Monday, December 10, 2007

Are You a Modern Day Martyr?

The first line in the Psalm-prayer I was reading, went like this:

"Father in heaven, when your strength takes possession of us we no longer say: Why are you cast down, my soul?"

It was very timely for me as it seemed that on this particular morning, I was a bit saddened by the lack of understanding many people hold for Advent and Christmas.

I was sort of "downcast" by the term "holiday" that is tightening its grip on our nation. I was frustrated by how Christmas is dangerously close to becoming a secular shopping season, and I was pained by someone laughing at the practices of my good and faithful friends.

And then it occurred to me. This is a sort of martyrdom. I've come to believe that martyrdom comes in spiritual, as well as physical forms.

The emotional dying, for instance, that Mother Teresa must have gone through was surely a marytrdom of sorts. How would it be, do you suppose, to have no other living person on this planet (except maybe one, JPII), understand through their own personal experience, the depth of your relationship with Jesus, your suffering and your longing?

When you re-read the line from the above prayer, it is so uplifting!

If you find you are "downcast" in your modern-day martyrdom, take note: If you are "possessed" by God's strength, there is simply no reason to be saddened, for we can always count on the power of God to overcome whatever is troubling us today!

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