December 2018 - District Superior's Letter

Three Halos

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The problem of evil is so mysterious and complex that even the elect of heaven do not grasp it in its entirety. So, let us never be surprised if we cannot grasp it. St. John reveals to us that, when the Lamb who sat on the heavenly throne opened the fifth seal: “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (holy and true) dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Apoc. 6: 9-10). A little later, the Apostle says: “It was given unto him (the beast) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And power was given him over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation” (13:7).

However, God is all-powerful and infinitely good. And He is always there in the darkest moments of Church history, allowing all things for His greater glory and for the greater good of His elect. This is a great mystery which, as we have just seen, astonishes even the elect of Heaven.

One of the keys to this mystery of evil is found precisely in Heaven. According to the principle, “The end is first in intention and last in execution,” Providence uses everything for the good of the elect: “And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. 8:28). In order for us to attain “the degree of glory which He has prepared for us in his kingdom,” God will provide the circumstances that will drive us to this supreme degree of victory over ourselves: the total gift of self.

In addition to the Beatific Vision, the golden crown of charity, some of the elect are also entitled to a halo, a small crown that is a privileged reward corresponding to an exceptional victory. This exceptional victory means an exceptional fight. St. Thomas speaks of three main evils that threaten every man: the flesh, the world and the devil. Looking around today, considering everything that is happening around us, he is definitely right.

“In the fight against the flesh, the one who wins the greatest victory is he who completely abstains from carnal pleasures—which are the principal ones in this domain, it’ is the man who is a virgin. A halo is therefore due for virginity” (Suppl., Q. 96, Art.10). There is a special crown in heaven for virgins, for those who have never yielded to the enemy: it is a more perfect and beautiful victory says the angelic doctor. This should be proclaimed from the rooftops, to all youth in search of ideals and challenges. Is it surprising, then, to see the hatred of the devil and all the efforts he makes, inspired by his infernal jealousy, to prevent men from obtaining it? Moreover, his all-out attacks to destroy the virginity of bodies and souls is his way of attacking the Virgin of virgins, whom he cannot touch: the Tower of Ivory.

“In the struggle against the world, the main victory is to bear with the persecution of the world to the moment of death: the second halo is, therefore, due to martyrs who win the victory in this struggle, because of all the passions excited from without, the fear of death holds the first place” (idem and Art. 6). The fear ... You must have lived in a communist country to see how everything or almost everything provokes fear: fear of losing one’s job, one’s house, one’s child ... Our Western countries are approaching this atmosphere of fear very quickly. And so, a special halo in Heaven is due to those who triumph over this fear for God’s sake. “God alone will you worship!” The love of God must truly be stronger than the fear of death.

“In the struggle against the devil, the chief victory is to cast out the devil not only from oneself, but also from the hearts of others: which is done by teaching and preaching. The third halo, therefore, is due to the doctors and the preachers.” (Idem) Which supernatural revealed truths, as well as natural truths, are not attacked today? What commandment of God is not trampled on?

Thank God, there are still many people who raise their voices, who rise to the call to battle, to defend Revelation and the rights of God! Whether it be on the issues of faith—pro-life, the defense of the family, the Catholic school, even at the political level—it is encouraging to see the number of generous souls increase day by day. If the fight is carried out for God’s sake—let us not forget: “If I do not have charity, I am nothing ...” (1 Cor., XIII, 2)—a special crown awaits them in heaven. Let us recall, among other things, Archbishop Lefebvre’s bitter and unappreciated fight for the defense of the traditional Mass and the Catholic priesthood! Alone against everyone, his reputation attacked around the world, he remained firm despite winds and storms. He certainly deserved this halo of “Doctor” for his defense of Christ the King.

Let us return to the mystery of evil, which is often an obstacle for the intelligence and a scandal for the heart, especially when it causes harm to the innocent—especially innocent children. The answer lies on Calvary, where evil reached its peak in the death of Innocence Incarnate. When we teach that God only allows evil for a greater good, a good-light often buried in deep darkness, we must think of the night of Bethlehem, the darkness of Good Friday; we must think of Heaven, the joy of Heaven.

“Enter the joy of your Master!” There is a paradox in joy: it is in giving that one receives, and thus the one who receives joy gives the other happiness. This is how God will crown his elect for their greatest eternal joy—which in turn will contribute to His own. “He who overcomes I will make him sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.” (Apoc. 3: 21)

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (tears of joy) and death will be no more, and the weeping, the cries, the pain will be no more, because the first state has passed.” (Apoc. 21: 4)

So be it! It is this heavenly happiness revealed at Christmas that we wish for all our readers!

D. Couture