Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

of the late very venerable Father James O'Carney,' and without my knowledge was composed by him when he was reading the manuscript of this volume. Before he had time to report on my book to the Very Rev. F. General, death snatched him away from us. Though not advanced in years he was ripe for heaven, and had given so many and such singular proofs of his religious perfection, that he may justly be numbered among the great ornaments of his country and of our Society.

“He was born at Cashel of very respectable and pious parents. Having received a very solid classical education in his native town, he went to Spain in order to apply himself to those higher studies which English bigotry prohibited in Ireland. He had read philosophy in the Irish College of Compostella, and had already entered on his course of theology here in the Irish College of Salamanca, when he joined the Society in the year 1621. His soul, which seemed formed to virtue, soon rose to the highest perfection, and his singular integrity of life and his brilliant talents shone out with more lustre than before. These rare gifts of nature and grace were crowned by great humility. He said in all seriousness, that one of his reasons for entering the Society was, that, on account of the great number of its learned men, he might lie hid and devote himself to the lowlier functions of the service of God.

“However, he surpassed all his schoolfellows, and he defended the theological theses which only the leading theologians are chosen to defend. He sustained them first in the College of Valledolid, and afterwards before a crowded audience in the University of Salamanca. On both occasions he distinguished himself by his acumen, his dexterity, and the modesty of his words and bearing. One of the doctors of the University who argued against him, and who was not very well affected towards the Society, said: 'I admire the genius of this Jesuit, but I admire his modesty still more.' F. O'Carney had such absolute command over his temper and his tongue, that the heat of discussion did not wrest a hasty word, or look, or gesture from him; so careful was he in the practice of all virtues, and in the observance of even the minutest rules, that he was called a St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and was looked on as a model and mirror of religious discipline.

"This good father was worthy of admiration, not only in his scholastic career, but in all the acts of his life. During the two years previous to his death he resided in the College of Compostella as spiritual director. With the exception of those two years, his whole life was spent in governing the Irish

* I translate Karnaus, O'Carney, as I know that James's kinsman, Barnabas Karnæus, was called Bryan O'Carney.

[ocr errors]

College of Salamanca, of which he was not only the President, but the preserver. Most assuredly he saved it from ruin more than once.

In most difficult times and most trying circumstances, he received from God greater aid than is given accordding to His ordinary Providence. How great was his love for God and his neighbour, how great was his passion for prayer and mortification, how mild he was to others, and how hard towards himself, and with what untiring efforts he struggled towards perfection, it were hard to tell; and all that will, doubtless, be treated of at full length by another writer.

" He was an indefatigable workman, assiduous in hearing confessions ; an admirable director of consciences, and such a master of spiritual life, that he conducted many souls to a high degree of perfection. He used to attend the sick most frequently and most readily in hospitals, in prisons, and in their homes. He often spent whole nights watching by their death-beds, and preparing them for eternity; and he was so successful in this work of charity, that all whom he attended at their exit froin this life, were believed to have died a most happy death. So general was this belief, that there was no one in the whole city who would wish to die without the consoling presence of F. O'Carney.

“However, his zeal was not confined to the city of Salamanca: he preached, catechised, and performed all the other functions of the Society in various towns and villages, in which his burning apostolic zeal was rewarded and crowned by most abundant and happy results for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. While at home in the College, as often and as far as his important duties allowed him, he privately devoted himself to train to piety candidates for Holy Orders or for the Irish Mission. He tried to give them a good practical know. ledge of Moral Theology, and he was well qualified for thit task, as he had, for some time, professed that faculty with the greatest distinction, and had been all along examiner of the clergy, having been named to that office by Diocesan Synods and by the will of the Archbishops.

“In the midst of so many distracting duties he observed the most watchful care of religious perfection; his heart and soul were always turned tranquilly to God; the composure of his countenance was a mark of the serenity of his soul ; his eyes were always modestly cast down; he kept watch and ward over all his words and all his senses, and spent a long time every day in prayer and meditation. In addition to the hour's meditation, made by every member of the Society, he often gave another hour to prayer before he began his daily workTo the examination of his soul, and to the consideration of his state before God, he devoted more than half a day every week, and a whole day every month. Every year he spent at least eight days in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, during which time he often remained the whole night in earnest prayer

, and always meditated for seven hours of the day. At all times he celebrated Mass slowly and most devoutly ; but during Retreat, 'when saying Mass privately, he used to remain two or three hours at the altar. He always recited the Holy Office on bended knees, and with the greatest attention and devotion. Wherever he perceived the Blessed Sacrament exposed, there he remained a long time on his knees, praying, adoring, and immovable.

"His obedience was most prompt, his self-contempt marvellous, his dress poor and usually torn, and his cell without furniture.

"Hisconscience was unsullied, and far removed from all serious transgression, and this innocence he guarded with the bond of a special vow, which he kept inviolate to his last breath. Very often he took his night's rest on the ground or on a board ; his dict was very sparing, his fasts were frequent. Every day he wore a hair shirt, and took the discipline, and bore round his waist a chain armed with iron hooks and points. He used these and other instruments of penance with such earnestness and sternness that the Superiors were obliged to recommend him to moderate his love for mortification, lest his attenuated frame might sink under the severity of such treatment.

