I think it is evident that, in these days of awful sin and hatred of God, our Blessed Lord wants to gather round Him a legion of chosen souls who will be devoted, heart and soul, to Him and His interests, and upon whom He may always count for help and consolation. Souls who will not ask “How much must I do?” but rather “How much can I do for His love?” A legion of souls who will give and not count the cost, whose only pain will be that they cannot do more and give more and suffer more for Him who has done so much for them. In a word souls who are not as the rest of men, fools perhaps in the eyes of the world, for their watchword is sacrifice and not self-comfort.
COMMENT: If the early 1900’s were “days of awful sin and hatred of God” as Fr Doyle claimed, things would seem to be worse today. The blood of martyrs has flown freely over the last century. One recent report indicated that 100,000 Christians are killed every year simply because of their Faith. The sight of Christians being martyred by fanatical terrorists over recent months has been truly shocking. But their plight is largely ignored in the Western media. Indeed, Christians are not immune from persecution even in the West – we see ever growing numbers of Christian business people being prosecuted for refusing to provide services that would abuse their consciences. And as for the “awful sin” within the Church against children, as Pope Francis rightly stated, this is akin to satanic worship, and is a crime that calls out to Heaven for vengeance.
But God is faithful. Whenever there is a crisis, God raises up a “legion of chosen souls” to respond. The history of the Church has always shown this to be the case. God still calls for loyal followers. But are we ready to respond?
Today’s saints – Charles Lwanga and his companions from Uganda – are a perfect example of this. These young men were pages in the court of King Mwanga of Buganda. Because of their Catholic faith, they resisted the sexual advances of the King. They died cruel and violent deaths because of their fidelity to Christ and the king’s lustful hatred of their faith. St Charles, like many others, was burned to death, but some had even crueler torment. St Matthias Mulumba Kalemba, for example, was tortured in a most vicious fashion and took three days to die.
Here is an excellent short video about the martyrs, and about their contemporary cultural relevance.