Posted by: fvbcdm | September 28, 2011

Feast of Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Comp. (28 Sept 2011)

Two people caught my attention this morning at Mass and then while reading the daily newspaper. One is St. Lawrence Ruiz, a layman who was half-Chinese and half-Filipino, who was martyred for his Catholic faith back in the 17th century in Asia. He is the first Filipino to be canonized, and we Dominicans are very proud that he was affiliated with our Order since he was educated by the Dominicans in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
The other is a woman who has been condemned to be flogged in Afghanistan; her crime was that she was caught driving a car. Women are not allowed to drive there, even though recently they were given the vote—a tremendously surprising breakthrough in that Muslim nation with all of its anti-feminism.  Although I certainly deplore the fact that an totally innocent woman is to be flogged, I can’t help but see this event as a historic one. The suffering, pain, and wounds that she will suffer at the hands of her torturers will cry out to the civilized world for justice, and I would imagine that some day, her name will be learned by the children of the Islamic world as one of the women who led the struggle for basic human and civil rights in their part of the world.  We Americans and especially American black women study the actions of Rosa Parks who refused to give her seat to a white person in a racially segregated bus back in the 50s during the civil rights movement.  Her actions were not the result of any unkindness to others on her part, but of her protest against racist segregation itself. At that time, a black person could not sit in the same section of a public bus with white people.  Rosa Parks’s simple refusal to move from one part of the bus to the other was tremendously influential in that great struggle. Now, in the year 2011, a woman in a Muslim country is about to be beaten because she drove a car.
I am a great believer in the idea that Our Blessed Mother has appeared in a place with a Muslim name—Fatima—in order to associate herself with Islam and let the world know that she is the Mother of all human beings, including the Muslims. I ask Our Lady to help that Muslim woman get through this difficult period of her life, and to allow this sad event to be one more stepping stone on the way to the conversion of Islam to the Christian faith instituted by Mary’s divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.



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