Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Especially when reading about the life of a saint I think of some great thing that I would like to accomplish faith wise. Then a voice tunes in like radio in the back of my mind, “Are you willing to do whatever it takes?” It is scary to say yes to this voice.

This morning’s first reading from Acts 5:17-26 tells the story of God miraculously releasing the apostles from jail so that they might preach the Good News. Yet we also know that not too terribly long after this they are asked to give glory to God by martyrdom; by being beheaded, sawn, filleted, crucified . . .

You have most likely heard the story by now of the Virginia Tech professor who had gone through the horrors of WWII, who barricated his classroom class room door with his body and instructed his students to jump out the window undoubtedly saving lives before he was gunned down. (There is no greater love . . .)

There it is. Sometimes you are asked to be the one through the window, the one who is to tell the story and spread the word, give testimony and steel others to face the world bravely and confidently. Sometimes you stand before the gunman and give the example, live the call to the full, provide the witness to which others may point.

Moments in life such as this are not always so dramatic, but they happen to everyone. Pray for the courage, strength and love to be able to fulfill your role to the full whether you are called to the door or the window.


Anonymous said...

Well, darn you, I hadn't literally cried about Va. Tech 'til now. How often I've been the blessed one through the window, and how scared I am of martyrdom. Yet I know, with sinking heart, that even I would have to hold that damned door 'til at least one got out alive to go and speak of love. Christ in the barricades.

So, darn you, but God bless you. Keep talkin'. It lands somewhere.


Adoro said...

Great post, Fr. V.! I had heard of that professor, and was so struck by what he did.

Some time ago I contemplated the thought of martyrdom, and wondered myself if I would be able to give that "yes"...and then wrote about it. While I'm not convinced that I'd be able to do it, I do think that God gives us the grace we need at the time, if we're only open to it...and that grace can overcome everything else.

God bless this wonderful professor - may he rest in peace.

Odysseus said...

I discovered, in difficult circumstances, that I would, indeed, say yes in moments like that.

But that is not as comforting as it might sound. I still ask not to be asked.

Anonymous said...

and the other professor who ran out of his office to help students who had been shot, ended up shot through the head ... he was a graduate of St Francis de Sales HS in Toledo and attend and played football at John Carroll before transferring to OSU.