Exile as a Living Death

A friend of mine recently shared with me about how the Roman poet Ovid described exile as a living death.

This friend has also written a splendid essay reflecting on her own experience of ostracization due to cancel culture in the light of the broader tradition of our civilization.

In it, she writes:

Yet, while I don’t mean to downplay the pain of the experience, this may also be the greatest blessing of exile: it is a social murder, a death within life, which forces us into confrontation with our own finitude. If the goal of philosophy is to learn how to die, then there is no better way to practice it. Stripped of all illusions and pretense, the petty dust of life can sometimes give way to a lucid clarity. In exile, we are made to remember our true homes, while we still have time make ourselves worthy of returning there.

This is one of the best pieces I have read on cancel culture and is an excellent example of empirical and existential political theory.

Go check out Caylan Ford’s piece “They Can’t Cancel Your Soul” in the American Mind by clicking here.

Painting: “Dante in Exile” by Domenico Peterlini

The Martyr Saints of China

July 9th is the feast day of the Chinese Martyrs.

It was October 2000 when Saint Pope John Paul II canonized 120 martyrs in China. As Alejandro Bermudez noted in his recent piece, “87 were Chinese laypeople and 33 were missionaries.”

Bermudez says, “The feast is an occasion for the Chinese Catholic diaspora, and for the Universal Catholic church as a whole, to pray for Christians currently persecuted in Communist China, especially those Catholics who despite being a minority in Hong Kong, constitute the backbone of the freedom movement and are currently being jailed such as Catholic convert Jimmy Lai, owner of the pro-democracy paper Apple News; or those forced to exile, like pro-democracy Catholic leader Joseph Cheng.”

In his homily, John Paul II said the, “martyrs are an example of courage and consistency to us all, and that they honour the noble Chinese people.”

The stories of these modern martyrs are captivating and it is important for them to become accessible and familiar so to bolster the faith and tenacity of Christians and people of good will worldwide.

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