Saturday, July 19, 2008

Deliberately Insulting the Most Deeply Felt Sensibilities of Other Human Beings

Jimmy Akin responds to the Prof. P.Z. Myers debacle (and here) as well as Myers' threat to publically desecrate the Most Blessed Sacrament. He responds better than I can. I most certainly do not condone the minority of clowns who have responded to Myers' threat by issuing death threats and other stupid things. They felt provoked, and the human condition being what it is, some folks lose themselves -- as Jimmy points out. It's frustrating that in Myers' view, the attitude offered by these folks all of the sudden represents that of the world's 1 billion Catholics. Nonetheless, Myers is indeed deliberately insulting the most deeply felt sensibilities of other human beings. He may not share our belief that Christ is truly and substantially present in the Eucharistic host, but it's hard not to be concerned when the subject is something so blasphemous that he would do it merely as a provocation. Aside from rightful anger, what is your response?

One thing that I see when I read Myers' blog and the rather stupid comments from the combox peanut gallery -- these folks who hate religion, most particularly the Catholic faith, are human too, not that they can be reasoned with. I say, be provoked to offer prayer and reparation. Thoroughly engage the sacramental life, and witness that to those around you. Be mindful of your sins, and confess them. Do not fail to trust Our Lord in this. Remember how he was mistreated through suffering and death, and how glorious was His resurrection from the dead. Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice.

This is the supreme irony, as we know through the history of the Church. Myers would like this stunt to prove that our beliefs are meaningless and our faith in Christ is silly and stupid. Yet, persecution only strengthens and emboldens the Church. Remember the prayer of Polycarp (ca. 69- ca. 155 AD), bishop of Smyrna, as he was martyred in an ultimately futile attempt to prove the meaninglessness of his faith in Christ:
Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed child Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, the God of angels, of powers, and of all creation, and of every race of the upright who live before you. I bless you for making me worthy of this day and hour, that I may receive a share among the number of the martyrs in the cup of your Christ, unto the resurrection of eternal life in both soul and body in the immortality of the Holy Spirit. Among them may I be received before you today as a sacrifice that is rich and acceptable, just as you prepared and revealed in advance and now fulfilled -- the true God who does not lie. For this reason and for all things I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved child, through whom be glory to you, with him and the Holy Spirit, both now and for the ages to come. Amen.
Tertullian famously acknowledged: Plures efficimur quotiens metimur a vobis; semen est sanguis Christianorum: The more often we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed.

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