Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exhortation to martyrdom.

"Pluralism, the pope said, requires a believer to make 'a journey to the core of one’s being and to the nucleus of Christianity, so as to reinforce the quality of one’s witness to the point of sanctity and to find mission paths that lead even to the radical choice of martyrdom.'” - Benedict XVI in Portugal


  1. Ah, there is such joy in being Catholic. You'll never hear a CofE or rock 'n roll Bible school preacher talk like this.

    God bless the Holy Father!

  2. Maria9:29 PM

    Larry--You are SO on the money...

    Not all the faithful who suffer for Christ also die for Christ. We must remind ourselves that this witness of ours is not so sterile as we may suppose. Quite the contrary. Although we may be, or at least feel, often quite alone, we are not alone at all. Not infrequently our severest critics can become our strongest admirers. In any case, witness that we give by living up to the conviction of our faith is surely demanding on human nature. That is why we call it martyrdom. But it is a witness to the truth and God’s grace is always active in the hearts of everyone whose path we cross.

    If we would know the power of this martyrdom of witness we have only to read the annals of the early Church. The handful of believers whom Peter baptized on Pentecost Sunday were as a drop in the immense culture surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Yet see what happened. This small group of convinced faithful were able, in less than three hundred years, to turn the tide of paganism in the Roman Empire. For a long time they were deprived even of the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. They were often hunted like animals, and the catacombs tell us that they had to hide when celebrating the liturgy and hide the tombs of their revered dead.

    But their patience and meekness finally prevailed. Yes, but only because it was supported by unbounded courage, born not of their own strength, but of the power that Christ promised to give all His followers that shall witness to His name everywhere. This promise is just as true today. All that we need is to trust in the Spirit whom we possess, and never grow weary in giving testimony to the grace we received.

    This is what Christ was talking about when He told us not to hide our virtues but to allow them to be publicly seen, like a candle on a candlestick or a city on a mountain top. We should not be afraid that by such evidence of our good words we shall be protected from vainglory by the cost in humiliation that witnessing to a holy life inevitably brings. There will have to be enough death to self and enough ignoring of human respect to keep us from getting proud in our well-doing. God will see to that. On our part, we must be willing to pay the price of suffering in doing good, which is another name for being a living martyr, that is, a courageous witness to the life of Christ in the world today.

    John Hardon SJ

    Hope I am not inappropriately appropriating your blog, Terry. If I am you can tell me to get my own blog!

  3. Are you kidding Maria? You add so much by your good comments - and promoting Fr. Hardon. I'm very grateful.

  4. Majorly off topic, but perhaps not..perhaps a sign of the times..

    but anyway-- please pray for the repose of the soul of 4 year old Ethan Stacy....he was brutally murdered by his own mother and step-father, just a few miles from where I work, in Layton, Utah.

    Right now my Irish is up so high I can hardly see straight..

    The story is on ksl.com

    Thank you for your prayers as I can't pray right now..


  5. God bless Ethan's soul.

  6. Sara - I'll be praying for Ethan - I hate stories like this. It seems I hear similar stories all the time now - it happens here along with pointless other killings. A local guy punched his girlfriend's baby to death recently. It angers me these single mothers allowing boyfriends to live with them and look after their kids - usually kids from earlier failed relationships. The guy feels he has no investment in them, no attachment, and can do what he wants.

    I understand your anger.


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