Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 29: September 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 29: September 2018

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Procession on August 15th: renewal of King Louis XIII’s vow consecrating France to the Blessed Virgin Mary, after his victory over the Protestants

Protestantism: born of insanity, leading to insanity

Delirium and fanaticism are a natural component of Protestantism.  One could write volumes to prove it, but a quick look at the facts will suffice here.

Luther discussed religion with the Devil

Let’s start with Luther.  What could be more insane than to claim to be taught by the Devil, to glory in it, and to establish a new doctrine based on this rather doubtful (to say the least!) authority?  This is, however, exactly what was done by the founder of Protestantism, Luther himself, who left written accounts of his interview with Satan.

Whether the apparition was real or just a nightmarish hallucination during a long night troubled by fever, it’s impossible to push fanaticism any further than to brag about being instructed by such a teacher.

Luther tells us himself that he had several colloquies with the Devil.  The most noteworthy is the vision – which he recounts very seriously – where Satan assailed Luther with arguments against the Mass celebrated privately, without the faithful.  Luther depicts the scene in vivid colors.  He awakes in the middle of the night, and Satan appears to him:  he sweats, trembles;  his heart is beating terribly.  Nevertheless, a discussion is engaged.  The Devil shows himself to be such a good dialectician that Luther is vanquished, and left with no response.  The Devil’s logic was accompanied by a voice so terrifying that the blood froze in poor Luther’s veins.  He said:

“I then understood how it is that people often die at the dawning of day; it’s because the Devil can kill or suffocate them, and, without going so far as that, when he argues with them, he puts them in such difficulty that he can thus cause their death:  this is what I have often experienced myself.”

A very curious passage indeed!

Zwingli helped by a phantom

Another example of this folly:  the phantom that appeared to Zwingli, the founder of Protestantism in Switzerland.  This heresiarch wanted to deny the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.  He claimed that the consecrated bread and wine are nothing more than the sign of the Body and Blood of Christ.  However, he was bothered by the texts of Sacred Scripture that clearly affirm the contrary.  All of a sudden, just as he was imagining a discussion with the secretary of the town, a black or white phantom (as he says himself), appeared to him and provided him with the desired explanation.

This edifying story comes from Zwingli himself!

Melanchthon’s superstitions

Melanchthon showed himself to be strangely credulous when it came to dreams, extraordinary phenomena and astrological predictions.  His letters are full of examples.  During the Diet of Augsburg, Melanchthon interpreted various happenings in Rome (the flooding of the Tiber and the birth of a monstrous mule having the foot of a crane), and in the territory of Augsburg (the birth of a calf with two heads) as favorable omens for the new Gospel.  These events were for him the unquestionable announcement of the imminent ruin of Rome and the triumph of Protestantism.  He affirms this very seriously to Luther in a letter.

He would read his daughter’s horoscope for her, and trembled in seeing that Mars “manifested a dreadful aspect”.  He was also terrified by the flames of a comet appearing in the northern sky.  The astrologists predicted that the stars would be more favorable to theological debates in autumn, and that sufficed to console him concerning the delays in the conferences of Augsburg.  These “reasons” were also good enough to convince his friends, the leaders of the Protestant faction.

Someone having predicted that Melanchthon would be shipwrecked in the Baltic Sea, he refused to embark.  A certain Franciscan had prophesied that the power of the Pope was going to disappear, and that in the year 1600 the Turks would become the masters of Italy and Germany: Melanchthon glorified in having the original version of the prophecy.  Moreover, the earthquakes which occur shortly after reinforce him in this belief.

To be continued…

Community Chronicle

May 2nd: Feast of the Ascension. After their spiritual retreat, eleven students from the Boys’ School make their “Solemn Communion” and pronounce their profession of Faith and perseverance.

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Profession of Faith during the “Solemn Communion” ceremony (feast of the Ascension)

May 10th:  Mr. Jean-Yves Nerriec gives a conference on the Angelus Mission, an association he founded for the street evangelization of Muslims.

May 20th: Pentecost Sunday: Fr. Angelico joins Fr. Salenave and the seminarians in Normandy for a gathering of the Combat for the Faith near Mont St. Michel.

June 3rd: Fr. Marie-Laurent and Br. Alan lead a group of students from the military school of La Flèche on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Béhuard.  In the afternoon: public Corpus Christi procession.

June 16th: Confirmations by H.E. Bishop Faure.

June 22nd – June 29th:  Fr. Angelico is in Scotland to visit the first Dominican tertiary attached to Avrillé:  Sr. Catherine of Sienna (Miss Ruth McQuillan).  Since her profession on August 22nd, 1994, Sister has never wavered in her fidelity to the Rule, nor in her affection for the Friary.  At the same time, Father was able to visit with Fr. King and his group of faithful in the Edinburgh/Glasgow area.

June 30th:  End of the school year ceremonies.

July 3rd:  Arrival of Fr. Tiago O.C.D., the superior of a Carmelite community based in Brazil who recently discovered Tradition, and who is looking for a solid religious and doctrinal formation.

July 8thFr. Terence is in New York to represent the community for the 30th anniversary celebration of Bishop Williamson’s episcopal consecration.

July - August:  The busy summer begins:

- The 15th annual Jean Vaquié Days. This year’s theme: “1717-2017: Three Centuries of Masonic Subversion”: July 13-15

- Men’s retreat (with help from Fr. Ballini); another retreat for couples

- Summer Camps:  in Anjou: Our Lady of Fatima Youth Group (primary school boys and girls) and Valiant Souls (adolescent girls), with Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie;  in Lourdes: the Cadets of the Sacred Heart, with Fr. Terence

- Participation in various summer university sessions

- The community’s annual retreat: Aug. 5-13

July 30th – August 1st: Visit from Fr. Chazal.

August 14th: Following our annual retreat, we have the joy of witnessing Brothers Michael-Mary and Augustine-Mary pronounce their first temporary vows for three years.  The same day, Brothers Alan and Agostinho pronounce their solemn vows, which means that the road is now open to the major orders (sub-diaconate, diaconate and priesthood)!

August 15th: Feast of the Assumption: Solemn High Mass, Conference for the faithful, and procession in the streets.

August 16th – 20th: Fathers Marie-Dominique and Angelico lead a pilgrimage of about 30 tertiaries to Puy-en-Velay, France’s oldest Marian shrine, and to Langeac (monastery of Bl. Agnes de Langeac, a Dominican nun instrumental in the reform of priests in the 17th century).

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One by one, the Brothers pronounce their vows in the hands of Fr. Prior, holding a copy of the Constitutions

August 21st – 25th:  For the student Brothers, seminarians and lay professors: Latinitas session at the Friary, with Professor William Little: 5 days of spoken Latin (grammatical exercises, games, songs, during the meals and recreation…).

August 22nd: Fr. Reginald leaves for the U.S., where he’ll spend the school year helping H.E. Bishop Zendejas in his busy apostolate.

August 24th – 27th:  Father Angelico is in Ireland replacing Fr. Ballini.

September 1st – 9thFathers Marie-Laurent and Hyacinthe-Marie preach a mission in the Czech Republic, then in Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie’s native Poland.

News from our worksites

Work on the new Parish Hall is still suspended, due to the recent modifications in view of reducing the final cost. We ask for your

prayers and financial help, so that the project may finally commence early next year.

In the meantime, work has continued for the upkeep and improvement of the school grounds, both for Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, and for Saint Philomena Elementary.

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The novices working on the recreation court for St. Philomena School

Crisis in the Church

“How is it that seemingly ‘magisterial’ documents can contain errors and even heresies?”

Response:  It is because of the refusal, on the part of the conciliar pontiffs, to use the magisterial power1.  It is not, therefore, a question of the disappearance of the magisterial power (as the ‘sedevacantists’ say), but of the refusal to use it.  This refusal reduces these seemingly magisterial and public texts to the rank of simply private writings.  The liberalism of the modern Popes – especially the affirmation of “religious liberty” – puts an obex [an obstacle], not to the possession of magisterial power, but to its exercise.

However, we must specify that it isn’t the profession of just any error or heresy which constitutes an obstacle to the exercise of magisterial power, and not even liberalism in general, but the present error of modernism, which claims that truth is subjective (that is, depending on each person), and therefore cannot be imposed on anyone by the Church.

(from Le Sel de la Terre n°104)


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Prayers of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Prayers of Saint Thomas Aquinas

For a visit to the Blessed Sacrament

O Jesus, Who lovest me so much, Thou art truly here a hidden God, hear me I beseech Thee.

