Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Valentine: Why We Need Martyrs

"Don't be such a martyr!" "Put yourself first!" "Only unenlightened people suffer!" "Love others so you can feel good yourself!"

How often do we hear these sorts of statements in our world today?

People forget- The love of a martyr is some serious love. When you think of loving someone, what's the first thing that comes to mind? I can almost bet it isn't dying for them.

Yet, that is what love truly is.

St. Valentine died a martyr for the faith. Claudius II beheaded him because he converted so many people to the faith.

What kind of love leads some one to give their lives for what they believe? Surely, it would be easier to renounce their belief, save their lives and later on enjoy knowing they tricked their accuser. But, no. To make a statement with your life that you are willing to die for something is an act of power.

Consider the early Christians, thrown to lions and wild beasts in the Roman arena. Crowds were astounded by how they calmly and contentedly went to their deaths, mostly seeming unafraid and peaceful. Some were even smiling as the beasts approached to kill them. "Where does that sort of peace come from?," the crowd wondered. The entire spectacle of the arena became pointless then. The Romans failed. They were unable to make a point about Christianity being bad in order to scare other people from becoming Christians. (Just like they could not scare Christians with crucifixion as much anymore!) It just wouldn't work.

In a world where belief systems change every day to match the moods and whims of the people, how many would die for the revelation they have today? It could change tomorrow. Oprah could come out with a new book. Dr. Phil could declare that worshipping lemmings is good for your health.

I'm in love with God because I know He won't change. God has already given me everything he has- body, blood, soul and divinity. His Church will not change. She is His Rock. My human, fickle, changeable heart, with its intense crazy moods and lazy and rebellious tendencies, isn't going anywhere anytime soon without His help. Love is being able to do what Christ did-- give all of ourselves for the good of another. 

This is why I need him-- so, so desperately.

Full Martyrology for St. Valentine

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