Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hunted Priests

Father John Gerard's memoirs.
Reading his memoir of his time in England as a missionary priest, I can see why--and in this Year of Faith, he provides a magnificent example of absolute trust in the Providence of God. As Father Gerard hides, finds places for other priests to hide, wears disguises, works to convert fallen away Catholics and sympathetic Anglicans, he is always reliant on God's protection and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He describes his efforts to convince potential converts as never being his own successes, but inspired by the Holy Spirit. Father Gerard endures torture, experiences danger and discomfort, and enjoys comfort and safety, all with the same spirit of faith in God, love for the Church and the people he converses with, and hope that everything he does in the mission for the good of others will be rewarded with success. Father Gerard is even concerned for the wellbeing of the gaoler when he escapes from the Tower, doing all he can to divert blame from the man and his wife! He writes vividly and directly of his efforts and also of those who suffered martyrdom: St. Anne Line, Blessed Edward Oldcorne, St. Nicholas Owen, and several others. His memoir also highlights the Catholics who suffered fines and imprisonment, arrest and questioning, especially the many women who ran their households as safehouses and often yearned for the religious life (for which they had to go into exile, of course.) (Read entire post.)

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