I went to St. Paul monastery in Tokyo again yesterday. Last week, I had first visited there and got disappointed at the preach given by a priest who came from the States (he is a Japanese.). This time I heard that Fr. August cared of the communicants. He is almost ninety years old and has survived a severe heart stroke a couple of years before. Deacons supported him to proceed toward the alter and begun the Tridentine mass as usual. It was awesome; before the Lord's alter he has become another person like a youth as it goes: "Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam". I have seen the light of faith given by the grace of God through him.
His preach first stressed that is the closing day of the year, and remarked to the Lord's words about the end of the world. He went on what is shown in the gospel as the signs of the end. Simply speaking, it is the series of catastrophe; earthquakes, flood, tsunami, fire, and so on as we experienced four years before here in Japan. Unless every person would not repent and turn back to God, those described in the gospel should destroy the world certainly. That is the nutshell of his preach. He concluded it with an emphasize on the importance of confession.
In our contemporary church, especially dioceses in Japan, priests seem to avoid that topic of the end of the world. But, isn't that the most important one that we should face as mortal creatures? Whenever we meet some disasters, we would like to understand them for ourselves as if we had almighty power or perfect knowledge of the world. But, why do we confess we are Christians by the grace of God, especially in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord? That is because we admit we have been created mortal by the Most High beyond all of us.
I admire Fr. August, who obviously remarked the end of the world without any hesitation or intimidation to be rebuked on his examples of the catastrophe that happened in Japan. We should be humble before the Almighty God. That is what he would like to tell us.
The mass service was very much smooth; actually better than one last week. I keep going to the monastery from now on to listen to his preach.