Today’s excerpt is from the Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (fight through the old english….it’s worth it!)
Agatha, a Sicilian lady, was not more remarkable for her personal and acquired endowments, than her piety; her beauty was such, that Quintian, governor of Sicily, became enamored of her, and made many attempts upon her chastity without success. In order to gratify his passions with greater conveniency, he put the virtuous lady into the hands of Aphrodica, a very infamous and licentious woman. This wretch tried every artifice to win her to the desired prostitution; but found all her efforts were vain; for her chastity was impregnable, and she well knew that virtue alone could procure true happiness. Aphrodica acquainted Quintian with the inefficacy of her endeavors, who, enaged to be foiled in his designs, changed his lust into resentment. On her confessing that she was a Christian, he determined to gratify his revenge, as he could not his passion. Pursuant to his orders, she was scourged, burnt with red-hot irons, and torn with sharp hooks. Having borne these torments with admirable fortitude, she was next laid naked upon live coals, intermingled with glass, and then being carried back to prison, she there expired on February 5, 251.
The call to “Be Holy” will cost us something. Maybe for you it will mean having a difficult conversation. Maybe it will mean a group of friends will make fun of you in public. Maybe it will mean you finally selling that stuff that you don’t really need and giving to the poor. For Agatha…..it meant getting seared with red-hot irons, torn with sharp hooks, and burnt naked on flaming coals.
Following Jesus in our 21st Century America is easy….and yet, that is precisely why it is so hard.
Writing that you might Be Holy, no matter what the cost-