Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pere Jacques Hamel

Today is the anniversary of his death... some thoughts:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36
For "life is so short, the path leading to eternal life so narrow, and I know the just man is scarcely saved, while the things of the world are vain and deceitful, and all comes to an end and fails like falling water. The time is uncertain, the accounting strict, perdition very easy and salvation most difficult... My life has vanished, I know well I must render an account of everything - from the beginning of my life as well as this later part - unto the last penny, when God will search Jerusalem with lighted candles, and it is already late - the day far spent - to remedy so much evil and harm..." - St. John of the Cross

Pere Hamel, pray for us!
Painting by Neilson Carlin

Apotheosis of Jacques Hamel


  1. I love the icon but the knife creeps me out. I guess it should...

  2. Those roses reminded me of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Did not our Lady offer him two crowns? One of red roses and one of white? He chose both.

    The icon is beautiful, powerful, unsettling. Pere Hamel ora por nosotros!

  3. Terry,
    I have St. John of the Cross complete works. If all thought like him in the above quote of yours, there would be no one workng at a job, buying a taco and thus helping the taco seller who has children. All humans would be depressed and too depressed for some to study there would be no grief counselors because all is vain....why pay for a psychology degree.
    But where I'd like to question him more seriously is where he says....the accounting is strict.....and he'll have to account for his whole life. How did the good thief being in paradise that day...and people with plenary indulgences get to fly past St. John of the Cross? The present Enchiridion of Indulgences gives an automatic plenary indulgence to Catholics at death who prayed throughout their life....presuming they are in grace. That means they are skipping why would going over their whole life be frightening if they are taking the same trip as the good thief....paradise that day? I don't get it. I could see going over your life to see the millions of times God saved you from sin or foregave you of sin....but how does a scarey accountng square with a plenary indulgence....the first of which was given to the good thief. How can you be scared of a strict accounting....when you're in Heaven as fast as the good thief was.

    1. That's a big question I'm not qualified to answer. I read this passage as a meditation in light of the gift of repentance, from sin, from mediocrity, from compromise, and so on.

      I wanted to post it on Facebook but I have an old friend who is a preacher who reads my FB page who is convinced once one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior he is saved and nothing else is needed. I may have over-simplified that - but you know what I mean.

      So I don't know how to answer these questions.

      A life of repentance satisfies me. I love it when St. John frequently points out that the way is narrow and constricted, and in one place he exclaims, "Oh! If souls only knew what Christ meant when he says 'one must deny his very self'" (Not an exact quote BTW.) But I don't know how to put into words how I understand that. Each time a new realization occurs to me, I feel a deeper sense of freedom of spirit - it's as if my heart expands and is eager to shed that which keeps me from God.

      When John says salvation is so uncertain, perhaps he is thinking that because we don't know ourselves and can't fathom or see the eternal holiness and perfection of God, which as in today's first reading caused the Israelites to tremble and fear. How awesome is that - and yet we receive our God in holy communion.

      Like I said - I don't know how to answer or express this.

    2. " the just man will scarcely be saved" is totally believable and comes from an epistle of Peter derivitably from the OT. That I get....and believe thoroughly. But only those outside a plenary indulgence...need worry about a strict accounting. The good thief had a terrible Mark, he abuses Christ with the other thief in the early hour of the crucifixion...then we know he changes later as death nears (very much like Timothy McVeigh.). But it's illogical to think he gave a frightful accounting of his whole life if he went straight to heaven and was told he was going there. There is no anxiety in heaven.

  4. life is very short! it is a very palpable being and never in our cant be controlled, it will do what suits it best and what it deems right

  5. Both the icon and the apotheosis of Pere Jacques are just wonderful. How does one get copies? I liked Pere Jacques because he died angry--and that's a good thing in his case. 'Satan, va!' He looked like he didn't suffer fools, certainly the devil, gladly. But I could be wrong...Merci, cher Terry!


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