2, Chapter IV
the Occasion of the Profession of Three Sisters of The Society of
Saint Pius X
In the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My dear Sisters
and my dear brethren:
In a few moments,
in accordance with the custom of the Church and in accordance with
Tradition, we are going to bless these religious habits, those crosses,
these medals, these rings, these veils and these crucifixes.
And why all
of this? Why these blessings? Why these religious habits? Would
it not be preferable to abandon these customs which seem no longer
to have any significance in our day? We, therefore, ask the Church
in her Tradition: “Why these blessing? Why these religious habits?
Why these religious objects?” The Church tells us that it is because
these persons who are going to be clothed wish to become religious.
We again ask
the Church: "What is a person who becomes a religious?"
For the answer we open the law of the Church which is called Canon
Law. We find in Canon Law that a religious is a person who pronounces
the three vows of religion: the vows of obedience, of chastity,
and of poverty. All of this seems so formal, so strict. What then
is a person who pronounces these three vows, and what do these three
vows signify that the person who consecrates herself as a religious
abandons henceforth the pleasures of the flesh, abandons all that
money is able to procure for us here on earth, and abandons as well
her own will. Obedience is the vow by which the religious abandons
her will into the hands of her superior. The vow of chastity is
that by which the religious sacrifices the joys of maternity, and
the vow of poverty signifies that the religious despises henceforth
the things, the goods of this world. She does not wish to profit
from all that money legitimately or, alas!, illegitimately can procure
for us here on earth. All of this seems to have a rather negative
aspect, a penitential aspect, an aspect of austerity, of renouncement,
abnegation. Is it this alone that truly makes the religious? Is
there nothing else, no other more elevated motive other than the
simple desire to do penance and to appear in the eyes of the world
as a person who despises the world? Is there not a more profound
motive to pronounce these vows? Yes, indeed! There is a more profound
motive. All the rest would mean nothing, absolutely nothing, if
there were not. It is He, He Who draws the religious to Himself.
You know, there is only one name in heaven and on earth which is
able to attract souls to the point that they consecrate themselves
to Him. It is Our Lord Jesus Christ! There is the key to the mystery
.It is He Who has touched the heart of the religious, of priests,
all Christians. There is only one name here below which has been
given in order to save us, in order to have eternal life; one Person
alone Who has shed His blood in order to save us from our sins:
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
is this Person Who has the privilege of this power to draw souls,
to attract hearts in such a manner that those who wish to become
religious abandon all that gives joy-apparent joy-on earth? Who
is, therefore, Our Lord Jesus Christ? What has He done for us?
If one glances
at history since Our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, one
sees the number of martyrs of all ages, of all conditions, who have
given their blood in order to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, because
they adored Him, because they loved Him, because they obeyed Him.
For His name alone they were ready to shed their blood. So many
martyrs! So many nations who, because of their faith, have been
massacred: because they believed in Our Lord Jesus Christ! So many
vocations! So many monasteries! So many convents which were erected
to enclose those who wished to pass their whole life praying, adoring,
and serving Our Lord Christ! What great generosity! What great charity
this name alone has raised in the entire world.
homes the venerated name of Jesus gives the virtues necessary for
the family, makes a more Christian home - a home where one respects
and honors the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So many souls have
dedicated their entire life to serving the sick-to serving the Mystical
Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ - to serving the suffering in hospitals,
in infirmaries, in leper colonies - wherever there are suffering
members of the Mystical Body of Our Lord there have been generous
souls to minister to these sufferings. Why? Uniquely for those who
are suffering? No! In the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
So many souls
have devoted their lives to teaching the Faith, the catechism, to
the religious education of children, of families. These souls have
spent their lives for Catholic education - for Christian education.
Why? In order to make Our Lord Jesus Christ known. And today, do
not the Epistle and Gospel say the same thing - that is our faith:
we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe, therefore,
that He is God Himself. Per quem omnia facta sunt -by Whom
all things were made - we have been made by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are creatures of Our Lord Jesus Christ and He shed His blood
for us. He came upon earth to sacrifice Himself for us: we then
also wish to sacrifice ourselves for Him. Thus, this is religion;
this is why one becomes a religious.
My dear Sisters,
if you are not attached to Our Lord Jesus Christ during your entire
life, you have no reason to become religious - none! This is why
you are going to receive your habit, in order to manifest Our Lord
Jesus Christ by your religious habit. This is why you are going
to receive your veil, your medal and your crucifix. This is why
you are going to be blessed in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
and mothers of families might say, "It certainly is pleasant
to be a religious. Without a doubt, one separates oneself from a
great number of joys, but also from a great number of difficulties.
Certainly convents and monasteries must be paradise on earth since
it is the Church itself which says, "Ubi Jesus, ibi paradisum-there
where one finds Jesus, one finds paradise." Thus, if Jesus
is in religious communities, paradise is there as well.
Without a doubt,
this perhaps should be the case. But the good Lord does not permit
paradise to exist upon earth. On the contrary .He has promised us
the cross! He has promised us sacrifices in religious communities-even
monasteries. It would be a serious mistake to believe that we could
find on earth a place where we could be as in paradise. Paradise
is reserved until after our death.
course of our life we must carry our cross. Whatever one may be:
Christian spouses, religious, priests- we all must carry
our cross. We cannot find Our Lord Jesus Christ here on earth unless
we find Him with His cross. If we find Him, He will impose His cross
upon us -"Carry thy cross and follow Me." This is what
He tells us: "If thou wish to gain eternal life, carry thy
cross and follow Me." He did not say, "I will give thee
happiness upon earth," but rather He told us, "Thou shalt
have eternal life in heaven but first carry thy cross."
This is why,
my dear Sisters, do not deceive yourselves, you are beginning the
way of the cross, but a way of the cross, as Our Lord said, "My
yoke is sweet and my burden light." Borne with Our Lord Jesus
Christ in following Him, the cross becomes light. Remember that
this cross assimilates us to Our Lord Jesus Christ; it makes us
resemble Our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that by His cross we participate
in the redemption of the world. When our blood must flow in carrying
this cross, our blood will be mixed with that of Our Lord Jesus
Christ and souls will be saved.
the least of the smallest sufferings, are occasions to mix our blood
with that of Our Lord for the redemption of the world, for the redemption
of our souls. Thus, how good it is to be with Our Lord! This is
why the saints and martyrs wished to suffer; they desired the cross.
words of St. Andrew when seeing the cross to which he was going
to be attached-O bona crux! -O good cross! St. Andrew knew
that attached to his cross he would resemble even more Our Lord
Jesus Christ and that he would ascend to heaven. He knew also that
partaking in the sufferings of Our Lord, he would save souls. Thus,
perceiving it from afar, he cried, "0 bona crux!" May
you also be able to say every day of your life, when your crosses
weigh heavily upon your shoulders, "0 bona crux!" They
will further unite you to Our Lord Jesus Christ because they will
make you understand all of His sufferings.
have as a particular patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of
Compassion, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, who had not a single sin,
who was immaculate from her conception, who did not commit any sins
here on earth. If she merited to suffer with her divine Son in such
a way that her heart was pierced with a sword, she who did not deserve
these sufferings-shall we, who deserve to suffer because of our
sins, dare not to imitate and resemble the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Ask your holy
patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of compassion, Our Lady
of Seven Sorrows, to teach you to suffer with Our Lord Jesus Christ
in order that you also will one day share in His glory.
In the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Ghost. Amen.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109