Rorate Caeli

Fontgombault Easter Day Sermon -The Lessons of the Benedict XVI text: Atheistic Globalism enslaves, but Christ Lives!

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 21st, 2019)

Do not be afraid.
Mk 16:6

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Last night, we were close to Christ during His resurrection, and we renewed the promises of our baptism. This morning, in the light of the most solemn of the “Days of the Lord”, and then all along Easter time and the months to come, we will have to keep with braveness these promises, we will have to keep them alive, not because we trust in our own strength, but by drawing this strength from the assistance of the risen Lord. He is our life. He is our hope. How could we, after living the Passion’s sorrowful hours, after sharing the joys of the resurrection, content ourselves with being merely poll Christians, Christians practicing occasionally or according to circumstances, Christians who defend a few muddled values, or more or less murky ideologies? Let us be Christians in truth, namely, authentic disciples of Christ, of the Christ Who is risen, but Who, before resurrecting, died on the Cross.

We have to acknowledge it, it is not an easy task to be a Christian. These last weeks, the media have profusely spoken of the Church, and of certain churchmen. The lynching by the media of the Primate of the Gauls, the archbishop of Lyon, the insults endured by some priests while they were getting about, point out the last of the Beatitudes to us:

Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. (Mt 5:11-12)

The Easter morning joy is preceded by the sufferings of Good Friday. Let us gather in our prayer all those who have government or teaching responsibilities within the Church.

In a recent text, Benedict XVI recalled the collapse of morals between 1960 and 1980, and he made this consideration:

When God does die in a society, it becomes free, we were assured. In reality, the death of God in a society also means the end of freedom, because what dies is the purpose that provides orientation.

If it is easy to muddle up and lose the reference points meant to orientate life, such as those of natural law, it is much harder to find them back. In their responsibilities, the bishops partake in the Son of God’s solicitude for His Church and for all men and women, but also in His loneliness. They need our prayer. May the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love and truth, guide them. The years of errors have taken their toll in victims. There are still victims. Victims of pedophilia, victims of abortion, victims of divorces, victims offered to the gods of money and pleasure. Among the culprits, there are priests. That is true. There have been silences, too many silences. There still are deafening silences...

On this Easter morning, let us pray for all the abuse victims within the Church, and also outside the Church. May Christ restore in them what was destroyed by those who should have built. May these poor find in the Church a loving and caring Mother; may they find again Christ.

In this Easter joy, let us remember without shame the Church’s long past of service in favor of humanity in its weakest states. Who founded orphanages and hospitals? Who is today fighting on behalf of life, from its very first moment in the maternal womb, until its natural end, against the death-bringing laws of many nations? During these holy days, so many priests throughout the world have spent long hours in the confessionals, listening to human misery and forgiving it. The media will not speak of these authentic witnesses of the Gospel, of these disciples of Christ.

Cardinal Robert Sarah recently encouraged young people:

Don’t allow yourselves to be upset by what is being written about cardinals, bishops, and priests; but search the Gospel, and fix your eyes on Christ. He alone is the way, the truth, and the life, and He gives the guarantee that we are not mistaken. Then, love the Church and serve her, no matter what is said about her. She is your mother, pure and immaculate, wrinkle-free and spotless. The stains we see on her face are actually our own stains. Her children are in a crisis, but the Church herself is not. Last, convert, first yourself, then be missionaries. Last, try to lead your friends to Christ. (Interview with Arthur Herlin, I.Media, Rome, April 5th, 2019)

On this Easter morning, Christ casts over all life the light of His resurrection. This light is the first witness of the fruitfulness of an unjust death. God never leaves the last word to evil. This day is truly “the day which the Lord has made.” He has chiseled it as an artist would have done, paying attention to the slightest detail. Nothing was left to chance. A day which is the witness of light’s victory over darkness, a day when all justice is restored, a day when divine Love topples all hatred.

In the tomb, very early in the morning, the angel of the Resurrection, under the guise of a young man clothed in a white robe and sitting on the right, reassures the two women: “Do not be frightened. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the Crucified? He is risen: he is not here.” Something similar had happened during the Christmas night, when the angel had come forward to meet the shepherds:

Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people. For this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. (Lk 2:10-11)

Today, the Savior has overcome death. The promised salvation is achieved. The same words of comfort had also been addressed by the angel Gabriel to Mary during the Annunciation: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.” (Lk 1:30) Whereas the gigantic machinery of atheistic globalism enslaves continents, peoples, and nations, to the gods “Money” and “Pleasure”, we may well be worried. Yet, on this Easter morning, the risen Lord offers us, as well as the world, His peace. “Do not be frightened. My victory is final and irrevocable.” 

Death and life fought a tremendous duel: the Prince of life dies, then He reigns, alive. (Sequence of Easter Victimae Paschali Laudes)

Amen, Alleluia.