Sunday, 30 August 2015
February 24, 303, Revisited I
I hope you all do not mind me reposting a series I wrote in February of 2013 on my old blog. I have a new blog now, but I have been drawn to some older postings as timely for us today.
The series discusses the persecution under Diocletian, an emperor who was restoring the old conservative religion of the pagan Romans for various political and possible, religious reasons.
Great Britain is a nation which witnessed one of the most cruel and violent persecutions against Catholics in more civilized times. This series may help some who read it come to the realization that what is "orthodoxy" regarding institutionalized religion to a majority of people in a culture may be the very ideology which causes Catholics to be severely persecuted.
We see the institutionalizing in many Western countries of secularism as a religion. What happens when there is a clash between those who live within the boundaries of a nation which sees Catholicism as a threat to national identity?
I am going to highlight in the next few days what it means to be a remnant in a totally pagan and hostile world. In the 1970s, my spiritual leaders taught me that there was nothing neutral in the world-only that which was chosen and created for good, for Christ, and that which was chosen and created only for evil.
Finally, more people are beginning to see this. I repeat, there is NO neutral territory.
This series will be called "February 24, 303."
This was the day which witnessed the largest and worst persecution of Catholics in Rome, called after Diocletian asked the Oracle of Apollo approval for such an empire-wide ruling against the Church. The Diocletianic Persecution was not the first in Rome. In fact, it was the last. From 303 until 313, in some part of the empire, Catholics were systematically rounded up and killed.
What I want to do is to help readers understand what these ten years meant for those Catholics who had to endure such an organized slaughter. I want to explore both how Catholics maintained their lives, and even helped to spread the Gospel under duress, how they passed the Faith on to their children, and how some survived without compromise. These posts may help us all be prepared both spiritually and mentally for things to come.
Compromise results in eternal death.
Such persecution will be the fate of some reading this post today.
to be continued.............