St. Ignatius Of Antioch – The Mystery Of Martyrdom

ignatius_of_antiochI would have you think of pleasing God…rather than people.

…if your love is for my body, I shall be a mere voice.  You can do me no greater kindness than to suffer me to be sacrificed to God while the place of sacrifice is still prepared.  Thus forming yourselves into a chorus of love, you may sing to the Father in Jesus Christ that God gave the bishop of Syria the grace of being transferred from the rising to the setting sun.  It is good to set, leaving the world for God, so to rise in him.

– St. Ignatius to the Romans

Martyrdom is a perfect mystery because in this ultimate self-sacrifice the one who dies fully gives themselves to Christ out of love, as Christ gave himself to us out of love.

The sacrificing of oneself more fully than any other way accepts and denies one’s own power.  The power of God at work in the world through the Holy Spirit goes beyond being an intention or a notion and becomes a fact.  In what fashion?  By the direct work of the Holy Spirit who substitutes its power for that of the martyr’s.

There are two currencies in the world. the one of God, and the other of the world.  Each one is stamped in its own coin..  Those who are self-serving have the stamp of the world; those who live a life of absolute charity have the stamp of God.  And unless we accept the choice to fully die to ourselves through Him, the life of Christ is not in us.

– St. Ignatius to the Magnesians

Self-sacrifice to the point of death is not the work of persuasion, but, especially wherever fully dying to yourself and allowing Christ to fully live in you is despised, it is the work of power.