My dear friends, Brothers and Sisters, the time is now very close when I
shall be gathered into the presence of my Lord and clasped in His loving
embrace. Be joyful for me, and for yourselves do not sorrow that I am gone
but pray that you yourselves may be called to Him soon after.
Do you not remember how Brother Laclau was taken in the night and brought
roughly before the Lord, how his captors cursed him and beat him in the
street with cudgels, and how great his joy was that he should not have to
wait any longer, but rather might witness immediately to his love of the
true Lord through their instrument of their contempt for him? So he was able
to endure the most terrible insults to the flesh, because all the time he
was in loving conversation with the Lord who stood beside him, and rather
than crying out for respite urged his attackers to destroy more quickly the
hateful body that was keeping him from his Lord’s embrace.
Brothers and Sisters, the prince of this world is full of hatred for us, and
has determined that we are to be killed wherever he is able to find us. Let
us therefore not hide our faith and ourselves, but proudly proclaim that we
welcome death in the name of the Lord. For the prince of the world loves his
sinful life, and does not wish to see it pass away, as all powers and
principalities must soon pass away; but we who have known the Lord love Him
above all else, and will not cling to life when the time comes for us to
leave it, but will rather encourage our enemies in their spite. In this way,
even the wickedness of the powerful is turned to good; and those whom the
wild beasts consume will be comforted even as their bodies are torn.
Did not Sister Mouffe answer the spectators, when she was placed in the iron
chair and scorched by fire so that the smoke rose from her arms and legs,
and declare that although the bodies of the faithful may be consumed by
flames, their souls are preserved incorruptible; but as for those whose
souls are consumed by the fires of hatred, even their bodies will fall into
corruption? I beg you, Brothers and Sisters, not to think what you will say
to your enemies, but to be patient and know that when the time comes the
Lord will be with you, and will give you words to say that will trouble the
unfaithful in their hearts and move them to pity, not towards you but
towards themselves. For their destruction is assured, unless they turn aside
from wickedness, and not even the protection of the greatest of princes will
be able to help them when the day of wrath is come.
Therefore abide in patience and rejoice. It is likely that I will not write
to you again, but some of you will see me on the day of grace when we shall
be presented before the wild beasts and our sinful bodies consumed, so that
we may meet with the Lord in the true and incorruptible flesh of
resurrection; and we shall all be joined in peace hereafter.