How to Respond to Persecution
Its story could be taken straight from early Church history. From the beginning, it was resisted; shunned for its belief; envied for its growth; attacked and conspired against for its downfall. It often had to remain silent amidst the most severe untruths leveled against it in order to remain on the path of love and charity; suffering in silence, many slanders and calumnies. Arson, property damage, death threats, and physical assault are among only a few of the spiritual assaults manifested humanly against it. Young of age, yet a lifetime and more of trials, furious resistance, and persecutions against it. Many of you know its history, but the trial by fire that has helped make it what it is, few know.
Caritas, the Latin word for love and charity, is the history we speak about. Since its beginning, there was a realization that rumors and slanders circulate for a lifetime and beyond, and have the potential to do just as much damage 100 years from now as they do in the present. Some of you, who are reading this now, are relatively new to our mission and have not weathered other storms with us. By reading these words, the conversions of your own hearts and the fruit from your own lives give witness to what kind of tree Caritas is.
Matthew 7 is the criteria that Jesus, Himself gave us by which to make honest judgements of people or missions. Jesus Himself was convicted falsely and put to death, not by the judgement of His fruit, but by those who were successful in producing slanders and scandals against Him.
With the escalating persecution which those of you and others as well, who, as “witnesses” for Our Lady, are beginning to experience being hindered, facing obstacles and persecutions for the first time. It is evident we are in the time of persecution, somewhat like the early Christians. With the world becoming more hostile against the Church, we can expect more and greater persecution, coming most often, not from pagans, but from the many Judas’ who are part of the Church.
The word “witness” and “martyr” mean one in the same. Caritas, in and of itself, is just a name. What lies behind Caritas are real people; people who are sinners, just as all men are sinners. However, it is the fruit that has come through this mission that speaks of the people who are behind it in community. Again, it is by “this” criteria that Jesus Himself told men how to discern other men. It is not by issues, charges or accusations, but by what fruit makes the tree – bad fruit, bad tree; good fruit, good tree. The tree will either manifest bad fruit — no grace resulting from a human or a satanic work; or good fruit–God’s grace resulting from the divine. The more “divine,” the more the “vine” produces an abundant harvest of “good.” All the years of Caritas’ history shows that God can take sinners who love Him, love His Mother, and produce an abundant harvest with His anointing. This is traceable from the very earliest origins of Caritas, well before there was ever a community. Its first six years were filled with unexplainable growth and fruit, though a single man started, ran and guided it with little more than a skeleton crew. That could have only happened if it was based on the Divine, in this case the Virgin Mary. She “foundationed” Caritas on Her “messages,” which are based on the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, the Word, which is Jesus, is the foundation of Caritas. The Holy Mother Church, Her laws, Her directives have, from the start, set-up the perimeters from which Caritas operates – in total obedience. We were birthed into being by Mary, the Virgin of Nazareth who now comes as Queen of Peace to the world. It is She who called the man to begin Caritas, and She who later called the community into being. It is She who is the fruit-bearer of this man, and too, the community and mission through these years. This is Mary’s mission. This is Her work. This is Her plan. The Fruit of Her womb, Jesus, is the Seed She and we, in collaboration, have sown in our hearts, and he who has Jesus, has and receives everything necessary for his work and — persecution besides.
To understand how strongly Caritas is foundationed on the Queen of Heaven is to begin to comprehend why there are such attacks against it. The intensity of the attacks does not match the issues. The aggression and hatred underlying the reasons to oppose Caritas, for any other normal situation would never rise up to the level we’ve experienced. They are incited by satan because of his hatred for the Message of which our life is dedicated. Hence, the persecution experienced and the level of anger, jealousy and hatred behind the persecutions has gone well beyond what can be explained because it is driven by satan, who strikes out at Our Lady, through this mission. Yet, the attacks are not so much against a mission as they are against the “determination” to follow and implement Her plan of which satan hates and opposes with all the forces of hell. If Caritas was weak or sidetracked, there would be no satanic attacks. Why would satan waste his time? If the attack is purely human, we ask the same question. Why so severe an effort? Pornography, abortions, etc. are overflowing in society. So there are plenty of causes to fight if one wishes to better society by ridding it of what one may think is wrong. Therefore, in an attack purely human in origin, for one who looks at it objectively, hidden motivations will be found as the incentives of the attack. Once identified as such, it is easy to discern and unveil within one’s heart these agendas that are often based in vengeance, driven by jealousies, etc. Marija, herself, the visionary from Medjugorje, has discerned and stated the attacks on Caritas have been about jealousy. The veiled motivations are exposed through the attack by this human opposition. So whether originating from a satanic incentive and/or a purely human incentive, the action of “attacking” gives evidence that a work is having an affect and/or is convicting.
