Christianity will not be content to be an evolution within the total category of human nature; an engagement such as that is too little to offer to a god. Neither does it even want to be the paradox for the believer, and then surreptitiously, little by little, provide him with understanding, because the martyrdom of faith (to crucify one's understanding) is not a martyrdom of the moment, but the martyrdom of continuance.
Toughness found fertile soil in the hearts of Palestinians, and the grains of resistance embedded themselves in their skin. Endurance evolved as a hallmark of refugee society. But the price they paid was the subduing of tender vulnerability. They learned to celebrate martyrdom. Only martyrdom offered freedom. Only in death were they at last invulnerable to Israel. Martyrdom became the ultimate defiance of Israeli occupation.
That so many writers have been prepared to accept a kind of martyrdom is the best tribute that flesh can pay to the living spirit of man as expressed in his literature. One cannot doubt that the martyrdom will continue to be gladly embraced. To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.
It is not suicide; it is martyrdom in the name of God. I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an indication of the justice of Allah almighty. Allah is just. Through his infinite wisdom, he has given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs as the Palestinians do.
Martyrdom is evidence only of a man's honesty - it is no evidence that he is not mistaken. Men have suffered martyrdom for all sorts of opinions in politics and in religion; yet they could not therefore have all been in the right; although they could give no stronger evidence that they believed themselves in the right.
Is there art that is more beautiful, more divine, and more eternal that the art of martyrdom? A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity. Those who wish to undermine this principle undermines the foundations of our independence and national security . . . The message of the (Islamic) Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time . . . Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.
With hearts that believe in Allah's will and predetermination, we have received the news about the martyrdom of the martyr. . . . Al-Hotary, the son of Palestine, whose noble soul ascended to . . . in order to rest in Allah's Kingdom, together with the Prophets, the men of virtue, and the martyrs. The heroic martyrdom operation . . . who turned his body into bombs . . . the model of manhood and sacrifice for the sake of Allah and the homeland.
The attitude of uncompromising heroism is attractive, and appeals especially to the dramatic instinct. But the purpose of the serious revolutionary is not personal heroism, nor martyrdom, but the creation of a happier world. Those who have the happiness of the world at heart will shrink from attitudes and the facile hysteria of "no parley with the enemy." They will not embark upon enterprises, however arduous and austere, which are likely to involve the martyrdom of their country and the discrediting of their ideals. It is by slower and less showy methods that the new world must be built [... ] To find fault with those who urge these considerations, or to accuse them of faint-heartedness, is mere sentimental self-indulgence, sacrificing the good we can do to the satisfaction of our own emotions.
What can my enemies do to me? I have in my breast both my Heaven and my Garden. If I travel they are with me, and they never leave me. Imprisonment for me is a religious retreat [khalwa]. To be slain for me is martyrdom [shahada] And to be exiled from my land is a spiritual journey [siyaha].
I've come to believe that God, in His wisdom, allows martyrdom in every generation in part because, without them, the reality of Christ's death for us becomes increasingly blurry... As we look at [the martyrs], the mist that sometimes enshrouds first-century Golgotha is burned away, and we see...the Lord nailed to the cross.
The most dangerous of devotions, in my opinion, is the one endemic to Christianity: I was not born to be of this world. With a second life waiting, suffering can be endured--especially in other people. The natural environment can be used up. Enemies of the faith can be savaged and suicidal martyrdom praised.
E. O. Wilson
What were you thinking?" I demanded once we were moving to the music. I was trying to ignore his hands. "Do you know how much trouble you may have gotten me in?" Adrian grinned. "Nah. They all feel bad for you. You'll achieve martyrdom after dancing with a mean, wicked vampire. Job security with the Alchemists.
The future of modern society depends much more on the quiet heroism of the very few who are inspired by God. These few will greatly enjoy the divine inspiration and will be prepared to stand for the dignity of Man and true freedom and to keep the Law of God, even of it means martyrdom or death.
The difference between a man who faces death for the sake of an idea and an imitator who goes in search of martyrdom is that whilst the former expresses his idea most fully in death it is the strange feeling of bitterness which comes from failure that the latter really enjoys; the former rejoices in his victory, the latter in his suffering.
People unable to bear the martyrdom [... ] unintelligently jump off the path, and choose instead, conveniently enough, the world's admiration of their proficiency. The true knight of faith is a witness, never a teacher, and in this lies the deep humanity in him which is more worth than this foolish concern for others' weal and woe which is honoured under the name of sympathy, but which is really nothing but vanity.
The history of missions is the history of answered prayer. From Pentecost to the Haystack meeting in New England and from the days when Robert Morrison landed in China to the martyrdom of John and Betty Stam, prayer has been the source of power and the secret of spiritual triumph.
