Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for August, 2012

On the Subject of Martyrdom…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on August 26, 2012

We must have FAITH…

First a bit of an update… We are now in the third re-posting for what I have titled, “Really Relevant to Today”.  A series of previously posted posts that apply even more to TODAY than they did when I originally posted them.

What’s worse, everything I mention below has occurred and often in the extreme.  Most extreme would be the current persecutions of Christians in Egypt:

“It is now being widely reported that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is torturing and executing ‘corruptors’ – including crucifying people who oppose newly installed President Mohammed Morsi.  Reports say that the most brutal torture is reserved for Christians.”  ~Liberty Counsel, e-mail received 8/21/12

And anyone who thinks – “Well, that’s Egypt, that’s not here!”  WAKE UP, AMERICA!

“Starting at the end of this month the Democratic National Convention will open with a focus on Islam.  [Twenty thousand] Muslims are expected to attend according to the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), the national Muslim American non-profit coordinating the two days of events they claim are non-political. ”Jumah at the DNC” begins August 29 and will start with a Friday afternoon jummah prayer followed by other unnamed programs and events, leading up to the Islamic Regal Banquet.” ~ Red State, Powerful Conservative Voices, August 21, 2012 (you can read more at the provided link above)

“The DNC has rolled out the welcome mats – and prayer mats – and has officially sanctioned two days of special Islamic events.  The problem is, the leadership of the Islamic delegation includes people with known links to jihadist terrorists and an unindicted co-conspirator in the New York Trade Tower bombings in the early nineties!  This news should disturb every American – and in particular, every Christian who understands the agenda of radical Muslims to destroy our nation through a stealth process called “civilization jihad.” ~ USA.com, Matt Staver guest post, August 25, 2012 (follow their link for further reading).

You can do your own search, just type in “radical islam at dnc”.  You might be surprised at the list of resources.

But this is just one tool of persecution present in our country.  There are many others, equally sinister, equally deadly – though mostly to the soul rather than the body.  Christ Himself tells us, “…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear him who can destroy both the body and soul in hell” (Mt 10:28). 

This is where moral relativism comes into play.  The rationalizing of same-sex marriage, the continued destruction of the living though infanticide, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and all forms of abortion (murder of the unborn). 

Much of this, WE, that is all who did nothing to stop it, who remained silent when the bills passed in our legislative houses of local and federal government.  WE who did not speak up at our churches because we were afraid of offending someone.  WE are accountable.  The hand of judgement is forced by our disobedience.

 HOWEVER, God’s justice is ALWAYS tempered with MERCY.  He only chastises those whom He loves to bring us back to Himself:

The discipline of the LORD, my son, disdain not; spurn not His reproof;  For whom the LORD loves He reproves, and He chastises the son He favors. ~Proverbs 3: 11-12

Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has He done so with us. It is by way of admonition that He chastises those who are close to Him. ~Judith 8:27

And as those who BELIEVE know, “The Blood of the Martyrs are the Seed of the Church.” ~Turtillian

The Church of the first millennium was born of the blood of the martyrs: “Sanguis martyrum-semen christia-norum.”  The historical events linked to the figure of Constantine the Great could never have ensured the development of the Church as it occurred during the first millennium if it had not been for the seeds sown by the martyrs and the heritage of sanctity which marked the first Christian generations.

At the end of the second millennium, the Church has once again become a Church of martyrs. The persecutions of believers-priests, religious and laity-has caused a great sowing of martyrdom in different parts of the world.

The witness to Christ borne even to the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants, as Pope Paul VI pointed out in his Homily for the Canonization of the Ugandan Martyrs. ~Blessed Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Coming of the Third Millenium (Terito Millennio Adveniente), No. 37, Nov 10, 1994

So, let us re-visit the post on Martyrdom, what it means, and who is called…

First Published: July 16, 2012

As per usual, I thought I wasn’t to write about this until next week, but as I am approaching end of my “desert journey”, it is a bit hard to understand directives when your mind is bombarded with hit after hit from the the great tempter and his assigned nuisances…

Thankfully, God has many different tools at His disposal to get my attention.  And as He has, I now write about Martyrdom…

Why?

