Monday, January 02, 2006

New Martyrs, Confessors, and Passion-Bearers of Russia

New Martyrs, Confessors, and Passion-Bearers of Russia

As I was reading these pages, I realized once more that we in the USA are not comfortable with the concept of martyrdom. In fact, we ofte use the term "Martyr" as a derogatory assessment of the mental and emotional shortcomings of others.

However, in this 21st century, the USA will see the true martyrdom of many Christians by those who hate Christianity. Those who truly love Christ will be threatened with death by the Christ-haters. And hundreds of thousands of those who retain their faith will be slaughtered. There will be many who will say, "Their deaths were in vain," but God knows that the death of one who loves Him is never in vain!

Our task to to embrace Christ ever more tightly, ever more firmly, until we cannot conceive of living life without Him - and to that end, we would lay down our lives in order to live in Him. For, life without Him truly would be death.

This will not take place in some obscure (to us) corner of the planet, but in our own cities and states. Even in our own Churches. It will happen in Washington DC, in New York, in California, in Minnesota, in Texas, in Alaska, in Hawaii - and everywhere between.There will be no place to hide.

Just as in Russia, in the early part of the 20th century, bishops, priests, deacons and laypeople were imprisoned, tortured and killed for their faith, so will we be imprisoned, tortured and killed for our faith.

Only a remnant of believers will be left - and they will have to go into hiding - just as did the early Christians of the first through third centuries. They will worship in basements, in garages, in backrooms. They will have to have special passwords and signs to recognize each other - and these will have to differ from location to location to keep the persecuters from recognizing them.

We must prepare for this - prepare our children and grandchildren, prepare our friends and relatives, prepare ourselves. We must hold to our love of Christ, we must be prepared to suffer, we must be prepared to die.

We must also be prepared to not judge those who give in - for those of them who later repent their denial of Christ will form a strong remnant that will keep alive the true Body and Immaculate Bride of Christ - His Church.

May God help us!

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