Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Something else Dorothy Day said - about martyrdom...

An exhortation.

Dorothy Day was aware of the many priest and religious martyrs in Spain during the Civil War, which prompted her to write:
"We must prepare now for martyrdom–otherwise we will not be ready. Who of us if he were attacked now would not react quickly and humanly against such attack? Would we love our brother who strikes us? Of all at The Catholic Worker how many would not instinctively defend himself with any forceful means in his power? We must prepare. We must prepare now. There must be a disarmament of the heart."
Dorothy Day's concern reminds me of what Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona said this past summer:
“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future.” - Source
This morning I read about the murders of the Italian nuns in Burundi.  Following that, I saw a headline that Muslims, somewhere, massacred 1000 in one day.   I stopped looking at the news.  Just for a day, perhaps.

Sometimes the violation against consecrated persons, the violence against innocents, is almost too overwhelming to take in.

"We must prepare now for martyrdom–otherwise we will not be ready." - Dorothy Day

Today I need to pray, to "sit alone and in silence."

Bl. Charles de Foucauld

"Live as though you were going to have to die as a martyr today." - B. Charles


I beseech you to remember in all your present contest the great reward laid up in heaven for those who are persecuted and reviled for righteousness' sake, and to be glad and leap for joy on account of the Son of Man (cf. Matt. 5:10-12; Luke 6:23), just as the apostles once rejoiced when they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for His name (cf. Acts 5:41). And if you should ever perceive your soul drawing back, let the mind of Christ, which is in us (cf. Phil. 2:5), say to her, when she wishes to trouble that mind as much as she can, "Why are you sorrowful, my soul, and why do you disquiet me? Hope in God, for I shall yet give Him thanks" (Ps. 42:11). I pray that our souls may never be disquieted, and even more that in the presence of the tribunals and of the naked swords drawn against our necks they may be guarded by the peace of God, which passes all understanding (cf. Phil. 4:7), and may be quieted when they consider that those who are foreigners from the body are at home with the Lord of all (cf. 2 Cor. 5:8).

I think that just as he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her (1 Cor. 6:16), so the one who confesses some god, especially in the time when faith is being tried and tested, is mingled and united with the god he confesses. And when he is denied by his own denial, which like a sword cuts him off from the One he denies, he suffers amputation by being separated from the One he denies. - Origen, Exhortation to Martyrdom


  1. I first read about the sisters when I read that Papa Francis had sent a letter of condolences to the Superior of their order. I when on to read more of what happened and have prayed for them and the people they served since.

    I hope those who committed such terrible acts against them are caught, brought to justice and repent of their actions.

    Despite the horrible crimes committed against these elderly nuns, I have to remember that no sin is greater than God's mercy and believe me when I tell you Terry, that after all the horrible crimes being committed, have been committed, still being committed...that is the most difficult truth to accept and to trust in.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ remember his faithful daughters and welcome them into His kingdom where they will be forever in peace and free from all harm. Remember too, my Lord, all the beloved people they left behind and who now mourn their deaths.


  2. I can understand Dorothy Day's comment in light of my own life, but if I were defending my grandchildren I would consider it reprehensible if I did not use anything at my disposal to protect them including violent defensive force.

  3. Terry,

    I found this on God and the Machine blog;

    Reading the piece gave me a better understanding of them and how beautiful they were and are.

    May the Lord give them heaven where they will see his eternal glory and be at peace.


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