Todo - Nada

Chapter 4

Retreat Notes - The Thirty Days of St. Ignatius
(Bitche, France, August 1985)


April 1986, Henry La Praz, seminarian,
while visiting the Geneva Priory of St. Francis de Sales.


Monday August 5th

9.30 a.m. To become a priest, yes but in that case generously and a total gift.

5.30 p.m. My Lord and my God, prevent me from falling into tepidity, force me like Simon of Cyrene to help You and to follow You always. Thank You my God, help me. Courage! Meditation, battle!


Tuesday August 6th

3.00 p.m. My Lord and my God, grant me an always deeper awareness of the ugliness of sin in order that, fully regretting it, I may lead an austere and penitential life so as to purify myself from my sins. Courage! Deo Gratias!


Wednesday August 7th                                               

3.00 p.m. I am dry, Lord, but I offer You my dryness and I love You all the more fervently! Courage!


Friday August 9th

My God, I love You, give me docility to Your inspirations so that I, too, pronounce my Fiat which, by Your presence and Your Seal, will irradiate all my actions, my words and my intentions.

Give me the love of sacrifice, the spirit of obedience, teach me the royal way of humility. Do not hesitate, Lord, to humble me but give me the grace that it will help to the edification of my humility rather than to vain glory coming from pride whose father is Satan.

May I always be, remain and become more, a son of the Spirit, a son of God through Mary, so that one day as priest, Jesus being born in my hands may find refuge in my heart and an instrument in my body and my soul to continue the Redemption. Courage! Deo Gratias!

5.30 p.m. Oh St. Joseph, help me to contemplate Jesus in the Holy Tabernacle in the same way that you contemplated Him in Mary, your Holy Spouse. Even in the dark night of Faith, may I suspend my judgement so as to see only Jesus and Mary with your eyes, blinded for a moment. In temptation, give me your view of the eternal things, your glance of the just man according to goodness and according to justice. That glance which makes us put harmony between the letter and the spirit.

Oh St. Joseph, you silenced your imagination faced with Mary's situation, you nourished yourself with the words which rang of truth but which spoke of that which you did not understand. Grant me the grace of not desiring to anticipate the hour of God.

My God, today and for always, I want only to do Your Holy Will; for that, model my will on Yours so that I do not anticipate the hour which You have fixed from all eternity for the works You will give to be done, to carry out, to fail, to perfect or to continue. Make me walk to the tempo of Your Providence!

Oh Blessed Mother, grant me to be conscious of Jesus in my heart as you were when He was in your virginal womb. That through His Holy Eucharist He may shine through His poor instrument.


Sunday August 11th

Oh good Joseph, assist me in my last agony, make me die in your holy company. And you, St. John the Baptist, make me prepare hearts to always better receive Jesus. Give me the love of penance which is the compost of all fertile apostolates. Oh Blessed Mother, detach me from everything for the service of God. Whatever God asks, help me to give it to Him without reserve and to give Him even more, if that is His pleasure.

Oh Jesus, help me to follow You, to detach myself from my family, my friends, my possessions, my passions, my own will, the futilities and from mediocrity so that I follow You into the wilderness with the Holy Ghost.

3.00 p.m. Oh Lord, what is there to contemplate during this night, immense desert and scorching dryness? The chill of that test of my mind, nakedness, I offer You with all my heart.

6.00 p.m. A little better, but hard! Courage! If you persevere, the demon flies away, God will invade your soul. It is in the test that one is strengthened. Courage!


Monday August 12th

9.30 a.m. That my Fiat be true to the end! Courage!

3.00 p.m. I, Henry La Praz, change none of my resolutions, I continue whatever the cost. I offer this great trial to Our Lady so that she may purify it and present it to God. Darkness, doubt linger on. Discouragement and weariness sink in. The Good Lord is good, I have confidence, I continue. Oh Lord, if by misfortune I should one day no longer want to be a part of the group of those who always want to fulfil Your Holy Will, make, through the circumstances, the events, my Superiors, the words, my neighbours, that I must find again the path of those in the front line to defend Your standard. Oh, Our Lady, your unworthy slave throws himself at your feet to implore this grace of you, you the Mediatrix of all Graces. Ask God for me for perseverance and the light to achieve humble obedience in the love of God.


Tuesday August 13th           

3.00 p.m. Oh Lord, do not leave me in the state to which You have called me without Your graces and the necessary gifts to accomplish well Your Will. You know my weakness, my apathy, my feeble will and my awkward behaviour.

I ask You for the opprobrium, the contempt of men, the lack of understanding and the suffering. To suffer, yes, but not yet to die. The appointment of love is for later, although soon. Courage… Deo Gratias!

Queen of Peace, pray for us, Queen of Apostles, protect me!

5.30 p.m. Oh Lord! thank You for this meditation. I have the certainty of the call to Your service in sickness, in suffering, in the barrenness of mind. Give me Your grace, take all the rest. I am ready, Lord, strike, take, disfigure, I give You everything, even my appearance, if that is Your wish. Courage Henry!


