In the last two days, I have mentioned saints who have fought against a world and a Church hostile to their charity. How do we react to such open hostility? Do we withdraw and work quietly, avoiding those who would stop us or do we work openly, ignoring those who oppose us?
Ambrose was baptized Catholic, raised Protestant, came back and was ordained. He returned to England to minister. While many worked in secret with aliases, certainly doing the Lord's work, Ambrose was quite open in his ministry. Arrested several times, he was never convicted. Through it all, he never hid what he did and was probably tolerated until such time as he began to impinge upon the Anglican congregation by the number of faithful and an increasing number of converts. Eventually he was arrested by an armed mob, led by the local vicar. Charged with the crime of being a priest of Rome, he freely admitted it, as he had never hid before he obviously had no reason to now but this time was convicted and killed.
If following Christ is going to get us killed, we might as well be bold about it.
Ambrose, pray that we will be bold in spreading the Gospel.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Messiah already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. For Moses said: 'A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you. Everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be cut off from the people.’ Moreover, all the prophets who spoke, from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he said to Abraham, ‘In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” While they were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They laid hands on them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word came to believe and (the) number of men grew to [about] five thousand.
-- Acts 3:19-4:4