifying the desires of the flesh, but so be it. It is not. This is the season where in each of us the works of darkness must cede their place to all that is of the light. It is the season where the coming of our Redeemer demands that further conversion of ourselves, of our wills, of our desires, of our motivations, of our lives that is necessary in each of us.
Traditionally, of course, we do this by making a good, integral sacramental confession during the season of Advent—let us not neglect so to do. So too we do this by putting on the armour of the ascetic disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, chastising our desires and positively giving of ourselves out of love of God and of our neighbour in anticipation of the coming feast of all that Almighty God has given to us.
Levate capita vestra: quoniam appropinquat redemptio vestra ! “Raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!” No matter what weighs us down, no matter what burdens us, these words call us in this holy season of Advent to look up—just as we look up and adore the Sacred Host and Blessed Chalice in every Mass—and to become caught up anew in the sight of our Redeemer. For then, in the loving embrace of His gaze, we shall find that redemption which shall calm our fears and enable us to become the person He calls us to be. +
+ Almighty God has, by His Incarnation, made us worthy to be partakers of the saints in light, so long as we follow His holy will. A will which we must join with the Apostle in unceasingly praying for a true knowledge of, in order that we may ever act in such a manner as to profit us to eternity. Our Lord, moreover, makes abundantly clear the brevity of our time in which to fulfill His will, for we know not the time nor the hour in which we shall be summoned to the judgement seat of God. Certainly, fulfilment of the God’s will does include the furthering of our capacity to occupy ourselves with matters of greater importance, but we must ever be ready to leave what is at hand without pausing to collect our coat.
For the abomination of desolation is not far away: the end of the sacrifice in the Temple, the sacrilege against which no other can compare. Unlike Daniel, we must talk of the New Temple, for our very bodies are made into the Temple of the Holy Ghost—a reality most sublimely exemplified by Our Lady, upon whom the Holy Ghost came in the act of conceiving God made man.
How close we are to her in this particular privilege, for we sacramentally bear our Lord in our bodies through the act of communicating at Holy Mass. Similarly, in Confirmation the Holy Ghost has overshadowed us that He may dwell within us.
But by every mortal sin the abomination of desolation becomes a reality through the very sin which throws the Holy Ghost out, worshiping an idol put in His place.
We who have been brought out of “the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins” must ever be especially on our guard against such a sacrilege. We must ever beg God in prayer to protect us from the weakness of our fallen nature, and to give us the grace to act according to the strength of grace that we may keep a safe distance from anything bearing temptation.
Daniel, in prophesying the abomination of desolation, recalls that it is but the curse, the result of repudiating the oath of Moses, which all Israel pledged before entering the Holy Land, come down upon Israel. In this pledge the tenderness of God, alongside the rightful awareness that vengeance belongs to the Lord, stand side by side in unremitting clarity. It is precisely the tenderness, the loving mercy of God, which results in His vengeance on His enemies, those who refuse to listen to His voice—a refusal that is so grievous.
How much the more apparent is this reality when we have not only the liberation from Egypt to recall, but also the Incarnation. God became man, in poverty, and died the most cursed of all deaths that we might be restored to Him. That we should be His children by adoption, ever after we refused His fatherhood by creation.
Even after everything, God gives us time to convert, patiently awaiting our repentance from our sins. But that time is short. The Church in her wisdom brings before us as the year ends the reality that our time to turn away from our sin, likewise, is coming towards an end. The prayers of the saints, as exemplified by the epistle of this Mass, hold back the wrath of God that is due for each and every turning away from Him. But the justice of God must be exacted on those who reject His mercy; on those who mock His mercy. Never can we miss an opportunity to return to Him, to glorify Him, to develop our love for Him.
Let us, then, confess our sins, and be filled with a perfect hatred for all that offends God, especially those acts we have personally committed. Let us allow Him to fill us with His healing gifts, that the brokenness of our fallen nature may be cleansed by the grace of the Sacraments by which He gives Himself to us. Whilst they communicate to us the reality the Sacraments signify, let us use the signs themselves as an aide to recollection that the glory of God may every be a close consideration for every decision we make—and not just in the decisions, but in daily living--for forgetfulness of God is an abomination in His sight.
Being filled with a holy fear of God we shall then be able to hear the trumpet call of the angels at the coming of the Son of Man calling all the elect to Himself. He shall then take us to the New Jerusalem wherein the Sacrificial Lamb shall be given all praise and glory and honour for all eternity. His saving act will be made complete, and our fallen weakness will no longer afflict us with temptation to turn away from God. Nor will there be suffering.
Let us hasten then to the sacraments that they may fill us with the life-giving sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. Let us beg God with urgency that they may fill us with His healing gifts, that the One efficacious sacrifice for the remission of sin may truly enliven us.
How attentively we must listen to His Paternal voice calling us, especially through the rites of this Holy Mass, that we may never lose sight of Him in all our acts. May we ever renew the zeal, the love, with which we turn to Him, in His Substance as in the Sacraments. For He alone can draw us out of our sin. We must continuously ask of Him the grace of both forgiveness and preservation from all faults. And how much the more does He give us! In His grace we can even act unto good which lasts for all eternity! +
La Communauté monastique prend note de l’évolution
concernant le gouvernement de notre diocèse et, comme toujours,
le fait avec une profonde action de grâce
pour tout ce que Monseigneur Rey à fait, pendant plus de dix ans pour notre communauté, et pendant plus de vingt ans pour tout le diocèse de Fréjus-Toulon.
Nous regrettons profondément que, depuis quatre ans,
certains aient essayé d’ébranler son ministère charismatique.
Nous assurons Monseigneur Rey ainsi que Monseigneur Touvet
de nos prières quotidiennes pour le ministère épiscopal.
Nous accueillons avec une grande confiance Monseigneur Touvet
et prions qu’il soit le digne successeur d’un des grands évêques du vingt-et-unième siècle.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Monastic Community notes the developments in the governance of our diocese
and, as ever, does so with profound gratitude for everything Bishop Rey has done for us
over more than ten years and for the diocese for more than two decades.
That some have sought for almost four years now to undermine his charismatic leadership
is a source of profound regret.
We assure Bishop Rey and Bishop Touvet of our daily prayers for their episcopal ministry. We welcome Bishop Touvet and pray that he may be a worthy successor
to a truly great bishop of the twenty-first century.
+ “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things from the beginning.” This prophecy of the psalmist made so apparent in the Gospel today brings forth the reality of Revelation in all its power. A power which is fully unleashed in the Gospel, living and full within us, as we are reminded in the Epistle, in power and the Holy Ghost. Such is the Revelatory power of God within us, that although it may start as but a mustard seed, it brings forth an abundant tree of great strength and stability.
But the psalmist’s prophecy invoked by the Gospel is not simply to point to the Lord’s fulfilment thereof, but that what Our Lord utters is from the beginning. His words are true. They will outlast the world. In fulfilment of all prophecy. How much the clearer is this is the psalm from which the prophecy is taken – God reduces Israel to nothing for they have forgotten His wonders and deeds, only to start again with the remnant.
To those, on the contrary, who continually recall, rather reexamine, the Revelation of God will ever grant them what is needed to persevere, even to develop, and to make the best of the situation in which find themselves. Such is the example of the saints which is presented to us by the Church, that they should ever serve as an encouragement, an example, that no matter what the situation we may find ourselves in it is possible to come to God. But not just that it is possible, but also the manner in which they did so; they have come from many different backgrounds and struggles but have ever kept before them the one treasure which lasts.
But no longer do we have only the words of God in His testimonies, we have the Word Himself, eternally begotten of the Father, given unto us as a ransom for our sins. All other words He utters are only to communicate His very Person to us who cannot grasp the ineffable mystery which is the Word. He is the very content of Revelation as well as the Revealer, which is immutable. He Reveals all things precisely as they are, such that no deception is possible. From this all things find their place in the life of the Church through Scripture and Tradition. A Tradition which is witnessed by the testimony of the saints of God and the magisterium of the Church. Nothing – no person, no power – can ever turn aside from this same Tradition.
This is far from saying that Tradition is immutable. It embraces many things of human origin that from time to time need correcting, but always within the unchanging doctrinal framework of the Church. We can, nonetheless, deepen our understanding of what is true, giving us a greater insight into the mystery of God. But this can never deny, contradict, or exclude anything which is part of the Deposit of the Faith. For the aspects of modern life which find no direct parallel with what is found in history, nonetheless, Tradition holds principles for how to treat them within the current situation. Never can we simply return to an earlier epoch pretending that subsequent events have not happened, but we can learn from our fathers’ mistakes, and their successes.
Right Doctrine, moreover, should reassure us for God has more than paid back all the evil of our sins, washing us whiter than snow in the Blood of the one unblemished sacrifice. We must, nonetheless, partake of this sacrifice, given to us sacramentally on the Atlar, with pure heart and true intent. Partaking of Christ’s saving act in such a manner, it is no longer I Who live but Christ Who lives in me. It is no longer the sinful man before God who appears before the dread judgement seat of God, but a coheir of the sole Begotten raised into Him through sharing in His Passion sacramentally. What suffering can compare to the glory that is given to one who is so exalted before the Father for all eternity?
Satiating on the bread of angels, on the other hand, with a heart centred on self-aggrandisement, recalling not His holy deeds, nor the demands of justice, lowers a man to the very depths of sin and eventually to hell. For this is the outcome of any attempt to oppose God, to change His Revelation substituting man-made morality for that which is from the beginning. Time and again have empires, dictatorships and human standards fallen as the Cross of Christ is raised anew over all creation. Or rather, that the mask over the Cross is once again taken down, allowing its glory to be seen.
It matters not that at this time the bombardment of secularism and worldly standards inimical to the Cross are now being proclaimed, even by senior prelates: the victory of Christ can never be undone. The great tree grown from the mustard seed shall never fall, even if various dead branches are cutting themselves off from Christ. Stand firm in Christ, for then we shall join Him in victory.
Let us, therefore, put aside all worldly concerns for these few moments we give back to God in the Liturgy. Through our partaking in this Divine Act, He can transform us and bring forth the full power of His Word active in our persons, bringing forth fruit in every moment of our lives. A fruit which is abundantly witnessed throughout previous generations, for have given themselves to be completely reformed in Him so as to truly live out their state in life. Let us allow the Sacred Liturgy to purify us of all that prevents us living our vocation to its full extent. +
+ In the face of contemporary positivistic rhetoric about increasing inclusivity, dialogue, diversity, consultation and openness in the Church, the Word of God addressed to us in the Sacred Liturgy this morning confronts us with the stark realities of good and evil, of final reckoning and judgement. One can hardly imagine the proponents of so-called synodality speaking of “enemies” as does this morning’s Gospel—the language would be considered too negative—but the fact is that the Word of God does. “An enemy has done this,” we are told of the weeds sown amongst the wheat.
At matins this morning Saint Augustine, preaching on this Gospel passage, taught us that “when those placed at the head of the Church acted too negligently…the devil came and sowed in seed those whom the Lord had termed ‘wicked children’”—that is, heretics—people who obstinately deny the truths of the Catholic faith, amidst the good wheat of faithful Catholics. Saint Augustine should know something about this because for a time he himself espoused the Manichean heresy!
And of course, St Augustine is right. When shepherds, rather than tending their flock and teaching them the sound and saving doctrine of Christ and watching over them lest the wolves attack, invest their energies in rhetoric and self-serving discussion at round tables, the eternal enemy—the devil—can and will march through untended gates and sow whatever evil he can. He no longer has need of a Trojan horse: he may ride in triumphantly, secure in the knowledge that the shepherds are absent, absorbed in affairs that are not their primary God-given duty.
“An enemy has done this.” These words remind us that Christ and His Church are opposed on many fronts, and above all by the Eternal Enemy, the devil. We are fools to forget this. We are irresponsible to ignore it. For the essence of Christianity, the very reason that Our Lord became man and suffered and died was definitively to conquer sin and evil so that eternally we might share in that triumph and in the glory of His resurrection from the dead. Salvation and perdition are realities. Heaven or hell is our eternal destination. Christ saves and promises eternal life. The Eternal Enemy—the devil—seeks to deprive us of Christ’s salvation and corrupt the grace of Baptism we have received by leaving us damned in the downward spiral of seeking only our own self-serving will.
Certainly, the Church’s pastors, most particularly the Successors of the Apostles, must be ever watchful to protect their flocks against the heresies and ideologies of our day that grow up all too frequently. So too, the lay faithful and even the lower clergy and monks and religious have the right and duty to protest their emergence, even more so when those placed at the head of the Church are negligent. Evil is evil and it must be identified for what it is. It must be excluded. The door must be firmly closed in its face. Having the devil sitting at a table does not contribute to the development of legitimate diversity, for dialoguing with the devil is already to do his work. We must prevent the Enemy’s empty works and refute his false promises, not embrace him.
Our monasteries, our families, our parishes, our homes, our schools and our businesses must all be safe places wherein the good seed sown in our souls in Baptism, strengthened by Confirmation, nurtured by the worthy reception of Holy Communion and augmented by the Sacraments of Matrimony or Holy Orders and graced by monastic or religious profession, can grow to maturity and bear much fruit safe from the attacks of the Enemy. Those responsible for these fields must watch over them carefully lest they become infested by diabolic weeds.
So, too, we must be on our guard personally. The weeds of vice are all too quick to take root and grow in our own souls whenever we leave them untended. How many lives are ruined, how many souls are lost to the fires of hell because a small vice once took root and grew to dominate and destroy everything else? Let us thwart the Enemy by regularly examining our consciences, by having frequent recourse to the cleansing mercy of the Sacrament of Confession. Let us not hesitate to admit our sins, for such humility unlocks the chains by which the devil seeks to bind us. Forgiveness and healing are available if we but ask—but we must first recognise our need for them.
The Gospel teaches us that at times Almighty God tolerates the weeds sewn by the enemy to grow amongst the wheat lest some of the harvest be endangered by rooting them out. We know only too well that the world and even the Church is a mixture of good and evil, and we must tolerate and suffer this at times. But the Gospel also teaches us that the time of harvest shall come. And on that day the rule will be: “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn,” the Word of God informs us.
Good and evil, judgement, and an eternity in heaven or in hell are realities. Our moral choices today and tomorrow will determine where we find ourselves in respect of them. If our past moral choices have been evil, let us repent and do penance whilst there is still time so to do. And, as we now participate anew in the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross renewed at this altar, let us seek with ever greater fervour the grace necessary to persevere in the life of virtue, and to be ever ready and able to resist the Enemy in no matter what disguise he confronts us. +
+ It is easy to say that God did many wonderful things in the times of the prophets and patriarchs but no longer acts like that. Is this not the attitude of the crowds surrounding the dead child Our Lord was about to raise from the dead. They go so far as to mock God when they see Him. Soon, however, that mocking is brought back onto their own heads as Jesus leads the girl out alive and well. In contrast, the ruler who came to ask of Jesus that his daughter be raised acted in full faith. He knew exactly Who he was approaching. He does nothing before adoring Jesus – an act which is reserved for God. He addresses Him Lord, a divine title. He asks, confident in the response.
It is, moreover, often much harder to see exactly what He is doing in our age bristling with so much empty activity and noise. Everything is scrutinised under a rationalistic microscope hiding under our pride the acts of providence. A pride, a self-reliance, which has also dulled our creative participation in Him through art. No longer is man capable of building a great gothic cathedral – despite all his technology.