Wednesday August 14th

Make my heart a Priest's and a victim's for Your glory .I do not ask of You any perceptible thing but the pure Faith, unfailing Charity, unwavering Hope in Your grace and ‘in sinu Matris tuae.’

5.30 p.m. Lord, help me to follow You in the way of the Beatitudes. For that, grant me at least to remain in the second degree of humility. I would ask You for the third but I am not worthy. Grant me Your grace, I give You my liberty, all my means and even make You the offering of my health if that is for Your glory and in obedience to my Superiors.

Lord, I do not want to take half measures. Help me, oh Our Lady. My Mother and my Mistress, look at your unworthy slave, obtain for him, through your mediation, the grace of total sacrifice. Convert!


Friday August 16th           

5.00 p.m. Our Lady, deign to receive my offering of myself as a total gift and without return. Purify my intentions, my words, my acts, so that they will serve only the praise and the glory of God. I ask earnestly the grace of making the offering of my life in the form of suffering, humiliation and opprobrium. I ask only for the grace to offer all, to accept all, so as to lose nothing of that which God will send me.

And you, St. Mary Magdalene, through the fierce love avenging your past failings by an extreme penance, aid me to chastise my body, to reduce it to servitude and if God deigns to accept my offering, come to my aid in the tribulation, the trial, the night.

St. Joseph, my kindly guide, my Patron for a while at St. Joseph Oratory in Geneva, show me the way of self-denial. Make me to not reflect too much, nor to listen to human prudence which is nothing but cowardice. You went to Bethlehem, then to Egypt against all human prudence, prompted by God. With Our Lady, purify my offering of myself.

Oh Jesus, deign to accept this offering to the Holy Trinity. I have nothing for myself but I give it to You. I can do nothing by myself but I do it nevertheless for You. I know nothing but I love You all the way to the folly of the Cross. Accept the offering of my body so that it will be for You an additional humanity, an instrument for the redemption of sinners and the pardon of my soul.

Oh Holy Trinity, let me lose myself in You so that my regenerated and transfigured soul shall be worthy of the mission that You will entrust to me.


Saturday August 17th

My good St. Peter, keep me in your flock, a useless and awkward sheep. If God accepts my offering of myself on the altar of sacrifice of His merciful love, take my sufferings to submerge them in the sufferings of Jesus, receive them for the Church, the Society of St. Pius X, especially Archbishop Lefebvre and Father Schmidberger.

Our Lady, the little merits which I have sullied and defiled by pride and self-esteem, purify them because they belong to You by right, in virtue of the holy slavery of my person, of my soul, of all my actions.

Jesus, receive my offering, present it to the Father and to the Holy Ghost, so that They will grant me in meditation, to perfect my offering for the glory of the Holy Trinity. Deo Gratias!


Monday August 19th

3.00 p.m. Let me, Lord, throw the bridge between Heaven and earth which is the Fiat. The Fiat which puts our will under the motion of the Holy Ghost in order that Your will be fulfilled in our hearts, our souls on earth as with the elect in Your glory. In Heaven, one’s happiness is made by Your will; let that which is done on high be done in my soul.

The proof of my love will always be to pronounce my Fiat so that my soul finds again its harmony with the Creator and will be able to sing eternally: Deo Gratias!


Wednesday August 21st

11.00 a.m. Lord, deign to accept this poor gift of myself with all my weakness, my imperfections and my feeble will. Accept the offering of my body through suffering, contempt, desertion and lack of understanding. Strike this poor being who has offended You so much but who, nevertheless, only desires to act through love for You. Receive the gift of my blood to total sacrifice for the redemption of souls. One life, one sacrifice, one love. Fiat- Todo -Nada – Deo Gratias!

3.00 p.m. Lord, I give back to You my body and my soul, again and always, do what You will with them. Perhaps I will be subject to illnesses which I will not understand. Then, give me Your grace. An object of opprobrium and humiliation ? Give me Your grace. Despised? Give me your grace! Strengthen my weak will so that my Fiat will always be effective and efficient, that is to say: conformity of my life and of my will to Your Divine Plan and Your Divine Will, fulfilling with Your grace the mission which I have received from You through Baptism, Confirmation and perhaps the priesthood. Fidelity through Your grace, resolute will, conformity to Your design shall be the mark of my Fiat and of my love. But, Lord, grant me Your grace, because I am so weak, inconstant, fickle and cowardly. Yes, Lord, grant me Your grace without which I can do nothing, nothing. Oh my All, take my nothingness.

5.30 p.m. Lord, if the occasion arises of witnessing to my fidelity, grant me the unfathomable grace of doing it firmly and without artifice, because I know that I am capable of being like St. Peter or St. Thomas. If, by misfortune, it happens to me to fall like them, grant me the grace to redeem myself by blood and suffering like them. Our Lady of the Apostles, Our Lady of the Martyrs, Mother of the Church and Mediatrix of all Graces, obtain the grace of steadfast willpower, of fidelity to grace despite my unworthiness and my frailty, despite myself perhaps, but with Jesus Crucified.


