Radical Preaching

Can preaching again have something to say?
This blog marks the attempt to bring the theological vision of Radical Orthodoxy into the worship and preaching of the local church.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Prayer and Franz Jägerstätter

On August 9, 1943, Franz Jägerstätter was beheaded by Nazis for his refusal of military service. As a young man, he was quite wild, but he eventually returned to the Catholic faith. He served his local parish faithfully and received the Eucharist daily. When the NAzi takeover of Austria began, he was deeply opposed to National Socialism. In his local village, he cast the only vote against unification with Germany. When he was called to service, he reported but then refused to serve in the military. He was arrested and later executed for sedition. Prior to his arrest, he would respond to the salute of "Heil Hitler" with "Pfui Hitler!"

I want to close with his closing reflection on prayer, as it seems so appropriate for our day and time:

"Just as the man who thinks only of this world does everything possible to make life here easier and better, so must we, too, who believe in the eternal Kingdom, risk everything in order to receive a great reward there. Just as those who believe in National Socialism tell themselves that their struggle is for survival, so must we, too, convince ourselves that our struggle is for the eternal Kingdom. But with this difference: we need no rifles or pistols for our battle, but instead, spiritual weapons--and the foremost among these is prayer.... Through prayer, we continually implore new grace from God, since without God's help and grace it would be impossible for us to preserve the Faith and be true to His commandments...."
The picture below was taken by his three daughters and sent to him shortly before he was martyred. It reads, "Dear Father, come soon."


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