“We ask Jesus, the victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence – and there are many.” – Pope Francis, Easter
How can a Christian not be filled with hope at Easter? Christ has died for me and won victory over death!
Still, I find myself praying so hard today, reading of the suffering of Christians in many parts of the world. Faith in the saving mercy of Jesus can cause a believer to be shot, beheaded, even crucified.
In our relatively civilized American culture, we talk of carrying our cross and it often involves subtle discrimination, financial sacrifice or social rejection. But in the Middle East and Africa, the cross can mean the same brutal instrument that Jesus endured.
I’m praying for those Christians who are being called to the ultimate test of their faith. May they stand strong and in peace.
And I’m praying for those savage souls who are testing them. They believe God is cruel, vengeful, filled with hate. May they come to know the God of mercy, who wants not severed heads but loving hearts.
I am encouraging Catholics to pray the rosary for the conversion of the Moslem people to the Catholic faith and for the protection of Christians and others targeted by the terrorists imploring Our Lady of Fatima’s prayers.