Because, dear Brothers and Sisters in the Christian Church, our PERSECUTION is at hand and many will be called upon as the very witnesses of their faith…

“…take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.  But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength…” ~Lk 21: 34-36a

But first, I wish to draw the reader’s attention to the newest pictures that have appeared in my favorite image of the Divine Mercy.  You may take what you see with a grain of salt.  I clearly see our persecution coming with the attack on traditional marriage (one man and one woman) in the courts at both the state and at the Federal level – New York being the latest to crumble…

And I see all the time notices about groups forbidden to say things like, “God Bless You”, or even from praying in public areas (Florida and Texas come to mind…).  So whether you see the images or not is not important.  It’s knowing that our Persecution for professing our faith in Christ IS upon us.  Having said all that, let us go to the picture…

Jesus, I TRUST IN YOU!






As you can see, there are two additional images standing on the Dragon’s head.  When I first noticed them coming into focus back around the beginning of March, I thought the second image was that of an angel, because it seemed to have wings.  But now that it’s in full focus, it is clear that it is The Pope — or rather, the figure of “a Pope”, who IS Christ’s representative on earth.  Behind him is an outline of a cross.  So the figure represents Christ’s representative who represents Christ’s Church – the Catholic Church.

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. ~Mt 16:18

And the cross?  Well, the cross can only mean one thing, that what it meant to Christ, PERSECUTION, followed by DEATH, but with REDEMPTION and RESURRECTION close on it’s heels…






The Catechism of the Catholic Church does tell us that…

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth ~CCC§675

“For there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” ~Mt 24:21

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake…” ~Mt 24:9

“And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” ~Mk 13: 12-13a

“…They will lay their hands on you and persecute you…you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsman and friends, and some of you they will put to death.” ~Lk 21:16, emphasis added

BECAUSE, as an early Christian reminds all of us, during the time of the first persecution from the Roman Empire

“The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church.”~ Tertullian (160-220 AD), Appologetics, 50, c.197 AD.

Those whose very lives will be called upon are blessed indeed!  Yet it is important that not all are called to this blessed state. 

Recently I’ve been watching a movie called, A Man For All Seasons, the life story of St. Thomas More who did, oddly enough, give his life in defense of his faith.  If you haven’t seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it!  In it, the writers include the following line – whether spoken by this brave saint or not is besides the point…

“God made the angles to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence, and plants for their simplicity.  But man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind.  If He suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can.  And yes, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for itBut, it’s God’s Part, NOT OUR OWN, to bring ourselves to such a pass.” ~St. Thomas More, A Man For All Seasons, c.1966, emphasis added.

The conclusion of this statement, Our natural business lies in escaping, reminds us all that we MUST be called to be martyrs for the faith.  For great graces are granted to those whom He has called.

“This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, NOT to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” ~Mk 21: 13-15, emphasis added.

A great calamity would, I fear, fall on those who try to be martyrs without the calling…

“Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”~Proverbs 16:18

When pride comes, disgrace comes; but with the humble is wisdom. ~Proverbs 11:2

Man’s pride causes his humiliation, but he who is humble of spirit obtains honor. ~Proverbs 29:23

Yet, all of us are called to be WITNESSES of the Faith, which gives us the calling of a white martyrdom, that is persecution and defense without the shedding of our blood.  For Christ also says…

“But he who endures to the end will be saved.” ~Mt 24:13

“But he who endures to the end will be saved.” ~Mk 13:13b

“But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” ~Lk 21:36

Because, after our persecution and the number of martyrs are fulfilled, then we who remain are REQUIRED to preach the Gospel of God throughout the earth…

“But he who endures to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.” ~Mt 24: 13-14

So do not fret if you are not called to Martyrdom…

“Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours…your brother was dead, and is alive, he was lost, and is found.” ~Lk 15: 31, 32 – a new “take” on the conclusion of the parable of the prodigal son.

Our suffering in this coming PERSECUTION will not be in vain as long as we offer them back to Christ so that He may apply them to the GRACES obtained during His persecution, for the salvation of the souls of men…

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is , the church.” ~Col 1:24, emphasis added

Lastly but certainly NOT leastly, always remember:  BE NOT AFRAID! (said 365 times in the bible 🙂 )

God most certainly IS in charge.  Satan’s time IS short, so his fury will be great, BUT God WINS IN THE END!  And that win also includes ALL OF US who are in service to Him.  Take comfort, be at peace within, even when all about you is chaos. How can you have peace within?…

Have you consecrated yourself to the Sacred Heart, yet?

