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