What are you willing to die for?

Clergy Corner by Fr. Williams

Recently, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia spoke to a group of students at Notre Dame and asked them to contemplate what is it that they are willing to die for. He went on:

“To even ask that question is an act of    rebellion against a loveless age. And to   answer it with conviction is to become a revolutionary; the kind of loving revolutionary who will survive and resist – and someday redeem a late modern West that can no longer imagine anything worth dying for, and thus, in the long run, anything worth living for.”

That is a tough question for anyone at any age. What is it that you are willing to die for? Do you believe that there are some things so true that you are willing to stand beside them no matter where it may lead you? Are you convinced to stand by the fact that there is a God and that he gives all people of all ages dignity? Am I willing to do the right thing? — Those things handed down as good and true from Christian generation to generation, no matter the personal cost? Have I stopped to ponder what those things are?

Last week I was at the 40 Days for Life Candlelight Vigil outside the abortion clinic here in Greenville. While a group of 30 or 40 of us prayed the Rosary and sang a few hymns, another group set up beside us, draped in rainbow flags, one dressed up in an inflatable unicorn, while blasting (for lack of a better description)   satanic music our way mixed with recordings of dogs barking. A sign off the road said “honk if you are pro-choice,” and every 4 or 5 cars that passed, I’d say, honked.

I mentioned to the group praying there afterwards that every honk, every satanic sound should have been a dagger to our hearts (and it was). However, as the title of this says, our response cannot be one of anger or bitterness, vengeance or spite, no; we have to follow the example of Christ. When he looked upon Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, at so many lost sheep without a shepherd, Dominus Flevit — the Lord wept. In the Scriptures when the people wandered and acted in accord with what they were, lost, he was filled with pity. When they barked at him and pierced his heart, he didn’t recoil, but gave his life for them.

We too have to follow his example. We have to realize that when we believe in something and stand by it, we will have to die to self. Sometimes, we will have to stand there and be barked at. Sometimes, it will mean allowing the honks of the world to pierce our hearts. Sometimes, as we see in our long history, it means you may have to give your life, and the Lord tells us that there is no greater gift.

So I repeat the Archbishop’s question that each of us should ask every once in a while …. What are you willing to die for?

Tags: Clergy Corner, Fr. Williams

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