On Faith and Martyrdom, by Regis Martin

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[Image: Perpetua, Felicitas, Revocatus, Saturninus and Secundulus (Menologion of Basil II)]

By Regis Martin, Crisis Magazine, Sept. 20, 2021

Regis Martin is Professor of Theology and Faculty Associate with the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He earned a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome….


O martyrs of God, your race is run,
All thanks to his redeeming Son.
You’ve vanquished every foe,
Eternal joys are yours to know.

“What is uniquely Christian,” declared Hans Urs von Balthasar near the end of the Second Vatican Council—widespread forgetfulness of that fact having seeped into the soul of Christendom—“begins and ends with the revelation that the infinite God loves the individual man infinitely. This is most exactly expressed by the fact that for this beloved ‘you,’ God in human form died the death of a redeemer (that is, of a sinner).”

We come to know, therefore, who we are and what God enjoins upon us to do only in consequence of knowing who Christ is and what He has done for us on the Cross. As a result of such saving knowledge, we find ourselves all at once empowered to see both the weight of our worth in God’s eyes and the infinite distance we were from God before Christ hung upon the Cross in order to make it not matter anymore.

The poet Hopkins, in the final lines from “That Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire and on the Comfort of the Resurrection,” provides the most stunning expression of this truth: …