Wednesday, 11 December 2013

On the Sanctification of Priests According to the Needs of Our Times

In 1946, Father Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. wrote a short work in Latin entitled De sanctificatione Sacerdotum secundum exigentias nostri temporis - On the Sanctification of Priests According to the Needs of Our Times.

This important work has just been translated from the Latin and newly published. An initial stock of the book arrived at Carmel Books this morning.

"Its central theme is the urgent need of a deeper faith, both amongst the faithful, to enable them to stand firm against the principal errors of our day, especially against the materialist and atheistic spirit of the Communist and Liberal creeds; and also amongst the clergy, so that they would be able to communicate this gift to all Christians.

In developing that theme he discusses the duty which falls on every priest, not excepting secular priests, of tending towards Christian perfection.

He stresses the exalted nature of this state of perfection as revealed in the eight beatitudes, which are concrete expressions of that perfection; and in the supreme precept of love of God and one's neighbour, which commands the perfection of charity, not as something to put into practice at once, but as the end towards which all the faithful must be striving, each one according to his own particular calling in life, either as a married person or as a priest or as a religious, whether in sacred orders or not.

But if the faithful in general, in their state of life, have this duty of constantly tending towards a greater love of God and their neighbour, and towards the full perfection of charity which will be found in Heaven, how much greater is the obligation of priests to make a similar effort in order to be true lights of the world and the salt of the earth"?

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