to be Hated for Christ
"They will put
some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of My Name"
(Saint Luke 21.16-17)
can be loved for His Name or Hated for it
Ultimately you must choose
"You will be hated
by all because of My Name"
this still as true today as it was 2000 years ago?
Are we naοve 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
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 His Name.
The social and political climate until recently which is to say, until
the totally unanticipated emergence of 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 had largely
been positive I hasten to add, not in light of the
historical, the authentic Christ but rather, in light of
deity we had created in our own effete and dissolute image and christened
as our postmodern "Redeemer".
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".
"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.
for His Name ...?
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 the
Name 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!
"active Catholics", where possible, makes 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 dwindling congregation.
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
"suffer for the Name",
still less die for it ... or because of it!
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 faithful they bring to them a Christ with no Cross,
a promise with no price, a 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, wishe 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!
The "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
commissioning women "Ecclesial Ministers"
(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" ...)
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 "religion" today. In fact, CNN, the doggedly secular news outlet,
tells us in the article, "Fast-growing
Islam winning converts in Western world"
that ,"In 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 West!
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 it." 4
The teachings 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 "the fields white to harvest"
5, 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.
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. 3
Don't take my word for it. Take Christ's.
do you stand on the matter, and more importantly, beside whom
"the world" ... or Christ? Take a good inventory of your own situation
vis-ΰ-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.
in our assurances that it will not cost us our blood 6,
we in the West know nothing yet of the cost of being
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.
"So 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.
3 Saint Matthew
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
Joseph Mary del Campos
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