16 September 2014

Only a Living Thing is Capable of Swimming against the Current

In honor of this sacerdos magnus, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, his own words at a Mass in St. Louis in thanksgiving for his elevation to the Sacred College in 2011:

Having received new and weightier responsibilities in my priestly vocation, I certainly take courage from the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, especially Saint Peter the Apostle.  I know that I, as a member of the College of Cardinals, am called to assist our Holy Father, in a more intimate and total way, in his apostolic care of the universal Church.  The distinct vesture of the Cardinal, the scarlet biretta and cassock, leave no doubt regarding the meaning of the position to which I have been elevated.  My priestly love of the Church must now become purer and more selfless, in order that, in the words of the Successor of Saint Peter at the imposition of the cardinalatial biretta, I may show myself to be "intrepid, even to the shedding of [my] blood for the building up of the Christian faith, the peace and harmony of the People of God, and the freedom and extension of the Holy Roman Church."  I am called, even more so now, to be a sign of Our Lord's ceaseless and immeasurable love, "to the end," to the very outpouring of His life for us, on Calvary, His sacrifice made ever present for us in the Holy Eucharist we are celebrating in thanksgiving and petition.

...Throughout more than thirty-five years of priestly life and ministry, Our Lord has taught me that the courageous bearing of the burden of His pastoral charity toward His flock brings deep and abiding joy and peace.  Please pray for me that I will never fail to take up the burden of Christ's love with courage.  Considering my new responsibilities, I need the help of your prayers now more than ever.

In a particular way, I ask your prayers that I may imitate always the example of Saint John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester in England during the reign of Henry VIII... On June 22, 1535, Saint John Fisher was beheaded, intrepid in giving himself totally to Our Lord and His Church, even to the outpouring of his blood.

[...]  The Cardinal today is called, in a special way, to assist the Roman Pontiff in announcing all of the truths of the faith, but, in a particular way, the truth regarding the natural moral law to be observed for the good of all in society.  Please continue to pray for me, that I will not fail Our Lord by failing to assist our Holy Father with all my being. ...

A prince of the Church in the truest sense. 

May he continue to remain rooted at the foot of the Cross, with Mary our Mother.  May we all remain rooted there, "disciples Jesus loves".  The righteous anger and heartbreak faithful Catholics feel at the dishonoring of this most loyal, kind, generous, virtuous, compassionate, brave and humble-- truly humble-- shepherd is just, but must lead to intense prayer and sacrifice.  May His Eminence, and all of us, be granted the "deep and abiding joy and peace" of which he spoke.  

God bless him.  God have mercy on his enemies, inside the Church and outside.  

May we all leave sin behind and turn again to our God.  

May we imitate the model of St. John Fisher and his true spiritual son, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for quoting from and linking to this beautiful homily. I continue to pray for Cardinal Burke, and will add St. John Fisher to my prayers for him.