Dear Friends and Benefactors,
With the month of January comes the start of a new
calendar year and, of course, our best wishes. I would like to wish you a very
holy new year.
There are many good things one can wish for
—success in life and business, world peace, harmony in the family, good health…
but definitely, the best and most important thing we ought to wish one another
Holiness is what we need most, and is what really
matters in life. To become saints is our goal, indeed it is the reason we have
been created, and the only real and true end of our lives. In our earthly
existence, a preparation for heaven, the sole true and lasting good we should be
longing for is holiness. All the rest is of very little importance, especially
in comparison with this. Even though we may reasonably and legitimately ask for
other good natural gifts in our prayers, they need to remain secondary and
should in fact assist us towards our sanctification.
“Be holy because I am holy,” (Lev. XI, 44)
God tells us. He is asking us to sanctify our lives; to be holy because we are
created by Him. Being created by God we belong to Him, and even more than that,
by baptism we are consecrated to Him.
“Be ye followers of God,” (Eph. V, 1)
commands St. Paul. To be holy, therefore, means to follow God, to submit
ourselves to Him and to obey His will in all aspects of our lives. In everything
that we do, from morning until evening, at all times and in all actions, let us
serve God, love God —by submitting our will to His.
We must realize that our Catholic principles of
life are in opposition with the motto of the modern world which could be
expressed, more or less, as, “Do whatever you like, because God has created
you with a free will! ” Isn’t that what we hear all around us? This attitude
permeates today’s mindset so much so that we Catholics find ourselves influenced
by it. Some are convinced that man is free to think as he likes. It is
considered praiseworthy to be a “free thinker.” Many are deluded in thinking
that as long as you don’t offend or bother others, you are free to do whatever
you want. (“I wouldn’t do such and such myself, but it’s ok if you want to.”)
In today’s libertine lifestyle, freedom no longer has any real relation to
truth, nor to good or evil…
This spirit, this way of thinking, is obviously
opposed to the spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church’s way of
thinking. The Catholic spirit is an attitude of submission —submission to God,
submission to the Church.
We have no choice but to submit our thinking to
reality, to the order of creation. One might say, for instance, that a ball is
square; he can force himself to “think” it, or to believe it, but he is wrong.
He simply refuses to submit his mind to reality. But in truth, we have no other
choice than to submit our intelligence to what is real.
In the supernatural order, it is the same; we
have no choice other than to submit ourselves to God and to accept the
Revelation that He has made of Himself through Our Lord Jesus Christ. We do not,
and cannot, make God whatever we please; on the contrary, we have to submit
ourselves to God’s Revelation. We also need to recognize and to receive the true
Church, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. We have no choice as it is the only
Ark of Salvation.
Furthermore, it is not only our intelligence that
we must resign to the natural and supernatural orders; it is also our will and
our actions. There is no other way to Salvation, to Heaven, than to do the will
of God, and to keep His Commandments.
To summarize, and conclude: the Catholic Church
has always reminded man that - yes, we have been created with a free will, with
the faculty of making choices and therefore of being responsible for our
actions. But we are obliged to use this freedom to do good, as God intends; in
other words, to become saints by doing the will of our Creator and Savior, Our
Lord Jesus Christ, at all times.
This, therefore, is what I wish for you with my
whole heart: that this year may be one of sanctification. May the Blessed Virgin
Mary intercede for us, so that every one of us may be holier when this year ends
than we are now.
With my prayers and blessings, in the Immaculate
Heart of Mary,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand