August 2020 - District Superior's Letter: The Assumption
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
It is with a certain sadness that I am writing this last monthly letter to you, a few days before the grandiose feast of the Assumption. Since its very beginnings, the life of the Society of Saint Pius X has been truly punctuated by Marian feasts. Archbishop Lefebvre wanted the engagements to the Society to take place on December 8, at the feet of the Immaculate. The holy cassock is received on February 2, the sign of our future oblation on the altar. It is on August 15, on the feast of the Assumption that changes of assignment take place, that each one takes up his post in the vineyard of the divine Master, some for a fixed term, others according to the will of the superiors. As we read last Sunday in the Epistle, “all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will”. We are truly only instruments in the hand of God.
Taking up a new position, for many members of our Institute each year on the feast of the Assumption, is significant when we think of this mystery itself.
The Assumption is not only the fact of the going up to Heaven of the Blessed Virgin in body and soul. It is also her crowning, therefore her taking possession of the throne prepared for all eternity, “before the creation of the world”. For the Mother of God, this throne is above the nine choirs of Angels and all the myriad of saints. This august Virgin , by her privilege of having given the Saviour His human body, became “a relative of God”, as Rev. Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange explains in his treatise on Mariology.
This throne, this degree of glory, of the beatific vision, corresponds, for the Blessed Virgin - as it will be for us - to her degree of charity at the end of her life. Consequently, everything in the life of the Blessed Virgin was disposed to make her merit ceaselessly an increase in charity in order to arrive at what Saint Paul calls, “the measure of the perfect stature of Christ” for her.
And this is one aspect of this mystery that we can all imitate. Divine Providence, has prepared a place in Heaven for us too. God disposes of everything in our lives so that we may reach at the moment of our death the degree of charity willed by Him, that “measure of the perfect stature of Christ’, which will earn us the place that awaits us in Heaven.
Therefore, when a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X takes up a new post on the feast of the Assumption, this thought of Heaven that awaits us, should becomes a “principle and foundation” of his new apostolate. This also applies to the faithful who receive, by the will of God, a new priest in their lives.
I deeply thank Heaven for these six years spent among all my compatriots, having had the opportunity to see the impressive work of my predecessors since the 1970s. I thank God also the opportunity to strengthen as best I could the “bastions of the Society” that are our priories and schools. Having watered what had been planted before me, I pray that God will give it an abundant increase. I would have liked so much to have stayed with you for a few more years to continue to face, together with my very generous confreres and all of you, these difficult times that we have been living for the last five months which risk getting worse in the coming months.
I can think of no better words to end with than the very words of Our Lord on the eve of leaving His apostles so dear to his Heart. He announced to them difficult times to come, but promised them that He would be with them in their trials. These verses are taken from chapters 15 and 16 of St. John. They also apply to us in 2020.
“Every branch that beareth fruit, (My Father) will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
In this is My Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love.
You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.
These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you.
If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God.
And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor Me.
But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.”
So let us all keep our eyes fixed on Heaven. Our Father who is in heaven is so much more powerful than all those who want to harm us. If we remain in His love, He will draw greater good from all the evils that can come upon us,
May the Good God watch over us. May the Immaculate be always at our side, “now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Fr. Daniel Couture
August 12, 2020