Reason, it is often said, replaces faith. But this is not so. Faith perfects reason. By faith we accept the testimony of God – Who alone knows everything exactly as it is. By reason we learn about the same things, with the possibility of mistakes, through our own means. Neither can be considered a bad thing. Scrutiny of every detail is not in itself a bad thing. And more, love of God is exactly what drives us to scrutinise all His creation that we may come to know Him better. This is the working maxim of the scholastics and medieval scientists. Keeping God in the foreground as the reason for all science, we are far less likely to abuse it unto our own destruction. Yet no science can ever fully reveal to us the fulness of God’s power and majesty. They can only show unto us the grandness of His creation – which is ever entirely subject to Him. The great cathedrals of our heritage provide a far superior image of the His power and majesty through their brilliance and splendour of art.
Howsoever much our theoretical knowledge of the world develops and illuminates the creative majesty of God we must never allow the sense of wonder to escape us. Anything which teaches us more of God, in Himself or in His creation, cannot fail to humble us. It illumines all the more the love that God has that He should make everything in such splendour, without failing to know every hair on our heads. Yes, He will even intervene, when He deems it apposite, and always to move man to Himself, that he may be saved on the final day. For this is His will – that we should be converted and live.
God’s close attention to each detail is demonstrated the more clearly in the miracle of the woman troubled by a blood issue. The woman, full of faith, seeks the miracle in a private manner – Our Lord in contrast brings her healing into full public light. He does not, however, break from discretion. God does nothing accidentally, nor without exact knowledge. We then must not only be aware of what He is doing for us, but actively seek it out. We must never allow ourselves to be blinded from the guiding hand of His Providence.
Only in the humility of silence, of prayer, can we listen to that small still voice in which the Lord speaks. A silence which is free not only from talk but also from vain web browsing, instant availability by phone, and other background noises stifling the voice of God. Prayer comes not so much from the lips but rather the heart, which imbibes us with the words of Scripture – especially the Psalms and Canticles the Church has always prayed with. In such a manner we are emptied of our empty curiosities and vain desires, allowing God to fill our hearts. There is then no space left for the mere routine, but a true joy in doing what is good and holy – even if it appears as if a routine.
Such a joy in doing what is good and holy, is nothing other than the full awareness of the presence of God. It is a joy which physical suffering cannot break, for God is all the more intensely with us in times of trial. Knowing God’s personal and loving goodness during these trials must fill us with a courage for it only in Him, and through His grace, that we can overcome the world and the trials it sends to us.
With eternity every before our eyes, our temporality takes its natural place. Adoration of God takes an easy and prominent place in life, following His promptings for each hour with ease. It is in the Sacred Liturgy and especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, when He is truly present before us on the Altar that we are revivified in our awareness of the presence of God. As we kneel before Him at the moment of the Consecration let us be overcome anew with awe at this act of God coming before us in the perfect and incomparable self-gift. Let us be ever fortified to guard the silence of heart in which He can speak to us through the liturgical texts of this Mass. +
We are pleased to be able to offer for sale
a pall for use in covering the chalice at Holy Mass
made exclusively for the monastery using its 'pax inter spinas' design.
Nous sommes heureux de proposer à la vente
une pale qui est utilisée pour couvrir le calice durant la Sainte Messe
réalisée exclusivement pour le monastère en utilisant notre modèle de "pax inter spinas".
Made of white linen, the pall is 17cm x 17cm, rigid,
and embroidered in a gold coloured thread.
An ideal gift for monasteries or convents,
or for priests with a monastic connection (oblates, etc.)
it is on sale at 95,00 euro per pall, plus shipping.
It may be ordered using the button below, or by contacting us.
La pale est faire d'un carré de lin blanc rigide de 17cm de côté.
La broderie est faite en fil doré.
Cadeau idéal pour un monastère, couvent
ou encore pour des prêtres ayant un lien avec un monastère (par exemple un oblat),
le prix d'achat est de 95€ par pale plus frais de transport.
Pour commander, il suffit de cliquer sur le bouton ci-dessous
ou de nous contacter directement.
+ As we know only too well, papal enthusiasms in respect of the Sacred Liturgy can be quite dangerous (!) however the introduction of the feast of Christ the King just under one hundred years ago by Pope Pius XI in the face of rising secularism and nationalism seems to have been an apposite enrichment of the Church’s liturgical life. Where Kings once knelt in adoration before the Sacred Host at Mass, secularism now reigns supreme. And the liberty which is the boast of many newer nations has all too often been hijacked to become secularism’s slave. Christ and His Truth have little place—if they are tolerated at all. His reign has never been known.
