The Reasoning For My Torture
Wednesday, 15 June
When I had finished reading the Gospels, I understood that I found myself here, in prison, because of God’s Will; that, despite not being guilty of anything from a legal standpoint, He was punishing me for my sins and putting my faith to the test. That reassured me. Peace came upon the torment of my soul, like a quiet evening in the countryside comes down upon the worries, the agitations and hatreds of the world. When men, birds, animals, trees and flowers, earth worked and turned over by the blade of the plough, relax.
Because I was greatly tormented.
What has my poor flesh not suffered! I do not think that I have ever endured so much suffering as now.
I did not lose the faith, nor love, but I felt for a moment that the thread of hope had been broken.
Physically tormented like a dog, my clothes are impregnated with suffering (it is sixty days now that I am sleeping fully dressed, on bare planks and this mattress. Sixty days and sixty nights that my bones are absorbing, like blotting paper, the dampness which streams down the walls and up from the floor).
For sixty days, I have not exchanged a word with anyone, because nobody is allowed to speak with me. And, moreover, I am attacked in my moral person, accused of treason, declared a stateless person, as not being Romanian either by my father or mother, denounced as an enemy of the state, overwhelmed with blows and with my hands tied behind my back. To speak the truth, without the possibility of defense.
My heart tightened at the thought of the suffering, the humiliations, the brutalities endured by my loved ones, my family and my comrades, and I felt one of the three threads which links a Christian to God break – Hope! Everything became black before my eyes. I felt suffocated.
But I succeeded in renewing it, this thread, through struggling day after day. How? By reading the four Gospels. When I had finished them, I felt that I once again had these three threads and that they were perfect: Faith, Hope and Charity.
And now, having completed the reading of the Epistles of St.Paul, I discovered therein decisive proofs of the reality of the Resurrection and of the power of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. What struck me is:
1. The sincerity and spiritual purity of the Holy Apostle;
2. His life, integrally Christian and without stain;
3. The danger and suffering which he underwent for Our Lord;
4. The serenity, even joy, with which he welcomed such suffering;
5. His strength in also encouraging others, so that they did not weaken before suffering and persecution;
6. His holy love, which was a rousing one, for his Christian brothers or his spiritual sons;
7. The unbeatable ardor, rarely found in the Apostles, of a belief which preached Jesus Christ to all peoples ceaselessly;
8. His great knowledge and wisdom.
In each letter he almost always begins with, ‘I, the prisoner, find myself in chains because of my faith in Christ, Our Lord.’
Then, writing to Timothy: “Come and see me quickly’ (Timothy 4:9). He too, no doubt, wished to see someone. ‘When you do come, bring a coat.’ He, too, like me, was cold.
Finally, as we enter into the reading of the Letters, we come to these conclusions:
1. That we are not good Christians, that we are far from being so.
2. That we are Christianizing our exterior, but that we are Christianizing our interior.
3. That mankind has suffered this process of dechristianization all the long centuries down to us, with only rare flashes into the depths. Superficial Christianization seems to have concerned mankind a great deal more.
4. The mark of our age:
We concern ourselves more with the struggle between ourselves and against other men. And hardly with the struggle between the commandments of the Holy Ghost and the desires of our earthly nature.
We are taken up with and love the victories over other men, and not the victories over Satan and sin.
All the great men of yesterday and today: Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, etc., were taken up above all by these victories.
The Legionary Movement is an exception, in concerning itself also, however insufficiently, with the Christian victory in man for his salvation.
Yet not enough!
The responsibility of a leader is vast.
He must not flatter his troops with earthly victories, without preparing them at the same for the decisive struggle, from which the soul of each person can emerge crowned with an eternal victory or a total defeat.
5. Lastly, the absence – at least in our country – of a priestly elite which might have maintained the sacred fire of the early Christians. The absence of a school for great improvement and a profound Christian morality.