I was also reminded that so many times when believers are persecuted, in Persia, in Babylon, in Rome, it's not because of the God they worship, it's because they refuse to worship the reigning gods. This, of course, was the crime of the three young men. Whoever chose the reading for today, for some reason left out my favorite part. When Nebuchadnezzar said to the men, "Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands," they answered, "If our God whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us. But even if He will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up." I've thought about this passage many times when I had to face some scary situation where I had to do the right thing even though the consequences could be bad. It puts things in perspective. I've been thinking that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego might be good patrons for Catholics in the US these days.
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I also want to mention St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, whose feast day is today, and who was responsible for founding many Catholic schools, orphanages and hospitals in the United States. I don't really have any idea of what has happened to all these foundations. I'm sure that some are defunct and some have passed into other hands. If any of them still belong to the Church, of course, they are now in danger of having to close. She would be another good intercessor for us. There's a nice article about her here.