skeletons of dead bodies

Worth the Suffering

It is human nature to look on someone who is suffering for a cause and think, “WOW! That person really believes in something. That person is even willing to die for it.” We’ve all witnessed such belief. We’ve seen people chained to trees, laying down in front of bulldozers, and even imprisoned for the sake of a belief. Is there anything you believe in enough to be uncomfortable?

Today is the feast of Saints Adrian and Natalie. They were married. She was a secret believer, and he was a pagan who suffered a horrible death when he believed and confessed. You can read a small part of their story here. Saint Paul speaks about the blessing of suffering for a cause in the Epistle reading for the Saints.

Brethren, recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised. “For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry; but my righteous one shall live by faith.”

Hebrews 10.32-38

Now, I invite you to put the two concepts together. Think of all those people you see who believe enough in something to risk their lives, and then think about your faith in Christ. Do you really believe enough to risk everything like Saints Adrian and Natalie? Imagine the inspiration you would bring to nonbelievers. The only examples our society offers to nonbelievers lately are a few fanatics who expect everyone else to live by God’s rules but are themselves sellouts.

Here’s is a place where you can start. Start your example by willing to put attending Sunday Liturgy as a priority in your life. If we aren’t willing to skip sleeping in on a Sunday, how do we ever expect to be an example to others. They will hear our words and respond, “You don’t even believe enough to attend your own Church! Why should I consider believing what you say?”

If you already are committed to being in Church every Sunday, unless you are physically ill, then make an appointment with your Spiritual Father and ask him for the next step. Our faith in Christ is worth the suffering. When we are willing to put our own comfort at risk, then others may take notice and believe.

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