Tuesday, May 04, 2010
English Martyrs: Following Christ
It is difficult for us to imagine the tensions of mistrust that must have flecked the lives of those who adhered to the True Faith. Those priests who landed in England didn't know if the last Mass they celebrated would indeed be their last, some never actually got to say Mass in England they were arrested on the beach on which they landed, others were betrayed by those to whom they gave the sacraments, or even by those who gave them hospitality, even by their fellow priests.
It was only Christ and his saints who could be trusted.
There is an autobiographical account of the torture of Fr Gerard here. Gerard survived and kept his mouth shut, others did not. For those facing torture trust in one's own resistance must have been doubtful and trust in God's grace must have been a minute to minute matter.
When Jesus calls the disciples to follow him, he doesn't show them their end, the invitation is to day to day, a minute to minute affair. When Jesus speaks about Peter's death at the end of John's Gospel, he speaks about Peter having a belt put around him and being led in ways he would rather not go. Being led in this way means the follower literally follows step by step, moment by moment.
"Lord for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray ..."
Posted by Fr Ray Blake