1 July 2008
Of the necessity of hearing the word of God
The Word of God is said to be the food of the soul, because it sustains the life and strength of the soul, as bread does that of the body.
The Fathers of the Church speak of the word of God as the food of the soul. Our Lord himself says “Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God” (Matt. Iv. 4).
The profit to be derived from a sermon is proportioned to the enlightening grace of the Holy Ghost present in the hearts of the preacher and his hearers, this is why the assistance of the holy Ghost is invoked before the sermon. It is God not the preacher who speaks to the heart!
The manner in which the word of God acts upon the soul is by enlightening the understanding and inciting the will to do what is good. In the darkness of this life it shows us the path to heaven, as a lantern enablers the traveler to find his way by night. When St Augustine had attended the sermons of St Ambrose at Milan he said “That man opened my eyes”. The word of God stimulates the will to do what is good. “Are not my words as a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jer. xxiii 29). The word of God banishes sin. “It acts on the soul” says St Jerome, “as a plough on the soil, loosening the hardened surface, rooting up the thistles of vice.”
The word of God kindles the flame of charity in the heart of a man; like fire, it consumes the rust of sin, it promotes the growth of virtue. The preached word has more force and effect than what is read in books, the Sunday sermon is vital for spiritual health.
Just as a man who refuses to take food will surely die, so those who do not hear the word of God, which is the food of the soul, incur spiritual death. In this life we are travelers on the long and dangerous journey from time to eternity, so we shall not reach the end of the journey without the light of God’s word to illumine our mind and guide us to our final end. The word of God is the sun of the soul, without which the spiritual life will droop and fail, as nature would if deprived of the vivifying warmth of the sun.
A Catholic Bishop has a sacred duty to preach the word of God.
In the month of the Precious Blood we renew our plea for Bishop Williamson to take note, please.
We value our holy priests and Bishops, given to us under God through SSPX. How edified we were when the great Archbishop Lefebvre raised to the Episcopal dignity an Englishman. How saddened we are now, after two decades. Why? Because you have increasingly contaminated your words and writings with political emphasis, secular, negative and destructive worldly issues.
Do you not perceive that we are disedified and even scandalized in you and by you?
Do you not see that you are harming SSPX by your conduct?
Cardinal Manning wrote “The Apostles were to be “witnesses” unto Him. Witnesses give evidence they do not argue. St Paul said “Our preaching is not in the persuasive words of mere wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and in power”.
“A Catholic priest comes from Jesus as a herald. He can do what others cannot do – assert and affirm, and leave the Truth to do the work by its own evidence. The surest way to keep error out of men’s minds is to fill them with the Truth. Assertion and affirmation construct and build up, filling the mind with Truth or at least some positive and intelligent statement. Clearness is evidence. Truth looks out upon the human reason. The voice of the Church is positive, dogmatic, affirmative, touching the hearts of men and lifting their souls to Heaven.
Destructive and negative writing and preaching ruins and sweeps away, it leaves a space, a void, a bleakness of soul.”
We enter the precincts of SSPX; wherever in the world we are, craving to both receive the ‘spoken word’ and the bread of eternal life. Oh!
Why do you give us stones instead of bread when you speak?
Why do you imitate the money lenders Our Lord threw from the Temple? Your currency is negativity tainted with the world. You send us away hungry - with bleakness of soul.
Why do newly ordained priests struggle to deliver a true Catholic sermon devoid of secular input?
Why do you presume that our faith is mere superficial sentiment?
Why do you deride the multiplicity of books of devotion?
Why do you promote publication of books about the crisis in the church and the world?
Why do you presume us to be ignorant and dim witted about the iniquitous world in which we live?
Why do you do this to us who are the sheep of your flock?
We are not blind to the matters of Kennedy’s assassination, abortion 9/11 and even Jack the Ripper.
We have no need for you to speak of these things especially as you shout conspiracy at every point and your inappropriate statements are too frequently untrue.
The way you speak of the Holocaust is shaming, who can say how many died but the event itself is a matter of recorded history
Of George Orwell and 1984, all we will say is would Archbishop Lefebvre have wasted precious time on that?
Have we not endured and suffered as long as you? Have our sacrifices been less? Are we not deserving of some respect from you as the faithful of the SSPX?.
We entreat you to start using the weapons of the church and to discard the weapons of the world in this war against the powers of darkness
The writings of Archbishop Lefebvre contain all a priest and bishop need to guide him in his conduct, we quote-
“How many priests have lost all sense of their priesthood and all interest in contemplation and prayer through activism supposedly related to the apostolate”. He also spoke of winning souls for Our Lord by humility, gentleness, discretion and magnanimity”.
We see these virtues in your fellow bishops and especially in Bishop Fellay. Faithful spiritual son of Archbishop Lefebvre, who has our full confidence as Superior General of the Society.
My thanks to people who sent comments after the first submission of this appeal. I anguished for months before putting up this blog and a video on You Tube.
Our Lady pray for us all. From a loyal supporter of SSPX
Well said. Bp Williamson needs to read and heed. And get about the business of saving souls.
# posted by Jerry : 22 March 2008 09:41
I am happy to see that someone is speaking up for the "loyal opposition" to Bishop Williamson's odd political theories. There are many of us who are concerned but so far there has been no one willing to object publically. My only suggestion is to put Bishop Williamson's photo on instead of Bishop Fellay's. I find it confusing to have a different bishop's picture linked to this piece about Bishop Williamson.
# posted by Adrianne : 22 March 2008 11:22
Thank you for the very interesting letter. I hope and pray that Bp Williamson will listen to this public admonition.
# posted by Filius Redemptoris : 26 March 2008 04:50
Thank you on behalf of myself and other traditional Catholics who have hesitated to speak out against a traditional bishop but who see the problem. You say you agonized before writing it and I certainly can understand why but I am sure God will bless you for it. Bishop Williamson is damaging the cause of Catholic tradition with his silly theories inserted in the midst of otherwise solid doctrine. I hope you keep the pressure on. His last letter was very good. Paula
# posted by Paula : 09 April 2008 08:54