The seed that falls to the ground, dies, and yields much fruit, doesn’t have too much say in the matter—it falls where the sower casts it. Similarly, although many martyrs were given the option of avoiding their fate by denying Christ, others were given no choice and simply murdered by their oppressors—Edith Stein being an obvious example. So too, even if we avoid martyrdom, we all face the inevitability of death—like that grain of wheat cast into the earth. However, if we have no control over this painful inevitability, we do have significant influence on whether our dying produces an abundant harvest, or is that of the grain of wheat that simply decays into nothingness. The martyrs witnessed to Christ in an intense and brief act of dying at the hands of their persecutors. We can be thought of as witnessing by dying that long protracted death begun in baptism and ending with our glorious entry into Eternal Life. In this dying, we too can bear witness to Christ by surrendering to his purifying love and dying to all that still mars his image and likeness in us. Through the intercession of Saint Lawrence may we whose mortality makes death unavoidable, make of this dying a radiant witness to Christ and our faith in the fullness of life that dying in him brings to us.