The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, August 9, 2020
Franz Jägerstätter (1907—1943)
Franz Jägerstätter was a humble Catholic peasant born to a poor German farm maid in the small town of Radegund, Upper Austria. He was baptized, married, and worked as a sexton in the same small parish. Though he was never part of any formal resistance groups, Franz was his village’s sole conscientious objector to the annexation of Austria to Germany under Hitler. He felt deeply that his Christian faith could not permit him to fight in Hitler’s army. Even under pressure by local priests and bishops to conform and serve in the military, Franz refused. He was imprisoned and beheaded for his refusal to serve in the Nazi army.
A quote from Franz Jägerstätter: “Through his bitter suffering and death, Christ freed us only from eternal death, not from temporal suffering and mortal death. But Christ, too, demands a public confession of our faith, just as the Führer, Adolf Hitler, does from his followers.”
Sovereign Lord, forgive us for choosing violence instead of grace. Give us the courage to trust that the cross is more powerful than the sword. We thank you for the assurance that, in the end, love wins. Help us to live without fear in the light of your promise. Amen.