So ever the king had a custom that at the feast of Pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel.
When my children were small as the family drove to Mass, I offered the kids a dollar for the first one to sight the Questing Beast, tying the Arthurian legend with the great feast. When my son died on Pentecost two years ago, the bright spot on that bleak Pentecost was when my bride gave voice to a thought that had occurred to me: Larry has gone after the Questing Beast.
The birthday of the Church, inaugurated with the great miracles of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire underlining the universal nature of the mission of the Church, at Pentecost has always reminded me that since the coming of Christ we live in an age of miracles, if we only have the wit and the faith to see them. I know this from personal experience: since the death of Larry I have received a small miracle to assure me of his love from the other side.
We live in a time in the West of great cultural pessimism and spiritual sickness that has infected the Church. We forget that over 2000 turbulent years Christ has never failed us and that we Christians should never give way to despair. We do battle with Principalities and Powers, and not merely misguided or evil fellow men, and Christ is ever ready to aid us if we call on Him in humility and love.
Thirty two years ago Solzhenitsyn had this striking passage in his Templeton Address:
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.