Cardinal Sarah’s Chartres homily

If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it and make Cardinal Robert Sarah the Pope.

Read the text of the homily that the cardinal delivered to the pilgrims at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres at the conclusion of the Chartres pilgrimage. The themes of the homily will be familiar to anyone who had read his books, The Power of Silence and God or Nothing: silence, devotion to the traditional liturgy, the clergy’s sacred role (more than social workers), the immense value of the monastic life, and the depravity of Western society that has rejected God.

Here are a few quotes from the homily:

“Western society has chosen to establish itself without God. Witness how it is now delivered to the flashy and deceptive lights of a consumer society: to profit at all costs, and frenzied individualism.”

“Dear pilgrims, without silence, there is no light. Darkness feeds on the incessant noise of this world, which prevents us from turning to God. Take the example of the liturgy of the Mass today. It brings us to adoration, filial fear and love in the presence of God’s greatness. It culminates in the Consecration where together, facing the altar, our gaze directed to the host, to the cross, we commune in silence in recollection and in adoration. Dear friends, let us love these liturgies that enable us to taste the silent and transcendent presence of God, and turn us towards the Lord.”

“Dear brother priests, I want to address you specifically. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the place where you will find the light for your ministry. The world we live in is constantly petitioning us. We are constantly in motion, without taking care to stop and take the time to go to a deserted place to rest a little, in solitude and silence, in the company of the Lord. There is the danger that we regard ourselves as “social workers”. Then, we would not bring the Light of God to the world, but our own light, which is not that which men expect from us. What the world expects of the priest is God and the Light of his Word proclaimed without ambiguity or falsification.”

“People of France, peoples of the West, you will find peace and joy only by seeking God alone! Return to the Source! Return to the monasteries! Yes, all of you, dare to spend a few days in a monastery! In this world of tumult, ugliness and sadness, monasteries are oases of beauty and joy. You will experience that it is possible to put concretely God in the center of his whole life. You will experience the only joy that will not pass.”

When you consider the flashy, vulgar and scandalous Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala (and exhibition) in New York City, the irreverent Novus Ordo masses, and the preference given to social work over the contemplative life in the modern Catholic Church, I am so happy that Cardinal Sarah has spoken out to remind us of what Catholics are called to do on earth.



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