Perhaps the best lesson from the example of St John Vianney's life was that of the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. St. John Vianney faced many obstacles, including limited education and opposition at various stages in his life from envious and troublemaking people. However, it was in his well- chronicled fights with the devil that this spiritual gem was revealed - he told confidants he noticed that the nights where the Enemy was most vicious in his attacks were always followed by a major conversion the next day. He knew a big fish was coming in, so to speak. Invariably someone who had been away from the sacraments for many years or someone who had been firmly entrenched in a life of serious sin would show up in his confessional, ready to return to Christ.
Life is like that for all of us. The enemy hates all souls, but especially devout Christians. When you are reconciled with God, living according to His Will and everything seems to be going wrong, don't give up! Don't despair! It very likely means that your efforts are pleasing to God, and we know who always wins in the end. Your very own 'big fish' may be right around the corner.
Please take the opportunity today to pray for a special priest, vocations, the Holy Father and the Church. The wonderful, wonderful Curé, patron saint of parish priests, is waiting to intercede on this special day.
O Holy Priest of Ars, your precious remains are contained in a magnificent reliquary, the donation from the priests of France. But this earthly glory is only a very pale image of the unspeakable glory which you are enjoying with God. During the time you were on earth, you used to repeat in your dejected hours, 'one will rest in the other life." It is done, you are in eternal peace, and eternal happiness. I desire to follow you one day. Until then, I hear you saying to me: "You should work and fight as long as you are in the world." Teach me then to work for the salvation of my soul, to spread the good news and good example and to do good towards those around me in order that I will receive the happiness of the Elect with you. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!