Friday, November 11, 2005

A Rebuke for My Weak Faith

TS O'Rama relates a story about St. Francis of Assisi, reminiscent of Elijah and the priests of Baal.

It also reminded me of what Donald Sensing wrote as we began our invasion of Afghanistan:

"Julia Ward Howe wrote, "As [Christ] died to make men holy, let us die to make them free." I am imagining, I'm just imagining, invading Afghanistan with about ten thousand in the first wave. They'll all probably die. So we'll send another ten thousand and they may die, too. But I volunteer. I will go in the first wave.

"We may die, but we will not kill. We will not be armed with weapons of war, but with implements of peace. We will carry Bibles. We will preach the Gospel of the peace and love of Jesus Christ. We will baptize and consecrate and share the Eucharist. We will heal the sick, comfort those who mourn, care for orphans, and liberate the women.

"We'll be hungry, cold, tired and thirsty. They will hunt us down and bomb us. They will capture us and line us up against a wall. They will hang us.

"But we will bless in Christ's name those who curse us, and we will do good to those who hate us. And with our dying breaths we will say, "We are disciples of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the call of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus. Receive grace and mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!"

"Jesus said, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate . . . even life itself, cannot be my disciple." Are there 9,999 other Christians who will go, also? Or shall only murderous fanatics be willing to give up their lives for their god?

"Any takers?"

I'm confused and conflicted about this issue and many others. I want to do what's right, but not only do I not always know what is the correct response, I'm often afraid to do it. Am I really willing to give everything, including my life, for my faith, or am I merely willing to give what I think I can spare (if that)?

I'm sorry to not be able to resolve this post satisfactorily, but perhaps the best ending would be the Flannery O'Connor quote of

"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." (via Amy Welborn)

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