The Value of Sacrifice

“A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain.” This is a quote from Unbroken, the movie that tells the story of Louie Zamperini, athlete and soldier. His brother pronounces this encouraging sentence right when Louie leaves for the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.

Applied here in the context of sports, this sentence has to do with suffering, and the sacrifice all physical training implies, which is worth a lifetime of glory. This is the case of the elite athlete after having won the victory in different types of competitions. Nonetheless, the sentence can be applied to a much deeper background: our very life.

We are often willing to make either great or small sacrifices because we know that they bring us benefits. Maybe it’s a diet to maintain our figure or for health reasons, giving up something we like in order to save up, and many other examples that may come to mind.

But when someone mentions making a sacrifice for other reasons, such as not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, we find people who throw their hands up in horror. “How silly!” we might even hear. However, we cannot forget that the sacrifices that are truly worth making are those that lead us to the real Life of Glory, when we find ourselves before Christ and his Kingdom. Sometimes we forget about this, or no one has ever told us, but it’s good to raise our eyes and discover the goal that awaits us.

Any sacrifice is worth it, if it means making it to Heaven, the final triumph. If we have this in mind and in our heart, we will be able to fight more effectively against that which impedes us from striving after holiness. Moreover, thanks to God’s mercy, we can make sacrifices and offer them for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. Sacrifices not only help us reach Eternal life, they can help others, too. Knowing that we’re called to something great and therefore cannot conform with anything less, we can face sacrifices in a different light. Not fearfully or thinking about the pain they imply, but joyfully and with a lot of love, like the shepherd children of Fatima.

- By Marta Troyano