The prospect of actual martydom, back in the 1970s, seemed a dim and distant prospect. Now it seems to have jumped so much closer that, in many countries of the world, it is a reality. In fact, in Europe we have long had “dry” martydoms where men and women have been vilified for their faith and lost their jobs or their homes rather than their lives.
There are one or two attractions to being a ‘witness’ for Christ: first and foremost must be the fact that we are promised a martyr’s crown and a “Go straight to Heaven” card. We would take our place among the elite (that word again) – no purgatory, fantastic!
What else? Well extraneous body parts such as toe nails and hair clippings might take on a value hitherto undreamed of. But that is it.
Still interested? Good!
Here is Part one of Bl Adrian Fortescue’s Guide to Martyrdom in 16 easy steps:-1. Above all things love God with all thy heart.
2. Desire His honour more than the health of thine own soul.
3. Take heed with all diligence to purge and cleanse thy mind with oft Confession, thy desire or lust from earthly things.
4. Be you houseled (Holy Communion) with entire devotion.
5. Repute not thyself better than any other person, be they never so great sinners, but rather judges and esteem yourself most simplest.
6. Judge the best.
7. Use much silence, but when thou needs must speak.8. Delight not in familiarity of persons unkown to thee.
9. Be solitary as much as is convenient with thine estate.
10. Banish from thee all judging and detraction, especially from thy tongue.
11. Pray often.
12. Also enforce thee to set thy house at quietness.
13. Resort to God every hour.
14. Advance not thy words or deeds by any pride.
15. Be not too much familiar, but show a serious and prudent countenance with gentleness.
16. Show before all people a good example of virtues.
17. Be not partial for favour, lucre or malice, but according to truth, equity, justice and reason.
18. Be pitiful to poor folk and help them to thy power, for then thou shalt greatly please God.
19. Give fair language to all persons, and especially to the poor and needy.
20. Also be diligent in giving of alms.
21. In prosperity be meek of heart, and in adversity patient.
22. And pray continuously to God that you may do what is His pleasure.
23. Also apply diligently the co-operation of the Holy Ghost whatever thou hast therein to do.
24. Pray for perseverance.
25. Continue in dread, and ever have God before thine eyes.
26. Renew every day the good purpose.
27. What thou hast to do, do it diligently.
28. ‘Stablish thyself always in well-doing.
29. If by chance you fall into sin, despair not.
And if you keep these precepts, the Holy Ghost will strengthen thee in all other things necessary, and thus doing you shall be with Christ in Heaven, to whom be glory, laud, honour, and praise everlasting.
Blessed Adrian was beheaded for his faith on Tower Hill on July 8th 1539.
On the Feast of her Nativity:
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the sead of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Judah, from the line of King David, from whom the Son of God was born, made man by the Holy Spirit, so that men might be freed from the age old servitude of sin.
Parents who lose a baby before its first birthday are more likely to die early themselves, according to a study.
The BBC has the report:
Researchers at York and Stirling universities said bereaved parents were up to four times more likely to die in the decade following the child’s death.
Previous studies have suggested there is a similar effect after the death of a spouse – often referred to as dying of a “broken heart”.
The impact of losing a child has not been analysed to the same extent.
This research, published in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, is the first to look at the effect on UK parents.
Its authors have said their findings are of “major concern” and have called for more research…
Read the rest here.
On the eve of the Rugby World Cup, South Africa
has seems to have lost sports anchor Darren Scott, after he recently made an appalling racial slur:
SuperSport Rugby World Cup anchor and Jacaranda 94.2 breakfast host Darren Scott has resigned amidst a racial row, according to a report on Thursday.
Two days before the start of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand on Friday, Scott decided to step down after allegedly several times calling a colleague a k***** at a Jacaranda 94.2 team building event at the weekend.
SuperSport spokesman Clinton van der Berg told Beeld newspaper that Neil Andrews and Peter Davies would take over as presenters.
Jacaranda 94.2 spokeswoman Jenny Griesel confirmed his departure from the radio station, where he hosted the “Just Plain” breakfast show.
Scott had called Beeld newspaper on Wednesday to say that he had left SuperSport and the radio station.
His lawyer, Les Morison, later called the Afrikaans daily to apologise on Scott’s behalf for the phone call, during which Scott reportedly swore.
Morison said Scott’s outburst at the team building event was directed at his colleague, named by Beeld as Africa Tshoaedi, who allegedly owed him money.
“People were socialising and drinking in the bar area. The colleague (Tshoaedi) also went to the bar and then Scott said, people who had not paid their debts were not welcome. Tshoaedi then left, but later returned. Scott saw that as a taunt, and used strong words… and called him the k-word,” said Morison.
Morison said Scott was “extremely sorry” about what had happened.
Tshoaedi told Beeld he did not want to comment.
Scott has released a statement telling ‘his side’ of the story here, in which they say that he has not been suspended.
Well if he hasn’t, he should be! His reputation and person has been embarrassed, as has the image of our country. We don’t need such a face on the national TV. Scott has exposed himself and the whole episode really makes me think of what the Bible says in Luke 6:45,
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.