I'm catching up on my saints this morning.
OK, so there's sacrifice and then there's stupid. For the Martyrs of New Guinea, given what I've read about them, I'm leaning towards stupid. God forgive me, for I don't know what I'm doing.
But here's the thing: these folks were missionaries in New Guinea who could leave before the Japanese invasion of New Guinea. But their bishop said, ""We must endeavour to carry on our work. God expects this of us. The church at home, which sent us out, will surely expect it of us. The universal church expects it of us. The people whom we serve expect it of us. We could never hold up our faces again if, for our own safety, we all forsook Him and fled, when the shadows of the Passion began to gather around Him in His spiritual and mystical body, the Church in Papua."
Point 1: Is staying in New Guinea the best work that these folks could do on behalf of the people they are serving?
Point 2: If the missionaries have done their job, can not the church carry on its work without them?
Point 3: Does their staying and association with locals put the locals in any danger?
(All three of which are really the same point: what's the best way they can serve the people they are trying to serve?)
Point 4: Is this about doing what's right or not looking like a coward?
Point 5: Where was the bishop during this invasion?
I read this story and I just get mad. I know that there's a lot of the story I do not know. Maybe staying in New Guinea really was the best thing for these people to do, the best way they could love God and their neighbor.
But I also believe that getting yourself killed is not always martyrdom. Sometimes it's just dumb.