A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, July 09, 2004

Sounds familiar, but...

I listened to the homily for today's Mass on EWTN. As always, it was enriching. The priest made many good points, but one thing saddened me.

In giving an example of enduring even unto death, the priest chose to focus on the death of Mel Gibson's character in the movie Braveheart rather than that of the Chinese martyrs whose optional memorial was today.

A disappointing choice and a missed opportunity, for their torture was every bit as horrific, especially considering the tender ages of many of them. Their final words every bit as heroic, if not more so. Most of all, they died explicitly for their faith in Jesus Christ.

I fear that perhaps the priest's fondness for the movie led him to miss an example that was more "on point" and was tied in with today's optional memorial.

To be honest, I too have movies from which I most readily (perhaps too readily) borrow for illustrative purposes: e.g., Ben-Hur and A Man for All Seasons.

Indeed, when hearing our Lord's dictum to be clever as serpents and gentle as doves, I thought of St. Thomas More (whose story A Man for All Seasons tells). Of course, I have no doubt that such qualities was also to be found in abundance in the Chinese martyrs.

Familiar paths are easiest, but as we go through the liturgical year, perhaps we should make a special effort to look more closely at those saints we don't usually focus on, most especially the ones more recently canonized (what wonderful gifts they are for us today). Surprising riches are to be found in the most unfamiliar saints.