|Le serment du jeu de paume (The Tennis Court Oath) - sketch by J.-L. David|
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. (Mt v, 13)
Salt is good as long as it preserves its strentgth and sharpness; it seasons meat, it gives as it were a soul to that flesh that is dead; it prevents worms from growing on it, and rot from forming in it.
In the current storm, we should expect from our priests that they be the salt of the earth, men of God, animated by the spirit of Jesus Christ. There is nothing that is as useful as this to souls, or more advantageous to their salvation; because the former have this mission of preserving the latter from the corruption of customs with the teaching of the Gospel, and by example, inspiring in them love and regard for perfection.
And yet, it is quite regrettable for the Society of Saint Pius X and for the souls in our priories to find out, day after day, these inconvenient declarations, these calls to disobedience to authority, these states of mind displayed on the net... What a scandal for the faithful!
While it is legitimate to appraise the situation of the Society and of its position in the Church, it seems important to me to recall that this text should be an occasion to display our attachment to the order willed by God and assured by legitimate authority, despite differences of opinion in matters of prudence. Never before has Faith been more invoked in order to justify our temptations of pride and independence, the sign of a resolutely modern spirit!
For salt loses its strength in water, from where it originates... It comes from sea water; but if disposed of there, it dissolves immediately and it is lost. Let us flee from the sea of the world, let us flee from the customs of the world. The amazing sight of division, that of silent but nevertheless real struggles, of political tactics, are unworthy of the Society and of our priories!
Have salt in you, and have peace among you. (Mk ix, 49)
Let us have within ourselves the salt of evangelical wisdom, before sharing it with others. Let us savor the things of heaven ourselves before offering their savor to others.
Let us have within ourselves the salt of mortification: our sacrifices will not at all be pleasing to God unless they come from a perfectly mortified heart.
Let you have within yourselves the salt of discretion. (Lv ii, 13) Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt: that you may know how you ought to answer every man. (Cl iv, 6)
Let us have, finally, the salt of perseverance, and of stability in love for God and neighbor.
It will be divine love, joined with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and the grace of baptism, that will make the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X truly apostolic men, as salt is extracted with the heat of the Sun and the blowing of the wind over the waters of the seas.
Father Renaud de la Motte
[From the July-August issue of Apostol, the newsletter of the priories of Frabrègues and Perpignan (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX). Source: La Porte Latine, via Le Forum Catholique]