Years ago, well into the Obamination Administration, I was speaking to a friend of some three or four decades over in Rome about what I was guessing was going to be a violent persecution of the Church in these United States. He immediately responded, almost cutting me off, to say:
- “Thank God for that persecution. It means that Jesus still loves us. God loves us. Thank God.”
Indeed. A persecution is allowed by the permissive will of God to let His Living Truth shine out from us, witnessing to the honesty and the integrity provided by God’s love amidst all the weakness and darkness and effects of original sin, amidst all the horror of suffering the unjust aggression of others in this sorry world.
Giving witness in good times? As Jesus asks:
- “What credit is that to you?”
But giving witness in a full-on persecution? Yep. That takes the Holy Spirit’s Gift of Fortitude. And that’s when the witness is much more likely to be received by the persecutor. Remember the Roman soldier who rammed his sword into the side, into the Heart of Jesus? Jesus gave witness to our Heavenly Father to the last, and then the Roman soldier said:
- “Truly this was the Son of God.”
Thank God for persecution. It may very well mean a new beginning when it is over, a new multitude of believers who are in humble thanksgiving before Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace; it may very well mean that more souls get to heaven, having their souls grabbed by Jesus upon the occasion of the great witness having been provided by the martyrs, always all in His grace, the fiery love of the Holy Spirit.
Be strong in being the littlest of the children of God, no matter what.
Saint George is depicted as slaying the dragon (the Roman Empire possessed by Satan). But Saint George was killed off by the Roman Empire. That’s the point: Saint George persevered with a love and truth stronger than death, stronger than the Roman Empire, stronger than Satan. Saint George conquered, slaying the dragon in his being slain, all the while giving witness to that love and truth of God. And off to heaven he goes, the victor, bringing many souls with himself.
Do you want to know how to have a Constitutional Republic with the Rule of Law? This comes about by being the littlest of the children of God, because it’s that which makes one stalwart in the unalienable rights given… wait for it… stalwart in the unalienable rights given by God Himself. Yes.
It is a great grace to give witness to Jesus in His grace in the horrific circumstances. Let’s do so with enthusiasm.
Jesus is the One, the only One, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen (and Amen!).