Samuel Marinus Zwemer
She [my mother] was the force around which our world turned. My mother was propelled through the universe by the brute force of reason. She was the judge in all our arguments. One disapproving word from her was enough to send us off to hide in a corner, where we would cry and fantasize our own martyrdom. And yet. One kiss could restore us to princedom. Without her, our lives would dissolve into chaos.
I am too sick to work and haven't money enough to last 2 months and pay income tax. I want to keep going but do not see quite how, and there is no alternative - rather than justify my mother's 25-year dread of my "coming back on her, sick", I must kill myself. If she has to pay funeral costs, at least she will cut them to the bone and I will not be here to endure her martyrdom and prolong it by living.
Rose Wilder Lane
The life of the cenobite is a human problem. When we speak of convents, those seats of error but innocence, of mistaken views but good intentions, of ignorance but devotion, of torment but martyrdom, we must nearly always say yes or no... The monastery is a renunciation. Self-sacrifice, even when misdirected, is still self-sacrifice. To assume as duty a strict error has its peculiar grandeur.
You stand now between anarchy and law. The Police have done their duty. Let the jury have the same courage so that the police can indeed rest in peace. The flowers of spring shall bloom upon their graves moistened by the tears of a great city. Outraged and violated law shall be redeemed and in their martyrdom anarchy shall be buried forever.
If we presuppose that Jesus and God are one-as many (but not all) Christians do-then we can also infer that Jesus Christ was omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent, and it is with this that the idea of sacrifice is lost. The martyrdom was premeditated on the part of the Creator, and Jesus was resurrected afterward-showing that the act of 'death' was not an inconvenience for the immortal 'man' who was said to have known that he would be resurrected.
David G. McAfee
It is, indeed, a fact that, in the midst of society and sociability every evil inclination has to place itself under such great restraint, don so many masks, lay itself so often on the procrustean bed of virtue, that one could well speak of a martyrdom of the evil man. In solitude all this falls away. He who is evil is at his most evil in solitude: which is where he is at his best - and thus to the eye of him who sees everywhere only a spectacle also at his most beautiful.
We cannot look upon our lives as dreams of a dreamer who has no awakening in all time. We have a personality to which matter and force are unmeaning unless related to something infinitely personal, whose nature we have discovered, in some measure, in human love, in the greatness of the good, in the martyrdom of heroic souls, in the ineffable beauty of nature, which can never be a mere physical fact nor anything but an expression of personality.
Along with our over-giving is our own conditional giving pattern, which can fuel so much of our resentment and feelings of 'victimization' by the people to whom we are giving. We may be completely unaware of our expectations of those we assist, and our own anger and resentment may catch us off guard. This is why our martyrdom is so hard on those around us. They are aware of the price we are exacting, even when we are in denial about our own motives and expectations.
Mary Crocker Cook
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind! Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, For there thy habitation is the heart-- The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd-- To fetters and damp vault's dayless gloom, Their country conquers with their martyrdom.
The patient man is merry indeed.... The jailers that watch him are but his pages of honour, and his very dungeon but the lower side of the vault of heaven. He kisseth the wheel that must kill him; and thinks the stairs of the scaffold of his martyrdom but so many degrees of his ascent to glory. The tormentors are weary of him. the beholders have pitty on him, all men wonder at him; and while he seems below all men, below himself, he is above nature. He hath so overcome hlmself that nothing can conquer him.
One of the greatest evils is the foolishness of a good man. For the giving man to withhold helping someone in order to first assure personal fortification is not selfish, but to elude needless self-destruction; martyrdom is only practical when the thought is to die, else a good man faces the consequence of digging a hole from which he cannot escape, and truly helps no one in the long run.
I really am a little afraid, my dear, ' hinted the cherub meekly, 'that you are not enjoying yourself?' 'On the contrary, ' returned Mrs. Wilfer, 'quite so. Why should I not?' 'I thought, my dear, that perhaps your face might-' 'My face might be a martyrdom, but what would that import, or who should know it, if I smiled?' And she did smile; manifestly freezing the blood of Mr. George Sampson by so doing. For that young gentleman, catching her smiling eye, was so very much appalled by its expression as to cast about in his thoughts concerning what he had done to bring it down upon himself.
It is not easy to explain why God permits evil; but it is impossible for an atheist to explain the existence of goodness. How could a spiritless, soul-less, cross-less, Godless universe become the center of faith, purity, sacrifice, and martyrdom? How can decency be the decent thing if there is no God? Since God is love, why should we be surprised that want of it should end in pain, hate, broken hearts, and war?
Fulton J. Sheen
Jesus says that every Christian has his own cross waiting for him, a cross destined and appointed by God. Each must endure his allotted share of suffering and rejection. But each has a different share: some God deems worthy of the highest form of suffering, and gives them the grace of martyrdom, while others he does not allow to be tempted above that which they are able to bear. But it is the one and the same cross in every case.