On the road to Calvary, Jesus fell for us three times. He tells us all the time, I fell for you because I love you! Will we fall away from our sins and our worldly ways and desires for Him? This is a time to choose.
Back in July of last year, as I was attending Mass, at the exact second of the consecration of the wine into His blood, I looked down and in my engagement ring was the reflection of the face of our Lord from this stained glass window. I could not see the diamond at all, just His face looking up at me, telling me in my heart and in person, I fell for you.
A friend had told me yesterday that her mother said that since the US has been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of our Holy Mother Mary, that she believed the US would NEVER fall. I told her in so many words, the consecration in itself to Mary is a gift from God. Just as all gifts from God are given freely, we have the choice to receive them and “Nurture” them, or send them back. Just because EVERY nation on earth has been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not a guarantee of not failing. The Nations then must accept or deny the gift! Do you see the nation “Repenting” from her ways and doing God’s will?
It doesn’t take much to look back on the last 40 years of American history to see the major decline of morals and values in this nation. Not only in her culture but also in her laws that trample over the very simple right to life that is the gift from God.
What is Religious Persecution?
Persecution may be defined in general as the unlawful coercion of another’s liberty or his unlawful punishment, for not every kind of punishment can be regarded as persecution. For our purpose it must be still further limited to the sphere of religion, and in that sense persecution means unlawful coercion or punishment for religion’s sake.
The word “martyr” means “witness.” White martyrdom consists in a total offering to God, dying to self, the world, and its allurements. God calls us as followers of Christ, to be just that! To seek Him in all things. To do His will and to abandon self. We are all called to be Saints.
In the slightest amounts, Religious Persecution can be a spouse or family member, friends, and so on, refusing to speak to you because you attended a church function. Be it Mass, Adoration, attending to the homeless or the sick, rather then staying home with him or her, or going to a sporting event on a given day. Constant criticism of you because of your faith and even in the more extreme cases, a spouse divorcing you, because you refuse to abandon your faith in Christ. Christ tells us to bare these crosses with patience, love and fortitude. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions, through our love for Christ. I often ponder when this is the case with me, “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do”.
Today we can see it prevalent in our our US Government in regards to forcing Catholic Hospitals to perform Abortions, hand out contraceptives and also the government stepping in and telling Christian organisations how and what they can do, such as forcing Catholic orphanages to agree to adopt children to openly gay couples, when the reality is, there are many other outlets for such people to go to who do not share then beliefs as the organization they could obviously patronize.
On the other side of the spectrum, it is being put to death because of your faith. This is called “Red Martyrdom”. The spilling of your blood for the sake of our Lord.
In either case, we all must face making the choice to follow Christ, or to abandon Him and our faith and chose to follow the world. I can not chose the world. I do however, have to live in it. To do so is to have a strong need and want to do His will and abandon mine. To be obedient to Him. This day, He calls to all of us, to use our voices, to speak His words and live as He lives. To BELIEVE in Him, is to accept His way.
I can not abandon my Lord. I love Him. I am in love with Him. He chose me before I was born. Today, I freely choose Him.
“Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”