Thursday, May 2, 2013

Persecution Complex? plus weekly Q&A

Don't forget it's the feast of Sts. Phillip and James (the son of Alphaeus not Zebedee)  on Friday. Common of Apostles with Easter options plus the stuff specific to Phillip&James in the proper of saints.

Reading psalm 18 this morning (Office of Readings), with it's talk of powerful enemies, misfortune, entrapment, and eventual rescue by the Lord had me thinking again about how to pray these "persecution" psalms. I'm not aware (happily) of any flesh and blood enemies who are out to hurt me. So I'm most likely to think about the evils suffered by persecuted Christians around the world, or else I think about Satan, who is the enemy of each of us individually and the Church as a whole.

The last week or so there's been a number of items in the news that makes me wonder if the idea of "persecution" is about to become less abstract, less generalized, less something-that-occurs-far-away. Marriage was just re-defined away from its nature (as the foundation of the family) in the state of Rhode Island. This is the state with the largest percentage of Catholics in the nation. It is inevitable that lawsuits will eventually  be mounted  against Catholic pastors, teachers, and others who continue to speak, think, and act in accordance with Catholic morals. Another news item states that the Pentagon is making it a court-martial offense for Christians in the military to speak about their faith to others.

Not to be an alarmist, but it seems like a real possibility that we may soon be praying Psalm 18 in a more personal way than before. Not firing squads or prison (one hopes), but fines, job loss, law suits and public ridicule. Which, should it happen, will be a grace--there's a beatitude for this, right?

Welcome new followers Richard M. and Bob.

It's Q&A time. Any questions about the Liturgy of the Hours, from simple to complex, are welcome here.