I only realize what a poor excuse for a Catholic I truly am, when I read about giants of the Faith like Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang:
A 94-year-old Chinese bishop who had been imprisoned since Good Friday 2001 has reportedly died, triggering renewed criticism of the Communist Party’s draconian curtailment of religious freedoms.
Relations of Cosmas Shi Enxiang, the underground bishop of Yixian in northeast China, were informed last Friday that he had passed away, according to UCA News, a news agency covering Catholic issues in Asia. No cause was given. He had not been seen in public since he was detained 14 years ago.
“My parents and the bishop’s other siblings are particularly sad,” Shi Chunyan, the bishop’s great niece, told the agency.
“They had been unsuccessfully trying to discover his whereabouts for many years. Now the answer to their questions is that he is dead.”
Bishop Shi, who was originally from Hebei province, was arrested in April 2001 at the Beijing home of his niece and had been held ever since in a “secret location”, according to the report.
The bishop spent around half of his long life in prison or labour camps, the Catholic news agency added.
Go here to read the rest. Ponder the last quoted sentence for a moment. The Bishop spent almost 50 years in Chinese prison camps for the Faith. He would have been 28 when the Communists took power in China in 1949. How easy it would have been for him to turn his back on Christ in the face of a totalitarian regime that would slay tens of millions of domestic opponents. Instead, he labored all his long life to bring the Gospels to his fellow countrymen. Pray for us Bishop, as we the spiritually weak seek to follow your heroic example.