Friday, January 31, 2014

St.Ignatius of Antioch Bishop and Martyr

Whenever  I think of St. Ignatius, in his old age steadfastly going to the Colosseum to be eaten by lions and read this from his letter to the Romans I can't help but get a lump in my throat. I think it is one of the most beautiful letters ever written:

I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals. I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God. No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. 

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