The Martyrdom We Are Called to Make in Our State of Life

The Martyrdom We Are Called to Make in Our State of Life April 10, 2024

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“To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

While a martyr is technically a saint who died for one’s faith, it can also refer to a person who suffers for a greater good.

Are you a married person who suffers from so many challenges in your family life? Are you a religious beset with temptations that seem to take away your spiritual strength? Or are you a single person who feels unnoticed and alone?

In a way, every Christian is called to be a martyr in whatever state of life we may be.

What kind of martyrdom are you being called to today?

1. Martyrdom in Married Life

Many marriages fail today because a lot of people don’t want to become “martyrs”. Popular culture has taken away the reality of marriage with its illusions about romance that many people could hardly bear their difficulties in their state of life.

“Why should I always be the one to make a sacrifice for our marriage?”

“I deserve something better.”

“Love should make you happy.”

While it is true that love would make you happy in the end, this kind of happiness is not one received without the substance of self-sacrificial love.

“The state of marriage is one which requires more virtue and constancy than any other; it is a perpetual exercise of mortification.” – St. Francis de Sales

Marriage is where some people are called to live a life of holiness. This is where they are given the kind of life to grow in love and maturity as they devote their lives to another.

Hence, it is in marriage where you sometimes remain silent even if you’re the one whose right. It is here where you choose to understand despite being offended. And it is here where you take care of your sick loved ones no matter how tired you may be from work.

“It is little to bid you love one another with a mutual love,—turtle-doves do that; or with human love,–the heathen cherished such love as that. But I say to you in the Apostle’s words: ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as unto the Lord.’ It was God Who brought Eve to our first father Adam, and gave her to him to wife; and even so, my friends, it is God’s Invisible Hand Which binds you in the sacred bonds of marriage; it is He Who gives you one to the other, therefore cherish one another with a holy, sacred, heavenly love.” – St. Francis de Sales

2. Martyrdom in Religious Life

“Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” – Matthew 19:11-12 (NRSVCE)

Priests, nuns, religious brothers and sister and other people called to consecrated life are indeed called also to a life of martyrdom.

To be called is to be set apart not only as a holy example for others but as a pleasing sacrifice in a life of service for God’s people.

As such, one must be prepared to forget oneself and one’s conveniences. Consequently, one forgets the possibility of having a spouse and children of one’s own.

“The worthy priest is an angel of purity in mind and body, a cherub of light and knowledge, a seraph of love and Charity, an apostle of zeal in work and sanctity… He is the living image of Christ in this world, of Christ watching, praying, preaching, catechizing, working, weeping, going from town to town, from village to village, suffering, agonizing, sacrificing Himself and dying for the souls created to His image and likeness.” – St. Jean Eudes

“Souls have been won at the price of Jesus’ own blood, and a priest cannot devote himself to their salvation if he refuses to share personally in the ‘precious cost’ of redemption.” – Pope Benedict XVI

St. Paul knew what it would take to preach the Good News to all. But in that life of martyrdom, He found everything worth living and dying for.

“I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known…” – Colossians 1:24-25 (NRSVCE)

“Celibacy is not the absence of a passion; it is rather the intensity of a passion.”― Fulton J. Sheen

3. Martyrdom in Single Life

“Each woman who lives in the light of eternity can fulfill her vocation, no matter if it is in marriage, in a religious order, or in a worldly profession.” – Edith Stein

Not every man or woman is called to marriage or religious life. Some remain single for the rest of their lives, and it is there where they are called to a life of martyrdom.

It’s not easy being single. Every human beings needs company and one of the challenges of the single life are those times when one feels alone. There is no spouse or religious community to depend upon. One must work for oneself and even for one’s loved ones such as parents or siblings who count on them.

These difficulties, however, do not mean that one is not called anymore by God. Single people who go about their lives serving others in silence, unapplauded and unrecognized by the world enter a martyrdom that would draw them ever closer to a life of holiness and love.

“Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are.” – 1 Corinthians 7:25-26 (NRSVCE)

Final Thoughts on Martyrdom

“Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27 (NRSVCE)

A Christian is called to be a disciple at whatever state of life one must be. One can be married, single or in a religious order, but every state of life requires a kind of martyrdom one can offer to the Lord.

It is in our state of life where we can serve God and others while growing spiritually, forming beautiful virtues and imitating the blessed life of Christ Himself.

Let us not lose the opportunities given us disguised as suffering and difficulties. Our martyrdom will eventually be our bridge towards heaven. And there, all our sorrows would turn into everlasting happiness!

“Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5 (NABRE)

You may also want to read “Is Being Single Not Good Enough For Heaven?”

Jocelyn Soriano writes about the single life and her Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is currently single and happy and she would like everyone to know how happy we can be by drawing close to the love of God!

She is the author of Defending My Catholic Faith and Mend My Broken Heart.

Mend My Broken Heart Book by Jocelyn Soriano

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About Jocelyn Soriano
Jocelyn Soriano is an author, poet, and book reviewer. She is an introvert who enjoys a cup of coffee and listening to the cello ****** while working.

She wrote the books To Love an Invisible God, Defending My Catholic Faith and Mend My Broken Heart. She also wrote books on poetry including Poems of Love and Letting Go and Of Waves and Butterflies: Poems on Grief. She has published more than 15 books and developed her own Android applications including God’s Promises and Catholic Answers and Apologetics.

She writes about relationships and common questions about God and the Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is currently single and happy and she would like everyone to know how happy we can be by drawing close to the love of God!

You can read more about the author here.

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