I love this line, which is apparently from an ancient Chinese curse. (I have neither the time nor the inclination to verify the veracity of this claim, readers?)
The thought goes that 'interesting times' will not be quiet times. There is going to be a great deal going on, and there will not be much rest available: everything is up for grabs.
I think, for example, of the American Civil War, the Reformation, the Barbarian Invasions, as periods in history that were 'interesting' to say the least.
Are we entering another?
What brings this up, you ask? It was stirred for me by today's First Reading from Mass, (Romans 8:18-25), which begins thus:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothingcompared with the glory to be revealed for us.For creation awaits with eager expectationthe revelation of the children of God;
In response, I offered the Mass for Persecuted Christians to go with this reading. I wonder if we are moving into a period of outright persecution for the Church. Some could already say that we are living in a time of implicit persecution, but will it get worse? Are we heading for a time of martyrdom, and not just white, not even green martyrdom (financial penalties), but down and dirty, outright red martyrdom where to profess faith in Christ is to meet him face to face?
The cynic in me wonders if this would be all bad. Afterall, the Church usually flourishes during periods of persecution and hatred. Sure, we may loose members as there was also Apostasy (denying the faith during periods of duress) during the Persecutions under Domition and Diocletian. But there were also wonderful heros during those times, as one need not search any further than the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch.
Christ has raised up for us wonderful examples already in John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and is currently raising up new witnesses.
So, the question continues to echo through time from Our Lord, himself: "Do you also want to leave?" Will any answer with Simon Peter: "Lord, to whom else shall we go? We have come to know and to believe that you have the words of Eternal Life!"