Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: WEEKEND AWAY (short vacation) (07/23/15)
TITLE: Telemachus, s true story
By Gloria Pierre Dean
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There were many atrocities in the land.
The entertainment of the day was the notoriously barbaric gladiatorial combats. Men were trained to be strong so they could fight other men to the death for the entertainment of onlookers in Roman amphitheaters.
The Colosseum was such a place. It was the largest amphitheater ever built and it was in the center of Rome. It was a place for viewing. It was elliptical in shape and had seating tiers that surrounded a central performance area called the arena. It was a great place for echoing sounds.
My story follows a quiet scholarly monk named Telemachus. He had lived all his life in prayer, fasting, seclusion and manual labor. He was an ascetic and lived in the East, possibly Turkey.
He felt compelled, it is told, to travel to Rome for a short trip. He went into the Colosseum. For the first time in his life he saw the ‘abominable spectacle’ of two gladiators fighting to the death. In unbelievable horror he watched as the gladiators began to sword beat each other. It became obvious to him that death was the only goal.
In the deep silence of the Colosseum his voice was heard. He uttered these words as he hastened into the central arena.
“In the Name of Christ, forbear!”
He was asking them to stop in the strongest possible language of the day.
The spectators were indignant. Their sport was being disrupted so they stoned this innocent holy man.
Telemachus continued to issue his cry to his death,
“In the name of Christ, forbear!”
When the emperor heard the story he determined that he was indeed a martyr.
The historian Theodoret writes that “the peacemaker was stoned until he lay dying. His final pitiful cry was “In the Name of Christ, forbear.”
Because of Telemachus’ action and his death the Emperor made a decree three days later and ended the games.
Telemachus’ life was a preparation for this one action that proved to be self sacrificial. He did more in one day,
possibly on a well deserved weekend away, than many do in a lifetime.
Jesus did more in thirty years on earth or three days of torture or three hours on a Cross than any of us will ever do.
Telemachus’ story focus on one man whose compassionate Christ-filled heart changed the world of his day.
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