Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.
“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Lk 12:8-12
Jesus instructs His disciples to be courageous and not fear in the face of persecution. Who will help us in the face of fear? The Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit in us received at Baptism. The same Spirit who enters the Apostles at Pentecost is the same Spirit that entered the saints at their Baptism. We receive the same Spirit and when called to face persecution, we must be ready by trusting God with confidence. Recently in the U.S., we had our religious freedom stripped from us through health care policies that were forced upon businesses. This law forced Americans to go against their conscience. Archbishops, bishops, religious, and lawyers in the U.S. fought all the way to the Supreme Court to fight this injustice and it was overturned. We thank the Holy Spirit for guiding these men and women when religious freedom was taken away.
We must continue the fight for the unborn, the greatest crisis and intrinsically evil act in our country that does not protect the most innocent among us. Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world for the second year in a row according to the latest reports.
This a September 2022 article from Catholic News Agency, “In 2021 alone, 4,650 Christians were killed in Nigeria, according to the Christian nongovernmental organization Open Doors. In addition to Fulani herdsmen, the terrorist groups Boko Haram and ISWAP are believed to have been responsible for attacks on both Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.”
According to this article at Christianity.com. more Christians have been martyred from 1901-2000 than all other centuries combined.
This Is The Age of Martyrs
“In a recent article, Justin D. Long emphasized the startling fact that more people have died for their faith in the Twentieth Century than in all of the previous centuries combined. “During this century, we have documented cases in excess of 26 million martyrs. From AD 33 to 1900, we have documented 14 million martyrs.”
He did add, however, that thankfully martyrdom has been on the decline for the past decade. “The current rate is 159,000 martyrs per year — down from 330,000 per year at the height of the cold war. With the demise of the Soviet Union and its sponsored communism, religious freedoms have opened up. Although there are still numerous restrictions and some persecution, martyrdom — in the form of executions and assassinations — has been significantly curtailed.””
We may not be able to stop persecution throughout the world, but we can pray or get involved by writing to those who are persecuted to show our support and solidarity with them. We can stand up in our own homes and be missionaries by being caught reading our Bibles, saying our rosaries, asking to go to daily Mass, and reading spiritual books asking our family members to join us. In our own Catholic schools, we can stop being bystanders to bullying and sit with those who are sitting alone. We can pray in public restaurants without being embarrassed. Jesus warns us, “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.” Jesus promises persecution if you follow Him, if you find yourself in a situation, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and tell you what to say.
Today’s challenge: Find a way to show support for persecuted Christians through letter writing and prayer from a reputable Christian organization. Be strong in your faith and ready to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in situations where you lack courage. Pray for our leaders and all leaders to bring peace to our world.
Be a servant, become a saint!