Martyrdom: Red and White

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The blood of red martyrdom is the life-blood of Holy Orthodoxy, the costly glorification that gives life to the tradition in the light of the Name.  The blood of white martyrdom, on the other hand, is the life-blood of Hesychast solitude, the life of desert silence, the beauty of hidden stillness.  Both martyrdoms bear witness to Christ in the Spirit of the Father’s hallowing Name, the red leaving wondrous relics, expressing sacrificial love, the white, imparting living remembrance of God in saints, reminding Holy Orthodoxy that its life lies its saints.  When the temptation to reduce martyrdom to externals arises, rivalry between red and white arises with a war of words and divisive identities, but martyrdom itself is one, as glorification of God is one, being witness to the oneness of glory, unveiled by God, who is one.  Ever since the death and resurrection of Christ, elders and saints have borne witness in glory to God by death and resurrection, a witness that directly unveils the glory of the Name.  Whether red or white, the witness of martyrdom neither wavers nor changes, because uncreated light never dithers in its witness to uncreated glory.  The morning star bears witness with the evening star to a single glory, a single presence whose single eye is the awakened eye of the enlightened heart.  Red martyrdom bears witness in death, whilst white martyrdom is witness to resurrection, but both red and white overcome death by death and rise through resurrection into the abundance and completeness of glory.

Red and white martyrdom meet in the Name and join in the glory of the Name’s unveiling, bearing witness with wisdom to the capacity of glory to fulfil the ineffable potential of grace.  Wisdom beholds the capacity of turning to bind confusion and to release division into union with uncreated light, unnfolding and enfolding uncreated glory.  Everything turns right round in a moment and instantly releases in a trice when solitude is silent at the heart of stillness.  Blood martyrs release into the same glory as do living martyrs, shattering distraction in timeless presence.  The Spirit’s witness is veiled and unveiled right here, in the unveiled face of dazzling glory, manifesting ineffable freedom.  Unbound clarity alone manifests as a pure witness to ineffable completeness. Given that the blood of the martyrs is the life-blood of saints, white martyrdom can replace red without loss of clarity.  In the eye of stillness, Baptism is life-giving death and Chrismation is death-transcending life, turning the Eucharist into a union with God that is both a birth and a death.  

Red witness is white and white witness is red in the uncreated fires of burning grace, tempering and refining awakened hearts in uncreated glory.  Stillness purifies solitude in the silence of consuming fire, releasing light and glory unconsumed.  Red martyrdom must never be permitted to become a substitute for white, or white a distraction from the red, for the uncreated flame of wisdom consumes deception in the same fire as distraction.  Unfolding wisdom ennfolds liberating glory anew in every moment, offering Christ through what is appropriate, in the Spirit, as is appropriate.  Dithering comes from uncured doubt, which wisdom heals by hallowing the Name, welcoming realms of glory home.  The Name turns awareness round in the inner sanctuary of the awakened heart, whilst wisdom sees through every obstruction that obscures the Spirit’s insight.  Grace takes the kingdom of God by storm, enabling saints to enter glory without presumption.  White witness drives home what red witness means, whilst red witness lives what white witness knows.  Red and white martyrdom are one when their witness to the one Christ is in the one Spirit, and they are both completely one, as God is one, when they reveal the oneness of wisdom and glory in the one Father.