Fr. Raphael Newsletter : Fall 2018

Discussion in 'Benedictine Monastery of St. Joseph' started by Admin, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator


    Monasterio San José

    Fall 2018
    Newsletter for our Friends and Benefactors by Father Raphael, OSB


    Dear friends and benefactors:

    We are writing to confirm that, as we have promised, we have offered the spiritual relief of all the Masses of November for the lists of your faithful departed. May God grant unto them eternal rest!

    As Christmas is approaching, we also ask the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph to bestow upon you their own sublime spiritual gifts so that you really have a most blessed Christmas. Those are our wishes for you on this Christmas.

    We want also to share with you another great joy! We are going to acquire a new property in Colombia which is a most fitting place for a religious house. It is located in a place called Bridge to Heaven (Puente al Cielo). Many vocations have recently sprung forth on this side of the world and we want to start training them in their own country for the monastic life. There will be a place for monks and, 2 miles away, also a place for nuns. We decided to start building these Benedictine houses because the monastic vocations started knocking on the door of our monastery. We need to start building our monasteries wherever men and women are answering God’s call to the religious life, especially in those places where our oblates can give their help and support.

    The difficulties of traveling, of getting visas for foreign countries, and the language and culture barriers push us to work in this direction. More than 80 oblates around the world are helping us make this happen. The company, collaboration, and prayer life of our oblates make these new foundations possible. We hope to soon have a similar place in the USA to start forming future monks and nuns in North America. Unfortunately, as far as Mexico is concerned, the political and social situation is becoming very difficult; communism is taking over the country. This situation is prompting us to think of other options.

    Along with the apostasy of the human element of the Church for more than 50 years, there has appeared a real temptation among Catholics to join sedevacantism, which is an overly-simplistic and very dangerous position which is clearly and completely wrong. We shall deal with this subject in future bulletins.

    At this time, we treat another urgent topic: When there is a conflict between our standing strong for our Holy Faith, and receiving the Sacraments, our Holy Faith takes precedence over receiving the Sacraments.

    When we refuse to assist at Mass because its assistance involves compromise against the Faith, God will bless us, and He will certainly sanctify us through other means. He will not abandon us. God is merely changing His means of sanctifying us to fit the circumstances into which He lovingly puts us.

    To those whom God Wills to be without Sacraments for a time, He gives also the incalculably precious gift of a great increase in Faith and a much greater and enduring thirst for Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.

    First, we must remember that to have the Faith is more important than to have the Sacraments. Without the Faith it is impossible to please God; it is impossible to be saved. But if God wills that we do not have Sacraments so often, then we should remind ourselves that we could still be saved, through assiduous prayer, and by strong Faith, Hope, and Charity. This is true even if we do not have sacraments for a long time.

    The lack of Masses is accentuated because many “traditional” priests and bishops are on the road of liberal compromise with errors. The reality of the Will of God is that we must stay away from the Masses of those groups and liberal priests. They are compromising the Faith, as is clear from the following teaching of the apostles and doctors of the Church:

    And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.​

    2 Thessalonians, 3:6.

    Here, St. Paul charges us to avoid those who do not carefully hold all of Tradition.

    Dear faithful, please understand that when we put parish unity (or access to the sacraments) before uncompromising Faith and unadulterated Morals, we are putting unity before Christ; we are placing other interests ahead of the Truth (which is Christ).

    Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them.

    Romans, 16:17-18.
    He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not up his cross and followeth Me is not worthy of Me.
    St. Matthew, 10:32-38.
    For all the sacraments of Christ, if not combined with the Charity which belongs to the unity of Christ [i.e., the unity of the Catholic Church], are possessed not unto salvation, but unto judgment.​

    St. Augustine, ad Petilian, the Donatist, Bk. III, ch.40, ¶46 (bracketed words added).
    Let us flee, lest even the bathhouse fall, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.

    St. Irenaeus.
    It is, then, an undeniable principle that we must never compromise the Faith or adulterate Morals in order to obtain the sacraments.​

    We must even consider it a compromise against the Faith when we associate with or support a liberal priest or compromise group. Outside the danger of death, we sin by receiving the sacraments from them.

    For the faithful, the door to the sacraments is the uncompromising Faith. For the priest, the door to the flock is also the uncompromising Faith. If a given priest does not bring the Faith in its integrity, he does not have the right to enter and feed the flock: “Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep”. St John, 10:1.

