From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Nov 23 23:49:25 2021
The two Classes of hearers
The two classes He has now in view are not the two great classes who
walk, the one in the broad and the other in the narrow way. They are
two classes of hearers. Most of those that throng the broad way are
not hearers at all; they have no desire or intention of seeking any
other than the broad way--they would as little think of going up into
a mountain and listening to a discourse on righteousness, as they
would of wearing a hair shirt or doing any other kind of penance; but
those our Lord has now in view all have the idea of seeking the right
way: their very attitude as hearers shows it--they are all of the
churchgoing class, to translate into modern phrase; and what He fears
is that some of them may deceive themselves by imagining that because
they hear with interest and attention, perhaps admiration, therefore
they are in the narrow way. Accordingly He solemnly warns them that
all this may amount to nothing: there may be attention, interest,
admiration, full assent to all; but if the hearing is not followed by
doing, all is in vain.
24 November – St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
Martyrs of Vietnam – Patronage – Vietnam.
Born in 1795 in the Tonkinese town of Bac-Nihh in North Vietnam, Tran
An Dung was the son of pagan parents. In search of work for themselves
in 1807, his parents moved to the ancient citadel of Hanoi. Here their twelve-year-old son was taken care of by a catechist and for three
years was instructed in the Catholic faith. Baptised in Vinh-Tri, he
received the Christian name Andrew (Anrê) in baptism and went onto
learn both Chinese and Latin and himself became a catechist. He was
selected for further studies in theology and was ordained to the
priesthood on 15 March 1823.
An exemplary priest, Andrew was ardent and indefatigable in his
preaching, often fasted and drew many to the Faith by his simple and
moral life. As a testament of the love which his congregation had for
him, in 1835, when he was imprisoned during the persecution of the
Annamite emperor Minh-Mang, his freedom was purchased exclusively by
donations from his parishioners. The Vietnamese Christians suffered
unspeakably during this time.
Beginning in 1832 Minh-Mang expelled all foreign missionaries and
commanded all Vietnamese Christians to demonstrate their renunciation
of the Catholic Faith by trampling on a crucifix. Churches were
destroyed; religious instruction was forbidden. Christians were
branded on the face with the words ta dao (false religion) and
Christian families and villages were obliterated. Many endured extreme privations and hardship; many more were put to death for their
fidelity to the Faith.
To avoid further persecution by the authorities, Andrew Dung changed
his name to Lac and relocated to a different region.
While visiting a fellow priest, in order to confess himself, Dung-Lac
was arrested with Father Peter Thi on 10 November 1839. In exchange
for a monetary ransom paid to their captors, the two priests were
liberated but their freedom was short-lived. Re-arrested not long
afterwards, they were taken to Hanoi and severely tortured. They were
beheaded shortly before Christmas Day on 21 December 1839.
The priests, Andrew Dung-Lac and Peter Thi, were beatified on 27 May
1900 by Pope Leo XIII and formed part of a group of Vietnamese martyrs beatified together on that day. Another group, Dominicans all, was
beatified on 20 May 1906 and a third on 2 May 1909 both by St Pope
Pius X. A fourth group, which included two Spanish bishops, was
beatified on 29 April 1951 by Pope Pius XII. All 117 martyrs were
Canonised in Rome on 19 June 1988 by St Pope John Paul II.
These 117 martyrs met their deaths during several persecutions of
Christians that swept through the Vietnamese peninsula between the
years 1625 and 1886. Approximately 300,000 gave their lives for the
Catholic Faith and further beatifications may be expected from amongst
their glorious ranks. Among the 117 that have been Canonised were 96
Vietnamese and 21 foreign missionaries.
Of the Vietnamese group 37 were priests and 59 were lay people, among
whom were catechists and tertiaries. One of them was a woman, mother
of six children. Of the missionaries 11 were Spaniards: 6 bishops and
5 priests, all Dominicans and 10 were French, 2 bishops and 8 priests
from the Société des Missions Etrangères in Paris. The tortures these martyrs endured were among the worst in the history of Christian
martyrdom. The means included cutting off limbs joint by joint,
ripping living bodies with red hot tongs and the use of drugs to
enslave the minds of the victims.
Among the 117 Martyrs of Vietnam, 76 were beheaded, 21 were
suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison as a
result of torture.
On behalf of Christ crucified I tell you: refuse to believe the
counsels of the devil, who would hinder your holy and good resolution.
Be manly in my sight, and not timorous. Answer God, who calls you to
hold and possess the seat of the glorious Shepherd St. Peter, whose
vicar you have been. And raise the standard of the holy Cross.
--Saint Catherine of Siena to Pope Gregory XI
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they
also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail
because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7) DRB
1st Day: WHO IS OUR KING?
Our King is Jesus Christ, God and Man. The name Jesus indicates His
Divine nature. For Jesus means Saviour ("Thou shalt call His name
Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins"-- Matt. i. 21).
Now from our sins none can save us but One who is Himself God; none
else can pay the debt due for man's sin. Hence He who is our King is
also our Saviour; and He who is our Saviour must be God, the God of
infinite majesty, infinite power, and infinite knowledge. This is why
before the name of Jesus every knee must bow; because the name of
Jesus is the name of God. If men glory in having a noble King, how
much more ought we to rejoice in having as our King the Omnipotent God
and Lord of Heaven and earth.
The second name of our King, Christ indicates his human nature. For
Christ means anointed, and it was not possible for God as God to
receive that sacred anointing of the Holy Spirit which our King claims
for Himself in the synagogue of Nazareth (Luke iv. 18). He could be
anointed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit only as man. As man, our
King shares our human nature; He is bone of our bone, and flesh of our
flesh; He does not disdain to call us His brethren. He puts Himself on
a level with us; knows by His own experience all our difficulties and
troubles; and loves us with a true human brotherly love. How happy are
we to have a King who will never misjudge or misunderstand us, but has
a perfect sympathy and compassion for all our miseries!
Our King is Jesus Christ, and therefore at the same time God and Man.
This union of the Infinite and the Finite surpasses our comprehension.
We can only adore.
"The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him."