This week we celebrated the feast of St. Lawrence, who was famously reported to have said, while he was being tortured to death over a slow roasting pit of coals, "Turn me over, I'm done on one side already!"
Whether this be lore or legend, one can almost hear this most famous of deacons thumbing his nose at authority with these or similar words, as he did when asked to turn over all the riches of the church to the Emperor Valerian in 258 AD. Deacon Lawrence gathered the poor and presented them to the Emperor. "Here are the riches of the church." The man who was to become a saint had a special place in his heart for the poor, and little use for unreasonable civil authority.
We, today, face the same command from society. "Turn over the riches of your church! Renounce your faith. The Catholic church needs to get with the times!" Litigating the church into receivership will not end the faith any more than it will end poverty, as history has proven.
Catholics are being slowly roasted on the gridiron of popular opinion because of our stand on the slaughter of the unborn to the culling of the human herd and the human condition between. Get with the times? No, it is the times that need to get with the Church.
When we are accused of being Catholic and our crimes against modern mores listed, we can start with a prayer to God in thanks for the opportunity to suffer for Him.
And as we weary of the incessant nattering, I for one, will be quoting St. Lawrence.
"Turn me over. I'm done on this side."