Friday, July 9, 2010


Because today is the feast day of the Chinese martyrs, this morning's homily focused on their giving of themselves and how that is tied to the Holy Spirit as seen in the readings. I was thinking during mass that most of us will never be fortunate enough to call ourselves martyrs for Christ. We will likely never die because of our faith or suffer as Our Lord did.

However, as ordinary individuals we have the opportunity to offer up little sufferings in unity with Christ's suffering. As St. Terese of Liseaux and so many other saints have taught us, even the smallest inconvienences and pains can be offered to God.

Also, we can martyr ourselves in another way, frequently mentioned in the New Testament. By "dying" to sin, we not only sacrifice something that brings us temporal pleasure, but also draw closer to God. In both these ways we can become "little martyrs". and indeed saints.

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cheryl said...

A similiar idea came to me a few yrs back. When we were children, my twin sister and I would act out the stories of martyrs in ancient Rome. We'd even feed ourselves to the lions!
I love the martyrs and have always wished to be one. To die for Christ is the ultimate and I still think it's the ultimate.
But it occured to me one day, "What sort of martyr would I be? If I can't die to the 'little' things, how could I die to the 'bigger' things?"
I realized that while, overall my heart belonged to God, there was in certain areas of life, still a compromising pagan in me that was willing to throw down incense before the caesars of self-interest in order to save my own skin from being torn apart by the 'lions'. I realize now, that the 'lions' are not my enemies. They're my flaming, purging angels and I their Eucharist.
One of the most beautiful phrases ever to be utter by a Christian, was, by St. Ignatius, "Let me be the food of beasts thanks to which I shall be able to find God. I am God’s wheat and I am being ground by the teeth of wild beasts in order to become Christ’s pure bread."

Anonymous said...

Pen and ink is wits plough. ............................................................

mel said...

Happy birthday to Xavier, my birthday buddy. Blessings to you all!