19 September – Memorial for St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions, Korean Martyrs; Memorial for Sts. Laurent Imbert, Bishop Jacques Chastan, Priest (Martyrs of College General, Penang, Malaysia)
There are 103 martyrs in this group, consisting of priests, missionaries and lay people who died in the early days of the Church in Korea. Most were murdered during waves of persecutions in 1839, 1846 and 1867.
Andrew Kim Taegon’s father was a martyr. Andrew was baptised at age 15, then travelled 1,300 miles to the nearest seminary in Macao. He was Korea’s first native priest, and the first priest to die for the faith in Korea.
Laurent Imbert was a missionary to China. He taught at the College General, Penang from 1821 to 1822. He was named Vicar Apostolic of Korea on 26 April 1836. He and St. Jacques (or Jacob) were arrested for the crime of evangelisation, and then tortured and martyred.
– Patron Saints Index
Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord,
who turns it where he pleases.
A man’s conduct may strike him as upright,
the Lord, however, weighs the heart.
To act virtuously and with justice
is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eye, proud heart,
lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.
The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain;
too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.
To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue,
such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.
The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil,
he looks on his neighbour with dislike.
When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser,
when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.
The Just One watches the house of the wicked:
he hurls the wicked to destruction.
He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry
shall himself plead and not be heard.
The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’
Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the Lord; wherever it pleases him, he directs it.
I’ve written before about being at crossroads of my life, wondering which way to go. Almost always, my crossroads have required of me to take a leap of faith, they run in two extremes with no middle ground. As a result it takes me a long while of deliberation, accompanied by prayer to figure out what is best for me.
I am once again at these very same crossroads, albeit at a different stage of my life. Again, it is all or nothing, like going down Robert Frost’s roads in the woods: that if I travelled down one, I know I would likely not return again to try the other and see where it would lead. On the one hand, do you stay on the path which seems the most “secure”, or do you relish a little adventure and leave it to faith to see where the other path finds you? I’m not suggesting that we all become adrenaline junkies and go down the path that gives us an adventure “high”. Not at all. I speak of decisions in life which we know could make a difference, and trusting God enough to guide us where He would want us to go.
I have prayed about it and I feel that God is guiding me gently to this road that I have not taken, and while I cannot tell what lies ahead or what will happen in the next 5 or 10 years, I feel like I can trust that God will lead me safely to the shore. I do feel nervous to say the least; my heart is in my hand, but it is also in God’s hand. And I will take this leap of faith because I trust that God has my back.
Are you too about to embark on a new path in your life, maybe a new chapter or career, or move to a different country? Fearing the unknown can be a numbing feeling, paralyzing us from making any decisions. But our lives here on earth are meant to be lived, and God has given us this one life to make that difference. When Gabriel’s trump sounds, and we stand before our Maker to account for ourselves, what do we hope to say to God?
If today you feel that He is calling you to make a change, take the leap of faith. Pray for discernment and wisdom, knowing that whatever the path that God wants you to take and make, He has your back too.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)
Thanksgiving: Lord, I won’t lie. I am nervous and scared of making this new journey, but only You know what that path will be for me. I pray that You will reveal it to me as we journey together, and I pray for strength and unwavering faith, even as I can’t yet see the what lies ahead.
Prayer: Thank you Lord, for always having my back. Thank you always for guiding my steps and holding on to my hand, one step at a time.