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Monday, September 2, 2013

Though in sight of men he suffered...

 By Heidi

File:Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - Salome with the Head of the Baptist - WGA04194.jpg
Salome with the Head of the Baptist by Caravaggio (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).

The title of this post is a quote from the third chapter of Wisdom, and it is fitting that Saint Bede the Venerable used it in his homily of St. John, you can read it in the Office of Readings for the Memorial of the Beheading (or Passion) of John the Baptist. As I was reading through Saint Bede’s homily today this paragraph just stopped me in my tracks.

“There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for Him.  His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, only that he should keep silent about the truth.  Nevertheless, he died for Christ.  Does Christ not say:  “I am the truth”?  Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.” 

Things have not changed have they?!  Usually we are not asked to outright deny Christ, we are simply expected to be quiet about Him.  However, do not be surprised if our silent compliance leads to the demand to deny Our Lord explicitly.  Which makes today a good day to ask for the intercession of Saint John the Baptist, for the wisdom to know when to speak, and the courage to follow through.  The concluding prayer for this powerful Memorial is:

O God, who wills that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession of what you teach.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ your son, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

I pray that all of us grow in the courage to place our hope in the immortal Truth, who is Christ.
Heidi blogs at Journey to Wisdom.


  1. Thanks for sharing. As I read the paragraph it struck me that really John the Baptist was the first Martyr of the faith. We always think of St. Stephen the Martyr which he was the first Martyr after Christ. Just something to ponder.

    1. Thanks for your comment Paula, I love to ponder!

  2. Heidi, this post was very apropos, considering the recent Joseph Bottum controversy. I participated in a lengthy discussion at Little Catholic Bubble over whether the Church should give up fighting against same-sex "marriage." Believe it or not, there are Catholics who consider themselves orthodox who think it's better for us to abandon the fight. I'm going to stick with John the Baptist, even if it costs me my head.

  3. Thanks Connie, I am with you! I was disheartened by the Joseph Bottum article! These controversies illustrate why this CSBN site is such a blessing! we can encourage each other to keep fighting the good fight no matter the earthly cost! The strength God blesses us with when we come together to proclaim His Truth(even virtually) is wondrous. I will check out the Little Catholic Bubble discussion!

  4. Thank you for this wonderful post and encouragement to not remain silent about our amazing and beautiful Lord. There are so many opportunities to remain silent, and in doing so, to submit to the tyrannies of hatred and animosities toward our Lord and faith wherever and to whatever degree we encounter them. We all need prayers for the courage and fortitude to speak up when given the opportunity to do so...God Bless


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