However, because our work is so closely connected to the Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, we maintain that these attacks cannot be purely human in origin. To set oneself up against a people committed to doing Our Lady’s work is to invite the influences of darkness to enter you. To do so is to become hard and empty. It is against love and against neighbor. Our Lady said on March 18, 1997:
The fruit, resulting from the action of the people of these attacks, is such that they have not “distributed” peace. Contrast that to the fruit of our mission which has. We attribute this to our lives, which many testify have brought them peace, because of Our Lady guiding us to be a praying people here at Caritas. Continuing the same message above, Our Lady explains that the distribution of peace hinges on prayer in the heart. A heart empty of prayer results in no distribution of peace. Therefore, the attacks against Caritas are self-evident as to its origin and/or hidden agendas. Our Lady continues in the March 21, 1988 message:
Distributing peace has been, is, and continues to be our mission even to those who make themselves enemies to us through their emptiness and hatred. So, it is clear that no matter how veiled the desire is to attack this mission and close its doors, it is satanic in origin. The one who prays and receives wisdom can easily identify that “the issues” are simply the “veils” being used to paint the attack as legitimate when in reality they are nothing other than satanic. Our Lady calls us to build up peace. This attack contradicts the building of peace. Our Lady says it best.
Many are in the work of being a “missionary.” We, at Caritas, propagate, preserve, and help implement Mary’s messages into the spiritual and social life of worldwide society. The world and the Holy Church clash, and often one will even see that the clash is within the Church by those members who are in and of the world vs. those who are in but not of the world. The decision and desire for the destruction of a work or a people can start as discontentment, power-seeking ambition, anger, disgruntlement, envy, jealousy, self-pity, being convicted and not wanting to change, etc., but when these roads are traveled without turning back, degree-by-degree, they end up merging on the same avenue — the avenue of “hatred.” The world hates those who cannot be controlled or swayed by the world. It is unavoidable that those of the world will apply more and more pressure to those who are “not” of the world as they follow their call from God. When the worldly fail in their attempts to derail those striving for holiness, greater resentment and hatred are birthed and a greater determination to destroy follows, resulting in even more and greater dissension. Our Lady said on July 31, 1986:
Also, within this volume, Jesus explains why He granted this narrative of His life through the dictation given to Maria Valtorta, at this time in history. Though there were several reasons given, one in particular applies to the point being made above.
Finally: (this work was given) to make you acquainted with the mystery of Judas, that mystery which is the fall of a spirit that God had favored in an extraordinary manner. A mystery that is repeated too often and is the wound that aches in the Heart of your Jesus.
To let you know how people fall, changing from servants and sons of God into demons and deicides, who kill the God in them by killing Grace, so that such knowledge may prevent you from setting foot on the paths from which one falls into the Abyss…
The Rosary has been prayed 365 days a year since 1988 in the Field at Caritas by the Caritas community. Not one day has ever been skipped. It has been prayed through tornado warnings, severe lightning storms, snow and heat, and times that were “sweet.” Never, despite all extremes and joys, never have we stopped the Rosary being prayed in preparation for the apparition time in Medjugorje; consistently – an unbroken chain of prayer, and this is only one of the many, many spiritual works of Caritas which some seek to stop no matter what. To know of the years of fruit from this mission, to acknowledge this place as sacred ground, but to desire its downfall, regardless of the reason, legitimate or illegitimate, is precisely the physical manifestation of Our Lady’s words: that
We not only “live” to comply with this message, but we “burn” to comply with it as it is a gift to have received this commission placed upon us. We are people no better than anyone else, and anyone else can accept to be the same for Our Lady, but we have the confidence from Heaven to do what we have been commanded to do. How few people in the world have such confirmation! Therefore, our only concern is to do our work of getting hearts close to Our Lady and leading them to God, to a way of salvation.
