For God so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son: that whosoever
believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John 3:16)
As we begin the year 2013, I
would like to wish you a most holy New Year, a year placed under the protection
of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, a year rooted in the Faith, a year during
which we may meditate these words of St. John: For God so loved the world,
as to give His only-begotten Son. It is true that we live in bad times,
meaning difficult times. Apostasy is everywhere; states all over the world have
rejected God, refused to bend to His natural law, even furthering the rebellion
against His natural law. The agenda of the Anti-Christ is moving along, and we
cannot see the end of the tunnel.
Apostasy is also within the
Church Herself: They
have uncrowned Him, as Archbishop Lefebvre himself would
say. Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Divine rights, the unique role of His Church,
the Catholic Church in the salvation of souls: these basic principles of our
Faith have been put under a bushel. Indeed, there are many reasons to
lift up our souls toward Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, and to
remember His words of hope: For Thou art my patience, O Lord: my hope, O
Lord, from my youth (Psalm 70:5).
For what is our hope, or
joy, or crown of glory? Are not you, in the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ at
His coming? For you are our glory and joy (I Thess. 2:19-20). There is,
therefore, no reason to lament, lose peace of soul, or to cease in our pursuit
of holiness. On the contrary, the worse the situation, the more we ought to
thank God for the graces received; the more we ought to offer ourselves to His
Divine Love; the more we ought to keep our supernatural hope, joy and peace.
In this regard, and to help
you, my dear faithful, to keep things in the right perspective, I would like to
encourage you regularly to attend, whenever possible, spiritual retreats,
particularly Ignatian retreats. There we have the royal way to keep our
spiritual life awakened, revived; and therefore there we have a precious help to
keep up our hopes, joy, and peace of mind and soul, even in the worst
A retreat will help you to
deepen your Faith, to approach the circumstances of your life with a greater
understanding of Gods Divine Plan. You will know Our Lord Jesus Christ a little
more, and that is a treasure in itself! Our Lord Himself, in a retreat, will
show you your miseries, your sins, your weaknesses, not to draw you to despair
or discouragement, but, on the contrary, to express and manifest His Mercy - the
Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A retreat will revive in you a more profound
faith, a true thirst for sanctification. It will give you a better sense of what
can be done for the reign of Christ in our world, and you will return to your
daily life, your duties, with a renewed strength.
I cannot find, indeed, the
right words, words strong enough to explain how important and valuable a retreat
is for your spiritual life, and even for maintaining sanity in this world.
Therefore, for the salvation of your souls and for the spiritual good of your
families, I beseech you to make sure to attend a retreat this year. For some
this may take some sacrifices, but the rewards will be beyond compare. Come
to Me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you (Matt.
A good retreat is what I can
wish you best at the beginning of a New Year, for your souls, for your families.
It is a grace from Heaven, which I wish for you with my whole heart.
With my prayers and blessing,
in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand