We’ve noted that Pope John Paul II has repeatedly warned Catholics to be ready for martyrdom. Yet he’s also predicted that “God is preparing a great springtime for Christianity.” Are these two visions of the future in conflict?

Not if we recall one last time Tertullian’s maxim: The blood of Christians is seed. To speak of future martyrs is not to deny a great harvest for the Church. On the contrary, the one implies the other. Whether believers’ blood will be spilled in Nairobi or New York, the fertile power of their testimony will blossom and bear eternal fruit.

-from Blood of the Martyrs, Seed of the Church:Stories of Catholics Who Died for Their Faith by Paul Thigpen (Charis, 2001)