10 April 2015 - District Superior's Letter

As we rejoice in the Resurrection, may “the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Dear friends and benefactors of the Society of St Pius X:

I wish you all a Blessed Easter with the joy and peace it should bring.

Unfortunately the calm of peace seems rarely enjoyed in the world today. There is constant talking about peace but our fast paced, fortune seeking lifestyle brings rather turmoil and excitement. People seem to be constantly searching for new and exciting things and need them here and now. Our travel ways abound with restlessness, as people hurry to get where they are going so they can hurry and do what they want to be doing or hurry and wait to do what they want to be doing. The news constantly reports conflicts between nations, groups or individuals. Many too are lulled into a false notion of peace. “Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason’s garb, counseled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth, not peace” (John Milton - Paradise Lost).   It is tempting to think that peace is impossible today.  

But when we consider the requirements of true peace, we must acknowledge that it is something not impossible, but only improbable and this by reason of its being resisted. Ignorance, prejudice and obstinacy lead to the disturbance of peace through the offenses against the law of God, the want of resignation to His Will, the disobedience to authority, pride, anger, envy, avarice and selfishness that they bring. Their fruits are seen as we criticize and complain about everything, whether it’s the weather, the food, the traffic or our neighbor. We are easily perturbed and no matter how small the trial or cross, we refuse to deny ourselves and take it up or maybe we take it up only to throw it onto someone else’s shoulders. This attitude can spread like wild fire leading many to complain, criticize and ultimately lose sight of or even close the door to peace that Christ opened. 

To have true peace we must be reconciled to God. This happens first and foremost through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, the “Prince of Peace’. Christ came to reestablish peace and to show us the way to peace. We become participants of this peace when we subject ourselves to God’s Law and participate in Christ’s merits; done principally by reception of the seven Sacraments. Sin alone can mar this peace and friendship with God and so we must have a living faith, whereby we conscientiously strive to know and follow Christ’s teachings and love God and neighbor, especially through the forgiveness of injuries.  

St. Augustine tells us that peace is simply “the tranquility of order”. Order is when all the parts of the whole exercise their proper function for which they have been called into being. Everything has its designated purpose: a chair to sit on, a watch to keep time and man to serve God. In the lives of the saints the normal trials of everyday life were seen as means to establish this order. If accepted these trials bring harmony to the soul but if refused they rankle and disturb it. Because their lives were properly ordered the saints had an unbounded confidence in God which gave them the strength and courage to face even greater trials with unfailing cheerfulness of mind and heart.  

We must also realize the importance of the virtue of meekness as a condition for Christ’s peace. This is true in the individual as well as in social affairs. What causes our heart to lose its peace? We become all excited over some incident, often a mere triviality. And what causes wars? We can say the same thing on a larger scale. Neither do we realize that without patience we cannot have meekness. Patient people always get through life’s little trials without great upheavals. So long as evil exists and the passions last, there must be some conflict and trouble in the heart. But even amidst this trouble, if we strive to live in grace with God we will have peace. “Much peace have they that love thy Law.” (Ps. cxvii. 165.) 

The promise of Our Lady of Fatima that the world will have peace depends on this belief and acceptance. Our Lord has chosen her Immaculate Heart as the instrument through which He will convert nations and give His peace to the world. Christ’s aim was peace – the peace of the individual, which is founded on conscience, and the peace of the social body, which is the fruit of justice.   

Holy Writ gives the advice to seek after peace, and it adds the admonition that we must pursue it. In other words, it is like a bird always escaping us and which we must hunt without ceasing. Perfect and permanent peace can be had only in heaven; to expect such peace on earth is futile, as St. Augustine reminded us with the words: “You seek for happiness? It is not here.” Such peace we know is in the heavenly fatherland, and we may have it if we pay the price. Obstacles therefore do not hinder peace essentially, but only furnish occasions of making it more sure as a permanent possession in eternity.    

As we rejoice in the Resurrection, may “the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Sincerely yours in the Risen Lord and King of Peace,

Fr. John Fullerton
District Superior