Today there is also persecution


Persecution has not always taken the same form. During the first centuries they tried to destroy the faith of the Christians with physical violence. On other occasions, without this disappearing, Christians have been - are - oppressed in their most elementary rights, or they have tried to disorient the simple people with campaigns aimed at undermining their faith. Even in lands of great Christian tradition, all kinds of obstacles and difficulties are placed in the way of educating one's own children in a Christian way, or Christians are deprived, simply because they are Christians, of the rightful professional opportunities.

It is not infrequent that, in so-called free societies, the Christian has to live in a clearly adverse environment. There can be underhand persecution, with irony that seeks to ridicule Christian values or with environmental pressure that seeks to intimidate the weakest: it is a matter of harsh, non-bloody persecution, which not infrequently makes use of slander and slander. "In other times," says St. Augustine, "Christians were incited to deny Christ; now they are taught to deny Christ. Then it was impelled, now it is taught; then violence was used, now insidiousness; then the enemy was heard roaring; now, presenting himself with insinuating gentleness and hovering, he is hardly warned. It is a known thing in what way Christians were forced to deny Christ: they tried to attract them to themselves so that they would renounce;

They sought to draw them to themselves so that they would deny; but they, confessing Christ, were crowned. Now they are taught to deny Christ and, deceiving them, they do not want them to seem to be separated from Christ ". It seems that the saint was speaking of our days.

The Lord also wanted to warn his own so that they would not be disconcerted by the contradiction that comes not from the pagans, but from their own brothers in the faith, who with this unjust action, ordinarily moved by envy, jealousy and lack of right intention, think that they are doing God a service12. All contradictions, but especially these, must be borne with the Lord in the Tabernacle; there the apostolate that we are carrying out at that time acquires special fruitfulness.

These circumstances express a special call of the Lord to be united to Him through prayer. These are moments in which fortitude and patience must be shown, never repaying evil for evil. Indeed, our interior life needs even contradictions and obstacles in order to be strong and consistent. From these trials, the soul, with the Lord's help, emerges more humble and purified. We will taste in a special way the joy of the Lord and we will be able to say like St. Paul: I am filled with consolation, I rejoice in all our tribulations

Lord, grant us the grace to imitate your martyr St. Stephen, who prayed for the executioners who tormented him, so that we may learn to love our enemies.

Hablar con Dios