Living Martyrdom

Posted by on Mar 5, 2012 in Blog/Articles | 0 comments

     The topic of martyrdom has been buzzing through my mind lately and I thought I’d finally post a blog about it.

Webster defines the word “Martyr” as:

1.)  a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion

2.)  a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle

3.)  victim; especially : a great or constant sufferer

     Martyrdom is not only suffering the torments of physical death for the sake of God.  Rather, the term receives its full definition in a man that strives to partake in the instigation of the transcendence of his own soul which results in it’s own fiery holocaust.  This bittersweet holocaust consumes his own will and disordered human desires within the flames of Heaven’s Sacred Fire.

     When practiced with a heart full of humility and sincerity, ultimate self-martyrdom is just as, if not more potent in Heavenly grace as the seed that falls to the ground and dies in the literal sense.  Perhaps this living martyrdom is just as potent as the one to be found after death, for Heaven is a place of unending love.   Here, pain and sacrifice are abundantly accessible and love is a sometimes very painful choice.  Our small, daily sacrifices are the sustenance for the little seeds of our souls.  Sacrifice is the foundation of love.  Christ exampled this most profoundly.  His was the Ultimate Sacrifice.  This was what He meant when He said:

     “Amen, Amen I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.

     Whoever serves Me must follow Me, and where I am, there also will My servant be.  The Father will honor whoever serves Me.” (John 12:24-26)

     Jesus hints to us that our lives are lifeless if we have not yet dedicated them to our own living martyrdom.

How many merits there are to be found in this life, but they are like the most precious of pearls; we must toil in the delicate and time consuming process of cultivating them.  Each precious pearl is a victorious defeat, a triumph over self.

“True love grows by sacrifice and the more thoroughly the soul rejects natural satisfaction, the stronger and more detached its tenderness becomes.” –St. Therese of Lisieux

     The soul that does not resist the trials that accompany the crucifixion of the self has already embarked on the noble journey of martyrdom.

     How beautiful to crucify the self.  What a daunting challenge and gruesome sacrifice it is…but martyrdom was never intended for the faint of heart, the weak, those who are dead in spirit.  It was, however, intended for those living, who carry within them The Noble Spirit that ignites within the soul a thirst to battle for eternal life in martyrdom.

“Conversion is a form of martyrdom. It involves the surrender of oneself – body, mind intellect and faith to Christ. It requires docility and a willingness to be led to the truth, and for many the truth lies in a direction ‘where you do not want to go.’ ” -Patrick Madrid