As I write, people in England have the opportunity to venerate the heart of St. John Vianney. My friend Fr. Tim Finigan, the mighty P.P. of Blackfen, the Dean of Bexley, His Hermeneuticalness, offers a fine post on blog which, riffing on the Curé himself. Fr. Finigan, makes a point we can all take to our own often dead and dessicated hearts:
There are various videos and texts related to the visit at the website of the Diocese of Shrewsbury. Bishop Davies is a great devotee of St John Vianney and knows his life and work in depth. In his sermon at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool for a National Day of Prayer for the renewal of parish life and vocations, he recalled an amusing story:
St. John Vianney never set out to ‘please people’ responding to demands like a tin can blown about on the piazza outside. [Great image.] Rather he proceeded purposefully in seeking to please God. This led him very close to all his people and especially close throughout his life to the most difficult and confused of his people – the types of people we might naturally be inclined to avoid. Yet there was nothing of a ‘people pleaser’ in this. The stories are legion of his remarks and sayings which might appeal to Lancastrian plain-speaking. Yet it is hard to know how they were first received such as when he told his congregation that in their dealings with each other most of them were probably thieves! Or that man who brought his fine dog for the Curé to see, who was told with a sigh ‘If only your soul was as beautiful as your dog!’.”
There’s no need to us this quote to have a dig at people with dogs. That gentle jibe of the holy Curé could be applied to our cars, our iPads, our gardens or anything else that we take more care of than our souls.
Well done Fr. Finigan. WDTPRS kudos. See the rest of his post, and other good posts, over there.
- Recalling with veneration and love the lives of our great saints,
- renewing an examination of conscience,
- recognition of our need for God’s mercy, revitalizing our liturgical worship of God,
… these will help us with grace to revive our Catholic identity.