“All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth; and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD: Great is the glory of the LORD”
From the desk of Tertullian [to Scapula, proconsul of Carthage, ca. 217 AD, Ch. 2]…
We are worshipers of one God, of whose existence and character Nature teaches all men; at whose lightning's and thunders you tremble, whose benefits minister to your happiness. You think that others, too, are gods, whom we know to be devils. However, it is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions: one man’s religion neither harms nor helps another man. It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion – to which free-will and not force should lead us – the sacrificial victims even being required of willing mind. You will render no real service to your gods by compelling us to sacrifice. For they can have no desire of offerings from the unwilling, unless they are animated by a spirit of contention, which is a thing altogether undivine. Accordingly the true God bestows His blessings alike on wicked men and on His own elect; upon which account He has appointed an eternal judgment, when both thankful and unthankful will have to stand before His bar… And one would think it must be abundantly clear to you the religious system under whose rules we act is one inculcating divine patience; since, though our numbers are so great – constituting all but the majority in every city – we conduct ourselves so quietly and modestly; I might perhaps say, known rather as individuals than as organized communities, and remarkable only for the reformation of our former vices. For far be it from us to take it ill that we have laid on us the very things we wish or in any way plot the vengeance at our hands, which we expect to come from God.”
The great Christian writer, under persecution, reminds us as St. Paul exhorts the necessary perseverance in holding
“fast to the word”
and we recently celebrated the week of prayer for Christian unity of the need to dialogue with all people of good will; and it can be helpful to know that the Church has experience and wisdom to share.
In Christ, son of Mary,