This past week the community has enjoined our annual retreat; this year Fr. Cadoc led us in a wonderful series of conferences on the Immaculate Conception. At the end of the retreat, after the giving of the indulgence, the Veni Creator was intoned, begging the Holy Ghost to enter our hearts for the canonry chapter that was to follow.
For some time we have been considering a new motto for the canonry and the capitulars heard a number of suggestions. Finally, it was decided that we would adopt as our motto ‘Si Deus, quis contra‘, a contracted form of ‘Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos?’ ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ from the Blessed Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 8:31.
These words were used by St. Paul to remind the Roman Christians to have confidence in God. Although beset by troubles and difficulties the Christian can always be assured that God is with them. Moreover it is a reminded to us that, as religious, we strive to do the opus Dei, the work of God, and in doing the work of God we can stand firm against the enemies of God. By these words St. Paul reminds us always to stand with confidence, knowing that those who seek to serve the Lord, lack no blessing.
Abbot Geudens, that great Flemish pioneer of the Premonstratensians in post-Reformation England, lists the phrase amongst the ‘celebrated sayings of Our Holy Father Norbert’. Our Holy Father himself, in his life as a preacher, as a founder of an Order and as an archbishop never doubted the confidence we have if we truly strive to do the will of God.
Si Deus, quis contra?