His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, recently published a book titled, To the Martyrs: A Reflection on the Supreme Christian Witness. I have not yet read this book, but I am looking to reading it when I find it (ordering things to be sent to Rome isn't always worth the frustration and delay that comes with it).
That said, Patti Armstrong has read the book and wrote a review of it in the National Catholic Register. The part of her review that most interests me concerns what we can do to assist those members of the Body of Christ suffering for the name of Jesus:
“When atrocities happen, there are many guilty parties,” Wuerl stated. “There are perpetrators, and there are those whom Thomas Merton called “guilty bystanders.”He reminds us that St. Paul taught: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (Corinthians 12:26-27).Rather than feeling powerless, Cardinal Wuerl’s book has inspired me to do more. He offers suggestions on how every Christian can act on behalf of the suffering members of the body of Christ.
- Pray for them Daily. “This is the most pressing need. Are we praying that persecuted Christians will remain strong in the face of unimaginable pressures to abandon the Faith?”
- Write Legislators and media. Where are the voices of parliaments, congresses, campuses, business networks, community leaders talk show hosts, news programs, editorial columns, etc.? “Each of us simply needs to use whatever forum available to make our voices heard.”
- Contribute financially. Give to one of the many organizations that help Christians in persecuted lands.
- Seek out refugees in our cities and help them settle in their new home.
- Pray for the persecutors.
- Leave no spiritual stone unturned. Light a candle, have Masses said, have a group rosary, offer up your own suffering, and pray the Chaplet of Mercy. These latter suggestions are my own, but the point is, that we can pour our spiritual energy into supporting persecuted Christians.
Good recommendations, all. For your financial contributions, I recommend Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, and the Knights of Columbus.
Please, do not forget our brothers and sisters!
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