Story - Oto Mádr
A word about this epoch
Author (1917-2011) – He was a prominent Czech priest, theologian, a political prisoner. In 1952 soon after having written this text was condemned to life imprisonment for activism among university students. Later on he worked as consultant of Cardinal Tomášek and chief-editor of the revue “Teologické texty” (Theological Texts).
The published text was drawn up in 1951 when he was hiding in the cloister of the Borromean Sisters in Prague, at time of liquidation and repression of church structures, arrests of priest and religious, abolition of religious press and institutions in the whole Czechoslovakia. The text was diffused as transcription throughout all Czechoslovakia and had a significant influence not only on Czech and Slovak Christians at the beginning of the Communist era.
Heads up, brothers and sisters!
This epoch is not easy at all for Christians; but for big-format Christians it is a great and marvelous epoch. “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.“ In such glorious moments the Church sings to the Lord a heroic song of love and faithfulness. It is a privilege and a gift: to live just now, to love, and to fight.
Those who have chosen freedom against God shall know that they have chosen slavery. It is the time of revenge carried out by atheistic Communism against atheistic Capitalism, its creator.
For the Church it is time of purification and maturation. The Church purifies and grows through the betrayals of the weak and the braveness of the faithful. The task of this extraordinary epoch is to fight. It is a daily fight for the sake of our own souls against the body, the world, and the Devil. It is a fight for the souls of the Pagans around us.
The enemy is strong. He exploits the currents of instinct inside people. He has well trained teams. He has passion and devotion. He is firmly organized. He is astute and willing to execute all sort of evil. He wants to suggest the impression of common goals and urge to cooperate. He wants to corrode unity, to jeopardize strong personalities, and to destroy or eliminate the leadership. Finally, he wants to make us slave and harness us up in order to fulfill their goal of global bolshevization.
Religion will not have room in the world they are building. A convinced Communist cannot be a convinced Christian. Christ urged the Church to teach his Gospel throughout the world. Communism aims to force the world to accept Marx' gospel – i.e. the fight.
We have to resist. Since the enemy is eliminating faithful bishops and priests, it is time to show him that Christ will live and announce the Gospel in his faithful Christians. It will be the noticeable and peculiar glory of this persecution.
What to do? Defend and try to push forward. The enemy lies. Tear his mask away from his face. Take care of those who are in danger and ready to trust him. Support those who hesitate by means of your words, your attitude, and practical love. Through your example, show that real love is stronger than death.
The enemy wants to isolate the loyal priests and surround them with traitors. Be close to them. Urge them to have a strong attitude and pray for them. Take care of the children; teach them a living religion. Shake their forced ideology. Protect them from infelicitous morality. You don't have just to defend. The Church must also grow. Help those who are in search. Teach them. Even though we will lack all the other things, we can always rely on our baptism and on perfect regret.
What kind of people we shall be in order to afford such hard tasks? We have to be Christians, devoted to God, humble, proud, smartly prudent, rightly courageous, and above all strong in our love – and all this without limitations.
Humbleness characterizes those who do not ask God for better times, because every moment is a big gift for them; and every situation is a convenient occasion to love our God. The humble defeat the evil with goodness. The humble are far from rigid condemnations of people and they have mercy even upon their traitors and enemies.
All the Saints were proud. They were able to appreciate the height they had reached with God's help (how close to God they were); they were so straight and noble that they were not able to bow to something which is not worthy of our Lord in their souls. Do we have inside us a sufficiently noble resistance against the evil, in the moments of temptation, terror, and judgment?
In the Gospel God told us to be prudent and careful. Rely on God, but without neglecting anything on our part! For instance, without wise insight and without knowledge of our enemy we are half defenseless. Those who are not aware of the risk of their belonging to Christ, they will put in danger themselves and the others. Here, Christ's word about escape during persecution is to be applied. It is particularly important to be quiet. The enemy goes around and asks questions. I don’t want anyone to reproach himself that his loquacity or excessive confidence caused imprisonment or death for somebody else.
Courage is today's virtue. For a Christian it is not tough to be courageous up to the evident and deeply joyful renouncement to everything in order to obtain something which is worth our integral sacrifice (i.e. our renouncement to everything).
Love is the most important thing. It has to be pure, so that we can faithfully resist, work, suffer, and die for nothing else but Our Lord. Love towards God and no hatred at all towards them. We can afford victory without hatred. Forgive and pray for those who lie in wait for us, humiliate us, imprison us, and will torture and judge us.
We have a chance to experience and live the communion with the Mystical Body of Christ. This chance is here today. The enemy thinks that he will detach us from the Church by restricting our relationship with the Holy Father or by letting the traitors announce a schism. To be honest with you, even if we didn’t hear anymore of the Roman Pontiff, even if all loyal priests were eliminated, even if we didn’t celebrate any public or secret Holy Mass, we would be in any case firmly connected with the Church, as long as we belong to it with our heart.
Uncertainties may arise in an epoch where such a refined violence is ruling, in an epoch where even the wise could disappoint; this is the reason why we should maintain as vivid as possible connections with the Church. The elder should read about new Pope’s words; rely on the person who was entrusted by God with the administration of the Church. Today, being connected with Rome through radio frequencies has become a duty.
Millions of brothers and sisters are suffering like us. More millions of them in free countries are with us and pray for us. They are encouraged by our faithfulness and loyalty. We join this interconnected circular flow by adding our prayers. Don’t forget that there are thousands and thousands of people who are suffering in jail because of Christ's name. Some of them die as martyrs. Let us rejoice, because the Church gets news children through the efforts of its apostles. Let us rejoice, because we are also entitled to take part in the graces that are obtained thanks to these hidden heroes of prayer and sacrifice.
Do experience Christian community among you. You shall look for two, three or four people having the same thoughts as you, or two or three families - so that you can mutually exchange the Spirit of God. Gather together and read the Scriptures and meditate on the sentences you will find in the Gospel. Study religious literature and manage new situations. Get spiritual books; grow informal and efficient love that reaches all needs. Try and have a day of spiritual renovation; warn each other brotherly; be to each other councilor and support also in questions concerning spiritual life and conscience.
Is it necessary to close the outlook to the future? Not necessarily, because our attitude would be the same, even though the Lord decided to punish unfaithful Europe with red floods. But if we are able to hope in the Divine Mercy, in the current situation our loyalty receives a powerful incentive. Indeed, in this way we inhibit the present while preparing the future of Christ's Kingdom inside us.
God gave the world to those who are courageous; and we want to give God to the world. Be courageous. Be at God’s disposal. God is carrying out His plans through the enemies and through us. In the Book of Revelation and in the Acts of the Apostles you will find God’s purposes and attitudes towards the events. Our hopes are not political. Our hope is the Lord, our strength and our victory.
Heads up brothers and sisters! Lift up your hearts! The Lord be with you!
In 1952 because of this text Oto Mádr was sentenced to life imprisonment.
This text was taken over and published with the approval of .týždeň (a Slovak weekly magazine).
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