"It is no wonder that a man endowed with such rare talents and virtues was highly esteemed and dearly beloved by all who knew him. As often as the two archbishops visited their dioceses in the cxercise of their pastoral office, they took F. O'Carney with them, that they and their clergy might have the advantage of his example, his learning and advice. They were Cardinal Augustin de Spinola, and Archbishop de Andrada y Sotomayor. The latter was very much afflicted at the news of the Father's impending death, visited him during his illness, and ordered the best medical advice and help to be procured at the expense of His Grace.

" As soon as it became known to the public that his life was in danger, the whole city was filled with incredible consternation, and in some religious houses public prayers were ordered and Masses were offered up for his recovery. Meanwhile he gave, during his illness, fresh proofs of his solid virtue. His sole delight was to speak of heaven, to think of God, and to converse on spiritual things, on death and on the time of his own dissolution, which he looked on as imminent, and looked forward to with longing and a feeling of pleasure. Even on the

1

first day of his illness, and often afterwards, he foretold that he should soon die and how he should die. Not only so, but five years previously he foretold the time of his death, and even predicted many other things which came to pass. Hence some learned men, who were well acquainted with his many virtues, were persuaded that he was gifted with prophetic light.

“He received the announcement of his approaching death with the greatest gladness, and embraced tenderly the bearer of the good tidings, saying : ‘Haec dies quam fecit Dominus exultemus et lætemur in ea. Then he eagerly asked the Superior's leave to receive the Viaticum kneeling on the ground, and then he earnestly asked and obtained the favour of dying on the floor on a mattress. He died, as he had predicted, as calmly as if he were only going asleep. His funeral was attended by the Archbishop, by nearly all the canons of the Apostolic Church, by great numbers of the nobility and gentry, and by crowds of the people, who gave vent to their sorrow by their loud lamentations and their tears. On the day after his burial a solemn Mass and office were celebrated for his soul in our church by the various religious bodies of the town. excellent man died on the 26th of July, 1648, in the fiftieth year of his age, and the fourteenth after his solemn profession of four vows.

The lucky epigram to which we are indebted for this notice of Father James O'Carney is prefixed to Father Redan's "Commentaria in Libros Machabæorum," and it runs as follows:

“PETRUS REDANUS, i.e., RUPES ET NARDUS.
“Rupe quid asperius ? Nardo quid olentius ? Et tu
Asper es ut rupes, ut bona nardus oles.
Asper es ut rupes, dum construis aspera bella,
Dum recolis palmas, ut bona nardus oles.
Asper es ut rupes Fidei dum proteris hostes,
Dumque Fidem servas ut bona nardus oles.
Asper es ut rupes, vitiis dum pharmaca præbes,
Componens mores, ut bona nardus oles.
Asper es ut rupes, patriæ pro nomine pugnans,
Dum patriam relevas, ut bona nardus oles.
Asper es ut rupes, dum corripis Antiochistas,
Dum Macchabæum effers, ut bona nardus oles.
Nardus es et rupes, ut miscens utile dulci,
Omne probes punctum scripta tulisse tua.
Nardus es et rupes, ut Petrus Petra voceris :
Et mala bella dolens, et bona semper olens.”

E. I. H. * Præfatio to Redan's Commentaria on the Machabees. Operis hujus Commendatio anagrammate et epigrammate significata.

6

DR. DÖLLINGER AND THE DOGMA OF

INFALLIBILITY.1 BY DR. HERGEN RÖTHER, PROFESSOR OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY AND CANON

LAW IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WÜRZBURG.

( Translated from the German.)

IV.—THE VATICAN COUNCIL. To preserve in some degree his profession of Catholicity, Dr. Döllinger is obliged to call in question the æcumenical character of the Vatican Council, manifest as its æcumenicity is, not only from the presence of all those characteristics by which the æcumenicity of a Council is indicated, but also from the express and solemn declarations of the Bishops who took part in its deliberations. Nor is this all. Not satisfied with merely denying the æcumenicity of the Vatican Council, he goes on to institute a comparison between it and the assembly known in ecclesiastical history as the Robber Council of Ephesus, which was condemned by Pope Leo the Great, and the record of the proceedings at which forms one of the most disgraceful chapters in the history of the Eastern Church.

“Of all the Councils,” he says, “recorded in ecclesiastical history, which have at any time been regarded as æcumenical, I know of only one-the Second Council of Ephesus, held in 449-at which the power of those who directed the proceedings of the Council was exercised, as it was in the Council of the Vatican, to prevent a searching examination of the Tradition of the Church. At the Council of Ephesus, known as the Robber Council, this was effected by violence and tyrannical tumult: at the Council of the Vatican the same result was brought about by milder but equally efficacious means, by the Papal Decree prescribing the Order of Procedure to be observed in the Council, by the Pontifical Commission, and by the power of the majority, whose votes precluded the possibility of a systematic and searching examination of the doctrines under discussion."2

Continued from our July number. ? Even the Protestant controversialist, Hase, has not gone to such lengths as Dr. Döllinger. Treating of the Vatican Council, in the third edition of his Manual, he says :— “We have not been able to regard this Council as specially qualified, on the score either of its composition or of the freedom of its deliberations, for the decision of the questions which were brought before it. But on the other hand, we have not found in either of these points sufficient reason for denying its cecumenicity. Even the Bishops that formed the opposition took part in all the

« ForrigeFortsett »