Saturday, January 10, 2009


From the same book, The Soul of the Apostolate, I read a couple of stories of holy priests, both brilliant preachers, who each did seemingly "extraordinary" prayers and penances before their engagement commenced: a Father Lacordaire spent a long time before giving homilies and had himself scourged upon returning from the pulpit, while a Father Monsabre, was known to say all 15 decades of the Rosary on his knees before speaking at Notre Dame. When asked, he reportedly said that he was taking his "last dose of tonic".

Like many saints before them, these people have discovered the 'secret' to their 'success', in this case, in doing the apostolate of Christ, is to be found "at the foot of the Cross". Dom Chautard further added, that the Apostles were not asked to go to school in Athens, nor to study in Rome under the Caesars on how to conquer and govern empiers. Techniques of organization and fundraising and church-building and putting up school were not mentioned either. Only one thing is necessary: "Rogate" (Pray ye!).

Another modern apostle echoed the same sentiment, this time while encouraging us to have recourse to the Author of Grace Himself in the Blessed Sacrament:

It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow.

What I am expressing is not a pious practice or a luxury of the spiritual life. I am talking about its essence. Those who believe what I am saying and act on their belief are in possession of the greatest treasure available to man in this valley of tears. As by now thousands of saintly men and women have testified from experience, this is somewhere near the key to holiness. For this reason, I strongly recommend that each of us make a resolution -- no matter how much the decision may cost us -- to make a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved at least once a month or, if possible, once a week, and if we have the grace and our vocation in life permits it, even several times a week. Think of the empty hours that people spend weekly before the television screen -- an average I am told of some twenty hours per man, woman and child in America.

Someone may object, "But you are talking about mystics or saints, and I am neither. I am just an ordinary Catholic trying to save my soul." My reply: there can be no ordinary Catholics today, not with the revolution through which society is passing and the convulsion in the Church on every level. The Church today needs strong Catholics, wise Catholics, Catholics who are not swayed by public opinion or afraid to stand up for the truth. She needs Catholics who are willing to suffer for their convictions and, if need be, shed their blood for the Faith."

Read Fr Hardon's article here and an excerpt of The Soul of the Apostolate here.

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