April 27, 2013
Welcome to the Saturday meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. How about joining us to share a few of those times when you “rested in the Lord?”
This week we got a couple of inches ahead on rain after several years of drought. Thanks be to God. I always enjoy spring rain – it foretells the harvest to come.
Speaking of harvests, Thursday I bought most of my seedlings for our veggie garden. Since I didn’t have the oomph to get them planted, I just placed them in a spot where they got rained on well yesterday and last night. Getting older is making it harder to do everything all at once like I used to, and the fibro inflammation is a high price to pay for overdoing it. Fortunately, we’ll have some help from my homeschooling students when things dry out a bit. The good Lord is always telling us He’s taking care of our needs, and recognizing that care is always a Sabbath Moment.
Divine Office – Roman martyrology
Lately I’m appreciating the Hour of Prime more and more. If a person could only offer one of the hours, this is the one I’d recommend. It has some beautiful prayers and Scripture readings in it, is fairly short, but what I especially like about it is the reading from the Roman martyrology.
We are one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church and nothing says it better than the martyrology, which contains updated listings for martyrs of recent centuries as well as many early martyrs. We have great saints and martyrs out of every land and nation from the beginning of the Church. Some have names that strike us as odd today, and some are familiar. All are heroes in Christ.
When I read the martyrology every day I get an overwhelming feeling of family. These people are my brothers and sisters in Christ. The same faith they professed in the early Church is the faith we profess today. Nothing has changed. We have a couple thousand years of continuity. Just awesome. Truth was, is, and ever shall be.
Everyone died confessing Christ. For me, it is like having an army of victorious soldiers behind, before, and all around me who beat the devil all to hell, and I know through Christ that I can do it too. They root for me and you in voices a lot louder than Satan’s useful idiots. We just have to open our ears to hear them.
The martyrology isn’t simply a list of names. It mentions the awful ways these soldiers of Christ were killed. It mentions other interesting things where details are known. Some of these stories would make great drama plots such as the virgin Theodora who was sentenced to a brothel for refusing to sacrifice to Roman gods. Didymus switched clothes with her and she escaped temporarily. They both were martyred during the persecution of Diocletian. A person devoutly reading stories like this every day can’t help but receive the grace of a strengthened faith and fortitude to preach the Gospel.
The world would have us believe that we are a small minority with stupid, outdated ideas and beliefs. It would have us believe that we are nothing without money, power, and belonging to the “in” group. How shortsighted and foolish of them. The martyrology is a testament that there are a whole lot more of us professing truth than there are of them professing lies. Our family lives and reigns forever, right now with Christ, while their power dies when they die and they suffer alone and tormented forever.
As the Church emphasizes the new evangelization, the martyrology inspires us to get out there and save souls. Some, of course, won’t ever listen, which is why Jesus told His disciples to “shake the dust off your feet” and leave (Matt. 10:14, Lk. 9:5). Don’t waste time. Move on to those who choose to hear. We have a lot of work to do. And if an earthly power smacks us into the next world, rejoice that we walked in the footsteps of the Master and we’re going home to family.
Here’s an image Father Z took on his recent trip to Boston. St. Marina of Antioch, known as St. Margaret in the west, hammers the devil. The second image is an icon of her.
She’s my kind of woman, and as one of Father Z’s commenters said, “Just another day in the Church Militant.”
Read the Roman martyrology and see what it can do for you in this Year of Faith.
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R. Now and forever!
(Click on the link above to read why I end my posts this way.)
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