Pius XI most probably hoped and prayed that his new feast would outlive its necessity; it seems, however, that a century later in a world that is ever-increasingly secularist and syncretist we have even more need of celebrating and bearing witness to the temporal Kingship of Christ. If Christ has any place at all today, it is merely cultural or philosophical. We who worship Him as the definitive revelation of God in human history are tolerated—so long as we do not interfere with the dogmas with which secularism enslaves public life.
In the liturgical reform following the most recent Ecumenical Council this feast was given a more eschatological emphasis (as well as a change of date and new liturgical texts). Certainly, Christ is King of the whole universe, and as the Creed teaches us: He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead, and of His Kingdom there will be no end. But Advent is the traditional season in which to contemplate this reality. Today, let us stay with Pius XI’s concern for the reign of Christ as King in the world in which we live.
“I have come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth hears my voice,” Our Lord cries out to us in the Holy Gospel of this Mass. The Truth. In these two small words we come face to face with the problem, the crisis, the destruction or the salvation of every man and woman ever born, of every society or kingdom ever established—or that ever shall be!
Do I conform myself in all my actions, in all the details of my personal, social and professional life to the Truth? Is the society in which we live and participate founded on the Truth? Or are we expedient consumerists, getting away with as much as we can without getting into too much trouble—personally or collectively—giving tacit consent to the reigning relativism?
Most famously Pontius Pilate rebuked Our Lord with the question: “What is truth?” (Jn 18:38) prefiguring like a patron the relativism of so many in history, including almost every ruler in our own day. Truth? How can we know what is true, let alone base our lives and our societies upon it? Pilate’s problem was that he could not see the Truth literally standing before his very eyes, sinking instead into the all-pervasive quicksand of cheap subjective relativism that swallows up so many of our contemporaries. For the question is not “What is truth?” but “Who is the Truth revealed by God in history?” The answer, of course, is Jesus Christ “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (Jn. 14:6)
If we can recognise and grasp this objective and indeed cosmic reality, we can be saved from this quicksand. Indeed, as Saint Paul teaches us in the Epistle of this Holy Mass we can be saved from much more, because in granting us such light Almighty God has “delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His Beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
To be delivered from the dominion of darkness, in ourselves from the evil we have brought to pass through our sins—this is salvation. To be delivered in our societies from the prevailing values, where men and women created in the image and likeness of God are all too often considered as of little more worth than mere social or economic units that are valued only if they do not cause inconvenience or return a profit, and to establish societies based on the truth of Christ where the weakest and most frail of our brothers and sisters, particularly those most troubled and those whose vulnerability at the beginning and end of life is acute, are respected and protected—this is the reign of Christ the King. To recall societies (and the Church!) to the living of that the supreme law of any society, kingdom or ecclesiastical structure or initiative worthy of the name—the conversion and salvation of souls—and not their ideological control or economic exploitation or abuse: this is to establish the reign of Christ the King, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
We may well balk at even the possibility of achieving such a transformation: the world is too far gone; it has its own powerful dynamic. Let us not forget, however, that what once was Christendom arose because Christ’s apostles were His fearless witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Our fidelity to the Truth of His teaching bears powerful witness in our spiritually arid environment. A set of ancient monastic buildings given their authentic life once again, a crucifix worn or displayed with devotion, a business that respects the sanctity of the Lord’s day, men and women who refuse to cooperate with and who correct personal or corporate evil when they encounter it in others, in the workplace or in society—all of these things build up the Kingdom of Christ in our day, and it is our duty and privilege so to do.
In demanding the grace necessary in this Holy Mass thus to persevere, let us also rejoice in the grace and privilege to belong to Christ’s Kingdom, and thereby of being privileged cooperators in His reign of Truth. +
Thinking of a monastic vocation? Please read:
Am I called to be a monk?