MARTYRS OF NORTH AMERICA
Revelation, Chapter 11, Verse 18
The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to recompense your servants, the prophets, and the holy ones and those who FEAR your name, the small and the great alike, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
refers to the blowing of the seventh trumpet which proclaims the coming of
God’s reign after the victory over diabolical powers. End of time prophesies
can be very frightening and confusing. Yet, we need not fear all we need do is seek the shelter of Christ’s church and to
do what we can to do His Holy will. Pope Francis recently commented that
humankind will bring about the end of the world unless we rein in our rapacious
greed. You might want to peruse Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter
Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home.
Amoris Lætitia Love in Marriage Love forgives (105-108)
Once we allow ill will to take root in our hearts, it leads to deep resentment. The opposite of resentment is forgiveness, which is rooted in a positive attitude that seeks to understand other people’s weaknesses and to excuse them. Yet we keep looking for more and more faults, imagining greater evils, presuming all kinds of bad intentions, and so resentment grows and deepens.
Thus, every mistake or lapse on the part of a spouse can harm the bond of love and the stability of the family. Something is wrong when we see every problem as equally serious; in this way, we risk being unduly harsh with the failings of others. When we have been offended or let down, forgiveness is possible and desirable, but no one can say that it is easy. The truth is that “family communion can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice.
Today we recognize that being able to forgive others implies the liberating experience of understanding and forgiving ourselves. Often our mistakes, or criticism we have received from loved ones, can lead to a loss of self-esteem. We become distant from others, avoiding affection and fearful in our interpersonal relationships. Blaming others becomes falsely reassuring. We need to learn to pray over our past history, to accept ourselves, to learn how to live with our limitations, and even to forgive ourselves, in order to have this same attitude towards others. All this assumes that we ourselves have had the experience of being forgiven by God, justified by his grace and not by our own merits. We have known a love that is prior to any of our own efforts, a love that constantly opens doors, promotes and encourages. If we accept that God’s love is unconditional, that the Father’s love cannot be bought or sold, then we will become capable of showing boundless love and forgiving others even if they have wronged us. Otherwise, our family life will no longer be a place of understanding, support and encouragement, but rather one of constant tension and mutual criticism.
Martyrs in North America
Today in the dioceses of the United States the Church celebrates the optional memorial of Sts. Issac Jogues and John de Brébeuf (priests and martyrs) and their companions (martyrs). They were Jesuit missionaries who died as martyrs in North America where they preached the Gospel.
· Pray to the Holy Spirit to renew the evangelization of distant countries as well as the re-evangelization of our own nation.
· More Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in the previous nineteen centuries combined. For example, pastors are being arrested and sometimes shot in China and Cuba. Believers are forbidden to buy goods or own property in Somalia. Christians who testify to their faith in Iran or Saudi Arabia may be put to death for blasphemy. Mobs have wiped out whole villages of Christians in Pakistan. Pray for courageous and zealous missionaries in these countries where the Church is persecuted.
· Support the Indian Missions in the USA.
· Learn for Christmas the Indian Christmas Carol, the first American Christmas carol John de Brébeuf wrote to teach the Christmas story to the Huron Indians.
1173 When the Church keeps the memorials of martyrs and other saints during the annual cycle, she proclaims the Paschal mystery in those "who have suffered and have been glorified with Christ. She proposes them to the faithful as examples who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors."
Monday: Litany of Humility
 Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.