    “Actions speak louder than words.” If uncompromising Faith and unadulterated Morals were really our highest priority, then we would not maintain a public silence about error. We would boldly fight every attack on the Truth even if we have to do so against our own fathers or friends.

    These are Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s words: “Some people are always admiring the grass in the neighbor’s field. Instead of looking to their friends, to the Church’s defenders, to those fighting on the battlefield, they look to our enemies on the other side. ‘After all, we must be charitable, we must be kind,

    we must not be divisive, after all, they are celebrating the Tridentine Mass, they are not as bad as everyone says’ — but they are betraying us — betraying us! They are shaking hands with the Church’s destroyers. They are shaking hands with people holding modernist and liberal ideas condemned by the Church. So they are doing the devil’s work.”

    When our Faith is attacked, it increases. Therefore, in dangers, our Faith is secure; in security, our Faith is in danger.​

    Catena Aurea on St. Matthew’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, editor, quoting St. Hilary of Poitiers, ch.20, §5.

    If we constantly fight for Christ against error, regardless of what it costs us, then we will keep our Faith and strengthen it. We shall please Our Lord at the same time, and shall be fostering our union of love with Him unto life everlasting. But if we decide to take the road of compromise with error or of treacherous silence in the face of error, then we shall not be doing the will of God; we shall not be worthy of Our Lord.

    Besides, we may lose the Faith and with it, everything else. Betraying the Faith for the sacraments would bring us to Hell. Sacrificing the benefit of the sacraments for the Faith’s sake, like St Hermenegild did, shall bring to us great merits, the joy of pleasing God, the strengthening of our Faith and, by perseverance, we will come to life everlasting. AMEN.

    In the poverty of the Child Jesus, wishing you a merry Christmas. Fr Raphael and the monks of San José Monastery

  2. Admin

    Admin Administrator


    Saint Hermenegild, Martyr
    from the Liturgical Year, 1870

    It is through a Martyr's palm-branch that we must today see the Paschal Mystery. Hermenegild, a young Visigoth Prince, is put to death by his heretical father, because he courageously refused to receive his Easter Communion from an Arian Bishop. The Martyr knew that the Eucharist is the sacred symbol of Catholic unity; and that we are not allowed to approach the Holy Table in company with them that are not in the true Church. A sacrilegious consecration gives heretics the real possession of the Divine Mystery, if the priestly character be in him who dares to offer Sacrifice to the God whom he blasphemes; but the Catholic, who knows that he may not so much as pray with heretics, shudders at the sight of the profanation, and would rather die than share, by his presence, in insulting our Redeemer in that very Sacrifice and Sacrament, which were instituted that we might all be made one in God.

    The blood of the Martyr produced its fruit: Spain threw off the chains of heresy that had enslaved her, and a Council, held at Toledo, completed the work of conversion begun by Hermenegild's sacrifice. There are very few instances recorded in history of a whole Nation rising up in a mass to abjure heresy; but Spain did it, for she seems to be a country on which heaven lavishes exceptional blessings. Shortly after this she was put through the ordeal of the Saracen invasion; she triumphed here again by the bravery of her children; and ever since then, her Faith has been so staunch and so pure, as to merit for her the proud title of The Catholic Kingdom.

    St. Gregory the Great, a contemporary of St. Hermenegild, has transmitted to us the following account of the martyrdom. The Church has inserted it in her Second Lessons of today's Matins.

    From the book of the Dialogues of Saint Gregory, Pope.

    King Hermenegild, son of Leovigild king of the Visigoths, was converted, from the Arian heresy, to the Catholic faith, by the preaching of the venerable Leander, Bishop of Seville, one of my oldest and dearest friends. His father, who continued in the Arian heresy, did his utmost, both by promises, and threats, to induce him to apostatise. But Hermenegild returned him ever the same answer, that he never could abandon the true faith, after having once known it. The father, in a fit of displeasure, deprived him not only of his right to the throne, but of everything he possessed. And when even this failed to break the energy of his soul, he had him put into close confinement with chains on his neck and hands. Hereupon the youthful king Hermenegild began to despise the earthly, and ardently to long for the heavenly, kingdom. Thus fettered, and wearing a hairshirt, he besought the Omnipotent God to support him. As to the glory of this fleeting world, he nobly looked on it with disdain, the more so as his captivity taught him the nothingness of that which could thus be taken from him.