Addendum:  In today’s Morning Prayer, the following reading (Sunday, Week IV), stood out as it is so applicable to the above message:

“Remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, was raised from the dead.  You can depend on this: If we have died with Him WE SHALL LIVE WITH HIM; If we hold out to the end WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM.  But, if we deny Him He will deny us[!]  If we are unfaithful, He will still remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” ~2Tim 2:8, 11-13, emphasis added.

God is ever faithful, He is unchanging, so He will pass judgment if He is forced to do so.  BUT He will also save those who turn from their evil ways and call out to Him, because God is ever faithful.

Recommend Read:

Persecution…and the Moral Tsunami

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Hear the words of the LORD…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on August 11, 2012

2Chron 7:14

Evening Prayer: Wednesday, Week II: (emphasis added)

Antiphon 1: Eagerly we await the fulfillment of our hope, the glorious coming of our Savior

Psalm 62

In God alone is my soul at rest; my help comes from Him.  He alone is my ROCK, my stronghold, my fortress: I STAND FIRM.

How long will you all attack one man, to break him down, as though he were a tottering wall, or a tumbling fence?

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…”~Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider. The First Global Revolution, p. 75, 1993: The Great Culling, Mark Mallett

Their plan is ONLY TO DESTROY; they take pleasure in lies.  With their mouth they utter blessing, but in their heart(s) they curse.

“Society globally has to collectively decide that we need to drastically lower our population very quickly. More of us need to move to optimal areas at higher density and let parts of the planet recover…” ~ Arne Mooers, June 11th, 2012: The Great Culling, Mark Mallett

In God alone be at rest, my soul; for my HOPE comes from HIM.  He alone is my ROCK, my stronghold, my fortress: I STAND FIRM.

In God is my safety and glory, the rock of my strength.  Take refuge in God, all you people.  TRUST HIM at ALL TIMES.  Pour out your hearts before Him, for God IS our REFUGE.

Common folk are only a breath, great men an illusion.  Place in the scales, they rise; they weigh less than a breath.

[To the World’s Leaders]

Do not put your trust in oppression, no vain hopes on plunder.  Do not set your heart on riches, even when they increase.

For God has said only one thing:  Only two do I know: That to GOD ALONE belongs POWER, and to You, LORD, LOVE; and that YOU REPAY each man according TO HIS DEEDS.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is NOW, and EVER SHALL BE, world without end.  Amen!

Antiphon 1: Eagerly we await the fulfillment of our HOPE, the GLORIOUS coming of our Savior.

READING: from the first letter of St. Peter: 1Peter 5: 5b – 11 (emphasis added)

[Brothers and Sisters in Christ], in your relations with one another, clothe yourselves with humility, because God “is stern with the arrogant but to the humble, He shows kindness.”  Bow humbly under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may lift your high.

Cast ALL YOUR CARES on Him because He CARES FOR YOU. 

STAY SOBER and ALERT.  Your opponent [Satan] the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  RESIST him, SOLID IN YOUR FAITH, realizing that the brotherhood of believers is undergoing the same suffering throughout the world.

The God of all grace, who CALLED YOU to His everlasting GLORY in CHRIST, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish those WHO HAVE SUFFERED a little while. 

DOMINION BE HIS throughout the ages!  Amen.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

Week III: Sunday (Saturday Evening): Evening Prayer I: RESPONSORY

– Our hearts are filled with wonder as we contemplate Your works, O Lord. (repeat)

We praise the wisdom which wrought them all,
– as we contemplate Your works, O Lord
.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
– Our hearts are filled with wonder as we contemplate Your works, O Lord.

Week III: Sunday (Saturday Evening):

READING: from the letter to the Hebrews 13: 20-21 (emphasis added)

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do His Will. 

Through Jesus Christ may He carry out in YOU all that is PLEASING to HIM.  To CHRIST be GLORY FOREVER!  Amen.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

Put on the ARMOR of GOD!

Got Jesus in YOUR Boat?

Safe Harbor

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