St John Vianney (Curé d’Ars) Patron Saint of Priests – Sermon on The Gift of Every Dayeditor
THE GIFT OF EVERY DAY
Before beginning your work, my dear brethren, never fail to make the Sign of the Cross. Do not imitate those people without religion who dare not do this because they are in company. Offer quite simply all your difficulties to God and renew from time to time this offering, for by that means you will have the happiness of drawing down the blessing of Heaven on yourself and on all you do. Just think, my dear brethren, how many acts of virtue you can practice by behaving in this way, without making any change in what you are actually doing. If you work with the object of pleasing God and obeying His Commandments, which order you to earn your bread by the sweat of your brow, that is an act of obedience. If you want to expiate your sins, you are making an act of penance. If you want to obtain some grace for yourself or for others, it is an act of hope and of charity. Oh, how we could merit Heaven every day, my dear brethren, by doing just our ordinary duties, but by doing them for God and the salvation of our souls! Who stops you, when you hear the chimes striking, from thinking on the shortness of time and of saying in your minds: ‘Time passes and death comes closer.
I am hastening towards eternity. Am I really ready to appear before the tribunal of God? Am I not in a state of sin? Source…
As we approach the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI, it might be worthwhile reflecting on our own coming (for sure) death and judgment. The above short sermon on the importance of our ordinary duties in life is helpful in this regard.
I have two fantastic books on the Cure D’Ars. One is The Sermons of the Cure D’Ars – a book of his sermons for Sundays and Holy Days, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sermons-Cure-dArs-Sundays-Feasts/dp/1540757315/ref=sr_1_1?crid=19G2QFTU1CTM2&keywords=sermons+of+the+cure+d%27ars&qid=1672741540&s=books&sprefix=sermons+of+the+cure+d+ars%2Cstripbooks%2C177&sr=1-1 and ‘The Cure D’Ars’ by Abbe Trochu which is generally thought to be the finest book on St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cur%C3%A9-dArs-Msgr-Fran%C3%A7ois-Trochu/dp/1945275456/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1BABWC6HYETBE&keywords=Cure+D%27Ars+Abbe+Trochu&qid=1672741440&s=books&sprefix=cure+d+ars+abbe+trochu%2Cstripbooks%2C159&sr=1-6 It’s worth remembering that the devil was forced to reveal that if there were just twelve priests in the world as holy as the Cure D’Ars, his reign would come to an end.
That’s some quote from the devil himself! Just 12 holy priests and his reign would come to an end. That is a truly mind-blowing thought. The state of the priesthood right now, though, I’ll think we’ll have a wait to find any truly holy priests.
Thanks for those book links. I’ve been having a look. Then again, if I ordered all the books I look at, I’d own a library instead of a house, LOL! Seriously, they do look very good reading.
You could always buy a Kindle – they take up no room and a lot of the religious books are cheaper to buy on Kindle and often free.
As another New Year begins and we who are in the Winter of our Lives look back we know Life is but a click of the Fingers.
As for me I have had Many an escape from Death in this Life and know without a Shadow of a doubt that it was the Hand of God who saved Me .
How Barren must someones life be if their lying on their Death Bed and never ever had 1 Spirtual Experience in Life.
St John makes clear that none of us are Guaranteed Tommorow .
I Pray that when my time comes I will be ready.
That’s my prayer as well – to be ready when my time comes to meet my Maker. It’s a terrifying thought.
What a lovely sermon – and just the right length! Too many sermons go on and on and on, so that was a treat.
I like the theme of ordinary duties done well – that is what Our Lady told Jacinta (I think it was Jacinta) in one of the Fatima appearances. That is what sanctifies us, not great big sacrifices.
I agree about the sermon – it was short but packed with plenty to think about.
I agree about the sermon – beats the never-ending lectures some priests seem to revel in.
Also agree about the emphasis on our duties of state. That often gets overlooked.
The Church could not have chosen a more suitable candidate to be Patron of parish priests. This holy saint was a man of great prayer, penance, piety and zeal for souls, depriving himself of all earthly comforts while sparing no expense to beautify the House of God. Noted for his devotion to Our Lady, his endless hours hearing confessions and his truly supernatural homilies, it’s quite understandable that the devil should fear that 12 more like him would end his reign.
He is the example especially for our time when so many priests serve their own whims and passions, driving souls away from the Good Shepherd they were ordained to serve in meekness and humility. The crisis in the Church is first and foremost a crisis of the clergy and it is to St. John Vianney we should earnestly pray for today’s priests. If they only understood the power of their office to sanctify or scandalise by word and example and the strict judgement they face in this regard, I think many would be less pompous and self-serving.
I couldn’t agree more with you on this. Just about confessions alone, I notice that since Covid, the city centre churches in Glasgow, well, I’m thinking of St Aloysius, has stopped the hearing of Confessions on Saturday afternoons. It was so good to be able to nip into town to Confession but now it’s a case of half an hour before Mass and that’s it. So, if you can imagine the queues that there would be and most wouldn’t get in. If nothing else, Covid has shown us what faithless priests we are stuck with. It’s very said. So, yes, we should pray to the humble St John Vianney for good and holy priests – but I fear by the time we get some, I’ll be long gone, the way things are right now.
If any CT readers live near any of the Oratorians, they are very good for confessions – not only in the generosity of availability, but also the quality of the confessors. At the London (Brompton) Oratory which I attend, they have confessions in the church at set times, but outside those times, if you knock on the Oratory House where the priests live, next door to the church, a duty priest will be available to hear your confession between certain times. https://www.bromptonoratory.co.uk/confessions I think other Oratories have similar arrangements. It’s a far cry from what a friend once told me – he went to see his parish priest because he needed confession and was turned away and told to wait until next Saturday. I’m sure priests who refuse to hear confessions (unless they have a very good reason) will have to answer for it to God.
I agree about confessions. I spent quite a lot of time looking up various parish churches over Christmas and New Year only to find that the vast majority had cancelled confessions. Others, sadly, were of the “confession upon request” variety, which is certainly not the Catholic method for priests. So many of them have simply lost the understanding of how important that Sacrament is. Indeed, some don’t even provide it to those in danger of death, a failure in duty which could truly result in the eternal loss of their own souls.
I am, however, aware of at least one good priest in Gasgow who always makes himself available for confessions and that’s Fr. Dunn. Other than him, it’s a bit of a lottery! The zeal for souls is simply no longer present.
I agree. I remember years ago, at my parish church (which I haven’t attended for many years) a lay woman used to be sent out with the Blessed Sacrament to those who requested home visits. I couldn’t see the Cure D’Ars allowing that! As you say, the priestly zeal for souls has largely gone.
That sermon “The Gift of Every Day” is the red meat we were fed in our parishes before “that Council”. It’s very basic Christian teaching, simply put by this great saint. If only priests today would follow his example. They’re too busy quoting this and that expert or famous person, showing off their great learning – exactly UN-like their patron saint.
I absolutely agree with your assessment. Once upon a time Catholics were treated regularly to great sermons based on everyday life. Priests preached on Our Lady and the saints and the practice of virtue while reminding hearers of the horror of sin and the judgement to come. Practical sermons that inspired listeners. There also used to be those great missions preached in parishes by the missionary Fathers. That pastoral expertise in priests has largely gone now.
That’s a wonderfully concise homily.
I agree – a first-class sermon, no meandering all over the place, and practical help for the people in the pews.
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