On Martyrdom

From a sermon of St. Augustine

“I tell you again and again, my brethren, that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of his martyrs. In it there are also lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows. On no account may any class of people despair, thinking that God has not called them. Christ suffered for all. What the Scriptures say of him is true: He desires all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

Let us understand, then, how a Christian must follow Christ even though he does not shed his blood for him, and his faith is not called upon to undergo the great test of the martyr’s sufferings. The apostle Paul says of Christ our Lord: Though he was in the form of God he did not consider equality with God a prize to be clung to. How unrivaled his majesty! But he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, made in the likeness of men, and presenting himself in human form. How deep his humility!

Christ humbled himself. Christian, that is what you must make your own. Christ became obedient. How is it that you are proud? When this humbling experience was completed and death itself lay conquered, Christ ascended into heaven. Let us follow him there, for we hear Paul saying: If you have been raised with Christ, you must lift your thoughts on high, where Christ now sits at the right hand of God.”

From a sermon by Saint Augustine
He ministered the sacred blood of Christ

 

 

A Thousand Little Moments

I fail and I fall.

“Yes, Father, it’s me, again.”

My prayers and tears reach Your heart with plaintiff sighs.

I reach for Love, as a baby grasps the finger,

Securing You to my heart,

Binding You by trifles.

A thousand little moments, like a knitter’s weave,

Trivial triumphs conquering like souls,

For made in Your image, I desire only You.

Of wooing, my begging be a part.

I turn, my God, to You, as a prayer with every care.

Prayer and tears, now, all one,

I nestle to Your breast and am all ear.

I listen as beat upon beat,

Love’s rhythm reassures me of the next,

And, of Your eternal constancy.

I listen, as for a whisper, and fear not

Whisper every care, and fretful prayer.

I reach for You with every breath,

And sigh when You draw nigh.

You answer with a mother’s warmth,

Bending low, picking me up, and pressing me

To Your consoling bosom.

“What is it my child. Am I not here? Haven’t I given you all?”

You kiss away my tears

And delight in the exchange.

I have given nothing but complaint,

Yet, You are full of smiles.

A thousand little moments knit our day.

I cry and You comfort.

I beckon and You bend in kind regard.

You draw me into that chamber,

In which I was formed,

That hallowed space,

In which my time began.

Heaven and rest contained

In one all holy Name.

Name me, my God,

And I will come into being,

Called forth from my darkness

Into Your marvelous Day.

All our moments measured by Your mercy,

I cry out for a heart made unto Your own,

That I may grow to give Your Love.

Love begetting love, for love alone.