04 December 2013

"Charity is what gives form to faith."

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, gave a recent interview on the current state affairs in the Church. Rorate has the English transcript here.

In this interview, Bishop Fellay simply nails it. He gives incredible insight on a wide range of issues. I don't think I disagree with a single word of it. I urge you to read it.

Now, why post at all if one can just read it there? Because there are a couple of parts that sound very Salesian, almost as though the Institute wrote them. By that I mean that there is a Salesian gentleness and joy to these passages, and a real explanation on the inextricable link between liturgy and faith and charity.

First, this, on what the attitude of the laity should be in response to the current confusion:

The attitude of the faithful

First of all, they must keep the faith. This is the primary message, we can say, of Saint Paul; it was also the message for the times of persecution: be firm, state [in Latin], hold on, remain standing, stand firm in the faith. Keeping the faith cannot be merely theoretical. There is such a thing as what I would call “theoretical” faith: the faith of someone who is capable of reciting the Creed, he has learned his catechism, he knows it, he is capable of repeating it, and of course this sort of faith is the beginning; you have to have it, or else you do not have the faith. But this faith does not yet lead to heaven. This is what you have to understand. The faith that Scripture speaks about is the faith that is—to use the technical expression—informed by charity. Saint Paul was speaking about this relation between Faith and Charity when he said to the Corinthians: “If I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,” (which is no small thing, since a faith that can move mountains is not something you see every day!) “and have not charity, I am nothing…. I am only a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal….”

It is not enough to make great professions of faith; it is not enough to attack or condemn errors; many think that they have fulfilled their duty as Christians when they have done this, but that is an error. I am not saying that you should not do it; it is one part, but the faith that Saint Paul and Sacred Scripture speak about is informed faith, in other words, faith imbued with charity. Charity is what gives form to faith. Charity is the love of God and consequently the love of neighbor. Therefore it is about a faith that turns toward this neighbor who is certainly in error and reminds him of the truth, but in such a manner that, thanks to these reminders, the Christian will be able to sow the faith, reestablish someone in the truth, lead this soul toward the truth. Therefore it is not a bitter zeal; on the contrary it is a faith made warm by charity.

The duty of state

What the faithful must do is their duty in their state in life. To keep the faith, a faith properly imbued with charity, profoundly anchored in charity, which will enable them to avoid discouragement, bitter zeal and spite, and instead to experience joy, the Christian joy that consists of knowing that God loves us so much that He is ready to live with us, to live in us through grace. This sheds light on everything that happens, and gives a joy that makes us forget problems and puts them in their place—problems that certainly can be serious. But what are they in comparison with the Heaven that is won precisely through these trials? These trials are prepared, arranged by the Good Lord, not so as to make us fall but so as to make us win. God goes so far as to live in us, as Saint Paul says: “And I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me!” That is so beautiful! The Christian is a tabernacle of the Holy Trinity, a temple of God, a living temple!

Now, am I alone in thinking that this is a wonderful program of putting Pope Francis' call to spread the joy of the Gospel?

And then, this on the Mass:

Restoring the Church through the Mass

If we want a restoration of the Church, and certainly we do want it, that is where we must go. To the source, and the source is the Mass. Not just any liturgy, but rather, I mean to say, an extremely holy liturgy. One that is holy to an unimaginable degree. One that has an extraordinary sanctity that was truly forged by the Holy Ghost over the centuries, composed by the holy popes themselves, and therefore having an extraordinary depth. There is absolutely no comparison between the New Mass and that Mass. They really are two different worlds and, I was about to say, Christians who are in the least sensitive to grace realize it very quickly. Very quickly. Alas, today, we observe that many people do not even see it any more! But for me it is obvious that the restoration of the Church must start there. Therefore that is why I am profoundly indebted to Pope Benedict XVI for having reinstated the Mass. That was of capital importance. It is of capital importance.

Finally, on a subject dear to me, the necessary triumph of Our Lady:

The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” This is an absolute statement; nothing about it is conditioned by what happened before. And it is truly a statement that elicits hope and establishes it; it is a rock. Obviously, since it seems right that this triumph is connected with the consecration (of Russia), we are asking for the consecration; that is altogether normal. How long will we have to wait to see it done as it was requested, or will the Good Lord, once again, be content with less? We don’t know. What we do know is that in the end there will be this triumph. And therefore this is a certitude. We will not speak about a certitude of faith, because this is not a question of faith; it is a word given by the Blessed Virgin, and so we know very well what her word is worth! That is all.

I have usually been impressed by Bishop Fellay. This time he really outdoes himself.


Sacerdos95 said...

I listened to it in French without sub-titles and it's a lot better than the translation....although that in itself is true to the French. I was verily impressed and I am not SSPX but sympathetic. Mgr. Fellay is smart and sees the situation clearly...although I think he was much kinder to Pope Francis than I would have been. I pray for him everyday as well as for the Pope. He could be a very positive force when things completely unravel...

Anonymous said...

The humility of His Excellency Bishop Fellay is overwhelming. The love of God and the love of our holy Church and ultimately 'saving souls' is in the heart of our dear Bishop. May he be blessed with courage, May he persevere, for he is not alone..........All of Heaven, together with the faithful in four corners of the earth, are praying asking God and His Mother for tender loving care.........offering All for the Glory of God, for the Glory of the Holy Catholic Church!

It is truly the work of the Holy Ghost and God's Holy Will, to REJOYCE...........it is 'the hour' of working in God's devastated Vineyard, awakening from lethargy those who are asleep, those who are lukewarm, those who are ignorant. It's a time to hear the sound of the ringing bells from Catholic Churches, time for good harvest, time to gather the good fruits, time to pull out some weeds, time in the making of new saints, even martyrs, time to rebuild God's Holy Church and Restore All in Christ!

May Christ the King, Bless All Soldiers of Christ!

Long-Skirts said...

When our son received his Minor Orders at the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary a few years ago in Winona, MN, I happened to be making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and saw His Excellancy praying before Our Lord and this is what I wrote...


Freezing dark
Wrapped gray chapel
In a foggy-cold.

But warm inside
Yellow candles spark
In the brilliance
Of the Monstrance bold.

A distinctive nature
Knelt in prayer
A Bishop cast
In Our Lord’s own mold.

He’d never admit –
Would never dare –
“Just pray for me.”
He’d scold.

But this is a man
A true Catholic Shepherd
An Alter Christus
To behold.

And he will not hunt you
Like a devouring leopard -
But lure
With his Fisherman’s Gold!

Anonymous said...

Hard to take anything this outsider says seriously when he says such things about our Supreme Pontiff: "The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse."

Jeanne Holler said...

Bishop Fellay is a BRIGHT light in the darkness and I have heard many of his sermons ...they are all the TRUTH proclaimed with love and straight to the heart.
I will go and read your suggested recent sermmon by Bishop Fellay...what I have read so far is beautiful. God Bless Bishop Fellay ....

Strongheart said...

Bishop Fellay is an holy man. I was Lucky to listen to it in French, but was reading the translation at the same time, and found it very adequate. I pray Pope Francis and I will add Bishop Fellay in my prayers as well. As I listened, I wished this man will be one day elected pope.

Anonymous said...

Anon......wish you would be more clear and say what is on your mind, when you say.......'hard to take anything THIS OUTSIDER says.....'

...have courage......???

Saint Michael the Archangel, ora pro nobis!

thetimman said...

No further anonymous comments will be posted.

Anonymous said...

God bless His Excellency, one of the few Princes of the Church.