“I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel”

by Melanie on October 17, 2017

in Catholicism, Cursillo, Martyrs, Nonfiction, Saints, Spirituality, Your Daily Tripod

Note: On Tuesdays and some Sundays, you can find me at Your Daily Tripod, owned by my friend TonyD. A longer version of the post below appears there.

I recently happened upon the story of Blessed Mercedes Prat i Prat, who was killed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War because she was a nun. You can find out more about her life in general at a Carmelite site; for me, it was the story I found elsewhere of her final hours that resonated with and convicted me.

The sister who was with Mercedes when they both were arrested survived to share the tale. They were both questioned for hours, then in the evening, taken out to face a firing squad. Mercedes cried out “Jesus, Joseph, Mary” and the Apostles’ Creed as the shots hit her. The final words the other sister recognized from her were, “Forgive us… as we forgive.” Mercedes survived through the night, moaning in pain. It wasn’t until dawn the following morning that the fatal shots were fired.

I thought about Mercedes as I read Paul’s words in today’s lectionary first reading from Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” We all like to think that if we were in Mercedes’ situation, in eminent danger of death for our faith, that we would react as she did, confident in our faith and what lies beyond this world. But how about in our daily lives? Are we ashamed of the Gospel when we don’t engage in evangelization opportunities? Are we ashamed of the Gospel when we ignore instances to offer service and support? Are we ashamed of the Gospel when we choose to let hurts and anxieties fester, rather than taking them to the Lord in prayer?

May we take the actions of our brave martyrs like Mercedes Prat i Prat to heart… and let the parts of us that resist the Gospel be put to death.

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