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Faith in the face of persecution

 Psalm 3:

A psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.
How many are my foes, LORD!
How many rise against me!
How many say of me,
“There is no salvation for him in God."
But you, LORD, are a shield around me;
my glory, you keep my head high.
With my own voice I will call out to the LORD,
and he will answer me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and I fall asleep,
[and] I will wake up, for the LORD sustains me.
I do not fear, then, thousands of people
arrayed against me on every side.
Arise, LORD! Save me, my God!
For you strike the cheekbone of all my foes;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation is from the LORD!
May your blessing be upon your people!

Pope Benedict reflects on this powerful prayer in today's Wednesday audience:

Psalm 3 presents us "a supplication replete with faith and consolation. By praying this Psalm we share the sentiments of the Psalmist: a just but persecuted figure which would later be fulfilled in Jesus. In pain, danger and the bitterness of misunderstanding and offence, the words of this Psalm open our hearts to the comforting certainty of faith. God is always close, even in times of difficulty, problems and darkness. He listens, responds and saves.
  "However", the Pope added, "it is important to be able to recognise His presence and to accept His ways: like David during his humiliating flight from his son Absalom, like the persecuted righteous of the Book of Wisdom and, finally and fully, like the Lord Jesus on Golgotha. In the eyes of the unrighteous it appeared that God did not intervene and that His Son died, but for believers it was at that precise moment that true glory was manifested and definitive salvation achieved".
A quick look at today's news reveals the hostility Christians face in today's culture. The current health care reform efforts seek to marginalize faithfully Catholic health care. Any mention of God is being shut out of the public square, public schools, and the workplace. Relativism denies an objective truth and labels any such assertion evidence of bigotry. Yet, as we learned Sunday, we cannot stand by silently as our culture descends into sin. We must speak out for virtue--even when it aligns tens of thousands against us. For no earthly numbers can overcome God. We must test our faith and trust this to be true.

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