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The Fellowship Of The Unashamed

November 11, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of
Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down,
back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present
makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking,
small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,
promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by
presence, lean by faith, love by patience,
lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace
is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my
road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,
my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought,
compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,
diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander
in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until
Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know,
and work until He comes. And when He comes to get
His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.

The next time you hesitate to make the Sign of the Cross in a restaurant, pray the Angelus in the company of those who don’t, ask for time off to go to Mass on a holy day, have to cancel some leisure activity to attend Sunday Mass, think of the martyrs.
The next time simply identifying yourself in public as a Catholic Christian merely makes you personally uncomfortable, think of the martyrs. Think of the man who authored the above work, a Rwandan man in 1980 who was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and was killed on the spot. The night before his death he had written the commitment, The Fellowship of the Unashamed, which was found in his room.
The next time you are ashamed of living your faith think of the cardinal and the priests falsely accused and imprisoned in our own day, their reputations destroyed and with them their vocations. The storm of persecution is upon us. It is our time of witness, that upon which we will be judged. We must make a choice to be with Christ or against Him. How do we know? He Himself told us, “If you are lukewarm I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:16).
Comfortable Christianity is just as deadly in our day as under millennia of enemies such as the governments under Freemasonry in Mexico or during the Spanish Civil War. Comfortable Christianity, motions and speech without love or intentionality, robs of substance and charity while the false assurance of appearances remain. What is missing? Zeal. We could define zeal by reference to the Catholic Catechism, but much more powerful and compelling for us are the living examples of those who heroically died for the faith under ferocious and implacable persecution. Mexico under many years of Freemasonry provides many of these.
The Divine Comedy describes those in Purgatory who are the late penitents as those who ignored their spiritual lives because they were too deeply distracted by temporal affairs. They lacked zeal for the Kingdom of God. We need merely look next door to the martyrs of Mexico following the advent of official repression of the Church under Freemasonry in 1858 to find compelling examples of zeal. To give an idea of the deadly consequences of the faith, eventually 5,000 priests were reduced to 334 within two years under Freemasonic persecution.
Many Catholics did nothing in the face of all this. They lacked zeal before and under persecution.
But many did not lack zeal. Old men and old women refused to cease calling upon the name of God in departure with the customary Mexican salutation “Adios,” many refused to hide their rosaries while at prayer. The sentence for merely making the Sign of the Cross was to be shot on sight. A priest’s hands were cut off by laughing soldiers so that he could no longer offer the holy Mass. He soon after died of a broken heart.
A boy of 14, José Luis Sanchez del Rio, was one of these. He repeatedly begged his parents for permission to join his brothers in fighting with the Cristeros against the government forces under the Freemasons, who had closed churches and outlawed the Mass, the sacraments, and all public prayer and signs of faith. He was finally given permission. He was captured in battle and forced to the watch the hanging of another Cristero in order to break his resolve. When that did not work, he was imprisoned. He prayed his rosary daily and wrote an emotional letter to his mother declaring himself ready to fulfill the will of God in his regard. His father attempted to raise the ransom to free his son but was unable to do so in time to save him from his fate.
On the day of his martyrdom, the bottoms of his feet were cut and he was forced to walk toward the cemetery. The soldiers also slashed his body in several places and he cried out in pain as he bled, but would not give in. They stopped him several times, telling him they would spare his life, “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King’.” José only shouted in response, “I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!” Today José is a canonized saint.
Thus a boy of 14 shames those of us who simply avoid the practice of our faith, our witness of prayer in public or in the many ways we can daily demonstrate our love of God, as an inconvenience or a burden. Think of José the next time you fear the loss of human respect by refusing to take part in blasphemies or foul speech. Think of José when you fear losing a portion of your income, the uncertainty of unemployment, for standing upon moral and Christian principles.
José Luis Sanchez Del Rio and the other martyrs, including Fr. Miguel Pro among many priests, remind us that the faith is not for the bodily or social comfort in this world. No, any discomfort or even death is worth the greatest spiritual comfort possible in this life and the next: the truth of the promise of eternal love with God.
Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel” (Romans 1:16). Paul hands on the Word of God whose promises never fail and invites us to the fullest witness of even martyrdom should the Lord so bless us.
Are you among the “fellowship of the unashamed”? Decide now. Judgment day will be too late. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

“This column is drawn in part from comments made by Father James Jackson FSSP in a homily available on YouTube.”

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