We are not concerned for ourselves. We are concerned for souls, especially for those who deem it necessary to harm our reputation in order to destroy the mission of “Caritas,” the founder, and community. We pray for them. They have sadly made themselves enemies, not to us, but to Our Lady Herself. It is because of Our Lady that we do what we do. We not only accept with seriousness our witness, but we understand it as a commission, being a “witness source” to strengthen Our Lady’s directives in all of the children She guides. Our Lady wants to use you, ask something of you, speak to you, seek from you. She desires, She directs, She calls, She guides, She warns, and She is God’s mercy.
- Our Lady states that God wants to use you in a “…great plan for the salvation of mankind.” January 25, 1987
- She asks you “…to sacrifice your lives for the salvation of the world.” February 25, 1988
- She speaks to you, saying “…each one of you is important in my plan of salvation.” May 25, 1993
- She seeks those who will “…become an instrument in my hands for the salvation of the world.” March 25, 1994
- She desires you to “…collaborate in the work of salvation.” May 25, 1996
- She will be your director in this special time in which good direction is almost non-existent and hard to find. “…God gives me this time as a gift to you, so that I may instruct and lead you on the path of salvation.” August 25, 1997
- She calls. “…I call you all to the way of salvation and I desire to show you the way to Heaven.” November 25, 1998
- She guides to peace, not strife. “..I also ask you to gather your family to pray together for peace and for the salvation of the world.” November 16, 1990
- She warns. “…It is necessary for the world to be saved while there is still time.” November 29, 1981
- She is God’s mercy. “I have come to call the world to conversion for the last time.” May 2, 1982
Our Lady mentions “salvation” well over eighty times in Her messages as of 2017. “Salvation” – what singular thing is more important in one’s life than salvation? We are in this life for one purpose: to see where we will spend eternity. Nothing else is more important in the scope of determining two distinct destinations, only one of which we will go to spend eternity. There is nothing more important to man – not family, cars, jobs, security, wealth – than salvation. It is the supreme choice man makes in this life. That established, – then reason it out in regards to those in the work of salvation. Would it not be among satan’s top goals to send hell’s hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning in the form of slander, accusations, and lawsuits, to those whose work is to bring souls to Heaven, to those whose work is to help people walk toward holiness, toward salvation? Our Lady says God wants to “use” people. We know also that satan wants to use people. Naturally, satan will disguise himself, not wanting those being used by him to grasp and understand that they are being used to stop the work of salvation. Hence, we go back to the fruit of the tree to judge actions. Of those attacking, is the fruit of their actions good or bad? Is it unifying? Or is it filled with strife, causing division? Is it resulting in prayer? Is it bringing peace… or talk and confusion? Judge the fruit of the slanders to identify the tree, any slanders, rumors, and actions being spread through newspapers, the Internet, etc. Anyone who opposes that which produces good fruit identifies their “boss,” whether they themselves are aware of it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not. Resistance to God’s work produces nothing but strife, tension, confusion, anger, bitterness, jealousy, and destruction. Loss of peace is the result, sown among the hearts of the individuals who are opposed to the work of salvation. In regards to this mission, Our Lady has not only commissioned us by the May 31, 1995 message, but has called us and foundationed us through the message of October 6, 1986, given directly and personally to the founder in an apparition through Marija.
