Just a few bits and pieces from web browsing.....
Each day forces us
to totter on planks we hope
will become bridges
Haiku by Kevin Hart
from the book Free to Believe
by Michael Paul Gallagher S.J.
H/T To Fr Austin Fleming at A Concord Pastor Comments for the link to these three audio podcasts of conversations that the blogging Bishop of Indianopolis, Chris Coyne had with Michael Bell and Duane Arnold, both founders of The Martyrs’ Project, an endeavour that takes the words of various Christian martyrs through the ages, often just prior to their death, and interprets them through various original musical compositions and genres.
The podcast discussions between Bell, Arnold and Bishop Coyne are wide ranging, and the summary of the themes they cover is given below in Bishop Coyne's own words
"Part 1 covers such topics as faith journeys in Jesus Christ that found direction and depth through the study of Church History and the Fathers of the Church. They note the profoundness of the martyrs in that they not only gave their lives because of their relationship with Jesus Christ, they died forgiving their executioners. The discussion highlights the Christian historical grounding of liturgy and social justice without drawing false division between the two.
Part 2 discusses the present reality of Christian martyrdom in the world today, how thousands of Christians are losing their lives, their livelihood, and their freedom all over the world simply because they are Christian. We discuss further on the ancient understanding of "martyr" as a witness who suffers for the faith. Michael asks the very provocative question, "What would you die for?" which leads to further questions: "What are you living for now? What would you be willing to suffer for?" Finally, attention turns to the witness of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a 20th century Christian martyr and how his words of martyrdom lead them to create the song "Romero."
Part 3 discusses the tensions that exist in the present culture around the whole issue of the nature of suffering and martyrdom. The difference between the martyrdom that Archbishop Romero suffered and the martyrdom that is embraced by some terrorist extremists is discussed. Death and suffering within the Christian context are always connected to the person of Christ and his death on the Cross. In addition, we talk about how the whole life of the Christian is one in which we move more deeply into a life of sacrifice so that the idea of dying for something is not all that foreign because we have been dying to so many other things already. Next, we turn to the person of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a martyr at the hands of Nazi Germany, and the song they have created around Bonhoeffer’s words of martyrdom. Finally, we talk about the anonymous words of martyrdom found at the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp and the incredible act of forgiveness of ones persecutors found in these words."
Each of the Audio podcasts can be accessed directly by clicking on the links below.
This video interview with Adrian Pyle is about how to promote new more open forms of belief and practice in Australian Christian Churches but what he says has much relevance to many other countries.