Sermon of His Grace, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
On the Occasion of the Reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation
20 April 1986
Farmingville, Long Island, New York
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My dear children, my dear brethren, we must thank God today because the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is a very great grace for these children and also a grace for all who assist at the ceremony of Confirmation. My dear children, you must know that this sacrament has the name of Confirmation - why Confirmation? Because this sacrament confirms the grace you received in the Sacrament of Baptism; the same Spirit you received by the Sacrament of Baptism, the Holy Ghost ? but now you receive all the gifts of the Holy Ghost. And why did Jesus Christ institute this Sacrament of Confirmation? Because we need many assists, many graces, from the Holy Ghost to remain a true Catholic, to remain a true Christian.
When you were a baby and your sponsor brought you to the priest to receive the Sacrament of Baptism you were not conscious that you received the grace of baptism because you were a baby. Now you know that you shall receive the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation, and you must repeat the same words that your sponsor said when you received Baptism. And what did they say, the sponsor in your name, when the priest asked, "Do you believe in God, the Creator?" The sponsor said, "I believe." "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior?" and they answered, "We believe." "Do you believe in the Holy Ghost and in the Catholic Church?" and they said, "Yes, we believe." And he also asked, "Do you renounce Satan?" "Yes, we renounce Satan." "Do you renounce all scandal of Satan in the world?" and they said, "Yes we do renounce." But now you must say, "I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Ghost, I renounce Satan." That is very important and so when you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from the Bishop, you receive especially the Gift of Fortitude ? to fight, to fight against Satan, to fight against the devil. Devils are now everywhere in the world and they do everything possible to lead us into mortal sin, because they know that if we are under the influence of Satan, they can lead us to hell. That is their work ? the work of Satan ? and he has much power, especially now, because you know that many priests now don't say the Mass; priests are fewer and fewer; they don't say the Mass and they don't pray. Many faithful abandon the Church; no more devotion to God, no more prayers and so the devil can now do many things that before he was not capable of doing because, in the past, there were many priests, many prayers, many sisters, many monasteries, many churches.
When the Bishop gives you the Sacrament he puts his hand on your head and signs your forehead with the Sign of the Cross, because that is our flag, the flag of the Christian. The flag of the Catholic is the Cross. So you receive the Sign of the Cross on your forehead with holy oil, and the Bishop says the words of Confirmation. It is at this time that you receive the grace of the Sacrament. When you return to your place you can say, "I have received the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Now I am strong, strong to fight; now I am a soldier, a soldier of Jesus Christ."
To remain a Christian, to remain Catholic, is very, very important. You can ask your parents, ask men who are here, if it is easy to remain Christian, to live as a Christian. It's not so easy to keep all the Commandments of God, to remain obedient to God. It's not easy; it is very difficult, and we need the grace of God to fight against the devil.
I hope that with the prayers of your parents, of your friends, of the priests and seminarians who are here today, that you shall receive many graces, by the intercession of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, your Mother. I hope that you have a Rosary in your pocket, and that you say, many times, "Hail Mary," to ask her for fortitude.
My dear brethren, I take this occasion to speak to you to encourage you to be more Christian, more Catholic ? strong Catholics, strong Christians. You know that the Church now has a very tragic crisis. The situation in the Church is very sad ? sad due to the priests who have abandoned their priesthood; sad due to the bishops who have given a bad catechism to the children so that they no longer have the true Catholic Faith; sad due to the bishops who promote false ecumenism, who invite Protestants into their churches and cathedrals. That is a great scandal! It is impossible to unite error and truth, light with darkness, Satan with God ? but they do that when they invite all other religions. The bishops invite false religions into the Catholic Church with Jesus Christ Who is true God; it is a scandal! Now, we have heard that in Rome, they have done the same thing ? even the Pope was, last Sunday, in a synagogue! This is a scandal. What is the synagogue? Who are these Jews in the synagogue? They are the enemies of Jesus Christ, because they are the successors of the Jews who refused Jesus Christ, who crucified Jesus Christ. They refused Him and said, "He is not our Savior; He is not our God," and they crucified Him. It is the same Jews, and they say the same thing; they refuse Jesus Christ. They are against Jesus Christ and don't recognize Him as the Messiah. Never! How is it possible to pray with these men who refuse Jesus Christ. They say that Jesus Christ is not God. We always pray in the name of Jesus Christ, always; our prayers end with "through Jesus Christ our Lord . . ." Always, Catholic prayer is through Jesus Christ because we know that He is God, our Savior, and without Jesus Christ we cannot go to heaven. Prayers without Jesus Christ have no fruit, and so it is incredible that the man who is in the seat of Saint Peter goes to the synagogue to pray with the Jews who refuse Jesus Christ. It is incredible!
We must pray during this crisis in the Church and we must remain Catholic. We must remain faithful to Jesus Christ, we must remain disciples of Christ. It is impossible to refuse Him for Jesus Christ is our God. He shall be our Judge when He comes in the clouds to judge all humanity. Nobody can say, "Oh, You are not my Judge, You are not my God," for that is impossible. There is only one God, Jesus Christ, with His Father, and the Holy Ghost ? the Blessed Trinity. It is impossible to change that. He shall be our Judge. And so we must remain faithful to tradition, to the true faith, to the true creed.
When the children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, they express their faith; when they say the Creed, the Our Father, and the Hail Mary, they express their faith. We will all say these same prayers with great devotion: "I believe in God, my Creator, my Redemptor, my Savior. I believe in Jesus Christ, my God. I believe in the Holy Ghost, my God." That is the belief of Catholics and we cannot pray to another God, we cannot pray to another divinity; it is impossible.
The times are very sad, very tragic but in this time we have received this grace from God, we are elected by God, you are elected by God, to remain Catholic, to continue the Catholic Church, to be the witness of the Catholic Faith. Where many people have abandoned the Catholic Faith, you have received His grace to remain Catholic and to give the Faith to your children. As St. Paul says, "I give the faith I received myself," and we must say the same thing. I give the same Faith that I received, and you must say the same thing to your children; it is very important to save your soul. And so we must pray and we must be united ? no divisions ? we must be united in the same Faith, the same Creed, the same belief, in the same law, the same charity to our God and to our neighbor. Unity gives fortitude. We are more strong if we are united. It is the time for holy Christians! We must thank God because these are occasions for us to remain Catholic, even when we see the destruction of the Church ? the "auto?destruction" of the Church, as Pope Paul VI said. And this auto?destruction continues, worsens, worsens. Faced with this situation we must ask God to give us many graces. We need many graces to remain Catholic. Do not follow the Christians who have abandoned their faith and become Protestant, or have become Muslim.
I hope that by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, that we remain Catholic. That is the First Commandment of God ? to believe that Jesus Christ is God, is the Son of God. In the whole of Scripture we can see at each page that faith is necessary, and that Jesus Christ Himself said that we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. "If you believe you shall be saved; if you do not believe you shall be condemned." That is what Jesus Christ Himself said. And so we can accept nothing which is contrary to the divinity of Jesus Christ ? it is impossible. We must pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary today and ask her to give to these children the many graces necessary to remain true Catholics, true Christians.
In the Name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.