The Martyrs Had it EASY!

A few years after the resurrection of Christ, St. Stephen gave a passionate defense of the Christian faith, blaming the people around him for killing Christ and turning on God. He was was stoned to death for this Think about that. Have you ever had someone throw something to you when you weren’t looking, a ball or small object, and it hit you by surprise.

Think about the immediate anger you felt, the minor pain that you experienced and the bruise that reminded you of the incident. So frustrating, right? Now imagine being hit with rocks the size of your fist until you have brain damage, bleed out, and die. Yeah.

That does not sound fun. In accepting death rather than renouncing the faith, Stephen was the first martyr among many in our Church’s history. His death was by no means the most gruesome. St. Sebatian died by a firing squad of arrows.

St. Lawrence was grilled to death. St.

Margaret Clitherow was pressed to death, meaning she had a door placed on top of her, and then 700 pounds of rocks put on top of that until she died. It took 15 minutes. But even that was not the worst of all. For that distinction, we must look to St. Bartholomew, a mean who was flayed to death, meaning that he was skinned alive, peeling back one large strip at a time.

The list could go on. Gruesome, awful, unthinkable ways to die… and yet.. I think the martyrs had it easy okay well maybe not easy… let me explain. By no means do I actually think that the martyrs had it easy, as if to suggest that being tortured and killed is somehow just a walk in the park.https://www.interracialdatingsites.co.uk/ Their witness of faith and perseverance in the face of unthinkable pain is incredibly inspiring, and I do not for a second claim that I would be able to do what they did.

Clearly, we’re talking about heroes here. Clearly we’re talking about people with superhuman strength and faith. But just because they experienced excruciating deaths doesn’t mean that their lives were necessarily the most difficult. Being crushed under 700 pounds of rocks, being shot with 50 arrows, these are PAINFUL experiences… but they only really last, what? 15 minutes?

An hour? A day? The weight that they carried was heavy, sure, but it only lasted a moment. If you ask me, the far more difficult task is remaining faithful for fifty… sixty years… of waking up, day in and day out, when life is frustrating, when the world is an absolute mess and there seems to be no reason to believe… and yet you don’t give up.

I think of the parents all around the world who sacrifice for their children. My guess is that there is nothing that most parents do on any given day that would seem heroic, nothing so overwhelming or painful or self-sacrificing they deserve their own Lifetime original movie. Truly, in 99% of cases, anyone could be a parent for a day. But what about doing that 365 days a year, year after year? Making breakfast, dropping off at school, going to work, picking up from school, cooking dinner, helping with homework, taking to soccer practice, cleaning up, dealing with fights, putting to bed, starting over the next day, doing the same thing every single day.

Instead of having 700 pounds dumped on you at once, it’s more like holding one pound in your hand, everywhere you go, no matter the situation, for 700 straight days. That’s no nothing. When I was a kid, there was a time that my family wasn’t as financially secure as it is now. My dad worked multiple jobs at a time, including a night shift for a while, to make sure we could pay the bills.

He did that for us, and then somehow found the energy to stay present to his kids without us really knowing much was different. My mom used to get up at 5 in the morning 5, sometimes six days a week, worked overtime hours almost every week, and still managed to do the grocery shopping, laundry, the bulk of the cleaning, and cook meals? It’s not glamorous, not heroic. Anyone could do it for a day.

But she did it for decades. My point in bringing this up is not to suggest that being a parent is an awful existence akin to martyrdom. I’m not a parent, but I know that’s hardly the case. Rather, what I want to point out is that so often we overlook the everyday sacrifices, the long commitments, the perseverance and persistence of normal life, for the sake of the grand, over-the-top sacrifices.

We remember the faith of the martyrs, how they endured unthinkable pain, but rarely give credit to those who carried on faithful, albeit quiet lives for a long time. The problem with the martyrs, and really, the saints in general, is that we can have a tendency sometimes narrow our vision of holiness. In elevating them above ourselves, in looking to their singular heroic acts as the epitome of faith, we may waste our entire lives looking for a big defining moment, forgetting that discipleship is lived every second of the day. Treating our enemies with love.

Spending our free time with virtues. Consistently praying, day in and day out. Doing what we normally do with love and patience and with an aim towards justice… in many ways, this is the only way that we will ever be given an opportunity for sainthood, and it is not less worthy of praise than the martyrs. Don’t ever overlook the significance of persistence. Don’t ever diminish decades of faithfulness.

That takes works. It takes incredible strength and serious faith to go through what so many people go through on a regular basis—the little let-downs of life, the constant struggles of everyday existence—and remain hopeful, remain faithful, remain trusting in God. We are not all called to be martyrs, but we are all called to be saints by laying down our lives for another, just as Christ did. We may do this is in a quick flash of heroism, all at once, but maybe we do this over the course of a lifetime, offering little sacrifices in everything we do.

