Eucharist of Martyrs
One bishop's account of the price paid for the Eucharist (from Sandro Magister):
Bishop Lucian Muresan, president of the Romanian bishops’ conference, stunned and moved his hearers with an account of a Eucharist of martyrs:
“In our country, Romania, the communists tried to give man material bread alone, and wanted to chase ‘the bread of God’ from society and from the heart of the human person. Now, we realize that, outlawing our Greek Catholic Church, they were very afraid of the God present in the Eucharist.
“The priests we imprisoned for the only reason that they were Catholic so that they could not celebrate or speak about God. Even the lay persons who participated in the Holy Masses clandestinely celebrated suffered the same [fate]. In the famous period of ‘re-education’ and ‘brainwashing’ in the Romanian prisons, to compromise priests, to ridicule the Eucharist and to destroy human dignity, the persecutors made them celebrate with excrements, but never managed to take away their faith.
“Instead how many Masses have there been, clandestinely celebrated in a spoon rather than the chalice and with wine made from grapes found in the street; how many rosaries made by a thread with pieces of bread; how many humiliations, when during winters at minus 30 degrees they were undressed for body searches; how many days spent in the famous ‘black room,’ as the punishment for having been found in prayer? No one will ever know, ever. These modern martyrs of the 20th century offered all their suffering to the Lord for dignity and human freedom.
“Today, we live the freedom of the sons of God truly hungry for the eucharistic bread. I confirm this affirmation with the participation in the divine liturgy of 80% of our faithful; with vocations to the priestly and religious life that are not lacking; with so many people of great intellect who are so close to the Church.”
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Posted by: -
Oct. 13, 2005 5:04 PM ET USA
These martyrs shame our lack of self sacrifice. How many of us will not withstand the 'ridicule'of progressives in our churches. They were bombarded day after day. These unfortunate souls could not go to a 'more conservative priest' for 'better theology.' They offered their sacrifices just where they were. And their country reaped a bountiful harvest. Thank God for their fortitude, and may He grant us even the tiniest measure of it for our own dear conuntry, and for the Church in our day.
Posted by: Gertrude -
Oct. 13, 2005 2:35 PM ET USA
If the beauty and heartbreak of those words does not make everyone one of us get down on our knees and thank God for all of the blessings He has literally showered upon us, we must be truly hard of heart. "Lord I love Thee, Thou knowest that I love Thee, but I do not love Thee enough! Please help me to burn with the fire of Thy love!"
Posted by: -
Oct. 13, 2005 8:06 AM ET USA
What shame this sacrifice heaps on us in the complacent west where we count ourselves persecuted if we cannot express ourselves sexually or in any other way. Our church has freedom and wealth, and what have we done with those blessings, especially in the US? Set up friendly Father Tom and a Santa Claus theology. We need sacrifice, a sense of mission, maybe even suffering from the top down. Didn't Chaucer talk about the foul priest causing the people to "rust."
Posted by: Fr. William -
Oct. 12, 2005 11:10 PM ET USA
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Diogenes, for giving us this post from Bishop Muresan. I will be re-printing this in my parish bulletin and quoting it directly in an upcoming homily. Deo gratias.
Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Oct. 12, 2005 9:27 PM ET USA
"These modern martyrs of the 20th century offered all their suffering to the Lord for dignity and human freedom." I really doubt it. I really doubt it. They offered their suffering for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Posted by: -
Oct. 12, 2005 6:32 PM ET USA
I am humbled by their sacrifice, suffering and devotion. People dont lay down their life for a symbolic presence.
Posted by: -
Oct. 12, 2005 5:29 PM ET USA
God Bless and Keep them, one and all.