December 2021 - Letter to Friends and Benefactors: "Fear Not Little Flock"
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a Kingdom. (Lk. 12, 32)
On Christmas Day, we will adore at the stable in Bethlehem and we will wonder. What a strange spectacle—the expectant Mother of God and Saint Joseph, forced into a winter journey at the whim of Caesar, are denied entry at the inn, and take refuge in a stable! And there, at midnight, in the freezing cold, the son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is born in poverty for our salvation. How is it possible? Why did God allow His only Son to be ruled by the hazard of an emperor’s will and be born in destitution? And why is He going to have him live a hidden life, and then, after but a few years of preaching—during which he will be increasingly attacked by his enemies—be put to death?
Throughout the ages a complaint has been made: why is it that good suffer and the wicked prosper? Surely this is proof that there is no point being good. David said it best:
I was near losing my foothold, felt the ground sink under my steps, such heart-burning had I at seeing the good fortune of sinners that defy his law; for them, never a pang; healthy and sleek their bodies shew. Not for these to share man’s common lot of trouble; the plagues which afflict human kind still pass them by. No wonder if pride clings to them like a necklace, if they flaunt, like fine clothes, their wrong-doing. From those pampered hearts what malice proceeds, what vile schemes are hatched! Ever jeering, ever talking maliciously, throned on high they preach injustice; their clamour reaches heaven, and their false tales win currency on earth. Enviously the men of my own race look on, to see them draining life’s cup to the full; Can God, they ask, be aware of this? Does the most High know of all that passes? Look at these sinners, how they live at peace, how they rise to greatness! Why then, thought I, it is to no purpose that I have kept my heart true, and washed my hands clean in pureness of living; still, all the while, I am plagued for it, and no morning comes but my scourging is renewed.
Does God have any care for those who seek Him? Of course! But why then does He leave them alone? David tried to find out:
I set myself to read the riddle, but it proved a hard search.
The events of life are like an optical illusion. When you look at an optical illusion, it seems that you see nothing but formless details in a confused medley of colours. But as soon as the person who knows the secret shows you how you must look at it, everything changes. All the crooked lines arrange themselves in right order and there emerges a picture with clear and distinct lines and proportions. What then is the point of view from which to consider the things of this life?
I betook myself to God’s sanctuary, and considered, there, what becomes of such men at last. The truth is, thou art making a slippery path for their feet, ready to plunge them in ruin; in a moment they are fallen, in a storm of terrors vanished and gone. And thou, Lord, dost rise up and brush aside all their imaginings, as a waking man his dream.
The point of view to understand the riddle of life and the riddle of history is the point of view of eternity. The purpose of this world and of all of the creatures therein (except man) is man, and the purpose of man is to save his soul. The peace of the wicked, therefore, is a curse. It is the silence of God who no longer works to bring about their salvation. In the end, all their prosperity disappears as a dream, and, in final impenitence, they are condemned to hell. The sufferings of the just are a blessing. They are the sign of conformity to the crucified Saviour.
To keep one’s balance in this world, everything must be seen from the point of view of eternity. Imagine an enemy who invites you to a wonderful meal but who hates you. What good is all his meat if all he has for you in his heart is hatred? Similarly, all the good things of this world are no good if I have not God. If I have all things, and I have not God, I have nothing. If I have God, I have everything. The only real evil is sin. The Government of the world is not a game of chance. Everything has been disposed by God for the salvation of the just and for His glory. If He allows the weeds to grow in the field of wheat, it is because He will separate them in due time. The evil live either so that they may convert or that they, by trying us, will make us stronger.
In the turbulent couple of years that we have had, and no doubt will continue to have, there is the danger for us to see temporal evils as real evils; in fact, “All things work together for good for them that love God.” God’s Providence is infallible.
It is for this reason, at the end of this year of grace 2021, that I invite all faithful Catholics, young and old, to join with their priests on New Years’ Eve to give thanks to God for all things, which come from his hands; not just for the good things, but also for the crosses, for these crosses, even more than the good things, make us like unto Christ. Let us there renew our faith, hope, love and confidence in God, grateful that He has chosen us to live in this time and to be His witnesses. The first part of an hour or longer is for us to come in numbers to pour out our hearts to God privately; the final hour will be a period of public prayer in which we will pray the Rosary, the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Prayer for Grace to do the Will of God, the Prayer for the Preservation of Faith, the Prayer for the Love of God, an Act of Confidence in God, and the other usual ceremonies of Benediction. After the conclusion of Benediction, the Te Deum will be sung to gain the indulgence of the day.
