Saint Pius X and Reverence Lost
“Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty” ~ Saint Pius X
During a time in the liturgical year when our calendar is dotted with the Feast Days of many prodigious saints, the church pauses today to recognize a canonized figure of recent vintage in Pope Saint Pius X.
As a man whose distaste for the Modernist movement only rivaled, conversely, his love for the Eucharist, Saint Pius X urged tradition in the face of those who fancied themselves “innovators” and “revolutionaries” in matters pertaining to our church. He possessed the wisdom to see them for what they were: compromisers and distorters of the truth. In that way and in many others, he was a visionary of epic proportion.
Pius X reveled in the rich traditions of our church; the Holy Eucharist, the Rosary, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He was a staunch champion of daily communion. Of the Rosary he called it “the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God...and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” He would go so far as to famously proclaim “If there were one million families praying the Rosary every day, the entire world would be saved.” As mentioned, he espoused daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a practice he referred to as the “fountainhead of all devotional works.” Saint Pius possessed a reverence that was rare for his time and virtually unheard of today.
In his book “Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God,” author Fr. Romano Guardini explains that “reverence is a surmise of greatness and holiness and a desire to participate in it, combined with the apprehension of being unworthy of it.” In reverence, “man refrains from doing what he usually likes to do, which is to take possession of and use something for his own purposes. Instead he steps back and keeps his distance. This creates a spiritual space in which that which deserves reverence can stand erect, detached, and free, in all its splendor.”
Any society that loses reverence for God will certainly and shortly thereafter lose respect for nature and persons. How can it be any other way? So how do we as a society regain reverence lost?
Scripture tells us that being reverent in our actions far outweighs reverence of a merely symbolic or gestural nature. “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (John 14:23). Like all noble virtues, reverence cannot exist without self-sacrificing love. We in essence proclaim our reverence and love for God by way of obedience to his most holy and divine will, which manifests itself in our day to day works. Saint Therese of Lisieux spoke of this when she said “miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Marvelous-Intercession-of-Saint-Therese-and-Her-Little-Way. That’s reverence, in the truest sense of the word.
“Grant, O Lord, we pray, that in following the teachings of Pope Saint Pius X, we may ever celebrate the divine mysteries of our faith with severe reverence and receive them in a spirit of faith.” ~ Amen
. . . Saint Pius X, great Pope and courageous leader of the Catholic Church, pray for us.