Archbishop Lefebvre: 1976 - Sermon given before an association of Catholic familes
A Sermon delivered by His Grace, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on Sunday, May 2,1976
before an association of Catholic families in Southern France

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In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

My dear brethren:

You have just heard the Gospel of the Second Sunday after Easter, which is the Gospel of the Good Shepherd. And indeed, if there is a problem which torments us today, it is in asking ourselves if we really still have good shepherds. For what, in fact, is a good shepherd, if not he who walks before his sheep, before his lambs, and who leads them there where they can find good food? Now Our Lord says that He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd because it is He Who gives true nourishment to our intellects, to our wills, to our hearts: the nourishment of truth, the nourishment of charity, the nourishment of the desire to sanctify ourselves. This is the nourishment that Our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring us.

He Himself told us that He is the Way. the Truth, and the Life. He is the Way: He walks on the way to draw us after Him, like the Good Shepherd. He is the Truth: He enlightens our intellects to show us where we are going and what God promises us if we follow Him. And finally, He is the Life: for He truly gives us the food of life, in giving us Himself, particularly in the Holy Eucharist. This is what the Good Shepherd is.

Now Our Lord Himself warned us ... He took the trouble to warn us: There are also mercenaries. What, then, are these mercenaries? These mercenaries are those who assume power over the flock so as to lead it to death. Because at the least danger, these mercenaries flee and leave the flock abandoned. And the wolf comes and disperses the flock. Our Lord thus warned us that there would be times when the flock would be abandoned.. . abandoned because those who were supposed to lead it lost their bearings or at least did not want to fulfill the role of the true shepherd, and considering themselves as mere mercenaries, abandoned the flock.

Do we not have the impression today that the flock which is the Church, which is nothing other than the Church, is somewhat abandoned? Confusion reigns everywhere—anguish, anxiety, danger. It seems to us, in fact, that the flock could be attacked from any side by those who wish its destruction. And is it not he who, here below, should be the Shepherd after Our Lord Jesus Christ, the first among shepherds, our Holy Father the Pope, who himself has spoken of auto-demolition, of auto-destruction, of the smoke of Satan inside the flock, inside the Church? It is indeed nothing else. He too announced in a way that the Church would be invaded, besieged by satanic forces which would destroy her.

SO in the face of this danger which hems us in, more or less, and which threatens us every day, what should we do? What does the man do who has the instinct of preserving his life? He defends himself against the powers that want to destroy in him above all supernatural life, the life of God in him, the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why you are, I should say, as a remnant of this flock which is attacked, which is abandoned, which is dispersed; why you have found a priest who is a shepherd, who wants to give you the truth that Our Lord Jesus Christ has always taught us, that the Church has always taught; who really wants to give you the grace of Our Lord, which is desired for us and transmitted to us by Our Lord, by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by the Sacraments, by devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. So you group yourselves around him. And that is what thousands upon thousands of Catholics are doing throughout the world. They group themselves around a shepherd whom they feel to be a true shepherd.

And this is very important because we have need of the supernatural life which God came to give us. God did not come to make us the sheep of His flock so that He could abandon us later. This is not possible. No doubt He foresaw extraordinary times, times in which the Church would seem eclipsed—the time of the great apostasy. Could we not be in a period of preparation for this great apostasy, when no one will believe in God any longer, when no one will believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ any longer, or in His divinity ; when men will look only to one another.

Now that is indeed what is happening today. They would like in a way to separate us from God, to separate us from Our Lord Jesus Christ; to sever us from our roots, from the sources of life, from the sources of life which are given by Our Lord: Our Lord instituted them Himself. We ourselves do not have the right to choose the sources of our life. These sources Our Lord has given to us.

The principal one is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He gave Himself, He gave His Blood, to sanctify the earth. His Blood was poured forth on this earth to sanctify it. He did not only want to do it a single time; He wanted it to continue on our altars, and that is why He made priests. Priests have no other role. It is their principal role, their fundamental role, their essential role to ascend to the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice of Our Lord and to give you life—to you, the faithful, to you the sheep, the lambs of the flock—to give Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Sanctifier, Who is our Saviour, Who is our Salvation.

And let us firmly believe that there is no other flock. They would like to make us believe today that all religions save, that there are thus several shepherds ant that there would then be several flocks. No. There are not several shepherds; there are not several flocks. There is only one—one shepherd and one flock. It is this that Our Lord tells us in the Holy Gospel. Not only is there but one flock and one shepherd, but all others must come, Our Lord says, to join this flock. Thus it is necessary that they convert and that they separate themselves from those shepherds who are not at all such, from those shepherds who lead them to poisoned pastures which will bring them only death.

OUR Lord wants there to be only one flock and one shepherd. And that the world does not want. The world does not accept the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The world does not accept that we have only one Saviour; that there is only one way of salvation, which is the Cross—the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ; that there is only one Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the way of our salvation; that there are only the seven Sacraments designated by Our Lord Himself, instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, which are the way to our salvation. The world wants none of this.

