At the time of his sentencing and execution, Charles peacefully arranged the sticks upon which he would be burned alive, exclaiming that he was glad to die for the True Faith. He bore the pain in silence, only twisting and moaning, "Kotanda! (O my God!)," as he was tortured by flames. Known for his chastity and gifts of evangelization, Charles converted many to the Catholic faith during the time of his persecution and through his martyrdom. He is a perfect example of someone who, accepting his circumstances was an instrument of God’s grace for the times in which he lived. (Source: CatholicCulture.com)
When I think of Charles Lwanga and his companions, I am inspired that, at such a young age, these youth were willing to lay down their lives for the faith. How did they do it? And, how could we do it, too? I maintain that in those times, when we are called to martyrdom, whether a martyrdom of blood, or a white martyrdom, the grace is given at the moment of our “YES.” It takes our free will action. God awaits our “YES” and when it is given, the floodgates of grace are poured into us.
Like Charles Lwanga and his companions, we too need a willingness to stand before the gates of hell that seek to prevail against us. With the same certitude and conviction, we need to stand firm and remain steadfast in the face of opposition. Such courage and strength grows every time we say no to sin and yes to God; every time we say no to self indulgence and yes to God; every time we say no to the press of the culture and yes to God; and every time we experience suffering, but say yes to God. This type of martyrdom becomes the proving ground that readies us, should we some day be called, to offer the ultimate sacrifice.
As we await the U. S. Supreme Court decision on the future of marriage, and face the innumerable attacks against the values and truths we hold dear, let us give the Lord our unwavering “YES!” Now is the time for courage.
I hope you will consider joining me, international retreat master, Fr. Philip Scott, F.J., and Dr. Monica Miller for the 9th Annual Women of Grace Retreat being held in Orchard Lake, Michigan. This special time together will increase our faith through outstanding Catholic teachings, special liturgies, a healing service, and so much more. Visit our website www.womenofgrace.com for full details about this event as well as the Benedicta Leadership Institute for Women, which will precede the retreat. I hope you will join us!