Let Thy good pleasure be my pleasure, my passion, my love!  Grant me the grace to seek, find and accomplish it!  Shew me Thy ways, point out to me Thy paths.  Thou hast Thy designs upon me, let me know them, and help me to follow them to the final salvation of my soul.  Indifferent to all transient things, and desirous of seeing only Thee, may I love all that is Thine;  but Thee, my God, above all.

Render bitter to me every joy that is not Thee, impossible every desire outside of Thee, delightful every work done for Thee, insupportable every repose that is not in Thee.  That at all times, O my good Jesus, my soul tends towards Thee: that my life be but an act of love!

Make me realize that every work that does not honour Thee is lifeless.  Let my piety be less a habit than a continuous outpouring of the heart.

O Jesus, my delight and my life, keep me free from affectation in humility, from dissipation in my joys, from depression in my sorrows, from harshness in my austerity.

Grant me to speak without evasion, to fear without despair, to hope without presumption, to be pure and without stain, to correct without anger, to love without dissimulation, to edify without ostentation, to obey without hesitation, to suffer without complaint.

O Jesus, supreme Goodness, I implore Thee grant me a heart smitten by Thee, that no spectacle, no noise can distract:  a heart faithful and brave that will never falter or sink:  an indomitable heart always ready to battle after each tempest:  a free heart, never a slave, never seduced:  an upright heart that will never indulge in crooked ways.

And my soul, O Lord, my soul!  Make it thirst to know Thee, ardent in seeking Thee, and successful in finding Thee, Thee, supreme Wisdom!  Let its conversations not displease Thee too much: confident and calm make it await Thy replies, and on Thy words rely.

May penance make me feel the thorns of Thy crown: may grace pour out Thy gifts on me during my journey as an exile:  may glory fill me with Thy joys in the Fatherland!

Act of spiritual communion

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.  I adore Thee;  I am sorry that I have offended Thee.  I love Thee.  Come to my poor soul.  Unite Thyself to me.  I thank Thee my Jesus.  O never, never leave me.

Act of reparation to the five Sacred Wounds of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

I adore Thee profoundly in the Holy Sacrament, O my Jesus;  I acknowledge Thee here present as true God and true man; and I intend by this act of adoration to make amends for my coldness and the coldness of so many Christians, who pass before Thy churches, nay sometimes before Thy tabernacle where Thou deignest to dwell at all hours in a loving impatience to communicate Thyself to Thy faithful, and yet never so much as salute Thee, and by their indifference, show themselves to be like the Jews in the desert, sick of this heavenly manna, and I offer Thee the most Precious Blood, which Thou didst shed from Thy Sacred wounds, in reparation for such hateful coldness, within which Sacred wounds I would repeat a thousand and a thousand times:

Versicle:  Blessed and praised every moment,

Response:  Be the most holy and most divine Sacrament!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

I adore Thee profoundly, O my Jesus; I acknowledge Thee here present in the most holy Sacrament, and I intend by this act of adoration to make amends for my ingratitude and the ingratitude of so many Christians.

“Memorare” to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Remember, O most pious and tender Virgin Mary, that it has never been heard of in any age that those, who implored thy powerful protection, were ever abandoned by thee.  I, therefore, O sacred Virgin, animated with the most lively confidence, cast myself at thy sacred feet, most earnestly beseeching thee to adopt me for ever as thy child, to take care of my eternal salvation, and to watch over me now and at the hour of my death.  Only, do not, Mother of the Word Incarnate!  despise my prayer, but graciously hear and obtain the granting of my petitions.  Amen.

When used for a Novena to the B. V. M., say, after the Memorare, the Hail holy Queen once, followed by the Hail, Mary nine times.

Versicle:  Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us.

Response: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious inter­cession of the blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be freed from present sorrow, and come to possess eternal joy.  Through Christ our Lord.

Response:  Amen!

Prayer said daily by Saint Thomas Aquinas for detachment

Give me, O Lord God, an ever watchful heart, which no subtle speculation may lure from Thee.  Give me a noble heart, which no unworthy affection can draw downwards to the earth.  Give me an upright heart, which no insincere intention can warp.  Give me a firm heart, which no tribulation can crush or quell.

Give me a free heart, which no perverted or impetuous affection can claim for its own.  Amen!

Petitions of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Bestow on me, O Lord, my God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find Thee, a life and conversation which may please Thee, perseverance in waiting patiently for Thee, and a hope which may embrace Thee at the last.  Grant me to be pierced with compunction by Thy sorrows through true repentance, to improve all Thy gifts and benefits during this my pilgrimage through Thy grace, and so at length to enter into Thy full and consummate joy in Thy glory.

Who livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever.  Amen!

Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas for purity

O good Jesus, I know that every perfect gift and, above all others, that of chastity depends on the powerful action of Thy divine Providence; I know that without Thee a creature can do nothing.  This is why I beseech Thee to defend, by Thy grace, the purity of my soul and of my body.  And if I have ever received any impression whatsoever of a sentiment capable of soiling this ineffable virtue, do Thou, O supreme Master of my faculties, blot it out from my soul that with a clean heart I may advance in Thy love and in Thy service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Thy divinity.  It is the Cross that I adore.  The Cross of the Lord is with me.  The Cross is my refuge. Amen!

Prayer of Saint Thomas for light and guidance

O ineffable Creator, Who, out of the abundance of Thy Wisdom, hast constituted the three Angelic Hierarchies, and set them in admirable order over the highest Heaven; Thou, Who hast, most graciously proportioned the parts of the universe; Thou who art called the true Fount of Light and Wisdom and the First Beginning of all, deign to let the Beam of Thy Splendour shine upon the darkness of my intellect to dispel the twofold gloom of sin and ignorance, in which I was born.

Make my tongue to speak wise things, O Thou, Who makest eloquent the tongues of babes; and do Thou pour out upon my lips the grace of Thy Benediction.

Give me keenness of comprehension, ability to retain, method and ease in acquiring, precision in interpreting, plenteous grace in speaking.  Inspire my going in;  guide my steps when I walk;  and my going out do Thou make perfect.  Thou Who art at once God and Man, and Who reignest for ever and ever.  Amen.

Maxims of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Be not anxious to plunge at once into the deep sea of wisdom: approach by the rivers that lead thereto.  For by simple things you arrive at the abstruse.

Be slow to speak.  Cherish the purity of your heart.  Pray always.  Love to be alone if you would reach intimacy with God.  Be courteous with all;  not quick to take offence.  Do not gad about;  but be sedulous in following in the footsteps of the Saints.  Retain the good that you hear, no matter whence it comes.  Be not too familiar with anyone; familiarity is the mother of contempt, and a fertile source of distraction from study.  Understand well what you learn: sift your doubts: enrich your mind and your memory.  Be not solicitous to know things that are above you.

Thus will you attain what you desire; and thus will you in your lifetime bring forth good fruit in the Vineyard of the Lord of hosts.

Prayer to Saint Thomas Aquinas

O blessed Thomas, Patron of schools, obtain for us from God an invincible faith, burning charity, a chaste life, and true knowledge: through Christ our Lord.  Amen!

VARIOUS PRAYERS OF ST. THOMAS

For the Theological Virtues

O God, all powerful, Who knowest all things, Who hadst neither beginning nor end, Who dost give, preserve, and reward all virtues;  deign to make me steadfast on the solid foundation of faith, to protect me with the impregnable shield of hope, and to adorn me with the wedding garment of charity.

For the Cardinal Virtues

Give me justice, to submit to Thee;  prudence, to avoid the snares of the enemy;  temperance, to keep the just medium;  fortitude, to bear adversities with patience.

For the practice of humility, modesty and charity

Grant me to impart willingly to others what ever I possess that is good, and to ask humbly of others that I may partake of the good of which I am destitute; to confess truly my faults; to bear with equanimity the pains and evils which I suffer.  Grant that I may never envy the good of my neighbour, and that I may always return thanks for Thy graces.

Let me always observe discipline in my clothing, movements, and gestures.  Let my tongue be restrained from vain words, my feet from going astray, my eyes from seeking after vain objects, my ears from listening to much news; may I humbly incline my countenance, and raise my spirit to heaven.

Grant me to despise all transitory things, and to desire Thee alone; to subdue my flesh and purify my conscience; to honour Thy Saints, and to praise Thee worthily; to advance in virtue, and to end good actions by a happy death.

Plant in me, O Lord, all virtues: that I may be devoted to divine things, provident in human affairs, and troublesome to no one in bodily cares.

Grant me, O Lord, fervour in contrition, sincerity in confession, and completeness in satisfaction.

Deign to direct my soul to a good life: that what I do may be pleasing to Thee, meritorious for myself, and edifying to my neighbour.

Grant that I may never desire to do what is foolish, and that I may never be discouraged by what is distasteful; that I may never begin my works before the proper time, nor abandon them before they are completed.  Amen!