Exclusive Bishop Athanasius Schneider Sermon

The Family – Domestic Church

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ! We live in a time in which one of the most beautiful creations of God, namely marriage and family, are under attack on the side of the new atheist, neo-communist world ideological dictatorship which has gained almost universal political and media power. However it is enigmatic, that we can discover in our days collaborators with this general attack on marriage and family even in the ranks of the clergy. The Christian family is facing a kind of a new Goliath.

But right now we are called to be faithful to the unchangeable truth of our Catholic and Apostolic faith, which our fathers and forefathers had transmitted to us. We have a chance to be courageous witnesses of the Divine truth and beauty of marriage and family. To this end we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit especially in the sacrament of confirmation. This virtue has bestowed the faithful during two thousand years with the ability to prefer death rather than to betray the baptismal vows, to die rather than to sin, to die rather than to betray the wedding vows, to die rather than to betray the priestly or religious vows.

In his Encyclical on Marriage and Family Pope Leo XIII spoke already in 1880: “The law of the Church was sometimes so divergent from the civil law that Ignatius the Martyr, (Polc.,5), Justin (Apol.I,15), Athenagoras (Legat., 32, 33) and Tertullian (Coron., 13) publicly denounced as unjust and adulterous certain marriages which had been sanctioned by imperial law”
(Arcanum Divinae, n. 21).

The family and the entire human society will flourish only on the condition when the Divine truth on Marriage and Family will be observed, as taught Pope Leo XIII: “From the beginning of the world, indeed, it was divinely ordained that things instituted by God and by nature should be proved by us to be more profitable and salutary the more they remain unchanged in their full integrity. If the rashness or the wickedness of human agency venture to change or disturb that order of things which has been constituted with the fullest foresight, then the designs of infinite wisdom and usefulness begin either to be hurtful or cease to be profitable, partly because through the change undergone they have lost their power of benefiting, and partly because God chooses to inflict punishment on the pride and audacity of man. Now, those who deny that marriage is holy, and who relegate it, striped of all holiness, among the class of common secular things, uproot thereby the foundations of nature, not only resisting the designs of Providence, but, so far as they can, destroying the order that God has ordained. No one, therefore, should wonder if from such insane and impious attempts there spring up a crop of evils pernicious in the highest degree both to the salvation of souls and to the safety of the commonwealth” (Arcanum Divinae, 25).

In order to remain faithful to the Divine commandments there are in our days families, young people, priests and bishops who are for this reason often marginalized, ridiculed and persecuted by the dictatorial power of the neo-Marxist World gender ideology. There are however also families, young people, priests and bishops who are marginalized and ridiculed even in some ecclesiastical environments because of their fidelity to the integrity of the Catholic faith and of the Divine Worship according the tradition of our forefathers.

In order to remain faithful to their vocation the Catholic family must practice especially the daily common prayer. Pope Pius XII spoke to Newly Married Couples:< We beseech you, take it to heart to keep this beautiful tradition of Christian families: the common prayer in the evening. The family gathers at the end of each day to implore the Divine blessings and to honour the Immaculate Virgin through the praises of the Rosary for all who sleep under the same roof. The hard and inexorable exigencies of the modern life don’t give you the leisure to dedicate some blessed moments of gratitude towards God, nor read, according to an ancient custom, a short biography of the Saint whom the Church proposes us as each day as a model and as a special protector. Strive to sanctify this even short moment dedicating it to God in order to praise Him and to present to Him your desires, your needs, your sufferings and your occupations. The center of your home must be the crucified or the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: May Christ reigns over your home and gather you around Him every day > (Address to Newly Married Couples, 12th February 1941).

My dear brothers and sisters, the Catholic family has a vocation which is in our days sometimes forgotten. It is the vocation to be the first priestly Seminary (cf. II Vatican Council, Optatam totius, n. 2). Pope Pius XII admonished Catholic parents with these words: “If some day God grants you the great honour of calling one of your children for this service, recognize the value and privilege entailed in so many graces that this call involves. You place the flower and fruit of your marriage on the altar, to live consecrated to the Lord and to souls… Do not be afraid of the gift of the holy vocation that has come down from heaven to rest upon your children. If you believe, and if love has raised you to a new level, is it not a comfort and joy to see your own son at the altar clothed with the priestly vestments, offering the sacrifice of the Mass and praying for his mother and father? Is it not a great consolation, that makes a mother’s heart beat with love for her daughter, to see her consecrated to Christ, serving him and loving him with all her being?” (Letter to Married Couples, March 25, 1942).

Dear fathers, dear mothers, dear grandfathers and grandmothers may you say: < O Lord, if you want, call one of my sons, one of my grandsons to the priesthood >. Young men and young women, you who are feeling in your soul the vocation of marriage and to found a domestic Church, you may also say: . And your boys and young men, some of you could say, perhaps today: .

What a beautiful vocation to be a true Catholic! What a beautiful vocation to fight for the integrity of the faith and the Divine commandments! What a beautiful vocation to be a Catholic family, a domestic Church! What a beautiful vocation to be a chaste young man and a chaste young woman! What a beautiful vocation to be a seminarian and a priest with a pure and ardent heart!

Don’t be afraid of the Goliath of our days, which is the new Anti-Christian World dictatorship. The gift of the fortitude of the Holy Spirit will make capable to win the Goliath of our days with the five stones of the sling of David.

O Holy Spirit let again flourish many domestic Churches, which will provide us with the five stones of David to win Goliath, that means: good fathers and mothers of family, pure children, pure young people, pure priests and intrepid bishops. Christus vincit, Christus regnant, Christus imperat!

Given at Holy Family Parish in Vancouver BC Canada on November.15 / 2015

Originally appeared in Momentum Veritatis.