"From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.' He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.'" (Mathew 16:21-23, NAB)The recent antics of Professor PZ Myers and his ilk have left Catholics, myself included, in a mixed state of emotions: anger, shock, disgust, sorrow, outrage. His hatred of all things religious, and in this case the Catholic religion specifically, has lead him to cross over the line from verbal disagreement (to put it mildly) and into the realm of actions. Using third parties, he has ostensibly "obtained" several consecrated Hosts, which he now promises to desecrate in one way or another. His threat is to do no less than desecrate the very body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord as present in the Eucharist; it is an attack directed against God Himself, not to mention His people.
The Catholic response to all of this has been quite varied. He claims that he has been issued a few threats, which is honestly not that surprising. I could envision myself threatening him, or even taking action against him, were it not for the restraints of charity and mercy that are, perhaps ironically, both important aspects of my faith as a Catholic. Like St. Peter, I would draw my sword in the garden against those who come for my Lord, only to be restrained by Him (John 18:10-11)*.
Others, myself included again, turn to the second path available to us: prayer. If we cannot resort to violence to prevent atrocity, then we are left with the option of turning to God. We can, and must, pray that Myers not go through with this. Pray that he will have a change in heart, or that God will prevent this somehow. Pray that we will not be embittered or become scandalized if and when God chooses not to stop this from happening, for Christ Himself prayed that he not undergo worse, only to submit to His Father's will (Matthew 26:39).
However, our prayers cannot stop just here. We must sincerely pray for his conversion, and the conversion of all those who have aided him. Perhaps even more important is that we must pray for God's mercy, for Myers and his henchmen--but also for ourselves. All of us who have rejected the Lord in Eucharist, all who have received unworthily: have we not desecrated Him too?
We find that we are ourselves as offended as anyone else that someone could do this to our Lord, and that He would moreover allow it to happen. It would not be much of a stretch to say that we are appalled like Lucifer by the divine scandal--let it not lead us to fall as he did**. Yet, we need look no further than our own mirror to see, staring back, the face of a person who has participated in doing much worse. For "in Adam's fall fell we all." Or, to borrow from the Lutherans,
"All mankind fell in Adam's fall,Surely, Myers should be dissuaded from carrying out his desecration threats. But if he is not, may we accept with humility that whatever he does is no worse than the floggings or the thorns, the spit and taunts, and that death which was suffered for us all by our Lord***.
One common sin infects them all;
From sire to son the bane descends,
And over all the curse impends."
*For that matter, is there not a correlation between those people who "obtained" the Eucharist for him, and Judas Iscariot who handed over Christ to the Jewish leaders? These people are either [lapsed?] Catholics and thus fit the mold of Judas, or they and/or Myers have lied about not "stealing" the Hosts.
**This is speculation, there are a number of things which together or apart lead to Lucifer's rebellion and fall.
***Note, however, that I am not in any way condoning Myers' actions, nor I am saying that we should take no action (even verbal) to try and stop this from happening. There is a balance to be reached between Peter's sword and the disciples' hiding away.