"The initial flowering of Christianity (in Japan) was followed by terrible persecutions. Many people were killed, with an unprecedented cruelty that did not spare women and children. In addition to the killings, the Catholic community was decimated by the apostasy of those who abjured the faith out of fear. But it was not annihilated. Part of it went underground, and kept the faith alive by transmitting it from parents to children for two centuries, even without bishops, priests, and sacraments. It is recounted that on Good Friday in 1865, ten thousand of these "kakure kirisitan," hidden Christians, emerged from the villages and presented themselves in Nagasaki to the astonished missionaries who had just recently regained access to Japan."
To think that some Japanese Christians kept their faith, in secrecy and silence, for over 200 years, generation after generation living and dying without the consolations of the Mass and the Sacraments, ever believing, ever hoping, just patiently and faithfully waiting for the moment when they would be able to walk into the sunlight; and they managed this enormous collective Act of Faith without Catholic schools.
How did they do it?
"Near the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Polands, workers found a message in a bottle written by prisoners, Written in pencil and sealed in a bottle, the message was dated September 9, 1944 and bears the names, camp numbers and hometowns of seven young detainees hailing from Poland and France. Officials of the museum at the site said that the bottle had been buried in a concrete wall in a school that slave laborers were forced to repair.
The note reads “All of them are between the ages of 18 and 20,” in reference to the young men who left a trace of their existence in a place where 1.1 million people were exterminated. The victims were largely Jews from throughout Europe, but also Gypsies and non-Jewish Poles.
Six of the prisoners were from Poland and one was from France. The note gives the names as: Bronislaw Jankowiak, Stanislaw Dubla, Jan Jasik, Waclaw Sobczak, Karol Czekalski, Waldemar Bialobrzeski and Albert Veissid.
Albert Veissid, one of the young men mentioned in the letter, is alive and now resides in France. Two of the others definitely survived the Holocaust. Karol Czekalski remained in contact with the museum at Auschwitz until the 1960s but has not been heard from since. It is not known whether Czekalski or Wachaw Sobczak – the other survivor – are still alive."
May M. Veissid enjoy very good health for what remains of his hopefully very long life. He survived captivity at the hands of history's most determinedly hateful killing machine, one that sprang from the loins of all that is modern. There must have been times when he felt that there was no hope for him; yet but even in the midst of all of Auschwitz's hell and devilry, he and his fellows were determined to let the world know that they had lived. The Third Reich might try to take their lives; but it would never take their names. It ended up taking neither. Salut.
The Pro-Hate League that is all secular human politics is governed by the conceit that human beings are capable of living with each other in peace and harmony without the assistance of He Who Is. This is a dumb conceit, one disproved every day. Yet it remains grossly compelling to those whose priorities are disordered. When we can't, or more recently won't, just live in peace with each other, it makes us wage wars of aggression and pillage dressed up as liberations; 'full of lies and booty' is just about the best description of neoconservatism yet coined.
The conceit also makes some of us think that unborn children should become human sacrifices to the cause of 'reproductive rights', and something called 'a woman's right to choose'. As Scripture contains no mention of either, one can only assume that these phrases are codewords, masks for something else. The writer is inclined to believe it to be Satanic evil of universal proportions. I just wish the abortionists would be honest; if they're intent on making human sacrifices, they should dress for the occasion - ditch the white coat and don an Aztec head-dress. The perversion of the ultimate creative act in which human beings can engage into an occasion of death and destruction is just about as evil as evil can get; and yet, there is always hope.
Attached to the nation state? Get over it. They come and go, and they rise and fall. They're here today and gone tomorrow constructs, spots just floating about on history's eyeballs. They're nice while they last, but they all end up killing themselves, and in the grand scheme of things they're about as durable as a stick of candy floss in the grip of a sweet-toothed five year old.
Attached to doggerel dogmae that make you say stupid things about lynching civil servants, despite the fact you'd cry like a girl if the rope were ever put in your hand to do it? Get over it. Saying dumb stuff like that is crucifying Our Lord all over again. You should know better. I'll believe there might be a grain of truth in what you say when you show me a classical liberal who's risen from the dead. Until the day comes, you will continue to talk nonsense, and I will continue to pity you and pray for you.
Attached to ideology? Get over it. All false, all rubbish, a very good way of gaining power over other people (and of achieving access to its fringe benefits, the chances to make lots of money and to hang out with lots of beautiful and wayward women), but even less durable than the nation-state.
Attached to reason? Get over it. If Steven Pinker's musings are anything to go by, it's taken the Enlightenment over 200 years to come full circle to a position with which, oh, just about everyone would have concurred before it started; that Man is imperfect and cannot perfect himself by his own efforts. Gee, what a shocker. The principal impact that modern reasoning has had on Man is that he is now more likely to behave like the beast that every rationalist since Darwin has told him he is than he would have been had the rationalists kept quiet.
There is only The Word; and The Word is full to the brim, choc-a-bloc, absolutely spilling over with hope. Compared to The Word the nation-state, doggerel dogmae, ideology and reason are nothing; absolutely nothing. Oh, for sure, the management of the world's most powerful nation has just been turned over to the greatest barbarian in its history, and Stupor Mundi's doings are going to provide a fecund source of comment for many years to come - but in the end, he's going to lose. That is not a dream, but a fact. We should pray for his conversion, for him to turn his face from the path of arrogance and barbarism, but if he doesn't, well, he has free will; a former editor of the Harvard Law Review can be assumed to be just as capable of studying Augustine as well as he studied Alinsky. Hope will win. The cheap, bastardised, utterly secular hopes expressed in his soundbite mantra 'Yes We Can' are utterly human hopes. Being human, he faces the same struggles against his capacities for exaggeration and falsehood as we face against our own; and it would have been more honest for him to have led chants of 'No We Can't', and 'I Will Fail'. For he will fail. Men like him always fail. Death was conquered, and The Word will win. Against The Word, Stupor Mundi's just small beer.
Always hope. Never give up, Never give in. The world of Man will not improve until all Mankind approaches their one true God with the simplicity and humility of a Japanese Christian stepping out from the shadows of a 200 year suppression.
Think Barack Obama can even make a dent in that kind of faith and hope?