May I thank you for all of the prayers and help you have given your priests this year and wish you and your families a most blessed and peaceful Christmas,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Fr. David Sherry,
Places and times where adoration will take place on December 31st, 2021
Calgary 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Edmonton 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Rocky Mountain House 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Langley 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Nanaimo 9:45 – 11:45 AM
Vernon 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Winnipeg 6:45 – 8:45 PM
Dryden 5:45 – 7:45 PM
New Hamburg 2:00 – 6:30 PM
St. Catharine’s 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Toronto 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Lévis 9 :45 – 11 :45 PM
Saint-Césaire 3:00 – 6:30 PM
Shawinigan 5 :45 – 7 :45 PM
Sherbrooke 3:00 – 6:15 PM
Montréal 3:00 – 5:45 PM
Welwyn 6:45 – 8:45 PM
Prayer for Grace to do the Will of God
(From the Imitation of Christ, iii, 15; v, 3. Indulgence granted by Leo XIII, February 27, 1886.)
Grant me, most kind Jesus, thy grace, that it may abide with me, labour with me, and persevere with me to the end. Grant me ever to desire and to will that which is the more acceptable to Thee, and pleases Thee more dearly. May thy will be mine, and my will ever follow thine, and be in closest accord with it. May it be my one care to will and to be unwilling with Thee, and may I be unable to will or not will anything but what Thou willest or willest not.
Prayer for the Preservation of Faith
(Indulgence granted by Leo XIII, April 11, 1888.)
O My Redeemer, will that terrible moment ever come, when but few Christians will be found animated with a spirit of faith? That moment when, provoked to indignation, Thou wilt remove from us thy protection? The vices, the evil habits of our children, have perhaps irrevocably moved thy justice this very day to vengeance! O Thou who art the author and finisher of our faith, we conjure Thee, in the bitterness of our hearts, humbled and contrite, not to permit the beautiful light of faith to be extinguished in us. Be mindful of thy mercies of old, cast a compassionate regard upon that vine which Thou hast planted with thy right hand, which was bedewed with the sweat of the Apostles, watered with the precious blood of thousands upon thousands of martyrs and the tears of so many generous penitents, and made fruitful by the prayers of so many confessors and innocent virgins. O divine Mediator, have regard for those zealous souls who incessantly raise their hearts to Thee and pray for the maintenance of that most precious treasure, the true Faith. Suspend, O most just God, the decree of our reprobation, turn away thine eyes from our sins, and fix them on the adorable blood, shed upon the Cross as the price of salvation, and daily pleading for it, on our behalf, upon our altars. Oh, preserve us in the true Catholic Roman Faith. Infirmities afflict us, annoyances wear us away, misfortunes oppress us: but preserve to us thy holy faith; for, endowed with this precious gift, we shall willingly bear every sorrow, and nothing can affect our happiness. On the other hand, without this supreme treasure of the faith, our misfortunes will be unspeakable and immense. O good Jesus, author of our faith, keep it pure; keep us safe within the bark of Peter, faithful and obedient to his successor, thy Vicar here on earth, that so the unity of holy Church may be preserved, holiness fostered, the Holy See kept free and protected, and the universal Church extended, to the advantage of souls. O Jesus, author of our faith, humble and convert the enemies of thy Church; bestow on all Kings and Christian Princes, and on all the faithful, peace and true unity; strengthen and maintain all in thy holy service, to the end that we may live by Thee and die in Thee. Ah! my Jesus, author of our faith, in Thee I would live, and in Thee would I die. Amen.
Prayer for the Love of God
(Indulgence granted by Leo XIII, February 6, 1893.)
O My Jesus, Thou well knowest that I love Thee; but I do not love Thee enough: Oh ! make me to love Thee more. O Love which burnest always and is never extinguished, my God, Thou who art Charity itself, kindle in my heart that divine fire which consumes the Saints and transforms them into Thee. Amen.
Act of Confidence in God
(Blessed Claude de la Colombiere)
My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things; therefore, I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee. People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honors; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.
Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervor of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope. “For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope.” This confidence can never be in vain. “No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded.” I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee. “In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded.” I know, alas! I know but too well that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not. While I hope in Thee, I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope.
Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore, I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assaults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies. I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly. “In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.”
 Ps. 72, 1-14 (Knox translation)
 Ib. v. 16
 Ib. v. 16-20
 Rom. 8, 28