"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, then come and follow me!" Mt. 19:21

"Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, then come and follow me!" Mt. 19:21

Friday, October 28, 2011

Future Persecution of the Church?

Last August my eight classmates and I went on retreat for five days in preparation for solemn vows.   The retreat master, a Dominican priest, posed the question of whether or not we would be willing to go to jail for the sake of the Gospel. This was a serious question.  Others are also asking the same.

Russell Shaw has just written a piece entitled: "Are we seeing the beginning of religious persecution in America?"  He points out how the government is backing certain ideas and supporting legal cases that could make it difficult for the Church to operate as she currently does.

As Catholics, and religious in particular (and for those of you considering a vocation to the Order of Preachers), this should make us pause and consider our motivations in following Christ and how far we will go in order to do this.  If the government were to legally declare the Catholic Church as discriminatory because of non-ordination of women to the priesthood or any number of other issues...what might happen?

As we preach to people in our parishes, campus ministries, hospitals, Providence College, etc., we have to wonder where they will stand.  Will they hear the Church's teachings and listen to the Lord speaking through the mouth of the preacher?  Will they stand up for the freedom of religion and for the right to believe in Truth?  How will we help them to hear the truth of the Gospel?

This issue may be intensifying (as both Archbishop Dolan's words and the verdict of the Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC case seem to indicate).  Are we ready?

"Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!"  (1 Cor. 9:16)