Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everyday Martyrs

B16 has reminded us of our need for "everyday" martyrs.

At his regular Sunday Angelus audience on October 28, Pope Benedict XVI said that the beatification of 498 Spanish martyrs earlier that day was a reminder that "the supreme witness of blood is not an exception reserved just for a few individuals, but a realistic possibility for the entire Christian people."

The Holy Father reminded his audience that the Spanish martyrs of the 1930s included Catholics of all states and conditions, lay men and women as well as priests and religious. Most almost certainly did not think of themselves as potential martyrs, he remarked, before they were caught up in the campaign of violence against the Church. Then, he said, "they paid with their lives for their faithfulness to Christ and to His Church."

In most cases, faithfulness to Christ will not lead to bloody martyrdom, the Pope continued-- although that possibility cannot be dismissed. More often, he said, fidelity is shown in "the silent and heroic witness of so many Christians who live the Gospel without compromise." He called attention to the example of Blessed Celina Chludzinska Borzecka, the Polish woman who was beatified in a separate ceremony on October 27 in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran. "This martyrdom of everyday life is a vital testimony in the secularized societies of our own time," the Pope said...

At the same time I read this: "Nuns beaten, then charged under conversion law."

Catholic Church leaders in India's Madhya Pradesh state have protested the vicious beating of several nuns. Their protest was quickly followed by charges that the nuns were seeking to convert Hindus to Christianity.

Five Clarist nuns were assaulted by Hindu fundamentalists near the town of Indore on October 27, as they traveled to the home of a Catholic parishioner for a prayer meeting. After inflicting serious injuries on three of the nuns, the Hindu zealots took the religious to the local police station, where they filed charges against them under the state's law restricting religious conversions.

"How can they be charged with conversion," asked Indore's Bishop George Anathil, "when the nuns went to pray at the house of a Catholic?" The bishop said that the legal charges were "a clear attempt to justify the attack on our sisters and to divert public attention." (CWN)

Hail Mary full of grace...

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