Persecution comes in many shapes and forms. It can be as benign as a government order banning outward displays of religious faith in the public forum for the sake of offending those coming from other religions, or as blatant as a law that restricts religious celebrations outright in a discriminatory manner. You can be sure that you will experience the first sort; you should pray hard that you may avoid the second! There are certain countries around the world where the second form is very strong and precisely because of this I would not consider living in those countries! If I am not going to be able to express and celebrate my faith because there is a law that forbids it, then I am not willing to offer my services to that country!

Each of us must decide what sort of a position we are going to take on these matters remembering that whatever we decide we cannot forsake or compromise our faith for the sake of the things of this world. We are all going to face temptation of one sort or another in life but the wise person will seek to keep such experiences to a minimum.

Perhaps the greatest danger we face in our faith is that form of persecution that develops from within that we call apathy or indifference. We must be on guard against this in our lives or it can be like weeds in a paddock – if they are not dealt with they will eventually choke the entire crop! Indifference, lack of zeal for our faith, is a terribly insidious reality as it will eat away at the edges of our religious life until we discover that even our core religious beliefs, the Sacramental life, morality etc, are under attack! The best way to preserve ourselves from this is to ensure that we keep the little things of faith, daily prayer, serving others etc in a prominent place in our lives. That is, if we are committed to the simple things that we can all do, we will find that sin and the devil will have a difficult time getting to our core beliefs.

Am I faithful to the daily aspects of my faith or do I tend to let them slide if things get busy?

Jesus, grant me the grace to never underestimate the power of faithfulness in the small things of life and thus discover that I have a solid foundation on which to build my dreams.