Thursday, August 8, 2019
Saint John Mary Vianney
“The reputation of sanctity which surrounds the name of M. Vianney makes all commendation superfluous. A common consent seems to have numbered him, even while living, among the servants of God… It would seem as if God were dealing with us now as He dealt with the world in the beginning of the Gospel.
To the corrupt intellectual refinement of Greece and Rome, He opposed the illiterate sanctity of the Apostles; to the spiritual miseries of this age He opposes the simplicity of a man who in learning hardly complied with the conditions required for Holy Orders, but, like the B. John Colombini and St. Francis of Assisi, drew the souls of men to him by the irresistible power of a supernatural life. It is a wholesome rebuke to the intellectual pride of this age, inflated by science, that God has chosen from the midst of the learned, as His instrument of surpassing works of grace upon the hearts of men, one of the least cultivated of the pastors of His Church.” ~Abbé Monnin
“You cannot begin to speak of St. John Mary Vianney without automatically calling to mind the picture of a priest who was outstanding in a unique way in voluntary affliction of his body; his only motives were the love of God and the desire for the salvation of the souls of his neighbors, and this led him to abstain almost completely from food and from sleep, to carry out the harshest kinds of penances, and to deny himself with great strength of soul. Of course, not all of the faithful are expected to adopt this kind of life; and yet divine providence has seen to it that there has never been a time when the Church did not have some pastors of souls of this kind who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, did not hesitate for a moment to enter on this path, most of all because this way of life is particularly successful in bringing many men who have been drawn away by the allurement of error and vice back to the path of good living.” ~John XXIII
“In a word, the one great truth taught us by the whole history of the Curé of Ars is the all-sufficiency of supernatural sanctity. A soul inhabited by the Holy Ghost becomes His instrument and His organ in the salvation of men. To such a sanctity the smallness of natural gifts is no hindrance, and the greatest intellectual power without it does little in the order of grace; for souls are to be won to God, as God created and redeemed them – by love and by compassion; and it was this which shone forth with a surpassing splendor in all the life of this great servant of Jesus, and concealed even the wonderful gifts of discernment and supernatural power with which he was endowed.” ~Abbé Monnin
“The Spirit of God had been pleased to engrave on the heart of this holy priest all that he was to know and to teach to others; and it was the more deeply engraved, as that heart was the more pure, the more detached, and empty of the vain science of men; like a clean and polished block of marble, ready for the tool of the sculptor. The faith of the Curé of Ars was his whole science; his book was Our Lord Jesus Christ. He sought for wisdom nowhere but in Jesus Christ, in His death and in His cross. To him no other wisdom was true, no other wisdom useful.” ~Abbé Monnin