Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homily for the Crown Prince

I know I have had a great deal of coverage about the death of Otto von Habsburg but the homily from his funeral Mass is worth pondering.
In his life Otto von Habsburg was confronted with a new situation due to the tremendous political turmoil, which was certainly not predestined for him as crown prince and successor to the throne. The tangent picture of the four-year-old child in white dress between his parents at the funeral of Emperor Franz Joseph passed all media during these days. When he was six years old, the Monarchy expired, and therewith the world, in which he should have had such a big task.
There are two attitudes which I admire and which he set -- since the breakdown of the old imperial world -- an example of it in his long lasting life: On the one hand the ability to let oneself in for completely new situations with alertness and without dread, on the other hand the courage and the decisiveness to adhere to that what he considered as his heritage and mission according to his birth. This explains partly the discrepancy of the judgements about him: too modern for the one side, too unconventional, too conservative for the other side, yes reactionary. According to my point of view, in reality he is a brilliant example of an unwavering fidelity, for the whole life, of his own unique vocation.

Otto von Habsburg has accepted his vocation in Christian faith, which he found exemplary in the life of his parents. He understood the heritage of his family as mission and vocation. He did not regret bygone times and he was not uninhibited by people who wanted to disgrace him or to see only the negative side effects. With his life he showed us, how we can take heart from "yesterday" for "tomorrow." We may also learn from him in matters related to the proper handling with the history in Austria. Learning has never been a shame.

It belongs to political correctness to categorise the idea of the Divine right of Kings as an old-fashioned one. Otto von Habsburg understood it primarily as responsibility according to the original sense. We cannot resign or delegate the responsibility in front of God how we treat that what is entrusted to us.

In 1971, Otto von Habsburg wrote about that what now, 40 years later, became reality for him: "When you are standing in front of your Creator, face-to-face, only the performance of obligation and good will is valid. God does not command from the person to present to Him a report of victories. He gives the success. He expects from us only that we do our best." (Read entire article.)

1 comment:

lara77 said...

Otto Von Hapsburg was an amazing man; I really never knew that much about his life. I remember the famous photo of Otto Von Hapsburg and Isabelle, Comtesse de Paris in St Stephen's(?) as they were together at a Mass in memory of Queen Marie Antoinette. He truly was a Christian prince and lived his long life as an example to his people. I would have LOVED to have read about his experiences; especially the people he met over his long lifetime. I hope his reunion with all the Hapsburgs and most importantly his God were truly joyous.