Homilies and Reflections from Father Armand De Malleray, FSSP
Marian Clergy Retreat 01 Douai 2018 - She’s More Than Worth It
Spending five days in a monastery is arduous – but worth it, as an investment in our spiritual life. Life is about packing what we will need for an eternal ‘holy day’. So many great things have been written already about Our Lady and the Sacred Priesthood. But we need to make such truths ours, hence the time we take meditating on them. With knowledge comes responsibility. Our Lady will help us become saints, as our priesthood calls us to. The interior life of Our Lady is where it all begun. On her Annunciation, Our Lady knew all that She needed to know about the mission of the Messiah her Son, and about us, her spiritual posterity.
Marian Clergy Retreat 02 Douai 2018 - The Triple Eclipse
The Incarnation of the Logos in Our Lady’s virginal womb is explained as triple eclipse. A mineral and cosmic eclipse of the sun by the moon. An organic and microcosmic eclipse of Our Lady’s eye (symbolising her soul) by the ovum. In between, a spiritual eclipse (or superimposition) of God’s loving will by Our Lady’s created will, humbly and joyfully responsive.
Marian Clergy Retreat 03 Douai 2018 - God’s First Child Is A Priest
Our Lady is the Mother of God, because her Son is divine as a Person. The human nature He assumed from Her belongs immediately to Him as Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Until Jesus, no child was ever conceived by a sinless mother; and that first Child of grace is a priest. Our Lady loves priests as formally sharing in the distinctive feature of her Son, His priesthood.
Marian Clergy Retreat 04 Douai 2018 - Her Son’s Fingers and Lips
Our Lady wishes to be a mother to all humans, in fulfilment of the Redemption wrought by her Son. Those marked with the sacramental characters of Holy Baptism and Confirmation bear a particular resemblance to her Son Jesus. But in priests only does She find embedded a permanent capacity for imparting divine life, even after some of them may have lost God’s grace. Our Lady watches all the more lovingly over them, until they reach heaven.
Marian Clergy Retreat 05 Douai 2018 - Cord Of Grace Or Bonds Of Death
The Visitation prolongs the Annunciation. Our Lady acts as heavenly midwife to St John the Baptist, the Precursor of the Sovereign High Priest. She forwards to him the Holy Ghost to graft him into the mystical Body of her Son, while carrying Jesus as the Head of the same Body. The devotion to ‘Mary Undoer of Knots’ illustrates this truth. All further members must be connected to their Head through Mary. Despising her spiritual motherhood binds one to the Father of Lies instead, as no middle path is offered.
Marian Clergy Retreat 06 Douai 2018 - Mary As The Potter’s Field
Judas is the type of the fallen priest. Our Lady invites him to come back to the divine Father. Any fallen priest must hope in her intercession, even when engrossed in ungodly business. She can reshape in him the priestly features of her Son even when distorted through betrayal. Filiation to Mary secures life, but filiation to the devil leads to death.
Marian Clergy Retreat 07 Douai 2018 - Espoused to Christ’s Church
As the New Eve, Our Lady is also the Virginal Bride of Christ, the New Adam. She appears at Cana and on Golgotha as ‘The Woman’. With and through Her, the divine Bridegroom fosters a spiritual progeny. Guided by St Joseph, priests may prudently enter into this sponsal companionship. Priestly celibacy is a treasure for the world, as a striking sign of the power of divine grace working through ordinary men. Priests sacrifice to God the great good of biological fatherhood. This makes them even more apt to protect unborn children, images of the Saviour in the earliest stage of His redemptive Incarnation.
Marian Clergy Retreat 08 Douai 2018 - Him Whom My Soul Loveth
As the Word became flesh, Christ was ordained a priest. Marked indelibly with the priestly character of her Son, priests are ontologically entitled to Our Lady’s assistance. Hence, priests have a greater duty to bear fruit of grace. Non-priests can be more holy though, if they love more. Mary was granted priestly powers once, but priests have them at their constant disposal. Mary will seek her Son’s priests, not resting until She sees them secure in grace, forever in heaven. Priests respond to her zeal by becoming her sons.
