District Superior's Letter: Sept 2009
On many occasions, in fact in all her apparitions, Our Lady requested that we add penance to our prayers. “Prayer and penance,” she admonished at Rue du Bac (1830), La Salette (1846), Lourdes (1858), Fatima (1917). One after the other, the same message was repeated as a preparation for the enormous Crisis that would shake the world and even the Church...
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
On many occasions, in fact in all her apparitions, Our Lady requested that we add penance to our prayers. “Prayer and penance,” she admonished at Rue du Bac (1830), La Salette (1846), Lourdes (1858), Fatima (1917). One after the other, the same message was repeated as a preparation for the enormous Crisis that would shake the world and even the Church.
We should not be surprised then, that our Superior General Bishop Fellay is encouraging us to join sacrifices to the rosaries which we offer in the new crusade.
It is true, particularly in these days of comfortable living, that we are afraid of the word penance. We don’t mind too much praying—but to do penance, that is more difficult!
Sister Lucy (of Fatima) was often asked what exactly Our Lady meant by penance, so she posed this question to her. Here is the reply that she received from Our Lady on April 20, 1943:
The penance which God now expects is the sacrifice that everyone must make in submitting his life in conformity with the law of God. As mortification, He only wants that our daily chores be simply and honestly accomplished, and that the pains and annoyances thereof be accepted. He desires that souls be clearly directed in this way, because there are many who think that great austerities must be done as penance, while they have neither the strength nor the willpower for it; thus they are discouraged and finally fall into indifference and into sin."
With this instruction in mind, let us try to have this spirit of sacrifice in our daily life. Let us firstly submit our life to the law of God, fighting against the many temptations of this world, avoiding the occasions of sin, cutting ourselves off from the things that lead us into sin. These are the first true penances which we must add to our crusade. Then let us be more dutiful and conscientious in the accomplishment of our daily tasks, especially the unpleasant ones.
Our lives are full of occasions to offer sacrifices—little ones, simple ones, but it is precisely those that we need the most. Isn’t this, in fact, the best way to fight the worldly spirit that seeks only fun and entertainment and worldly pleasures?
Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: “O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Finally, dear faithful, I wish to see the generosity you demonstrate in this new Rosary Crusade help increase our devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I would like therefore, at the end of the Crusade in March of 2010, to renew the consecration of the United States District of the Society of St. Pius X to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I am confident that a public renewal of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart will be a source of many graces of sanctification—for our souls, our families, our priests and priories, our schools, and even for the whole country.
It will be a renewed dedication of all of our works, as well as a consecration of the nation, without presuming to take the place of the civil authorities, who should do it—but, with a sincere desire to see all the blessings of this beloved Immaculate Heart poured into our country and to see that Her triumph comes.
May this renewal, to be done at the conclusion of this Rosary Crusade, re-double our generosity to pray for the Consecration of Russia and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
With my prayers and blessing, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand