Monday, June 08, 2009

Pope St. Pius X speaks to our times.

Pope St. Pius X speaks to our times. Read the following paragraphs from his encyclical to the French Church in 1907 and realize that persecutions come in every age. There is nothing new under the sun.

From Una Fois Encore - regarding the separation of Church and State in France, by Pope Pius X
January 6, 1907


When the children are suffering the heart of the Father ought more than ever to go out to them. And so, now that We see you suffer, from the depths of our fatherly heart floods of tenderness break forth more copiously than ever, and flow to you with the greater comfort and sweetness.

These sufferings, Venerable Brethren and beloved sons, now find a sorrowful echo throughout the whole Catholic Church; but We feel them more deeply still and We sympathize with a pity which grows with your trials and seems to increase day by day.

But with these cruel sorrows the Master has, it is true, mingled a consolation than which none can be dearer to our heart. It springs from your unshakable attachment to the Church, from your unfailing fidelity to this Apostolic See, and from the firm and deeply founded unity that reigns amongst you. On this fidelity and union We confidently reckoned from the first, for we were too well aware of the nobleness and generosity of the French heart to have any fear that on the field of battle disunion would find its way into your ranks. Equally great is the joy that We feel at the magnificent spectacle you are now giving to the world; and with our high praise of you before the whole Church, We give thanks from the depths of Our heart to the Father of mercies, the Author of all good.

Recourse to God, so infinitely good, is all the more necessary because, far from abating, the struggle grows fiercer and expands unceasingly. It is no longer only the Christian faith that they would uproot at all costs from the hearts of the people; it is any belief which lifting man above the horizon of this world would supernaturally bring back his wearied eyes to heaven. Illusion on the subject is no longer possible. War has been declared against everything supernatural, because behind the supernatural stands God, and because it is God that they want to tear out of the mind and heart of man.

The war will be bitter and without respite on the part of those who wage it. That as it goes on harder trials than those which you have hitherto known await you is possible and even probable. Common prudence calls on each of you to prepare for them. And this you will do simply, valiantly, and full of confidence, sure that however fiercely the fight may rage, victory will in the end remain in your hands.

The pledge of this victory is your union first of all amongst yourselves, and secondly with this Apostolic See. This twofold union will make you invincible, and against it all efforts will break.

Our enemies have on this been under no misapprehensions. From the outset, and with the greatest clearness of vision, they determined on their objective; first to separate you from Us and the Chair of Peter, and then to sow disorder among you. From then till now they have made no change in their tactics; they have pursued their end without rest and by every means; some with comprehensive and catching formulas; others with the most brutal cynicism. Specious promises, dishonorable bribes offered to schism, threats and violence, all these have been brought into play and employed. But your clear-sighted fidelity has wrecked all these attempts. There upon, thinking that the best way to separate you from Us was to shatter your confidence in the Apostolic See, they have not hesitated, from the tribune and in the press, to throw discredit upon Our acts by misrepresenting and sometimes even by calumniating Our intentions.

Read the whole thing here.

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