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23. Learn from the Martyrs: Reject Complacency and Rejoice Beyond the Circumstances

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What has drawn you to learn about the martyrs?

“When I would read the stories of St. Therese of Lisieux or St. Pope John Paul II, they felt too boring to me. I always had this fascination to read the stories of the martyrs. My favorite memory was watching the 1990s St. Joan of Arc film with her dad. Her story got me hooked and I started learn more about all the martyrs.” -Mary

What can we learn from the martyrs?

A line of the Beatitudes reads (Matthew 1:10) “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This section of the Beatitudes is the promise of the martyrs that goes out to us reminding us to rejoice in the gift of suffering or a difficult situation. Taking to heart each time that you were rejected in this life and dare to rejoice that heaven has promised you a hundredfold. Even in the middle of the hardest situation, just like the martyrs did, we are called to rejoice in the Lord.

What are practical ways we can strive to live with the same zeal as the martyrs?

You are called to martyrdom in the sense to witness, not by your own death, but by the life that you are living. What suffering do you have in your life that you want to unite to the Lord? In order to do that, you must grow close to him. Even if you’ve been in your faith journey for a while, you need to root out apathy and complacency in your life. There is always somewhere in your life that you can take a step forward in. If you are unsure, ask the Lord to “wake you up” and He will help you find where you need to change!

What is one piece of advice that you want every young Catholic woman to know? 

“Each time you are rejected in this life, have comfort and dare to rejoice that heaven has promised you a hundredfold. Having confidence and hope that what the Lord has set out for us is the good work he’s begun in you. He will see it through.” -Mary

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