Being A Martyr

If religion is just a game, then our generation just isn’t interested in playing.  You probably know this.  Why put on a phony face on Sundays if you’re going to break all of “the rules” throughout the rest of the week anyway?

No, if we are going to believe in something, we have to be all in.  We are passionate to the point of radical; it’s all or nothing.  And this is a very good thing when it comes to faith.  It’s probably what Blessed John Paul II had in mind when, addressed with the question of why he held World Youth Day, he replied:

“I have come to greet the martyrs of the third millennium”

We tend to think of martyrs as only belonging in history books or to cultures that lack the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom that we [supposedly] have.  But that’s not the case.  We’re called to a “white martyrdom” on a daily basis—to make sacrifices that may not be as drastic as our life, but that can still make it feel like the world, as we know it, is ending.  Sometimes it’s our popularity, sometimes it’s a relationship that is bringing us away from God, or sometimes it’s our own comfort.

Going to mass is easy.  Living out your faith?  That’s hard.  But in all of our struggles, we need not be discouraged:

Dear young people, in these noble undertakings you are not alone.  With you there are your families, there are your communities, there are your priests and teachers, there are so many of you who in the depths of your hearts never weary of loving Christ and believing in him.  In the struggle against sin you are not alone: so many like you are struggling and through the Lord’s grace are winning!

Today let’s pray for the courage and the strength to live out our faith with everything we are.