MEMORIAL OF SAINT IGNATIUS, BISHOP AND MARTYR
From A Letter to the Romans by Bishop Ignatius of Antioch (who was martyred in the Roman Colosseum in 108 AD)
I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers (and sisters). Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the world. Do not tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light. Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of imitating the passion of my God. If you have him in your heart, you will understand what I wish.You will sympathize with me because you will know what urges me on … Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread.
Father Bill +