It’s Monday again can you believe. At times there is a certain feeling of ‘groundhog day’ or even ‘groundhog week’.
Here in England today we are celebrating the feast of the English martyrs and notably those of Tyburn.
While we often talk of martyrs and use the term quite frequently in the church, when we actually think of being hung or brutally killed for our faith it’s quite scary, in fact it’s terrifying!
Thankfully most of us will never be called to this type of death but rather we are called to the small daily deaths or a ‘white martyrdom’.
Perhaps one of the best guides when it comes to this is Saint Therese of the child Jesus. She called it the little way. Little because it involved little daily deaths and enormous daily sufferings.
Therese learnt how to cooperate with grace and in a way, to become her own executioner.
Most of us live as best we can and can try to get away with as much as we can. Only when we are caught out or corrected do we change.
However Therese was different! She became her own task-master and didn’t excuse herself of even the smallest of sins.
She say that she could please God by doing little things with maximum love by being fully present.
This sounds easy and in some ways it resembles Buddhist philosophies on being present.
But try doing everything during the day with maximum love and care and you’ll soon see how it’s a true martyrdom.
Among the parts of you that you’ll need to kill off are your ego, pride, laziness but to name just a few!
How many times are you doing something but in your thoughts and imagination you are a thousand miles away? How many times do you meet someone and say “how are you?” and yet the last thing on earth you are expecting is a reply.
Not to mention your relationships with people. A friend sent me this yesterday, God knows we can all relate to it
Saint Therese was also a martyr of kindness. To those she naturally disliked the most she was extra nice to the point that some were shocked when they read her diary and discovered the truth.
And so as Monday starts the week again we can see it in one of two ways.
Negatively like groundhog day or positively like Saint Therese!
Every day and every week and every moment is an opportunity to please Jesus, to follow Jesus and to grow in holiness. In eternity we will look back to our lives on earth and be grateful for every prayer we said, every sacrifice we made, every soul we helped.
And so this wonderful feast day let us ask for the intercession of the martyrs and indeed the intercession of Therese and may we make every moment of our lives count and never lose hope or fall into despair.
Have a blessed week.
P.S. Our parish mass and adoration (Wednesday and Sunday) are available on this website if anyone is looking.