"Many are my persecutors and
my adversaries, yet I do not swerve from your decrees." (Ps
The worst persecutors are not those
outside the Church but those who are within the Church; not those
outside the family but those within the family. Not those who are
not known as such but those who are not seen.
Just as persecutors harass and
spread all over to do their vile deeds, the devil sends his human
cohorts to persecute all souls externally and internally.
"All who want to live a godly
life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Tim 3:12)
"All." The Apostle made no exceptions. If Christ was
persecuted, why should we be exempted?
Interior persecution is this:
avarice persecutes us internally; the same with ambition, lust,
pride and the pleasures of the flesh. "Flee from
persecution." (1 Cor 6:18) Fornication persecutes: flee from
the bad spirit of lust, the bad spirit of avarice, the bad spirit of
The interior persecutors are those
who, without the sword, destroy the spirit of man with flattery.
These are our worst enemies, the most dangerous of tyrants. They
defeated the angels and Adam. Not a few who were victorious over
external persecutions succumbed to internal persecutions. Those who
seek God are surrounded with ". . .disputes without and fears
within." (2 Cor 7:5)
This battle is tough because it is
Since there are many persecutions,
there are many martyrs. Your are a martyr for Christ if, while
suffering the temptation of lust, you choose not to profane your
body and soul for fear of future judgment. Your are a martyr for
Christ if, tempted to be avaricious, you choose rather the riches of
heaven. Christ loves to be close to such witnesses.
You are a martyr for Christ if,
tempted to be proud, you choose to be humble. Furthermore, you can
witness not only in word but also in deed, ideally, in both. For he
who confesses that Jesus is Lord keeps His commandments. The one who
listens but does not obey denies Christ. More often, we deny by our
deeds what we confess with our words. But he who confesses through
his works, definitely confesses Christ in his words.
How many Christian souls suffer
such martyrdom everyday . . . internally, hidden . . . confessing
Christ with their deeds in battle, with their own conscience and God
as the only audience. "This is our boast: the testimony of our
conscience." (2 Cor 1:12)
The devil seeks all those who seek
God. And prepares to set traps and tricks of temptations. There he
plots his deceit that the Christian soul may reject Christ. But
where the devil fights, there too is Christ . Where the devil
besieges, there Christ defends. Both the persecutions and
temptations come from he devil.
He who retreats in the face of the
arrival of the persecutor, also expels his Defender. "Many are
my persecutors . . ." but do not fear because "If God is
for us, who is against us?" (Rom 8:31)