“The press, freed from every restraint, disseminates the most subversive doctrines and the deadliest poisons in a thousand organs. Christianity, in our day, is being attacked everywhere: in the arts and sciences, in Church and state, in Europe as well as Asia.... “
The above quote was spoken over 120 years ago in spiritual conference given by Fr. Charles Arminjon in the 1880s in the south of France. A few years later it was written down and published. Having read it, St. Theresa of Lisieux said that this book was one of the greatest graces of her life.
Sometimes we think that things were much better in the past. However, there were always troubles in the world and problems arising against the Church. Yet, since Fr. Arminjon gave those conferences, things did show great signs of improvement. The media often treated Christianity respectfully; movies and shows portrayed the faith favorably. Churches were packed, at least in this country. Yes, fifty years ago religion appeared to be thriving in the hearts of the majority.
Now, those words of Fr. Arminjon once again can written today. But, good always triumphs over evil. The prayers and sufferings of the few save the many. May each of us renew our faith and pray more fervently for the accomplishment of God’s will in the world.
Let us reflect upon what Fr. Arminjon also said:
As she comes out of the Red Sea, she enters the Promised Land. The hour of darkness gives way to that of light and triumph. Following the outrages of Golgotha, she hears resounding around her the blessings and hosannas of the deliverance.
So let us not lose heart. Let us welcome the future in the making; and if, at the present time, our country is a prey to convulsions and torn by discord; if her fortune and political influence have become a prize, fought over by unsatiated ambitions and vulgar nonentities, like the Prodigal Son of the Gospel, it will not be long before the memory of the peace and honor of the centuries of her youth return to her mind; she will cast off her chains and the mask of her ignominy....
(Arminjon, Charles. The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life. Translation copyright 2008 Susan Conroy, Sophia Institute Press, pp. 20-21)
On Friday we offered the funeral Mass for our beloved deacon, Vincent Serzan. Missing someone is proportionate to their goodness. That is why we miss him immensely, and we will continue to miss him. I cannot think of anyone who has done more for the Church than he has. He thought of himself last. Before his retirement, he worked full time in his regular job and many hours each week in his pastoral work in St. Michael’s. He extended himself to the young, to the elderly and to those in between. He continued to work tirelessly in our parish right up to the time that his illness prevented him from doing so a few months ago. He was unassuming and humble. What a beautiful example and inspiration he was and is to all of us.
We love you, Deacon Vinnie.
Please, pray for us.