A confrère of mine, Pater Marian Gruber, O.Cist., is the “Stellvertretender Geistlicher Assistent” of the “Kaiser-Karl-Gebetsliga” (Emperor Karl League of Prayers), a society founded during Bl. Charles’s lifetime for the sake of praying for peace between peoples.
At Pater Marian’s suggestion the Gebetsliga recently had a meeting here in Heiligenkreuz, at which Archduke Charles of Austria was also present. (Nor was it the Archduke’s first visit here. He has been here before, for example in 2006 when the Order of the Golden Fleece held its St Andrew’s Day Feast in Heiligenkreuz)
Pater Marian has also organized a monthly Mass for the Gebetsliga in the Giovanni Giuliani’s beautiful baroque chapel in the Heiligenkreuzerhof in Vienna. Last Thursday he invited me to celebrate Mass there.
The Gospel was Luke 11:47-54. I preached on the verse, “the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, will be required of this generation.” The persecution of Christ manifests that the persecution of all the prophets was really implicitly an opposition to God. But where does this hatred of God come from? I quoted the following text of St. Thomas:
Every aversion towards God has the character of an end insofar as it is desired under the notion of liberty, as according to the words of Jeremiah (2:20): For a long time you have broken the yoke, you have broken bonds, and you have said, ‘I will not serve.’ (ST IIIa Q8, A7, r.)
The intrinsic final cause of creation is the good of order. But order involves subordination, and this requires a certain self-transcendence that can be rejected. That is the root of all sin. It is the root of the hatred of God and His prophets, who appear as a threat to liberty. And it is the root of all the sufferings of Blessed Charles of Austria.