Following Jesus

“Martyrs are not made overnight.  They are persons who consistently lived lives of integrity and clarity, and when their moment of Truth arrived, they were ready, owing to the grace of God.  They could experience joy in the midst of great difficulty, because their integrity opened them up to God’s infinity.  They did not tie God’s hands by getting caught up in webs of lies and distortions.  They courageously stand in bold relief and contrast to the deliberate ambiguity of cowards who lust for temporal power.”

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This makes sense to me. I have often wondered how someone gains the courage to give all, even to willingly die for God and God’s work. Although the article had a political bent to it, the above quoted statement stood out. Here is a link to the article: The Court Opens Door to Christian Persecution in Crisis Magazine.

The author, Deborah Sturm, argues that the recent decision by the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, will make it impossible for Christians to fully participate in society and for any words to be spoken against homosexuality or any other immoral act. It will not be long before homosexuals “march into rectories” and demand that churches marry them, because “it is the law of the land”. Any church which does not – the Catholic Church, in particular – will face recriminations, lawsuits and eventually physical attacks on Church property and the members of those Churches, including consecrated religious.

“There is a reason that the Cardinals robes are red”, states Deborah Sturm.  The red color is to remind Catholics that following Christ means not only denying oneself, but following Jesus to the Cross. This is not some idealistic comment. Following Jesus to the Cross has proven to be real and repeated often throughout the history of Christianity. Just because 2000 years have passed since Jesus walked on the earth, there are still those who hate, revile and deny Him. The world would crucify Him again, if they had the chance. In lieu of Him, they will crucify anyone who believes in Him.