Will we have martyrs in the United States soon? I cannot say, if we are speaking about red martyrs. Some have been called dramatic if they claim martyrdom will be present in our “land of the free and home of the brave” because we have the Constitution and freedom. With the HHS mandate fiasco, I have no doubt that freedoms we have hitherto taken for granted will now need to be fought for. The fight, indeed, has already begun.
It is not the same in the US as it is in other countries. Many countries have it far worse than we do. But I cannot help but look at them and wonder if we will not soon follow suit.
This article about an archbishop in Belgium nearly breaks my heart. I have realized in recent years that I have developed a heart for the Church and her leaders. Pope Francis was merely announced and I fell in love with him. This archbishop in Belgium is calm in the face of such evil and I cannot help but feel my heart ache for him. We are not always faced with such blatant evil or display of sin. Nevertheless, if we are to encounter it, we should be of such spiritual fortitude that we might respond like this brave shepherd.
Speaking of white martyrs, I would like to voice my belief that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is, in my humble book, a white martyr. From the moment he was elected pope he seemed to be hated. Even now, every compliment of Pope Francis seems to be given with the double intent of backhanding Benedict. It is hard for me to face a classroom of young people when I know they dislike me, are bored with me, or have uttered unkind things about me. Yet Pope Benedict was able to face the world without shrinking when most of the media was seeking to demonize him and the Catholic Church. Instead he helped present the love of Christ and a witness of simple humility that inspires me.