FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE LOOMING PERSECUTION
November 6, 2016
2 Maccabees 7:1-14
2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
In the time of the Maccabees, the authorities used savage torture to get Israelites to renounce their faith. “It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king to force them to eat port in violation of God’s law.” (2 Mc 7:1). They were tortured horribly and killed, but they never faltered in standing for their faith.
In the early years of Christianity and the Roman Empire, authorities imprisoned Christians, fed them to the lions, burned them alive. Today such horrible persecution of Christians is still happening in various places in the world, such as in Iraq and Syria at the hands of ISIS. This is always the way of totalitarian governments towards people of faith, especially the authentic true Church.
But it is not just in trouble spots like the Middle East and Africa, but it is right in the First World, in very developed and modern countries that have embraced the culture of death (contraception, abortion, divorce, same-sex unions, euthanasia). Such as Europe, Canada, the USA. Today the Obama government and the Party of Death (Democrats) and their Presidential candidate Hillary are suppressing and oppressing religion and faith. Expect more radical moves than just hate speech laws if Hillary is elected. And if such moves are still not able to suppress the Church, expect outright and severe persecution. Ridiculous? Those who do not learn from the lessons of history are bound to repeat the same mistakes.
Things can only change if people turn to Christ. So we need to do a massive and persistent work of evangelization. This is crunch time, CFC-FFL. “Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith.” (2 Thes 3:1-2). Unfortunately many Catholics embrace the culture of death. Tragically, even bishops, priests, nuns and lay leaders do so too. There are even some among us, CFC-FFL. Shame!
The times are critical. The assaults on faith, family and life are escalating. Things will be much worse, not only for the USA but also for the whole world, if Hillary wins as US President. We need to stand for our faith now. We need to do our work now. And even as we seem almost helpless against the diabolical onslaught, we trust in God. “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” (2 Thes 3:3).
CFC-FFL, are you living out our authentic vision and mission? With all the formation given, do you see good and evil clearly? I hope I may be able to say to you: “We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do.” (2 Thes 3:4).
Do you see what this is all about? It is about the love of the merciful God that made the Father send His very own Son to suffer and die for us, to win for us our salvation. It is about the need to proclaim that love and good news of salvation to the ends of the earth. That is hard work, and endurance and perseverance are sorely needed. “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.” (2 Thes 3:5). Jesus endured the cross for us; we in turn endure the hardships and suffering that come with proclaiming the gospel.
In all this, we always look to God, who saved us and who sends us. He it is who empowers us and defends us in battle. “Show your wonderful mercy, you who deliver with your right arm those who seek refuge from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who despoil me.” (Ps 17:7-9a). Make no mistake about it: Hillary and the Obama government (she is the continuation, but worse) will suppress and oppress people of faith. Persecution will grow greatly. They are the wicked who despoil the faith, especially the Catholic Church. They serve the evil one who is a roaring lion looking for prey to devour. “My ravenous enemies press upon me; they close their hearts, …. Their steps even now encircle me; …. like lions eager for prey” (Ps 17:9b-12).
Only God can help us. Only God can deliver us. “Rise, O Lord, confront and cast them down; rescue my soul from the wicked.” (Ps 17:13). But God works through human instruments. Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim the good news to all of creation and to make disciples of all the nations. So we need to enter into the fight. Arise, holy warriors! We look to God and the angels led by St Michael the Archangel. “Slay them with your sword; with your hand, Lord, slay them” (Ps 17:14a).
This fight is all about winning souls for the Kingdom. Our human enemies do not even care about the afterlife. Perhaps they are like “some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection” (Lk 20:27a). In the USA, like the Democratic VP candidate, some Catholics claim to be devout, go to Holy Communion (what a desecration!), but are all for abortion and same-sex relationships. They live for the here and now, not fearing the loss of their souls into eternal fire. But Jesus affirmed that there is life after death. “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush” (Lk 20:37a).
For holy warriors, standing up for truth and justice, defending the faith and the Catholic Church, being faithful instruments of God, suffering oppression and persecution, offering their very lives, they will rise again, and live in heaven as the true children of God. “They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.” (Lk 20:36).
Holy warriors, kneel before the King of kings and Lord of lords. Resolve to do God’s will–speak and proclaim Christ, and evangelize with a passion. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.” (2 Thes 2:16-17). Amen!
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I may be accused of meddling in US politics. Or you might erroneously cite separation of Church and state. But it is my duty to write like this for two basic reasons (there are more): (1) What happens to America, the only superpower in the world, whose government under Obama has made it its primary policy to impose the culture of death (including LGBT) upon other countries, affects the whole world. So all of us have a very personal stake in the outcome of the US election. (2) This is not about politics, but about morality, our Catholic Church, and CFC-FFL. What do we really stand for?
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