Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Feast of St. Jean Marie Vianney

The simple priesthood of St Jean Vianney changed a town and a world

On Tuesday evening, 9 February 1818, Antoine Givre, a boy herding sheep in the Dombes region, had an unusual encounter. He met a priest striding towards him, like a peasant on the road from Lyons. He was pushing a rickety cart heaped with objects, among which he could make out a wooden bedstead.

The priest called to the boy and asked him if it was much further to the village of Ars. Antoine pointed out to him the modest little town before them which was disappearing into the darkness. "How small it is!" the priest murmured. Then he knelt on the frozen ground and prayed at length, his eyes fixed on the houses.

'I will show you the way to heaven'

As he rose and set out again with his cart, the boy was at his side. When they arrived in front of the poor church, the priest said to him: "Thank you for showing me the way to Ars... I will show you the way to Heaven".

You can read the rest of the story of the Cure of Ars at EWTN's The Life of St Jean-Marie Vianney

Catechism on Sin

SIN IS the executioner of the good God, and the assassin of the soul. It snatches us away from Heaven to precipitate us into Hell. And we love it! What folly! If we thought seriously about it, we should have such a lively horror of sin that we could not commit it. O my children, how ungrateful we are! The good God wishes to make us happy; that is very certain; He gave us His Law for no other end. The Law of God is great; it is broad...

...The good God wishes, then, to make us happy, and we do not wish to be so. We turn away from Him, and give ourselves to the devil! We fly from our Friend, and we seek after our murderer! We commit sin; we plunge ourselves into the mire. Once sunk in this mire, we know not how to get out. If our fortune were in the case, we should soon find out how to get out of the difficulty; but because it only concerns our soul, we stay where we are...

...Some people offend the good God every moment; their heart is an anthill of sins: it is like a spoilt piece of meat, half-eaten by worms. . . . No, indeed; if sinners were to think of eternity - of that terrible forever - they would be converted instantly.
From Chapter 14 which can be found at the Catechetical Instructions-St John Vianney
On the Blessed Mother:
"I loved her (the Blessed Virgin) even before I knew her it was my first affection. When I was quite little I had a pretty little rosary, to which my sister took a fancy; she wanted to have it. This was one of my first troubles. I went to consult my mother about it. She advised me to give it up for love of God. I obeyed: but it cost me many tears."

Taken from The Life of the Curé d'Ars [St. J.B.M. Vianney] from the French By Alfred Monnin, p. 7-8.

On the Holy Eucharist:
"All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man."
On Prayer:
"When you awake in the night, transport yourself quickly in spirit before the Tabernacle, saying: 'Behold, my God, I come to adore You, to praise, thank, and love you, and to keep you company with all the Angels,' "
On Purgatory:
"How dearly we shall pay for all those faults that we look upon as nothing at all, like those little lies that we tell to amuse ourselves, those little scandals, the despising of the graces which God gives us at every moment, those little murmurings in the difficulties that He sends us!"
Quote source

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