Martyrdom is an inseparable companion of any true Christian. Suffering is inevitable in the process of establishing heavenly grace on earth, which, in the end, always concludes with the triumph of truth. “You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” [John 16:20
]. Martyrdom is grief that leads to heavenly joy – it is a special gift of God to His beloved and loyal servants.
The fallen world, revolting against the renewal of the faithful, tyrannizes them in all ways possible, through trials and tribulations, temptations and smear, threats and persecution, all of which, however, benefit [through God’s providence] the spiritual growth and sanctification of man.
Stepping onto the path of martyrdom Christian completely resigns himself to the providence of God and voluntarily subdues himself to the commandment, knowing full well that by averting suffering due to distrust and petty fear he condemns himself to death, whereas by joining with Christ in sufferings and bravely and patiently enduring to the end, he will become worthy of an eternal crown.
Any martyrdom, whether stained by blood or not, if endured bravely to the end, will greatly benefit the amplification of grace and spiritual fortification in the faithful.
Every day the faithful are faced with this moral choice as they resist the temptations of sin, as the evil spirit tries to distance them from God and subject them to condemnation.
While the fortitude of faith is demolished by fear of suffering and death during tribulations, in more peaceful times it is accomplished by inclining man to sin through pleasures of convenience. In many cases defeating sinful pleasures may require more pain and perseverance, because overcoming such sinful addictions oftentimes causes suffering that is every bit as harsh as the suffering caused by sword and fire.
For this reason the grief of asceticism and wilful abstinence, through which the faithful overcome various weaknesses of their nature through patience and perseverance is also considered martyrdom.