This is to be applied to 21st-century Christians, just as much as to first-century Christians two thousand years ago. Many are surprised at persecution today, as if we do not have such a thing in the modern world. Many equate it to ancient times when crucifixion or stoning was legal, but not today. Do Jesus’ words no longer have relevancy for today’s man? Do Jesus’ words no longer materialize into reality in our time? On the contrary, since the salvation of souls is Our Lady’s number one goal, then naturally satan’s number one goal is to disrupt Her plans. He disrupts those plans by attacking those whom Our Lady has chosen as Her instruments to
and others working for Her. The salvation of souls is what our mission is about, plain and simple. Therefore, it is our lot to put up with the constant “disruption” satan causes our mission. Our Lady says concerning satan’s actions:
The past persecutions against us usually involve a small network of individuals working for the downfall of our mission, and particularly the founder. It may be disguised on a human level in such various ways, but when one stands back and looks from the spiritual realm, what is readily understood, is that the attack is really against Our Lady whose first priority for man today is his salvation. The attack is caused by satan whose first priority is the destruction of Her plans. In order for satan to achieve success in this war, he must dismantle the fortresses that are dedicated entirely to the work of this special “plan of salvation” of Medjugorje, in this extraordinary “particular time,” through the directives of the Queen of Peace Herself. The particular message that is the “thermometer” which gives the “temperature” as to the intensity of how hot the heat will be against those who work for these plans follows:
This is what the struggle boils down to: God having us vs. satan having us; the world vs. the Church; the clash of those in and “of” the world vs. those in but “not of” the world. The middle ground is disappearing. (Note from the Community: This article was originally written in 2002 and it is amazing how appropriate it is during this reprinting in August, 2017). People can no longer straddle the fence. Movement is toward your own interests or God’s interests. It is becoming a great struggle for many souls. Some may be surprised to know that often those who oppose our work also actively work in the Church itself, while others who oppose our mission think of themselves as a savior for the Catholic Church, just as what happened with those in the Church against Joan of Arc. So, the “appearance” of choosing God amounts to nothing. It is where your heart is that matters, and actions display what the heart has chosen. How do we fight and keep our hearts with God since we are in a great struggle not only with people outside the church but sometimes even with some in the Church? We must first remember that Judas was inside the beginning of the Church. Even Jesus had one from the first twelve chosen turn against Him. Can we expect to be better than Jesus? He lost one of his closest friends and others as well at the crucifixion. Just because we fail with a soul or souls, do we give up? Jesus taught perseverance. We are in a mighty struggle, and we are to fight. Yes, you are to fight with all your heart to establish “the kingdom of love” with the plan to win over hearts. It is a furious war that when fought will take every ounce of effort and energy, supported by as much prayer as you can muster. Our Lady even tells us how to fight in this great struggle.
- “Let your only instrument always be love.” July 31, 1986
- “Love your enemies.” June 26, 1983
- “I want you to love all men with my love, both the good and the bad. Only that way will love conquer the world.” May 25, 1988
- “If you pray with the heart, dear children, the ice of your brothers’ hearts will meltand every barrier shall disappear.” January 23, 1986
Many through the years have written to us after realizing that what happens to us first, comes a few years later upon them. They find encouragement and strength in their own afflictions seeing our mission persevering through the trials that befall us. Because we have walked the path with Our Lady, others can find the witness that She has shown forth through “Her mission.”
Vicka has said that what is in the heart will, sooner or later, manifest itself physically. Our Lady said:
We are in the time of persecution and our silence throughout Caritas’ history has been our fight to love and to walk love, bearing many difficulties through the years without public knowledge of it. By and large, we have ignored satan’s barks, kept at our work, and answered with silence to these trials. For years, St. Ignatius Loyola silently endured persecutions directed at him personally. But when the persecutions went public with the purpose to damage his work, and his order, known as the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits, he took action to insure his mission’s continuation in order to further what God had called him and them to do. The attackers harmed the Jesuits in Rome through the spreading of twisted truths and scandals, such as the children they taught had not received a good education, and that Ignatius was spreading heresy against the Church, etc. St. Ignatius’ example of enduring all persecution is what all Christians are called to imitate. And yet, when persecutions in the form of false accusations and conspiracies came against his order in Rome because of jealousy, etc., he confronted it and held those who perpetrated it accountable for their actions. He would not stop until all was rectified. We also do the same, many times not wanting to travel this path, preferring to suffer in silence. We have at times literally been dragged into the public eye, taking these steps with no malice, but in the same spirit of Ignatius and his brothers.
It is our hope that our experiences will serve to give you strength to persevere amidst trials in your own lives in regards to what God has called you to do. The following are a few samplings of letters out of thousands, during times of persecutions, that we have received by those who support us.
