Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Monday Of 1859

Notre Dame de Paris

It would be difficult to form an idea of the crowd of men that besiege the houses of the Jesuits toward the end of Lent, and one often wonders how the health of these Fathers, generally so delicate, can withstand the fatigue of hearing so many confessions. When they have been engaged in that occupation during the whole day, one or more will come in after time in the evening, or at night, and still the door is opened, and they find the Father they ask for, receiving them with open arms. For a sinner returning to God, a Jesuit never admits obstacle or delay. "At any hour of the day, at all hours of the night, we are ready to assist you," said Father Felix, at the close of one of his retreats. Father Lefebvre, who consecrates himself especially to the direction of men, was, one day, asked how many he had sent, for his share, to the General Communion at Notre Dame. "About eight hundred," was the answer. 
The Fathers seem never so happy as when, on Easter morning, they are worn out and speechless with fatigue—that is their alleluia !" You abuse your strength," said a friend to one of these indefatigable laborers; "nature can not bear such an excess of work." "After me—another" was the simple and almost careless reply. His Superior, to whom it was remarked, on Easter Monday of 1859, that he must be very much fatigued with the past week's labor, answered: "Ah, we have had great consolations! There have been many conversions; our ministry has been blessed; the confessionals were crowded. The Lord be praised!" 
Of his great fatigue, of his weak health—not a word! The ministry at Paris, during the winter, is overwhelming. When a Jesuit is exhausted, they give him a vacation; they send him to preach a retreat in the provinces. So as to lose no time, he travels by night, and generally ascends the pulpit on the day of his arrival. After the first exercises, he is called to hear confessions, and thenceforth all his time is divided between the pulpit and the confessional; that is what they call vacation. 
Link (here) read the full account of the Parisian Jesuits in the book entitled, The History of the Society of Jesus

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