On Martyrdom

Martyrdom is not gallantly standing before a firing squad...

Usually it is the losing of a job (and so the means to life) because of not taking a loyalty oath, or buying a war bond, or paying a tax. Last month we met a Quaker in Baltimore who had lost a job for refusing to take the loyalty oath required of city employees. Martyrdom is small, hidden, misunderstood. Or if it is a bloody martyrdom, is it the cry in the dark, the terror, the shame, the aloneness, nobody to hear, nobody to suffer with, let alone to save. O, the aloneness of all of us in these days, in all the great moments of our lives, this dying which we do, by little and by little, over a short space of time or over the years.

--Dorothy Day

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