A few years after the resurrection of Christ, St. Stephen gave a passionate defense of the Christian faith, blaming the people around him for killing Christ and turning on God. He was was stoned to death for this Think about that. Have you ever had someone throw something to you when you weren’t looking, a ball or small object, and it hit you by surprise.

Think about the immediate anger you felt, the minor pain that you experienced and the bruise that reminded you of the incident. So frustrating, right? Now imagine being hit with rocks the size of your fist until you have brain damage, bleed out, and die. Yeah.

That does not sound fun. In accepting death rather than renouncing the faith, Stephen was the first martyr among many in our Church’s history. His death was by no means the most gruesome. St. Sebatian died by a firing squad of arrows.

St. Lawrence was grilled to death. St.

Margaret Clitherow was pressed to death, meaning she had a door placed on top of her, and then 700 pounds of rocks put on top of that until she died. It took 15 minutes. But even that was not the worst of all. For that distinction, we must look to St. Bartholomew, a mean who was flayed to death, meaning that he was skinned alive, peeling back one large strip at a time.

The list could go on. Gruesome, awful, unthinkable ways to die… and yet.. I think the martyrs had it easy okay well maybe not easy… let me explain. By no means do I actually think that the martyrs had it easy, as if to suggest that being tortured and killed is somehow just a walk in the park. Their witness of faith and perseverance in the face of unthinkable pain is incredibly inspiring, and I do not for a second claim that I would be able to do what they did.

Clearly, we’re talking about heroes here. Clearly we’re talking about people with superhuman strength and faith. But just because they experienced excruciating deaths doesn’t mean that their lives were necessarily the most difficult. Being crushed under 700 pounds of rocks, being shot with 50 arrows, these are PAINFUL experiences… but they only really last, what? 15 minutes?

An hour? A day? The weight that they carried was heavy, sure, but it only lasted a moment. If you ask me, the far more difficult task is remaining faithful for fifty… sixty years… of waking up, day in and day out, when life is frustrating, when the world is an absolute mess and there seems to be no reason to believe… and yet you don’t give up.

I think of the parents all around the world who sacrifice for their children. My guess is that there is nothing that most parents do on any given day that would seem heroic, nothing so overwhelming or painful or self-sacrificing they deserve their own Lifetime original movie. Truly, in 99% of cases, anyone could be a parent for a day. But what about doing that 365 days a year, year after year? Making breakfast, dropping off at school, going to work, picking up from school, cooking dinner, helping with homework, taking to soccer practice, cleaning up, dealing with fights, putting to bed, starting over the next day, doing the same thing every single day.

Instead of having 700 pounds dumped on you at once, it’s more like holding one pound in your hand, everywhere you go, no matter the situation, for 700 straight days. That’s no nothing. When I was a kid, there was a time that my family wasn’t as financially secure as it is now. My dad worked multiple jobs at a time, including a night shift for a while, to make sure we could pay the bills.

He did that for us, and then somehow found the energy to stay present to his kids without us really knowing much was different. My mom used to get up at 5 in the morning 5, sometimes six days a week, worked overtime hours almost every week, and still managed to do the grocery shopping, laundry, the bulk of the cleaning, and cook meals? It’s not glamorous, not heroic. Anyone could do it for a day.

But she did it for decades. My point in bringing this up is not to suggest that being a parent is an awful existence akin to martyrdom. I’m not a parent, but I know that’s hardly the case. Rather, what I want to point out is that so often we overlook the everyday sacrifices, the long commitments, the perseverance and persistence of normal life, for the sake of the grand, over-the-top sacrifices.

We remember the faith of the martyrs, how they endured unthinkable pain, but rarely give credit to those who carried on faithful, albeit quiet lives for a long time. The problem with the martyrs, and really, the saints in general, is that we can have a tendency sometimes narrow our vision of holiness. In elevating them above ourselves, in looking to their singular heroic acts as the epitome of faith, we may waste our entire lives looking for a big defining moment, forgetting that discipleship is lived every second of the day. Treating our enemies with love.

Spending our free time with virtues. Consistently praying, day in and day out. Doing what we normally do with love and patience and with an aim towards justice… in many ways, this is the only way that we will ever be given an opportunity for sainthood, and it is not less worthy of praise than the martyrs. Don’t ever overlook the significance of persistence. Don’t ever diminish decades of faithfulness.

That takes works. It takes incredible strength and serious faith to go through what so many people go through on a regular basis—the little let-downs of life, the constant struggles of everyday existence—and remain hopeful, remain faithful, remain trusting in God. We are not all called to be martyrs, but we are all called to be saints by laying down our lives for another, just as Christ did. We may do this is in a quick flash of heroism, all at once, but maybe we do this over the course of a lifetime, offering little sacrifices in everything we do.

The fact of the matters is that God doesn’t need heroes, he needs disciples. We don’t need to do extraordinary things to please God… sometimes it’s about doing ordinary things with extraordinary love.

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