15, 1975 Ecône, Switzerland
Twenty fifth Anniversary of the Promulgation of
the Dogma of
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
In the Name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My dear brethren,
today the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma
of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary by our Holy Father
Pope Pius XII. It was November 1, 1950. I had the joy and pleasure
of being present at Rome in St. Peter’s Square on this holy day
and I still hear the words of our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, proclaiming
the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary as dogma of our Faith.
Did the Holy
Church of God hear about the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin
Mary for the first time on November 1, 1950? Certainly not! One
needs just to read the text by which Our Holy Father Pope Pius XII
proclaimed the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to see
that since the most ancient times of the Church, the faithful already
professed faith in the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
Whether in ikons, whether in stained glass windows, whether in the
writings of the Fathers, already everywhere, faith in the Assumption
of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was professed, but it was not yet
solemnly defined by Holy Church.
indeed, we must remember, cannot be new truths. The Revelation was
wholly completed at the death of the last Apostle. One must therefore
look before the death of the last Apostle in the Deposit of Tradition,
of Revelation, bequeathed to us, given to us by the Apostles, to
find there the truths which we must still believe today. No Pope
can invent a new truth which he would like to submit to our Faith.
He can only find this truth in the course of centuries, signifying
that this truth was already implicitly contained in that Revelation
and Faith which the Apostles have given us. This is the teaching
of the Church.
Thus when we
believe in the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, that
is, when we believe that the Good Lord granted that the body of
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary be already glorified now, we do nothing
else than unite ourselves to the faith of the whole Church, to the
Church of all the centuries. And this must be for us a great joy,
a great consolation, to think that our Faith today, stronger than
ever, more solid than ever, is in union with that of the Catholics
of all the centuries.
There is in
this dogma of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary a very
precious truth, very useful for our times, for our days. In these
days, some want to deny miracles; in our days, some want to deny
all supernatural realities. This word “supernatural” contains something
somehow mysterious; the supernatural state may be difficult to understand
for some faithful, it may be difficult to grasp. Yet it is present
in the whole teaching of the Church.
In our catechisms
we have learned that we became the sons of God, that the Good Lord
has deigned not only to give us a human nature, a human soul, but
that He wanted to make of us His privileged sons, sharing His Divine
Nature, and thus being able to know God, to love God and to love
our neighbor infinitely more than if we had only our natural state.
We must always remember that: the Good Lord has called us to be
His children, though we should have been merely His servants. If
we had only had our nature, we would have never been able to know
God directly, we would have known God only indirectly through creatures,
through the effects of His almighty power, ascending from them to
the Almighty Cause which made all these things that surround us,
and even ourselves. We climb from the effect to the cause and naturally
we think there is a Being extraordinarily powerful, a Being that
can only be God for He made all these things by His almighty power.
And our knowledge of Him would have remained there, without going
But the Good
Lord did not want that. He wanted us to enter into His intimacy,
He wanted us to enter somehow in Him, to know Him better, to love
Him better. And this is a grace, a gift - the word “grace” signifies
precisely this - an extraordinary, unbelievable gift to which we
could not pretend ourselves.
We might be
tempted to say, “But why did the Good Lord love us so much, why
did He not leave us with our poor human nature? Did we need to enter
into the very nature of God, to be so close to God? This gives us
indeed! It gives us greater responsibilities. It changes completely
our spirituality. It changes our interior life. It must change our
whole interior life. And it does!
life is changed right from the beginning, as soon as we receive
Baptism. As soon as we receive this grace of divine filiation in
Baptism, and original sin is washed away from our soul, we become
God’s privileged adopted children.
this Feast of the Assumption shows us the very crowning of the work
of God, of the supernatural work of God. God wants it for us too,
as He did for the Most Blessed Virgin. He wants to “assume” our
body, to spiritualize our body in a certain way and to give us all
the joys of the spirit and all the joys of our divine filiation.
And how does
that change our daily life? How must this supernatural life, this
divine adoption, change our daily life?
must not see things as we would have seen them if we had merely
had our human nature! To know that we are called to live for God,
to live in God, to know Him directly, Him Who has created all things,
must arouse in our hearts, in our intelligences, a desire of God,
a longing to love God, through this divine nature, which is in us
by grace, by sanctifying grace, a longing as those aroused throughout
all the centuries of the Church from the very beginning of the Christian
It has raised
up countless acts of heroism, souls so much drawn by God, so much
drawn by the desire to know God, to live with God, that they secluded
themselves in deserts, in monasteries, in the religious life. And
even in lay life they gave themselves completely: all these families
were so Catholic that they lived in God. They prayed from morning
to evening, they recited their daily family prayer, they had devotion
to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, they lived a Christian life! And
thus they had a certain contempt, they esteemed in a lesser way,
the things of nature, created things, material things.
But now we
are reproached for this, the Church is reproached for this! And
now, within the Church itself, those who, in the Church, should
continue to teach us these things, reproach the Church for them.
They should use as models those who were detached from the things
of this world, so that they might already here below give themselves
completely to God. They should exalt Christian families who are
detached, Christian homes where the family prays, where the idea
of a religious vocation, of a priestly vocation in the family is
held in esteem, is desired so that in a certain way the whole family
is consecrated to God, out of love for God.
This is grace!
This is supernatural grace. It is the divine filiation which is
in your heart which must make you ask for this, which must make
you desire this, long for this, so that your family might be totally
consecrated to God, that nothing in your family might become a scandal
leading souls away from God. This ought to be your main concern.
How much more
this ought to be the main concern of those who give themselves to
God, of future priests, of those who want to be united to God in
the bonds of religious profession.
