Monday, 17 March 2014

Insisting on the goodness of God.

St John Vianney's kitchen in his presbytery in Ars is a great sight for any pilgrim to the Cure's village. Here he was sustained in his apostolic mission to his parish. Nonetheless, being faithful to Christ made him a contradiction to the world. His attitude to life - that his life and ministry were united in the Heart of Jesus meant that, in spite of being  aware of his own fragility, he endeavoured never to be discourages by that same fragility - he insisted on the goodness of God.
There is much in the life of the world and in our own lives that seems to say that Jesus is not the Lord of history, yet every baptised person, and especially every priest, is the first beneficiary of the love of Jesus.
The image of the Cure's kitchen, which is, in a sense, a Lenten image, expresses a tremendous spiritual truth - one which St John Vianney lived so manifestly: yes, we are fragile and sinful, but these are the very things to offer to God because God is wholly good, and we should rely on Him for everything, rather than relying on ourselves.
St John Vianney suffered for insisting on the goodness of God, yet he was free for God's love.
St John Vianney is a great mentor for our Lenten journey, for there is so much today that leads us either into self-reliance or into a hopeless defeatism. No, what will really help us is a personal experience of the love of Christ, and it that which we should stake all on.

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