District Superior's Letter: Nov-Dec 2013
Fr. Rostand explains the importance of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius as offered in the SSPX's retreat houses.
St. Louis de Montfort preached missions in the west of France with much perseverance and dedication for decades. He used to finish the Mission with the general consecration of his retreatants to the Incarnate Wisdom by the hands of Our Lady. Eighty years after his death, when the Faith was under attack by the French Revolution and its armies, the children and grandchildren of his retreatants preferred to lose everything rather than lose the Faith. History has preserved their names: the heroes of the Vendee.
A few years after preaching with great success the 5-day Ignatian retreats in Spain and particularly in the region of Barcelona, Fr. Francis de Paule Vallet counted more than 8,000 of his retreatants among the martyrs who shed their blood facing the communist revolution in Spain.
The Chabeuil retreat house, where Fr. Vallet’s spiritual sons preached the retreats after him has received hundreds of Catholics able to recognize and oppose the modernist revolution introduced in the Church in the 1970s. They were the first ones to react and to sacrifice themselves in order to organize chapels and save the Mass. Here lies the explanation of the surprising support that Archbishop Lefebvre received in Switzerland and France.
The times of today are bad. Rumors of war, threat of persecution, destruction of the foundation of civil societies, clear and sad progress of the conciliar revolution in the Church all call for heroism, perhaps martyrdom! To recognize and oppose the revolution in the Church without abandoning the Church and avoiding the traps of the devil requires a wisdom and a fortitude that only God can provide. Faithfulness is a grace and a gift which is never definitively acquired during this life.
The retreats that your SSPX priests offer all around the country are providential means to acquire this spiritual disposition for a combat which surpasses our strength, to wake up a fervor which is slowly dying, to discern what to prioritize under the banner of Christ our King! The times we live in make these retreats a necessity, a duty of prudence and of justice: for us, for your children, for our country, for the Church!
I appeal to all, dear faithful, and in particular to you heads of families and young men, to follow these Spiritual Exercises for the first time, or to return to them.
I challenge all of you to have at least two members of your family following some of these retreats we offer in the next two years... while we still have—for how long?—the freedom and the time to do it!
God wants it!
With my blessing,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand