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Sunday, June 2, 2013

St Charles Lwanga and the Ugandan Martyrs

"They seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully." Mk 12: 3-4

Charles Lwanga, a catechist who refused to renounce his faith even after seeing many of his Ugandan companions martyred, reminds us again of the power of God's grace. Despite being lured by King Mwanga into the royal court and promised real power over others, Charles would not deny  his faith. More, even after he was condemned to die, he continued to urge others to follow Christ.

Although it is sometimes forgotten or ignored by Catholics, Charles was killed along with nine Anglican young men who might not be called martyrs but certainly gave their lives for the Gospel, and deserved to be honored for their sacrifice. Although Charles is revered in Africa and throughout the world for his willingness to die for his beliefs, his life is also a good reminder to work together with other Christians for a just world. While we might disagree about how to speak of the Eucharist or the role of the Holy Father, we surely do agree about what it means to serve and cling God in the face of persecution.

Today, accept whatever suffering comes to you because of your commitment to the Gospel.

What do you most admire in people willing to give their lives for the faith?

1 comment:


    My beloved Catholic Church is broken and I don’t know how to fix, And in that brokenness I’ve lost my treasured “Faith,”

    Is it wisdom, frustration, or simple acceptance and common sense? My God -given drive to make this world a better place has nestled deep in my soul for as long as I can remember. It has picked me up when I’ve fallen and lifted me up when needed. A strong faith and commitment to my Catholic church has been cocooned deep in my psyche ready to spring forth as needed. It was nothing I searched for or wrestled with. It’s was as natural to me as taking a breath. I can’t see it, describe it, smell it, or touch it … or even understand it. Nor does it surprise or intimidate me. It simply is there. It’s flow was as steady and natural as the water in a country stream skipping downhill and sliding over glistening bedrocks. It’s strength was as powerful as the pounding of the ocean surf and its presence as warm and bright as the morning sun.
    Its disappearance has been shocking and devastatingly sad.

    Why after 80 plus years of being wrapped in its loving embrace have I lost my passion? There must be a way to find it again so these many years have not been for naught. Notwithstanding physical limitations wrought by advanced age, I no longer feel the drive. I’ve lost not only my faith but also my hope. I can no longer accept those clouded and misleading dictates spewing forth from the Vatican. They speak in tongues when they tell us they are shocked and appalled by the deviant behavior of so many Princes of the Church. They cannot be speaking for an Almighty, all loving and all powerful God. Their God is not my God . I’m repulsed by the silence and self-serving coverups perpetrated by those “holy men” who are supposed to guide and direct the faithful. For years I believed they were “special.” Because of that belief and for those I couldn’t understand or justify, I blindly followed under the guise of “faith” ,

    I now ask my God for forgiveness. Every one of us must speak out and question such weakness in human men and woman. The offenses have been so egregious, deliberate and common that we must reject the course that allows such acts to be buried in secrecy. We need to protect not only the victims but the perpetrators as well. The Church worked hard to keep the scandal under cover. I wholeheartedly reject that as cowardly and certainly self-serving for those who allowed them to continue after discovery. These offenses and the lack of acknowledgement has crept so far under my skin that I must disassociate myself from the fallen organization. The horror of man to man and nature to man must always continue to shock us. Ruwanda, the Sudan, Haiti, Malawi, 125th Street and the South Bronx, Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and Seaside Heights, violent tornadoes and flooding - all must have an explanation? Where was He in Sandy Hook? Where was the merciful God behind the Tsumami. And so many more horrors near and far that we never see or hear about. Why is there no outcry over the injustice of the church’s treatment of homosexuals. Are they not God’s children as well. How do these hallowed men of the church get to decide who can love whom? Why were not His loving arms there to embrace the young Indian girl who was stoned to death before crowds of cheering people because she chose to love a man of her choice. And those sweet innocents in Newtown who had no place to hide … no safe haven … no soothing arms to hold their shaking bodies.

    I seem to have lost my energy and my resolve. I’m pleading with and begging my God to awaken my heart and soul once again. I’m confident that He hears me but am not hearing his answers. I’m trying to believe He’s speaking to me through friends and families but I’m either not listening or He’s speaking too softly for me to hear.

    I’m trying to believe that calmness is one way to heal and to be patient with my faith in God. I’m trying but that doesn’t seem to be working.


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