And see today
how they have under-esteemed religious life, how they have under-esteemed
Christian life in Catholic families, to such a point that they ceaselessly
repeat the esteem that they have for the values of this world, for
human values, the values of our reason, for the values of science.
All this is false. All this is rooted in the contempt for the supernatural
order, in the negation of the grace of the Good Lord, in the negation
of all that Our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring us. This amounts
to a denial of Our Lord Jesus. Continually insisting upon the human
values, the values of this world, the values of science, one ends
up denying Our Lord Jesus Christ!
what did Our Lord Jesus Christ come? For what purpose did He die
on the cross? Why did He become incarnate? “Propter nos et nostram
salutem - For us and for our salvation!” To give us His grace,
to restore this Divine filiation. Our Lord is God, He is the True
Son of God, the only Son of God, First-born of all creatures; He
came to give us His Blood, His life, and to communicate to us His
Divine Life already here below. Thus, by participation in Our Lord
Jesus Christ, we truly participate in the Divine Nature.
if we are truly conscious of this, we must despise the things of
this world, despise the goods of the body, despise the good of our
senses, as centuries of Christendom have done in the past. But today
they desire to satisfy all their natural desires. Our Lord Jesus
Christ never taught us this! Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us precisely
to despise the things of this world because we are called to a life
infinitely greater, infinitely higher.
This has been
the whole spirituality of Christian life for all the centuries before
us. The example of all those faithful who withdrew from the world
and enclosed themselves for their whole life in a monastery was
admirable, it was an encouragement for all Catholics.
But now see
these deserted monasteries, these broken grilles in the convents
of Franciscan nuns, of Carmelites. These nuns had a very strict
enclosure, to be with God, to become more aware of their Divine
filiation, to live already with heaven before being in heaven. Knowing
that the few years they had to live on earth had to prepare them
for heavenly life, they took refuge far from the world, far from
the pleasures of this world, in order to live this life they received
at Baptism, that was confirmed by the Sacrament of Confirmation
and vivified by the Holy Eucharist and Penance. Those elite souls
wanted to be enclosed! But what happened? The [Modernists] have
broken the enclosures, they have broken the grilles, they have asked
the nuns to leave; Our Lord Jesus Christ too left the convent!
And this is
why there are no more vocations, this is why there is no more contemplative
life. What shall draw souls to this contemplative life if one does
not speak of the life of God which we have in us? What shall draw
Christian families to live in a more Christian way, if they are
not taught that through marriage they receive the special grace
where the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is honored, where the crucifix
is in a place of honor, where the Blessed Virgin Mary reigns, a
family which is the beloved kingdom of Jesus and Mary. If this is
no longer taught, there shall be no more Catholic families, there
shall be no more vocations, and souls will be lost!
This is what
the mystery of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary teaches
us today. And there shall be a similar crowning for us too. We must
expect this, we must hope for this. This is the great virtue of
Hope. Now, this virtue of Hope is disappearing today precisely because
all hope is here below. Now social progress, social justice, material
progress, the equal distribution of goods of this world: these are
the great themes of today’s sermons!
But we were
not made for this. We are made, first of all, to be the children
of God, to live with God. It does not matter whether we have lived
in poverty or at ease, all that matters is the love that we have
had for God, how we have spent these years which the Good Lord has
given us to live here below with Him. How did we spend them in regard
to this hope of heaven? How did we hand on this hope of heaven to
our children, these heavenly realities? This is what the Good Lord
shall ask of us.
Thus, my very
dear friends, who in a few moments are going to pronounce your Profession
of Faith and to repeat the Anti-Modernist Oath, you shall notice
that this Anti-Modernist Oath is precisely almost in each one of
its points a profession of the supernatural realities, against those
who want to destroy the grace of the Good Lord, to destroy the Divine
reality of the grace of God and of Our Divine filiation. Doing this
they reduce to naught their very own intelligence. They pretend
that their intelligence is incapable to know God, this is the first
part [of the oath].
despise the Divine intelligence, the Divine life in which we somehow
partake; despising the grace which the Good Lord has given us, the
light which the Good Lord has put in our hearts and in our minds,
they lose at the same time their own reason. They themselves say
that they are no longer capable of knowing God. Thus according to
them man is radically, definitively cut off from God, incapable
of knowing Him. As a consequence they despise all the goods that
Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us - Divine grace, the Sacraments,
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - all this is reduced to a natural
But you, on
the contrary, you shall profess your faith in the grace of the Good
Lord, in the supernatural life which the Good Lord has given us
and in which He enables us to participate. And this on the Feast
of the Assumption; you could not do this on a better day, all these
blessings which the Good Lord has given us, this great charity which
the Good Lord has had for us.
is a blasphemy to say what the Modernists say. It is to blaspheme
against Our Lord Jesus Christ because they deny all that Our Lord
Jesus Christ came to do here below: they deny His Church, they deny
His Sacrifice, they deny His Sacraments, they deny everything and
nothing is left. And this is what the modern catechisms teach today.
For this reason these catechisms are very harmful because they reduce
to nought the entire life of grace, the entire Divine Life, which
is what is most precious to us.
Let us ask
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary on this day of her Assumption to help
us truly understand what our supernatural life is, a participation
in the Divine Life. God knows that She knows it, this participation
in the Divine Life, She who has given natural life to Our Lord Jesus
Christ, through the grace of the Holy Ghost. How much did the Good
Lord flood her with spiritual graces! And how much is She capable
of making us understand how beautiful, how good, how sweet it is
to be united with Our Lord, to know the Good Lord and to live with
Let us ask
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to put in our souls, in our hearts,
this immense desire, this unquenchable desire, of all the moments
of our life, of our whole life, of each week, month and year, to
be with God for all eternity.
In the Name
of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109