The amount of information we ingest each day from the Internet is staggering. In 5 minutes I can see what is happening worldwide. Most of that news is bad news. In fact, a good deal of it is horrifying. From gruesome murders to terrorism to starving children to the erosion of religious liberty in this country, it becomes overwhelming. The forces of evil are on the march and Christ has called us to be a light in the world even though we face incredible odds on this side of Eternity. The battle for man’s freedom from sin has been won by Christ on the Cross, but we still have to live in this Fallen world.
Yesterday I spent too much time looking at the train wreck that is the news. I had to catch my breath as I read one too many horrors. I was also once again reminded that my freedom as a Roman Catholic in this country is washing away. Not that this country has been too friendly to Catholics, but it was a nice reprieve. Actually, all Christians are in great danger, at least those who hold to biblical teachings on human sexuality, of losing their freedoms as well. There will come a day, much sooner than any of us think, when we will have to make a choice to either stand with Christ or cave to the secular will.
As I prayed Vespers last night, Our Lord gave me a much needed reminder. Sometimes I forget that the world did not accept Him, so why should I expect those of us who follow Him to be accepted by the world? Living in a country that had religious liberty for all, notice how I said “had”, we can forget that we were promised persecution. What is happening now is only a natural response by those who do not know, or who have denied that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That He came to redeem us and save us from ourselves and He came to save us from sin and death. That His call to love and serve is universal. He is the much needed medicine for this sick world. Here is the reading from Vespers last night:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
in letting us be called children of God!
Yet that is what we are.
The reason the world does not recognize us
is that it never recognized the Son.
we are God’s children now;
what we shall later be has not yet come to light.
We know that when it comes to light
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him
keeps himself pure, as he is pure
1 John 3:1-3
As I watch the outright assault worldwide on Christians, I am reminded of a scene in The Return of the King. Aragorn has led a small army to the gates of Mordor. The gates open and evil in all its fury marches forward to swallow up the small battalion. Aragorn rallies the troops and they run into battle. A battle that seems pointless. A battle they seem sure to lose. But, this moment is a great reminder that somethings are in fact worth dying for. It is better to die than to live and choose evil. In the end, Frodo quite accidentally, destroys the Ring and Middle Earth is saved. We must daily remind ourselves in the face of great ignorance, hatred, and evil, that Christ has won. There is nothing that can change that fact.
If, like me, you struggle with moments of despair in the face of the world, remember that the world hated Christ first. Humanity put Christ on a Cross, drove nails into His body, and killed Him. As hard as it is for me to even imagine at this point in my spiritual journey, what makes me think that I can avoid such a fate? Not all are called to martyrdom, but many are in fact being called worldwide to die for their Faith. My family and I must pray for the strength to stand firm when we are called to defend the Faith, in whatever capacity Christ calls us. No matter what, the tidal wave is coming, but there is always HOPE.
3 Replies to “The World Did Not Know Him: Understanding Christian Persecution”
Hi there! I am nominating you for a few awards…head over when you can) 🙂 – if you don’t participate in awards, per se, that’s fine. Just wanted to spotlight’cha.
Thank you so much! I completely forgot to respond to my other nomination. I will do both in one post.
Then I am glad I could remind you. Congrats!