to be Hated for Christ
“They will put
some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of My Name”
You can be loved for His Name – or Hated
Ultimately you must choose
“You will be hated by all
because of My Name”
this still as true today as it was 2000 years
Are we naïve in taking Christ at
His word — as so many of today's
“progressive” Catholics (clergy and laity alike) appear to suggest?
In our militantly secular society, are these words as prophetic to us
as they were during the great periods of persecution that the nascent
Church suffered under Diocletian? In a word, what is the cost to
a Catholic ... of being a Catholic?
How likely is it that we,
“will be hated by all because of His Name”?
Until very recently, it had not been our experience to be the
object of malice because of Christ ... for Christ’s sake, for
The social and political climate until recently — which is to say, until
the totally unanticipated emergence of
Intolerant Militant Secular Humanism
Intolerant Militant Homosexuality
Intolerant Militant Feminism
the apalling Decadence within the Church, —
and Islam as a violent repudiation of the stultifying
decadence of the West — and our rather casual association
with Christ and His Church — engendered nothing more than an occasional
distaste for Catholics as so many disagreeable puddings at a polite
table. In fact, our experiences as Catholics, until recently,
had largely been positive — I hasten to add, not in
light of the historical, the authentic Christ — but
rather, in light of that
deity we had created in our own effete and dissolute image and christened
as our postmodern “Redeemer”.
You are quite familiar with the post-Conciliar Church and the
stunted image of Jesus Christ that emerged from it. He is eminently
non-judgmental, terribly sensitive to all our perversity, and totally
understanding — that is to say, possessed of that consummate understanding
that ultimately abolishes or at least reconciles all contradictions
— readily expunging any distinction between good and evil, sanctity
and sin. Indeed, He understands us almost as well as our psychoanalysts
and social workers before whom our conduct is not interpretable in terms
of right and wrong, good and evil ... or even sane and insane. “All-understanding”,
in this context, we must realize, has nothing to do with “understanding”
at all — at least in any epistemological sense. It is much closer to,
if not really synonymous with, “all-accepting”.
Jesus — “our Jesus” (as distinct from the historical
Jesus) — is all-allowing, unconditionally forgiving, preeminently
emotive, and totally avuncular — and who could possibly be hated for
the sake of so innocuous a being? Emerging from the social milieu of
the 60's, He was effectively construed as a Flower-Child in that epiphanous
Age of Aquarius from which the Conciliar Fathers had derived such impetus
... and that has fallen into well deserved disrepute in the ensuing
years. As the historical Jesus was unrecognizable on the Cross
2000 years ago, He remains, apparently, unrecognizable today.
the past 50 years or so, we have, in a sense, made Him up as we have
gone along, embellishing this and trimming that until we no longer remember
the Original — the “stuff” from which we began endlessly re-fabricating
Him closer to our hearts (and often our loins) desires.
His Name ...?
Let us be frank. Today, at best, we are politely tolerated
in spite of the Name of Christ — if ever we are convicted
of it, if ever
is somehow inadvertently predicated of us — although if
there is a living to be made off it, we can earn theological degrees
by “correctly” articulating the endlessly unfolding metamorphosis of
Jesus as the whims of our culture demand — even take jobs in Catholic
schools and social agencies; become His “Lay Ministers of this, that,
and the other” –
even get paid for it,
often rather handsomely!
Too many “active Catholics”, where possible, make a living off
the Name — certainly not his dying on its account.
Like those who basked in His glory upon His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem,
they strum their guitars and clash their cymbals, robustly singing His
praise and proclaiming His Name when it wins them the adulation of a
But on that lonely Way to the hill of all our Crosses, littered with
insult, abuse, shame and phlegm — where its costs to be His disciples
— we flee, lest we
for the Name”,
still less die for it ... or because of it!
The priest in the aisle (in the repetitive and tiresome style of the
television show host), or on the rare occasion, the bishop at the pulpit,
understand this well.
Fearing that the authentic challenge of Christ, the inescapable contradiction
of Christ to the world and all that is around them, will alienate the
bring to them a Christ with no Cross
A promise with no price
victory with no battle
The certainty of salvation without the scandal of any sin — lest
under the prospect of that fearful shadow of the Cross, the faithful
bolt, leaving the hireling with no flock.
How many Catholics, after all, wish to learn the most fundamental fact
that they must suffer for Christ ... as Christ suffered for them?
The days of the Martyrs, they would have us believe, had, after
all, ended long ago, no?
The problem with this routine encounter, however, is that it is
not what Christ promised His followers. And His track record
in the way of things prophetic, such as the destruction of the Temple
in 70 AD by the Romans, for which He was scorned even on the Cross —
has been pretty good; in fact, unerring!
