The Father William Most Collection
[Published electronically for use in classes taught by Fr. Most and for private theological study.]
In 2 Tim 3:12 we read: "All who want to live devoutly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." In Sirach 2:1 "My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials."
St. Alphonsus and St. John of the Cross were persecuted by the communities they founded.
St. Raymond of Peñafort wrote (Monumenta Ord. Praed. Hist. 6. 2, Rome 1901, pp. 84-85. Roman Breviary of Jan 7): "If the Preacher of Truth said that all who want to live devoutly in Christ will suffer persecution, no one, I think, is an exception from this general rule.... Far be it from you to be counted in the number of those whose houses are peaceful and quiet and secure, and the rod of the Lord is not upon them. But your purity and piety deserves and calls for this [namely] that, because you are acceptable and pleasing to God, your purity should be purged to fullest sincerity with frequent beatings. But if the sword at times is doubled or tripled over you, it is necessary to consider this very thing as all joy and an indication of love.... The sword is doubled and tripled when without cause ecclesiastical persecution comes forth in regard to spiritual things, where the wounds are the graver in that they come from friends."