Monday, September 20, 2010

Andrew Kim Taegon & Paul Chong Hasang, Martyrs

Today is the memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, priest & martyr, and St. Paul Chong Hasang, martyr. The story of these men and of the birth of the Church in Korea is utterly inspiring. I've linked the stories of these two glorious martyrs so that you may read their individual stories. What I want to reflect on is how far we have fallen in relation to the faith that inspired these martyrs to give all for Christ.

Andrew Kim Taegon was the son of nobility. He was also the son of a convert martyr - his own father. But the faith had been so strongly planted in him that he was led to become a priest and was ordained the first native born Korean priest.

Paul Chong Hasang was a sort of Justin Martyr of Korea. He wrote a treatise explaining to the Korean royal court that Christianity was NOT a threat to their rule. He also worked heroically to bring priests to Korea after the priesthood had been wiped out by a persecution of the Church. I'll let you read the rest and be inspired!

My question is (not to be too delicate about it): What kind of cowards have we become??? Can we really say that we are the heirs to the faith of these great men and the hundreds who were martyred with them in the mid-18th century in Korea?

Here are men who, being the sons of martyrs, continued to give all they had to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to Korea. They gave everything even after seeing what a committment to Jesus Christ could mean. When the weakness of fallen man tells those faced with torture and death to hide, obfuscate, or otherwise minimize their belief in Jesus Christ these men proclaimed it with conviction with their very life blood!

In our country, which proclaims itself to be Christian, we can't even agree that our faith is not a merely private matter. We, who have not been threatened in the least with anything other than being called names by the forces of social, sexual, moral liberalism (darkness, EVIL), can't even muster up the courage to agree among ourselves on what is right or wrong or even worth fighting for. :((

Our bishops teach, rightly, that one cannot be pro-choice and Catholic and we continue to vote for those who fight day and night for the "freedom to choose (evil)". We even flock to the banner of those who proclaim to be proudly and devotedly Catholic and yet have a 75% or better rating from Planned Parenthood (aka planned barrenhood). Heck! Some of our bishops can't even seem to get it through their skulls that such Catholic politicians have no business receiving the precious Body and Blood of our Lord!

Our bishops, following the constant teaching of the universal Church, teach that our immigration laws are unjust and they are accused, even by Catholic commentators and political operatives, of trying to fill pews and coffers at the expense of national security.

Is this the kind of witness Sts. Andrew, Paul, and their companions died for? I think not. Unfortunately, the few people who read this will probably be part of the "choir". I hope and pray daily that the rank & file as well as the leaders of our Church will take up the banner so nobly carried by Saints Andrew, Paul and their companions.

May we, at last, wake up and recognize the cross our actions have built for us and finally shoulder it. We will be better men for it and our nation and the world will be better for it as well. How do I know? Check out Acts 2:42, John 15:14 and then John 10:10. It doesn't get any more clear than that.


1 comment:

Comments are most welcome! As always, be charitable and remember the 8th Commandment (Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor).