Sunday, June 29, 2008

St. Thomas Garnet

Fr. Nicholas has a moving post on the English priest and martyr. To quote:
Noli fugere, Don’t run away! We often think of the English Martyrs – in fact, of most saints – as flawless heroes who never wavered in their faith and in their actions. They were heroes most certainly but a large part of their heroism was the way that grace triumphed despite our frail human nature. The temptation to run away, to escape the terrible death of hanging, drawing and quartering would have been a natural human reaction for Garnet and the other martyrs. So too would be the temptation to reach a compromise or accept the offers that were normally made promising clemency and even preferment in return for conformity in matters of faith. The martyrs probably lay awake in their prisons at night struggling with these temptations and fears. But the English Martyrs realised that God’s truth was more important than their personal well-being and safety. They lived and died according to the words of our Gospel: ‘do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul: fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.’ The martyrs were prepared to go through great bodily suffering if it meant the preservation of the spirit.

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