Another Carmelite Celebration
And a particularly important one for the times. Today is the commemoration (memorial) and Feast of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne whose sacrifice is attributed with bringing to an end the French Revolution.
Their sacrifice is particularly relevant for those of us today because they lost their lives for simply existing and being members of a relgiious order. This is the fierce power that secular society can and does turn on those who accuse it simply by their way of living. These martyrs are glorious witnesses to God's truth, and I pray that if I am faced with the same decision these noble women faced, through their intercession and the intercession of the Holy Mother of God, I may have the strength to choose the difficult crown rather than the easy way.
For more about the Martyrs of Compiègne, see William Bush's magnificent study To Quell the Terror, or listen to François Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites based on a libretto by Georges Bernanos. Also related, Gertrud von Le Fort's ficitionalized account Song at the Scaffold. The lives of these great martyrs is food for thought for this day and for many more.
Later this week--the Feast of St. Elijah--Father of Carmel.