Monday, October 09, 2006

Heroic Holiness

Saint Ambrose, commenting on Psalm 118 remarked that "as there are many kinds of persecutions, so there are many kinds of martrydom." He goes on to speak of the "martyrdoms" that we encounter daily as we die to our sinful passions and allow God's Grace to give us the victory over them. I look on this as heroic holiness.

What is a hero? It is someone who chooses to lay aside his own comfort or well being for the greater good. Typically we think of this as someone who risks his life to save another. But it is also true of many other circumstances. Those who stand for virtue and justice in the face of overwhelming opposition are also heroes. It would be easy to lay down the fight and go find some comfortable place to relax and get away from it all. But these heroes stay, knowing that they fight for something worthwhile.

To bring it closer to home I return to my reference to St. Ambrose. Every day we are tempted in many ways. When we courageously stand aganst the temptation in order to establish God's holiness inside of us we are heroes. The world will not acclaim us, but God will ensure we are rewarded.

Some may ask, is this not selfish? Isn't this the opposite of heroism for the only benficiary is oneself. Not so! When we become people of virtue that has dramatic impact on the society around us. In fact, as we progress in holiness, we will often be brought into battles which have far reaching consequences, for good or for evil, to many around us.

The Church has known this from her inception. She has a distinct title for such heroes. They are called Saints. We need more Saints in our day. I beieve there are many in the making all around us. But they are in the making because right now they are going through various trials to ensure that they truly are heroes. God is allowing them to be tested so that they will become stronger and able to accomplish those things He has planned for their lives.

Might you be one of these heroes- these Saints? Perhaps you find yourself wrestling, but failing. Lay hold of God's matchless Grace for strength to help in time of need. This is the reason it has been given- to enable us to overcome our sins and be heroes. We cannot do this on our own. We can only do it through Christ.

Today begins another series of tests. The battle never slumbers. In the midst of it all, think about the fact that this is the stuff through which you could become a hero. If you falter, seek God for His forgiveness. Then get up and try again. If you succeed, congratulations! You are well on your way to a life of heroic holiness!

2 Comments:

Blogger Joni said...

What a high calling: to be a hero for God. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. They are definitely thoughts to reflect upon when we feel like we're in the "foxholes" of life.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

Hello Patrick, how good to read your words after not hearing them for so long. I check in frequently to see what you've added and am blessed.

12:42 PM  

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