The quote last week from Cardinal Pie (cf. EC 362) continued directly as follows:—
“In such an extremity, in such a desperate state of affairs, where evil has taken over a world soon to be consumed in flames, what are all the true Christians to do, all good men, all Saints, all men with any faith and courage? Grappling with a situation more clearly impossible than ever, with a redoubled energy by their ardent prayer, by their active works and by their fearless struggles they will say, O God, O Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name on earth as it is in Heaven, thy kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. On earth as it is in Heaven!And they will still be murmuring these words while the very earth is giving way beneath their feet.
“And just as once upon a time, following upon an appalling military disaster the whole Roman Senate and State officials of all ranks could be seen going out to meet the defeated consul and to congratulate him on not having despaired of the Roman Republic; so likewise the senate of Heaven, all the Choirs of angels, all ranks of the Blessed will come out to meet the generous athletes of the Faith who will have fought to the bitter end, hoping against hope itself.
“And then that impossible ideal that the elect of all ages had obstinately pursued will become a reality. In his Second and final Coming the Son will hand over the Kingdom of this world to God his Father, the power of evil will have been cast out for ever into the depths of the abyss; whatever has refused to be assimilated and incorporated into God through Jesus Christ by faith, love and observance of the law will be flung into the sewer of everlasting filth. And God will live and reign for ever and ever, not only in the oneness of his nature and in the society of the three divine Persons, but also in the fullness of the Mystical Body of his Incarnate Son and in the fulfilment of the Communion of Saints!”
Dear readers, it should be obvious by now that Cardinal Pie, for all the darkness of his vision of the future, was no defeatist. Even while seeing with an absolute clarity the humanly hopeless situation into which mankind was getting itself, with an equal clarity he distinguished the human from the divine point of view: a mass of men might in the 19thcentury have been defying Almighty God and turning themselves into pawns of Satan and fodder for his horrible Hell, nevertheless God’s sublime purpose for the souls of the elect who would choose to love and serve him was at the same time being achieved for God’s Heaven. Truly, “to them that love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. VIII, 28).
In 2014 we can easily lose sight of God’s purpose by thinking in too human a way of the evil advancing all around us. But God’s purpose is not to save civilisation if men wish to destroy it. His purpose is to bring souls to Heaven through his Son Jesus Christ, and for this purpose the collapse of civilisation and of all earthly ambitions and hopes may well serve to force men’s minds and hearts to rise above worldly considerations. God did not create us only for this short life, nor for this corrupt world. “We have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come” (Heb. XIII, 14).