Friday, June 30, 2006
The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero, who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death.”
As I write about the Christian martyrs, I can't help but reflect on the time I spent with my Community in prayer and thanksgiving for their sacrifice and their great faith while visiting the Coliseum in Italy this past February. I felt such a strong sense of their presence as I envisioned these innocent, defenseless victims being tossed into this huge arena to be devoured by the lions while thousands of pagan spectators entertained themselves, drinking and eating to excess, sitting back, laughing, and cheering.
In some ways this scenario is similar what is happening in our society today. We sit back on our recliners guiltlessly indulging ourselves in every imaginable way-- participating in ever form of sexual delight, consuming excessive quantities of food to appease every one of our 10,000 taste buds, purchasing whatever unnecessary trinket strikes our fancy, poisoning our minds and welcoming into our homes the violence and bloodshed, and pornography of the internet, movies, and TV.
How often do we get up off our derrières to do something about the evil in our world? It is just so much easier to sit back and continue in our self - indulgent habits, while the innocent martyrs of our day -- the unborn-- are being slaughtered, their remains being flushed down a sink, thrown in the garbage, or burned in an incinerator.
But, you ask, what can just one person do?
First, get up and speak up.
Speak the truth. In order to do this, you must know the truth. Educate yourself. Read as much as you can about the facts. Learn what the issues are and how to dialogue with those trapped in the culture of death. If you have never read a pro-life book before, start out with these: Why Can't We Love them Both by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke, Guerilla Apologetics for Life Issues by Paul Nowak, Won By Love by Norma McCorvey.
Second, pray always and everywhere.
Novenas -- especially the Seven Sorrows Novena -- have been effective in closing abortion mills. Pray often before the Blessed Sacrament. Pray Fr. Frank Pavone's pro-life rosary or the Rachel Rosary.
Some types of evil can be halted only by fasting. There are many ways to fast -- for example, cut back on eating one type of (unnecessary) food, eat unseasoned food, fast from TV or the Internet or from using your favorite cologne. Better yet, fast from a bad habit, or spend time cultivating a virture -- such as patience.
Fourth, volunteer your time to the pro-life movement. Pray or do sidewalk counseling at the abortion mill. It doesn't work out with your schedule? Offer to be a spiritual supporter. Volunteer at a crisis pregancy center. Get involved in the Respect Life group in your parish or diocese. If you want to do more, contact Fr. Frank Pavone -- he will find something for you to do.
Don't sit back and let the world continue to decay. Speak up for human life!