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A Bunch of Sissies!

In a debate with a protestant about the differences between the Church today and the Church of the first century, I asked him what the Apostles would say if they were to visit us today. The rest of the conversation is not crucial for this post. I thought recently about that question and it made me consider another aspect of the faith of Catholics today compared with the past. Here is my conclusion: we are a bunch of sissies!

Have you ever looked at a list of the various fasts and devotions that the average Catholic laymen went through a few hundred years ago? It might shock you to know that our most intense devotions and sacrifices are nothing compared with what our forefathers experienced (with little to no complaint on their part). We are soft today about our suffering; we whine and complain at the slightest requirement of the Church (like going to Mass every single week! [golly!]). Our forefathers were happy to be martyrs and we are afraid to be embarrassed by those who mock the faith. This is pitiful.

I am currently reading a book on the history of England (which was stunningly Catholic for centuries). It describes (in gruesome details) the sufferings of the English Martyrs who were persecuted during the Protestant rebellion from the Catholic Church in the 16th and 17th centuries. So, I thought about that question: what would the Apostles think if they saw how we deal with things today? I think they likely would say that some of the worst trials we go through in America are mild. Our English ancestors would say the same. We have it pretty easy.

Let us each do some serious soul-searching and ask ourselves how we handle suffering. No, I am not looking for extra ways to suffer (really!), but when God sends it to us we must respond with faith (and stop complaining about everything). The Martyrs were happy to give their lives for the sake of gospel; let us make sure that we can give something for the sake of the gospel. And let us seek God's grace to endure whatever He chooses in our future.


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