A priest friend shared this with me long ago. It really brings into realty the ways of the world and the ways of God.
“I once read of a Chinese girl in Communist China who hid in a church and watched soldiers ransack the tabernacle and spill the Hosts on the floor. The guards left but she stayed in hiding, picking up a Host, one a day with her tongue, not realizing she could have consumed all the Hosts because of the profanation. She returned every day and picked up one Host with her tongue out of her total respect for the Eucharist.
On the last day, being the last Host, as soon as she consumed it, she was shot by a guard who had followed her into the church. Angels of the Holy Eucharist watching over us from heaven!”
Recently, the pope came out with a change in the Church’s view of capital punishment. I’m sorry to say that he doesn’t seem to have gone beyond an emotional view on this versus the Church and Church History. One of his main concerns is that capital punishment executions takes away a person’s dignity and time in reviewing his redemption. At no point did he mention what was taken away from the victim(s) or their families. Before victims were brutally murdered, were they allowed reflection on their pending mortality and redemption before being forcibly pushed into the afterlife on the whim of a murderer?
When my four children were growing up, any time a treat or dessert was being served, the words most frequently voiced were “ME FIRST!” In order to bring their Religion into every phase of their lives, we talked about how we could send a soul from Purgatory to Heaven by making small sacrifices. One time I was dividing the last of the cake midst much pushing and shoving for the biggest piece. I casually mentioned how sad it was that no poor souls would make it to Heaven based on the selfishness I was seeing. Suddenly the pushing and shoving ACCELERATED as the children kept going to the BACK of the line in order to be the ONE saving the souls that day!
One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him and the driver told him, “I always park there. You took my place!” The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing. After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member of the congregation walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit. You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment but still said nothing. Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, “I took your place.”
God our Father,
Giver of life,
we entrust the United States of America to Your loving
You are the rock on which this nation was founded.
You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your
Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation´s
Open their minds to the great worth of human life
and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.
Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in
and doing Your will.
Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate,
Patroness of our land,
grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.”
Lead us into a new millennium of life.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Amen. (Catholic On-Line)