IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH
(c. 35 AD – 108 AD)
I must implore you to do me no untimely kindness; pray leave me to be a meal for the beasts, for it is they who can provide my way to God. I am his wheat, ground fine by the lions’ teeth to be made purest bread for Christ. Better still, incite the creatures to become a sepulchre for me; let them not leave the smallest scrap of my flesh, so that I need not be a burden to anyone after I fall asleep. When there is no trace of my body left for the world to see, then I shall truly be Jesus Christ’s disciple. So intercede with him for me, that by their instrumentality I may be made a sacrifice to God…. Here and no, as I write in the fulness of life, I am yearning for death with all the passion of a lover. Earthly longings have been crucified; in e there is left no spark of desire for mundane things, but only la murmur of living water that whispers within me, ‘Come to the Father’.