Memorial of St. Edmund Campion, Martyr

Today’s first reading recounts the famous prophecy of that time of peace when the swords will be turned into plowshares. This vision has a very Ignatian sentiment to it if we imagine the raw metal that existed prior to it being turned into a weapon. Metal was a rare commodity and many pieces of metal, even those of artistic value, were recycled and remade into weapons. The choice of what to do with this important resource, in this case the resource of metal, was based on a value. Ignatius, in his first principle and foundation from the Spiritual Exercises, reminds us that we should look at the resources we have in light of how they can best help us move towards what we should value most: God.

Today’s feast celebrates a man who had tremendous intellectual resources.  If he had chosen, Edmund Campion could have climbed the ecclesiastical ladder of the Church of England quicker and better than most. Instead, he turned is intellect towards something that in the end cost him his life but earned himself the reputation of a man who stood for what he believed even if it cost him his life.

We may not be called to martyrdom, but we are called to make decisions and sometimes sacrifices that mean realigning our resources towards what will help ourselves and others move towards God.

December 1st, 2014