St. John of the Cross was inspired by St. Teresa of Avila to assist her in the reform of the Carmelite Order. The rule had been mitigated in the 15th century and St. Teresa and St. John wanted to return it to its original strictness. There was much opposition to this within his order and he suffered much persecution, even being imprisoned twice. Escaping prison, he was successful in bringing about reform.
In our day Archbishop Lefebvre tried to preserve the Church and especially the priesthood from the destructive influence of the modernists and liberals. He absolutely rejected the new Mass, the new sacraments (calling them a “bastard” mass and “bastard” sacraments) and the new direction that the Church was taking. A direction inspired by Satan the Father of Lies to deceive everywhere the religious and the faithful. As Pope Paul VI admitted ‘the smoke of Satan has entered the Church’.
For his efforts Archbishop Lefebvre was belittled and persecuted. He suffered much, but like St. John of the Cross, maintained his peace of soul. He suffered from false brethren, those who were constantly abandoning him in drips and drabs, and those who absolutely rejected him, for example, the monks of Le Barroux, and the traitors who founded with Pope John Paul II the Fraternity of St. Peter. Traitors was the Archbishop’s word as the sole purpose of this Fraternity was to pull souls away from the SSPX. He also undoubtedly suffered from brethren who remained within the SSPX but with treasonous intentions, hoping to sell out the SSPX to the Conciliar Revolution.
Bishop Williamson has likewise suffered much both from the revolutionaries within the SSPX and the liberals and modernists from without. His house arrest in Wimbledon was not as sparse and severe as St. John’s prison but it was a prison nonetheless. He was also several times threatened and persecuted and banned by civil authorities for speaking the truth about the rulers of this world and the powers of darkness.
Persecution goes with reform. Today the Church needs reform from top to bottom. If we intend to work in our little corners of Our Lord’s vineyard on reform we must expect persecution. Thus, we see that priests of the SSPX, which is trying to be revolutionary lite, are persecuting those who are trying to keep the path of Archbishop Lefebvre, the path of no compromise with the revolution.
By being revolution lite they avoid persecution and get to hobnob with Archbishop Schneider and Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Ladaria and Mgr. Pozzo and even Pope Francis. That is, they get to associate with “bad companions”, true revolutionaries. That is the path of revolution lite, and it is the path of self-destruction. The Revolution eats those who are revolution-lite. This is inevitable. They either become full revolutionaries, or they perish. Men like Simon Bolivar can attest to this. May he rest in peace.
We must persevere in not compromising, but also in trying to grow in the knowledge and love of our Faith. Becoming ourselves more strict in our practise of it, and continually trying to conquer ourselves as St. John of the Cross did. His life work was self-denial and self-conquest.