I’m kind of jealous because Bad Catholic over here writes in such a cool way and seethes with passion and uses language which I can’t use ’cause I’m a priest and he makes me realize again why blogging is vital because stuff is written and published and read through blogs which would never before have been published by some boring editor somewhere who only  has his eye on what would attract the most readers in order to sell more advertising.

So read Marc on heaven and hell. Good stuff.

Meanwhile, here is an archived article from the Anchoress on how persecution emerged in the Chinese church, and what to look out for today. I especially liked this quote from a sermon by Cardinal Kung Pin Mei, who resisted the Chinese and was imprisoned for years.

“So we must not be surprised when persecution comes because it is a normal event for the Church to suffer persecution. Once, when Pope Pius XII received a group of seminarians in audience, he asked them how many special signs distinguished the true Church of God. They answered immediately without further thinking, “It is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” The Pope said, “There is still a fifth sign.” The seminarians did not know how to answer. The Pope said, “Persecution.” So, if the Church enjoyed peace all the time without any persecution, it would be very abnormal. It would be a reason for us to worry and examine ourselves lest anything was going wrong. Perhaps we were not living as faithful disciples of Christ? As persecution must be expected, it comes as a special sign of the Church and we should not try to make compromises or concessions of any kind in order to bring the persecution to an end quickly. We ourselves cannot take the initiative to create or arouse persecution. But if it comes to us one day, not only should we accept it readily from the hand of God but we should even rejoice and be glad. As the Acts of the Apostles records, .”… after they were beaten, the apostles left the Council, full of joy that God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.” (Acts 1:41)”

And Elizabeth wrote: Look, liberty is not lost in a day. It is lost in increments and inches. Today you will not smoke in a pub – or smoke at all – even though those in charge might. Tomorrow the government will set your house temperature for you, while keeping their own set to their comfort levels. They will tell you how much money you may fairly earn, while “they” are not quite so limited. Next year your son will be forced to participate in mandatory volunteerism, and so will your mother. Soon you will be advised to abandon your hate-filled intolerant church for the approved and correct one. Someday, you may be asked to bow before someone and you will have to say “yes” and then live with yourself, or say “no”and live with those consequences. The banality of slavery…it is almost a tedious thing.

Just be ready, is all I am saying. And practice prayer – which is the most subversive of liberties; it can never be taken from you, and is a source of power and strength. Train yourself in prayer. Begin now, so that you are a fit, skilled practitioner when the need arises.

Good advice as we look forward to Lent.