GeE 92-93: Self-Inflicted Persecution Doesn’t Count

See the source imagePope Francis reminds his readers that the Bible describes many moments congruent to the Lord’s Passion:

92. Whatever weariness and pain we may experience in living the commandment of love and following the way of justice, the cross remains the source of our growth and sanctification. We must never forget that when the New Testament tells us that we will have to endure suffering for the Gospel’s sake, it speaks precisely of persecution (cf. Acts 5:41; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 1:24; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 2:20, 4:14-16; Revelation 2:10).

Persecution itself does not define the faithful disciple. Remember that all those faithful to Christ will experience some kind of resistance. But not all those persecuted are pained because of their faith. Vain, negative, and bitter people will also be shunned, avoided, and sidelined in human interaction. Not necessarily a sign of holiness:

93. Here we are speaking about inevitable persecution, not the kind of persecution we might bring upon ourselves by our mistreatment of others. The saints are not odd and aloof, unbearable because of their vanity, negativity and bitterness. The Apostles of Christ were not like that. The Book of Acts states repeatedly that they enjoyed favor “with all the people” (2:47; cf. 4:21.33; 5:13), even as some authorities harassed and persecuted them (cf. 4:1-3, 5:17-18).

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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