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In a large city a Protestant came one day to a Catholic priest and asked to be admitted into the Catholic Church. The priest wanted to know the reason for his conversion, and the Protestant replied: “For many years I have been reading the Bible, especially the New Testament. What strikes me most is that Jesus Christ predicted many sufferings and persecutions to His apostles and disciples. Well, I said to myself, this is the mark by which you will infallibly recognize the true Church. Now I have found that neither we, the followers of Luther, nor the Reformed, nor the other heretics or schismatics, are persecuted for their faith. It is only the Catholic religious, the Pope, the bishops, in a word, the Catholic Church, who are the object of incessant attacks and of all kinds of calumnies. Sometimes in one country, sometimes in another, they are expelled, and every possible means is used to prevent the practice of Catholic worship. In many countries, the building of new Catholic churches is prevented; the missions are prevented; ‘separation from Rome’ is the watchword in every respect, and by systematic and unremitting work, Catholics are pushed into apostasy. When I think about it, I see with evidence that the Catholic religion is the true religion founded by Jesus Christ.” The priest saw at once that this man had a sincere faith, and after a preliminary instruction, he received him into the bosom of the Church.
Jesus Christ often foretold to His disciples that they would be persecuted, for example, when He said to them, “The servant is not greater than the master; if they have persecuted Me they will also persecute you.” – A Church that lives in peace is therefore not the Church of Christ.
The early Christians were exposed to the most infamous slanders from the pagans. They claimed that Christians killed a child in their meetings and ate its flesh; they accused them of indulging in debauchery in their nightly meetings in the catacombs; finally, they were cited in court as atheists and as not believing in the gods, because they did not frequent the pagan temples, etc.
Even today the father of lies is fighting the Catholic Church with the same kind of slander. The Church is treated much like Christ before Pilate.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.