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Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange on the number of the elect November 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, religious, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.

I picked up the below excerpts from a book by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange on the Thomist blog Ite Ad Thomam.  There is great confusion in the Church today regarding salvation.  Misguided ecumaniacal claims have led many to believe that we Catholics don’t need to evangelize our protestant or Jewish or other brothers and sisters, that God, being of course a loving, sentimental God in the most modern sense, would never damn anyone.  Or virtually anyone. This indifferentism has had the effect of crippling not only the Church’s evangelizing efforts, but also the very notion of penance and the need for Confession among Catholics.  In short, it may have placed the salvation of millions of souls in grave jeopardy:



When Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange wrote this towards the beginning of the 20th Century, Catholic Faith and culture were still strong enough, perhaps, to support his claim that the large majority of adult Catholics would be saved.  That is because, as he said, these Catholics availed themselves of the Sacraments (especially Confession) and generally accepted and practiced the Faith as it had been believed and practiced for centuries before.

Today, I’m not so sure. Given how few Catholics accept all the Church believes, avail themselves of Confession, or receive the Blessed Sacrament in a worthy matter, I’m fearful for many Catholics.  I pray for conversion a great deal.  And, many Saints had grave doubts about the possibility of salvation for the large majority of souls, even souls within the Church.  And these Saints were especially close to God.  That does not mean they could not be wrong, but it does mean we ignore their advice at our peril.  These Saints include St. Teresa of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Vianney, and the great Augustine. Four of those five, which I can recall off the top of my head, are Doctors of the Church.

As Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange states (and where is his cause of canonization? He seems to have fallen afoul of the post-conciliar hatred of rigorous Scholasticism), this is a great mystery. My inclination in such weighty matters is always to fall on the side of caution.  Don’t assume you, or anyone else, will be saved. Pray without ceasing.  Place loved ones under the patronage and protection of the Blessed Mother.  Wear the Scapular, and undestand it. Pray the Rosary every day. Read Scripture. Receive the Sacraments as frequently as possible. Practice virtue. Forego sin.  Practice penance. Overcome attachments to the world, and live in union with the Divine Will.  The last bits are the hardest.  But, do that, and trust in God, and you should be fine.  More than fine, if you can live in union with the Divine Will – you shouldn’t spend much, if any, time in Purgatory!

The main thing, if you suspect you’ve committed a serious sin, get to Confession immediately.  That is why I pray for Confession to be available at every parish every day.  It is the very least charity demands.

Deo Gratias!



1. Lorraine - November 30, 2012

Hi! A friend of mine directed me to this great blog and I am glad he did.
In light of all you have written, what would you suggest a Catholic to do who is stuck (can’t go elsewhere) in a parish with two priests imbued with the “spirit of VII’ theology, and who often sound more utopian and Lutheran than Catholic?

tantamergo - November 30, 2012

Umm…..pray? Offer it up! I don’t know, that’s terrible. I’m sure you have your reasons, but my usual advice would be to run. Other than that, try to get hard evidence of deviation from Catholic Doctrine and liturgical practice and send it to the bishop. If that doesn’t work, you can go to Rome. It probably won’t change anything, but it might make you feel better. You can try reaching out to the priests to see if they are amenable to any correction. Most aren’t, but it’s worth a shot (but, you know the situation, I don’t).

Prayer, and try to offer up the suffering. Sorry, I don’t know much else what to do if you can’t leave.

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