Chapter 2 (Part 1) Pages 51 - 64
Martyrdom of Silence, Sweetness and Severity
Week 13 Questions
“My son, the times are very evil and you are very young… I want you to know that I would rather see you dead than gone astray.”
Dona Lucilia’s story will unfold more and more just how great her love was for her dear son, Plinio. These words, though, show how her “… loving affection for her children was rooted entirely in love of God.”
Who was the very young saint who, as part of a rule of life he formed for himself, declared: “Death rather than sin”?
There was a high price to pay for the assistance the Americans – the “… smiling, optimistic youths…” gave to help restore a sort of peace in Europe during the war. As well as rejecting their own past and joining the new- world pursuit of “… earthly goods, money, technology and material pleasures…” Europeans and Latin Americans wholeheartedly embraced the cinema – the new “shaper of mentalities…”
They longed to become “Americanized”. Not even so much adopting an “authentic American way of life…” but submitting to the excesses of a “Hollywood farce” promoting decadence in customs, fashions and morals.
The anti-Catholic life promoted by movies was, of course, just the beginning of the horrors that can now pass as entertainment.
While we have to be aware of and reject such immorality, we must also form a life for ourselves and our families based on Catholic principles.
What are the things we must reject, and what can we embrace?
Dona Lucilia “spoke almost exclusively of the good, the true and the beautiful.”
She “… never forgot a benefit received and tried to make generous recompense for it.”
Through letters, she maintained a relationship with Dr. Bier, the surgeon who had performed the life-saving surgery on her.
It was suggested to her, when she spoke of contacting him years later, that he would have forgotten the operation. Her reply that “Even if he doesn’t remember, it doesn’t matter. I remember him and that is why I write to him.” is reminiscent of the incident in the past when she received very little gratitude for her painstaking nursing. She had responded that “The good done remains.”
This exhibits an ideal that practicing virtue does not depend on the expectation of a display of appreciation.
The forgotten virtue – gratitude, must be practiced sincerely in ordinary ways. What is the result of failing to be grateful to each other – what sort of ingratitude can this lead to?