Daily Archives: August 17, 2016
Well, there is no good way to convey this.
The terrible news is here.
Vennari is (with Ferrara, Matt and Verrecchio), one of my Four Musketeers. One had a selfish hope he would stay with us for many years more.
It was a selfish hope. It appears the Lord has sent the message, that He wants Vennari with him at some point in the, alas, not too distant future.
Sad as the news is, one tries to see it from a broader perspective. A life of such beauty that goes now slowly towards its end should fill our hearts with consolation, not sadness. We will all be called one day, and I wish so ardently I could, if it came for me today, take the call with the serenity Mr Vennari shows in his post, and with the same quiet assurance of a life well spent.
God calls the good and faithful servants to him, that he may have them near. We, wretched sinners, will have to fight for who knows how long still, and I doubt we will go to our judgment with the same confident serenity of this good man.
John Vennari requests our prayers. Let us do for him a tiny fraction of the good he has done to all of us.
And let us pray that, one day, we may go to our Lord with the same strong faith he has graced us with, with the same serenity he shows in this hour, and with the same chances of salvation with which he will present himself to His Judge.
Please pray for John Vennari.
And it came to pass yours truly had to decide whether to dedicate the evening to blogging about the usual inane bishop (Chaput) giving the usual inane interview (“I know you should vote Trump, but I haven’t the gut to even suggest it”), or get away from all this squalor and spend an evening browsing my beloved Garrigou-Lagrange. Guess who won.
I re-read a passage in “Providence” that I thought I would share with you. Garrigou-Lagrange is expanding on the theme of “seek ye therefore first the Kingdom of God and His justice: all these things shall be added unto you”. He writes:
Those who make it their principal aim to pursue their final destiny (God the sovereign good who should be loved above all things), will be given whatever is necessary to attain their end, not only what is necessary for the life of their body, but also the graces to obtain life eternal.
(Chapter XVII, pag. 193)
If you one of those who have a lingering fear that they might slip in mortal sin, and “happen” (in a way) to die in that state, deserving to to go to hell because you have died in mortal sin, these words should be very consoling to you.
Yes, it is true that if we die in mortal sin we will go to hell. But the healthier (and traditionally Catholic) thinking is that a life spent sincerely aspiring to the final destiny is a good indication that God, in His mercy, will providentially care that – wretched sinners as we are – we will not die in mortal sin.
Now, this does not mean that one can now “relax” and look upon sin with a less alarmed attitude, because he thinks that he carries in himself the antidote to whatever poison he might willingly ingest. In fact, such an attitude would, in case, cause every sound thinking person to openly question whether the pursuit of the final destiny is really the principal aim of such a man. If I fear I am in mortal sin, I run to confession and recite an act of (perfect) contrition on the way there; I do not lull myself into the feeling that God has chosen me because I am oh so good, and will take care that I do not die in mortal sin.
However, the quote above certainly means this: that the fear lingering every now and then in the mind of many a Catholic (“what happens if I am in mortal sin and the Boris Bus suddenly puts an end to my existence”) and often used by those who don’t like Catholicism and probably every other religion (“you have a religion in which the circumstances of one instant determine your alleged eternal destiny”) is a moot point.
God in His Goodness has ordained from all eternity that, at the moment of my impact with the Boris Bus, the state of my soul will be the one that he, in His Goodness, has ordained from all eternity that it should be, rewarding – or punishing – not the behaviour of an instant, but the state of his soul as the result not of a moment, but as the terminal point of one entire existence. I do not, therefore, have to fear that I might die in the, so to speak, casually wrong moment, or in the wrong state of my soul.
If salvation is my constant care, and I sincerely desire to live in a way that merits me heaven one day, I can have a solid hope that a merciful Lord will (from my perspective at least) arrange things so, that the Boris Bus does not knock me out of this world in a state of mortal sin.
Fear not the Boris Bus.
Fear the culture of abortion, euthanasia and sodomy instead.
They can knock your soul to hell more slowly, but more safely than every Boris Bus.