Dear (a Friend of Medjugorje & Wife),
Both of you are special. You have opened your home and lives to hundreds of strangers like me and make everyone feel welcome. Your home between the mountains reminds me of Medjugorje not only because of its location but also the spirit of Medjugorje that I found in each of you and your family and friends. I learned a lot from my two days there, primarily to be more joy-filled. That our feeble attempt to become more holy does not mean to be introspective, glum, and meditative all the time. Marija was so right when she said our prayer group needed to sing more. During the apparition I prayed to feel the love of our Blessed Mother & Christ more intently. She came smiling and was happy and said, “I give you my special love, and give it to others.” I know it was meant for everyone, but it was just what I needed. I found Her love in each one of you. Later that night when we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Crucified Christ appeared so real while looking up at His dimly lit figure. It suddenly struck me while looking at his flesh-torn skin, how much God truly loves us. It was a night I will never forget. Thank you.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Dear Caritas Community,
I received your latest mailing for which I am very grateful. I pray daily for the success of your work. Because you are doing a great job in promoting devotion and love to Mary, the devil is attacking your mission. But God is on your side — that is most important. I am very grateful for what you are doing. I assure you of my prayers that Our Heavenly Mother be ever at your side. May your mission bring deeper love for Mary and Her Son, bring justice upon the earth, and peace, forgiveness and love. God bless all your endeavors, and continue the good work. Sincerely in Christ,
A Religious Sister from
Des Plaines, Illinois
February 7, 2002
To Caritas Community,
Just a note to say I am doubling my pledge this month and whenever I can. I received that mailing attacking Caritas and was appalled! You have never sent anything to go against my Catholic beliefs, nor gave me any reason but to seek a life in Heaven. Thank God for our Blessed Mother’s intercession and God bless Caritas for bringing our Blessed Mother’s words to us all. Sincerely,
February 6, 2002
Dear Family of Caritas,
I am writing today to send in a mailing I received in the past. Perhaps through this information you will be able to collect enough clues to find the person/people who are behind this attack.
If one looks at this from a spiritual battle point of view, satan has shown us who he is most fearful of and hates most deeply. So everyone keep up the good work for you have satan coming out in the open. It is easier to battle that which one can identify and thus root out. It is also easier to identify the sides and their people because aggressive attacks cause the lukewarm to choose sides.
It is hard to be the subject of attack but the grace you need to carry on will be given. You have been honored to be chosen by Our Lady for this mission and She has formed you well. Divine Providence has ordained or allowed all that is taking place so that His kingdom may come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. So, continue to fight the good fight and bring souls to Christ Jesus through Mary Immaculate. A member of Mary’s army,
February 10, 2002
As far as the attack on Caritas, please know we are unaffected by it. I know from my own life the impact the messages of Our Lady have had and also your witness by your laying down your life for them. I am praying for you and your mission.
February 2, 2002
Dear Caritas Community,
Many thanks for your prayers and sacrifices on behalf of myself and all the other Field Angels and supporters of Caritas of Birmingham.
Be assured that my support, both financial and spiritual will continue. You are a community of Good Fruit and your labor shines forth with charity and love even to those who want to destroy you. I will close with a quote from Pope John Paul II in which he stated on September 12th, 2001, “Those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say.”
May the blessings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Mother Mary, and Holy St. Joseph be with you forever.
The following writing, “Keep At Your Work,” has been our “constitution” here at Caritas in how to proceed forward in our mission:
Keep at your Work
The Lord has given to every man his work. It is his business to do it, and the devil’s business to hinder him if he can. So sure as God has given you a work to do, satan will try to hinder you. He may present other things more promising. He may allure you by worldly prospects, he may assault you with slander, torment you with false accusations, set you to work defending your character, employ pious persons to lie about you, editors to assail you, and excellent men to slander you. You may have Pilate and Herod, Anaias and Caiaphas all combined against you, and Judas standing by you ready to sell you for thirty pieces of silver; and you may wonder why all those things come upon you. Can you not see that the whole thing is brought about through the craft of the devil? To draw you off from your work and hinder your obedience to God?
Keep about your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let corporations resolve, let editors publish, let the devil do his worst; but see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work God has given you.
He has not sent you to make money. He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you to defend your character, He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood which satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.
Keep about your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. Let the world brawl and bubble. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends and despised and rejected of men, but see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being, until at last you can say,
7 thoughts on “How to Respond to Persecution”
Keep at your work! This is beautiful.