Bishop Fellay's First Comments on Assisi III
Remarks on the Feast of the Epiphany during a sermon given at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, January 9, 2011
After explaining the arrival of the Three Magi who traveled from the farthest ends of the pagan world to adore Our Lord Jesus Christ, Bishop Fellay contrasts this example of the Faith of the Magi with the unbelief of Herod and of the priests and the announcement of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in October 2011.
In theory they know, in theory they believe. But in reality, do they believe? Do they really believe that Our Lord is God? Do they really believe that peace among men, among nations, is in His hand? Do they really believe in all the immediate, direct consequences of His divinity? …Are they all going, like the Magi, the Three Kings, to adore the true God and to look to Him for that peace and to ask Him for it? Are they going to the King of Peace: Rex Pacificus?
Oh, how history repeats itself, alas!
Yes, we are deeply indignant, we vehemently protest against this repetition of the days at Assisi. Everything that we have said, everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had said at the time [of the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in 1986], we repeat in our own name. It is evident, my dear brothers, that such a thing demands reparation. What a mystery!
Yes, to adore: what does that mean? To adore means first of all: to recognize, to recognize the divinity. Adoration is given to God alone. And recognizing His divinity immediately implies submission; a declaration of submission to the sovereignty of God. It is to recognize that God has every right over us, that we are really entirely dependent, absolutely dependent upon God for our existence, our life, our ability to act, think, desire, and will. Every good, every good thing that happens to us, comes from the goodness of God. And this is true—not only for believers, not only for Christians—this is true for every creature, absolutely every creature.
God, the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, is also the One who governs this world, the One who sustains all things by the power of His Word, the One in whom everything has its stability! Lord of life and death, of individuals and nations! Almighty, eternal God, to whom all honor and glory is due! Yes, to adore is to put oneself in this posture of humility which acknowledges God’s rights.
Let us go, then, let us go to Our Lord; even though He hides His Divinity, even though He is a tiny Child in the arms of His Mother, He is truly God! He is true God, sent by the mercy of the good God to save us. For He was made man, and in becoming a man he became the Savior, and His name, given by God Himself, is Jesus: the Savior! The only name that has been given under heaven by which we can be saved. The only Savior! The only Holy One, “Tu solus Sanctus” [as we say in the Gloria], who comes to bring us something unheard of: the invitation to God’s eternal happiness.
How can people hope to be able to receive His blessings when they insult Him, when they ignore Him, when they diminish Him? It is madness! How can anyone hope for peace among men when he makes a mockery of God?
And here modern thinking makes truly bizarre sorts of projections: it pretends that all religions, ultimately, adore one and the same true God. That is absolutely false; it is even in Revelation; we find it already in the psalms, in Psalm 96:5, “All the gods of the Gentiles are devils!” They are devils. And Assisi will be full of devils! This is Revelation, this is the Faith of the Church; this is the teaching of the Church!
Now where is continuity? Now where is rupture? What a mystery!
Yes, my dear brothers, if we want to be saved, there is only one way, and that is the way of Our Lord Jesus Christ.