To Have the Faith of the Martyrs

February 6, 2019
St Augustine

You must love in order to be victorious.  There is no lack of persecution.  The devil is always the persecutor, and the chance to win a crown is never wanting.  The only thing is that Christ's soldiers must understand the nature of the battle, and know whom they have to beat.  Just because there is no obvious enemy attacking your body, does that mean no hidden persecutor is assailing you with the allurements of materialism? How many wicked things he suggests, how many things through greed, how many things through fear!... The devil's remedies don't provide me with what God provides me with, eternal life....

I am sure you have all seen how many things the devil can suggest.  But where is it all happening?  You see this man very weak, you see him gasping for breath in bed, you see him hardly able to move his limbs, hardly able to move his tongue:  this exhausted man is beating the devil.  Many people have been crowned with victory for fighting the wild beast in the amphitheater.  Many also beat the devil on a bed of sicknes and are crowned for it.  Outwardly they don't seem to be able to move, and inwardly in the heart they have such strength, they are fighting such a battle!  But6 whre the battle is hidden, the victory is hidden too.

Why have I said all this....That when you celebrate the birthdays of the martyrs you may imitate the martyrs, and not suppose that you can have no chance of winning a crown just because that kind of persecution is lacking nowadays.  Even nowadays there is no lack of daily persecutions from the devil, whether by means of tempting suggestions or of bodily pains and vexations.  All you have to do is remember you have a commander who has already preceded you into heaven.  He has given you a way to follow, so stick to him,.  Whenever you win, don't be proud and attribute it to yourself, as though you had employed your own strength in the struggle.  Rather, trust in him who gave you the strength to win, because he himself won the victory over the world.  And you wil always be crowned and depart  from hence as a martyr, if you overcome all the temptations of the devil.

By Saint Augustine who  is called the Doctor Grace.