Thursday, January 31, 2013

Martyrs for the Faith--Lessons to be learned

February 1st we remember our two Daughters of Charity, Blessed Mary Ann Vaillot DC and Odile Baumgarten,  who died by shooting along with 97 other Christians for their faith. These 99 people were beatified by Pope John Paul II because of their refusual to take the required oath in support of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.  They were killed on February 1st, 1794 outside the town of Angers in France.
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As Catholics, we look to the saints as models as how to live and how to die. What do we learn from these Sisters and the others who took a stand for their faith? 
There are many issues that come up in government legislation in which we are challenged totake a stand and honor and protect all life, those most vulnerable in our society. Where do you stand on abortion, immigration, healthcare for those living in poverty?  Do you take the side of the vulnerable one? Do you take their cause consistently?  Do you speak up despite those around you? Do you have the courage to be like John the Baptist and be the voice crying out in the wilderness? 

Catholic Healthcare in the United States and Catholic institutions are being mandated by the government to provide/pay for contraception which is against the teaching of the Church.  As with the oath which the government was demanding everyone take in 1794 this present day mandate challenges the core of religious freedom. 

Have you spoken up to protect religious freedom and the practice of our faith??  If you have, do you do it with hate? or do you speak with faith, facts and conviction?  Jesus spoke with courage and conviction, but not hate.  Jesus changed hearts through His wisdom and compassion for all.  We are called to do the same, nothing less.

We will not need to take a bullet for our faith or convictions.  Instead, we are challenged with the long hard suffering in advocating for issues of life and justice rooted in the core of our faith, in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Let us each pray for the courage and good strong regular doses of the Holy Spirit to help us move mountains with the faith the size of at least a mustard seed. May we move the mountains to protect religious freedom and to protect the vulnerable in our society--born and unborn.

My niece/nephew expected to be born in May.

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