Someday, we may be asked to bow before something other than a Tabernacle, and we’ll either comply and then have to live with ourselves, or refuse and then live with the consequences.
And that will be when we need to remember Ignatius Kung Pin Mei, and how the power of one single voice ready to proclaim “Long live Christ the King” turned a stadium full of jeering, terrified spectators into sudden witnesses: “Long live Christ the King! Long live Bishop Kung!”
Meanwhile, we must practice prayer—the most subversive of liberties—and keep the faith, remembering the optimism of another Cardinal, Francis George of Chicago, who told a group of priests: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.
Let us pray:
Ignatius Cardinal Kung, from your place among the holy men and women who stand in the presence of the God of All Creation, pray for your brothers and sisters who live in worldly exile, that those who worship in freedom and those who yearn to do so may remain strong in faith. Where we are persecuted, let us remember that we are not able to choose the time of Christ’s coming or his deliverance, but that we are never to be abandoned. Pray for us, that we may learn to pray well, and with peace. Amen.