You have to admit, there are times when the thought of martyrdom is pretty appealing, and not just because of the spiritual benefits. Suffer a huge amount of pain and then it’s all over, as the idea typically goes. Sounds alright, eh? No more worrying about spending hours in the hunt for modest clothing or in alteration thereof; no more ditching 99.9% of modern entertainment, explaining why you aren’t eating meat on a particular day, informing an inquisitive that you are a Catholic, but not of the “Catholicism” that they have in mind and, the most exhausting of all, the constantly being on guard against the erroneous thinking and false ideas with which we are surrounded. It tends to beat down and tire one out until we feel like an old stone bench with edges drooping from the sheer pressure of life over time. On Thoughtless Remarks by G. K. Chesterton, an article provided by The American Chesterton Society’s website, puts it well, “A fly is a small thing, but flies can be a very big thing.” While others, for example Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, have been called to face large stones that break the body, it is for us to continue brushing off the daily barrage of pebbles which fall upon us in various shapes and sizes with resignation and generous attitude. And although we might not be going out in a blazing flash of glory, we will, hopefully, smoulder slowly away like embers of incense to rise up to the throne of God and give Him glory.
On the same lines, Andrew Murphy writes for Seton Magazine an encouraging piece in Going Against the Current and Other Lessons from the Salmon. “So how can we imitate salmon? There are many trends and fashions today which are contrary to the Faith, and if we are not careful we might succumb to them and be swept along in the stream of the world.”
Yes, it is already here, the great season of Advent. What does it mean? Why the “sackcloth and ashes?” The Mystery of Advent by Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger from Liturgia Latina is a beautiful and comprehensive explanation of the both simple and threefold mystery as well as some of the liturgical customs that the Church observes and the meaning behind them. Please use the contents list on the left-hand side of the linked page to navigate to the referenced portion of the article.