Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blessing in persecution

Catholics really are the most blessed people on earth – although I don’t think that we always appreciate it. We are blessed because our Lord Jesus gives Himself to us in the Sacraments...most important of which is the Eucharist in which He gives us His whole Self – Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. If we really understood what we have as in the Sacraments, and especially in the Eucharist, I think that we would be far more resolved to live out our days in holiness.
But another way we are blessed, and don’t even realise it, is in persecution. Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world...but one doesn’t need to look too far to see that Catholics are the most persecuted of all Christians. Lies are spread about the Catholic Church by non-Christians (e.g. in the media) and non-Catholics alike. There are many non-Catholic Christian groups who think that the Catholic Church is the harlot of the Apocalypse (see Rev 17:3ff) and that the Pope is the Antichrist or Beast of the Apocalypse (see Rev 13:1ff). And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Coming from a Protestant background, I am more than aware of the myriads of lies that are spread about the Catholic Church by other “well-meaning” Christians (in ignorance or otherwise). But, as Catholics, we really shouldn’t be surprised by these things because our Lord said that it would happen:
“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the good man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?” (Mk 10:25)
Rather than be surprised, we should thank the Lord that we have been counted worthy suffer shame for His name’s sake (Acts 5:41). When these and other lies about the Catholic Church are spread, we should count ourselves as blessed, just as our Lord said:
“Blessed are ye when they shall...speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake...” (Matt 5:11).

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