It’s like taking a groupie. Lights up, sounds subdued, lenses calibrated and focus is drawn towards images of lives lived in quiet unadorned witness. Unlike any other groupie to take, this is going to be about them. We click the button so that the story of their life of faith-witness may be flashed and magnified for the world to see. A groupie as such, I think, is an invitation to be seen. Not for the loyalty branded in their hearts or for the heroic resolved woven into their cassocks but for that unmistakable courage to be vulnerable. Our brother martyrs could have opted to embrace the opposite: strength, security, self-assertion, power, and control, only they didn’t. They mustered the courage to be vulnerable and thereby accorded life’s greatest power –love. Martyrdom is the courage to be vulnerable, for to love is to be vulnerable. As a Claretian, I take pride in their beatification. This event will be a most opportune grace in a time when much of the narratives that pervade are filled with the lust for control and domination. On the same breath, a groupie as such, I think, is a call to be mindful. Not for the glory of human triumph nor for the esteem of human, social and ecclesial validation but for that unforgiving inspiration which nourishes our missionary vocation and prompts us to reclaim and appropriate meaning to a rich spiritual heritage. Very soon, in Gaudi’s unfinished dwelling, what was once a memory from a not-so-distant past, will be captured, contained and commemorated.
- Francisco Simon Perez
- Henry Omonisaye