Lenten Conferences of Fr. Lacordaire No. 6

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Formation

At the request of Frederic Ozanam and other university students, the Archbishop of Paris, Monsignor de Quélen, instituted the Lenten Conferences at Notre-Dame, which are still held today. The first cycle of conferences took place from February to March 1834. Father Lacordaire, who would later join the Dominicans but was then a diocesan priest, preached those of 1835 and 1836. These extracts come from those conferences.

On Faith, Love, Charity

Conferences of the Rev. Père Lacordaire, p. 175*

Men believe only in proportion as they love; to believe in eternity, to love good for its own sake, justice for itself, it is necessary to begin by gratuitous love, which is a virtue… faith is a free act of the mind, caused by the love of truth and good… It is virtue which first acts, which opens the heart and becomes faith there; faith reacts in its turn, changes into charity the initial love which produced it; and thus a marvellous action and reaction commences within man, in which virtue shines forth the first and the last… Yes, faith saves the world.

Jean-Baptiste-Henri-Dominique Lacordaire (1802-1861) was a renowned preacher and restorer of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in France. He was a great friend of Frederic Ozanam (in fact, he is the author of a very interesting biography on Ozanam) and very close to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Image: Lacordaire, painted by Louis Janmot (1814-1892), friend of Frederic Ozanam and an early member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

*Source: Conferences of the Rev. Père Lacordaire: Delivered in the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame, in Paris. Author: Jean Baptiste Henri Dominique Lacordaire. Translated from the French by Henry Langdon. Publisher: T. Richardson in 1853.