Wounded Warriors for Christ

Wounded Warriors for Christ

We know too well the expression ‘wounded warrior’ as we see throughout our society the horrible effects of war. Soldiers walk the streets not just with bandages, but with amputations and severe mental illness (PTSD). They are the heroes of our society because they remind us of the courage it takes to protect us, but also the evil of war. One could say they are “Confessors” for America.

In our focus on Saints this year, it occurred to me that not everyone is aware of how the various titles given to saints teach us and inspire us. Today is the Feast of Saint Maximus the Confessor. You can read briefly about his story here. The Church calls him confessor not because he heard confessions, but because he was tortured for his faith in Christ.

Martyrs are killed for Christ, but Confessors are tortured and left alive for other to see. In the case of St Maximus, his tongue was cut out and hand cut off. The title Confessors is used because his physical presence was a confession of faith. Maybe it would have been easier for him to die, but alas, he survived his torture to live the rest of his life maimed. You could say he was a wounded warrior for Christ.

Saint Paul was also a sort of Confessor, though his title is Apostle because he was “sent by God” to missionize the Gentiles. In the Epistle chosen for today to coincide with the Feast of Saint Maximus the Confessor, we hear how Saint Paul’s torture and imprisonment was a confession of his faith in Christ. Take a moment and read today’s reading.

Brethren, I want you to know that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope. – Philippians 1.12-20

Our inspiration today comes from those who have suffered, but not died, for Christ. Are you suffering for your faith? Do others around you mock you for your dedication to Christ and His Church? There are modern ‘confessors’ in the Church for sure. In America, since that is our context, the torture isn’t physical but social or even professional. In other parts of the world, Confessors are still physically tortured, and Martyrs are still killed.

As we struggle in our daily choices to Live A New Life In Christ, I pray the lives of saints such as Saint Maximus the Confessor, and Saint Paul, can inspire us to remain faithful. Many wounded warriors ‘wear’ their prosthesis as a badge of honor that they were injured for their Country. Saint Paul considered his imprisonment and torture as a reason to rejoice for the sake of the Gospel. The least we could do is remain faithful for their sake, and the Gospel’s.


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