The early Church historian Tertullian,wrote that,”the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”.A tad astringent,though in some ways even to-day, a timely and apposite comment.Martyrdom itself encompasses and embodies  the making of a personal sacrifice,which in turn,as a direct and observable consequence of that sacrifice, attains a specific goal or objective.The great 1st.Century Stoic philosopher and Roman statesman Seneca recapitulated that,”nothing worthwhile can be achieved without pain and sacrifice”.Since Time immemorial,that much has been held  to be clear and beyond dispute.The element of sacrifice,whether it’s corporeal or spiritual has to be personal and felt and seen by others to be so.Now at Passiontide,the absolute proof of this is again revealed and recapitulated as if by rote.Sacrifice cannot be ordered up on demand by some external command or instruction.If it were or could be then it cannot be termed “sacrifice”,then it would be “command” or “instruction”.Then it would not be from the Self.


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