Sermon given by Father Pancras Raja on May 24, 2020
“When the Paraclete cometh, He shall give testimony of me, and you shall give testimony” (Jn. 15: 26)
These words of the gospel contain a sublime promise which was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost – when the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles to be with them and with their successors – governing and guiding the catholic Church – and teaching them all the truths to the end of the world. The sublime promise was twofold: the Holy Ghost will give testimony to Jesus, and we too will bear testimony to Jesus.
The divine presence of the Holy Ghost is given not only to the Church in which he teaches and guides, but also to the individual Christians by producing in them his divine gifts and special fruits – by which they give testimony of Jesus Christ.
What do we mean by “giving testimony”?
Giving testimony of Jesus Christ means – to have a will always devoted to him (with love and affection to Jesus and the B. V. Mary), and to have a sincere heart to serve his majesty. It is seen in our devotion to our religion and in the earnestness of working and suffering for the sake of the kingdom of God. (spending our time and strength, money and wealth given to us by God)
I. How the Holy Ghost gives testimony to Jesus?
He proved to the world that Jesus is the Son of God. He led men to worship a crucified God! He made men, women and children to despise the world (the nuns and monks), and to suffer the most fearful torture for the love of Jesus! (the holy martyrs) It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that the disciples of Jesus Christ worked miracles of conversion and sanctification! (missionaries like St. Francis Xavier who used to send his catechist and even children with a crucifix to heal the sick)
Our Lord desired that they should ask for the Holy Ghost – and should dispose themselves to receive him by constant and fervent prayer (the novena).
Yes, we must realize that without the supernatural work of the Holy Ghost, all our efforts are vain and fruitless. Hence comes the practice of invoking the Holy Ghost before every important undertaking, and even before all the ordinary actions of the day. (Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful ….) Do we make this invocation of the Holy Ghost with real piety and devotion?
II. How do we bear testimony to Jesus?
To bear testimony to Jesus is to work for his glory and to serve his divine majesty – as we have seen. We must make him known, loved and served by all the means in our power. We are under a special obligation to labour for the triumph of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. How?
- By our words and actions; by our prayers and good examples. (we should not be ashamed)
- By making use of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost: Knowledge, understanding, wisdom; counsel, fortitude, piety; and fear of God. (in observing the commandments of God, and the rules and regulations)
- By making use of the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost: Charity, joy, peace; long suffering, patience, goodness; kindness, mildness, fidelity; and modesty, continency, chastity. (continency – Mary and Joseph)
Yes, we saw that in order to bear testimony to Jesus, we have a special obligation to labour for the triumph of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Now Saint Louis De Montfort says: “the knowledge and kingdom of Jesus Christ will come only as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary” (True Devotion No. 13)
Because, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Ghost are given to us in proportion to our attachment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the sanctuary and resting place of the Holy Ghost, and the reservoir of all God’s graces.
God the Holy Ghost wishes to fashion his chosen ones in and through Mary. (T. D. 34)
The Holy Ghost tells the Blessed Virgin Mary: “My well beloved, my spouse, let all your virtues take root in my chosen ones that they may grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace. When you were living on earth, practicing the most sublime virtues, I was so pleased with you that I still desire to find you on earth without your ceasing to be in heaven.
Reproduce yourself then in my chosen ones, so that I may have the joy of seeing in them the roots of your invincible faith, profound humility, total mortification, sublime prayer, ardent charity, your firm hope and all your virtues. You are always my spouse, as faithful, pure, and fruitful as ever. May your faith give me believers.
May your purity give me virgins; and may your fruitfulness give me saints and living temples.” (The OLMC should produce those believers, virgins and saints – who participate in the faith, purity and fruitfulness of Our lady).
When Mary has taken root in a soul, she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce. (T. D. 35)
Together with the Holy Ghost Mary produced the greatest thing that ever was or ever will be a Godman. She will consequently produce the marvels which will be seen in the latter times. The formation and the education of the great saints who will come at the end of the world – are reserved to her, for only this singular and wondrous virgin can produce in union with the Holy Ghost singular and wondrous things. When the Holy Ghost, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. (T. D. 36)
He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to his spouse. One of the main reasons why the Holy Ghost does not work striking wonders in souls is that he fails to find in them a sufficiently close union with his faithful and inseparable spouse (the Blessed virgin Mary).
We must obviously conclude that the Blessed Virgin Mary received from God a far-reaching dominion over the souls of the elect. That is how and that is why she is able:
- To make her dwelling-place in them as God the Father has ordered her to do.
- To conceive them, nourish them, and bring them forth to eternal life as their mother.
- To have them for her inheritance and her possession and form them in Jesus and form Jesus in them.
- To implant in their hearts the roots of her virtues, and to be the inseparable associate of the Holy Ghost in all their works of grace.
If devotion to the Blessed Virgin is necessary for all men simply to work out their salvation, it is even more necessary for us who are called to acquire special perfection in this little conclave of SSPX MC – Our lady of Mount Carmel.
No one can acquire intimate union with our Lord and perfect fidelity to the Holy Ghost without a very close union with the Most Blessed Virgin Mary through the practice of “Total Consecration.”
St. Joseph – a model saint who practiced total consecration – most perfectly
St. Joseph’s role, focusing on his spousal union with Mary – is the ultimate model of total consecration. Let us explore the dynamic nature of St. Joseph’s sanctity, specifically as it pertains to his wholly unique relationship with the “Two Hearts” of Jesus and Mary. In St. Joseph’s spousal relationship to Mary, he gave his heart unreservedly to Mary, and took her heart as his own. The hearts of Joseph and Mary became one; through the marital union, they became as “two in one flesh.” Thus, St. Joseph was necessarily united to the Heart of Jesus Christ, since the Immaculate heart of Mary, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, are inseparably united.
Reverend Stanley Smolensk, a contemporary Josephologist, explains this point: “Joseph’s interior life was based on his singular union with Jesus through Mary. He was consecrated to Jesus through Mary by his espousal to her … Thus, Joseph’s consecration is the essence of all consecrations to Jesus through Mary.”
We understand Joseph’s sanctity as the fruit of his union with the two hearts, based on his espousal union with the heart of Mary. And we, too, can model our total consecration to Jesus through Mary on St. Joseph’s “spousal union” with Mary. We, like Joseph, are called to “espouse” the Immaculate Heart of Mary; to give Mary our hearts undividedly and take her heart as our own.
St. Louis de Montfort was fond of the term “slave;” this, he believed, sufficiently expressed the unreserved nature of the consecration. St. Maximillian Kolbe felt that even this term didn’t go far enough. Instead, he advocated the terms “possession and property.” But both of these great Marian saints fully agreed that to live this consecration was to live “with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary.” Yet, does not the model of “espousal” seem to most completely symbolize and exemplify the charism of living with, through, in, and for Mary? St. Joseph’s spousal union with Mary, then, exemplifies total consecration to Mary, and serves as the perfect model for our union with the two hearts.
In imitation of St. Joseph, we, too, can … espouse Mary’s heart, becoming “two in one flesh” (Gen 2:24), in living with Jesus. Thus, St. Joseph, in his spousal relationship with Jesus, through Mary, becomes … a model for acquiring intimate union with our Lord and perfect fidelity to the Holy Ghost with a very close union with the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.