St Lawrence, a deacon of the Early Church died for his believes by being roasted over a fire! I do not think any of us would see this as an enjoyable experience so we have to ask ourselves the question, “Why didn’t Lawrence renounce his faith and so avoid such a terrible death?”

When I read the lives of the saints it is quite easy to see that in each of their lives something has happened that they cannot deny even if such a position is the cause of great suffering. In other words, they have come to know the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ as not just a friend but as a Saviour and there is nothing that is going to separate them from this relationship with Him! Their conversion to Jesus, their faith, is so strong that they experience an inability to let go of it, even in the face of death by fire!

Each time I think of sainthood or martyrdom in these terms I am inspired to pray for such a grace for myself. However, it seems that I do not have it as I very soon find myself back in the mundane struggle with sin that seems to characterise each of our lives. I am sure Jesus knows this, but I am at a loss to know why He does not do anything definitive about it! Then I remember He has done something about it and the problem rests with me and not with Him!

Each time we are tempted with sin it is time for each of us to stand up and be counted for what we believe. This is not and never will be an easy thing to do! All we can do is to begin doing it and hope and pray that we will be humble enough to accept the grace of God which will enable us to be faithful to our convictions. Jesus knows the degree to which we struggle and is a merciful judge of our situation. However, we must be willing to die to ourselves if we are going to achieve victory over sin and temptation. Let us try to develop a devotion to the martyrs, any martyr in order that we might be inspired to more fully lay down our lives for the Gospel in imitation of them.

What is the biggest struggle in my life? Where do I need the most grace or help form God to achieve victory over sin?

Lord Jesus, send forth the power of your grace more fully in my life so that what I know to be true in my head will become the reality I live in my life, namely that your death and resurrection has killed the power of sin in my life.