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Author Topic: Q about Martyrdom  (Read 302 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasia1
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« on: February 08, 2012, 03:43:32 AM »

I am reading Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church by Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty. In It, I read,

1) Martyrdom, in fact is a daily practice that which every believer should experience, even if there is no persecution, even if he lives in a monastery or lives alone as a hermit or pilgrim. For martyrdom is the continuous participation in Jesus' Crucifixion. St. Clement of Alexandria gives the name "martyr"  to  the  Gnostic  (the  true  Christian)  who  has achieved ordinary union with God

I am immediately confuzzled, but then I read that martyrdom is entry into eternity and battle with Satan. Is this battle with Satan how martyrdom happens in the absence of persecution and in isolation, by simply battling Satan?
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 04:59:32 AM »

"Martyr" means "Witness" [to Christ]. So anything which accomplishes this end is Martyrdom.
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 12:01:44 PM »

Dear Anastasia,

just elaborating on what Nicholasmyra, have said so well. every act of living our Christian life is martyrdom, to those who live with you, your family , your neighbors your town your city your country and the whole world, your life is a witness of Christ. in the early Christianity the outright violent persecution against Christians has made many martyrs of blood. however many more were martyrs without shading their blood, just by a living wittiness of the Christian life. By being the living Icons of Christ.

I feel in our time that it is difficult to be a person of Faith. the persecution is subtle, it might not be blatantly violent and no shading of blood involved although in many parts of the world that is now very much happening. still for many others the life of a christian has become in the modern era, as a sign of ignorance, and backwardness.one of the persecution then is more of psychological, so those who battle this for Christ and in Christ  and live an openly devoutly Practicing Christian life are truly martyrs.

The other weapon of persecution is pleasure. the christian martyrs have faced beatings, incarcerations, hunger, etc..and some were tempted by pleasure to abandon their faith. I remember of a story one young christian was being tormented by his tormentors who have brought a prostitute and they have tide him down and she was told to sexually stimulate him. the young man knowing the nature of flesh he bit his tongue off and the pain overwhelmed everything they were trying to do to him. I think st. Gerome tells this story.

the point is, pleasure can be a pottent and effective weapon against us, and when we battle that luxury, and comfort and pleasure(of mind or body), with the ascetic life, with temperance and live in this hedonistic times in a christian manner, then that is martyrdom.

the list goes on... when you Cross yourself before you eat, that is martyrdom, when you light a candle in prayer at Church that is martyrdom, when you teach others of your faith both in words and actions that is martyrdom.

so in a sense a practicing Christian is a martyr.

May the Lord give us the grace of Martyrdom that we may be faithfull witnesses and finish the race with victory in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen Lord have mercy!
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