April 1980 - Superior General's Letter #18

We rejoice that many Sisters are taking the habit and making their professions. They are living examples of the vitality of Tradition. We too must live in a spirit of faith, hope and charity. True progress in the Church cannot occur at the expense of Tradition. Let us continue to fight the good fight of faith.

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Many New Sisters!

Today, at the novitiate of the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X in St. Michel-en-Brenne, eight postulants took the habit and four novices made their profession. Next year eleven novices will make profession. One would have to be frankly prejudiced not to recognize the fervor and profound faith of this community, as well as its radiant joy, so clearly the work of the Holy Ghost. Here one is indeed far from Pentecostalism or the charismatic movement, but simply in line with the great tradition of the religious life in the Catholic Church.

It is important to live in a true spirit of Faith

What is important in the Church today, as yesterday, and tomorrow, is to live from faith, so as to live from grace and thus prepare oneself for eternal life. St. John, in his first epistle tells us, in today’s Mass, “He who was born of God has vanquished the world, and the victory which has vanquished the world is our faith. Who indeed has vanquished the world if not he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Our Faith tells us that Jesus Christ is God

If the above is the resume and substance of our faith, then we must honor Jesus as God in all our Christian life, and thus, as the Church has always taught and practised, we must refuse to make Jesus equivalent to the founders of false religions, which would be blasphemous. We must refuse to compromise with those who deny the divinity of Our Lord, or with any false ecumenism. We must fight against atheism and laicism in order to help Our Lord to reign over families and over society. We must protect the worship of the Church, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacraments instituted by Our Lord, practicing them according to the rites honored by twenty centuries of tradition. Thus we will properly honor Our Lord, and thus be assured of receiving His grace.

The spirit of the Council diminishes the adoration and honor due to God

It is because the novelties which have invaded the Church since the Council diminish the adoration and the honor due to Our Lord, and implicitly throw doubt upon His divinity, that we refuse them. These novelties do not come from the Holy Ghost, nor from His Church, but from those who are imbued with the spirit of Modernism, and with all the errors which convey this spirit, condemned with so much courage and energy by St. Pius X. This holy Pope said to the bishops of France with regard to the Sillon movement: “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but the men of tradition.”

If only the innovators of the Council and those since it would understand this language which is, after all, that of the Church since the time of St. Paul.

Renewal cannot come at the expense of Tradition

One cannot hope for a real renovation of the Church without a return to Tradition. The Church cannot content herself with doubtful sacraments nor with ambiguous teaching. Those who have introduced these doubts and this ambiguity are not disciples of the Church. Whatever their intentions may have been, they in fact worked against the Church. The disastrous results of their industry exceed the worst examinings, and are not lessened by the apparent exceptions of a few regions. When Luther introduced the vernacular into the liturgy, the crowds rushed into the churches. But later?

Many souls recognize the danger of Council's novelties

It is consoling to note that in the Catholic world, the sense of faith of the faithful rejects these novelties and attaches itself to Tradition. It is from this that the true renewal of the Church will come. And it is because these novelties were introduced by a clergy infected with Modernism, that the most urgent and necessary work in the Church is the formation of a profoundly Catholic clergy. We give ourselves to this work with all our heart, aided henceforth by our eighty young priests, and encouraged by the presence of our two hundred and ten major seminarians. The countries of South and Central America give us hope.

There is always hope!; Our Lord will triumph

The Church was saved from Arianism. She will be saved as well from Modernism. Our Lord will triumph, even when, humanly speaking, all seems lost. His ways are not our ways. Would we have chosen the Cross to triumph over Satan, the world and sin?

Our forty houses throughout the world demonstrate that God can bring much out of nothing. God wills to make use of us. He makes use of you, as well, dear friends and benefactors. May God bless you and keep you in His love and peace.

† Marcel Lefebvre

St. Michel-en-Brenne

Low Sunday April 13, 1980