Front Royal, Va, Oct 12, 2007 / 04:35 pm (CNA).- Father Thomas J. Euteneur, president of Human Life International, said Christian martyrdom will take on different forms in the future. Writing in a letter titled "Green Martyrdom," he suggested that Christian witness will not be a "red martyrdom" of blood but rather a "green martyrdom" of monetary sacrifice required by principled living.
He explained the subtle economic forces that can compromise the faithful: "even though many Catholics would undoubtedly give up their lives for Christ, people find it much harder to give up their jobs for Christ."
My initial response to this only in America do we need to make up a new type of martyrdom fitting to our safe and secure civil and social environment.
But then I read;
“In the book How the Irish Saved Civilization (Doubleday), Thomas Cahill talks about [green] martyrdom. According to Cahill, Ireland was unique in that Christianity was introduced there without bloodshed (red martyrdom). No Irish martyrs emerged until the time of Elizabeth I. Cahill states that this lack of martyrdom disturbed the Irish, so they conceived first of a green martyrdom.
Green martyrs left behind the comforts and pleasures of ordinary human society to live hermits' lives on mountaintops or lonely islands. As Cahill puts it, they went "to one of the green noman's lands outside tribal jurisdiction." There they studied Scripture and communed with God after the example of the anchorites in the Egyptian desert. Ireland could not duplicate the barren terrain of the Egyptian desert; thus, this green martyrdom gave way to the more social life of monasticism.”
So now I amend my comment to only in Ireland. But upon further reflection I wonder if this is indeed our cross. By “our” I mean American’s. We really have nothing to worry about and no real suffering occurs in our lives other than that which is common to all. We are not oppressed or persecuted and there is no real danger of that happening.
Yet, still we complain about the new liturgy or music or vernacular. Certainly things about which we should pray.
In light of that I offer the following.
1. Ought we not be the most loving joyful generous dare I say happy Christian’s in the world?
2. If not why not?
3. If so why are we not and what must we do to become what we ought to be?