A CURSE WILL FALL - From A Sermon By St John Vianney
How is it that you are complaining that your animals are dying? Undoubtedly you must have forgotten all those sins which have been committed in your outhouses and stables during the five or six months of winter. You have forgotten that the Holy Ghost has said that everywhere this sin shall be committed, the curse of the Lord will fall. How many young people -- alas! -would still have their innocence if they had not attended certain winter gatherings [The French word is veillee, which means a vigil or a night watch, or an evening spent in company. In rural France, in this latter sense, it means an evening spent socially in a neighbour's house, especially during the winter months. In the Cure's day, these could be all-night affairs, with dancing, drinking, and much more. -- Trans.] young people who now perhaps will never come back to God? Again, as a result of these affairs, there are those young people who form associations which, most frequently, end in scandal and the loss of a girl's reputation. Then there are all the young libertines, who, having sold their own souls to the Devil, now set out to rob others of theirs. Yes, my children, the evil which results from these gatherings is incalculable. If you are Christians and you wish to save your souls and those of your children and others of your household, you should never hold these gatherings in your homes, or at least not unless you yourselves, one of the heads of the household, are going to see to it that God will not be offended by what goes on. Once you have all come in, you should close the door and refuse to admit anyone else. Begin your gatherings by reciting one or two decades of the Rosary to invoke the protection of the Blessed Virgin -- and this you can do if you put your mind to it. Then banish all lascivious and sinful songs; your bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost, and these profane your hearts and mouths; banish also all those stories that are only lies and yarns in any event and are most often directed against people consecrated to God, which makes them more sinful. And you should never allow your children into any other of these gatherings. Why do they want to get away from you, except for the purpose of avoiding supervision? If you are faithful to the fulfilment of your duties, God will be less offended and you less blameworthy.