Priestly Martyrdom - (Conference 01) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
We must be animated with the Love of God - The English Martyrs gave up their lives in the most horrific and heroic way for love of Jesus. The hymn of the "Te Deum" sounded out supernaturally from the hearts of the faithful on hearing of the martyrs’ death. What about us today? The martyrs had prudence and charity, and we must have a deep desire to bear witness to the truth with fortitude.
Signs in General - (Conference 02) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
The verbs ‘to listen’ and ‘to obey’ have a similar origin. To obey is to listen to the signs and guidance of someone greater than us. We must listen to the right voice – that of the Prince of Peace, whose words are true. God is passionate for us, His creatures and He died on the cross for us. God does speak but do we listen to Him ?
Natural and Divine Signs - (Conference 03) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
God uses the word ‘sign’ in Isaiah 7:14, in the plan of Redemption. A sign is used by God as a means of communicating an important truth. Jesus in the New Testament speaks many times also about signs, as in St Matthew’s Gospel, speaking of the signs of the times. According to the Book of Wisdom, creation itself is a sign. The miracles by Jesus are signs: e.g. at Cana, the change of water into wine by the Lord manifested his glory.
Witness and Sacraments - (Conference 04) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
Witness in a literal sense means ‘martyr’. Through bearing witness to God, the martyr is made ‘sign’ literally. All that he is refers to Christ, to Whom he bears witness. Martyrdom implies death inflicted out of hatred for the Catholic faith. To die a martyr in a strict sense, one must die in communion with the Church established by Christ. The heart of the martyr should burn with the virtue of charity, even towards his executioners.
The Precursor - (Conference 05) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
St. John the Baptist is the ‘Precursor’ Our Lord Jesus Christ. His immediate family was close to the Holy Family. Like St. John, we must seek to detach ourselves from the spirit and the comforts of the world. The purity of the flesh and clarity of mind are interrelated. They help us grasp the truth. As a finger indicating the way to God, the Baptist perhaps frightens us a bit. He is a man of penance and austerity. He inspires us to give witness to the truth and not to compromise with the world in our priestly vocation. St John the Baptist is a another great sign sent by God.
Paradigm of Apostasy - (Conference 06) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
There are dangers associated with the priesthood. We will always bear the priestly character, even in eternity. We reflect on the means to protect our priesthood in order to make it bear much fruit. We suggest an analogy between the recent film ‘Silence’ situated in 17th Century Japan, and the priestly crisis over the past half century. Priests must perform with sanctity all the simple daily actions in order to edify their sheep. The priest must be a man of prayer, especially in connection with Holy Mass. Our Lady will guide him. He should pray daily the Most Holy Rosary. Wherever the priest exercises his gift from God as a priest, he must give witness as a minister of Christ.
David's Five Stones - (Conference 07) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
Having seen the dangers against the vocation of the priest, we now look at the remedies to overcome these temptations. In the First Book of Kings (17: 40), we read of the fight of David against Goliath. Jesus, Son of David, triumphs over Satan with five stones. The same will help us overcome the devil, the world and the flesh and to sanctify ourselves through grace. We must correspond to God’s grace and put ‘the old man to death’. What are these five stones we take from the brook and carry in our shepherd’s bag, that is, in our ministry? Where is our heart and where do we find our comfort and security? This place where our heart finds its rest must be our church. This is the ‘awesome’ place where God dwells. This is our first stone. Listen to find the other four stones.
Daily Witness - (Conference 08) Clergy Retreat at Prior Park College, Bath, 27-31 March 2017
Bearing witness is a work of every day and night. When we die in state of grace, then we will be freed from pride and lust. We must reaffirm that what our five senses reach is very limited. Reality spreads far beyond our sensorial experience. There are things which our senses cannot reach but are very much real, such as the existence of God and the economy of salvation. When we go back as priests to the Lord’s vineyard, let us make good resolutions, learning and deepening our knowledge of the truth and theology. In particular, let us be zealous in the supreme prayer of Holy Mother Church - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.