    It was the Feast of Easter. At an early hour of the night, when all was still, his wicked father sent an Arian Bishop to him, with this message, that if he would receive Communion from his hands, (the Communion of a sacrilegious consecration!) he should be restored to favour. True to his Creator, the man of God gave a merited reproof to the Arian Bishop, and, with holy indignation, rejected his sinful offer; for though his body lay prostrate in chains, his soul stood on ground beyond the reach of tyranny. The Bishop therefore, returned whence he had come. The Arian father raged, and straightway sent his lictors, bidding them repair to the prison of the unflinching Confessor of the Lord, and murder him on the spot. They obeyed; they entered the prison; they cleft his skull with a sword; they took away the life of the body, and slew what he, the slain one, had sworn to count as vile. Miracles soon followed, whereby heaven testified to the true glory of Hermenegild; for during the night, there was heard sweet music nigh to the body of the King and Martyr,--King indeed, because he was a Martyr.

    It is said that lights were seen at the same time burning in the prison. The Faithful were led, by these signs, to revere the body, as being that of a martyr. As to the wicked father, he repented for having imbrued his hands in his son's blood; but his repentance was not unto salvation, inasmuch as, whilst acknowledging the Catholic Faith to be the true one, he had not the courage to embrace it, for he feared the displeasure of his subjects. When in his last sickness, and at the point of death, he commended his son Reccared, a heretic, to the care of Leander the Bishop, whom he had hitherto persecuted, but from whom he now asked, that he would do for this son what he had, by his exhortations, done for Hermenegild. Having made this request, he died, and was succeeded, on the throne, by Reccared, who taking, not his wicked father, but his martyred brother, as his model, he abandoned the impious Arian heresy, and led the whole Visigoth nation to the true Faith. He would not allow any man to serve in his armies, who dared to continue the enemy of the God of hosts by heresy. Neither is it to be wondered at, that being the brother of a Martyr, he should have become a propagator of the true Faith, for it was by Hermenegild's merits that he has succeeded in reconciling so many thousands to the great God of heaven.

    Pope Urban the Eighth composed the two following Hymns for the Feast of the holy Martyr: we unite them under one conclusion.

    Hymn: Regali Solio Fortis Iberiae

    The royal throne of heroic Iberia counts thee, Hermenegild, as one of its glories: so, too, do the Martyrs, whose love of Christ has numbered them among the Blessed of heaven.

    How courageously didst thou keep thy promised allegiance to God! He was dear to thee above all things else; and as to the dangerous pleasures of this world, thou warily didst reject them.

    Thou restrainedst the passions, which excite and foster vice. Thou marchedst onwards, with unfaltering step, to where the path of truth directs.

    Thy father's promises could not seduce thee. The luxuries of a life of ease and wealth, the glitter of diamonds, the prospect of a throne,--they could not allure thee.

    Thou wast not affrighted by the threat of a cruel death, or by the executioner's merciless rage; for the everlasting joys of heaven were dearer to thee than those of time.

    Do thou now kindly protect us from thy heavenly throne, and graciously receive the prayers we present to thee whilst celebrating the palm made thine by martyrdom.

    To the Father, the Lord of all things, be eternal honour! Let the Faithful assembled here in prayer, glorify the Son; let them sing forth endless praise to the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    We offer thee, O brave witness to the truth of holy Faith! our admiration and gratitude. Thy courageous
    death was proof of the love thou hadst for Christ; and thy contempt of earthly honours teaches us to despise
    them. Heir to a throne, a prison was thy abode here below. It was from thy prison that thou ascendedst to
    heaven, wearing on thy brow the laurels of Martyrdom,--a crown far brighter than that which was offered
    thee on condition of thy apostatising from the Faith. Pray now for us: the Church asks it of thee, by inserting
    thy name in the Calendar of her Saints. The Pasch was the day of thy triumph: obtain for us that this may be
    a true Pasch to us,--a real resurrection, which may lead us to the heaven above, where we may enjoy, with
    thee, the sight of our Risen Jesus. Intercede for us, that we may be firm in the Faith, obedient to the teachings
    of holy Church, and enemies to every error and innovation. Protect Spain, thy fatherland, which owes to thy Martyrdom long centuries of loyalty to the true Faith. Pray for her, that she may ever continue to merit her
    glorious title of The Catholic Kingdom.