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An uncomfortable reply

An uncomfortable reply

The Curé d’Ars, as I’m sure you know, was perceptive to an unnerving degree and had an amazing ability to say just the right thing to individuals.  Once, when he was asked by a young woman for a relic, he replied, ‘Make them yourself!

We are all called to be saints, but perhaps we can be so caught up in the means that we forget the end.  I know someone who wanted to learn a foreign language and bought book after book as well as several tapes (it was a while ago) to help with the quest.  However, what was really needed was some hard graft learning grammar and vocabulary and lots of practice.  You can imagine that the Curé d’Ars recognised something similar in this woman (who later became a Daughter of Charity), who perhaps was in love with the idea of being in love with God.

Imagine her, like so many others, travelling a great distance on an Ars-special (a return ticket valid for eight days, so as to ensure a consultation).  She eventually managed to speak with him and asked him for something of his that she could keep as a relic. I wonder how she felt upon hearing his answer.  Indignant?  She’d travelled all this way, after all…  Then humbled, perhaps?  Here they were, two children of God: he’d given his life for God and she?  She had so much to offer but – as yet – had not given it.

If the Curé had given her what she’d asked for, perhaps the relic would have been (in her case) more of a distraction than an aid on her journey towards God.  As it turned out, she had his command ringing in her ears, ‘make them yourself’ – give yourself completely to God and go wherever He leads you.  He will draw you to Himself.

On this, his feast, let us take that advice for ourselves.

St John Vianney, pray for us.

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