People Look East

Today was a very missionary Sunday. Elijah's mantle, the obligation to the Spirit, and the cost of discipleship figured in the readings today. Christ makes clear that nothing should stand in the way of our fidelity to Love.

On the way home from Mass, I passed by Chinatown. Among the booths I found an artist's rendering of a wife grieving her husband's death; he had been killed for refusing to renounce his religious beliefs. How many of us know the full story of religious persecutions in China? Tibetan monks, pagan worshippers, and Catholic bishops have all suffered similar tortures at the hands of a virulently atheistic State.

It made me wonder how many Chinese immigrants came here to escape religious persecution. Or does our libertarian secularism cause them to flee totalitarian secularism? Are they interested in Christ or freedom?

Ponderous thoughts as I look forward to celebrating Independence Day here in Boston. As the homilist reminded us at Mass, we are given freedom in order to follow Him. How we exercise our freedom constitutes our entire Christian enterprise, a point delivered with gentle force by Our Pontiff in his Letter to China.

Reading the Holy Father's message of hope & solidarity should serve as a reminder that American Catholics are among the most extraordinarily blessed particular churches in the history of the Church. We who quibble over minutiae and use our freedoms to the detriment of society should pause to thank our Divine Provider for such luxury! Catholics in China are trying to create and generate so much that we in America take for granted.

We are not going to church in disguise- we are not in the catacombs. We have full recourse to proudly show our fidelity to the Magisterium, and so often...so often...we forsake the Gospel. Let us pledge allegiance once again this July 4th to the right of free exercise of religious belief. Let us live the Gospel courageously in the marketplace. Let us open wide the doors to Christ, who leaps over mountains to come and save us!

1 comment:

Jen said...

Thank you for this post! So very thought provoking. I came upon it through the Catholic Carnival...about an hour after I came from Mass where Father spoke about this very subject! The Holy Spirit's guidance I think!

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