It was great to go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Canadian Martyrs by St. Marie among the Hurons. Amazing stories of men who travelled over 800 miles by canoe to witness to Natives and whom would ultimately make the greatest act of devotion to Christ.
The pilgrimage was amazing because it reminded me of the importance of the triumphal Gospel of the victory of Christ's love. It reminded me of the words of Pope John Paul II who said that history reminds us that love always wins. The mission would be burnt and the men would be martyred, but years later Christ's kingdom would advance there, for as Tertullian reminds us: "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church". The verse that kept coming to mind is: "faith, hope, and love, these remain, but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13). I prayed that Christ would help me to love others as these men loved complete strangers in an effort to save their souls. The Jesuits again are a startling example to me of this kind of love.
It was also great to get to know some Catholics and share the faith, to pray a rosary together to talk about missions we've done, and our vocations. Finally I was glad that I didn't have any iconoclastic rage like last time, perhaps the Spirit's work is advancing in me (or if the Reformed are right, I have more completely numbed my conscience and become a mass of perdition).
In any case, thank God for the opportunity and the lesson relearned. Tonight at Mass a girl was talking in front of me to her friend and I wanted to tell her to stop or give some sign of displeasure, but I thought "how often to I profane God's work in my life with sin and sacriledge" and prayed for us all. Tolkien's note on this was helpful.
There was one martyr I particularly identified with. He was the university professor and spoke 7 European languages and was well versed in theology and counter-reformation polemics. But when he got there, he was the only priest who couldn't understand Huron and felt useless. He was later martyred by an apostate Indian whom he had ministered to, while his back was turned. What a sacrifice, but what frailty and sense of faillure (which I can relate to). May the love of God be shed in my heart so that I too can be moved to such charity.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." -John 15:13
Canadian Martyrs ... Pray for us!
St. Jean de Brebeuf ... Pray for us!
Holy Mary Queen of the Martyrs ... Pray for us!
Lord Jesus Christ ... Pray for us!