My Dear Faithful,
Archbishop Lefebvre, in one of his allocutions, once said: “Souls need to be enlightened by the truth, and taught who Our Lord Jesus Christ is, who God is. Often we speak relatively little of God Himself and more of what God does. We could make an effort to speak more on the divine perfections, to speak of the Blessed Trinity, of Our Lord who is God. For the more souls know God, the more they will desire to serve Him, and the more they will hate displeasing Him.” Many times during the spiritual conferences that he gave to the seminarians at Ecône, he especially spoke about the Holy Ghost and presented Him as the unknown of the spiritual life.
The Holy Ghost is certainly neglected by us in our lives. We do not think often enough about Him, nor do we invoke Him directly. We seem to have forgotten that the Holy Ghost is God. The Holy Ghost has the mission to sanctify our souls by the gift of sanctifying grace and also lead our lives by His seven gifts which should guide us all our life long and keep us on the right track towards our destination which is Heaven.
Unfortunately, we can forget the Holy Ghost and, worse, be unfaithful to Him by not putting ourselves under His guidance. This is what happened during the 2nd Vatican Council, for instance. It was said very clearly at the beginning of the Council, and repeated several years afterwards in a very clear manner again, that the Council was pastoral and not dogmatic. All precedent Councils were dogmatic which means that they worked to clarify Catholic doctrine by giving definitions. In this situation, the Holy Ghost protects the Council from errors by the privilege of infallibility so that the faithful may have no doubt about what will come from the Council. By being pastoral, the 2nd Vatican Council only meant to give a great predication to the world. This is nothing like defining Dogma and therefore the protection of the Holy Ghost is not guaranteed. Being only a predication to all men, whether they are Catholics or not, the work of the Fathers of the Council was subject to errors. This is a dramatic example of not putting actions under the lights of the Holy Ghost. This example concerns obviously something which is not common but rather specific but still it shows us that the immediate consequence of not submitting ourselves to the lights of the Holy Ghost is to be misled and become subject to errors.
To increase your knowledge on the Holy Ghost you will find some teaching on this matter later in this Newsletter, and also something on the Athanasian Creed which we rarely come across. This Creed is one of the three official Creeds given to us by the Church as an expression of our Catholic faith, and yet we hardly know it. All our life must be dedicated to God, but we must never forget that God who is our Creator, the beginning and the end of our lives, is the Triune God. This is important and this is what makes the difference between us Catholics and those who are members of what we call monotheist religions. Those who at least believe in one God still don’t believe in the right God because they do not believe in the Blessed Trinity. For example, the Muslims say that it is blasphemy to call God ‘Father’. The Orthodox Church refuses to believe in the fact that the Holy Ghost is well and truly God, proceeding from both the Father and the Son. As for us, we simply want to submit ourselves to what God Himself revealed to us and what is passed onto us by the Tradition of the Church, which is the security of teaching free from error.
May the Holy Ghost be our guide in our daily lives and lead us to Heaven where we shall be able to contemplate the Blessed Trinity for eternity.
Rev. Vianney Vandendaele (Prior)