“Flock” have largely been left to fend for themselves since the shepherds
have been away on more “pressing” errands at the endless “committees”
that proliferate like bacteria around the country, indeed, around the
world. So many “commissions”
to attend! For
peace and justice,
photo-ops, and lately even
(the latest novelty concocted by the bishops, as you count them
— and in case you never heard of them — there are about 30,000 — they
are “co-workers with the bishop” since he is off ... well, commissioning
others to do his work. It is an odd kind of work, this “working”
to get others to do “your work” ...)
The Wolf at the Gate: a
Crescent-shaped Scimitar Rising in the East
The Flock is largely untended
and have grown quite disorderly, and without direction have wandered
into dangerous paths. Many have been lost altogether. But more worrisome
still is the untended Gate. The hireling, as we have said, has fled
— to hire more hirelings, who really care nothing for the sheep. The
wolf knows this. In fact he is already at the Gate. What is more, he
is ready and willing to exact a real cost for
“the Name of Jesus”
— which you must disavow or lose your head — quite literally.
Do you doubt the scarlet zeal of Islam? You had better pull your head
out of the sand before losing it! 2
Islam is the fastest growing
today. In fact, CNN, the doggedly secular news outlet, tells us in the
Islam is winning converts in Western world”
the United States, for example, nearly 80 percent of the more than 1,200
mosques have been built in the past 12 years.”
— and the converts come from
The Gate has been let
open. Unguarded and unguided, the sheep are lured or stray to other
pastures (or deserts ...) because
“they no longer
hear the voice of the shepherd”
— your bishop — and subsequently
“no longer recognize
of the Church, of Christ — the authentic teachings of the
authentic Christ — are no longer transmitted, taught, or proclaimed
with any sense of urgency ... or even certainty.
Your children do not know Christ,
still less His Church. When Christ spoke of
fields white to harvest”
He was speaking of your children ... of you! And the harvesters of whom
He speaks should be our bishops and priests ... not a Mullah with
scimitar-as-scythe in his hand, ready to reap what he did not sow —
and for the reed that does not bend, to cut it to the root!
It has become entirely
too comfortable to be a Christian these days. But a change is coming
... it is at the door ... and the cost of being a Catholic, a
Christian — long deferred and spent in dissolution — will be called
to account with a new master at the table where the bishops left the
keys ... and a ledger with long debits.
While you can
... you can be loved for
– or hated for it. Ultimately you must choose. But you cannot choose
the terms. They have already been chosen for you ... by Christ
Himself, Who promised that those who followed Him would be hated
by the world ... not loved by it ... just as He was.
Don't take my word for it. Take Christ’s.
So where do you stand on the matter, and more importantly, beside
whom — “the world” ... or Christ? Take a good inventory of your
own situation vis-à-vis “the world”, and make the assessment yourself.
If “the world” lauds you, takes you to its bosom as one of its own —
if you are loved and not hated for the Name of Christ,
if you are not disdained and marginalized because you belong to Him
and not to the world — you have much to be concerned about, despite
the false assurances of those “of the world” who say that they are “in
Christ” and see nothing of the contradiction.
Smug in our assurances that it will not cost us
our blood 6, we in the West know nothing —
yet — of the cost of being a Catholic.
Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama of the Archdiocese of Jos, Nigeria,
who has ... far fewer
“committees” and less pressing errands ... than our own bishops, knows
better. His flock is little and loses everything for the sake of Christ.
We are many and have much and lose Christ for the sake of anything.
We do not have to go to Africa to know the cost of being Catholic. Relax.
In time — but ineluctably — it will come to us.
they [the Apostles] went on their way from the presence
of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered
worthy to suffer shame for His Name”
From the Koran:
Sura 4.89: “They desire that you should disbelieve
as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all)
alike; therefore take not from among them friends
until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but
if they turn back, then seize them and kill them
wherever you find them, and take not from among
them a friend or a helper.”
Sura 8.12: “When your Lord revealed to the
angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those
who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts
of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their
heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
Sura 9.5: “So when the sacred months have
passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you
find them, and take them captives and besiege them
and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if
they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate,
leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving,
Sura 17.16-17: “When we decide to destroy
a population, we send a definite order to them who
have the good things in life and yet transgress;
so that Allah's word is proved true against them:
then we destroy them utterly. How many generations
have we destroyed after Noah? And enough is thy
Lord to note and see the Sins of his servants.”
Saint Matthew 10.22:
and ye shall be hated of all on account of My Name.”
Saint John 10.5 and 10.27:
“My sheep hear My voice: and I know them, and they follow
Me ... But a stranger they follow not, but fly from
him, because they know not the voice of strangers.”
5 Saint John 4.35
6 Hebrews 12.4
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
Saint John 15.17-25
things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you,
know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world,
the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than
his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you:
if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also.
But all these things they
will do to you for My name' s sake: because they know not Him who
sent me. If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have
sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth
my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other
man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen
and hated both Me and My Father. But that the word may be fulfilled
which is written in their law: They hated Me without cause.”
R/ Gloria Tibi,
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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