As the debate about Iraqi and Syrian immigration continues may our conscience not be deadened and our hearts hardened to the plight of persecuted minorities. This short film enlivens my conscience to to stand in wonder at their courage in face of such persecution.
The winter is setting in and so life will be even more difficult for those in refugee camps during this Christmas season. Consider a Christmas gift to assist those in need either through Juliana Taimoorazy’s outreach or the Knights of Columbus. The following video also demonstrates the courage of these Iraqis and Syrians who hold fast to their faith.
Servais Pinckaers, OP, offers a reflection on persecution in his book The Pursuit of Happiness – God’s Way, Living the Beatitudes.
“Saint Thomas Aquinas connects martyrdom with the virtue of fortitude or courage. According to the teaching of the philosophers of his time the proper and characteristic act of courage was confrontation with death especially in war. From a theological perspective martyrdom seen as the acceptance of death for the sake of Christ would be the specific act of Christian courage. Its motivation, faith and love, distinguishes Christian martyrdom from merely human courage in the face of death. The witness of martyrdom is totally centered in the person of Christ. Many martyrs have expressed the belief it that was Christ himself who suffered and bore witness in them, who relived his passion with them. Christian courage certainly includes whatever human courage we may possess; but surpasses it, while gathering to itself, through the power of grace, even our weaknesses and fears in the face of death. The martyrs were not heroes. They were above all believers who bore witness to love.”