Reading the life of St. Edmund Campion, pictured for a time on the right of this blog under “patrons,” I have come to find many things about the man with which I relate. For one, we both very much love the passage in Scripture wherein Christ states that He has “come to set the world on fire. Oh how I wish it were already ablaze.” This line has always meant a great deal to me if for no other reason than simply that it shows something of the vulnerability of Our Lord. There is regret in these words. Campion also had a penchant for arguing, which I must admit I have as well, to a fault at times. Campion had desired a quiet life of scholarly pursuit, something for which I can only dream.
The similarities between Campion and I do end, though, and they end quickly when I begin to read the mission which he undertook and the brutality of the work of Queen Elizabeth and her men. He was a Jesuit priest determined to return to England and minister to the faithful Catholics who remained under the persecution of the crown. Would I have ever been able to do what he did? It is an impossible question to answer, but it is related to the question of what I am willing to do for Our Lord here and now. Reading Campion and the tortures, the killings, the hangings, the beheadings, etc. it all makes lack of sleep seem a rather puny sacrifice to make.