If push came to shove, would you ACTUALLY be willing to embrace martyrdom?


#1

In the past, I posted a few threads asking people about whether a good person forced to do a bad thing will still go to hell for it.

In those threads, I learned about the official stance of the Church (that a sin has to be voluntary and of a serious nature for it to be mortal). Apart from that, I got some enlightening and thought provoking responses.

However, I also got a lot of responses along the lines of “Torture and death threats are no excuse! A true christian would embrace martyrdom!”. What people seem to forget, however, is that part of the reason saints and martyrs are revered is because they went above and beyond what is normally expected.

So I am asking you to consider the following: you are in a situation where someone wants you to do something bad. Maybe verbally renounce your faith, maybe reveal information which will result in a friend or comrade getting hurt or killed, maybe to directly cause harm to someone else. The person forcing you to do this is threatening to torture or kill you or a loved one if you don’t comply.

Would you honestly be willing to embrace martyrdom?

If you were ever in a situation similar to what I described, feel free to share it.

Above all, keep this discussion respectful.


#2

For me, the easier situation is if the threat is to me personally. In that case, yes, I would be willing to embrace martyrdom.

The tougher situation is if the threat is to one of my loved one’s, my wife or one of my children. I hope I never have to find out. Reminds me of the story of the mother of 7 sons in the 2nd Book of Maccabees. Wow!


#3

I absolutely would:D


#4

It’s easy to say that I would from the couch where I’m sitting.

What would I actually do? I have no idea. I don’t think anyone does until the time comes.


#5

I think it is very easy to say yes when the sword is not at our necks or the necks of those we love. I hope and pray that if it came to it then God would grant me the grace to die for Him and receive the martyr’s crown. I have no confidence to say that I could definitely do it and I know that I certainly couldn’t without the Grace of God.


#6

The ideal me would want to die a martyr, but being realistic, I know that I would be fearful at some point.

The ideal me is also willing to suffer greatly and willingly for Christ, but the realistic me would scream in torment.


#7

By His grace.

Peace


#8

We are yes to be ready to die as a martyr for Christ. Most certainly.

And yes we answer “yes”.
*
But it is not the thing to ask about such “imaginary situations”. Such should be dismissed as a temptation. Pure and simple. *

We are given the grace we need in the moment.* Not before.*

The grace to profess ones Faith and die a Christian martyr does not come now to someone sitting at their computer looking at this. It is not a question to ask -but a temptation to dismiss.

One is simply to make ones profession of Faith and trust in the Holy Spirit - to give one what is needed in that moment if it should come.

To do as the early Christians did: “I am a Christian!”.

earlychristians.org/index.php/acts/item/315-the-acts-of-martyrdom-of-the-scillitan-saints


#9

This.

I can not say that I would embrace martyrdom. I can only hope that the Lord grants me the grace to do so. I believe he would but it would still be up to me to act within that grace.


#10

I really hope that I would be willing to, but I am pretty sure I would not. I can barely convince myself to get out of the house and start attending Mass, even though I go to confession at least once a month to confess that I don’t go to Mass :p… I know what I should do, but I am still too weak to do what is right.

If I find myself in that situation, I just want the executioner to do a quick job, before I change my mind. God will be merciful, whether I die with doubts or live by turning my back to Him, but I’d hate to live with myself if I chicken out at the last moment…


#11

I hope and pray that I would.


#12

There have been a handful of times where I have surprised myself by making a split-second decision, mustering up the sheer will to do something painful or very socially embarrassing – some action that if you had asked me some other time, I would have said “I could never do that.”

And there have been times where I thought I would have the strength, but I shied away from doing the right thing.

I have no idea what I would do when facing martyrdom, but I believe strongly that I am capable of making the right choice – and thus I own my choice completely. What scares me the most is that I may only have a moment to choose, and no time to think on it before deciding.


#13

I pray I would. Yes, only with God’s strength and grace.


#14

#15

Isn’t this the 64 million $ question? Don’t we all hope we would be? Don’t we all hope that at that moment God will give us the grace we need? Given that we all sin–i.e. chose against God in regards to much lesser things – I’m not sure any of us can answer with an emphatic yes. The best I can offer is that I hope God will give me the grace that I need at such a moment. I will confess that I have my doubts as to how well I will stand up to torture–Gods grace will by my only hope.

The peace of Christ,
Mark


#16

I would like to think that I would, but I’m realistic enough to admit that I probably would not be.


#17

Nope.

I’d be willing to lie through my teeth and tell them whatever they wanted to hear.

My heart would know the truth. I’d have no qualms whatsoever about lying and being a false witness to them.


#18

I would love to, I hope I would be strong enough.


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.