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Chapter 10

Father Henry La Praz at The Seminary



Father La Praz's last baptism at our Lady of Lepanto, July 19th, 1992

It was granted to me to know Father La Praz during his time in the Seminary. One of his biggest sufferings was, because of his many infirmities, of not being able to follow the rules with all the precision with which he would have wished. I still can see him asking for the dispensations which his state of health made necessary, with an exemplary and apologetic humility. What struck me, was that humility which suffering deepened in him always a little more. A strong humility.

As the cross was made heavier for him he showed himself more anxious for others. In the physical powerlessness to which he was often reduced, one felt him nurtured by a mighty love for souls but without that indiscreet zeal which lives in apostles too sure of themselves, over confident in their preaching. Sickness removed from him any tie, any adherence to that form of vanity  which slips into the priestly ministry. And he let himself be persuaded. “My God take me from myself and give me to You”. He let himself be taken, and rather than give himself, he abandoned himself.

As his strength left him, as his capacities diminished, he could not nor did not want to rely on himself. “Cum infirmor, tunc potens sum – when I am weak, then am I powerdul” (II Cor. XII, 10).

Behold the powerful humility of Father La Praz.

Under the effects of his sickness, his soul was purified from those vanities always in suspension, causes of trouble and of obscurity. Suffering clarified him and he radiated.

“How beautiful, how delightful is this incorruptible spring of a pure heart! God enjoys to see Himself there as in a fine mirror, He imprints Himself there in all His beauty. This fine mirror becomes a sun by the rays it shines forth. It is all dazzling. The purity of God is joined to ours, which He Himself has brought about in us; and our purified looks will see Him shine in ourselves, glisten there with an eternal light. 'Blessed then are the clean of heart for they shall see God' " (Bossuet, Meditations on the Gospel I. VIIth day).

Father Alain Lorans


Chapter 9

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