Monday, September 20, 2010

Their lives touch ours

I was deeply touched this morning as I read the letter of Father Andrew Kim Taegong, written while in prison to his Korean flock. He was the first native Korean Catholic priest. Today we remember Father Andrew Kim, catechist Paul Chong and some 100 Korean martyrs, the majority of whom were lay people – men, women, children and young adults. Here is an excerpt from his letter written in 1846:

"My dear brothers and sisters know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among who am I myself, have been thrown into prison. Just as you also remain in the midst of persecution. Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties? However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.

Here is a link with information about the Korean martyrs.
Let us pray for Korea, divided into North and South and still a troubled country

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