Woe To Me If I Do Not Preach The Gospel

It was published in all the papers of France. A couple living together found life too difficult. They could not take it any more. He, Alain, was 22 years old; she, Florence, 23. The only way out, they decided, was the sterility of suicide. For some strange reason, they decided to record their passing away. They turned on the cassette recorder and left us a harsh reminder of the last moments of their lives.

Florence, "Mum, we cannot cope any more, we want to leave and rest. Life has no meaning. Everything stinks. Why should we continue to live?"

Alain, "Dad, I am tired of being a burden to you. Please, forgive me if I am going to hurt you with what I am going to do."

Florence, "We know what we are doing. I am going to put the volume higher."

Two shots.

Florence, "Ah, gosh, it's painful, painful.... I don't want to die. Alain, please, shoot again because I am in great pain."

And as her voice grows ever fainter, "Why live?....I don't what to die. I don't want to die..... I am very weak....."

Another true story which hit the media, this time an elderly couple in Rome. They had everything money could buy. Apartment in a chic area in Rome. All the possible commodities imaginable. Cruise every year to the Bahamas. He was a successful businessman. She was still pretty for her age. Lots of social life. No children not to be burdened with responsibilities in life.

Well, one day, they were found dead. First the husband shot his wife, then he shot himself. What I found particularly significant was the suicide note they left near their bodies, "We are depressed, sick, lonely."

This is what the world gave them, "We are depressed, sick, lonely."

Just two stories. Among many. So much pain, so many tragedies. Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Atlanta.

How can one remain snug and comfy on discovering all this heartache....

when one knows that Jesus Christ wants to heal the broken hearted...

when one knows that He came to comfort those who are in grief...

when one knows that He has the power to set the prisoners free from this cage of anger and frustration...

when one knows that if only these people had met a community of brethren with whom they could have walked on the way of salvation, if these people had met the Church, these people would still be alive...

Indeed, how can one not evangelize?

The simple truth is that what we are called to accomplish are not projects or plans or programs or devotions, but the preaching of Jesus Christ, in season and out of season.

Souls need Him. NOW.

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.