Good Old Garrigou-Lagrange: Way of Gentleness

It is commonly alleged that Garrigou-Lagrange was some horrible miscreant, some devilish power monger. These are quite false depictions.

Sanctity can be discerned, although indeed the man’s mind was as acute as any theologian in the 20th century, among the very best.

Gently does he persuade his reader to adopt the sweet yoke of Christ. For instance, in speaking of Purgatory, in justifying its existence dogmatically from Scripture and Tradition, he refers to St. Paul’s marvelous line in 1 Cor 3, wherein Paul states that if one builds on the foundation (remains in the Charity of Christ), then one shall survive, though some of one’s works are burnt up.

Garrigou-Lagrange comments:

“These works which will be devoured are, for example, good works done in vanity, good accomplished in order to advance oneself, or by a spirit of opposition to adversaries, rather than by love of truth and of God.”

Note how here he takes all those zealous souls, who really love God and his Holy Church, and who dedicate their lives to the defense of the faith, and gently encourages them to do so indeed for love of God, and not for the love of competition or victory or recognition. It is easy for a successful soldier of Christ to suddenly admire his own success. One must be on one’s guard, for that leads to a bad form of self-love, which cools charity and eventually kills it. Let one’s own good be as rubbish, St. Paul himself says. Let us only yearn for Christ. St. Thomas Aquinas himself wanted only this, and yet This is All!