Thursday August 22nd

9.30 a.m. Lord, make me pass without return from Mount Sion to the Mount of Olives. Oh mount of acceptance, mount of agony, mount of resignation and mount of combat, let me unite my will to the human Will of Jesus, which is to fulfil the divine Will. Oh Divine Fiat! I am not worthy to pronounce You but I unite myself to Jesus who has pronounced it for me. And you, my consolations to the Consoling Angel in Gethsemane. Courage! Fiat in aeternum! Deo Gratias.

3.00 p.m. Oh Lord, You have made me understand that the summary of all vocations is found in the acceptance of Your Cross. In voluntary suffering is found the highest degree of prayer in the order of the Cross and of Redemption. Thus one can be a missionary without health and without travelling faraway regions; thus one can be a martyr without falling physically into the hands of executioners – enemies of the Cross – but in making the spiritual offering of our whole life to the point of shedding the last drop of our blood for You, for Your love, so as to do Your will. In You, in Your Heart, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, are found all the vocations, all the facets of this precious stone which leads us to God, this path which is the Truth and the Life. Lord, I desire only Your grace to sustain me in offering and in wishing for all the sufferings which You will deign to send me. To You the glory, to me oblivion. Deo Gratias. Fiat!

7.00 p.m. Lord, I will fly from the company of those who would be for me an occasion of sin. Permit me to remain faithful in this Passion of the Church, that my lamp be not extinguished and that I may enter with the Master, the eternal Banquet. Make it so that I sleep not but that I watch and pray whatever it costs me. One moment faced with eternity. Courage!


Friday August 23rd

9.00 a.m. Lord, all those blows, You desired them, You loved them for the worth of our redemption, what a price! Grant me the grace of remaining faithful to my resolutions of penance, that I love my instruments as You loved those of Your torture, embracing Cross and humiliations for me and I for You. Our Lady, you have suffered a real interior martyrdom, give me the sentiments of your Immaculate Heart in which every beat corresponded to the sufferings and the torturers' blows on Jesus. Judas, Malchus, Caiphas, Herod, Pilate... all could have been converted on seeing Jesus and have died martyrs with Him. We would have so many more saints in Heaven! But, alas, with them millions of souls do not want to open their eyes and benefit from the love and the mercy of God, they will know only His infinite Justice.

3.00 p.m. Brother ass is hard to put up with and to drag along. Lord, I offer everything. Purify my offerings, so that it will be pleasing to the Father.


Saturday August 24th

9.00 a.m. Oh Jesus, if by misfortune I part from Your royal way of the Cross, call me back by events, by trials and by humiliations following the example of Simon of Cyrene. Compel my heart, do not leave space for flight or cowardice. Grant me the grace to always see in my little sufferings and daily annoyances, the hand of God and the possibility to unite myself more intimately with Your passion. Sitio! Grant me an unquenchable, thirst for souls and a love of the Cross for You and for them.

7.00 p.m. Lord, receive my liberty, fasten my rebellious will to the Cross with the nails of adversity. Convert me so that Your Blood was not shed in vain!

Whistling = the presence of God.1


Sunday August 25th

Fatigue and weariness are my means, Lord, today, to unite myself to Your holy Passion. I offer You everything. Lord, all day long I have searched for You in my weakness. I offer You this persistent obscurity, I love You in Your Holy Wounds and Your Precious Blood.


Saturday August 31st

Oh Lord, I planned to stop everything concerning the exceptional treatments for the little illnesses which You allot to me daily. However, I do not belong to myself. I belong completely to You through the Fraternity and You speak to me through the Superiors. For souls, for You, Lord, I will continue my navigations between medicine and alternative medicine. Your will be done. As for me, that is more difficult and easier. More difficult through the humiliations and the more or less agreeable or cranky treatments of doubtful efficacy. However, Lord, Your sweet hand leads through obedience, the royal way of obedience which smoothes away the obstacles, makes the pathways straight by Your life in my soul.

Consequently things become easier because You grant Your grace and do not leave me to my own judgement, to my own will, to my little whims. The way of the Cross, the way of obedience is the way to Heaven. Grant me Your grace, grant me Your love, I love You. Fiat, Deo Gratias!


Jesus – fidelity. Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness, because thus, I have as a model to imitate, He who is perfect like His Father who is in Heaven. Our Lady, you who were faithful above all, on Calvary, on earth and now in Heaven, shelter me beneath your mantle of fidelity. Fidelity to grace, to the Fraternity, to my vocation, therefore fidelity to Jesus Christ and the Cross.

Fiat voluntas Dei in aeternum. Deo Gratias ! Alleluia!

1. Editor’s note – Father La Praz had been suffering from deafness and from continual whistling in his ears.


Chapter 3

Home | Newsletters | Library | Vocations | History | Links | Search | Contact