NO PRIEST OF JESUS CHRIST WILL EVER BE AN IDLE ONLOOKER WHILE MANKIND’S SAVIOUR ENDURES ANEW HIS PASSION

In Marseilles the authorities had wanted the removal of the public crucifixes as part of the anti-religious harassment in France. They were met with opposition in what was regarded as a present-day continuation of the humiliation and passion of Jesus.

For our part here, we have done our duty and rallied to the defence of the sacred wood of the Cross. They did not only want to take it away from us but to make us tear it down with our own hands. Twice his lordship the mayor sent us a member of the town council to persuade us to do that infamous thing on the pretext that it was the only way to save the town from a massacre.
You can imagine how we replied and with what indignation we repulsed that infamous suggestion and so frustrated their wicked plan. But I would not be so bold as to say that they will not have their way in the end, if anti-religious acts continue to get protection.
The fact remains that no priest of Jesus Christ will ever make himself an accomplice in such grave crimes nor be an idle onlooker while mankind’s Saviour endures anew his passion.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 19 March 1831, EO VIII n 387

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One Response to NO PRIEST OF JESUS CHRIST WILL EVER BE AN IDLE ONLOOKER WHILE MANKIND’S SAVIOUR ENDURES ANEW HIS PASSION

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    ‘a present-day continuation of the humiliation and passion of Jesus’ – ‘while mankind’s Saviour endures anew his passion’. What an opening to begin today with. Eugene, who was a “Co-operator of the Crucified Saviour” and who wanted/wants that for his priests, and brothers, his sons and daughters, all who are a part of his Mazenodian Family – and then moving outward from there. He spoke to it as a priest.

    My studies are inviting me to reflect on not only what Eugene said and did and was, but also to reflect on what that looks like with myself in the world today, in the light of Eugene. And so I again read Eugene’s letter to Jean Baptiste Mille – not only will a priest not take part, but they will not stand by idly and watch as the persecution takes place. I cannot get out of my mind the images of the Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing genocide in Myanmar (Burma), or the people of Somalia who are being attacked, anymore than I can ignore the treatment of our indigenous peoples and those who will be affected by Bill C62 in Quebec – Muslim women who cover their faces being unable to take part in using public services – such as taking a bus, or going to a hospital to be cared for with out having to seek special permission first. I think again of Jesus on the Cross, dying for all of us.

    It would be so much easier to push all these thoughts away and tell myself that it’s about ‘those people over there’, or that ‘there have always been these divisions and persecutions’ and even worse if I try to tell myself that these sort of things ‘happened to us, to me at some point in my life’.

    What can ‘I’ do? I dare not turn away, I dare not say that it does not any of it concern me – for that would be like seeing Jesus on the path to Calvary and turning away because it did/does not concern me personally. I feel powerless, little and small. It would seem right now that all I can do is pray. Is that enough? Perhaps that is what I am called to – to continue loving and serving and praying.

    I am uncomfortable this morning, but I am not alone I am sure. I have taken part in the ”Me Too” campaign on social media. Will it change anything? Probably not, but I am not alone, in fact each of us has stool alone somehow until now but now we are connected. It makes a difference. So does prayer bring us together and connect us – even in our discomfort.

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