The world wants liberty. The world wants to save itself as it pleases. The world wants to give itself up to all ideologies, to all its desires; it wants no more neither of the Law of Our Lord Jesus Christ nor of His truth. And then we are to believe that people who refuse Our Lord Jesus Christ can be saved! Our Lord Jesus Christ said Himself: "No one can be saved if he does not pass by Me. To go to the Father, I am the Way." There is no other way. And Saint Peter said after the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ: There is no salvation outside of the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ-no salvation. There is no salvation outside of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

So we must keep the faith: faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is very important and this is why we must follow our Shepherd, who is Our Lord Jesus Christ. And if it should happen that those who are intermediaries between the Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and ourselves want to turn us away from Our Lord Jesus Christ, then we must say no. We shall not accept it. We want to follow Our Lord. We do not want to become protestants, of those who doubt the divinity of Our Lord. We do not want to be of those who doubt the Resurrection of Our Lord. We do not want to be of those who doubt the Real Presence of Our Lord with His Body, His Blood, His Soul and His Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. We do not want this!

"But now theological research, but now the discoveries of science give us to understand that those things are things of the past." No! We shall never accept such things! We want to be faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ! We want to follow Him wherever He may lead us and we want to keep His teachings. This is what we must take as our resolution, no matter who may seek to contradict us.

For this much is certain: If we remain faithful to our Creed; if we remain faithful to our catechism— to our old catechism of the past, which flowed from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, that Council which made such a magnificent catechism, the summary of the whole Catholic Faith—if we remain faithful to this catechism; if we remain faithful to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the Church has always celebrated it, so as to be sure that Our Lord Jesus Christ is present on our holy altars and that in the Holy Eucharist we are receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; if we remain faithful to the Sacraments and to devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin, then we are sure of being in the right. We are sure of following the true shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And if any shepherd—whoever he may be, whatever may be his authority on this earth—wants to turn us away from these truths, we must say no! Impossible! We cannot turn away from Our Lord Jesus Christ. And this should be for us an absolute resolution. Because that is not possible; we cannot be wrong.

We should likewise be mistrustful sometimes of those persons, or of those shepherds extraordinary, I should call them, or of those other extraordinary messengers, men and women, who come to tell us, Heaven says, Heaven wants, Heaven has spoken to them, Heaven has given them particular revelations. No doubt all this is possible—Our Lord can manifest Himself to souls, as He did to Saint Francis of Assisi when Saint Francis received the stigmata of Our Lord. He did so to Saint Catherine of Siena who also received the stigmata of Our Lord. The Most Blessed Virgin has appeared numerous times in the course of the history of the Church to encourage the faithful, and especially those who do not believe return to the faith.

But today we must be very prudent. The devil is powerful; the devil seems unchained today. It seems that God has given him all power to do as he wishes on earth. And thus we risk finding ourselves in touch with persons who believe that they are in communication with Heaven and who, in fact, are being deceived by the devil himself.

THERE are things in which we cannot go wrong. So why not adhere to those things which Our Lord gave us for all time? Those will be sure until the end of time. But if we really believe, in all sincerity, after having carefully examined things as well as we can in our conscience, and after having asked the advice of priests who are capable of giving us sound information on the visions, on the messages, on the revelations being made these days . . . perhaps if we really feel that we are converted, that all that is doing us good, that these contacts are doing us good, that these prayers encourage us, fine.

But we must be very prudent. Because I could cite you actual cases of persons who believed for a long time that they were in communication with God and who were simply in communication with the devil. So we must be very careful. Are we not in those times of which Our Lord said: "A day shall come when men will say to you, 'Christ is here, Christ is there, Christ is in the country, Christ is in the mountains.' "? "Do not go," Our Lord said, "Do not go." Are we not in these latter times when the devil employs every means to disperse us, to tear us apart, to divide us, so as to reduce the flock to nothing?

In these critical moments, we must remain with that which is surest. We must avoid doubtful things.

We must make our stand on things that are certain, absolutely certain, without a thousandth per cent of doubt: our Creed, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. We cannot go wrong there. If we are firmly attached to these things we can work out our salvation. Our Lord willed these things for our salvation. So let us adhere to these things with all our heart.

Let us adore Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Let us have respect for Our Lord, our God, Our Saviour, our Creator: for Him Who is everything for us. How should we dare to present ourselves standing before Him Who will be our Judge at the end of time? Let us kneel before Our Lord with profound devotion. Let us receive Him in our hearts as the greatest treasure that we can have here below. Let us thank God for coming into our poor bodies, into our poor souls, sinners that we are. May God deign to reside in us for some time in His Body and in His Blood—this is the most beautiful, the grandest thing that God could do. And along with this respect for Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us love Him with our whole heart. Let us serve Him. Let us consider Him truly as our Shepherd.

Let us ask this of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary— of the Most Blessed Virgin who had only one name on her lips, only one name in her heart, that of her son, Jesus. Let it be for us as it was for her. Let us have one love only here below, one genuine love, in which we love all other creatures—but all other creatures should bring us to this love and not remove us from it. Let us love Our Lord Jesus Christ with our whole heart, with our whole soul, with our whole strength.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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