Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Cardinal Burke's Sermon at the Conclusion of the Traditional Paris-Chartres Pentecost Pilgrimage

At the conclusion of the 35th Pilgrimage of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, a three day walking pilgrimage from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres, commencing on the the Vigil of Pentecost, and concluding on Whit Monday, His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. His beautiful homily focused on the Gift of Faith, and covering the topics of Pilgrimage, the mass apostasy in the Church, Our Lady of Fatima, the Islamic invasion of Europe and Summorum Pontificum.

Video of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Burke

Below my translation of Cardinal Burke Homily from Chartres Cathedral:
Original French available here

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

It is a source of deep joy for me to participate in the annual pilgrimage of Paris-Chartres organized by the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté and to offer today the Holy Mass to your intentions, dear pilgrims. I thank the organizers of the Pilgrimage for their invitation and in a very special way to His Excellency the Most Reverend Monsignor Michel Pansard, Bishop of Chartres, for his warm welcome and his generous hospitality.

Pilgrimage, that ancient devotion to which Our Lord Himself participated, especially at the end of His public ministry when he went up to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover (1), enables us to depart from the ordinary habits of our daily lives to reach a holy place through prayer and penance. Through pilgrimage, Our Lord reveals to us the extraordinary nature of our ordinary life, because He is always with us, because He abides in us, by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, from His glorious pierced Heart. Through prayer and penance, the quintessence of pilgrimage, we receive the grace of knowing deeper and more fully embracing the Faith, our life in Christ, and making reparation for what has been contrary to this virtue in our Personal lives and in the world.

The grace to meet Our Lord during the pilgrimage is, at the same time, to meet our brothers and sisters in Him, in His Mystical Body, the Church. During a pilgrimage, we become more deeply aware of our fraternal communion in the Lord. We offer our prayer and our penance for our neighbour who walks by our side, for those who have entrusted us with intentions and for the salvation of the world.

By making the pilgrimage of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté (Our Lady of Christendom) during this year of the centenary of Our Lady's apparitions to Fatima in Portugal, we hear in a special way the call of her Immaculate Heart. She accompanies us, placing our own hearts close to hers, to allow us to place them totally, united with her Immaculate Heart, in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, her Divine Son. As she did with the wine stewards in distress at the wedding in Cana, the Virgin Mary leads us to Christ, we who are subjected to so many temptations and privations in the world, by this maternal advice: "Do whatever he tells you (2).

In Fatima, the Mother of God, given to each of us as our Mother by her Divine Son at the time of His death on the Cross (3), also warns us of the physical punishments associated with man's disobedience to God, and the infinitely more horrible spiritual punishments, the eternal death in the end, which is the result of mortal sin. Through her little messengers, the holy shepherds Francisco and Jacinta Marto and the Servant of God Lucia dos Santos, the Blessed Virgin teaches us once again that only the Faith which places, through the mediation of its Immaculate Heart, man in a relationship of unity of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, can save man from the punishments that rebellion against God necessarily brings to sinners, to the whole of society, and to the Church.

The Mother of Divine Graces encourages us and assists us by her prayers, guaranteeing us the triumph of the Faith, that of her Immaculate Heart, which will end the times of apostasy and the great defects of the pastors of the Church (4). In these troubled times for the world and for the Church, let us pray especially, through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, for a new evangelization in the Church and in the world, so that the truths of the Faith may extend To the ends of the earth and into the depths of every human heart.

Let us pray faithfully the Holy Rosary for the restoration in society and in the Church of the just order in accordance with the Divine Law. Let us imitate our brothers and sisters in the Faith which, in 1571, before the threat of an Islamic invasion of Europe, prayed the Holy Rosary on the advice of Pope St. Pius V. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on October 7th of that same year, God granted Christendom the miraculous victory of the Battle of Lepanto. From this event, the Church began to faithfully celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Victories on October 7th, becoming the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. To us too, through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary, God will grant victory over Satan, "murderer from the beginning", "liar and father of lies" (5) and his cohorts who want to destroy The Church and all humanity.

Today we continue our meditation on the great mystery of Pentecost, the profound mystery of the effusion of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit in our hearts from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus for the salvation of our souls and the Conversion of the world. It is this great mystery which the Church honours by the solemn celebration of the Octave of Pentecost. Pentecost is at the centre of the Faith: the mystery of incommensurable and incessant love of God for us, who, by sending His Only Son into the world to suffer, die, rise and ascend to his right hand, allows Him to share with us forever in the Divine Life, the life of the Holy Spirit, in the Church. This mystery is celebrated with incomparable beauty in the Sacred Liturgy and especially in this holy place - this magnificent cathedral - which in every detail shows the history of Divine Love in its infinite richness.

