Priest: ‘Faith grows in persecution’ 

Priest: ‘Faith grows in persecution’ 

Mary Mother of Hope chapel in Trinoma mall in Quezon City

By Oliver Samson

July 30, 2018

MANILA

Like a diamond that is formed through immense pressure, one’s personal relationship with God grows as one experiences persecution because of the faith, a priest said in a Mass held July 25 at the Mary Mother of Hope chapel.

“By suffering for it, our faith grows continuously,” said Fr. Roy Guarin.

According to the priest, the apostles were “chosen and sent by God” to spread the Word all over the world, and that many of them were martyrs.

Work of apostles and martyrs

“The apostles were martyrs for offering their life to spread the Good News,” said the priest. “James, for one, was both an apostle and a martyr.”

Other apostles and martyrs were Peter,  who was crucified upside down, and Paul, who was beheaded for spreading Christianity during the time of Nero.

In everyday life, many forms of persecution because of the faith may arise, Guarin said.

Suffering for the faith

One could suffer for the faith in the workplace, the priest said. Believers could be scorned for praying the rosary daily, for going to Mass weekly, and for going to confession monthly.

But the Catholic should continue to profess his faith despite insults and other forms of attack, he stressed.

“We may not become apostles, but we can be martyrs like them for suffering for our faith,” Guarin said.

The believer can be a martyr like the apostles by obeying the commandments, and by “holding on” during times of persecution and other forms of malice towards the faith, he said.

Referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-Catholic comments, Rene Velasco, a driver, believes Catholics in the Philippines are themselves facing persecution.

“The Catholics were offended and suffered in silence,” he said in Filipino.