District Superior's Letter: Jan 2009
With the month of January comes the start of a new calendar year and, of course, our best wishes. I would like to wish you a very holy new year. There are many good things one can wish for—success in life and business, world peace, harmony in the family, good health… but definitely, the best and most important thing we ought to wish one another is holiness...
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
With the month of January comes the start of a new calendar year and, of course, our best wishes. I would like to wish you a very holy new year.
There are many good things one can wish for—success in life and business, world peace, harmony in the family, good health… but definitely, the best and most important thing we ought to wish one another is holiness.
Holiness is what we need most, and is what really matters in life. To become saints is our goal, indeed it is the reason we have been created, and the only real and true end of our lives. In our earthly existence, a preparation for heaven, the sole true and lasting good we should be longing for is holiness. All the rest is of very little importance, especially in comparison with this. Even though we may reasonably and legitimately ask for other good natural gifts in our prayers, they need to remain secondary and should in fact assist us towards our sanctification.
“Be holy because I am holy,” (Lev. XI, 44) God tells us. He is asking us to sanctify our lives; to be holy because we are created by Him. Being created by God we belong to Him, and even more than that, by baptism we are consecrated to Him.
“Be ye followers of God,” (Eph. V, 1) commands St. Paul. To be holy, therefore, means to follow God, to submit ourselves to Him and to obey His will in all aspects of our lives. In everything that we do, from morning until evening, at all times and in all actions, let us serve God, love God—by submitting our will to His.
We must realize that our Catholic principles of life are in opposition with the motto of the modern world which could be expressed, more or less, as, “Do whatever you like, because God has created you with a free will! ” Isn’t that what we hear all around us? This attitude permeates today’s mindset so much so that we Catholics find ourselves influenced by it. Some are convinced that man is free to think as he likes. It is considered praiseworthy to be a “free thinker.” Many are deluded in thinking that as long as you don’t offend or bother others, you are free to do whatever you want. (“I wouldn’t do such and such myself, but it’s ok if you want to.”) In today’s libertine lifestyle, freedom no longer has any real relation to truth, nor to good or evil…
This spirit, this way of thinking, is obviously opposed to the spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church’s way of thinking. The Catholic spirit is an attitude of submission—submission to God, submission to the Church.
We have no choice but to submit our thinking to reality, to the order of creation. One might say, for instance, that a ball is square; he can force himself to “think” it, or to believe it, but he is wrong. He simply refuses to submit his mind to reality. But in truth, we have no other choice than to submit our intelligence to what is real.
In the supernatural order, it is the same; we have no choice other than to submit ourselves to God and to accept the Revelation that He has made of Himself through Our Lord Jesus Christ. We do not, and cannot, make God whatever we please; on the contrary, we have to submit ourselves to God’s Revelation. We also need to recognize and to receive the true Church, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. We have no choice as it is the only Ark of Salvation.
Furthermore, it is not only our intelligence that we must resign to the natural and supernatural orders; it is also our will and our actions. There is no other way to Salvation, to Heaven, than to do the will of God, and to keep His Commandments.
To summarize, and conclude: the Catholic Church has always reminded man that—yes, we have been created with a free will, with the faculty of making choices and therefore of being responsible for our actions. But we are obliged to use this freedom to do good, as God intends; in other words, to become saints by doing the will of our Creator and Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ, at all times.
This, therefore, is what I wish for you with my whole heart: that this year may be one of sanctification. May the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us, so that every one of us may be holier when this year ends than we are now.
With my prayers and blessings, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand