“Take away the contests of the martyrs, and you have taken away their crowns.” ~Saint Ambrose
Today is the memorial of St. Justin Martyr. He was a young scholar who was enamored with the teaching of Plato but he discovered that the Christian religion answered some of the “big questions” that he had about life better than his favorite philosophers. With that, he embraced Christianity but continued to be a philosopher. He was the Church’s first Christian philosopher.
Justin was able to combine his study of philosophy with Christianity in such a way that others were keen to accept the faith. This was good for the Church but bad for Justin because this made him more of an enemy of the state. In his age, Christianity was illegal.
Beheaded in Rome in the year 165, Justin’s martyrdom became even more of a catalyst for many people to embrace the faith.
This should serve as a wonderful example to us. Our goal should always be to inspire others to turn to Jesus and accept the faith. Like Justin, we should not allow the threat of persecution, abuse, or even death, to deter us from faith-filled lives.
You can kill the body; but, you cannot kill the Spirit that dwells therein. Be ardent examples of the faith today. Teach it by word and by deed. Do not allow others to silence you.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all those who are being persecuted for the faith, that they have the courage to hold firm.