Ignatius of Antioch (30-107)
Ignatius of Antioch (30-107) “If you quietly let me alone, people will see in me God's Word. But if you are enamored of my mere body, I shall, on the contrary, be a meaningless noise. Grant me no more than to be a sacrifice for God while there is an altar at hand.”
It is a grand thing for us to be on our way to God, so that we may rise in his presence. We are going through the pangs of being born. We are voluntarily dying for God. We pray that we may have strength of soul and body so that we may not only talk of sacrifice, but really want it. Let us imitate the Passion of our God. We do not want merely to be called Christians, but we want actually to be Christians. The greatness of Christianity lies in its being hated by the world, not in its being convincing to the world.
We are God's wheat and are being ground by the teeth of wild beasts to make a pure loaf for Christ. May nothing seen or unseen begrudge us making our way to Jesus Christ. Come fire, cross, battling with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs, crushing of our whole bodies, cruel tortures of the devil— only let us get to Jesus Christ! The prince of this world wants to kidnap us and pervert our godly purpose. If we suffer, we shall be emancipated by Jesus Christ; and united to him, we shall rise to freedom.
Our Desire is crucified, and all earthly passion has been quelled within himself, has been crucified and there burns in us no passion for material things. There is living water in us, which speaks and says inside us, "Come to the Father." We take no delight in corruptible food or in the dainties of this life. What we want is God's bread, which is the flesh of Christ, who came from David's line; and for drink we want his blood: an immortal love feast indeed!
We do not talk Jesus Christ and set our hearts on the world. We harbor no envy. Nothing that we can see has real value. We do not want to live any more on a human plane, so that we will be wanted on a heavenly plane! Neither the wide bounds of earth nor the kingdoms of this world will avail us anything. We would rather die and get to Jesus Christ, than reign over the ends of the earth. That is whom we are looking for— the One who died for us. That is whom we want— the One who rose for us.