We have it so good. I wonder how much tougher people used to be, who faced so much and worse.
St. Denys, Bishop of Alexandria wrote this, “At first they drove us out and…we keppt our festival even then, pursued and put to death by all, and every single spot where we were afflicted became to us a place of assembly for the feast–field, desert, ship, inn, prison.” As Dom Dix describes, the Saint wrote this of Easter 250, when, above the persecution, there was also a civil war, famine and plague happening at the same time (Dix, Shape of the Liturgy, 153).
Seriously? As if hounded by the mob who hates you, tortured by the authorities weren’t enough, God added war, famine and deadly disease to the mix? How could they bear such things? We who rank marriage as one of the most stressful times in life, who think that being yelled at by your boss ruins your day, or week could not bear even one of those disasters. But if we examine history, we’ll find that we are the exception by far. You don’t have to go far in time or space to see those who deal with war, death, disease, persecution. Across the globe, back 60 years and it becomes more and more common.
So give thanks this day and pray for your children and grandchildren, and remember it all ends in victory for those who have died with Christ already.