Enduring Hope for the Battle

I’ve had a few comments concerning my posts about persecution.  Since it seems to be a common concern, I thought this issue deserved another post.

Firstly, there was concern that I am feeling hopeless in the face of this persecution or afraid in some way.  Don’t worry readers, this is not the case.  God tells us over and over to “be not afraid.”  Matthew 16:18 says, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”  I know that no matter what we go through, the Church will endure.  And we can be assured that no matter how hard the devil fights, God will always win.

Another reader made an interesting point that made me think about an underlying problem in the world.  This reader reminded me that Christians are not alone in being persecuted.  This is absolutely true.  I realize that the discrimination Catholics experience in America is nothing compared to the lack of religious freedom in other countries.  I don’t mean to belittle the atrocity of persecutions that are happening in places like Nigeria. Our world is becoming more secularized and distancing itself from all religion.  I have to wonder if this means we are getting farther from the basic tenet which makes up most mainstream religions: loving our neighbors.  An attack on religion in general is equally as disturbing as the persecution of a certain belief.  We are abandoning basic values and embracing relativism.

As for the persecution of Catholics – I was referring to the United States specifically.  Historically, there has always been anti-catholic sentiment in this country and at times that sentiment is stronger.  For example, the New York Times had no problem posting the ad I referenced in another post, but hesitates to offend muslims with similar cartoons.  The healthcare reform, which would violate our religious freedom, may be ushering in a new era for our nation, which was originally built on Christian values.

All of this is a warning to not become complacent.  Christianity holds counter cultural beliefs – as society rejects those beliefs more and more strongly, we will come under attack.  Yes, there has always been religious persecution, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get worse, especially for those us who haven’t ever experienced overt persecution.  Regardless of this, we have always been and are now, taking part in a spiritual battle of good and evil.  Charles Baudelaire said, ‘The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.’  Please don’t forget the daily battle that we are all waged in, so that when it comes out of the shadows you will be fit and ready for war.

What do you think?