“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”
Francis Cardinal George
I have heard this quote many times, but without the hopeful and awesome last sentence. I have also heard it used in reference to the HHS mandate, which was not the context in which Cardinal George said it. It was first published in May of 2010.
I am actually energized by the final sentence of this quote. Originally I felt some kind of dread or helplessness when I thought of Cardinal George’s successors as Archbishop of Chicago and the implications that happenings like the ones he described would have on the state of our country and world. If things like these happen, it will be a said and scary day. However, as Tertullian said, “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” I think we should anticipate that day and begin picking up the shards of society as it falls apart, not waiting for it to be completely ruined, and present them to God, to use us, and the pieces, as He will.
I read about Cardinal George’s words in the National Catholic Register.