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Monday, July 19, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Martyrdom and religious life

Here is another quote from my reading....

"In the religious life on the contrary one chooses to live each day at this level of deep and conscious and perpetual response. The religious as such is asked not to wait for a flash point or a crisis: he is committed at all times, every day, every moment of every day, to say a total 'Yes' to Jesus Christ. That is why religious life is traditionally aligned with martyrdom. The crisis of the martyr is his trial before before the public authorities when usually, in the court, the charge will not be that he is a Christian, but something more specious--that he is an atheist, a traitor to the state, a black-marketeer or some such thing--but in this crisis he must pierce through the camouflage and see what the issue really is, namely, his fidelity to Christ. Once again we state that what the martyr faces at the climax of his life the religious is asked to live, no doubt in a less dramatic way but nevertheless equally really, all the days of his life. ------------ A Biblical Approach to Religious Life by Sean B. Kelleher, C.Ss.R., pg. 46.

I think this is commonly known as the white martyrdom, compared to the red (blood) martyrdom. However, both are associated with a death to self and the white has more deaths than the red, so there may be a difference of which is more efficatious.

I also don't think this white martyrdom is only done by religious, though the idea may have been best developed there and certainly a true witness of that from centuries of devout and ascetic religious saints. Today, and I think as much as before God can make life itself a martyrdom. Christianity if it is truly lived has within it's cross plenty of travails of martyrdom. How else do you suppose to die to your own selfishness and do it Jesus's Way? The life of holiness is a life of white martyrdom.

My friends and family back home I love for all their dedication to the faith, who I know live a daily white martyrdom for truth, love and what is right. They love their faith and live it whole-heartedly. I take my example and inspiration from them, the living saints in my life!

Relationships, including the marriage, consecrated and just honest living in general, are white martyrdoms too. A saint said, "marriage is a constant mortification". Consecrated religious would say the same about living in community.

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Patrick
Mercedarian Novice, photographer, humorist, handy-man, fence-builder, prayer warrior, lover of Eucharist and Blessed Mother and Holy Mother Church.
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