Today, on Monday in the Pentecostal Octave, our Holy Mother the Church invites us to reflect on the gift of Faith, a theological virtue, infused by God into our souls. The Epistle, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, recalls the meeting of St. Peter with many Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. Saint Peter, announcing the truth of the Faith, the truth of the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, declares to them:
"the Lord commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead. To Him all the prophets give testimony, that by His Name all receive remission of sins who believe in Him" (6)
At the preaching of St. Peter, God spread on "all who listened to the word" (7) the grace of Faith, the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that they began to praise God for the mystery of his Love. Immediately, the chief of the apostles commanded "to baptise them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (8) Meditating on this point, we are guided, as Dom Prosper Guéranger invites us in his commentary on the feast of today, to thank God for the grace of the Faith infused in our hearts and to praise Him. (9)

In the Gospel, Our Lord instructs Nicodemus on the Faith, as the only way to eternal life. Faith, in fact, is the irreplaceable foundation of communion with the Father in the Son by the Holy Spirit. Thus Jesus teaches Nicodemus:
"God so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by Him." (10)
In his reflection on this Gospel, Dom Guéranger writes:
"However, faith is the first link with God; It is by faith, as the Apostle tells us, that we approach God and remain attached to Him. Such is the importance of faith that the Lord has just told us that he who believes is not judged. In fact, he who believes in the meaning of our Gospel, does not merely adhere to a doctrine; He believes, because he submits himself with heart and mind, because he wants to love what he believes. Faith works by the charity which completes it, but it is a foretaste of charity; And therefore the Lord promises salvation to him who believes. " (11)
Our life in Christ really finds its roots in the truth of the Faith, which necessarily expresses itself in charity.

Our Lord continues his teaching by explaining that the rejection of Faith means nothing but the preference of the darkness of evil in the light of good, that is, the rejection of the very source of all Goodness: God who has taken our human nature to free us from the darkness of sin and eternal death. He said to Nicodemus, "And this is the judgement: Because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may bot be reproved; but he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God." (12)

May our pilgrimage, and especially our participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, cleanse us today of all attachment to that which is contrary to the Faith and lead us ever more surely and firmly on the path of Christ, who alone is our Light.

The Holy Liturgy, our worship of God "in spirit and in truth" (13), is the richest and most perfect encounter with Jesus Christ who is our Light. It is the most excellent expression of our life in Him by the presence of the Holy Spirit; a life that leads us more than ever into the Light, into what is true, good and beautiful. Preparing us to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the promulgation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on 7 July, we thank God for the liturgical discipline he has established, allowing the entire Church to always appreciate the precious gift of the Sacred Liturgy, as it was transmitted to us intact by Tradition, by the Apostles and their successors. At the end of the pilgrimage of Our Lady of Christendom, I invite you to participate in the next pilgrimage Summorum Pontificum from 14 to 16 September 2017 in Rome as a continuation of these holy days, deepening your knowledge and love of the Saviour, coming to meet Him in the Holy Liturgy and above all in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

To the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us raise our hearts to the glorious pierced heart of Jesus, opened to receive them by this Eucharistic Sacrifice. May our pilgrimage be a source of grace for our daily pilgrimage to our true and perennial home, which is Heaven. May the prayer and the sacrifice that made our pilgrimage beneficial, bear fruit every day of our lives, so that it is clear to all that "our actions are done in God." (14)

Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. So be it!

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

(1) cf Mt 20: 17-19; And Jn 12: 12-13.
(2) Jn 2: 5.
(3) cf Jn 19: 26-27.
(4) cf. Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité of the Little Brothers of the Sacred Heart, All the Truth on Fatima. The Third Secret (1942-1960), 5th ed. (Saint-Parres-les-Vaudes France: Catholic Renaissance Catholic Counter-Reformation, 1994), p. 552.
(5) Jn 8: 44-45.
(6) Acts 10, 42-43.
(7) Acts 10, 44.
(8) Acts 10, 48.
(9) Cf. Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, The Pascal Time, Volume III, 19th ed. (Pub: House Alfred Mame and Fils, 1925), p. 350. Gueranger.
(10) Jn 3: 16-17.
(11) Guéranger, p. 352.
(12) Jn 3: 19-21.
(13) Jn 4:23.
(14) Jn 3:20.

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