Sunday, November 29, 2009

Principles and Practices - November 30


There is a story of a young Austrian noble, a youth of great piety, who had made up his mind to enter a religious order. The day before that on which he was to have left home, his father made a great feast at the castle, and invited all his cousins to the third and fourth degree. There was heavy drinking, dancing, and wild revelry, in all of which the hero of the hour was compelled to play the first part. He was prevailed upon, or persuaded himself, to make one first essay in sin ere he renounced the world forever. Had he not before him long years of much endurance in labours, in watchings, in fastings, in chastity (2 Cor. vi, 4-6)? He was not strong, he had overdone it in dancing, he broke a blood vessel and died in his bed that night. The chaplain who wished to say Mass for him the next morning had the sacristy door slammed in his face, and could not get to the altar. Then the soul reappeared, to say that it was lost.

-J. Rickaby, S.J.
From Principles and Practices
Compiled by Rev. J. Hogan of The Catholic Missionary Society
Published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers To The Holy See
Nihil Obstat; Eduardus J. Mahoney, S.T.D. Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur; Edm. Can. Surmont, Vicarius generalis.
First printed in 1930

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