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Catholicism and The Way of The Cross

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When Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5: 10-12) he must have foreseen a wide range of persecutions and countless instances of hostility toward the righteous and his own followers.

Recently, EWTN News reported that "Social Hostilities Toward Religion Reached a Six-Year High in 2012" (ewtnnews.com). This report includes statistics on countries across the Middle East, Far East and Africa that participate in some type of hostility involving religion. These are extreme cases where hostilities include actions such as "terrorist violence, mob violence, attacks on places of worship, shooting innocent victims, harassment, and sectarian violence. One of the most common, and perhaps most tolerated forms of hostility is "government interference" with religious practices.

Government interference, according to EWTN News, includes such practices as placing limitations or restrictions on public preaching. This type of government interference may be outright oppressive in its restrictions or it may be much more subtle in its attempts to curtail religious practices. One example of subtle government interference seems to be playing itself out in our own U.S. of A. Though the U.S. did not appear in the statistical counts published by Pew Research Center, it can be argued that where government interference in religion seemed minimal in the past century of U.S. history, there is a significant increase in government intrusion since the Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act) was imposed on the American people, even if facets of this medical coverage directly interferes with religious beliefs. The question of marriage has also come under close scrutiny by the government with regard to many religious beliefs. The battle lines are not always bloody.

Are supporters of the Obama administration's views toward religion insulting, persecuting, or making evil statements against the righteous? If so, it is certainly a validation of Christ being the way, the TRUTH, and the life. To follow him is to follow his path to the cross, to persecution, to giving one's life for righteousness. If Catholics are not being persecuted, then they are not following Christ's teachings. Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount are a self-fulfilling truth.

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