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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Lesson From Our Suffering Brethren


Awful news today: ISIS has captured about ninety Christians. The Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church has asked our prayers. Let's remember them and pray that they will be safely returned to their families and homes. 

This is truly a time of great martyrdom. The martyrdom of the 20th century has given way to fierce persecutions in this new century. The faith and courage of many Christians is indeed being tested, and many of them are being found to be loyal, preferring death rather than renounce Christ. 

I do not wish such sufferings on our brothers and sisters, but one thing is certain in all of this: they are challenging us Western Christians by their fidelity. As the Church in the West dabbles with infidelity to Christ, ignores the Gospel, makes disloyal presumptions, attempts to overturn the moral law to keep comfortable Christians happy, true servants of Christ are shedding their blood rather than compromise their faith. 

Will Christians in the West get the message? I'm not sure, to be honest, I have personally seen great apathy by Catholics here who think the suffering of the Christians in the East has no bearing on them. I have seen priests who are more concerned with democratizing the Church than preaching the Gospel never mind shedding their blood for it. Our suffering brethren in the East are teaching us in the West an important lesson, I think we had better take heed of it.

UPDATE: A piece by Fr Longenecker on the kidnapping.

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